Not only did the clash between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel ruin Ferrari’s chance at success in the Brazillian GP at Interlagos, there was also collateral damage, in the form of Racing Point’s Stroll, whose race was ended by debris from the incident.
The DNF was particularly disappointing this time around, though, due to Stroll’s race up to that point, in which he was finding great pace and keeping the tyres in working order, so as to challenge for the much needed points finish.
“There’s not much to say as it was a really disappointing grand prix,” said Stroll. “I ran over some debris from the Ferrari incident and that was it, my race was over. It had been a really close race up until then and the Safety Car really mixed things up.
“It changed the race for everybody. It’s a shame because up until then I was on a one-stop strategy, my tyres were performing well, and we were definitely in a position to grab some points.” Stroll, said, discussing his dream start where he even got ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.
The Mexican was more at peace with his result in ninth after an up and down grand prix but he was still frustrated that he was unable to capitalise on the trouble at the front in the same way his rivals did, due to lack of straightline pace.
“It was a very chaotic race – especially the final ten laps when the Safety Car brought all the cars together again,” he said. “Unfortunately it was difficult for us to really fight out there because we lacked speed on the straights.
“It meant that we got overtaken easily and couldn’t fight back. In the end, the two points are really deserved and I’m pleased we came away with something [than nothing]. Unfortunately, we couldn’t fight for higher positions.”
With only two points from Stroll and Perez, when Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly finished on the podium, it has certainly sealed Racing Point’s fate in the championship as they are 16 behind the Faenza-based outfit with only one race remaining in the 2019 season.