Lewis Hamilton, 1st
“I’m incredibly happy today. This is my first win in Malaysia after eight attempts and to do it for our Petronas family in their home country makes it even more special. It’s all down to the team. They have done a fantastic job and I have to say a huge thank you to everyone here at the track and back at our factories who have been pushing non-stop to get the car where it is. The race was tougher than it perhaps looked today and the conditions here always make it a great challenge. But I was able to look after the car, the tyres and the fuel and still keep a bit of pace in hand which made my job that little bit easier. It’s great to see Mercedes leading the championship but we know that we have to make these early races pay. Anything can happen as we saw in Australia, so this is an important result for us. One-two finishes don’t happen very often and this is a real achievement for the team. Finally, I would like to offer this victory in tribute to all those affected by the tragedy of MH370. A special mention also goes to my step-mum Linda for her 50th birthday tomorrow!”
Nico Rosberg, 3rd
“This is an incredible day for our team and for Mercedes-Benz. Everyone back at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth, and all employees of Mercedes-Benz, can feel very proud today. For the first time in the modern Silver Arrows era, we have achieved a one-two finish which is an incredible result. The team did a phenomenal job over the winter and my thanks once again for that. I also want to thank our partners Petronas. They have given our team so much support, along with the best products for our power unit, so we are proud to be associated with them and I hope they enjoy the celebrations today. I had a great start again, even though it was tight with Sebastian. It was very close at the wall and I just closed the eyes, went for the gap and did it. Later I was able to control the pace and to defend my position against Seb but Lewis was out of my reach, so congratulations to him for his win. I really look forward now to next weekend in Bahrain.”
Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
“It doesn’t get any better than a one-two finish – congratulations to everybody in the team, at Mercedes-Benz and at Petronas who worked so hard to make this happen. It was a controlled race from the first lap and Lewis and Nico did a fantastic job in very demanding conditions. But we cannot afford to be complacent: we still have room for improvement with our overall package and the race showed us once again that the competition is right there behind us. We will savour the moment this evening but we all know that if you stand still in this business, you go backwards. So we will be pushing hard to improve further for the next race in Bahrain.”
Paddy Lowe, Mercedes team executive director (technical)
“We knew from our practice running that we had the pace in the car, so today was about managing the team and the car through 56 laps without encountering any problems or making any mistakes. Formula One is a very complex sport and, as we have seen ourselves in recent weeks, the littlest things can destroy a race. But we delivered a faultless day for both cars and both drivers; we are simply over the moon to have scored the first one-two finish for Mercedes-Benz since 1955 and to have earned our own small place in that fantastic tradition. That’s the right point at which to thank the whole team that contributed to this success, in Brackley, Brixworth, Stuttgart and Kuala Lumpur, the home city of our partners Petronas. It is hard to overstate the crucial role of Petronas fluid technology solutions in the development of the new 2014 power unit and we are especially proud to have delivered our first one-two finish at their home race here in Malaysia. The entire team has spent several years working on this Silver Arrow and today we successfully delivered the final piece of the puzzle.”
Sebastian Vettel, 2nd
“We have certainly made a good step forwards, but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s great to get a podium finish today. Considering where we were, not even two months ago, I think this weekend is a massive step in the right direction. It’s a shame we didn’t finish with both cars, but it’s good to see the car is quick and we need the laps; for now it’s important to collect points. The guys are pushing back in the factory and at Renault – it’s been a massive job from them – and we’ll try to be up there very soon again. It was a shame to lose a place at the start, but third was our maximum position today, so I’m very happy with that. It’s a shame for Daniel with what happened, he drove really well.”
