2019 Brazil Grand Prix – Race Reaction
Despite the Drivers and Constructors Championships both being won – we still had a great race at the 2019 Brazil Grand Prix!
It seems like at the end of the year, the teams realise there’s not much to lose and we see drivers pushing their cars, giving us incredible battles which we want to see throughout the year – not just at the end of the season.
For Red Bull Racing, this was perhaps one of their best weekends overall – with Max Verstappen dominating the race.
Even though there was some bad luck on his side (Kubica & that pit-stop) he managed to regain position and go on to win the race. The car performed brilliantly and it was difficult for anyone to keep up with.
Mercedes on the other hand didn’t have the best of weekends – starting off the race well, it looked like they had everything under control however towards the latter part of the race – when Valtteri Bottas wanted to make his way through the grid for a potential podium, there was a puff of smoke from the car.
Losing power, he stopped as far away from the track as he could, resulting in the Safety Car.
Fast forward to more battles and we have the competitive relationship between the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers – Vettel and Leclerc.
Battling their way around the circuit, one touch proved too much for the drivers – resulting in BOTH of them damaging their races. A terrible day for the team.
Things didn’t stop there though, we had Alex Albon looking strong and in reach of the podium (P3) however a small incident between him and Hamilton, resulted in Albon losing places.
Gasly on the other hand took advantage of the situation unfolding between Hamilton and Albon, making his way past the two drivers and claiming P3 – even with pressure from Hamilton, right down to the very last corner!
The race ended with Verstappen on pole, Gasly in P2 and Hamilton in P3 however the stewards later decided that Hamilton would receive a penalty of 5 seconds – seeing him drop to P7.
In P3, Sainz & McLaren took the position of P3 – giving the team a well deserved boost for the end of year. Maybe this will give the team motivation for 2020?
Let’s take a look at some of the driver interviews following on from the race.
Red Bull Racing – 2019 Brazil Grand Prix
Max Verstappen: “It’s an incredible feeling right now and to win today was a huge Team effort. It was a crazy race with a lot of action and fighting but luckily we always had the pace to counter back and overtake Mercedes in every scenario. It wasn’t easy out there but the Team made all the right calls, especially at the end to pit for the soft tyres during the Safety Car which gave us the win today.”
“As a Team you always try and make everything perfect, I focus on my job and the Team also try to do a perfect job in the pits and on the strategy and clearly today it worked out pretty perfectly. It’s a great victory, after last year of course, but more for the way the race unfolded and how we all had to work together.”
“Today and the whole weekend the car and Honda power unit have been working really well and we have made a step so thank you to everyone for that. It is of course a massive shame that Alex could not be on the podium with me as it would have been an even better result for the Team but it’s great for Pierre to be up here and for Toro Rosso and Honda.”
Alex Albon, 14th
Alex Albon: “Of course I’m frustrated but I’m not angry, I’m just upset. I wanted that podium and we deserved it as it was on merit. At the Safety Car restart we had some fun and I enjoyed battling with the Ferraris, the overtake felt good! Obviously Lewis had good grip once he pitted and I think he would’ve got me eventually into Turn 1, but I thought worst case scenario we had P3.”
“I had a good gap to Lewis and I wasn’t worrying about him. I went into the corner deep just to cover him so he didn’t get any ideas, and then there’s a blind spot and obviously we made contact.”
“Of course he didn’t do it on purpose, it’s just one of those things and today wasn’t meant to be. It’s done now and we’ll focus on the positives before the next race. Congratulations also to Max, he drove really well and deserved the win.”
Mercedes – 2019 Brazil Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton: “It was a great race, I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was hopefully fun for people to watch, although the result is upsetting. I never want to collide with anyone, it was really unfortunate with Alex. Naturally I take it on me, it was my fault, I was coming from behind.”
“He was doing a great job, so apologies to him. I gave it absolutely everything and more today, I was pushing so hard in every lap just to keep up with Max in front of me.”
“We really didn’t have a lot of pace today and I think we were probably going faster than we should have gone. Congratulations to Red Bull, they did the better job today and deserved the win.”
“They were extremely quick today, I was basically a sitting duck on the straights. There’s one more race to go in this season, so we will be pushing for a better result in Abu Dhabi.”
Valtteri Bottas, DNF: “It was a tricky race overall, even before I had to retire the car. The pace wasn’t quite there today, so we will have to investigate that. I was aiming to do a one-stop and go to the end on the Hard tyres, but I had to pit again as we were concerned that the tyres wouldn’t last until the end.”
