Formula 1 News

Driver's quotes after the Monaco GP

Alonso: "We leave Monaco heading the Championship: if I’d been offered that after the Mugello test at the beginning of the month, I’d have signed for it there..."
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Red Bull

Mark Webber (1st)
“An incredible day; this place gives you such amazing memories. There were different parts of the race where I had to be incredibly focused and make sure we really capitalised on the positioning we had. A good friend of mine sent me a text message this morning and said ‘You’re in charge, you’re in front and in charge’ and we were, but you can get bitten here very quickly. There were a few key stages around the stops that were interesting. Sebastian had his tyres very hot and was quick at that point and I couldn’t get mine going, but once he pitted I reverted my attention back to Nico and just looked after the rears until the end of the race. Then the rain came, which around here is very, very tough. But we had composure and experience and great team work on the pit wall. It’s a tough nut to crack this race, but we did it again. I had both hands on it today and I wasn’t going to let go.”

Sebastian Vettel (4th)
“It would have been nice to have been on the podium today. I think the speed was there, but in the end we had the same strategy as the leaders, just the other way round. It was quite difficult as we were on older tyres, but we had some good laps and we gained roughly around eight seconds, so that was strong. After that I was in traffic and it’s difficult to pass in Monaco, as I showed last year and Mark showed this year. We were hoping some of the leaders would be forced to do two stops, but unfortunately Kimi made quite a big gap behind me, so the leaders had clean air after their first stop. That helped them and it made it more difficult for us, but we started ninth and considering it’s hard to pass here, then to gain five places was a good day. It’s definitely good for Mark to win here and also for the team to get their third Monaco win in a row - it’s impressive.”

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg (2nd)
“It's a fantastic feeling to be on the podium at my home race in Monaco today in front of all my family and friends. The team have done a really good job this weekend to get the car working so well. Although we thought this track would suit our car, it's been better than we expected. I had a clean start but Mark drove a very controlled race today. I could keep in touch with him but we all know how difficult it is to overtake around the streets here and there just wasn't a way past. Still I'm more than happy with second place, and it's great to get another podium for the boys here, and everyone back at Brackley and Brixworth. I can't wait to get to Canada now and keep the momentum going.”

Michael Schumacher (DNF)
“What can I say? It was simply a pity to end the race in this way. In any case, the fuel pressure problem had nothing to do with the incident at the start. But it made it doubly disappointing because I had secretly been hoping for a podium finish today. I will take the boost from the high points of this weekend with me to Canada. The track should suit us and I'm hoping to have a normal, clean race.”

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso (3rd)
“I’m very happy with the way things have gone this weekend. We leave Monaco heading the Championship: if I’d been offered that after the Mugello test at the beginning of the month, I’d have signed for it there and then, but if I’d been told that after Melbourne, I would never have believed it! In Australia we started twelfth, then in the last two races we have jumped onto the podium and we are first in the classification. This result has to be further motivation to push even harder on the development of the F2012. We knew the start would be crucial. I got away very well and I almost got alongside Grosjean and Hamilton: the Frenchman and I touched and, for a moment, I was scared the car was damaged. On this track overtaking is almost impossible and being in someone’s slipstream causes temperature problems, both for the engine and the tyres. So, you cannot always be on the attack of those ahead, trying instead to manage the situation and push flat out only at the moments that count, such as the pit stops and that’s what I did. Could I have also got past Rosberg and Webber if I’d stayed out on track a bit longer? Maybe, but at that moment it was the right choice to make. I was definitely very quick with a clear track ahead of me. Towards the end, I was a bit worried about Vettel who was on the Supersoft, but luckily I could defend my position comfortably. Then I hoped the rain would come, because I think that could have given me a chance of winning, however, in the last five or six laps I thought it was over, partly because at every corner there might have been a surprise lying in wait. In Barcelona, a track with a lot of fast corners, we went well and this track is a law unto itself, so let’s see what the situation is in Canada, but certainly we hope to be able to confirm at this track too the progress we have seen at the last two Grands Prix. Finally, I dedicate this podium to all the victims and their families of the earthquake that hit the Emilia region last week.”

Felipe Massa (6th)
“It was a good race. I felt comfortable with the car right from the start of Thursday’s free practice. I had the right feeling and it was much easier to drive than at the previous races. Maybe it depends on the nature of the track or the set-up and we definitely need to analyse everything carefully to see what we can learn from this weekend. All things considered, I could have brought home a better result, but I am happy nevertheless. It was a very difficult race and very close and I was able to match the pace of the leaders. I am only sorry I was unable to do a few laps with a clear track ahead of me when the tyres were still competitive. The start was very good and also the tyre degradation, especially on the Soft compound was minimal. A driver always wants to do the maximum so I can’t be delighted with sixth place, however these are important points. I really hope my championship has turned around and that, from now on, I can always be in the fight for the top places, as was the case here in Monaco. Now we go to Montreal, which is a different type of track to this one, because you need a good top speed but, in fact it’s not that different in terms of the set-up required.”