Daniel Ricciardo, DNF
“It was looking like we could have a solid points finish today; the race was going pretty well. The start was really good and I made up a couple of positions and I was starting to, let’s say, mix it up at the front, which is nice. It’s fun being up there and fighting for the top few spots, but then we had a problem at the last pit stop and then we had a puncture. I think we had a front wing failure and a few other things went on and then the stop-go penalty, so the race ended pretty quickly for us, it went from looking good to looking pretty bad in a short amount of time. I’m really disappointed, but at the same time there’s a little bit in me which is happy because I think I’ve come out the first two races how I wanted to, in a way. I still want to improve, but we’ve started off on the right foot, so for that I’m pleased and with a little bit of luck we’ll turn things around soon and I’ll get some points. I love racing up the front, it’s been a privilege so far and a lot of fun in the last couple of races. It’s a bit addictive actually, I want more, so you’ll see me up there plenty of times this year.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal
“Considering where we were a month ago, to be on the podium with Sebastian in Malaysia in a dry race, is an incredible performance. We knew that we had some ground to catch up to the Mercedes, so to finish as close as Sebastian did today was a really positive performance and, while we know we’ve got a lot of work to do, we can begin to realise the scale of our challenge. It’s a great shame for Daniel who did everything right today – a great start and a great first lap and a really impressive opening part of the race. It was unlucky that when he came in to a pit stop, the front left didn’t go on properly and the car was released, it was judged to be an unsafe release and we had a drive through penalty. Thereafter the wing failed – we don’t know what caused that yet. I think Daniel’s clearly shown his potential and that the Australian GP wasn’t a one off; it’s great to have two guys pushing like they are.”
Jenson Button, 6th
“It was hot out there this afternoon! And when you’ve spent all that time watching the two Williams battling in your mirrors, it makes it feel even hotter. Still, it was an enjoyable race, and I couldn’t really have expected more. I think we got the most we could out of the package this afternoon, and I didn’t think I’d be finishing sixth after the way the car had performed earlier in the weekend.
“It’s encouraging for all the guys that we called both the pit stops and the fuel usage perfectly throughout the race. I also want to say a big ‘thanks’ to everyone back at the MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] for working so hard to bring the updates to the track. Every little helps. Nonetheless, there’s no getting away from the fact that we’re still weak in the high-speed corners; this car does have its strengths, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We got the best out of the car today, but we know we still need to improve.
Kevin Magnussen, 9th
“I’m sorry for the team that I messed things up going into the second corner, with the incident with Kimi. I think we could have scored some good points today, so I’m disappointed with and for myself, too. Grands prix are long races, so I shouldn’t have made a mistake like that so early on in the afternoon. But that sort of stuff happens sometimes – and, when it does, you just have to learn from it, and I will.
“After the incident, it wasn’t easy to recover, and we struggled with the high track temperatures, and in the high-speed corners, too. As I say, I’ll learn from this race and I’ll see what I can do at the next one. It’s good that the Bahrain Grand Prix is so soon; it’ll feel good to put this one behind me, and move on.”
Eric Boullier, McLaren racing director
“Clearly, we’d expected to be leaving Sepang with rather more than the 10 points we scored here this afternoon. Having said that, Jenson drove a faultless race, moving steadily from his P10 grid slot to P6 at flag-fall. Had qualifying gone better for him, perhaps he could have finished a little farther up, but probably not much.
“Kevin made a good start, but, as he shaped up to pass Kimi’s Ferrari, the two cars touched, causing a puncture for Kimi and a broken left-side front-wing end-plate for Kevin. Kevin’s first pit-stop was consequently elongated by our need to fit a replacement nose-cone assembly, which deficit was compounded by the stop-go penalty he was awarded soon after. Such races are a Formula 1 rookie’s rights of passage, inevitable and unsurprising, but Kevin’s reaction was impressive from two perspectives: first, he put his head down and drove his heart out for the remainder of the afternoon, recovering very well to finish ninth at the finish; and, second, he apologised to the team unreservedly on the slowing-down lap, which wasn’t strictly necessary but was good to hear all the same.
“Overall, then, despite having got both our cars to the finish in points-scoring positions, we’re far from satisfied; but we’re working tirelessly to improve things, and that’s exactly what we’ll do.
“From here we go to Bahrain, where we hope to spice things up a bit by putting on a better show in the home race of our principal shareholder, Mumtalakat.”
Romain Grosjean, 11th
“Eleventh place is good for all the guys at Enstone and at the track, and it’s good for me too. Finishing the race was our first objective and then we wanted to see where we were with our car. It’s not perfect yet but it’s good to be where we are at this stage. I had a big loss of downforce around eight laps to the end especially in the rear of the car which made things difficult, especially when I had to defend. Without that issue, I’m sure we could have finished higher. It’s good to be back and close to the points so it’s a positive for all of us. It was a good battle at the end. I kept remembering our past battles to make sure Kimi couldn’t go through!”
