Racing Point driver Lance Stroll shocked everyone with his first pole, however in the race he could not improve this result and bring it to the victory.
At the race start Lance kept the position ahead of Max Verstappen, who was in P2, despite raining conditions. Lance’s teammate Sergio Perez also joined Stroll, gifting Racing Point with an unexpected 1-2 in the first stint.
As he struggled with graining, on lap 36 Lance pitted for a new set of Intermediates. The driver returned to the track in P4 but would soon report excessive graining that was beginning to affect his pace.
So Lance would battle against his graining tyres until the race ending. His P9 finished helped regain P3 in the Constructors’ Championship going into the final three races.
"It’s really hard to understand what happened today and we need to go away and figure it out. I made a good start from pole position and I was able to build up a lead of over 10 seconds in the first stint, which gave us a real platform for the second stint to get a great result," the driver commented.
"Throughout the race, I was struggling with graining on the intermediate tyre. The team made the right call to pit when we did because the graining was extremely difficult and it didn’t look like slick conditions would ever arrive.
"But we then had significant graining on my second set of intermediates, and I couldn’t push to make up places. In hindsight, maybe staying out would have allowed the tyre to clean up, but it’s easy to say that now," Lance explained.
"Getting pole yesterday was a great achievement, but the points are scored on Sunday. It was fun to lead so many laps, but we didn’t lead enough! While I’m frustrated today, Checo’s scored valuable points and we’ll switch focus to the final few races."
The Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer also commented Lance’s results, noticing that the driver deserved another scenario of the race.
"It’s a shame Lance didn’t get the result he deserved. He handled the pressure of starting on pole position very well. He was flawless today and carved out a lead of over 10 seconds, when his tyres worked as expected," Otmar said.
"It was tough to judge the conditions, but we made the right call to switch Lance to intermediates, rather than wait for slick conditions that ultimately never arrived.
"We need to look into why Lance struggled so much with graining on the new intermediates because that prevented him from joining Checo on the podium.
"Regardless, today’s result is a memorable one that has lifted the team back into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship, which is a real boost going into the final few races of the season."