• German Grand Prix

Driver reaction after the German Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
July 25, 2010

Ferrari

Stefano Domenicali: "First and foremost, I want to congratulate the team on this fantastic result, which is down to all the work undertaken with so much effort, ability and passion by everyone, both at the track and in Maranello, day after day. Already, over the past few races, we have seen that the performance level of our car has improved and finally today, we reaped the rewards. As for the Stewards' decision, given after the race, in the interests of the sport, we have decided not to go through a procedure of appealing against it, confident that the World Council will know how to evaluate the overall facts correctly. The congratulations mentioned earlier should also extend to our drivers who drove a great race. Both Felipe and Fernando got very good starts, with the Spaniard squeezed in a very decisive fashion by Vettel and the Brazilian making the most of the space that created ahead of him. Then came a long three way fight to the chequered flag, with Felipe very quick on the softer tyres while he struggled a bit on the hards, which meant that Fernando was at first able to close right up on him and then take the lead when his team-mate decided it was best not to create a risky situation, given that right behind them, Vettel was fighting back. The situation in both championships is still complicated, but this result is further motivation for the coming races: we firmly believe in our chances of reaching the targets we had at the start of the season."

Fernando Alonso - 1st: "This is a very important win, which comes on the back of weeks of hard work from the team, who pushed to make up the ground that separates us from our main rivals. Race after race, the improvements applied to the F10 have proved to be effective, thus making the car more competitive. I am very happy, because winning with Ferrari is a very special feeling. At the start I was pushed right up against the wall by Vettel, whose only thought was to close me down, while Felipe made the most of it to go past both of us. Then, I tried to stay close all the time to my team-mate and when he had some difficulties, I got past: I am sure that Felipe was thinking above all of the good of the team and that it was pointless to take risks when we had Vettel catching us up. There is no point in doing the sums for the championship now. We have shown what our package can do in a normal race and we must simply continue to work, trying to always pick up the maximum number of points. As I have always said, the final tally will come in Abu Dhabi.

Felipe Massa - 2nd: "A driver always wants to win, so I cannot be completely happy with second place. I know that this year, the team has lost too many points in previous races and today it was important to do the maximum. We drivers have to first of all think of the interests of the team and that is what I showed again today. In my opinion this was not a case of team orders: my engineer kept me constantly informed on what was going on behind me, especially when I was struggling a bit on the hard tyres: so I decided to do the best thing for the team, and a one-two finish is the best possible result, isn't it? I got a great start, the best of the season. At the start, on the soft tyres I was going very quickly but then, with the hards, I was unable to run at an ideal pace. I think today I proved that when everything is in order, I am a winning driver. It would have been nice to stand on a higher step on the podium but all the same, I want to dedicate this result to Fernando Marins, a relation of mine, who passed away at the start of this week."

Force India

Adrian Sutil - 17th: What can we say, it's been a very disappointing weekend. The first lap I had some contact with Tonio and lost some positions. It was always our strategy that, if after the start I had not made up places, I would pit on the first lap to change to the prime tyres and make up positions when other cars stopped later on. It was a good plan as you have nothing to lose when you are that far down, but there was some confusion in the stop. Tonio had radioed to say he was coming in for a front wing change and as we both arrived at the same time the tyre sets got mixed up and then I had to come in and pit again to get the correct set. Once they were on I got going and I could get quite far up the field but then I had to stop when the set went off. This weekend we've just not been quick enough but we feel it's just a blip and not anything too serious - at some races you just don't run well, so it's best to write it off and look forward to the next races.

Tonio Liuzzi - 16th: It's been a pretty disappointing race weekend overall. I had one contact on the first lap and we believed we had damaged the front wing, so I came to the pits for a change but there was a mix-up in the stop with the tyres so I had to come back in again. It was a shame as I had had a good first lap until that point and afterwards we had a really strong race pace. It was always going to be tough, but the pace we showed was the same as the top ten runners. We have to look at these positives and look forward to the next race in Budapest.

