Alex Albon claims sixth place at the Belgium GP.
Max Vertappen secured his sixth consecutive podium finish at the Belgium GP thanks to an assured drive that saw him finish in third place.
The Dutch driver held off the challenge of Daniel Ricciardo at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to ensure he once again finished inside the top three and remained in second position in the drivers standings, three points ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team-mate Alex Albon also made sure he finished in the points as he finished in sixth position. Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver Pierre Gasly was just two places behind in eight, while Daniil Kyvat ended the race in 11th place.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing
MAX VERSTAPPEN – 3rd
“I love this track but the race was not really the most exciting from my side. It wasn’t really much of a fight and I just tried to do my own race and maximise the result. On the medium tyre I didn’t have a lot of grip and then on the hard I was initially trying to put pressure on Valtteri but he was told to speed up and was able to build a good gap, so after that it was a bit lonely. There was not much action up front unfortunately and the tyre wear was quite high so we couldn’t really push. Overall, we had a good weekend and the car balance was nice so we can be pleased with that. We are not here to finish third and we want more but it is always good to be on the podium.”
ALEX ALBON – 6th
“It was a frustrating race and it was pretty tricky to do anything. We knew before the race that the Renaults would be hard to overtake with their low downforce and straightline speed and that proved to be the case. I felt pretty good at the start on the soft tyre and then we managed to jump Ocon in the pits when we changed to mediums, thanks to a good stop from the boys in the garage. I don’t think we expected as much degradation as we got on that compound and maybe they weren’t the right choice in the end but I pushed as hard as I could to try and do the overtakes and the tyres just dropped off. We’ll have a look at it to see what we can learn before our focus shifts towards Monza in a few days but it’s nice to move up to fourth in the championship which is a sign we’re making progress.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER – Team Principal
“It was a tricky race today with tyre management but we managed to get solid points on the board with both cars. Max didn’t quite have the pace to fight the Mercedes with tyre degradation in the second half of the race proving to be significant, so we were weighing up whether to one or two stop. Daniel’s straightline speed was obviously very strong so we opted to stick with a one stop and Max managed to bring the car home for his sixth podium in a row. Meanwhile, Alex lost a place at the start to Ocon but managed to get it back through his pit stop when we elected to put him on the medium tyre which we thought was the best compound to attack the Renaults. He did a good job today defending hard throughout the Grand Prix but unfortunately the Renaults were just too fast on the straights with their lower downforce configuration and he lost P5 on the final lap. Alex is now up to fourth in the Drivers’ Championship and he’s had a very solid weekend so now we’ll continue to work hard as a Team before we arrive in Monza next week.”
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
PIERRE GASLY – 8th
“We decided to go for a different strategy, starting on the hard compound. It was better than expected and I was able to attack and overtake quite a few cars. The move on Perez was especially intense but very enjoyable! We knew a safety car between the start of the race and lap 20 would be a killer for us, but unfortunately, that’s what happened and gave the other cars a free pitstop. We didn’t give up because we had a great car, good pace, so I pushed as hard as I could. After our pitstop, we exited almost last and we had to fight back through the field, but I enjoyed it and to recover to P8 was just great! I reckon the safety car cost us a potential P5 today because I think we lost around 20 seconds there and finished seven seconds behind Ocon in P5. I’ll try to put this kind of performance again and again in the coming weeks.”
DANIIL KVYAT – 11th
“I think that we didn’t choose the right strategy today, so we will have to review our race. We couldn’t have known it before the race, so we split the cars and unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the strategy call. It would have been better to start on the harder compound, and I felt I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time today, because at a track like Spa, it’s very hard to keep cars behind on old tyres.”
FRANZ TOST, Team Principal
“After qualifying, Daniil and Pierre finished in P11 and P12 – which is quite a good position because you can decide which tyres to begin the race – so we opted to split the strategy. Daniil started on the Prime, while Pierre started on the Base. Both had a really good start; Pierre immediately started to overtake the cars in front, moving up to P8 and he did a very good job defending his position until, later on, other drivers managed to overtake him on fresher tyres, so we pitted him for Prime on lap 26. He then started a competitive comeback to close the gap and was able to overtake the Haas, Ferrari and the Racing Points to finish in eighth position. It was a fantastic drive from Pierre and without the safety car I think Pierre could have finished higher up the order. Like many other drivers, Daniil suffered with the tyres at the end of the race, therefore he wasn’t able to score points and finished in P11. Now we are looking forward to going to our ‘first home race’ out of three in Italy, it’s always nice to be back in Monza, where we have very good memories.”