In the round-up: RB were disappointed with their performance after they introduced a significant upgrade for their car in Spain.

In brief

RB’s “high hopes” dashed in Spain

RB team principal Laurent Mekies said the team had “high hopes” for their performance in Spain where they brought the fruits of an “aggressive development strategy.”

“Unfortunately, right from the start of free practice we were lacking pace in every session,” he admitted. “There is no point denying this was a poor weekend for us and although the gaps were very small, we’re not going to make excuses for the fact we just weren’t competitive.”

Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda were eliminated in Q1 and neither scored points. “Given our starting positions, it would have required some unusual circumstances – rain, a Safety Car – but the race was pretty linear,” Mekies added.

Palou relieved “too risky” strategy paid off

Grand Prix of Monterey winner Alex Palou was frustrated at himself for letting Kyle Kirkwood pass him at the start of Sunday’s race, which led his team to make a strategic gamble by not pitting during a pivotal Safety Car period in his second stint.

“It was a really tough race,” he said. “Lots of up and downs. It went down on the first corner when I did a mistake, played it too nice, lost the lead. Then, as well, on the first pit sequence.

“At the beginning of the race, I wasn’t really executing. The car was really fast. I couldn’t overtake Kyle. That kind of put us in a bad position. I was not really happy with myself at the beginning. The team had to do a really risky strategy, too risky in my opinion.”

However Ganassi’s decision not to pit Palou ultimately paid off, as he used the free air to pull ahead of his rivals and was able to overtake Alexander Rossi and Colton Herta after he pitted.

“Sometimes you need a little bit of luck,” he said, adding: “It was not luck, honestly, we just stayed out. [But] we were obviously putting ourselves in danger in case there was a yellow.”

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