• Brazilian Grand Prix

Driver and team reaction after the Brazilian Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
November 7, 2010

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso - 3rd: "All things considered, I am pleased with this result. We have only lost three points to our closest rival and, given how things turned out yesterday in qualifying, it went well: if this morning, I had been told it would finish like this, I would have happily signed for it! I want to congratulate Red Bull and Renault for the Constructors' title: to reach the top in just a few years is a great achievement. We were very cautious in the very first corners, because everyone was very aggressive and we did not want to risk touching anyone. Then, we immediately lost too much ground to Vettel and Webber: it took me several laps to get past Hulkenberg, while passing Hamilton is never easy. My race pace was good, as we had seen on Friday. When the safety car came out, we thought it might be an opportunity to attack, but there were too many backmarkers between me and Mark and it took too long to get past them: a shame , because at that point, the car was really very competitive. Now, we go to Abu Dhabi: we know what we have to do and taking the title depends on us."

Felipe Massa - 15th: "Everything happened to me today and it is a real shame that I was unable to obtain the result that was within my grasp, even after yesterday's qualifying and by that I mean a good finish. When I went back out on track after the first stop I immediately felt that something was strange with the right front wheel and I had to come back to the pits immediately to change tyres again. From then on, my race was pretty much over. Towards the end, the Safety Car presented me with an opportunity and in fact, I managed to make up a few places. Then came the collision with Buemi which knocked me back again and, with the cars that had to lap me, several times I lost contact with the drivers I was fighting for position. When I had a clear track ahead of me, I managed to do competitive lap times, which confirms that the potential was there. I would have liked to have been fighting it out at the front here, but it wasn't possible: I will try and make up for it in Abu Dhabi at the final race. We still have a very important target to reach and we will do our utmost to succeed in that."

Stefano Domenicali: "First of all, I want to congratulate Red Bull Racing and Renault for taking the Constructors' Championship title, which is a very important achievement. We said the Drivers' title would go down to the final race and we will now arrive in Abu Dhabi with Fernando currently heading the classification. We knew it would be a hard task to bring home the title, as our main rivals are very strong and they demonstrated that once again this afternoon. Now we face eight crucial days. We know what we have to do and we will prepare everything with the maximum attention to detail: each one of us knows we have to give a hundred percent at our specific tasks and, maybe even a little bit more. As for the race, I think Fernando did the most he could after yesterday's qualifying: his opening laps were exceptional and he managed to pass first Hamilton and then Hulkenberg in decisive fashion, but without taking excessive risks. Then he had to manage his race and he did that in impeccable fashion, even after the Safety Car, when the situation could have turned out to be very tricky. Felipe was unlucky at his pit stop, when a problem in fitting the front right meant he had to come straight back in for another tyre change. That was a shame as he could have finished in a good position. Lastly, I would like to thank the Brazilian crowd for their continued support: going into the race there was talk of the atmosphere being a bit tense for Ferrari. In fact there was nothing of the sort, confirming the great passion and sporting spirit of the fans in this country."

Force India

Adrian Sutil - 12th: An exciting race today and I really enjoyed it. After a reasonable start, I did the first part of the race on the harder tyres and it worked really well. I thought it would be difficult with the graining but after 20 laps the car just seemed to work better and better and I could set some competitive lap times. Then the safety car went out and we changed to the softer compound straight away. Then I tried to move up some places, but it was very hard to pass the Toro Rossos as they were unbelievably quick on the straight. I managed to pass at least Buemi and gain one position. From P22 on the grid I think P12 is very positive and I'm happy with that result and performance.

Tonio Liuzzi - DNF: "It was a good race until the accident, we were able to fight with a lot of cars. It was tough on the option tyres at the start but then in the middle part of the race I was able to put in some consistent and quick lap times. Unfortunately I had been struggling with the brakes all race and then going into the second corner something on the car let go and I couldn't turn in. The car just went straight on and into the barriers. We'll look into why this happened and make sure we understand the reasons fully. I'm OK after the accident though and am now looking forward to Abu Dhabi where I hope we can take the fight back to Williams."

