Late pitstop call crucial to first points of 2017 - Pascal Wehrlein

Pascal Wehrlein said the late pit stop call that resulted in a five-second time penalty was vital to Sauber scoring its first points of 2017 in Spain.

The German driver completed a long opening stint on the soft tyre but the virtual safety car was called just as he was going through the sector three chicane.

He got the instruction to pit too late to make the bollard drivers are required to stay to the right of when tackling the entry lane.

This resulted in a five-second time penalty so while he finished seventh on the road after an aggressive strategy, he dropped to eighth.

“Really happy about the race and how it went,” he said. “The first stint was quite tough with the softs, driving so long.

“In the end, it was really important to keep Sainz behind, he was obviously a lot quicker, and then to build a gap to the guys behind because I knew I had the penalty.

“I just got the call when I was already there in the last corner, but I knew when they called me so late it was important to come in.

“I missed the bollard but if I didn’t stop on that lap, everyone behind would have overtaken me so this was the only chance to get some points.

“I expected a penalty, probably I hoped for a penalty next race, or a fine for the team or something. But I’m happy about the five seconds, it’s better than a drive through penalty.”