Weather played a decisive role in the outcome of the Italian Grand Prix today, unfortunately mitigating all of the advantage gained by Nico Rosberg in yesterday's strong qualifying session. After a wet start to this afternoon's race, the...
Weather played a decisive role in the outcome of the Italian Grand Prix today, unfortunately mitigating all of the advantage gained by Nico Rosberg in yesterday's strong qualifying session. After a wet start to this afternoon's race, the unexpected drying conditions meant an extra and unscheduled stop for the German driver, relegating him from a top five position to P14 at the finish. Team-mate Kazuki Nakajima made a tactical decision to start from the pitlane and make some aero modifications to his car which allowed him to progress six places at various intervals during the race, but ultimately he finished just outside the top ten and was also not able to claim any points. After demonstrating good but unfulfilled potential in the wet in Italy and having shown a strong pace earlier in the season on street circuits, the team will be seeking to convert these factors into a strong performance in Singapore in two weeks time.
It was a difficult race today with many close decisions to take. Starting from the pitlane to allow me to make some aero changes was not penalising as we started behind the safety car and it was a very good decision from the team. In the early stages of the race, it was very difficult with the poor visibility and also I struggled with the braking, so the pace just wasn't there to begin with, but we changed from extreme wets to wets at just the right time and from then on my pace was much better.
The outcome today was really disappointing as we were in a great position with potentially the best strategy, but again I finished towards the back of the field. In the first stint I thought I should be able to maintain a good pace, but I really struggled with tyre degradation and I lost time to those in front of me. But what was really decisive today was the tyre decision for my stop, which really destroyed the possibility of a good finish in the points. Everyone else was staying on full wets, so we thought we were in a good position to do the same and to keep risk to a minimum. In any case, at that point there wasn't a dry line to see, but ultimately it proved to be the wrong choice.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
It was a frustrating race to not be able to claim any points from a good starting position. We struggled for pace on Nico's car in the first stint with a heavy fuel load and then unfortunately at his pit stop window we stayed on extreme wet tyres, but within a couple of laps, it became clear that the track had shifted to inters and we were forced to make another stop, which cost us 25 seconds, and this really hurt us. On Kazuki's car, we started from the pitlane on a different aero level and this payed off at various stages in the race, but not enough for points.