Pastor Maldonado, DNF
“After the start we were losing a lot of power so we’ll have to investigate later to see what the issue is and analyse the data. This problem meant I had to retire in order to protect the engine. Despite that, this weekend has been clearly a step forwards. Since Saturday, we’ve been able to run far more with the car and Romain was able to finish the race. Today obviously was not so good for me, but we’re not the only ones with issues so early in the season. This is all related to all the complex packages in the car, but we have learnt a lot this weekend and will make progress for the next.”
Federico Gastaldi, Lotus deputy team principal
“Today Romain drove a great race to be in with a shout of points and finish the team’s first race of 2014. That he was able to defend his position for the last eight laps despite his rear diffuser not working properly shows his determination. This determination is shared by the entire team as we now look to extract more performance from the E22. Pastor was very unfortunate with an issue which could have damaged his engine. We needed to retire him so that we can ensure better performance later in the year. We head to Bahrain as determined as ever to find more improvements in performance and reliability.”
Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“Today was a big step forwards from Melbourne, and every time we run the car we can see we are making progress. Romain had a decent race, getting the car to the finish and giving us plenty of valuable data and feedback to enable us to deliver improved performance. He suffered from some damage to his diffuser on lap 48 and subsequently was losing around a second and a half in terms of performance per lap. This considered, he did a very good job indeed to stay in front of Kimi. Pastor had a problem with the intake to the turbo, which was evident from the start of his race. Unfortunately, as well as limiting performance it was potentially damaging to the engine so we had to make the difficult decision to retire him. Overall, we’re optimistic that we can improve further next weekend in Bahrain.”
Adrian Sutil, DNF
“In my last lap I lost power and then suddenly the car switched off. I don’t know what happened, so we need to analyse it. It is a shame. Many things don’t work well at the moment, so we need to learn from that. In general, our pace was too slow and the grip level was poor. This was unusual for us and we didn’t expect that. We will keep working on the issues we have and we will be back stronger for the next races. We don’t have much time until Bahrain, so we don’t expect to have many updates there. However, for the upcoming races we have a plan which we are working on in order to improve.”
Esteban Gutierrez, DNF
“After quite a long stint, I made a pit stop and couldn’t engage first gear. I tried it many times, but it didn’t work, so there was not much I could do. In the end we made a step forward this weekend. Obviously it was not a good race, but we have to keep positive. We must solve our issues so we are consistent and reliable at the track and have no technical problems. We still have a long season ahead and I am confident we can improve.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber team principal
“We saw during the practice sessions that our measures to improve the performance of the car worked well. It proves that we are going in the right direction. It is certain such a race result is very disappointing. However, it will not put us off course from our plan to implement the next steps.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara , Sauber head of track engineering
“The start of the race was okay, as Adrian was able to gain several positions. We were on a three stop strategy with both cars, because our goal was to keep up with the cars in front of us. Both drivers started on the medium tyre. Adrian then shifted to the hard compound at his first stop, because he was not happy with the medium tyre. Esteban changed to the hard tyre during his second stop, and then wanted to go back to the medium for the last stint. But during his pit stop he wasn’t able to engage first gear. Before that Adrian was forced to stop out on the track. His car lost electric power supply and switched off completely. We will investigate both problems in order to solve them before the next race in Bahrain. Overall, our performance in the race wasn’t where we expected it to be, so we have some homework to do.”
Jean-Eric Vergne, DNF
“I think I had a great start today but very soon I felt some problems with the car. I lost power in the car and I just saw everybody overtaking me. Then I found myself in a sandwich between a Caterham and Bianchi and maybe I was a bit too ambitious to think I could try and pass the two cars. It was just not possible and this resulted in the collision, which damaged my front wing. At this point I knew that my race was compromised, so I was hoping for some rain and maybe a safety car to change the cards on the table and re-join the pack. But then I continued to suffer with the car and my race was over. It’s really a shame, as this was a race in which we could have been strong and achieve a good result. The race pace on hard tyres was pretty good. On the positive side, we have a good car and we won’t have to wait long before being back on track, as Bahrain is just around the corner.”
