Formula 1 News

Drivers' quotes after the Indian GP race

Webber: "It’s pretty much the general story of this year; I just don't have the pace at the end of the stints, so I run out of tyres and then lose strategy, it means I have to pit earlier and it makes life harder."
Sunday, October 30, 2011

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel (1st)
“It was very good race for us and I enjoyed it. I had a bit of a fight with Jenson in the distance who was always around 4 seconds away, but strangely he kept closing in around the pit stops. I was pushing very hard into the box, but we seemed to lose a little bit there, which we need to understand. On the circuit it was crucial to manage the tyres and make sure we had enough left at the end, but it was a very smooth race. The car was very well balanced and it was a fantastic race today. Thanks to the whole team and to Renault, who have done an exceptional job so far this season. But I have mixed emotions today. I’m very proud to be the first winner of the Indian Grand Prix, but on the other hand we lost two of our mates recently. I didn’t know Dan Wheldon, but obviously he was a big name in motorsport. I got to know Marco Simoncelli this year and our thoughts are with their families at this time. We are ready to take certain risks, but obviously we pray that nothing happens; sometimes you get reminded and that’s the last thing we want to see. It’s a very impressive country here, very different to what we know in Europe, but very inspiring. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you can learn a lot from the way the people handle things here. It’s a big country with a lot of people, but they are happy and enjoy life, which is what it’s all about. At the end of your life, it’s friendships, emotions and thoughts that you take with you, rather than what’s in your bank account. So, even though people don’t have a lot here, they are a lot richer in many ways and we can learn from that. It’s been a great race, a great event and the circuit is fantastic, so thanks a lot to all the people in India.”

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Mark Webber (4th)
“We lost the podium in the middle of the race really. It’s pretty much the general story of this year; I just don't have the pace at the end of the stints, so I run out of tyres and then lose strategy, it means I have to pit earlier and it makes life harder. In the end, I wasn’t quick enough. I had a reasonable pace at the start of the stints, but as they go on, we go back into the clutches of the other guys. We were struggling a little bit with the balance at the end of the stints. It was a good fight with Fernando (Alonso), but the McLarens and Ferraris were pretty strong in the first sector, Jenson (Button) got me on the first lap on the back straight. I was quick against him in the first few laps, but after that, as soon as you fight you chew up the tyres. So that's the way it goes, disappointing, but now we go to Abu Dhabi.”

McLaren

Jenson Button (2nd)
“In terms of team effort, we did everything right today - our car just wasn’t quite quick enough to actually win. I got a good start, made up places on the first lap and then settled down to keep Mark behind me for five or six laps. Eventually, I think we ‘broke’ his rear tyres, which enabled me to establish a gap. Then I could set about Seb - but it was very difficult to close him down. At the final stop, it was a risk going to the harder tyre earlier than Seb, but we had to give it a go and it worked pretty well as I was able to close him down by a further three seconds. My car felt really good: before Seb could find his rhythm on the Prime, I was able to get the gap down to 2.8 seconds, but it wasn’t quite enough. Still, this was a very good result for us - and I think we delivered the maximum possible. I loved the whole experience this weekend. And I think every driver will be excited about coming back here because it’s such a phenomenal circuit; fast and flowing with a bit of everything. It gets a big tick from me. The Indian people have really welcomed us to their country; I’ve never seen so many people smiling before. And the crowd has been wonderful. I hope that Formula 1 grows in India in the future and that we get an even bigger crowd here next year.”

Lewis Hamilton (7th)
“The contact with Felipe was just one of those things. I really didn’t feel like I was at fault - it was a racing incident. On the grid, just before the one minute’s silence, he and I were standing next to each other and I put my arm around him and told him: ‘Have a great race today.’ I’ve still got great respect for him. During the race, it felt like there was a vibration in the car through the right-handers: it felt like the floor was scraping on the ground, in fact. I was pushing as hard as I could, but couldn’t find the performance, so we’ll have to look into that. It’s been an eventful year, but there are more races ahead and I’ll try to score as many world championship points as possible in both of them. Jenson did a great job today, so clearly we were quick enough. I just need to try to pick up on that for the next race.”

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso (3rd)
“It’s nice to jump on the podium for India’s debut in Formula 1 and I’m pleased to have a new trophy to take home. However, today was a special day, full of contrasting emotions. In fact, the satisfaction at getting a podium finish cannot cancel out the sadness which has been with us for several days, because of the deaths of two of our colleagues, two special people – Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli. After this race, second place in the Drivers’ championship is still possible, but it will be very difficult because McLaren is on great form at the moment, even if the gap is only 13 points. We are aware that on paper, we are behind the two Red Bulls and two McLarens: then, if something unusual happens, we can make it to the podium. Today, the team was fantastic, managing to fix a problem on the front wing which was only identified twenty minutes before the start. At the start, I did not get away particularly well and so Button was able to pass me. Then I tried to stay close to Webber and when he slowed down a bit, I closed right up and, staying out on track a few laps longer than him, I was able to get ahead of him. Being patient paid off. Now we head for Abu Dhabi, a race that is a bit unusual…Maybe I will go to the Ferrari Park to play golf to relax prior to the race and then, on Sunday night, I will try and bring home the only trophy not yet in my collection.”

