This is how our top 3 looked like at the end of the Feature Race in the beautiful Sochi.
You can say that Mick put the proverbial Germanic hammer down, a bit like Arminius did in that dark forest or sump’n. That was a looooooong time ago, way before Facebook, you wouldn’t know, kids.
- Mick Schumacher (PREMA Racing)
- Yuki Tsunoda (Carlin)
- Callum Ilott (UNI-Virtuosi Racing)
We decided to find out what kept Grande Yuki in the lead at Turns 1 & 2, with no tow…
Said Yuki: “Just a really, really good start!
“Obviously it was a normal start and after that I knew normally Mick is really good at starts so I tried to let Jehan (Daruvala) use my slipstream. But yeah, Jehan maybe did not have a good start and Mick was better. Then suddenly I saw in my mirrors that Mick was behind, I just tried to defend as much as possible, like I can do, also under braking for Turn 2. I defended quite good in Turn 2, so…
“The first lap I think was perfect for me.”
(With a bit of help from Tom Clarkson F1 we found out) what makes Schu Jr starts so sensational?
Mick: “I think this year’s starts have been quite good, I think this one was at the lower average of a good start, let’s say or it was not the best. Therefore we didn’t manage to get the jump that we wanted, nevertheless we managed pretty well.
“In this case, the tow is obviously very effective here. But as soon as you get out of the tow the whole advantage you got is gone, so it was basically a drag race down to Turn 2 in this case and yeah, he had the inside so obviously he made a good call to cover the inside because I wasn’t able to get around the outside.”
The usual undercut / overcut dilemma couldn’t be left out, how did the three drivers approach this fascinating conundrum?
Yuki went first: “Still OK (Yuki’s tyres at the time of the pitstop), not much different compared to my best lap on the supersofts until Sector 2, but then I got radio from my engineer to pit this lap.
“Honestly I felt the tyres were still there. When I went into Sector 3 I felt a lot of wheelspin, especially in the rear and also supersoft to medium tyres is a big difference so I tried to avoid the undercut from Mick, the pitstop was perfect, everything was perfect.”
Mick had his opinion on the matter at hand: “It was a bit of a messy (late) call from my side. I got the call up to pit and I said no and that I could go longer.
“And then coming into the last sector I felt like my rears suddenly lighting up so I was a bit confused. I called for pitstop and I saw everybody pit too. I was like OK, I have to pit. I just went to the pit lane and called pit entry, the team was a bit surprised I guess. But they managed to do well, I’m very, very happy about that.
“Could’ve been very wrong, but it went right so that’s what counts at the end.”
Callum, how was it for you then?
“If wanted (I could’ve gone longer), but I think in hindsight I really should’ve gone (to the pits) one lap earlier. With everything that happened in the box and y’know these guys both pitting at the same time I probably would’ve done that.
“We all had a similar thing that you come to the last sector and the rears are a little bit loose and that just changes your mind from going longer to coming in. I had the option to come in whenever I wanted because my team-mate was doing the opposite strategy so I just made the call, saw the others go in and I was like yeah, it’s not ideal but I’ll take it anyway.”