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On Track

Race recap: Double points finish in Qatar GP

Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team drivers Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel secured a double points performance at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix, recording a double top 10 finish for the first time since Paul Ricard.

Sebastian Vettel, Qatar Grand Prix

Opting for a one-stop strategy, Lance and Sebastian navigated the twists and turns of the Losail International Circuit expertly to score a combined total of nine points.

Lance

Starting the race from 12th on new Medium tyres, Lance secured a strong start to move into 10th on lap one, overtaking both Valtteri Bottas and team-mate Sebastian who was pushed wide in Turn One.

Lance displayed strong defensive driving against Red Bull's Sergio Perez in the opening stint, however, lost position to the Mexican on lap two.

On lap nine, Lance overtook AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda around the outside of Turn One to move into ninth and set his attention to chasing the field ahead.

"The car felt very good today and I am very happy with our performance," said Lance.

"I made up a couple of places on lap one and over the first stint it was clear that we had pace to perform well."

After closing the gap, the Canadian boxed for fresh tyres on lap 23 of 57, swapping his Mediums for a new set of Hards before rejoining in 13th.

Race Report

Qatar Grand Prix

After starting from 12th, Lance Stroll fronted a double points finish for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team at the 2021 Qatar Grand Prix by taking sixth. Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, recovered from a difficult opening lap at the Losail International Circuit to secure 10th.

Sunday report
Qatar Grand Prix
Qatar Grand Prix

From here, Lance continued to climb the order and by undercutting Carlos Sainz Jr, advanced into sixth position with a perfectly executed strategy.

A late Virtual Safety Car following punctures for Bottas, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi paused the race on lap 55 before the Grand Prix was resumed on the final tour.

Lance successfully managed his tyres to take sixth at the chequered flag, scoring eight points to front a double points finish for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team.

"I overtook [Yuki] Tsunoda on the Mediums and then, after catching the guys ahead, undercut [Carlos] Sainz to move into sixth after stopping for the Hards," added Lance.

"Overall, everything went perfectly for us today and scoring eight points at the end of this triple-header is a very satisfying reward for all our hard work."

Sebastian

After a strong performance in qualifying, Sebastian started the race from 10th, however, a difficult opening lap forced the German down to 17th after being forced wide in Turn One.

Running on used Softs, Sebastian began to climb the ranks and set out to hunt down the field ahead, moving to 10th following a battle with Perez as various pit strategies unfolded.

"The start of the race proved very costly. We were basically at the back of the train after the first corner," explained Sebastian.

"We made a reasonable recovery from P17, but we lost the potential to score more points than we did.

Ready to Race

Nico Hülkenberg on the Qatar GP

The Losail International Circuit may be a new venue on the F1 calendar, but for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team Reserve Driver, Nico Hülkenberg, it's familiar territory. Ahead of the inaugural Qatar Grand Prix, we caught up with Nico to hear his memories of racing at this fast, flowing track and pick up a few pointers for the weekend.

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Losail International Circuit
Losail International Circuit

"On the approach to Turn One, there were lots of cars around me and I was squeezed. I tried to go around the outside but the track was dirtier than I expected and I slid wide.

"It is frustrating because the car was quick, especially when we were in clean air, and that helped me recover to P10."

Sebastian made his only pitstop of the race on lap 27, fitting new Medium tyres.

Rejoining the circuit in 16th, he again set out to recover to the top 10 and moved into the points when Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris boxed on laps 35 and 49.

With fresher tyres, Norris unfortunately overtook Sebastian for ninth with three laps remaining before lap 55's Virtual Safety Car.

Sebastian took 10th at the chequered flag to score one point, displaying an impressive recovery drive on the one-stop strategy.

"So, after lap one, it was a strong race, a good recovery, but it hurts when you are on the back foot straight away.

"It is great to see both cars in the points today so there are many positives to take away from the weekend."

Facts and stats

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Qatar Grand Prix

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