• Monaco Grand Prix

Driver reaction after Monaco Grand Prix

ESPNF1 Staff
May 16, 2010

Ferrari

Felipe Massa - 4th "On this track, if you don't make up places at the start, it is difficult to pass other cars, especially if they have a similar race pace. You need to be patient and then exploit any eventuality such as others making mistakes. I ran almost all the race behind Vettel and Kubica and finished in the same position from which I had started: I don't think I could have done more. This weekend, the car was very good and the tyres worked well: now we must ensure that is the case at all tracks and with all types of tyre. Today's points are very important in the classification, but now we must ensure we are as well prepared as possible for the Turkish Grand Prix, one of my favourite races."

Fernando Alonso - 6th "This result is a morale booster. To start from pit lane and finish sixth is way more than we could have expected. It was a difficult Sunday for me and much of the credit for this result goes to the team, which chose an aggressive strategy and worked hard to build the car for the race, starting from almost zero: to finish a race like this without having problems is the result of a super job. I lived through the initial passing moves with a bit of frustration: when you are behind a slower car and there is no room to pass, it's difficult. Coming out of the tunnel was the best place to do it and some drivers were good about it, others less so. I passed five or six cars on the track and another dozen thanks to a nice strategy. On Thursday I only did twelve laps on these tyres and today I did 77 and the car still worked well throughout. It's hard to say what might have been, if I had taken part in qualifying: I was definitely on form and pole was within our reach. We must stay calm and work well: the results will come and it was clear to see today how talented our team is. At the end of the nineteen races in the championship we will see who is strongest. If it's not us, it will mean someone else did a better job, not because we haven't tried our best."

Stefano Domenicali "First and foremost, I want to congratulate the team and the drivers who did a perfect job today. Felipe drove impeccably, pushing hard when he could and running at the same pace as the leaders. Fernando produced an amazing climb through the field: starting from pit lane and finishing sixth is a great result, which came courtesy of a drive that was as aggressive at the start as it was well judged at the end. The chosen strategy, to immediately stop and change tyres proved to be absolutely the right one. After a Saturday that was not up to our expectations or potential, today we showed what we could do. Even if one team has the edge in terms of performance, both championships are still very open. We must continue to develop the car and work hard to reach our objectives."

Force India

Adrian Sutil - 8th It was a very good race for us here today. I was P12 on the grid but we had a really great start and I made up two positions on the first lap. We then had a good first stop where I gained a position to be P9 and then I could just do my own race. I had quite a lonely race with a big gap most of the time to the car in front and then the car behind so I was just pacing myself for a lot of the race. I had a very good balance at the end when the grip picked up so I am pretty happy with everything today: ninth position and a few points, we can be quite satisfied with this after the qualifying yesterday.

Tonio Liuzzi - 9th "It was quite a difficult race with a lot of incidents and safety car periods to deal with, but I like these type of conditions. We were P9 after the start but I think we stopped a couple of laps too early for our tyre change, which just allowed Adrian to pass us when he came in. But as a team we can be very satisfied as we got both cars in the top ten and in the points, which is good for the overall morale of the team. We have really deserved this type of result but for various reasons this is the first time it's happened. It's really just the start - we have to try and carry this forward for the rest of the season. We are doing a good job back at the factory and from this point on the circuits should come towards us so we can be positive about the future."

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal "I am delighted with today's results. At the start of the season we said we wanted to be regular points' finishers and to date that's exactly what we have done, but to do so with two cars is a real step up. Adrian and Tonio drove brilliant races, keeping focussed despite the numerous safety car periods and yellow flags, and really deserved to get in the points. It's very pleasing to see us keeping pace yet again with the larger teams on merit and we can now take this result away with us, build on it and come back even stronger in Turkey."

HRT

Karun Chandhok - DNF "I am extremely frustrated by the outcome of the race. Jarno hit me out of nowhere but he has apologised for the incident. We were looking good to finish in thirteenth position but we are still the best of the new teams. It has been my strongest race of the season. We had a good start and managed to jump both Di Grassi and Trulli during the pitstop. After that I was catching Senna until he retired, and was cruising to the end. This is a big disappointment for the whole team - as this would have classified us in tenth position. It is hard to take for the team and me, however we can be happy with our performance today".