McLaren

Lewis Hamilton (5th)
“I had a pretty poor start - I didn’t understand why that happened - and I was lucky not to get caught up in the first-corner crash. During the race, I struggled in the low-speed corners and found looking after the rear tyres tough. To make them last as long as we did, while trying to keep up with the pace of the guys in front, was one of the trickiest things I’ve had to do in a race. I lost time at my pitstop and gave away a place to Fernando, and then Sebastian was able to get past me after he made his own stop. After that, it was impossible to overtake. Today wasn’t the best result for me - I really dislike going backwards in a race - but I think I got everything I could out of the car. We came away with some points, and there are many more races ahead, but we’ve definitely got some work to do because, race by race, we’re struggling to keep up with the leaders. The other teams are picking up serious pace, too. We can’t let them pull away from us - but we’re a fantastic team, we’ll knuckle down together, and we’ll really push on now.”

Jenson Button (DNF)
“At the start, Kamui almost landed on top of me because he’d been launched off someone else. Then I almost got stuck at the exit of Sainte Devote, but I just managed to squeeze through. After my stop, I got caught behind Heikki - we weren’t really fighting, but if you position your car in the right place around here then it’s impossible to overtake. That’s quite frustrating when you’re so much quicker than the guy in front. Finally, I had a look up the inside of Turn 15, we touched, and I had a puncture. Game over. Today’s result stems from a poor qualifying performance and being unlucky at the start. Also, when you start from the mid-grid, you’re more prone to incidents. It wasn’t my day today - but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.”

Force India

Paul di Resta (7th)
“A great result today and I’m very happy to make up so much ground on my starting position. We went aggressive with the strategy and I have to say the team really optimised it. The secret was managing the tyres and trying to find clean air when we could. The car felt really good, much stronger than yesterday, and that allowed me to push when we needed to. Fortunately the rain held off at the end because that could have had a big impact on the end of the race. It’s great that we managed to get both cars in the points and we can celebrate tonight.”

Nico Hulkenberg (8th)
“It was a pretty messy start with lots of cars touching and I was lucky to make it through because I had to avoid Grosjean, who was in the middle of the track. For the first few laps I was running with Michael and we were stuck behind Kimi who was struggling on the supersofts, but it was difficult to get by. Unfortunately Kimi stopped on the same lap as me so I remained behind him and we came out in a lot of traffic, which is when Paul jumped ahead of me. The rest of the race was quite uneventful and I just focused on looking after the tyres. It’s a great result for the team and we should be happy with the result.”

Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen, (9th)
“Ninth was the best we could do today. I didn’t start in a great position and I had some difficulties during the race so it’s not been the easiest weekend, but at least we got a couple of points. It’s better than nothing but not exactly what we wanted. One race doesn’t change the fact that we have been pretty strong everywhere – even here at the beginning of the weekend. This circuit is completely different from any other and I don’t think we should worry too much about the fact that it wasn’t our best weekend. It is what it is – sometimes it doesn’t go the way you expected and now we should look to Canada for a better result.”

Romain Grosjean, (DNF)
“We struggled to get off the line and it looked like Lewis in front didn’t have the best start either. Fernando pulled alongside him so I was then on the outside of both cars, and unfortunately Michael was on the outside of me as well. There just wasn’t enough room and next thing I’m facing all the traffic after just one hundred metres which wasn’t a nice feeling. It’s a disappointing end to the week after some positive early signs, but that’s racing and now we look forward to Canada and a chance to bounce back.”

Williams

Bruno Senna (10th)
“I’m happy we got a point from a very tough race. We deserved more and I felt we could be stronger than this, but today it didn’t happen and so we did the best we could do. It’s good to be in the top 10 but I have bitter-sweet feelings. Now we are fired up for Canada and I’m really looking forward to that race. I have a lot of confidence that we are getting there with the set-up of the car, so I can’t wait to get going again.”

Pastor Maldonado (DNF)
“It was a difficult weekend from my side. I am disappointed because I was expecting something more from the race. We had a great strategy, but after a good start I was in the middle of the track, and got a bit unlucky caught up in cars fighting ahead. I locked up and couldn't stop the car on the dirty side of the track at turn six. The weekend was compromised after we received the penalties yesterday so we are now looking forward to the next race. We have a competitive car and it will be completely different in Canada, it’s a different track and a different situation.”

Sauber

Sergio Perez (11th)
“We were very quick, but from my grid position it is very difficult to overtake and move forward. After the drive through I managed to make up some positions, but the race was lost yesterday. We expected and hoped for more rain in the race. Nothing much happened and it was quite a normal race at the end. It was a shame, but for the next races we can be up there as we have a very good pace.”

Kamui Kobayashi (DNF)
“I had a great start and was fighting with Sebastian Vettel, so maybe could have been just behind him. First Romain Grosjean went on the inside, but suddently he came back on the outside. I tried to avoid him, but he didn’t brake, hit my rear tyres and damaged my suspension. Maybe if I had had two wheels and not four I would have been fine! It was too dangerous to continue to drive.”