Otmar Szafnauer, chief operating officer: Of course we are disappointed with the result today as we believed we could have finished much further up than we ultimately did. It was a case of cause-and-effect - one bad thing led to another. We had some issues in practice, which meant qualifying was not ideal, and in trying to be aggressive at the start we had a coming together, which in turn led to the confusion in the stops. We will draw a line under it and focus on the new developments we have coming and we can take away some positives - we ran at a strong pace on both cars when they were fighting for position and we ran reliably in the race yet again.

HRT

Dr Colin Kolles, team principal: "Today, we didn't reap the fruit of our labour. Bruno Senna had a good pace in the race until he had to do an unplanned second pit stop. A slow puncture made the second stop necessary and the chance for a better result was gone. Sakon Yamamoto stopped in lap 19 on the straight after the car suddenly stopped. The reason for this we have to investigate in order to understand what exactly happened. I have to thank the team for their work the whole weekend and for their very good pit stops today."

Sakon Yamamoto - DNF - Gearbox: "I appreciate that the team has given me another chance to race in Germany. But it was a disappointing race for the team because we couldn't achieve the target to finish with two cars. During the weekend, we could improve our performance but unfortunately, we had some issues on the car and the gearbox. All in all, the race weekend was better than in Silverstone and I could get more experience with the car. We tried some adjustments on the set-up which will help us already for the next races."

Bruno Senna - 19th: "We were having a good race today and we were very competitive this weekend. We could race the others but then we had a slow puncture, unfortunately. We had to do an unplanned pit stop that ended our challenge. I want to thank the team for their good pit stops and for doing a great job all over the weekend. Now, we have to focus on the next races and hope to be luckier again."

Lotus

Jarno Trulli - DNF - Gearbox: "I made a very good start and then suddenly I lost the gearbox and unfortunately that was it. We tried to reset it in the pit and I went out again but it didn't work, so I think it was a mechanical issue with the box that brought the race to an early end. It's very frustrating because I was having a very good weekend, probably the best of the whole season so far, and it's like the luck just isn't with me. We've got another chance next weekend so I hope the luck changes there."

Heikki Kovalainen - DNF - Collision: "A disappointing end but it was just one of those things that can happen when you're having to let cars past. It was my mistake but I didn't see the Sauber coming. I thought I was letting the Williams past, and didn't see the Sauber so I closed the door and that was the end of the race. It's a shame because I was running pretty well until then."

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: "Ultimately a very disappointing day. Jarno lost second gear and had to retire and Heikki had to retire after contact with de la Rosa. Both cars made good starts - we started Jarno on the harder tyre and Heikki on the options to split the strategies, but Jarno's race was over before he'd really started. Heikki drove a strong race and was comfortably leading the battle of the new teams before contact forced him to retire. Despite this it was still a strong showing from us, and now we move on to Hungary."

McLaren

Lewis Hamilton - 4th: "I did everything I could at the start, because I knew that that was the place where I could really make up some ground. Unfortunately, the guys in front were phenomenally quick, but I still managed to make up a couple of places. It was a very tough race today - the car didn't feel fantastic and the Ferraris and Red Bulls were very fast. We hoped the gap would be closer in the race than it was in qualifying, and it was - but, even so, we've got to make up some pace on our main rivals. We need to go back and figure out where we can improve, and pick it up again very quickly. Today, we did everything we could do - now we just have to work harder than ever to get ahead of the cars in front."

Jenson Button - 5th: "My start was pretty good, I got away fantastically well off the line - but we got to Turn One, and Sebastian [Vettel], who was fighting the Ferraris, braked pretty early, and I nearly went into the back of him. I had to take avoiding action and go wide at Turn One - the thing is, I hit the brakes, and soon as you do that in Turn One, you lose a lot of time. So I lost three places, but thankfully I got one of those back pretty quickly. In the first stint, I looked after the tyres pretty well. I was at the back of the group, and it was a strategy that we'd planned before the race. After my stop, my pace relative to Lewis was very similar, and I settled in never less than two seconds behind him. But I couldn't go any quicker because I was losing downforce to the car in front. Lewis and I showed today that we got the maximum out of the car - it's just that the car isn't quite quick enough at the moment."