Bruno Senna - DNF "The team made a good call for me to make a tyre stop on lap 2 under the safety car. It worked well and I had a great run through the race, pushing when I needed to and managing the tyres so that they would survive more or less an entire race distance. We could have finished 13th but instead, a hydraulic problem put me out a few laps before the end. None the less, I was really happy with my performance today and that of my team. We managed to punch above our weight today and we will try to continue that until we are able to upgrade our car".

Colin Kolles, team principal "As anticipated, it was a difficult race for us, but we all put in a great effort and came close to seeing both cars make the finish. Unfortunately, Bruno Senna retired with a hydraulic failure on lap 58 while Karun Chandhok walked away from an accident at the Rascasse corner. It was a real pity as it would have been possible to finish 13th by that point and was just four laps from the chequered flag. We are the best classified of the new teams. I am disappointed for the team that we narrowly didn't finish our race and because the accident happened under blue flag. We look ahead to the next race and are determined to bounce back in different conditions. Both drivers did a very good job".

Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen - DNF "It was a fantastic race right from the beginning. I had a bit of a struggle at the restarts to get the tyres up to temperature, but once I got everything working I was able to almost keep up with the Renault. I was pushing very hard, and the car felt fantastic - the balance was really good. Just before I retired I could feel the steering alignment was a bit uneven - on the right hand corners I had to use maximum lock, even in the tunnel, and it got the point where it didn't feel safe anymore. In Monaco you can't take a risk with it so I came in. It was a mechanical issue, but despite that I'm really pleased with today. We again showed we're firmly the best of the new teams and we are nearly there with the next group, so I think we just need to keep attacking, and that's how we'll achieve results."

Jarno Trulli -15th "This wasn't a great weekend for me. After we had a problem with the wheelgun in the pitstop I was stuck behind the HRTs and trying to find room to overtake - in the last lap Karun seemed slow through the second and third sector, and I'd seen he was leaving room at Rascasse, so I tried to get through but we touched and that was that - the end of the race. It was one of those things - a racing incident, but I still feel like we're going in the right direction as a team, and I want to put the bad luck behind me when we get back on track in Turkey."

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer "This was our strongest performance yet compared to the midfield, so obviously mixed emotions for where we finished. Heikki had a very strong race and in the middle his performance was particularly good compared to the midfield group. It's a shame we had a problem on his car - the steering joint failed, something we've not seen before - but overall it was a very positive weekend for him. For Jarno, he had a much more difficult weekend, clearly struggling with the balance of the car and I think as a team we have to take a look at everything to be able to do a better job for him. Obviously he was compromised by the slow pitstop, which dropped him down the field and affected his whole race. He was capable of going much faster and when he made the move he unfortunately fell victim to the nature of the Monaco circuit. So I leave feeling pleased we showed such good pace, and we move on to Turkey."

McLaren

Lewis Hamilton - 5th "I got quite a good start, and was challenging the guys on the second row into Turn One, but it just wasn't possible to make a move stick. It's virtually impossible to overtake around here, especially when the guys in front of me were as fast as I was. After the result in Barcelona, I didn't want any further mishaps, so I just looked after the car and went for the points. It was quite a straightforward race for me, and fifth was the maximum possible, but I'm not complaining; we need those points. I know we're working hard to bring improvements to the car for Turkey, and I'm sure we'll be able to make up the gap to the front at some stage soon."

Jenson Button - DNF "That was extremely disappointing. I knew after the formation lap that there was a cooling cover left on the left-hand sidepod, where the radiator is. We thought everything was going to be okay, and it would probably have been fine if we hadn't had a Safety Car. My car quickly began to overheat and I started losing engine power, so I turned the engine off pretty sharply because the last thing I wanted was to leave engine oil on the racing line. Today was just one of those days. It was human error, a mistake, and that's all there is to it. I'm still only eight points behind the lead of the drivers' championship and we head to Turkey feeling confident that we'll be more competitive there."

Martin Whitmarsh, team principal "Lewis scored a useful 10 points as a consequence of his solid run to fifth place - which, since overtaking is notoriously difficult here at Monaco and since there was no attrition in front of him, was as good a result as he could realistically have hoped for from his fifth position on the grid. He drove faultlessly, in fact, looking after his brakes and tyres throughout. Jenson's afternoon was very disappointing one for him, through no fault of his own. Human error caused a cooling cover to be left off the left-hand radiator on the lap to the grid - and, despite our best efforts to recover the situation, the components underneath the car got too hot, and Jenson was forced to switch the engine off when a small fire developed."