Otmar Szafnauer, chief operating officer: "First of all, we must extend our congratulations to Red Bull on securing their first-ever Constructors' Championship. For us, we knew this would be a difficult race and to come away with 12th is a good effort considering our starting positions. Adrian again showed our strong race pace and Tonio put in lap times that matched those of the top ten until his retirement. Thankfully he is OK after the accident, and we'll look into the reason for this. We've got another race coming up very soon and although it's going to be a tough week with the travelling, we're going to keep fighting until the end."

HRT

Christian Klien - 22nd: "Unfortunately, the car stopped on the way to the grid due to fuel pressure problems. But the mechanics did a very good job and managed to fix the car so that we could go in the race after four laps. The race was a test for us in order to gain some race kilometers. The lap times were good and we could keep up with the pace of the other new teams. Due to the problems I had at the beginning, I had more fuel in the car but I could finish the race with constant lap times. I am happy to complete a race after Singapore again and I want to thank the team for giving me this opportunity and doing a great job all over the weekend."

Bruno Senna - 21st: "We had a strong race today and we finished just behind the other new teams. I am very satisfied with the result I could achieve at my first Formula 1 race at home in Brazil. It was a good feeling before the race when the crowd was chanting and they gave me a lot of energy for the 71 laps. I am very thankful for the support of the fans and the team's good work. Now I am looking forward to the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi and I hope to perform well again."

Dr. Colin Kolles, Team Principal: "Our race performance was very good today and better than expected. We could easily keep up with the other new teams pace. Christian Klien was unlucky as he had a fuel pressure problem on the way to the starting grid and had to stop the car at the pit lane exit. I want to say thank you to the mechanics who could repair the car and get it back onto the circuit after only four laps. Bruno Senna showed a good performance at his home Grand Prix and finished close behind the other new teams. We are now focusing on the finale of the season in Abu Dhabi and we hope to achieve another good result."

Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen - 18th: "It was a good race, probably the best we could have hoped for in the conditions today. I made a good start and passed Timo straight away which put me in a good position for the rest of the afternoon. I enjoyed it out there - I had a good battle with Jarno and Timo for quite a lot of the race, and as we neared the end Jarno was very close so I had to make sure I didn't make any mistakes and we could get both cars home. The important thing today is that we are now one race away from tenth and that will be the goal next weekend in Abu Dhabi."

Jarno Trulli - 19th: "Another very positive result for the team and I'm really happy I got to the end of the race! I had yet another small hydraulic issue, but good work from the guys in the garage managed that, and towards the end of the race I was able to push Heikki and end up just behind him. I didn't have a great start, I had a lot of wheelspin but pretty soon I was able to attack Timo and just as I was shaping up to pass him he pitted and I came out ahead of him after the stops. After that I caught up with Heikki and we then had a pretty comfortable run to the end of the race."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "An excellent race for us after what has been a very good weekend. Congratulations to Red Bull for winning their first constructors' championship today, and for us it was a textbook race today. Heikki made a great start and went straight past Timo, and Jarno followed him past a few laps later. After that we were able to open a gap to our nearest rivals and maintain track position right to the end. It was a very professional race from the whole team and pushes us another step closer to tenth so we will be aiming to take that performance to Abu Dhabi and repeat it at the final race."

Sebastian Vettel slips past Nico Hulkenberg as Lewis Hamilton challenges for third © Getty Images
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McLaren

Lewis Hamilton - 4th: "I pushed as hard as I could on every lap today, but this was a tough race for me. I actually feel quite lucky to have finished where I did. The car just didn't feel like it did in practice. I was even struggling to overtake the backmarkers in a straight line - Fernando [Alonso] shot past me at the start, too - and it almost felt like my F-duct wasn't working perfectly. I'm still in the hunt for the drivers' championship, but I'm 24 points down, so I have nothing to lose now. In Abu Dhabi I'll be doing everything I can to pull off the win I need, and hoping the other guys hit problems. As always, we won't give up and we'll keep on pushing. We've seen many times before that almost anything can happen in the last race of the season. It'll take a miracle - but miracles can happen!"

