08 October


08 OCTOBER 2017

MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 2nd, Start Position: 4th

ďThis is my second year in a row on the podium here at Suzuka; it seems like Japan is a good place for me! Our car was very competitive in the corners but it meant we lost a bit on the straights and werenít ever really able to have a proper go at it. The degradation on the soft was really good and the balance felt good throughout the race, which is really positive in terms of finishing the season strongly. Lewis had some difficulties when he had traffic in front but at the end of the day he was controlling it. The traffic gave me a bit of a chance to close up and potentially have a chance to take him. It was a bit of a shame the back-markers came into play but I donít think it made a big difference, once Lewis had clean air I would have struggled to pass him. It just seems that the Mercedes struggle when following other cars closely. In the race it seems we are always more competitive than Qualifying, so Iím looking ahead to Austin and hoping we can carry this form on and get another podium. Two podiums in two weeks means I leave Asia extremely satisfied and excited to get back in the car in the US and try and extend this streak.Ē

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 3rd, Start Position: 3rd
ďOverall the race today was a thumbs up for me. At the start of the weekend I said I wanted to get a podium in Suzuka and I got it. I canít go back on what I said and wish for more, but I need to look back at the start and the actual getaway as that was what cost me the place to Max and Ocon. The first 100 metres could have been better but otherwise the race was pretty lonely in third place. As fun as this track is on one lap itís tricky to do much in the race and very hard to follow another car. In the end it was actually nice to have some pressure from Valtteri to keep me pushing all the way to the finish. I felt confident I could keep third place in the closing laps if I drove cleanly and hit all the apexes, which is what I did. Iím happy to spray some more champagne, itís my ninth podium of the season which is a new record for me and to be in the position that we are now makes me pretty happy. Itís really encouraging for the team to have another double podium, both cars are getting to the finish reliably now and we are also quick. We should be able to put up a good fight in Austin and Mexico and if we can keep this rolling into 2018 then absolutely we should be looking pretty good. All I have to say now is arigatooooooooo Japan.Ē

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: ďGreat drives by both Max and Daniel today. After a good start Daniel unfortunately lost out to Esteban Ocon on the first lap but made a fantastic pass around the outside of Turn 1after the safety car restart and from there onwards we looked as if we had very good pace this afternoon and Max was able to stick with Lewis pretty comfortably in what turned out to be a one-stop grand prix. Towards the end of the race we saw a blister begin to appear on the inside of Maxís front left tyre; despite having to manage that he was still able to catch Lewis and put pressure on him. It was unfortunate that there was a back-marker on the last lap that allowed Lewis off the hook or else it might have been a very interesting finish. Nonetheless a fantastic performance by both Max and Daniel to finish second and third here in Suzuka and achieve our first back to back double podium in the hybrid era.Ē
posted at 17:46:00 on 10/08/17 by webmaster - Category: races