Elbon: At times, the race was like a processionSeptember 23, 2019
Max Verstappen went up to the podium in Singapore, but at the end of the stage he sank to fourth place in the standings, passing Charles Lecler forward. His partner Alexander Elbon finished sixth, earning points in the fifth race in a row.
Max Verstappen (3rd): “Of course, we always want to win, but I’m still glad to finish on the podium, having won one position on the track, where it is impossible to overtake. It’s no secret that we came to Singapore, hoping for more, but the result is still good, especially considering the lack of speed in qualifications.
Most of the race I kept pace and monitored the condition of the tires – fortunately, everything worked out. The leader Charles also saved the tires, so the pace was low enough that everyone could drive close enough to each other – due to this I was able to “cut” Lewis.
After the pit stop I had a good pace, I rode comfortably third, despite all the restarts after the safety cars. In the last laps, Lewis actively attacked me on fresh tires, but I was able to restrain him. I can’t say that the race turned out to be interesting, but the Singapore city road has many advantages – the load on the riders is great, and it’s interesting to pilot on the track. The weekend did not go as we hoped, we will prepare for the next. “
Alexander Elbon (6th): “For most of the race I controlled tire wear. From a physical point of view, the race was easier than I expected. Only when in the last twenty circles I had to seriously attack – then I felt the tension. I would say that the main task in the race was to protect the rubber – I started and finished sixth.
At times, the race resembled a procession. This is a little disappointing, because most of the distance I spent behind Mercedes. I could not overtake on the track, so I hoped to recoup at the expense of the pit stop, but failed.
In the middle of the segment I wanted to overtake Valtteri Bottas, but I did not have the speed to conduct the maneuver. Most of the race I studied the silver rear wing – it was not very fun. When he attacked – I also attacked, when he is on the bus – I protect my own. At some points, it even seemed to me that he was holding me back to give Lewis the opportunity to break away.
In general, my first race on this track turned out to be positive. My pace turned out to be much better – I am definitely progressing. Even during the race, I found an opportunity to increase speed. I am impressed with how many flags of Thailand were in the stands – it was great to race on this track. “
Christian Horner, team leader: “A very interesting race in terms of strategy. From the first laps, Charles Lecler controlled the pace and when, in the end, on the 15th lap everyone started to race, some leaders quickly lost their tires.
We decided to make Max pit stop as early as possible. The tire change took place on the same lap as that of Sebastian Vettel – Max returned to the track immediately behind Hulkenberg. He lost a little time on this – otherwise he could have been ahead of Leclair after his pit stop. Mercedes decided to stay longer on the track, which allowed Max to reach third place.
After he had excellent control of the race, despite pressure from Lewis, who was on more recent tires. Max made no mistakes and went up to the podium.
As for Alex, in the race he again demonstrated his maturity. He ended up at the end of the lead group and was just supposed to be patient. Perhaps today he was not able to drive a single lap on the free highway, but he controlled the race and tire wear well. Sixth place in the first Grand Prix of Singapore behind the “Big Five” – a very good result. ”
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