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Team Quotes - Sunday 27 October

SEASON INFORMATION
28/10/2019

Gran Premio de Mexico

Team Quotes - Sunday 27 October

Mercedes GP

Lewis claimed his 83rd victory in Formula One - his tenth of the 2019 season and second at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. Valtteri finished the Mexican Grand Prix on the podium in P3 after starting sixth on the grid.

Today's result marks the 100th victory for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One - nine for the historic works team in 1954 and 1955 and 91 for the modern-day works team.

Today's result also marks the 100th podium for Lewis since he joined Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in 2013.

Lewis (363 points) leads the Drivers' Championship by 74 points from Valtteri (289 points) in P2. Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (652 points) leads Ferrari (466 points) by 186 points in the Constructors' Championship.

Marcelo Martinelli, Trackside Control Systems Engineer on car #44, accepted the Constructors' trophy on behalf of the team.

Toto Wolff: You could say today was an unexpected win. In recent years the conditions here in Mexico haven't suited our car but I am glad it came together today. We knew that we had to take some risks in order to win - so that's what we did it and it worked out. Lewis did an incredible job out there today, especially with tyre management. It's about finding the right balance between the aggressiveness you need to have, particularly on the outlap in order to undercut, but then equally you need to be able to switch off and manage the tyres to the end. This is where communication between the driver and the engineers is very important. It was also a monumental effort from the guys in the garage to put Valtteri's car back together after the state it was in after qualifying, so a very well done to them. It was a strong race from Valtteri as well and I'm happy to see how confident he is when he races, actually pushing Lewis hard. They are really benefitting from each other, they look at each other's data and both of them have really grown with the team.

Andrew Shovlin: This was the scene of our worst race last year; we were bottom of the class on tyre management and the power unit was struggling with the altitude. It's so nice to come back here and win one year later as a lot of work has gone into understanding why we were weak in both of those areas and making sure we didn't repeat the same mistakes twice. We didn't really know what to expect in the race as we'd made a lot of changes to the car after Friday night and the first stint was going to tell us whether we'd gone in the right direction. The warmer track seemed to help the tyres today and we could see early on that the degradation was low which brought the one stop back onto the table. Both drivers did a brilliant job managing the tyres and both had really good pace in the race. We couldn't follow closely as we were running hot on most things so the overtaking had to be done on strategy but the one stop worked well and to walk away with a first and third from where we started is extremely satisfying. It was great fun racing today and we are looking forward to Austin where we expect that to be another tough fight.

Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow was hoping for something better than the second and fourth places for Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc respectively, with which it leaves the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. In what was a very closely contested race, the SF90 drivers found themselves having to come from behind, but were unable to overtake Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages.

At the start, Charles and Sebastian both got away well off the front row although for a moment the German found Lewis Hamilton coming alongside having got a tow of the SF90, but he had no trouble in tucking in behind his team-mate. At first the Ferrari men managed their tyres, before gradually starting to push.

On lap 14, Alex Albon pitted in the Red Bull and Leclerc came in next time round, fitting another set of Medium tyres with a two stop strategy in mind. Hamilton stopped on lap 23, fitting Hards, gambling on a one stopper. On the new tyres Charles seemed to be able to run at a good pace, but after a few laps his times got worse until he was running at the same pace as Sebastian, who had yet to stop.

Looking at Charles' pace and the fact Hamilton had made an earlier stop, data from Friday and Saturday suggested the Englishman might be in trouble with tyre degradation in the closing stages. Sebastian and the team therefore decided to stay out until past half distance on lap 37, before fitting a set of Hard tyres to run to the flag, hoping to find their rivals struggling towards the end. Charles made his second stop on lap 43, which took three seconds longer than it should have done when the right rear wheel proved difficult to fit. Hamilton was now leading with just under four seconds in hand over Vettel, five on Bottas and 16 on Leclerc.

