Finishing just outside of the points is always tough, and it was a hard afternoon for us out there. Starting with new tyres, I hoped to be able to make up a couple of places but we just didn't have the pace so I had to keep fighting off the cars coming from behind me. It's a difficult time for us but we are learning for next year so that's one positive thing.
That was a pretty unsatisfactory race today. It was effectively over just after the start; I lost so much time getting back to the pits with the puncture that any hope of scoring points was gone. In the meantime, the pace was pretty good but I was too far behind to make up more than a few positions. In the end, we had to retire the car for technical reasons.
We are racing in a closely-matched field this season, where a few tenths of a second in lap time make a significant difference to your position. At the moment, we are on the wrong end of those precious tenths and that once again left us outside the points this afternoon. Nico made his one-stop strategy work well, looking after his tyres so that he still had reasonable speed at the end of both stints, but otherwise he had a relatively quiet race. As for Michael, the contact at the first corner made it an uphill battle for him from turn two onwards, and left him at the back of the field. However, by running two stints on the option tyre, he was able to show respectable speed at some points of the race. We brought his car in before the end of the race as a precaution after we became aware of some gearbox concerns.
Michael suffered contact on the opening lap, which caused a puncture and put him to the back of the field after his pit stop. He retired the car with a gearbox issue five laps before the finish. As for Nico, his car didn't have the speed to score points after starting from 10th position. We have a lot of work to do and everybody in the team is well aware of it.