Formula 1 News

Drivers' Quotes after the German GP

Webber: "I drove on the limit, but we were not quick enough and that was it. Lewis was able to cover us all the time and respond to my pace, so you couldn’t get the gap."
Monday, July 25, 2011

McLaren Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton:

“Every win is special – but with all the emotion, effort and energy the team put into today’s victory, this one feels even more special than usual. Coming into this weekend, I said I’d take things one race at a time. So to win today is massively positive for us, but there’s a long way to go and it’ll be about consistency as well as speed from here on in. Driving lap after lap within tenths of each other was about trying to do everything as perfectly as possible – yet, being aggressive yet controlled, I felt the moves I made today were some of the most precise I’ve ever pulled off. Being able to drive with your head as well as your heart, and getting it just right, is massively satisfying. The fight for the world championship will be very, very, very hard now. We’re back in the fight though, and I really hope we can carry this forward and keep the momentum going.”

Jenson Button:

“First, I’d like to congratulate Lewis on a fantastic victory this afternoon. He’s done a great job all weekend and this result gives everyone in the team a massive boost ahead of next weekend’s race in Hungary. As for my race, I had a terrible opening lap. I got too much wheelspin away from the line and had to fight my way back from 10th place. I got stuck behind Vitaly Petrov, who was very difficult to pass because he moved a lot in the braking areas. But once I’d passed him, I enjoyed fighting back through the field. I’d just overtaken Nico Rosberg for sixth when my power steering started to get heavy. Soon after, we retired the car on safety grounds because we had a hydraulic issue. It was a very disappointing end, but these things sometimes happen in motor racing and you just have to put it behind you and move on. Already I’ve turned my attention to next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, where I hope to have better luck. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes goes there on the back of a win and it’s my intention to be back on the podium for my 200th grand prix.”

Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber:

“I’m disappointed not to get the win today – but it’s another good result. At the end we needed to try and do something a bit different; we led the middle part of the race, but we couldn’t get the tyre range around the pit stops to get the undercut on the second stop. I drove on the limit, but we were not quick enough and that was it. Lewis was able to cover us all the time and respond to my pace, so you couldn’t get the gap. He got a good start and mine wasn’t so good, but the starts aren’t key to the race finishes this year. I did pretty much everything I could today – it was very intense racing between the three of us at the front (Lewis, Fernando and Mark), I was pushing to the limit, but there wasn’t much more we could do to challenge for the victory. We’re a strong unit though – a good team and we’ll push on. We know what we need to do”

Sebastian Vettel:

“It was tough, a difficult race. In the beginning, it didn’t feel so bad but I made a mistake, which bought me back to fifth and from there it was a tough recovery. I think fourth was the maximum we could achieve today – it’s not satisfying, but you have to accept that others were quicker today. I didn’t feel good all weekend and didn’t have the pace that Mark did in the car. The pit-stop at the end was fantastic. You come into the pit lane behind the other car and into your box and you can’t wait to leave as soon as the boys have changed the wheels. As I came out it was nice to see the Ferrari still stationary – that was all down to the boys, they did a very good job. Both Felipe and I were battling for a lot of the race and we were both on the edge. We had a problem mid-race with the brakes, but we managed it well, so we can be happy with the recovery we had from that. Hungary is the next race, which is normally a good track for us, so we’ll see, but we have homework to do. McLaren and Ferrari were very quick in the race and we need to come back to the pace they have.”

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso:

After a second place like this, it’s easy to say that it could have been better, but I am pleased nevertheless. We must improve in qualifying, because we have a very strong race pace and I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. Everything went well today: the start, the pit stops and the strategy. We still lack something on Saturdays, because yesterday we were three or four tenths away, but I am confident we can also improve on this front. Today, Hamilton was quicker and so well done to him and his team: when I was behind him I was pushing as hard as I could, but I could not get very close. Even though I came out ahead of him at the second pit stop, I had absolutely no grip and he managed to pass me round the outside: immediately he then built up a few seconds lead. Today, we were clearly superior to the Red Bulls in terms of performance and this is important, given where we were at the start of the championship. That does not mean it will be the same in the coming races, but the situation is getting back to normal. The classification? I’m not looking, but if there’s a chance, it depends on always finishing on the podium hoping that Vettel does not do the same. Why did I park the car at the side of the track at the end? The team asked me to cut the engine as a precaution and luckily Mark was alongside me and stopped to give me a lift. I don’t know how he knew I was shutting off the engine; maybe he has a radio link to my engineer!”