Over the closing laps, the anticipated degradation for the early stoppers did not materialise and so Sebastian got within a second of Hamilton, but was unable to attack him for the lead. The top four finishers crossed the line within just six seconds. In under a week's time we are back on track in Austin for the US GP.

Mattia Binotto Team Principal: "No doubt we cannot say we are happy today, as starting first and second you expect a different outcome. It was a long afternoon and we knew it would be a tough race, managing the tyres. In terms of strategy, who was behind took a gamble and decided to go for a very early one-stop, which is what you do when you are not in front. Well done to them.

"Two-stop strategy was still a good strategy but Charles' second stint on Medium was not great and we need to understand why, he also lost some time at the pitstop and all of that gave him some disadvantage at the end of the race.

"This unexpected behaviour of the tyres is probably the main surprise today. But in the end I think we had a good pace today and a good qualy yesterday and this is what is reassuring and encouraging us, so we are looking forward to the next races."

Red Bull

Christian Horner: "After a decent start Max got into some hard wheel-to-wheel racing with Lewis through the first few turns and ended up losing positions when he was forced to take a detour onto the grass. As he was coming back through the field Valtteri clipped Max's rear tyre with his front wing endplate which gave Max a puncture. He had to do a full lap with that puncture and pit for the hard tyre which meant his race was effectively over as he completed 66 laps on one set of tyres. Alex was running in third place after avoiding the early race madness and pitted early as we chose to go onto a two-stop strategy with him. He lost a bit of time on his out lap behind Sainz but thereafter it transpired that the one-stop was the faster race and while Alex had good pace it was impossible to close the gap. He's showing good progress each weekend and signs of getting closer and closer to the pace. We had a very quick race car this weekend and P5 and P6 ultimately isn't the result we'd hoped for but there are definitely some positives to take."

Renault

Renault F1 Team scored five points in the 2019 Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix with Daniel Ricciardo eighth and Nico Hulkenberg tenth at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Daniel leapt from thirteenth on the grid to collect four points, narrowly missing out on seventh place after a thrilling closing stage duel. The Australian made a quick start, passing Nico on lap one, before making his Hard tyres last an impressive 50 laps, which set him up well to claim a comfortable eighth.

Nico looked set to finish behind Daniel in ninth but a final corner incident with Daniil Kvyat meant he limped home in eleventh with a damaged rear wing. Kvyat received a 10-second penalty for his involvement, promoting Nico to tenth.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: "Every weekend, it feels like the circumstances vary but the script remains the same: poor qualifying that we turn around during the race thanks to aggressive strategic choices and solid execution. Today was another example, with also the benefit of the free tyre choice at the start. It could have been a bit better with Daniel racing cleanly against Perez on one side, and Kvyat much dirtier against Nico and helping Gasly on the other side. That's racing, but I prefer that we focus on ourselves. The drivers did a remarkable job to get the best from the circumstances in qualifying and then make the tyres last in the race. The garage crew also did a phenomenal job to deal with the problems on Saturday morning. We must get rid of everything that undermines our potential or offers easy opportunities on-track or off-track to our fierce competitors."

Haas

Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished 15th and 17th, respectively, in Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, the 18th round of 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Both Haas F1 drivers started on fresh sets of Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires and they made them last well into the 71-lap race around the 4.304-kilometer (2.674-mile), 17-turn circuit. From his 17th grid position, Magnussen held steady during the opening laps and made gradual forward progress as competitors ahead of him began to employ a variety of pit strategies. He advanced as high as 10th place on lap 18 before tire wear began to hamper his efforts. He pitted from 15th on lap 30 for a set of White hard tires and resumed in 17th.

Grosjean dropped a pair of positions from his 18th grid position on the opening lap. He climbed as high as 16th by lap 13 and pitted from that position on lap 39, well past the race's halfway point. He, too, took on a set of hard tires and resumed in 19th.

Magnussen and Grosjean both picked up a pair of positions over the final stretch for their finishing positions of 15th and 17th.