Daniil Kvyat, 10th
“It’s good to finish in the top 10 for a second time in a row now. This afternoon’s race was very difficult and intense with a lot of fighting. The first two stints were hard when I was fighting the Williams and McLaren in the early stages, but they were faster than me on the straight. I was quite happy with the final stint and having managed to defend my position. Overall it was a good weekend and I hope we continue to improve like this as the car definitely has potential. So I’m looking forward to going straight to Bahrain to race again in a week’s time. It will be interesting to be on a track where we have actually tested with this car.”
Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal
“Daniil did another good race, scoring a point again here after Melbourne. He could stand the pressure from the others until the end of the race and defend his position, without making any mistake. As for JEV, after yesterday’s very good performance in qualifying, he unfortunately faced some problems today from the very beginning of his race. Soon after the start, in his first lap, he lost many positions, when something went wrong in the power unit management.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 track support leader
“Another great race for Daniil to score his second points in two races. On the other side of the garage it was a difficult time for JEV. He lost some positions at the start, due in part to the extremely high air temperature, which triggered a protective mode in the engine. Later on we lost turbo power as there was an air leak in the system and we had to retire the car. It was a real shame as we had the potential for a double points finish but we’ll come back again in Bahrain in just a week.”
Valtteri Bottas, 8th
“I think we need to be happy about today as moving from P18 to P8 is a good result and we have more points in the bag. The car was not as competitive this weekend as it was in Melbourne, but the team has done a very good in producing a car that is looking like it can consistently fight in the top 10. I had a really good start, making up six places on the first lap, and from then on the pace was pretty good and I was able to make up more places without too much trouble by using our very strong straight line speed on the long straights. Qualifying has shown that there are parts of the car we need to address, but the start to the season has been encouraging for us so far.”
Felipe Massa, 7th
“Getting both cars in the points today is a positive result for the team. I had a very good start and made up some good places on the first lap, but my progress was halted a bit by the McLaren of Magnussen in the first stint which had good traction out of the last corner which made it difficult for me to overtake. I also had the same issue later on in the race with Jenson as I was able to get up close to the back of him in the closing stages when on better tyres, but just couldn’t get past. On the whole I don’t think this track particularly suited our car, so we have done well to finish where we have, and I’m confident that we will be more competitive in Bahrain.”
Rod Nelson, Williams chief test and support engineer
“A double points finish is what we were aiming for this weekend and I’m delighted for the team and everyone back at the factory who have worked so hard on the FW36. The high temperatures make this a very tough race and we were focusing on controlling our tyre degradation and all of the component temperatures in the car. We did this well and both of the drivers did a very strong job of managing the car and driving consistently, making some good overtakes when needed to move us up the field. This weekend has been something of a mixed bag for the team, but we are confident that Bahrain next weekend will allow us to demonstrate the cars potential.”
Max Chilton, 15th
“It was a pretty demanding race I have to say. I didn’t get a fantastic start and I knew there was going to be trouble in Turn 1, which I at least managed to avoid. We had a close battle with Ericsson for much of the race and towards the end we were very close and pushing him all the way to the line, eventually ending up just 0.1s adrift. We are a little disappointed today, but we’ll regroup and focus on what we can do for Bahrain next weekend.”
Jules Bianchi, DNF
“Unfortunately the situation with Maldonado was a consequence of what happened off the start, when Vergne hit me from behind and punctured my left rear tyre. Quite simply I could not avoid Maldonado; there was nothing I could do. We came in to change the tyres and to fit a new front wing but when I returned to the track the car was not easy to drive and we suspected a problem with the brakes. We could not continue to drive this way and had no choice but to retire. It was disappointing to end my race after eight laps and this is not the reward the team deserves after a week where we seemed to make good progress through the sessions.”
John Booth, Marussia team principal
“It was a tough start to the race for the Team and the drivers due to the incredibly high temperatures on the grid. The actual starts didn’t work out too well, however both drivers started to try and battle their way back through on the first lap. Unfortunately for Jules, the puncture he got from Vergne caused his incident with Maldonado and he had to return to the pits to change tyres and fit a new front wing. From this point on Jules was not happy with the car and we suspected further damage beyond what was apparent at the stop. Sadly we had no alternative but to retire him due to accident damage, as I’m sure his car would have been just as reliable as Max’s. For Max, he was initially following the two Caterhams. In the second stint he didn’t quite have the pace to stay with Kobayashi but he continued to battle with Ericsson, trading positions between the stops. We were behind him in the last stint and although we were able to push him right up until the final corner, we didn’t quite make it past. Overall a disappointing race from a performance point of view, but the learnings from another complete process of racing the new powertrain will stand us in good stead as we switch focus to Bahrain and try to improve the performance again.”
