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GP Week : Issue 179
FROM THE COCKPIT CHARLES PIC “Off the line I had a great start and was up with Giedo for the first few laps while the track was wet enough for the inters. The team called me in to change onto the medium tyres for the first stint in the dry but as I was coming in to the box I saw Vergne being released right in front of me and I couldn’t avoid him as I was turning in and there was nothing I could do to avoid their mistake. The guys did a brilliant job to change the nose and the tyres and I was out again after losing about 25 seconds – that’s the sort of thing the pitcrew train for and it paid off in that first stop. It’s such a shame that incident happened as we could definitely have finished better if it hadn’t happened. It may have cost us a place and while that’s frustrating it’s also positive to see how well everyone reacted and to see that we didn’t stop pushing, on the pitwall or in the garage. We stopped another three times after that, going onto the hard compounds for two stints and the mediums for the last thirteen laps and the car felt pretty good throughout the whole race. I was able to push right to the flag and without the pitlane issue I’m sure the final result would look different.” GIEDO VAN DER GARDE “I had a really good start, really strong and the car felt great on the inters for the first stint. Just when the conditions were going from wet to dry I heard over the radio that I had a front left puncture but it was exactly at the time we were coming in to switch to the dry tyres so it only cost me a little bit of time. I came back out on the mediums and was running well in 17th with really good balance. From there the race was ok. The rain that had been forecast didn’t come so we didn’t have another chance to show what we can do on the inters and that’s a shame as I’m definitely quick on those tyres, but the car felt much better on both the medium and the hard compounds we put on in the second and third stops than it had yesterday. I didn’t have the same oversteer problems I had in FP3 or qualifying but we still have work to do to reduce oversteer on entry into the corners and we’ll look at that again in China. We’re also going to work on improving our setup options for qualifying, maximising every run in the practice sessions to help us get the most out of the car on Saturday afternoons and that will definitely help us put in a stronger showing in quali. I also want to say what a good job the boys did in the stops. It was pretty tight with Chilton each time but I stayed ahead of him after good work on the pitwall and really strong work from the pitcrew. When we finished I thanked them on the radio, and after the race Tony Fernandes told the whole team how proud he was of the work he’d seen today in the stops. He’s right – the boys are pushing hard and it’s good to see the efforts we’re making in the car are the same across the whole team.” MAX CHILTON “I’m slightly disappointed with today because it seemed so many things were against us. First, the start didn’t work well and I lost a lot of time on the opening lap. That setback and being stuck behind the Caterhams really defined my race, which is tough to take because you know instinctively that the blue flag period is going to come much sooner in the race. The car performance is there and so is my pace, but there’s some work to do to bring all of that together and maximise every part of the race, including how we manage the blue flag phase. I’m sure that focus will ensure we can come back stronger in China. A good job by the Team this weekend as it has not been an easy time.” JENSON BUTTON “We drove a good race today. Strategy-wise, we did everything right. We pitted on the correct laps and looked after the tyres exactly as we should have done. We’d have finished fifth but for the problem in the pit stop – maybe we’d even have been in the battle for third and fourth. It’s very disappointing that we weren’t able to demonstrate that, of course. Even at the end we had a chance of scoring a point, but unfortunately I was struggling with my front left [tyre] by that stage. It kept locking up, and it was producing such a bad vibration that I think the guys were worried that it might damage the front left suspension if I carried on. However, as I say, apart from the pit stop problem, I think we did a pretty good job. We’ve made improvements over the past week, and the result of those improvements was that we were more competitive here in Malaysia than we were in Australia last weekend, so there are definitely positives that we can take away with us. Hopefully, in China in two weeks’ time, we can continue that steady improvement and score a few more points.” DANIEL RICCIARDO “I compromised my race even before the start when the conditions were very slippery, aquaplaning off at Turn 3. I managed to keep going, but I went across the gravel quite fast and damaged the floor. That probably played a part 30 GPWEEK.com // 30 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> MALAYSIA