Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein was one of the unexpected stars of the Spanish GP as the German used a one-stop strategy to earn eighth place.
He actually finished seventh on the road, but lost a spot to Carlos Sainz after receiving a five-second penalty for going the wrong side of the bollard at the pit entry. He started on the soft tyres and pitted for mediums under the VSC after 33 laps.
“A really exciting race, a really hard race,” he said. “We did only one stop, so from the first lap on the most important thing is to drive as quick as possible, but also manage the tyres. This was quite hard. The first soft stint, it went forever, and then the cars from behind with fresh tyres and a lot more pace were coming, and it was really important to defend the position. In the end I had a good fight with Sainz, and managed to keep him behind me.
“Then with the five seconds penalty its P8 in the end. Definitely a lot more than what we could have expected from this weekend. I’m looking forward to having some updates on the car for the next race, and hopefully we can see these results more often.
“I think it was the perfect strategy for today. Plan A was one stop, Plan B was two stops, and we committed to the one-stop since yesterday, and I said I want to try one-stop, otherwise there are no points we can get from this race. We have to take the risk. At the end it paid off, and I’m really happy about it.”
The result was particularly welcome after Wehrlein’s fitness issues earlier in the season: “I think I showed already in Bahrain I’m back. It’s just nice to see that my back is fine, I am performing at a very high level, and the health and fitness is no issue any more.”