Felipe Massa (DNF)
“There’s not much to say at the end of a weekend like this. I am really unhappy that I was not able to finish a race in which I showed I had the pace to fight for the podium. As for the collision with Hamilton, I can only say I do not share the opinion of the Stewards who inflicted the punishment. I simply stayed on the ideal line, braking on the limit and staying on the part of the track that was rubbered in. What else could I do? It’s the umpteenth time that Hamilton runs into me this year and it seems it’s some sort of fatal attraction…In the past, I tried to talk to him but he did not seem to be interested in doing so. Now it’s best to immediately turn the page and think of the final two Grands Prix of the year. They are both special, because Abu Dhabi is a sort of second home race for Ferrari, with that amazing theme park which sits alongside the circuit and then comes Interlagos, which is always special for me. I will try and forget this trip to India as quickly as possible, but that will be absolutely nothing to do with the country!”

Mercedes

Michael Schumacher (5th)
"I am obviously happy about the race today. We achieved the maximum that we could hope for, and as a team we maximised our potential. Fifth and sixth places are a great result for us. On top of that, my car was very nicely sorted for the race and very stable. At the start, everything worked out according to my strategy as I deliberately didn't want to use KERS in the first two corners and save it for the long straight where I knew that I could make up some positions. In the second stint, I managed to maintain my tyres so I could stay out longer and that was enough for fifth place. What's really important at the moment is that we keep pushing and trying to improve, and that is what we achieved today. To the organisers of the first Indian Grand Prix, I would like to send a big compliment; I'm sure that I am not the only one to say that this was a very positive debut."

Nico Rosberg (6th)
"We can be happy with a good team result and that's what the boys in the garage deserved. I'm also pleased to have gained one place on my grid position. However my strategy was not perfect today and I lost some time in the second pit stop which meant that I wasn't able stay ahead of Michael. I had good pace at the end of the race and pushed very hard but it was impossible to catch him over the last laps. I'm confident that we can repeat this good result in the last two races. All in all, it has been a good Indian Grand Prix debut for us and I hope all the fans enjoyed the race. I'm looking forward to coming back next year."

Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari (8th)
“I am very happy with the performance of the team overall as this race was another good one for us, with a pace that was as quick as the one we had shown in Korea. I managed to pass Senna and then Sutil because of this. I was also ahead of the Saubers and I think this result reflects where we should be in the order. It is encouraging that we could out perform the Renaults. Once again the team did a great job in preparation work, in the sessions and in the pit stops and it looks like we are on the right road. I am very happy to have scored four points which puts Toro Rosso on the same total as Sauber. I am looking forward very much to the next two races as I think that if we do a good job we can end the year ahead of them. It’s a shame that Sebastien did not finish, both for him and for the team. But I am sure he will back in the points soon.”

Sebastien Buemi (DNF)
“I am very disappointed with what happened this afternoon, because I was having a very good race, after an excellent qualifying yesterday. When the car stopped, I had just passed Hamilton, I was lying eighth and I think we could have finished in the top eight. So when you go from that promising situation, to a non finish with no points, it’s a bit difficult to take. However, if we look on the positive side, our pace all weekend has been good, confirming the step forward we showed in Korea. So now we have to work hard and keep going in this direction for the final two races when I hope to be back in the points again.”

Force India

Adrian Sutil (9th)
“It was quite a good race and I think we can be happy with the two points today. In the early laps I struggled with the rear of the car, with a bit of oversteer, and could not hold off the Toro Rossos who were a bit quicker today. But in the second and third stint the car balance improved and I was able to keep the Sauber behind me in the closing laps. We were also fortunate that Buemi retired, which gave me another position. I think ninth was probably the maximum today and I hope Vijay will have a smile on his face tonight.”

Paul di Resta (13th)
“We went for a fairly aggressive strategy today - starting on the hard tyre - and it was always the plan to come in early with the hope of a safety car. It was a gamble to get rid of the hard tyre early on, and if it had worked we would have gained a pit stop and done the race on three sets of softs, which was the quickest way. We had to do three stops because of the tyre wear, which was quite high to begin with, but got better later in the race. It’s good that Adrian has picked up a couple of points, which are valuable for the championship, and that was the reason why we split the strategies.”

Sauber

Sergio Perez (10th)
“I’m very happy to have scored that point today. At least this way I can pay back something to the team after I made that mistake on Friday, for which I received the grid penalty of three places. We had a very good strategy today. It was a risky one as well, but it paid off, the team did a good job on that. I used the hard tyre only for the first lap. After that stop I was then stuck in traffic. Actually I expected the safety car to come out because in the first sector there was a lot of oil on the track. However, after I had passed Paul di Resta I was able to push. The first set of soft tyres was good. With the second I struggled a bit to warm them up, Adrian Sutil was really fast, and I couldn’t catch him. Overall I think in qualifying we clearly didn’t exploit the potential of the car, and we all know that we have to improve.”

