Formula 1 News

Driver quotes after the British GP

Select quotes from drivers after the British GP where Fernando Alonso gave Ferrari its first victory of the season.
Monday, July 11, 2011

Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel

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“I had an excellent start and with hindsight I wouldn’t have minded if there had been more rain because I really liked the conditions when we were racing on the intermediate tyres. We seemed to be in very good shape and I was pulling away. We probably waited a little bit too long to go onto the dry tyres, but it was right as there was no need for us to take a risk and we were in control. At the pit stop we had a problem – the car was already back on the floor, but then we had to lift it back up again. By then I had lost the lead and came out in third. I struggled to pass Lewis, I thought I could go much quicker, but I never really had the chance. Once I was very close, but it didn’t work. We got him at the pit stop, but by then Fernando was already gone. It was a good result for us, but we had some problems and, if you’re not at your optimum, then there’s always someone there to beat you. Ferrari was very quick all weekend and they deserved the victory today.”

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Mark Webber

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“It was a mixed race, it was very slippery at the start with the intermediate tyres, half the track was dry and half was wet and we had to wait for the slicks to come into play. Michael pitted first and we were waiting to hear what his pace was like. On my in-­-lap I had a massive moment in Becketts, so Fernando closed on me a bit, I went across the grass, so it was a bit scrappy there – then we had an interesting race after that. I felt strong at the start of each stint, but less so towards the end of the stints – both Seb and I were having trouble with the tyres at the end of the race. I tried to pass him, but not quite, and that was the race.”

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Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Jenson Button

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“So much could have happened in my race today. Before my final stop I’d had great pace, and I’d caught Lewis, Sebastian [Vettel] and Mark. When they peeled off into the pits, I stayed out for one more lap and I think I would have come out alongside, or even ahead of, Mark after the stop. But, as I turned out of the pitlane, my right-­-front wheel came off and I was forced to stop immediately. The guy on the front-­-right lost the wheelnut and turned to take another; as he turned, I think his hand moved and the guy on the front jack felt that that was the trigger to lower the car. Then the lollipop lifted. Hopefully, we won’t have that sort of issue again. It’s disappointing – especially in front of the home crowd – because I was really enjoying the race. I’d had good pace all afternoon and really enjoyed a couple of good battles – particularly passing Felipe on the inside into Vale. I think we gave the fans something to cheer, although it was a shame we couldn’t have scored more world championship points: anyone who had pace at the end of the race had a good chance, and I think there was definitely a podium to be had here today.”

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Lewis Hamilton

“Before the end, I had to start saving fuel: you have to lift and coast, which means the brake temperatures drop. So I had no brakes, and that’s why I kept locking up. That allowed Mark [Webber] to slip ahead of me and meant I was defending from Felipe [Massa] in the closing laps. On the final lap, the team gave me the order to push as hard as I could, but Felipe had already closed the gap by that point, so it was difficult to defend. That last lap was as close as it’s ever going to get! In the final corner I stayed on the inside and braked as hard as I could. Fortunately, we both got around the corner in one piece and I just pipped him at the finish. The support I had when I crossed the line was as if I’d won the race – so I want to say a huge thank-­-you to everyone. In fact, the fans have been amazing all weekend: I’ve never seen so many people at Silverstone, and I could feel them all spurring me on. I think this was one of the best British Grands Prix of all time, and I’m already looking forward to coming back again next year!”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso

“What a wonderful surprise! The team did an amazing job and I dedicate this win to everyone at Maranello and at the track, whose work has allowed me and Felipe to drive such a good car. It is a very special win because it comes at a legendary track like Silverstone, in front of a crowd that is so enthusiastic about cars. Also, the track characteristics were not really suited to our car, but clearly, the improvements we brought here helped a lot. At the start, it was not easy to drive because parts of the circuit were very wet and others were only damp in parts. There were some tricky moments, like when Hamilton overtook me, but we stayed very calm all the time, convinced we could get something out of it. I only realised I could win when I came back out on track after the final pit stop. Clearly the problem at Vettel’s stop helped, as did the fact that, for a long time, Hamilton kept the two Red Bulls behind him, but I have to say that in the dry we were very strong. Earlier today, I had the privilege to drive the 375 F1 and then, a few hours later, to win the same race for Ferrari sixty years later. In our team, there are children of people who worked for the Scuderia back then and they have the same love and passion for racing as there was back then. We head for Germany with our morale up and with more self confidence. The Red Bull is still the strongest car, but the improvements we are introducing are working. When we were struggling at the start of the season, we did not get downhearted, but instead we reacted: now we have reaped the rewards.”