Stewards clear the crashed cars of Jarno Trulli's Lotus and Karun Chandhok's HRT © Getty Images
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Mercedes

Nico Rosberg - 7th "My expectations for this weekend were very high and therefore I am disappointed that we could only achieve seventh place. We had the speed for a front row position in qualifying and that should have given us the opportunity for a podium finish. In the race, I was able to manage my tyres well and put in quick laps once the cars ahead of me pitted and the track was clear. That was important for me to show that we were competitive here. I would like to say a big thank you to my team for their hard work this weekend and for preparing the best car of the season so far. It was crucial to get points and we will keep positive and look ahead to the next races."

Michael Schumacher - 12th "My race today would have been pretty normal without the decision of the stewards afterwards. The start was interesting and it actually went according to plan. I managed to have a good pull-away but then I was a bit stuck and was caught by Rubens. So I had to wait for the opportunity to overtake and the team played it brilliantly. The crew was fantastic and thus the pit stop got me in front of him. The result in the very end, which put me back to twelfth place for now, was obviously disappointing for me and I can fully understand that we are appealing the decision. Our understanding was that the 'safety car in, track clear' message meant we were back to racing conditions, so I went for it and overtook Fernando."

Ross Brawn, team principal "For parts of the race today, we were able to demonstrate the potential of the car here which was very frustrating considering what happened in qualifying. Losing a place to Rubens at the start with both drivers made it very difficult for us and we couldn't run at our full pace which is the usual problem around Monaco where overtaking is so difficult. Thereafter Michael and Nico drove very well this afternoon. Nico was particularly impressive with a clear track and was the fastest car out there at that time. However the windows didn't quite open for us today. It shows the subtlety of Monaco, you can have a fast car but if it's not in the right place, then you can't do anything with it. I would like to compliment our team on the fastest pit stop of the race which was crucial to get Michael out ahead of Rubens.

"With regard to the penalty given to Michael, we believed that the track had gone green and the race was not finishing under a safety car when article 40.13 clearly would have applied. The reason for the safety car had been removed, the FIA had announced 'Safety Car in this lap' early on lap 78 and the track had been declared clear by race control. This was further endorsed when the marshals showed green flags and lights after safety car line one. On previous occasions when it has been necessary to complete a race under a safety car, full course yellows are maintained, as in Melbourne 2009. On the last lap, we therefore advised our drivers that they should race to the line and Michael made his move on Fernando for sixth place. We have appealed the decision of the stewards."

Red Bull

Mark Webber - 1st "It's a special day, the greatest day of my life I suppose. As a Formula One driver you really hope that you win races and if you have a choice then the blue riband event is very, very special for any driver. To join Ayrton Senna and the likes round here is a very special thing. The last few laps are intense. Jenson actually said to me on the parade lap that when you're leading with a few laps to go, it looks like the track's narrowing and the barriers are coming closer and closer. Fifteen laps from the end, that's just what it was like. A one-two finish for the team here is such a feather in their cap, it's incredible. The safety cars weren't a great situation to have - you do all the hard work, get away and risk some pretty quick lap times to increase the gap and then you have a safety car which neutralises it and all the fast guys are back on your wheel again. It's very difficult when it's like that, but that's part of the driver's role - to stay composed and get the job done. To get 50 points from the last two races is awesome, but there is a long, long way still to go. We've got so many different conditions and tracks coming up - there are many exciting times to come; I'm looking forward to it."

Sebastian Vettel - 2nd "I'm happy. I think we achieved our optimum from third on the grid - normally it's hard to pass anyone, so second is good. I had good acceleration at the start and was able to dive down the inside and get into the first corner ahead of Robert. That was crucial to finishing second. I couldn't keep up with Mark today and we need to see why that was. It was difficult, especially at the beginning and after all the restarts. Later on I finally felt I had more grip and wasn't too far off Mark's pace, but by then he was already down the road. There was no point trying to catch him, as overtaking is so difficult here. I also had to look more in my mirrors today. Robert was pushing quite hard and it was quite difficult to get away from him at the restarts. I was going sideways rather than straight at times. But, I'm happy. I think we couldn't have done better today - and we take away good points, which counts for a lot."