Jenson Button - 5th: "I had a great race today and had a lot of fun fighting my way through the field. We finally sorted the car out for the race, I had some pretty decent race pace, I made some great passing moves, and the team made a couple of perfect calls on strategy. From where I started, I couldn't have done any better, so it feels good to have finished fifth. Lewis can still win the drivers' world championship - but the top three drivers will have to fare badly for it to happen, so I guess it'll be difficult for him. For me, I'm out of it now, so I'll treat the final race much as I treated this one: I'll just have fun and try to enjoy it.I won the drivers' world championship in Brazil last year, and I lost it here this year. But, all in all, it's been a pretty good season. It was a learning year, and good practice for next year: I firmly believe we can really build on this for the 2011 season. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is a really strong team - in fact I don't think there's any team stronger than us."

Martin Whitmarsh, Team principal: "The 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix was a tense and absorbing race. Fighter that he is, Lewis tried his damnedest to pass Nico [Hulkenberg] in the early laps, and very nearly pulled it off on a number of occasions, but lost quite a lot of time to the front-runners in the process. As a result, in the end, he wasn't able to improve on his starting position: fourth. Meanwhile, Jenson drove a typically canny race to move from 11th on the grid to fifth at the flag. Once the Safety Car had been deployed as a result of Vitantonio's [Liuzzi] shunt, we opted to bring both our drivers in for new tyres - a more or less risk-free strategy given that the gap back to Michael [Schumacher] had been sufficiently large for Lewis and Jenson to be able to rejoin the field without losing their fourth and fifth positions respectively. The rationale behind that decision was that, had the front-runners' older Primes begun to degrade in the final laps, our drivers would have been uniquely well placed to capitalise on that degradation. In the event there was very little such degradation, so our drivers derived no demonstrable benefit from their fresh rubber; but they suffered no disadvantage either, so it was well worth trying. More generally, Jenson lost the chance of retaining his drivers' world championship this afternoon, but he's been a superb team player all year and has made a great start to his Vodafone McLaren Mercedes career. He's already looking forward to doing better still in 2011. Lewis, by contrast, is one of four drivers who are still in contention for this year's drivers' world championship - and, although he faces a very tough task in order to prevail, he'll definitely be giving it everything he's got in Abu Dhabi in his efforts to become world champion for the second time in his career. Good fortune will have to play its part, and nothing short of a win will suffice, but it's by no means impossible. Last but not least, the battle for the constructors' world championship came to a finish today - and the victors were Red Bull Racing. Although in some ways it goes against the grain for me to say so, because our ethos at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is that winning is all, it's always refreshing when a new constructor's name is etched onto that famous trophy. So, on behalf of all at Woking, I'd like to offer congratulations to all at Milton Keynes."

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg - 6th: "I had a strong start today and when Michael pitted ahead of me, I had clear air and was able to make up positions thanks to our good strategy. >From then, it got a little chaotic but the team made a great call to get me on new rubber when the safety car came out. Unfortunately Jenson did the same and there was a lot of chaos with lapped cars so I wasn't able to make up any further positions. Michael let me past which was nice as he was on used rubber against my new tyres."

Michael Schumacher - 7th: "I had quite a good start today gaining two positions which unfortunately I lost again directly afterwards following my exit on the grass because of the fight with Robert. We then had good pace but with hindsight, my pit stop was maybe a little too early which left me stuck behind Adrian. Towards the end, I let Nico past when he was on fresh tyres as he had the better chance to fight Jenson in front of us. I look forward to Abu Dhabi now where I hope to have another encouraging race."

Ross Brawn: "We are pleased to get a solid double points finish with good drives from Nico and Michael today. It was frustrating to lose a place to Jenson in the early stops as we expected him to get held up with traffic but he did a good job to get through. We made all the right strategy calls today which enabled us to make up several places on cars ahead of us on the grid. We had a radio problem which caused confusion with the tyres at Nico's second stop however we boxed him again with no loss of position. It's good to have two cars scoring points but obviously we are not finishing where we would like to. Congratulations to Red Bull for taking our Constructors' title today and we will be after them next year."

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel - 1st: "We are the 2010 Constructors' Champions! Regards to everyone here and back in Milton Keynes, it's their achievement - we are one team and they can be very, very proud of what they have accomplished today. It has been a pleasure for me so far this year to drive that car. We have had ups and downs and many have given us a hard time, sometimes right and sometimes not, but we are always on the edge trying to make the car quicker, which is so good. We are always pushing to get updates, even when they only offer a little bit extra. Everyone matters in this team and I'm proud of them and also of myself today - we had a straightforward race, no issues and we were able to control it. There are a busy few days before the next race, but I think back in Milton Keynes and here in Brazil, there will be a couple of drinks tonight."

