Australian Grand Prix: Williams Martini Racing
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: That wasn’t an afternoon to remember. Firstly, for Sergey, very early in the race he had a failure of the rear brakes. Our provisional analysis is that a plastic bag has been collected on the circuit, completely blocking the brake cooling, so that the right rear corner caught fire and eventually failed the hydraulics circuit. His brake pedal went to the floor and he had to go down the escape lane. That was the end of his race which is very unfortunate because it was his first F1 race and what he really needed to do was get some distance behind him so he could come back for the second event with race experience our objective, which we didn’t achieve for him today. In Lance’s case, we were struggling a lot with pace throughout the afternoon. Like a number of other teams, we’re managing fuel consumption. Our fight was for 13th and unfortunately Lance lost the position to Leclerc under the safety car restart. He had a number of attempts to retake the position but with managing temperatures we had to drop back two or three times and we never made it stick.
Lance Stroll: We were in the wrong mode on the first lap and that is the reason Ocon got me. We also have none of the extra power we need for the safety car restart which is where I lost the place to Leclerc. We are just basically trying to get the car to the end of the race instead of racing. There was a lot going on today with big issues that cost us a lot of race time. I hope we can find the solution before Bahrain.
Sergey Sirotkin: It didn’t go as expected and I’m not even talking in terms of the results, which we obviously wanted to achieve but didn’t. I’m talking about the learning, which we didn’t get. It’s a bit of a shame and I’m quite disappointed with that because it’s not ideal and it was not the easiest weekend for me. It was quite important to do a good race. Preparing for the Bahrain weekend, at least I know I have a good chance so we’re looking forward. In just two weeks we’ll be back at the track and we’ll work harder than ever. I’m sure we’ll get to where we deserve to be.
• Lance Stroll finished 14th in the Australian Grand Prix, with Sergey Sirotkin retiring on his Formula One race debut
• Both cars started on the supersoft Pirelli tyre, with Lance starting in 13th and Sergey 19th
• Lance lost a place to the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas early on whilst Sergey retired on lap four with a rear brake failure
• Lance first pitted on lap 25 for a set of soft tyres
• The safety car was deployed on lap 28 when the Haas of Romain Grosjean stopped out on track, allowing Lance to make a second and final pitstop for ultrasoft tyres