With today's results, Haas F1 Team remained ninth in the constructors' championship with 28 points, seven behind eighth-place Alfa Romeo and 27 ahead of 10th-place Williams.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won today's Mexican Grand Prix by 1.766 seconds over Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel with Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas bringing home the final podium position of third, another 1.787 seconds back. It was the 83rd career win for Hamilton, his 10th of the season and his second at Mexico City, and the 100th Formula One win for constructor Mercedes.

Guenther Steiner: "Obviously it was a disappointing race for us. We got the best out that we could in terms of our performance this weekend. We didn't make any mistakes or anything, there just wasn't more performance in the car. Going into this weekend we knew this would likely happen. We go away knowing that coming in here we were weak, and we go away weak. That doesn't mean that we give up. We'll try again in Austin where it's a little bit of a more normal race track, and we'll see if we can get a little bit more out than we did today."

McLaren

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "After several good Sundays in a row, unfortunately today didn't go to plan at all. We couldn't continue the good race pace we'd shown over the previous two days, which is something we need to analyse and understand. Therefore, after a strong start, we weren't able to stay in the positions from which we'd started the race and fell out of the points with Carlos, whose pace dropped a lot when fitting the Hard tyre - something we need to investigate.

"On Lando's side, after having a great start as well, we unfortunately had an issue with the wheel nut on one corner at his pit-stop. Our policy is to be completely safe and we stopped the car immediately to check it and fix it, even if this meant his race was over very early. Later, some of the parameters of his car were over the limit, so we decided to retire him to save further damage. Thanks to the entire team, Carlos and Lando, for the hard work this weekend. Let's reset, learn from the issues we were facing today and come back stronger."

Racing Point

Otmar Szafnauer: "It's satisfying to finish in seventh place as ‘best of the rest' with Sergio executing a very strong one-stop race. It's another indication of the progress we've made with the car recently thanks to all the hard work back at base and trackside. I'm also delighted Sergio could reward his local fans with this result. With Lance, we just missed out on points in P12, which is disappointing considering how strong the first half of the race had been. For a reason we must work to understand, the switch to hard tyres proved challenging with severe graining on the front tyres. Until that point, his pace was on par with that of Sergio and we were set to have both cars finish inside the points. Nevertheless, we leave Mexico with six points in the bag, which bring us within nine points of fifth place in the championship as we travel to Austin for next week's United States Grand Prix."

Sauber

Today wasn't going to be our day. That we knew, as early as the first corner, when big chunks of carbon fibre were bitten off the floor of Kimi's car, damaging it in way that would become clearer only later. It became even clearer when Antonio suffered issues during his first stop, putting him out of contention from the battle for the points. The signs were clear: we fought hard but to no avail.

There were positives, however, on which we could focus. Points on which we can build on, improvements that will hopefully bring us back into contention as early as next week, when we return to action in Austin. That's indeed one of the beautiful sides of back-to-backs. Regret for a missed opportunity turns into motivation for the next round. We get a new chance in seven days, a new chance to turn our fortunes around. We'll keep giving all to make the most of it.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "It's disappointing to leave Mexico without points because our overall performance throughout the weekend had been better than previously. Unfortunately, Kimi sustained damage to the floor and cooling system at the first corner. He lost a lot of performance and later in the race the cooling issues meant he had to stop. Antonio was on a good strategy and was showing some decent pace, but lost more than 20 seconds in the pit-stop and that put him back in blue flag territory, meaning he wasn't able to make any progress. We can rue the loss of this opportunity, because we could have been battling with the Toro Rossos for the points, but we can look forward to racing again in seven days."