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne (12th)
“After the start, lots of cars in front of me cut the corner at the first turn and I found myself behind the Marussia and I was losing a lot of time. I was on a one stop strategy and to try and get me out of the traffic, we made an early stop. From then on, I ran at a very good pace, which I am happy about and I was as high as seventh. I was lapping quickly and consistently. But with around 14 laps to the end, my tyres were completely gone and I had to come in for the Intermediates, but the rain was not strong enough. It’s a real shame about the laps I lost in traffic at the start because without that I could have been comfortably in the points today. I am looking forward to Canada, as it’s a track I particularly like even if I have not been there and I will go there really hungry to get a good result.”

Daniel Ricciardo (DNF)
“I had a good start after which I had to avoid an incident ahead of me but I was able to make up a couple of positions from that. I was behind Di Resta who was running the Prime tyre on a different strategy to me on the Option. We had good pace and I tried to attack, but I couldn’t manage it. I tried to stay out as long as possible on the Option tyre but then I started to lose pace, so I came in for the Prime, hoping to run to the end of the race. I came out in clear air and got into a rhythm before ending up in a train behind Kovalainen and Button. I tried to pass the McLaren but it was not so easy. Then I clipped a kerb at Turn 15. At the time I did not feel anything, but one lap later the steering felt very loose so I came into the pits as the car was no longer safe to drive. Despite all that, from a driving point of view, I really enjoyed myself until my retirement.”

Caterham

Heikki Kovalainen (13th)
“That was obviously a great race for the team and I'm delighted we've got tenth place back and recorded our highest finish of the season. Despite that I think we could have had even more, but the rain came at just the wrong moment for us. If it had been fully wet and everyone had pitted we'd have been able to keep 12th, possibly even made up more in the stops, but when the light rain started falling my brake temperatures dropped and I wasn't quite able to keep up the pace I'd had throughout the race up to that point. However - this is a really good day for the team, and it's great to get back to the garage and see everyone in such good spirits. This type of track was always going to give us the chance to fight, I'd said that before the race, and it was really good fighting with Jenson for as long as I did, keeping him behind me and really pushing. We have more to come from this car throughout the season, so I think we have more races like this to look forward to, and results like today make all the hard work the whole team put in worth it.”

Vitaly Petrov (DNF)
“I made a good start and passed a few cars but then a Sauber came right across me and hit me as we were going into turn 1. I could immediately feel a problem with the front wing so we gave it a couple of laps to see how bad the damage was but then had to pit for a new nose on lap 3. From that point I was pushing as hard as I could but then I had a low battery warning light on the dash and from that point my race was pretty much over. My engineer told me to box on lap 16 with an electrical failure and that was the end of the race. It's a real shame as I was in a strong position after my good start and as the car has felt good all weekend I would have been in with a chance of finishing really well, but these things happen in motor racing.”

Marussia

Timo Glock (14th)
“A bit of a disappointing end to a race that started so well. We had good speed at the beginning and for the first 10 laps I could stick with Jenson quite well. We had good pace all the way until maybe the last quarter when the front wing end plate broke. We don’t know for sure why; maybe because of the touch with Perez early in the race. We will have to see what caused it. Generally happy with my performance and that of the team, but disappointing to hold on to 10th place for so long and now drop back. That’s racing though and not for long we have to hope. Now we focus on Canada and look forward to some better luck.”

Charles Pic (DNF)
“Not a great race for me, but to be honest not our best weekend all round on my side. We held out for some forecast rain but this did not come, so we were not able to try to take advantage. Our pace was better in the race than the rest of the weekend, but in the end I had to stop early due to an electrical problem. After a strong run in the first five races I am a little disappointed, but we hope for better things in Canada.”

HRT

Narain Karthikeyan (15th)
"It was a tough race because we were very limited on our tyres. We tried to keep a constant pace, stay out of trouble and finish the race; we knew that if we managed to do that we would be able to finish in a good position. 15th position is a good result and a good way of getting over the disappointment from Barcelona. Now what I need to do is work on putting together a good lap in qualifying as that has been my weakest point this season. Hopefully I'll be able to carry the momentum from here onto the next race in Canada and continue to progress."

Pedro de la Rosa (DNF)
"It was a terrible shame; I feel sorry for the team because yesterday we did a good job and today we were starting from an interesting position and I think we could have achieved a good result. Our one-stop strategy with softs first and super-softs second was good, you only have to see what Vettel did, so it was a shame not to have been able to complete more than 300 metres. It wasn't a mistake by me or the team, but one by another driver, but those things happen in races. One day it might happen to me too, the sad thing is that it happened precisely here after all the good work we'd done and how much I was looking forward to finishing in Monaco with a good result. I leave here a little bit sad because, although we wouldn't have scored a point, we could have at least finished with a good result."

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