“It’s obviously not ideal to switch strategies like that, but it didn’t really matter in the end as I didn’t finish the race. I don’t know the details yet, I just suddenly lost power, so we will have look into that and see what caused it.”
“It was very disappointing especially since there was a lot happening afterwards, so it would have been nice to be a part of that action. I’m now looking forward to the race in Abu Dhabi, we want to come back strong and finish the season on a high.”
Ferrari – 2019 Brazil Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel, DNF: “The summary of the day is that we did not finish a race in which we could have got a good result. It’s a shame about the collision between us, especially for the team as a whole, given that both cars were in the points and considering how much work everyone puts in, both at the track and back in Maranello.
“From my point of view, the race was going well, even if I think that Max (Verstappen) was uncatchable today. Now we must just focus on the final race of the season where will try and bring home the best possible result.”
Charles Leclerc, DNF: “It’s a real pity to end the weekend like this. I am sorry for the whole team, especially because today we were fast and we were looking good to bring home some decent points.
“It had actually been an exciting race for me. Starting from the midfield, I enjoyed fighting my way forward and was satisfied with the way things were progressing.
“We will move on from this in any case and continue to work together in the best way. Now it’s time for us to focus on Abu Dhabi to end our season in the best possible way.”
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
“The overriding feeling today is that everyone, first and foremost our drivers are very disappointed and sorry from a team perspective. It was a small collision that had a big consequence. In truth, this sort of thing should never happen. Our drivers were free to race today and they knew that. We have already clinched second place in the Constructors’ Championship and they were battling for their own positions in the Drivers’ classification.
“Of course we now need to sit down and decide together where the limits are to make sure we all push for the benefit of the team and make sure these things don’t happen anymore.
“Our race today was certainly not bad, and similar to Mexico in terms of performance. We are still lacking a bit of pace in the race. Sebastian was in a comfortable fourth, Charles from 14th could have been on the podium. It’s such a shame that we ended up throwing away so many points.”
Toro Rosso – 2019 Brazil Grand Prix
Pierre Gasly: “This is just incredible! My first podium in Formula 1 and with Toro Rosso. I kept working every race on myself, I always thought that if I could be in the right place at the right time something will come, and today it happened, it’s just amazing – I have so many emotions!”
“I’ve always said the team is my Italian family, I love their spirit and passion, they always push like hell and today was the best present I could give back to thank them for their massive constant effort. You dream a lot about being in F1, you dream about your first podium, but then when it happens all of the emotions coming through me are just unpredictable, it’s just the best day of my life right now.”
“I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me since the start of my career and have gotten me to where I am today.”
Daniil Kvyat: “Starting from P16 I knew it wasn’t going to be easy today. There’s not much to say, it was a difficult race until my safety car restart on the last lap, as I was able to overtake three cars, getting at least one point.”
“It’s the second podium for Toro Rosso this year and I think we are the only midfield team who achieved that, so we can be really pleased with our effort.”
“We scored many points today, taking back the sixth position in the Championship. Today’s result is a great achievement for the team.”
McLaren – 2019 Brazil Grand Prix
Carlos Sainz: “Yes! What a day! It’s a weird first podium not being there straight after the race, but I’m extremely happy with our race today. To finish P3 coming all the way from the back of the grid was a big challenge, but we fought until the end with everything we had!”
“It was a very eventful race and I think I was the only car to do a one-stop strategy. It was really difficult to hold the other midfield cars behind after the two Safety Car re-starts, but I managed to defend my position well and took advantage of what happened at the front of the race.”
“A good first stint, a great pit-stop from the guys and a very challenging and long stint to bring it home and finish P3 for the first time in my career. Congrats to the whole team, here and back in Woking!”
“My first podium is obviously very special but we need to keep pushing to step up there on pure pace! That’s what we’re really here for, that has to be our goal!”
Lando Norris: “A tough, long race, a good result for the team and awesome for Carlos. My first stint was alright, apart from getting boxed-in at the start, and my pace was okay. I boxed onto the hard tyre and struggled, I just didn’t seem to get them working at all.”
“I was then fortunate with the Safety Car allowing me to make up positions after stopping again for mediums. Carlos on the podium, both cars in the points, is a great reward for everyone here and at the factory who have worked hard for Carlos and I this weekend.”