Mark Webber - 2nd: "Today is a sensational day for the team - for everyone in Milton Keynes, in Red Bull and for all our suppliers - the list goes on and on. We have won the Constructors' and done it with a dominant one-two finish after a tough weekend in Korea. So many people have worked so hard for this, Adrian Newey, Christian Horner, Peter Prodromou, Rob Marshall, the boys in the race shop, the race bays… the list is endless - they all know who they are and it's a credit to all of them. We've had everything thrown at us this year - right-height systems, flexi wings - and at the end of the day we've won, which is a very big achievement. Looking to the Drivers' Championship I took a few points off Fernando today, so it's still all to play for in Abu Dhabi. The team's philosophy is that we race and we will work to that. Seb deserved the win today - it was a close fight. Both of us need to finish ahead of Fernando in Abu Dhabi, so let's see what happens there."

Christian Horner, Team Principal: "This is an unbelievable result. In six years this team has come from a team that no-one took seriously - that everyone thought was a party team - to the 2010 Formula One Constructors' Champions. We have finished ahead of teams with far more experience and heritage than ourselves - we took them on and we won. Thanks to the tremendous dedication of every single team member, to the incredible support from Red Bull and to the vision and unfaltering commitment from Mr. Mateschitz. It's a very proud day for everyone in the team and for everyone within Red Bull to have won the 2010 Formula One Constructors' Championship - and to do it in such dominant style, with our fourth one-two finish of the season, is very special. We've assembled a great group whose collective commitment and effort has delivered this result. Six and half years ago Mr. Mateschitz had a vision and today we have fulfilled it, it is an unbelievable feeling."

Renault

Robert Kubica - 9th: "It was a tough race this afternoon. I spent every lap in traffic but I didn't have enough of a performance advantage over Hülkenberg to get past: I was losing a lot of time in the low-speed corners, and I couldn't use our top speed advantage because I was stuck on the rev limiter for a long time on the main straight, so couldn't attack him. The other critical part of the race came just after my pit stop, when Hülkenberg and I were running behind my team-mate for a number of laps and we couldn't make the most of our fresh tyres, which cost me a position to Schumacher."

Vitaly Petrov - 16th: "I made a bad start and was in the middle of a big pack of cars in the first corner. I tried to give everybody space, then at turn two I took a normal line but had to take avoiding action to not hit Alguersuari and cause an accident. That put me on the kerb and I dropped to the back of the field by the time I exited turn three. After that, there was nothing I could do but try and push, do my normal race and make up positions wherever possible."

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "We knew that we would have a tough battle with the cars around us today, but we didn't take full advantage of our opportunities. Robert spent his entire afternoon in traffic and we weren't able to get him out of it with strategy, while Vitaly's race was essentially over on lap one. It's disappointing after showing good performance at different points of the weekend, but we will now focus on the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, and on finishing our season on a stronger note."

Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi - 10th: "My result isn't great but perhaps one point is okay for today. For me the start was okay but at the beginning of my long stint with the hard tyres I suffered from a lack of grip and lost positions. Then, when the Prime tyres were getting older, I got a lot of understeer. When I was on the fresh tyres I could overtake both Toro Rosso but overtaking was not easy this time. You need good straight line speed to overtake in the first corner and I really didn't have enough of that."

Nick Heidfeld - 17th "Finishing 17th is certainly disappointing. The race started actually quite good, I managed to overtake a few cars on the outside in lap one. Then I was in that bunch of cars behind Adrian Sutil but actually I had not quite the straight line speed to overtake. I was just outside the points when the safety car came out and so the team decided to gamble a bit and get me in for fresh tyres. However, with the drive through penalty the race was over anyway. The penalty was absolutely justified. I just didn't know that Nico (Rosberg) was lapping me. I had blue flags already when there were a couple of cars between us and when he was behind me I could not tell if they were for him. I had a lack of information, perhaps because the team hadn't the information either. I apologized to Nico straight after the race."

Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "One point doesn't look like much, but Kamui fought very hard to finish tenth - this was a strong performance. Nick was unlucky, because he was stuck in traffic for much of the race. Then, after his second pit stop, he was penalized with a drive through penalty."

