Formula 1 News

Driver's comments after the British GP

Felipe Massa: "I concentrated mainly on defending my position against Kimi who was coming back at me very quickly: maybe if there had been a few more laps, he would have managed to get by".
Monday, July 9, 2012

Red Bull

Mark Webber (1st)
“It’s taking a while to sink in this one. I think it was the circumstances of the race - for most of it I was marking off second place. Fernando was not quite out of touch and after the last stop, my engineer Ciaron came on the radio saying that Fernando was not doing much on the option tyres. But I know Fernando is a wily old fox, I thought he was looking after the tyres and just waiting to pull the pin and go a little bit. But when I got within two seconds I thought maybe he’s in a little bit of trouble and it was real. It was completely game on when I knew the DRS was available, I made the move stick and our hard work paid off for the win. It was a cracking grand prix today; the spectators got to see a good race and I’m pleased for them.”

Sebastian Vettel (3rd)
“It was a tough day today. The start was not so good. I lost a little bit and then got stuck behind Michael, but had a good strategy to come back. We decided to pit early and we came out ahead, so that was a good call. I would be a bit happier if we had won today, but it was a great result for the team, I am happy. We’re just down the road, so it’s our local race. It’s good it didn’t rain, I saw some clouds coming and it might have helped my race, but I was very happy for the people in the grandstands. I think they appreciated it staying dry. It’s been a tough weekend for them with rain, a lot of traffic and not so much driving from our side due to too much water – but I think we made up for that today.”

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso (2nd)
“When you do almost the entire race in the lead and you are overtaken just a few laps from the finish, it does leave something of a bitter taste in the mouth, but after reflecting for a moment and looking at the classification, then the outcome of this Grand Prix seems very positive. We have continued working on the right road: four podiums in the last five races and the fifth just missed a few laps from the end, is a nice run of results which has allowed me to lead the championship. This is an important moment in the season: it’s not at this time that you win the championship, but one can start to lose it here and we are pleased to have extended our advantage over the majority of our closest rivals. We must continue like this for the next two races, trying to always make it to the podium. Then, we must work a lot on our top speed, especially in view of circuits like Spa and Monza. We began the race on the tyres that were best for us, with the aim of pulling out as big a lead as possible over those behind, to then try and manage the situation in the final stint. We managed it with all but one of our opponents, which was actually rather predictable. In Valencia, we won on a weekend when the Red Bulls seemed uncatchable and here we fought with them right to the end. If you had told me back on Thursday that I’d be going home with 18 points to my name, I would have signed for that right away. However, the championship is still very open: Red Bull is very strong, but we definitely cannot rule out McLaren, because they had a really bad weekend here and on top of that, Lotus are always very fast. There is a lot to do, but as we have said several times, we are on the right road.”

Felipe Massa (4th)
“It was a good race and I am glad to have finally brought home a good result for me and for the team. Race after race, the situation has been improving and now we are capable of fighting for the podium: it might have happened here, but it could also have been possible in Montreal and Valencia, which means that today’s performance is not a fluke. It was not easy to make the right tyre choice for the start, because we did not have much data available: Fernando and I went down different routes, but I don’t think either one of us has anything to complain about. I got a good start and then there was long and close duel with Michael and I lost some time behind him: Vettel benefited from that, managing to get past me in the run of pit stops. Then, my pace was very similar to the Red Bull, so I could not get close enough to think about attacking. In the final stint, I concentrated mainly on defending my position against Kimi who was coming back at me very quickly: maybe if there had been a few more laps, he would have managed to get by. We must continue to push, as we have done over these past few months and then, I’m sure the results will come. Is it enough to confirm my place at Ferrari? I don’t see any reason why that could not happen if, as I said, the results come.”

Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen (5th)
"I had a pretty okay first few corners but I had to avoid the cars in front and drove over the kerb on the inside of the turn, then I lost a place and was pushed wide. If I had stayed in front of Mark at the start it would have been pretty good seeing where he finished, but after that Lewis also got past me. I fought back and our car was strong, especially on the harder tyres. If I’d had a better start I could have finished much better; but that’s racing and sometimes you pay a bigger price than you expect from the first lap.”

Romain Grosjean (6th)
“I’m happy with my race today. Unfortunately I had an incident on the first corner at the start of the race where I was on outside of Lewis and had a Force India that hit me and broke my front wing. That’s when I thought that our race was going to be seriously compromised, which it would have been if the rain had come. The team did a fantastic job in giving me a great race strategy and we believed in ourselves to go for long stints with both sets of hard tyres. I was still battling hard with the cars around me, but trying to save the tyres at the same time. It became harder towards the end of the race but I hung on to my sixth place. Kimi was too far in front of me to catch him at the end of the race. We both scored good points for the team, so it’s been a good day.”