Nico Hulkenberg, 5th
“Today was a super team effort and I’m very happy with fifth place. We were the only team among the frontrunners to do a two-stop race and we had good pace all afternoon. It shows that the team’s hard work over the winter is paying off and it feels great to be so competitive and fighting up at the front. We showed that we could manage the tyres well, although I felt a bit more comfortable on the medium compound tyres than on the hards, but we always had the tyre management under control. So I’m feeling happy that we can take all these positives to Bahrain and leave Malaysia with a good helping of points.”
Sergio Perez, DNS
“I’m disappointed not to have a chance to race today. We are still investigating the cause of the problem but the car kept going into neutral when I was downshifting on the way to the grid. I made it back to the garage but we could not find a solution. I need to focus on the positives because we learned a lot from the weekend so I hope we can come back stronger in Bahrain. It’s been a frustrating weekend for me but at least we are racing again in seven days and can look forward to putting the disappointment behind us.”
Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal and managing director
“Nico’s fifth place today is a fantastic result for the team. He didn’t put a wheel out of place and managed the race perfectly to complete a two-stop strategy. In the end we didn’t have the performance left in the hard tyres to hold off Alonso, but it’s encouraging to see us finish 36 seconds ahead of the sixth place McLaren. We knew we would cope well in the hot conditions so it’s very satisfying to pick up ten more points; but it was a day of mixed fortunes with Checo unable to start the race. It’s important we solve the problem before Bahrain because we had the speed to score good points with both cars today. On the whole I’m feeling very positive about our performance this weekend and I’m confident we can deliver a similar showing in Bahrain.”
Fernando Alonso, 4th
“The points scored today are the result of a trouble free weekend, in which the small improvements on the car worked as we had expected and it ran very reliably. We definitely have a lot more work to do, because while we are moving forward, the others are doing the same. Everyone in our team is doing their utmost to close down the gap. There’s still a lot to learn in these early races, but it’s no secret that we definitely need to improve our top speed, as could be seen from my duel with Hulkenberg. I was able to get him thanks to fresher tyres, but we definitely need to up our performance right from the very next race. It will be very hot in Bahrain and the tyre compounds are softer. This might be an advantage to us, because on the harder tyres we are sliding a lot. Also, from the data we gathered there during winter testing, we might be able to extract more of our potential, but that will apply to everyone.”
Kimi Raikkonen, 12th
“I am very disappointed with how this race turned out, because I got a good start, but then the collision with Magnussen damaged my right rear tyre, which meant I had to make an extra stop. That wiped out any chance I had of fighting for a good finish. After the accident, the car’s handling was not the same, as the tyre had caused damage to the floor, which led to a loss of downforce. On my first set of tyres, I had some difficulties and it was only after the final stop, when I fitted the mediums that it went better, but by then it was too late. Hard to say how things might have gone without that problem, because our rivals were very quick, but maybe I could have finished close to Fernando. It was a really unlucky day, but overall we managed to improve our performance and now we must concentrate on the positive aspects of this weekend and work to improve starting already next week in Bahrain.”
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
“We cannot be happy with today’s result, because even if, on the one hand we managed to claim a fourth place that sees Fernando stay third in the drivers’ classification, on the other hand, Kimi failed to score points when they were well within his grasp, but for the accident with Magnussen on the opening lap. Even if there have been improvements on the performance front, the gap to Mercedes is still significant and that should motivate the whole team, at the track, but especially back in Maranello, to improve the car in every area. We know what areas we need to work on and we must try and do that as quickly as possible. The championship has only just begun and we know just how quickly things can change in Formula One.”