Cars scramble for position at the start of the race © Sutton Images
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Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari - 11th: "I think we can be quite satisfied with today's performance as I never expected to finish as high as eleventh in the dry conditions, as we lacked some top line speed. All the same, I had some good battles. With no retirements ahead of us, finishing three places higher than I started is the best we could have expected. Now I am looking forward to our last race of the season in Abu Dhabi and we only have a few days to wait, which is nice!"

Sebastien Buemi - 13th: "You can never be really happy with a thirteenth place finish, but all the same I think we did a reasonably good job today. I made a super start and got past three cars. Then on the second lap I also managed to get by Kobayashi. I think I ran at a good pace and I managed to fight off the guys coming up behind me. Towards the end on a one stop strategy, my tyres were very worn, so I was pleased I was still able to defend my position. Not a bad afternoon."

Franz Tost: "We started from fourteenth and nineteenth and finished eleventh and thirteenth and when the entire field bar one car finishes the race, it is hard to score points, so we can take some satisfaction from finishing in front of most our direct rivals today which is good. We were eleventh for most of the race and when the Safety Car appeared, we decided to leave both our cars out on track, giving the drivers the task of defending position against some runners on newer tyres. Jaime and Sebastien did a good job in the closing stages therefore, as indeed they did for the whole 71 laps. Congratulations to Red Bull Racing for winning the Constructors' title."

Virgin

Timo Glock - 20th: "Not a very exciting race today. I had quite a good start but unfortunately Petrov had made a mistake in turn two, went wide and I had to slow down, which enabled Kovalainen to overtake me on the outside. Then I was trying to follow Kovalainen but he was quicker and we did not have the pace to match them. We were not quick enough here and so it's disappointing to finish behind them in 20th position. We changed quite early from the Option tyre to the Prime, which meant that I had to run on the Prime tyre for 53 laps. However we head straight to Abu Dhabi now and hope for better things to enable us to end the season on a high."

Lucas di Grassi - Not classified: "I really enjoyed the fantastic atmosphere at Interlagos today. The Brazilian fans were incredible, the grandstands were full and it was an amazing experience. Unfortunately the race didn't go as planned. We had a mechanical problem since early in the race, which was getting worse and worse. We had to stop and investigate it because it was getting more and more difficult to drive the car. We realised though that the problem could be fixed and that is what we did, but by then my race was over and all I could do was get the car to the finish. I hope for a better race in Abu Dhabi where I will be pushing really hard to ensure we end the season well."

John Booth, Team Principal "A disappointing day today. Perhaps we had the car setup biased slightly too much towards the wet conditions of yesterday but nevertheless we simply didn't have the pace to match our immediate competitors today. Lucas had a problem with his rear suspension, which we were able to rectify but it cost him a lot of time which is disappointing in his home race. Timo gave it his best shot and extracted the maximum from the car but unfortunately it was just not our day today, so we hope for a better race in Abu Dhabi next weekend."

Williams

Nico Hulkenberg - 8th: I am happy with that result because I gave it everything today; there wasn't anything left in me to give! I was struggling quite a lot with the car, it really wasn't easy to drive, but I kept Kubica behind me all the way. The team did a great pitstop and chose the right strategy; we just needed some more car pace. Even though we started on pole, my expectations for the race were to finish between fifth and tenth, so P8 is fine and it means we are now sixth in the Constructors' Championship.

Rubens Barrichello - 16th: We had a faulty pitstop today which we need to investigate. I was happy with my pace though. Unfortunately, after one of my overtaking attempts on Alguersuari, he ran over me which destroyed my front tyre so I had to come in again. I just came in too many times to score points. I'm sorry for all the Brazilians who came here wanting a different result. All I can say is that I gave it my all until the very end.

Patrick Head, Director of Engineering: From our grid positions, the results obviously aren't great, but Nico drove well despite struggling with vibrations, and he was driving to the pace of the car. We were unfortunate with the timing of the safety car because it pulled us too far back in the order and prevented us from possibly challenging Mercedes. Rubens' drive was destroyed by a problem pitstop in which we had an issue with the nut on the right rear. He then had a bump with Alguersuari which caused a puncture and required another stop. That effectively put him out of contention for points. Many congratulations to Red Bull for winning the Constructors' Championship.

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