Felipe Massa

“First of all, I want to congratulate Fernando, who drove a great race to give Ferrari a very important win. Sixty years ago, Gonzalez won for the first time and today history has repeated itself. I think we have made a step forward this weekend in terms of performance, both in qualifying and the race. It’s true my pace wasn’t amazing today, but that could have had something to do with the fact my floor was damaged, after I hit something at Turn 6; maybe a part from another car. In terms of the strategy, maybe we could brought forward the second stop a bit, but the team did not want me to end up having to complete the final part of the race on tyres that were too worn. In the end, I closed right up to Hamilton, as he was struggling, but when I was behind him, he fought and I only just missed out by a fraction on getting past him. We have to continue to push on the development of the car: there are many races still ahead of us and having improved the car means we can feel more confident about the second half of the season.”

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Michael Schumacher

“My result today is a bit of a shame, and of course I am not happy about it. I think fifth or even fourth place would not have been out of question today thanks to the superb job the guys back in Brackley and Brixworth have done. I would so much have wished to bring them some decent points this evening when we go back to the factory for a BBQ with their families. But unfortunately, and due to my fault, I cannot. Having used DRS for the first time in the race, I was arriving at the corner with over-­-run. Underestimating the effect, my braking was not good and this is how the collision happened. It was right to get a penalty but why it had to be a stop-­-go, and not a drive-­-through penalty, I would like to understand better as I felt it was too hard. Anyway, the good thing is that step-­-by-­-step, the hard work of our team is paying off more and more, and this is a good feeling heading towards our next home race.”

Nico Rosberg

“I'm pretty pleased with our result this weekend. First of all because in qualifying we had the potential to be in the top five, and secondly we had a really good strategy in the race. My start was not good, so being able to eventually finish in sixth place is a nice result for us. And hopefully it's the start of an upward trend, before our next home race in Germany, so I'm looking forward to confirming our performance at the Nürburgring. In the next few days, we will analyse the whole weekend with our new developments on the car, and will work hard on improving it even further.” Lotus Renault GP Nick Heidfeld "We saw on Saturday that this would be a tough weekend but as usual I said ‘never give up.’ I had a good start, but the first few corners were incredibly tight and I was happy to get through them without any damage to the car. The big question for the race was when to change from the intermediates to the slicks and we were one of the first to do this. It was a good call, however we didn’t get as much of an advantage as you can sometimes get from timing your stop well. After that it was an interesting race for me as I had to look after my tyres and at the same time I had to attack and also defend at different times, particularly with Michael and Adrian. Finding the balance between attacking, fighting and not killing the tyres was not only very satisfying, but it also worked out well for us with four valuable points. " Vitaly Petrov "It was not a difficult drive today, however I found it tough running with the intermediate tyres. I lost some positions and was unable to protect myself because the traction was very poor and other cars were able to pass me like I was not there. The DRS section was not helpful at all; they should change its position on the track because it just wasn’t possible for me to overtake here at Silverstone. I was very close to Adrian (Sutil) but just could not get past, so that was a big frustration. Even on the back straight, there was not enough KERS to overtake so it would be better to put DRS there. My speed was not too bad, I was quite quick but I felt helpless out there."

AT&T Williams

Rubens Barrichello

“We didn't have the best of starts and fell back quite a bit. Strangely, the car didn't feel good in the wet and it was a struggle to keep it on the track. It was also difficult to keep up with the guys in front of us. We had hoped for a better result at our home Grand Prix.”

Pastor Maldonado

“It was quite difficult for us today especially with the light rain shortly before the start. Our car set-­- up was geared towards a dry race so we were compromised from the outset. Towards the end, our performance was better but by that stage it was too late. Unfortunately it wasn’t the best weekend for us.”

Force India Formula One Team

Adrian Sutil

“After such a promising start to the race it’s disappointing to come away empty-­-handed. My start was okay and things looked good in the first few laps. The conditions were tricky, with a lot of damp areas in the second sector, but I felt quite confident and was able to run in the points. I think we made the right decision with the strategy to stop three times, but in the end I don’t think we had the pace to hold on for points today.”

Paul Di Resta

“It’s extremely disappointing to end my first British Grand Prix in P15. I had a good first part of the race; we seemed quite competitive and I was able to hold on to Jenson [Button] as I concentrated on looking after my intermediate tyres. I think we made the switch to dry tyres at the right moment and we were running well. Then I got a call to come into the pits again, but when I got there the team were expecting Adrian, so there was obviously some confusion. It cost me quite a lot of time because the boys had to run back in the garage and fetch my tyres. That cost us about 25 seconds, which pretty much ended my chances. So it’s a frustrating race, but I think we should stay positive because the car has shown well this weekend and that gives me confidence going into the second part of the season.”

