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Australian GP

The Debrief by Aramco

Solid points Down Under.

In a highly chaotic race, which featured an unprecedented three red flags, Fernando and Lance were able to fight their way through to finish third and fourth at Albert Park Circuit.

Fernando challenged for second place behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton for much of the race, before the second red flag came out. On the subsequent restart, he was tipped into a spin by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.


However, as the third and final red flag was called before the field had passed the first sector marker, the result from the previous lap – minus any cars that were eliminated – was used for a one-lap restart behind the Safety Car to the finish. This meant Fernando came through to take his third podium finish in succession.

Sainz was penalised for the collision and this benefitted Lance, who had hustled for a top-five finish all afternoon. Despite running into the gravel at Turn Three on the second restart when battling with Sainz, Lance was able to retake his position due to the red flag procedure, and took fourth after Sainz's penalty – his best result with AMF1 to date.

After the race, Fernando, Lance and Mike described all the emotions of a frantic afternoon at Albert Park…

The Grand Prix

"What a race! There was just about everything you could imagine this afternoon so to come away with third and fourth places – and 27 points – is a brilliant reward for the team." Mike's opening words summarises the chaotic race up very well, but the team was able to keep its calm and deliver a third podium in as many races, backed up by Lance's fine fourth-place finish.

"It was a rollercoaster of emotions today with the red flags and incidents. It was probably my craziest race here in Melbourne but it's great to come away with another podium." Fernando has raced at Melbourne 18 times now, but highlights that this was among the most frantic. From the lows of the spin at the second restart, to coming through to the rostrum again, it was a day full of highs and lows.

"I think we should be pleased with the result we've come away with today: third and fourth is great for the team. It was a heavily disrupted race with red flags and a few big accidents, and neither Fernando nor I managed to stay clear of the drama." Lance summarises the eventful race up from his side, and highlights the strong result for the team at the end of the day.


"It was not an easy race to navigate with the early red flag putting extra emphasis on managing the Hard tyres. Almost everyone was trying to run until the end and it was very close throughout the top ten. Fernando stayed close to Lewis, but with similar race pace we could not get close enough to challenge for second." Mike explains how the first red flag changed the strategy for the frontrunners. The Hard tyre was durable, but it was going to be tough to extend it to run almost 50 laps. For Fernando, this meant that he followed Hamilton for a large portion of the race.

"There were many things going on all afternoon and we had an interesting battle with Lewis for second. The pace of the car was good and we kept up the pressure on Lewis, but he did a good job and didn't really make any mistakes." Fernando highlights the fascinating battle that took place between him and Hamilton. Fernando kept close to the Mercedes driver, but he was unable to find any way through.



"I had a little bit of contact on the first lap, but we were running well until the first red flag was thrown. As we've seen across the weekend, it takes a while for the tyres to get up to temperature here and so on the second restart I locked up at turn three and ended up in the gravel." Lance explains the contact he had with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on the opening lap, and what happened on the second restart which resulted in him taking a trip to the gravel where Leclerc's race ended. Lance, however, was crucially able to continue.

"Lance raced hard all afternoon, survived various battles, and did an excellent job looking after the tyres. Then there was the chaotic restart and I have to say it was a relief to see the starting order reinstated. I know some drivers and teams really lost out in the mayhem, but we got a bit lucky with both cars being largely undamaged allowing us to finish the race under the Safety Car." Lance was in and out of scraps with other cars, as Mike explains. The order for the restart following the second red flag meant that Fernando and Lance were able to both able to return up the field, rather than at the back of the pack, putting them in position to secure today's result.


"On the contact with Carlos after the restart I'm sure he didn't mean to do it so I think the penalty for him was quite harsh in the end. We have to be pleased with this start to the season and three podiums in as many races." Fernando gives his view on the contact with Sainz down at Turn One on the second restart, and is buoyed by his consistent podium run to start his time at AMF1.

"Thankfully, the red flag had been waved before that point and I was able to retake my position for the final restart. This sport is a rollercoaster of emotions sometimes! Overall, we've come away from a chaotic race with a solid haul of points for the team and to be second in the Constructors' Championship after three races is very positive." Lance explains how his emotions changed considerably in a matter of minutes during the final red flag intervention. After retiring in Saudi Arabia, he picked up a decent haul of points this weekend for himself and the team.



"Big congratulations and thanks to the whole team at Silverstone and here at the track for another strong and faultless performance with both cars and our third podium of the year. Today we celebrate and enjoy this result, but tomorrow our attention turns to the next race in Baku." Mike closes out the weekend with his final thoughts. He pays tribute to every team member at base and trackside, but already has one eye on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend in four weeks' time.

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