Mercedes

Michael Schumacher (7th)
"We achieved what was possible for us today, and we have to be satisfied with that. We were pretty competitive towards the end of the race, but overall we knew that the characteristics of this circuit wouldn't suit us in normal conditions - we definitely could have done better in the wet. Even so, we managed to score a few points, which can be important for the team. Our attention now turns to Hockenheim, our next home circuit, where things should look better in any case. I can only say to all motorsport fans that we are counting on your support. Like always in Germany, it will be a very special weekend, and we want to celebrate it together with them. So make sure you're there in Hockenheim!"

Nico Rosberg (15th)
"The whole weekend just hasn't gone to plan for me which is a bit unexpected and really disappointing. In the race today, I had a poor start and generally we just didn't have the pace. Then a slow second pit stop held me up towards the end; so all in all, it really didn't come together. Now we need to work hard to improve the car for our next home race at Hockenheim in two weeks time. Hockenheim is a completely different circuit to here which should suit our car better, and we will hope to put on a great show for all of our fans there."

McLaren

Lewis Hamilton (8th)
“It wasn’t a great race for me - I just wish we could have done more for the fans today. We tried as hard as we could, but we simply didn’t have the pace this afternoon. My tyres were still good at the end of my first stint, and I was able to hang on to Fernando. So it’s hard to understand how we could be leading the race at one point and then fall back to eighth place, especially as our car doesn’t feel bad overall. I raced my heart out and was flat-out right to the end. We’re still in the hunt for the world championship - and, if we can find a bit of lap-time, we can stay in the hunt, too.I gave the fans a little donut on the slow-down lap - simply because I wanted to say thank-you to everyone who came out to watch us here today. I’d love to have done better in my home Grand Prix, but, regardless, the fans were fantastic throughout the weekend.”

Jenson Button (10th)
“It was good to get a point in my Grand Prix, but of course that’s not what we ought to be doing: we’re a front-running team and we’ve got a bit of work to do to start running at the front again. I don’t think we made any mistakes with our strategy today; we’re just not quite quick enough at the moment, that’s all. Most important of all, though, I’m a bit sorry for the Silverstone fans, because they’ve been truly amazing this weekend. Like them, we wanted a lot more from today’s result. So we’re sorry, guys; we weren’t able to fight at the front today, but hopefully we’ll be back there soon.”

Williams

Bruno Senna (9th)
“It was a good race for us today, despite starting from further back than we would have liked, and we gained a few positions on the first lap. We then had a tough race fighting against the Force Indias and the Saubers. I’m happy with the result though as things are looking up and if we can qualify a bit higher in the next race, we will be looking to push for more points in the future.”

Pastor Maldonado (16th)
“Our race was compromised after the incident with Perez. I’m disappointed because the car was looking much more consistent after the pit stop and towards the end of the race. I hope to get my championship back on track in the next few races and put the team up at the top again.”

Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi (11th)
“First of all the accident at the pit stop was my fault and I want to apologise to the team. Of course I had to push hard for points, but without doubt I braked too late in the pit lane. The front wheels locked, I couldn’t control the car, and this is how I overshot the pit box. I am terribly sorry this happened, and I hope the three mechanics I hit get well soon. Up to this happening my race was good. I had improved from 17th on the grid to a top ten position, and was hoping for points.”

Sergio Perez (DNF)
“I am very upset as my weekend has been ruined. I braked later than Pastor Maldonado, he didn’t give me any room at all and just came into me. In my view it was not a racing incident. We all fight very hard, but give each other room. It is a shame because my car was really going very well. I had moved up from 15th to seventh before my pit stop and so was confident of scoring points.”

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg (12th)
“It was a tough race today, especially because my car was set up to favour wet conditions. That helped us yesterday, but hurt my top speed this afternoon. There were always cars around me in the race, especially in the final few laps when I had to defend from Bruno and Jenson, and I could not afford to make any mistakes. Unfortunately I locked up the rears going into turn three with two laps to go and that gave Bruno the chance to get ahead of me in the DRS zone. It’s frustrating to lose points so close to the finish but my tyres were running out of performance and the car was not easy to drive in the final stint.”

Paul di Resta (DNF)
“I’m not really sure what happened. I just turned into turn four and there was no pressure in the right rear tyre so it was clearly punctured and coming off the rim. All I could do was bring the car back to the pits, but there was quite a lot of damage to the floor. I took some fresh tyres and went back out, but I was missing a lot of downforce and I went off the track at Becketts. So the team made the call to retire the car. I’m very disappointed because we took a gamble yesterday by running a dry set-up and the conditions today would have been ideal for us. On a positive note I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the fans who have put up with the weather and shown amazing support all week.”

