In the round-up: Yuki Tsunoda said a problem with his car kept him from challenging Lewis Hamilton for eighth place in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Tsunoda says more was possible
Tsunoda believes he could have finished higher than ninth had he not been struck by technical trouble in the latter stages of yesterday’s race. His team later confirmed he was managing a clutch problem.
“Definitely I could have done more,” he said. “Sorry for the team. In the end I [wasn’t] able to push to the maximum for several reasons. P15 to P9 is still good. Well done to the team.”
Asked which of the drivers who finished ahead of him he might have passed Tsunoda said, “I don’t know about Pierre [Gasly], but Lewis quite high chance.”
Start crash a repeat of Qatar – Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg said the the crash he was involved in at the start of the Brazilian Grand Prix reminded him of a similar incident in Qatar earlier in the season.
“It was a typical start situation where it got too tight there, and it was very similar to what happened to me in the Sprint in Qatar, I got sandwiched,” he said. “You can’t really bail out at that point, so I made contact with Albon which then put him into Kevin [Magnussen].
“It was unfortunate but there wasn’t much we could do. There was damage but the red flag allowed us to repair it, so the car was fine, there was just no performance this weekend.”
Double retirement blow for Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo said its drivers retired from the Brazilian Grand Prix because of two different problems. Zhou Guanyu dropped out after 22 laps and Valtteri Bottas joined him shortly after half-distance.
“We’re really disappointed today, especially because both drivers were delivering very solid races,” said team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi.
“Valtteri was firmly in P10, with Zhou right behind him, after a good start and with a car that performed much better than in the previous days. We were fighting with the Alpines, the AlphaTauris and a points finish was definitely on the cards.
“Last year we suffered quite a few DNFs, and this year we improved significantly: it’s therefore even more disappointing to have two of them in the same race, and at the end of the season, when every opportunity matters even more.
“We will need to investigate exactly what happened, it was two separate issues that forced us to stop the cars to avoid any further damage. We will look into them in Hinwil to make sure neither recurs.”
Brazilian GP attendance rises
Formula 1 reported a full race weekend attendance of 267,000 for the Brazilian Grand Prix, a 13% increase on last year. However the race promoter faces an FIA World Motor Sport Council investigation over a track invasion.
Toyota chairman thanks WEC organiser
Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda congratulated his team on their successful end to the World Endurance Championship season in which they clinched the championship and won every race with the exception of the Le Mans 24 Hours. The number eight car of Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa shared the drivers’ title after the sister machine was hit at the first corner of the eight-hour season finale in Bahrain.
“The ‘battle of athletes’ that the two Toyota Gazoo Racing cars fought until the end was the best,” said Toyoda. “Both cars experienced challenges. I feel sorry that the drivers were not able to drive the final race comfortably. Car number seven had an accident at the start, but it quickly closed the gap and fought for the victory with car number eight in a race that could have easily been won by either car. It was a race where all competitors pushed hard in difficult conditions.
“The main characters of motorsports are the people behind the wheel. That’s what makes it a sport, and I believe that everyone who takes part is an athlete and a fighter. This year’s WEC has seen an increase in rivals, making it the ‘battlefield’ that fans have been waiting for. At the championship finale, today’s athletes showed how they are giving their all to get the result. As a fan, I was very excited to see this. We would also like to thank the organisers for creating an environment where athletes can compete.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 30 years ago today Ayrton Senna claimed pole position for his final race for McLaren at Adelaide