Sauber F1 Team

Sergio Pérez

“I think it was a good race and a very good result for the team. In the beginning the conditions were quite difficult, but we managed to stay out of trouble. The strategy was good and my pit stops were perfect. Unfortunately I couldn’t overtake Nico (Rosberg). I was very close but he was too fast on the straights. Overall I am happy and now the difficult times are behind me. After the accident it took me time to get back into the rhythm of the season, and find the momentum I had before it. In two weeks’ time I shall be even stronger.”

Kamui Kobayashi

“It is a real shame because our overall performance was good this weekend. In today’s race I was very unlucky. I think there is not a lot for me to say about the accident with Michael (Schumacher). We were not side by side, and he obviously hit the rear of my car. From then on I had to drive with a damaged car. Then I had bad luck with the pit stop, was given the stop and go penalty, and finally had to stop because I was told on the radio there was an oil leak and I should pull off the track.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari

“In the early stages, all I was concentrating on was staying on the track, as it was very slippery and I wanted to make no mistakes and get to the finish. I was definitely faster than Heidfeld and Schumacher, around most of the lap, as was the case in Valencia. But we could not make the most of this as I then lost out to them going down the straight. I’m not sure why that was the case, maybe we ran with a bit more downforce than them. However, I am happy for the team, who I thank for doing a good job, as getting back into the points from eighteenth on the grid was a good result after we failed to make the most of the Soft tyre in qualifying.”

Sebastien Buemi

“I’m a bit disappointed as I feel we could have picked up some points today. I was running at a good pace. I would like to see the footage with Di Resta again to see exactly what happened, but from the cockpit, I was on the dry line, he tried to come up the inside of me where the track surface was still very wet. So he could not brake as hard as if he had been on the dry and I felt an impact. He had touched my left rear tyre which shredded it. But that’s racing, so it’s best to forget it and start thinking about the next race at the Nurburgring.”

Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen

“What a shame! I had a really good start but then lost fourth gear and had to retire the car. The conditions out there were exactly what they should be for real drivers -­- a mix of two types of circuit, one wet, one dry, exactly what I love racing in and the type of race we could have taken advantage of. But these things happen so we'll move on to Germany and keep on pushing." Jarno Trulli "I had a decent start and was getting set to pass Timo but then had the call to stop the car to prevent any damage to the engine because of an oil leak. It’s obviously not how we wanted the race to go but our reliability record has improved dramatically this season and this is just one of those blips. I’m sure we’ll bounce back at the Nurburgring where we may well have similar weather conditions, so we’ll move on and make sure we learn the lessons from this weekend. "

Hispania Racing F1 Team

Daniel Ricciardo

“I feel quite good to finish and see the checkered flag. It was nice to get the laps, which I think was the most important thing for me today for experience. Understanding the tyres, the pit stops and the strategy, it’s really very complex and something I’ve never really done before, so in this respect I think it was a step forward. I was quite a bit off the other competitors but I think that, as I learn, I will get a bit closer. I also need to try and manage the blue flags a bit better, it’s not easy. At the end, looking at it now, I’m quite pleased with the result. Wednesday was a big introduction to Formula 1, meeting the team and making the seat, it was never going to be easy or perfect but to finish the race is a good result for us. My expectations for the next race are to learn and move forward, to be a bit closer to Tonio in qualifying and to try and close the gap in the race, I think that is a good target for now.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi

“It was a difficult race, but we knew this since Friday as we’ve had a lot of problems. It was a tricky one from the beginning because of the tyres. Tyre choice wasn’t easy, we went with intermediates because the track was wet at the beginning but this made everything more interesting. We had a good start with good pace, we were able to catch and fight our nearest rival which is what we wanted to achieve in this race because we knew we didn’t have the pace to beat them. But we competed until the last lap and now we have to work hard for the Nurburgring.”

Marussia Virgin Racing

Timo Glock

“A good race for us today and a good result for the team in getting both cars to the finish in our home Grand Prix. It was quite a normal race for us I would say. I got a good start and a good first lap. The first couple of corners were a bit of a mess but when everything started to settle down I was in front of Jarno and could hold my pace okay to stay in front of him. After they were out of the race I had a relatively easy time. It wasn’t possible to gain places so I didn’t push too hard; I just concentrated on achieving our objective today which was another two-­-car finish. I’m happy for us and hope for more of the same in my home race in Germany in two weeks’ time.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio

“It was very difficult at the beginning when it was wet and I lost quite a bit of time there. Then in the second stint it was ok. I had a good fight with Tonio and managed to overtake him. The last stint was very difficult, after a couple of laps I had no grip on the front left tyre so I couldn’t attack much and I just had to back off all the time and just make sure I could last until the end of the race. I was quite worried I might have to come back into the pits again but I managed to keep going and get to the end.”

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