Toro Rosso

Daniel Ricciardo (13th)
“The race went by very quickly. The start was very poor and off the line, the car just sat there with the wheels spinning, even though it had worked well on the formation lap. It meant I lost several positions off the line. My first lap was a bit of a mess, as another car ran a bit wide going into Turn 7 and I was pushed even further to the outside. I pushed and tried to do my best and after getting ahead of my team-mate, I began to run at a better pace. The other stints were similar: after the pit stops we didn’t seem to have good speed, but as the laps went by, I could push harder. My lap times were the maximum I could do as I was wringing the neck out of the car.”

Jean-Eric Vergne (14th)
“I think I drove a good race, without making any mistakes. I did what I could, making up as many places as possible, getting the most out of the package we have at the moment. The best thing about this weekend is that I feel I learned a lot, but it’s not the sort of result that makes you particularly happy. We need to improve the performance of our car as quickly as possible and I know the team is working hard to achieve that. We will have to hope that the next upgrades, when they come, allow us to improve our performance and positions.”

Caterham

Heikki Kovalainen (17th)
“That was a pretty uneventful race for me. I drove as hard as I could with the car we had today and was pretty much on my own for the whole race. I had a little incident on the first lap but I was able to recover from that quickly and from that point it was just about making sure I didn’t make any mistakes so we could take advantage of what happened in front. It’s a shame for Vitaly that his race ended so early but I think at the next race we’ll be stronger. We’ll have had more time to work on the updates we brought here and hopefully we’ll be able to keep bringing down the gap to the cars ahead.”

Vitaly Petrov (DNF)
“I am obviously disappointed to have had my race end before I had even reached the grid. The car suffered engine failure on my first lap out of the pit lane and I had to pull it to the side just before the entrance to the pit lane. The crew pushed it back to the garage but it was immediately clear that the problem was terminal and that was the end of the race. These things sometimes happen in racing so there is no point looking back at it - Renault Sport F1 will look at the problem and we know they will work hard to make sure we do not see a repeat of it again. Despite the issue today this has been a positive weekend. The car has worked well in each session and I’ve been really pleased with how the engineers and mechanics have helped us keep making steps forward with the setup. Even though we had very limited running with the updates it was immediately clear that we have put more downforce on the car and with more time on track we will be able to work on fine-tuning the setups that will let us get the most out of the car at the next race.”

Marussia

Timo Glock (18th)
“In general a tough week for us. It was difficult for everyone in the team to get into the weekend, but we had to do our job here, and as professionally as possible, and that is what we have done, so I think everyone can feel very proud of that. The running started out a little chaotic with the weather conditions being so up and down and our qualifying result was disappointing because we could have been in Q2. Then, having prepared for a wet race, it ended up being a completely dry race, so it has been a very changeable and, at times, frustrating weekend. I think we can be pleased with a solid P18 and with two cars home we can learn some important things about our package. It felt good from the first lap, so as we understand it more I hope we can improve it. Next, we will see what we can do in Hockenheim where, it goes without saying, I am hoping we can have a strong race in front of my home crowd to thank them for their unrelenting support.”

Charles Pic (19th)
“We can be happy to have both cars finish the race and this gives us plenty of information to work with to develop our new package. We lost some time on the first set of tyres as we were faster than the HRTs, but we were stuck behind them and couldn’t get past. We pitted early for our first stop and this worked well and enabled us to show good pace after this. Thanks to the crew who did a good job with the second stop and this allowed us to jump De la Rosa. I think, all things considered, we have done a solid job here this weekend and can look forward to Germany with a little more optimism.”

HRT

Pedro de la Rosa (20th)
"The truth is the race went well. We had to gamble a bit with the strategy and try something different because, in our position, if you do the same as everyone else you won’t advance. We risked it to one stop to see if we could beat Marussia. But it wasn’t to be, although we weren’t far off. The degradation of the tyres was less than expected so I’m happy. There was no rain in the end and we knew it would be tough, but I think we did well. Lastly, I would like to add that I’m happy to hear that Maria de Villota is evolving favourably, because we’re all very worried. We hope she continues in this line and that we can see her soon.”

Narain Karthikeyan (21st)
"It’s been an unpredictable weekend weather-wise, and in the end today’s race took place in dry conditions, in stark contrast to yesterday’s qualifying. I had a small battle with Pic but my rear tyres started to wear out and I couldn’t keep up with him so I pitted. In terms of pace we’re right up there with Marussia but over a race distance we struggle because of the rear tyres. Now we have a week to work on Germany. Like everyone, I’m really shocked by Maria’s accident and I would like to wish her a quick recovery.”

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