Toro Rosso

Guillaume Dezoteux (Head of Vehicle Performance): "We had a tough race today in Mexico. Having to start on the soft tyres definitely compromised our race as we had to stop earlier than the other midfield runners to try and make the two-stop strategy work. Daniil drove a strong race and he was showing good pace in the middle stint on the hard tyres. After his last stop, he was catching Stroll in front but couldn't pass immediately and had to let by a long train of leading cars. The time lost with the blue flags meant he could only catch Hulkenberg on the very last laps. The move on the last corner was a bit ambitious and unfortunately Daniil had a 10s penalty for causing a collision. Pierre had a very similar strategy as he too started on the soft tyre. He lost more time in traffic, especially behind Sainz who was struggling a lot on the hard compound. The second half of the race was competitive as he ran most of the time in free air and he was able to pass Stroll and get closer to Daniil and Hulkenberg. The collision in the last corner allowed him to finish P9.

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): It was a disappointing race in that we were unable to convert the speed we had shown all weekend into a better result. The Toro Rosso drivers, after showing good pace all weekend, had a frustrating race, possibly handicapped by having to start on the used Softs from qualifying. But at least Gasly's two points are useful for the fight for fifth place in the Constructors' classification. There are only three more races to go and we want to make the most of every opportunity, starting in Austin in a few days' time.

WilliamsF1

George Russell finished 16th and Robert Kubica 18th in the Mexican Grand Prix. The Brit started 19th and Robert 20th on the grid, both on the medium Pirelli tyre. George ran a one stop race pitting on lap 22 for the hard Pirelli tyre. Robert also pitted for the hard tyre on lap 21, but was forced to pit for the medium on lap 60 following a slow puncture.

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: George made a good start and made up places through T1/2/3. Unfortunately, he lost these later in the opening lap and this set the tone for his race. Had he been able to stay ahead for the opening lap then his underlying pace would have given him a good opportunity to stay ahead to the end.

For Robert, the car and tyres were much better today, and he was able to get ahead of George and stay there until a puncture forced him to make an unscheduled pitstop. This was a great shame for Robert as he had strong pace and demonstrated some excellent race craft.

We raced well today and made the most of the car that we had. We will, of course, review each decision that we made and determine if we could've made a better choice, but overall, we did a sound job of managing the car in the challenging conditions of Mexico.

We now turn our attention to next week and the exciting prospect of racing in Austin. We are expecting a busy Friday with an additional set of 2020 tyres available for both cars. We also look forward to having Nicholas back in the car for FP1.

Pirelli

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Mexican Grand Prix from the second row of the grid, using a one-stop medium-hard strategy. This tactic, used by the top three, was predicted to be possible but tricky in the demanding conditions of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. The higher temperatures on race day, compared to the rest of the weekend, helped to make this practicable due to reduced graining.

Hamilton was among the first drivers to stop from the medium tyre and switch to the hard. Nonetheless, he was able to manage the hard tyre perfectly over the 48 laps of his final stint to claim the race win.

He wasn't the only driver to complete a long stint on this tyre. Renault's Daniel Ricciardo was the only driver to start the race on the hard tyre, and he completed 50 laps on this compound before switching to the medium and finishing eighth.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen went even further: he did 66 laps on the hard tyre following an early pit stop after a puncture caused by contact on his starting set of mediums. He finished sixth, having been last in the early stages of the race.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was the highest-placed driver to use a two-stop strategy, adopting the medium-medium-hard tactic that was predicted as theoretically fastest. He led the race but finished fourth, having also been slightly delayed in the pits.

In total, only seven drivers went for a two-stop strategy: including those who started on the soft tyre.

Weather conditions were much warmer than they had been on previous days, which were affected by rain. Peak track temperature was 49 degrees centigrade, while ambient temperatures were higher as well.

Mario Isola: "There were a number of different strategies at work during the race, with drivers also reacting to what the others were doing. The one-stopper was helped to be made possible by track temperatures that were warmer than previous days and no more rain, meaning that there was less sliding and reduced graining, which tipped the balance back towards one or two stops, rather than two or more. The hard tyre was the crucial one for the race and we saw some very long stints run on this compound. Lewis Hamilton in particular made the very most of it in order to seal another win, despite not being on the front row of the grid, on a track where overtaking is always quite tricky."

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