Kamui Kobayashi (DNF)
“Unfortunately today my race is a very disappointing and short story. After the start I was hit from behind and immediately I saw smoke and fire coming from my car. Obviously there was severe damage, so I had to stop and switch the car off.”

Renault

Vitaly Petrov (11th)
“My start was good especially as I started with the hard tyres. I made an early pit stop but made a mistake with the clutch which lost me time as I couldn’t pull away. This disrupted our plan as I was supposed to come out in front of Sergio (Perez) and the Force India but didn’t manage to achieve this. The speed on the straights of those cars was higher than mine which made it impossible for me to overtake but I kept attacking like hell to try to pass. I had a lot of oversteer which made it difficult to drive and I did lose the car in Turn 9 after hitting the kerb, touching the grass and I almost lost the car, but luckily I was able to control it. It was quite a big moment.”

Bruno Senna (12th)
“It was a very mixed race for me today. I got a very strong start where I jumped four places so I was delighted with that. But, unfortunately I suffered a KERS problem, so I had to fight the race without it which made things very difficult. After my strong start, the remainder of the first stint was poor but I managed to follow this up with a good second stint when we put another set of tyres on. We could have had a chance to get in the points, but we must now look forward and see what happens in Abu Dhabi.”

Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen (14th)
“I had another good start, maybe not quite up there with the last two races, but avoided the problems in Turn One and Three and from there I had a really strong race. At one point I was running 10th and the car felt great all afternoon. I was still in it after the first stops and as the fuel level dropped I was able to keep pace with Senna ahead, and keep a gap to the cars behind, but when I went onto the hards it was much harder to keep up the pace. I was also seriously held up by the HRTs when they had blue flags shown to them. I think they held up Lewis as well and they definitely cost me quite a lot of time. I probably wouldn’t have finished any higher, even without them holding me up, but when we’re pushing as hard as we are, and fighting with midfield cars, it’s a good feeling, for me and the whole team.”

Jarno Trulli (19th)
“The bad luck struck again. I had a pretty good start but then one of the HRT’s hit me from behind as we came out of turn three and that was basically the end of my race. I had a puncture and had to do almost a full lap to get me back to the pit, so from that position there wasn’t anything I could do. I think the car suffered some damage to the floor when I was hit as the balance had completely gone for the rest of the race and I just couldn’t put any decent times in. Despite that this has been another good weekend for the team. Our reliability has been strong, Heikki’s pace in the race was good so I just hope I have better luck in the last two races and help make sure we secure tenth in this year’s championship.”

Williams

Rubens Barrichello (15th)
“I lost my nose going into the first corner at the start so I had to come in for an unscheduled pitstop. That ruined my race from the outset because I came out of the pits so far behind. After that, we had to change our strategy to a one stop to avoid losing more time. We dragged it back a little bit, but not enough to score points. It’s a shame because our times were strong and tyre degradation was ok so we could have done better.”

Pastor Maldonado (DNF)
“We had a problem with the gearbox today, but we don’t know the exact cause yet so we need to have a look into it. My pace was looking good before that and the tyres were working well. Just bad luck. We need to look forward to the last two races now.”

Virgin

Jerome D’Ambrosio (16th)
“In the end we did what we had to. The team did a great job with the strategy and I pushed hard to close the gap. But it wasn’t an easy weekend for me. It was a bit strange in terms of the tyres. On the one hand this was good because we could do very long stints without any degradation, but on the other hand it wasn’t optimum for the beginning of the race and qualifying. Generally, I think we can all be happy with where we got to in the end today.”

Timo Glock (DNF)
“An unlucky day again today after a disappointing qualifying yesterday. I just came down into Turn 1 on the outside and all of a sudden I saw bits flying around. I braked a bit earlier than normal and when I turned, suddenly Kamui Kobayashi drove straight into me and I couldn’t avoid the crash. My front wing was damaged so I came back in to change it, and we realised that we also had quite a lot of damage on the left side of the car, so we decided to stop.”

HISPANIA RACING

Narain Karthikeyan (17th)
“I had a great grand prix and I really enjoyed myself, it was an amazing experience. To finish 17th in my home grand prix is the best I could have wished for with the car we have and beating my teammate and one Lotus on the way makes it all the more satisfying. It’s a shame I faced the penalty and, perhaps, we could have had a much better race without it. But I made a good start and then suffered some damage to the front wing but afterwards I picked up a good rhythm and was able to complete a good race. It’s an awesome feeling to have completed the first ever Indian Grand Prix and to have been competitive with our main rivals which proved a lot of points.”

Daniel Ricciardo (18th)
“The first laps weren’t great but then I managed to pass a few people. Some laps later I got past Narain and set a good rhythm; I was happy with the first stint as everything was going well, the balance was good and the tyres were performing well. In the second stint I felt a strange feeling in the front of the car after a couple of laps, the car was moving quite a bit from left to right, I still don’t know the reason for this but it might have been a puncture. It’s a shame because as a cause we had to do an extra pit stop and lost quite a bit of time with that. In the third stint, once we found our pace we were quite competitive. It ruined the rhythm of our race but hopefully we can avoid it from happening next time.”

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