Pat Fry, Ferrari chassis director
“A race of mixed fortunes today, because while Fernando managed yet again to give his all, Kimi’s race was compromised right from the start. With the former, it was a case of managing the traffic and tyre performance: while we were trying to bring forward the stops to pass Ricciardo, at the same time, we had to defend from Hulkenberg, who was behind Fernando but on a different strategy. As for Kimi, he was hit by Magnussen and had to do an entire lap at a very slow pace to get back to the pits and change tyres. Despite the different outcomes, both of them drove at a good pace, reasonably similar to that of the cars grouped behind the Mercedes. The F14 T continues to make progress and has proved to have good reliability, but we know this is not enough. We know we are working in the right direction, but if we want to reduce the gap to the leaders, we need to make a major step forward. Bahrain looks like being one of the hardest races of the season, where managing fuel consumption will definitely play a very important role.”
Kamui Kobayashi, 13th
“Thirteenth in our second race of the season is a very good result for the team, especially after such a bad weekend until the race! I had a great start, and no brake problems this time going into turn one, and by the end of the first lap I was up to 16th, running at the same pace as Sutil just ahead and with the car performing much better than it had all weekend.
“We were looking at what was going on around us and with the good tyre degradation we had we adapted the strategy and decided to go long on the first stint on options, finally boxing on lap 15, going out again on another set of mediums which were working well right from the first lap of the second stint. I was ahead of Chilton and found really good pace on the new set of tyres and I went after the Saubers ahead and was catching them fast. We stopped for the second time on lap 32 and went onto the primes for the final stint, knowing it would be a long run to the flag but also knowing that if we kept it on the track we could have a good finish, and that’s how it turned out.
“Thirteenth place in Malaysia puts us back in 10th in the championship and gives everyone the sort of boost we needed. There’s still a huge amount of work to do and a lot of today was new for me – that was the first time I’ve driven the car on full tanks on these tyres and we obviously have to keep putting more performance on the car so we can really fight one or two of the teams ahead. That looks like it’s a realistic target at this stage, but for now, focusing on today, finally we’ve had a good day and we should be happy about that.”
Marcus Ericsson, 14th
“First I want to thank the boys in the garage for working so hard to fix my car after yesterday’s accident. I was feeling a bit low last night, but to have finished my first full grand prix in 14th, helping us move up into 10th place in the constructors’ championship, is a great feeling, for me and everyone in Caterham.
“My start couldn’t have been much better – I passed both Marussias and was right up with Kamui by the end of lap one in 17th having made up five places. I was quickly into a good rhythm and keeping pace with my teammate but about ten laps into the first stint I started having some issues with the rear grip which was costing me a bit of time. We boxed for the first time on lap 11 but had a problem during the stop and I came out behind Chilton and Vergne. The second stint was really good – to be honest I was a bit surprised that I was fighting Raikkonen but he and Vergne made a couple of moves on me which I was able to defend, and then I went after Chilton. We boxed for another set of new options on lap 26 and I came back out ahead of the Marussia and focused on pulling away from him.
“I stayed ahead of Chilton after the third stop for the primes and from there I just wanted to get the car home. It was all okay until the last couple of laps when I started losing power, and I finished just ahead of the Marussia at the line as he’d been almost able to catch me with the ERS issue, but that 14th place, by 0.1 seconds, is what puts us into 10th so I’m really glad I could hang on. That tiny margin also shows that every single detail counts at this level of competition, and the tiniest advantage can make a big difference.
“It’s been a tough weekend, really tough for everyone, but we’ll head to Bahrain knowing we have something to build on, and something to defend. That’s a big positive and I can’t wait to get back in the car in a few days time and start all over again.”
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader
“A busy but fun race for us, with a solid double finish which we really needed after two difficult weekends. Kamui did a great job to finish a strong 13th, as did Marcus who finished his first full race in 14th. We kept tweaking Kamui’s settings over the race to give more driveability, energy and fuel management from the power unit and let him fight on track and Marcus also had a good race, but it got a bit difficult towards the end when we picked up some issues with the ERS. We started to lose some power to both MGUs on Marcus’ car but we made it to the flag, which was very important. We will look at what happened and correct for Bahrain.”
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
“This was a tough race, with track temperature of 46 degrees at the start and the most abrasive surface that we visit all year. In spite of this the tyres showed an overall balance of performance that allowed a close battle for the lead. There was no blistering or graining, and while drivers had to manage thermal degradation, a three-stop race is in line with the requirements the sport has asked Pirelli to deliver.”