Martin Whitmarsh, team principal: "Today we saw yet another impressively competent day's work from both our drivers - and the result was 22 very valuable world championship points. In truth, in the circumstances, that's probably about as many as we could have hoped to score today. We arrived in Germany in first place in the Constructors' Championship and in first and second places in the drivers' championship - and we leave Germany in exactly the same positions. So that's extremely positive. From here on in, we'll work as hard as we can to maintain and improve our positions at the head of both world championships. We'll continue to develop our car in the weeks and months ahead, with a view to adding as many world championship points to the milestone total of 300 we've amassed this season as of today."

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg - 8th: "We made the best of our situation today but it is frustrating after being on the podium at the last race. Achieving eighth place is damage limitation really and we were able to minimise the loss to Robert in terms of points but it has generally been a struggle this weekend. My strategy was good and the guys made a fantastic effort with my pit stop being the quickest of the race. There are surely better times ahead in Hungary."

Michael Schumacher - 9th: "I had a pretty good start today but from then onwards, there was not much more that we could do. We were targeting to stay out long but we changed the strategy to react to the circumstances and maybe I could have finished slightly higher. But in the end, that would not have changed much in a race where we had hoped to be more competitive. What we achieved after my stop was the maximum that was possible. Of course I would have wished for more, especially as our race performance tends to be better than qualifying, but it did not work out. We will certainly not get nervous but we have to sit down, analyse the reasons and put the right solutions in place."

Ross Brawn, team principal: "We did a reasonable job today with the car that we currently have. It was a little bit frustrating, particularly for Nico, as he was in a very strong position to get past Robert Kubica with his strategy. Unfortunately he lost some time getting tangled up with Mark Webber and ended up coming out just behind Robert. The car was more consistent in the race than in qualifying but we have to find some more performance. The team and drivers did a great job, we have good reliability and the two fastest pit stops today, so all the foundations are in place for when we develop a better car."

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel - 3rd: "Normally we have very good starts, so I'm not really sure what happened today. I had quite a lot of grip, I dumped the clutch, but got bogged down, so the first five to ten metres of the acceleration were poor. I was lucky I didn't stall the engine, but I lost the momentum so I knew that it would be very tight with Fernando who I was already side by side with. There was no way I could stay ahead of him and then I was surprised to see Felipe coming from the left. But, after that we still had a good race. The closer I got to the car in front, I began to feel tyres losing grip and starting to grain, but I think for most of the race the Ferraris were probably a tenth or two quicker than us. It was difficult to keep up the pace. Towards the end we were able to push again a little bit. We finished third and I think we can be proud of that. We achieved our maximum today and I was very pleased to be on the podium. It's very special for me at my home Grand Prix, it's great to see the people here and to be on the podium - to see everyone cheering is very nice and emotional."

Mark Webber - 6th: "I enjoyed the first part of the race and had a good scrap with Lewis. He didn't look too comfortable on the option tyre and I was getting held up a bit. When I came in for a pit stop, I thought Lewis might come in at the same time, but he stayed out a lap longer. In the end, the guys did a very good job, but we came back out in traffic. It was a little bit of a gamble to try and jump Lewis and we lost a bit of track to him. Jenson tried a different strategy and went longer and unfortunately was able to jump me. After that we had an oil consumption problem, so we had to concentrate on getting the car to the end. I wasn't in the main fight today, but I'll be back. It's competitive at the front and that's how it should be, so we're looking forward to the next race."

Christian Horner, team principal: "Today's race was dictated by the start. Unfortunately Sebastian didn't get away cleanly and ended up on the right-hand side of the track. Massa got a good run on the left and we emerged from Turn one in P3 - that's what shaped the race as far as Sebastian was concerned. With Mark, we took a calculated risk with the pit-stop. After that, he got caught up behind Rosberg, which cost him a bit of time and allowed Jenson to jump him. From there he did an excellent job in nursing an oil system issue that he managed well to the end of the race to score some important points. It was surprising what happened with the Ferraris, it looked to be a team order with the cars switching position. If so, it's a shame for Formula One and the fans that they were deprived of a race between the two Ferrari drivers today."

Renault

Robert Kubica - 7th: I think we had a good weekend considering the car's potential at this circuit. There were some exciting moments during the race: I made a good start and was fighting to pass Hamilton into turn two when he braked early, and I ended up losing positions to Button and Webber. Then, after my stop, I had a good battle with Michael to keep my position - but I also had to make sure I didn't lose too much time fighting with him, because I had to maintain a good pace to stay in front of Rosberg who hadn't yet stopped. Overall, though, the gap to the front-runners was too big for us to fight for more than seventh place, so I think we must be pleased that we achieved our maximum.

Vitaly Petrov - 10th: This was an interesting race for me and I am very happy to have scored my first point in dry conditions - especially because I thought that I had finished 11th, so it was an even better surprise when I found out I was tenth! I managed to gain a position at the start, the pace was good today and I made a big effort to push at the right time before the pit stop, which helped me climb two more places. I am pleased with my race but I know that I could have done better in qualifying, so I still need to work hard and put all of the pieces together across the weekend.

Eric Boullier, team principal: There were some very positive points from today's race. The team did a strong job on the strategy and with the pit stops; Robert achieved the full potential of the car and showed we were the fourth quickest team this weekend; and Vitaly produced an excellent drive. He showed good pace, pushed when he needed to in order to gain positions and scored the final point. On the other hand, in terms of pure performance, we cannot be satisfied to be lapped by Ferrari. It shows that we still have a lot of work to do, but we know that we have some good upgrades on the way.

Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi: 11th "I am not really happy with today's race. I felt a lack of grip on both sets of tyres, and tyre degradation started quite early on. In qualifying the balance of the car was definitely better than today. However, I had a good start and made up two positions then. The crew did a good pit stop. I tried to overtake Michael Schumacher, who was held up by a back marker, but then we ended up fighting on the straight and this is not really a strength of our car yet. Later I tried to fight Vitaly Petrov, but could not get by him either."

Pedro de la Rosa: 14th "The first laps of the race were very difficult for me on the hard tyres. It was like driving on ice. My race actually started only after 20 or 25 laps when the tyre temperatures and grip were there. Then the car improved on every lap as it was getting lighter. But the end of the race was very disappointing for me. After my late pit stop I was on fresh tyres and wanted to fight for positions. After I passed Nico Hülkenberg the next cars in front were Rubens Barrichello and then Kamui. But I have to say the behavior of the back markers was a serious problem over the whole race, and in the end I crashed into one who had opened the door for Rubens but closed it immediately again."

Peter Sauber, team principal: "It was a good race and a good performance, but not the result we hoped for. Our goal now is to improve our qualifying performance in order to get the appropriate reward."

James Key, technical director: "Ultimately it's a bit disappointing not to finish in the points. We decided to take a split strategy, with a gamble on Pedro's side and a standard strategy on Kamui's. Kamui drove well in a pack of cars and was probably held up early in the race. We brought him in to protect him against the cars directly around him, but it seems the option tyres lasted quite well for more laps and this enabled Vitaly Petrov to pass him immediately after his stop. He was then not able to re-pass him again, so we missed out on the points. With Pedro we decided to go as long as we felt we could, and then put the option tyres on at the end to see what was possible. Initially it worked well as he overtook Nico Hülkenberg, but then made contact with Heikki Kovalainen and damaged his front wing. It's a shame it didn't work out for us today, but it's only one week before the next race where we want to do better."

Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari - 15th: "Regarding the incident with Sebastien, I was on the inside going into Turn 6 and I braked well leaving enough space, but there seemed to be some problems in front of me, as the cars ahead all slowed much more than is normal. I braked again, but it was not enough and I drove into him. Naturally, I am sorry for that. I had to pit for a new nose and we switched to the soft tyres at that point, having started on the hards. In terms of performance, the car was quite fast and I was able to do some good lap times. I am looking forward to doing better in Hungary, a circuit where at least I have already driven a Formula 1 car last year."

Sebastien Buemi - DNF - Collision: "I made a really good start and was able to pass three or four cars and then when we came to the hairpin, I was braking in the middle of the corner and my team-mate came from a long way back and ended up driving onto the top of my car. The damage was too bad for me to continue, which is a real shame after I had got such a quick start."

Virgin

Timo Glock - 18th: "It was a difficult start to the race as Lucas overtook me in a brilliant move, following the problems we experienced on Saturday which left us starting from the last row of the grid as a consequence of our gearbox change penalty. However, I had a really good start and overtook both HRT cars in turn one, which was good, but in turn 2 I lost everything again. It felt as if someone pushed me in the back and I ran wide and suddenly I was last again. I had to start the fight against the HRT again and overtook Yamamoto but I was stuck behind Senna because he had a good top speed. After the pitstop I had pretty good speed but then the blue flags came out again which penalised me too much. With the option tyre I had clear air and good pace. Overall I was happy with the race. I just hope we can find a way to get a smoother build-up over the weekend because it will make life a lot easier."

Lucas di Grassi - DNF - Suspension: "I had a very positive start to the race today as I gained four places on the first lap and was running up behind Heikki for many laps. The car was behaving well, so I was confident we could beat Lotus on the track today and really push after the switch to the option tyre. I hit a bump on the kerb which damaged the suspension and so I lost the car. The damage meant that it was impossible to continue so what could have been a really great race ended early for me. However, we have shown the strength of the car here so I'm really looking forward to the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend."

Nick Wirth, technical director: "A very encouraging day for the team. We chose a conservative strategy of starting both cars on prime tyres and at the beginning the extra performance of the Option tyres allowed Heikki to open up a small gap which became bigger when the blue-flag-hell started. At the same time, Timo got stuck behind Bruno for a long time before he was able to get Lucas back in his sights. After Heikki finally pitted for his prime tyres, and came out behind us, it was encouraging to see us able to maintain or increase our gap despite his advantage of fresh tyres. Lucas was having another very strong race, when it looks like a very harsh exit kerb caused a rear suspension issue which sadly forced us to retire him. On the other hand, Timo's race ended with a nice gap in the blue flags which allowed him to put in a sequence of quick laps and finish the best of the new teams. Yesterday, we were frustrated by not being able to show our performance improvements, but we have certainly done that today. In fact Timo's race fastest lap was only 2.3 seconds down on the leader and 1.4 down on the fastest Williams, which is impressive in our first year. We'll try and eliminate the issues that tripped us up this weekend and we go to Hungary determined to have a better race again, on a track that should suit our cars current aero characteristics."

Williams

Rubens Barrichello - 12th: "I had a very difficult start to the race, my pull away was not very good. I was running in position for the hairpin when Kobayashi's move on the inside left no braking margin, which backed everybody up. During both stints on the option and prime tyre, our pace was much the same as the cars in front, but having lost track position, there wasn't enough pace differential to make up position."

Nico Hulkenberg - 13th: "Really the race today was defined by the start, which for me was not good and the places lost could not be recovered. I ran a long first stint on the option tyre, which was the right thing to do given our position, but it was very hard to make any progress taking the option tyre to lap 34. The car pace wasn't really there today and with a pretty uneventful race, there wasn't even the possibility of an unexpected opportunity to reclaim some advantage."

Sam Michael, technical director: "It was not a satisfying outcome to miss out on points today. We struggled with poor starts on both cars which dropped us a couple of positions immediately. With similar pace to all the cars around us, we then tried two quite different strategies to recover, but nothing went wrong with the other team strategies, so we couldn't make a difference. We'll now look to improvements for next week's race in Budapest. "

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