Felipe Massa:

“It was a good race, in which I went head to head with Vettel for many laps. A shame about the time lost at the start behind Rosberg: the Mercedes is one of the hardest cars to overtake because it is very quick on the straights. The DRS was not a big help here, to such an extent that I passed him and Vettel under braking for Turn 1 where you cannot use the moveable wing. Sure, I would have preferred to have stayed ahead of the World Champion right to the end, but at the final pit stop there was a problem with the wheel nut on the left rear which cost me a few seconds: these things happen and recrimination achieves nothing. I got away well at the start, but then Vettel closed the line on the inside and I tried to go round the outside, because there was nowhere else to go if I wanted to make up some places. In fact I actually lost one to Rosberg. Now we go to Budapest: we will have the softest tyres there and, let’s hope some more summer-like weather, which should help. We must continue down this road and we will get some satisfaction from it I am sure.”

Mercedes GP

Nico Rosberg:

“I had a good start to the race today and made up one position on the first lap to be running in fifth place. However I didn’t have a perfect set-up today and the car wasn’t working quite as well as in qualifying. I had some good battles with Massa but despite pushing hard, it was impossible to keep him behind me. Seventh place is ok but we know that we have some work to do to maximise our latest upgrades in the race. I have a great team behind me, both the engineers and the boys in the garage, so I am confident that we will do this and we will see what happens next week in Hungary.”

Michael Schumacher:

“It was a pretty exciting race today with lots of action for both the spectators and the drivers. Hopefully everyone in the grandstands was entertained and it made up for the cold temperatures a little. My spin caught me by complete surprise, but that spot is known to be tricky in wet conditions, even if the conditions were not so wet today. Anyway, it obviously cost me some positions which was a shame. Towards the end, rain could have helped but the chances were low so I did not count on it. All in all, I am ok with the race. With the little improvements we have made, we can look forward to Hungary now.”

Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen:

“I think that was a pretty good race. For me everything was working well in the car but honestly it was a bit lonely out there! We’re not quite with the guys ahead, and we’re well clear of the teams behind, so I wanted to make sure I could push as hard as possible over the full race distance, not make any mistakes and get the car home in one piece. We are progressing in the right direction, and it will take time to be able to really fight with the guys in front, but we’ll get there.”

Karun Chandhok:

“That’s a full race distance completed and an awful lot of learning under my belt. Honestly, that probably wasn’t the race I wanted -I had a couple of high speed spins and I think I need more time to get used to the tyres. When they start to go off there’s very little give compared to last year’s rubber, but that’s all part of the learning process and I’m glad I got the car home and did the best job I could.”

Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari:

“That race was not bad and I feel we did a good job, given where we started on the grid. However, our pace was not as good as at Valencia or Silverstone and I was struggling a bit under braking. On the plus side, our strategy was good and the team worked well at the pit stops. At least we finished ahead of one of the Force India cars, so now all we can do is look forward to starting work again in a few days in Budapest, where I hope we can return to scoring points.”

Sebastien Buemi:

“Unfortunately, I had rain settings and the rain never came, so it was not the best set-up for the race. I had quite a good start, passing several cars. Unfortunately after that, Heidfeld drove into me at the chicane and I got a puncture on my right rear. So I had to pit and change tyres, which compromised our strategy even more and with no rain, that was really it. It has been a disappointing weekend in which we cannot be satisfied with our performance, therefore all we can do is look ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix and at least we don’t have long to wait for that.”

Hispania Racing

Vitantonio Liuzzi:

“It was a shame because, even though the penalisation for the gearbox meant we had to start from P23, we had a strong start where we passed a few cars on the first lap and had good pace. A few laps into the race we started to suffer some problems with the brake balance and we lost quite a bit of pace. After the pit stop, with the tyre change, we recovered our strong pace until an unfortunate electronic issue forced us to retire. Overall, there’s been an improvement from Silverstone but we need to push harder and cannot relax for the next race. Luckily, the Hungarian GP is around the corner and we have to look ahead. It will be a difficult one because the track doesn’t suit our car much but we will fight as usual”.

Daniel Ricciardo:

“It was good to finish. I think we’ve made a good step from Silverstone but there’s still quite a long way to go. It’s quite a steep learning curve but I think I’ve climbed a little bit of that this week. If I can keep this way then I’m sure that in a few races time the progress will be more obvious by, hopefully, finishing a few positions further up. If I can make the same step from Silverstone for Hungary then it’s going to look more promising. I’m quite happy with the progress”.

Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi:

“My start was good and then I was able to gain some positions in the first few corners of lap one. This was nice. I had been 17th on the grid and was in 12th after the first lap. But then it was difficult because our pace just wasn’t good enough here. The fact that we have scored points is down to a very good pit stop strategy, I want to thank the team for an excellent job. I was able to overtake both Williams during the race, but it was impossible to get Michael Schumacher. He was way too fast on the straights. However, I’m happy we managed to score after a bad qualifying, and hope we will be performing better at the next race.”

Sergio Perez:

“I am not at all happy. Given our grid positions we knew it would be difficult to get some points today, but, as Kamui, has shown it was possible. I am angry with myself because I made a mistake on lap eight. I went off and was on the grass. This was why I had to pit early and change tyres. This obviously was not what was planned in the strategy. We recovered a bit from there, but not enough for points, which were my aim. Now I just want to look forward to the next race which is only a few days away.”

Force India

Adrian Sutil:

“It was a great race today and I’m so pleased to get this result for the team because we really deserved it. We had a great car all weekend and everything just went perfectly. The tyres lasted well and we definitely made the right calls with the strategy, which helped me beat Nico Rosberg in the final stint. It was actually quite a lonely race for me because I spent most of the time running in clean air so I could really show the potential of the car. To get this result in my home race also makes it extra special and I’d like to thank the fans for their support this weekend. But this is just the start because we still have lots of work to do in the coming races to score lots of points and catch up with the teams ahead of us.”

Paul Di Resta:

“Once again it’s a frustrating end to my weekend because I had a great chance to score some points today. I made a reasonable start, maintained my position and I was racing with Michael into the first corner. Then I got hit from behind, which must have been Nick Heidfeld, and that spun me around and compromised my race. It’s a shame because we came here with a great package and we had a good strategy for the race. I pushed hard to recover, but points were just out of reach today. The good news is that Adrian has brought in a lot of points and shown just how competitive the car is.”

Virgin Racing

Timo Glock:

“After a positive start to the day with the announcement about my future with the team, it was quite a difficult race today. I struggled with the braking system from the middle of the race onwards and I wasn’t able to push late on in the race, so we have to look into the problem. Otherwise thanks to the team for a good weekend at my home Grand Prix. A shame it was so cold for everyone but we head to Hungary now for better weather and I hope we can have another good result there.”

Jerome D’Ambrosio:

“I’m happy about the weekend. I feel like I’m back on the right track and although there’s definitely more improvements I can make, particularly in qualifying, I’m going in the right direction. The last few weekends have been a bit tough and this is the one I’ll be focusing on. I’d like to keep this momentum in Hungary before the break and stay as close as possible to Timo.”

Renault

Vitaly Petrov:

“Well, it’s another point gained today, but really we need to analyse exactly why we lost positions out there, and why we didn’t come in to the pits earlier to fight with the group in front. The start was good and I had some decent battles, including with Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher, but the main thing is we need to look at why the likes of Sauber and Force India are finishing higher than us, and correct it as soon as possible. We must now concentrate on Hungary and getting some good points there before the summer break.”

Nick Heidfeld:

"I was squeezed at the start and sandwiched in the second corner. Heading into the third corner Paul di Resta was on the outside. I locked up my front wheels and tried to avoid him but just slid into him as there was nowhere to go. After that I was trying very hard to make up positions and I overtook some cars before I was behind Sebastien Buemi. He blocked the left hand side, as he is allowed to do, but when I went to his right hand side he just moved over on me. He must have known I was there. I had a lot more speed than him and was on my way to pass. He just didn’t give me any room and pushed me on to the grass and after that there was nothing I could do. It was an accident which couldn’t be avoided. It’s never nice being up in the air in one of these cars and it could have been dangerous.”

Williams

Pastor Maldonado:

“It was a really tough race today. We were quite competitive in the second stint on a new set of Option tyres but then when we went onto the Prime tyres for the last stint we were losing time. Our pace wasn’t as good and we lost a few places. We tried hard, but it wasn’t to be today.”

Rubens Barrichello:

“We were doing quite well after making a good start and were looking comfortable for a two-stop strategy but then the team came on the radio and called me in with an oil leak. I wanted to continue but the team said there was no way and that was the right decision. It was slippery out there at the start but the main issue was the cold weather making it difficult to get the temperature into the tyres.”

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