RIO IS 18TH AFTER TURN 1 CONTACT SPOILS HIS RACE. PASCAL LEAVES BAKU WITH A DNF AFTER RUNNING OUT OF BRAKES
Sunday 19 June, Baku City Circuit
Rio MRT05-02 P18 1:51.365 Pascal MRT05-03 DNF (39 laps) 1:50.571
“Not such a good one for me today. I had contact in Turn 1, which damaged my front wing and I had to stop at the end of the first lap. Obviously a new one requires a longer pit stop, so I dropped back quite a bit when I re-joined the race. We decided to put the Soft tyre on at that point and stay on a one-stop strategy, but 49 laps was a long stint for that tyre and I was really struggling with high degradation; the braking point was changing every lap. But, I think everyone was expecting some opportunities today, so we had to try to put ourselves in a position to respond to them. In the end, no such opportunities; it was a very straightforward race. I’m going to focus on the positives though; I had a really strong qualifying and I finished the race, so that’s good.”
“Today is a bit of shame to be honest; we were hoping for much more. I think we were on quite a different strategy than the other guys; one that could really make the most of any chances, but only if the race came our way. We started on the Softs and I was happy with my position after the first lap but it was more difficult on the Soft than the Supersoft. Then we pitted and again I was really happy with my pace on the Medium tyre; I felt I could have closed the gap to the Saubers in front of me but I was running out of brakes. When I got to Turn 1 I simply had no brakes and there was no alternative but to stop. So nothing more to say, we just have to look ahead. I’ve really enjoyed this circuit and my first experience of Baku though.
Dave Ryan, Racing Director:
After the great qualifying performance yesterday and after witnessing both GP2 races heavily compromised by safety car interruptions, we opted to split strategies between the two cars to better cover for any eventuality. Rio’s race was ruined in the first few hundred meters when a Haas car ran him wide into the wall, which forced him to make a lengthy pit stop for a new front wing and nose assembly. With Pascal we started on the soft compound tyre, keeping our options open. Unfortunately, with around 10 laps remaining, we had a braking issue and this led to his retirement from the race. Today was not our day but we leave here undeterred and looking forward to the next race in two weeks’ time at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.”