He started from a career best 10th on the grid after making it through to the top 10 shoot-out for the first time in his rookie season. He had his eyes firmly set on a points finish and that looked likely until he dropped down the order in the closing stages of the race.
Speaking about his race in a team statement he said: “We expected a better result today. Our pace during the race was not good enough, especially at the beginning as I was fighting a lot with the car. At times I pushed a bit too much, had a lot of oversteer and the tyres were degrading. It was one of the toughest races I have ever had. I did the best I could and this is where we finished.”
The youngster felt that they made the wrong call on strategy: “The strategy was not ideal either. Nevertheless, the weekend was a step forward and now I will keep working to improve.”
Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg had a more positive race, finishing just inside the top 10 in ninth place. He drove an impressive and mature race to allow faster cars past and save tyre life for the end, which eventually saved his position as he was able to keep the charging Force India of Adrian Sutil behind.
Discussing his race result he said: ““All in all we can be happy. We brought home two points. To be honest, I didn’t expect much more than that. You can’t expect that every weekend will be like Monza now, but we improved significantly. It was a very tough race. At the end, it was a pure fight for survival, because the tyres were pretty much gone. Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber were all on fresh tyres and I simply had to focus on staying on track and finishing the race.”
The German was involved in an incident early on, running wide at turn seven to avoid contact with Sergio Perez. He was eventually given the instruction to let Perez back past, something that he disagrees with: “I had a very good start and then a racing situation with Sergio Perez. In the end, I did have to give back the position to him and I don’t quite agree with that. There was a Williams in the fight as well, Sergio was on the inside, but I had to leave space and caught the outer kerb. Then my car bottomed and I was off, however, I was in front of Sergio before and after the corner.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic