Following a cruel and unlucky early exit from the Bahrain Grand Prix, Lance was keen to strike back at the Sakhir Grand Prix on the shorter and new-to-F1 'Outer Circuit'.
The Canadian enjoyed a productive Friday in the RP20, setting promising long and short run pace throughout both Friday Free Practice sessions - alongside teammate Sergio Perez who likewise showed the potential in the car.
Saturday Qualifying Day saw Lance set the 9th fastest time in Free Practice 3, before going on to reach Q3 in Qualifying and line-up P10 on the grid for the 87-lap Sakhir Grand Prix.
Lance made a typical lightning start to move up to P6, avoiding the Turn 4 chaos that brought out an early Safety Car.
He held strong throughout the race, where he emerged from his pitstop on lap 44 - now equipped with new Medium compound tyres, just behind the Renault of Esteban Ocon in P4 and in the hunt for a podium finish.
Teammate Checo was flying through the field after a great fightback from the Lap 1 melee and following a brief Virtual Safety Car period on lap 56, the two BWT Racing Point F1 driver's were duelling in the desert!
Lance locked up at Turn 4, as Checo moved up into P4 with Lance now in P5.
Drama unfolded as the Safety Car was deployed and confusion in the Mercedes team saw the two leading cars drop down to P4 and P5, elevating Checo into the lead and Lance into P3!
George Russell was charging back through the pack and demoted Lance to P4, but with nine-laps to go Lance was back into a podium spot as the Mercedes driver succumbed to a slow puncture and was forced to pit again.
Lance would hold on to finish in P3 at the chequered flag, fending off the pressure from Carlos Sainz's McLaren and the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo - taking his second podium of the season and making it a first ever double podium for the team as Racing Point!
Checo won the race with Lance finishing third on an incredible day for the team!
Lance: “It’s a great result but a little part of me is a bit disappointed because I think I had the potential to win the race.
After the first lap, we were in P6 and I knew we had a chance at a podium. “I think we perhaps pitted a lap too late and that allowed Esteban [Ocon] to get ahead – but only after a really great battle until the exit of Turn 3 when he got the DRS effect.
I didn’t have the pace to get by Esteban and then I was also a little late on the DRS, which helped Checo get by at Turn 4. I braked a little too late and he was then past me. "
“It’s one of those things, but the important thing is the team result. I’m delighted for the team and so happy for Checo. He’s been a part of this team for a long time. He’s been running up at the front so many times in his career and he totally deserves a victory."
“It’s an unbelievable result for the team to get both cars on the podium and it’s exactly what we needed to bounce back from last weekend. We’ve had a great car all season and it was really strong this weekend and we delivered when it matters.
“I’m really excited about our potential and we’ll be looking to end the season on a high in Abu Dhabi.”
The final race of the 2020 Formula One World Championship takes place at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend on the 11-13 December.
Italian Grand Prix
September 12, 2021
Lance claimed P7 and six points at the Italian Grand Prix as Formula One’s second triple-header draws to a close.