Fred Vasseur looks back at an eventful weekend in Malaysia and previews the Japanese Grand Prix.

Fred, looking back to Malaysia, how would you describe the weekend ?
We were in the points for two races in a row and that feels good.
Kevin qualified well and this was, of course, encouraging for the team. We had the potential to move up the order with him on Sunday but it wasn’t to be. That said we learnt a lot in Malaysia. When you consider his tricky start, it’s a testament to him and the team that they managed to put his disrupted FP1 and FP2 behind them and focused on the task at hand.
Jolyon was very disappointed after qualifying 19th on the grid. He knew that there was potential to have had a better result on Saturday especially seeing Kevin in Q2. He turned the disappointment into motivation for Sunday’s race. He performed well and was clever with the strategy, which was very aggressive. He managed the tyres well and knew when it was key to push in the race. He had a great race.
Also, the double podium with Red Bull Racing winning the Malaysia Grand Prix was great news : it’s very encouraging and a big boost for the future.

Is the team on track to attain its objectives ?
If we look back at races like Canada and Baku in June, I think that we’ve done a real step forward in terms of exploitation of the car and tyre management– the team is progressing race by race and this will continue to pay off in the future.

Is there any update on drivers that you could share with us ?
Clearly we are looking at every scenario possible and of course this also means taking in to consideration the work done by our drivers. Of course we will need to make the best choices for the team !

We are heading to Japan this week, what are your thoughts on Suzuka ?
Suzuka is one of legendary circuits in the calendar that we go to ; a circuit much loved by racers. For the team, we approach every circuit with the same objective : we target points. We need the same determination whatever the circuit. I hope that the team will show the same aggressiveness in terms of strategy like we’ve seen in Malaysia last weekend.

Finally just coming back to Friday’s incident with Kevin’s car. Are you satisfied with how the team dealt with it ?
There are two aspects. We need to continue to investigate the whys – why this has happened and procedures to put into place for it not to happen again.
Secondly – and I’ve spoken to the guys involved – seeing the incredible reaction of the mechanics handling the situation was amazing. It really shows the commitment, determination and professionalism of the team. This is the best guarantee we have for the future.

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