Jolyon Palmer finishes P12 in his last race for Renault, but Carlos Sainz retires on final outing for Toro Rosso.
Jolyon Palmer: “We had a solid last race, we started from the back and with one more lap, I think we could have had tenth. It’s been a tough season but the team and I have been through a lot, I’ve been here since the start of this new era for the team. We’ve come a long way and I’ve enjoyed it. I wish the team all the best in the future.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “That was frustrating as a good points haul was possible today. I had fresh Supersoft tyres for a short final stint. I was able to overtake a Toro Rosso straight after my pit stop to then set about attacking the HAAS. It’s a shame, but a small metal component broke on the DRS mechanism which left it stuck open. We’ll look at why it broke as we missed a good opportunity. I’m sure we can fight back, the car was pretty decent in the race today and there’s plenty more to come from us in the final four Grands Prix."
Pierre Gasly: “It was quite a difficult race, I’m a bit disappointed. The overall pace was not great today, and I was struggling quite a bit with the car. I still tried to do my best and, at one point, I was doing well to keep behind a Haas, but as soon as I started to close the gap it became too difficult to stay behind or try to overtake. Then, after a massive lock-up, we had to pit earlier than expected… so definitely not an easy one, that’s for sure, but we’ll keep pushing! We now have to analyse today’s race and try to improve the overall performance.”
Carlos Sainz: “How disappointing, this wasn’t the way I wanted to end my time with Toro Rosso, that’s for sure! I’d like to say sorry to the whole team for retiring on the first lap… I was trying to risk everything at the start to try and gain some positions, so I went around the outside at Turn 6 and I found a lot more dust on the track than I was expecting, and lost it; as simple as that. It’s a shame, because I was really looking forward to finishing on a high here in Suzuka with the team but I’m going to remain positive: these three years here have been absolutely amazing – it’s been an ideal preparation for me; the driver I am today, compared to the driver I was in 2015, is a more complete and better one, and this is thanks to Toro Rosso, who are a great group of professionals who have helped me a lot to become the driver I am today. It’s going to be quite emotional leaving the track tonight…”
Pascal Wehrlein: “I can not be satisfied with today’s race. I had issues with the balance of the car from the beginning of the race. I was not able to push as much as I would have done under normal circumstances. We are now looking at our data and trying to find the causes. Overall, a disappointing race for me here at Suzuka.”
Marcus Ericsson: “A disappointing outcome to the race for me at Suzuka. The beginning of the race was looking quite good, as I was able to gain some positions shortly after the start. Unfortunately, I went off the track at turn nine and hit the barriers. I am now shifting my focus to the next race at Austin, and look forward to getting back in the car soon.”