Christian Horner, team principal "A tremendous result for the team today - I think Mark Webber's had the week of his life. To win two GPs in a row including the Monaco GP, which is probably the most prestigious on the calendar, is a very proud day for the whole of Red Bull Racing. And we didn't only win Monaco, but finished first and second so it's a great day for the team. It puts us first and second in the Drivers' Championship and first in the Constructors' Championship. It's a great result and testimony to all the work that goes on behind the scenes, which goes to make results like today's possible. Congratulations also to Renault on their one-two-three finish."

Renault

Robert Kubica - 3rd "Finishing third in Monaco is a super result for us after an excellent weekend. Nobody was expecting us to finish on the podium here, but we were up at the front all weekend and the whole team really deserves this result. It's also a great performance by Renault engines to fill the top three steps of the podium. At the start of the race I lost a place to Sebastian, but I knew it was always going to be difficult starting from the dirty side of the track. Normally I would have defended the position, but Mark got quite a slow pull-away from the line and I thought I might have a chance to overtake him. Unfortunately I got some wheelspin and it was too late to close the door to Sebastian, and I also had to defend from Felipe. In the race we had excellent pace and I think I was a bit quicker than Sebastian on the prime tyres, especially after the restarts, which shows the progress we continue to make as a team and is very encouraging for the next few races."

Vitaly Petrov - DNF "It's a bit disappointing not to make the finish of the race but I felt something wrong at the rear so the team decided to stop me with a few laps to go. Unfortunately my race was also affected by a puncture, which cost me a lot of time and put me a lap down. The start of the race was not too bad and I made up a few positions, but we didn't make up as many positions during the pit stops as we hoping to and we need to understand why this was the case. Still, I completed most of the race and this is more good experience for me. Hopefully I can come back to Monaco next year and score some points."

Eric Boullier, team principal "To get a podium here in Monaco is a great result for Robert and the team. Starting on the front row we certainly had high expectations and we are all very happy with this third place. Robert drove a fantastic race and the performance of the car was very strong, which allowed us to keep the pressure on Red Bull and stay ahead of the other teams. I'd like to say a big well done to the whole team who can be very proud of their hard work recently, which has contributed to this result. And of course, it's great to see three Renault engines on the podium. As for Vitaly, his race was made difficult after his accident in qualifying yesterday, but things became even tougher when he got a puncture, which ended his hopes of points. Looking ahead to Turkey, we will keep pushing hard with our development, which is really starting to pay off. The car has shown its' strengths on slow, bumpy tracks and we need to work hard to be as quick on the upcoming circuits. Overall I'm very happy with how things are progressing."

Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi - DNF "It is a shame because our race pace was a lot better than our performance in qualifying. I think we again missed a chance to score points. My start was good. The first corner is never easy in Monaco, but it went alright. But then I wasn't able to shift up anymore. I just looked for a safe place to park the car and that was it."

Pedro de la Rosa - DNF "Obviously another race I wanted to finish. The car was okay at the beginning. At the start I stayed away from trouble, which was the main target, and then I was taking care of the tyres. We had a split strategy, which I think was good. I was on the softer compound, Kamui on the harder one. I was cruising behind Vitaly Petrov and waiting for my chance to push. But I was alarmed when I had a problem with the quick shift, and when the power steering became heavier and heavier it was clear I had a problem with the hydraulic system."

James Key, technical director "A disappointing end to a tough weekend, and one we wouldn't want to repeat. It was frustrating in many ways because our drivers were being held up in the race, and there was more to come from the car. We felt that a strategic call could help us to overtake some cars ahead. We split the strategies of our cars to take advantage of safety car situations. So we had left our options open for the race, but then we saw on the data that we had a significant increase of hydraulic temperatures on Pedro's car. Pedro reported that the steering had become particularly heavy. We pitted him and wanted to see what the problem was, but there was clearly a hydraulic pressure problem. We couldn't diagnose it quickly enough to get him back out again into the race. Just a few laps later there was a gearbox issue on Kamui's car. He lost a gear and then couldn't select the next one, which caused him to stop on the track. That problem is currently under investigation. We shall learn what we can from this weekend, but look forward to tracks where we think the car will work better and hope for a much more promising showing in Istanbul."

Webber leads team-mate Vettel through the hairpin on the first lap © Getty Images
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Toro Rosso

Sebastien Buemi - 10th "It was a good race for me in the sense that I was able to finish without any accidents or technical problems and I finished ahead of my team-mate. Maybe we could have done a little bit better with a slightly different strategy, as I was doing some good lap times, but after I pitted, I found myself behind Liuzzi and then I was eleventh throughout. It was not a particularly exciting race for me: at the start, as Hulkenberg didn't get off the line, it meant I had a better run when the lights went out and my only worry was when I ran over some debris from Barrichello's accident. I expect we should be competitive in Turkey in two weeks time."

Jaime Alguersuari - 11th "On Saturday, my qualifying did not go well, as I ended up seventeenth, so the main objective today was to finish the race, and gain experience for next year in Monaco.You cannot expect more on this track as it is very hard to overtake, especially as the man ahead of me was my team-mate, so you cannot take such a risk. I only had one little moment, when I spun at turn 1, but it didn't lose me a position. On the plus side both our cars finished the race, which in itself is an achievement here. Now, I just want to try and do better in Turkey, which will be another new track for me."

Franz Tost, team principal "First of all, congratulations to Red Bull Racing for a fantastic job: to finish first and second in Monaco is really exciting and something special. As for ourselves, our race here was compromised by our qualifying performance, as everyone knows overtaking is quite difficult here. Therefore, I did not expect much more than this result. We can take some satisfaction for getting both cars to the finish at this difficult circuit. It was also very important for Sebastien as because of some bad luck at the previous races, today's result was his first finish of the season. Jaime will also benefit from his 78 laps this afternoon, which will be good experience for him when he returns next year. Now, we hope to put ourselves into points scoring positions on a more regular basis, starting in Turkey at the next round."

Virgin

Timo Glock - DNF "It has been a very disappointing end to the weekend. I had a problem at the start and then lost position to Lucas, but I had a really good first lap and overtook Lucas and Jarno Trulli at Loews. This got me into a good position behind Heikki Kovalainen and I could go a similar speed to him, but I had a bit too much tyre degradation on the rear and some problems with the brakes as well. Unfortunately in Casino corner, the rear suspension failed, which ended my race, so we now have to investigate and understand why that happened."

Lucas di Grassi - DNF "The first part of my race today was good. I overtook Timo and had a good fight with Fernando for a couple of laps, but then as soon as we made the pitstop we had a wheel problem that forced us to abandon the race. It has been a frustrating end to the weekend, so we need to improve for Turkey and make sure we are in a position to fight to be the best of the new teams."

John Booth, team principal "A disappointing end to our first Monaco Grand Prix, but we take a lot of positives away from the early party of the weekend, where we saw good steps operationally and with the new car. The team have done a terrific job during two challenging back to back races, so it is frustrating that we were unable to achieve a better reward for them today. We will go to Turkey with the second revised VR-01 where it will help us enormously to be running the same specification of car on both sides of the garage. We look forward to a better race there in two weeks' time."

Nick Wirth, technical director "Timo experienced a right rear track rod failure for reasons that we will need to investigate next week. Lucas' right rear wheel came loose immediately after the pitstop, losing drive and causing him to stop. We actually experienced problems with the left rear wheel in the pitstop and early analysis after the race shows that there are problems with all the wheels fitted during the stop. We're all very disappointed with our first Monaco Grand Prix but I'm sure we can address these issues quickly and look forward to the debut of the second revised VR-01 in Turkey."

Williams

Rubens Barrichello - DNF What happened today was a real surprise. I had such a good start but the car started to feel really strange after the pitstop. The steering wheel, in particular, didn't feel normal. The problem continued to get worse and then I crashed. We now have to investigate the car to find out what the problem was.

Nico Hulkenberg - DNF I didn't have a good start, obviously. There was a problem with the clutch before the start of the formation lap which meant I had to start from the back. I'm then not entirely sure what happened in the tunnel. The car felt odd one minute and the next I was in the wall. I am really disappointed not to have completed the race and get the mileage under my belt, but that's life.

Sam Michael, technical director That was not a good day for the team after a promising start for Rubens. Nico had a problem with the clutch paddle on the steering wheel during the formation lap. He then had a failure with the front wing mounting on the first lap of the race. Rubens had a fantastic start and was running in sixth when he started to experience poor handling after his stop. 11 laps after his pitstop, he had a failure at the rear end of his car. We need to get all the parts back to the factory in order to identify correctly what components on both cars caused the failures. We have quite a bit of car damage to repair, but we're making progress with performance and look to further that in Istanbul.

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