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Belgian GP

The Debrief by Aramco

At Spa-Francorchamps, Fernando and Lance ensure Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team enter the summer break third in the Constructors' Championship.

Fernando and Lance finished P5 and P9 respectively in Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix to overcome a difficult Sprint and enter the summer break on a high.


The weather was mercifully dry after a soaked Friday and Saturday, although drizzle in the middle of the Grand Prix saw waves of fans at Spa unfurl their umbrellas and ponchos. The rain quickly dissipated, allowing our drivers to forgo a stint on Intermediate tyres.


Fernando made a blistering start from P9 on a new set of Medium compounds and rapidly weaved his way into the top five. He pitted twice – once for another set of new Medium compounds on Lap 10 and finally for a set of Soft compounds on Lap 29 – to take a fifth-place finish.


Lance meanwhile pitted just once from his starting set of new Medium compounds. During the brief spell of rain, he swapped to Soft tyres on Lap 26 and finished the race in P9.


After a Saturday that saw Fernando spin out of the Sprint and Lance crash out of the Sprint Shootout, P5 and P9 on Sunday is a significant boost to the team.


Moreover, as a result of Fernando, Lance, and our team's consistently solid and often stellar execution, we have scored points in every single race weekend of the season so far.


Read what our drivers and Team Principal Mike Krack said after Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

The Grand Prix

"I was lucky at the start: I made up a few places into Eau Rouge, but then I was worried that I wouldn't be able to hold onto those positions through the first stint. We were fast – we kept one Mercedes and one McLaren behind us – so we were in the mix. That's good news for the whole team as we head into the summer break." Fernando looks back on his start to the race as he capitalised on incidents in front to jump up the order.


"It was good to pick up a couple of points today, especially at a circuit where we haven't been particularly strong this weekend. We made the decision to go for a long first stint on the Medium tyres because we could see some rain coming on the radar. The rain did come in some areas of the track. It was drivable without needing Intermediates, so we boxed for the Soft tyre. It was a bit of a gamble – if the rain had been heavy enough, we could have saved ourselves the extra stop – but in hindsight two stops was probably the better strategy. The last stages of the race became about managing the Soft tyre, so I didn't really have the grip to defend when Esteban [Ocon] was closing in." Lance explains why we took the gamble to pit him only once rather than twice, and why he dropped to P9 in the late stages of the race.


"We delivered a more competitive performance today, with both drivers racing well and managing different strategies. Lance was one of three drivers to make only one stop – and that required some excellent tyre management across both stints. With the threat of rain in the middle part of the race, we kept his options open as long as we could and really stretched out the final stint on the Softs." Mike praises Lance for making the one-stop strategy work and finish in the points, despite the difficulties he encountered.


"The car felt great today – and really gave me confidence. This is a high-efficiency circuit – and, after the British Grand Prix, we were a little concerned about our performance coming here. The team changed a few characteristics on the car and it really paid off." Fernando says his P5 result serves as a confidence boost and rewards recent changes made by the team to the AMR23.

"We've had a mixed start to the season and I think we know there's some work to do as we head into the second half. That being said, it's been a huge step up from last year and I know the team is motivated to keep pushing for more." Lance acknowledges our stunning start to the season but adds that he wants to strive for more in the second half of the season.

"Fernando's race was a bit more straightforward and, with clean air for much of the race, he was able to show good pace to bring home fifth place." Mike says that Fernando's two-stop strategy helped him finish in the top five.


"It’s been an incredible first half to the season: we are third in the Constructors' Championship and third in the Drivers' Championship. It was impossible to think of achieving this before the start of the season." Fernando reflects on an astonishing start to the season in which we have scored 196 points and six podiums so far.

"The whole team did an incredible job today. Now, it's time to recharge our batteries over the summer break and come back stronger." Fernando signs off by looking ahead to the summer break.


"The 12 points scored today ensure we maintain third place in the Constructors' Championship. This was an important confidence boost for everyone in the team before the well-earned summer break." Mike concludes by acknowledging the hard work of the team as we retain P3 in the Championship leaving Belgium. Soon we have two weeks to relax and reflect on the start of the season before Formula One resumes in the Netherlands in August.

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