GERMAN GP - SUNDAY - TEAM QUOTES

Fernando Alonso, German GP 2006

Fernando Alonso, German GP 2006 

 Â© The Cahier Archive

Renault

Fernando Alonso (5th): "We were not competitive this weekend, but I did the maximum I could and so did the team. I think that without the blistering we experienced, the podium was a possibility for me today - even from seventh position. I got a good start and passed both Hondas, but the tyres then blistered in the opening stint and I lost too much time to be able to fight for third place. Things were much better in the second and third parts of the race, and I was still pushing hard in the final laps when I went off because there was a chance of catching Button. When you look at the level of performance over the weekend, and consider the blistering, then the result is not too bad. But we did not have enough to fight Ferrari here, and that was the problem for us. Now, we need to think positive and look to Hungary. The tyres we use there are totally different to what you need for Hockenheim, and I have confidence in Michelin to give us the right products. We need to improve our performance for next week, and fight back strongly."

Giancarlo Fisichella (6th): "Both of the Renaults had the same problem today with tyre blistering, and for me it came in the second stint. After just a few laps, the car had become nearly undriveable. We need to investigate everything to find out why, but we also saw some other Michelin cars that were quicker than us today, and we were missing something in terms of performance all the way through the weekend. On the positive side, we stayed reliable, got both cars to the finish and managed to score points on a very tough weekend for us. Now we need to look ahead to Budapest. Everything starts again for us on Friday, and we will be going there hoping to fight for the podium."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It goes without saying that this was an extremely difficult race for us. We have not had the pace we would have wanted all weekend, and the tyre management in the race was even more difficult than anticipated with both drivers experiencing severe blistering at different points. With the next race only one week away, we need to use the coming days to make careful analysis of what has happened this weekend, and do everything in our power to rectify the situation for Hungary."

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "The important thing after a difficult weekend like this one is to stay calm: we are still leading both championships but we are in a tough fight, as we expected at the start of the season. This was a difficult weekend for the whole team from beginning to end, and Fernando and Giancarlo did a great job to bring the cars home in the points. Now, we need to regroup at Enstone and Viry, analyse with Michelin what happened this weekend, and push hard to get back on top in Budapest."

McLaren-Mercedes

Kimi Raikkonen (3rd): "To be on the podium is really the best result that we could have achieved today as we have had several problems. During the race I was delayed in my first pit-stop due to a crossed wheel nut; I suffered from blistering on my second set of tyres, and there was a small issue with the hydraulics, which meant that Jenson Button was able to get ahead after my first stop. However none of these really mattered as we were able to make up all the time in the last part of the race where we were very strong. The result today shows that the car has definitely improved, and hopefully next race we can do even better."

Pedro de la Rosa (DNF, Fuel Pump): "It is a real shame that my race ended so quickly, especially after I had such a good start and had moved up two places. The car felt really quick and was easy to drive. I was catching the Renault's when all of a sudden I lost power and had to pull up, as a result of a failed fuel pump. Although I am disappointed these things happen, and I am now just looking forward to the race next weekend in Hungary where hopefully we can better demonstrate the improved competitiveness of the car."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "An outstanding race by Kimi, and I am exceedingly pleased for the team because of the necessity to vary our strategy and the role this played in getting onto the podium. Our apologies to Pedro whose retirement was the result of a mechanical fuel pump failure, the cause of which will be analysed over the next few days. It is hard to be satisfied with this result, but it was the best we could do in the circumstances, and we now look forward to the next race where we hope our improved performance should continue."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A good race result at the Mercedes-Benz home Grand Prix as the best Michelin car and a super job by Kimi. Taking into consideration that we had problems with a crossed wheel nut on the right rear tyre on his car during the first pit stop and a small hydraulic problem during the race we could not do any better against the combination of Bridgestone and Ferrari. The failure on Pedro's car was a shame. I am sure that he definitely was able to get into the top five."

Ferrari

Michael Schumacher (1st): "Superb! I can't begin to find the right adjectives to describe the car-engine-Bridgestone tyre package and the performance of the whole team. We worked hard at last week's Paul Ricard test and I am very happy that today that work bore fruit. I want to congratulate Felipe, who drove a great race. It was very important to have made up several points over our main rivals at the key moment of the season. I had no problems whatsoever all weekend and I have to say that winning here in front of my fans makes it a really special victory. Already, during this morning's Driver Parade I got a great feeling seeing all the support I had in the crowd and I am happy to have been able to pay them back with this win. The fight for both titles is now very open. There are still six races to go and there is still room to push and put those in front of us under more pressure. I am confident and keen to get back on with the next few races."

Felipe Massa (2nd): "We did an even better job than expected. I saw yesterday morning that we had a really good pace for the race; especially my speed on old tyres was very surprising. I was therefore convinced we would have an even stronger car for the race. That is how it turned out. After a good start and good first pit stop I saw that I had a big gap to the following cars and from then on I concentrated on looking after the car and bringing it home. I drove an intelligent race in what was an important one for the team at this stage of the season, given our targets in both championships. Now it will be important for us to continue moving forward with this same momentum and concentration to the end of the championship. I hope that, in the short term, we can repeat this performance in seven days in Budapest."

Jean Todt, Team Principal: "A dream result! The race was trouble free, the car was perfect, the drivers impeccable with Bridgestone tyres clearly superior to their competitors. The moment from this day I will keep in my mind is the podium ceremony, that featured my three favourite drivers. Tomorrow, we will come down to earth and think about the next race in Budapest. I have always maintained that as long as it was mathematically possible, we would continue to pursue our objectives. That's what we are doing and what we will continue to do. However, we really must keep our feet on the ground even more than usual. We have "only" had a one-two, even if that in itself is quite something! Finally on behalf of all at Ferrari I would like to pay a special tribute to Bridgestone on securing their one hundredth Formula 1 victory. Finally I am happy to point out that, today, three Ferrari F430 GTC took the first three places in the Spa- Francorchamps 24 Hours in the GT2 category."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director: "It would be hard to ask for a better result! The cars were perfect, as were the Bridgestone tyres and the engine: everything worked to perfection. When I saw Kimi go in for his first pit stop, it confirmed what we had been expecting and from then to the end of the race it was a case of looking after the car and the tyres which we did without any problems. In the last few races, we have introduced some new components on the 248 F1 and this result is down to all the hard work carried out by the Scuderia. Michael and Felipe were perfect and today we have made significant progress in both championships. There is every reason to be optimistic for the rest of the season, although we know we must stay calm and concentrate."

Toyota

Jarno Trulli (7th): "As always, the German Grand Prix brings unexpected results and this weekend has not gone how we had hoped for. It is quite unfortunate that we did not qualify better yesterday. But even though I started from the back of the grid, we can be very happy with the performance of the car and the fantastic results. I had an incredible start and could do a lot of overtaking which made the race quite exciting for me. Our race pace was very quick and we can be encouraged by the results we ended up with today. I owe a great thanks to the team, because the car was very competitive and I think we have huge potential to bounce back at the coming races."

Ralf Schumacher (9th): "It is a very disappointing weekend for us because we could have achieved much better results. The start of the race was quite difficult and then I had the unlucky collision with David Coulthard in the third corner. The tyres locked up and I could not steer away from him. These things are normal racing incidents that can happen. The results are unfortunate for the team who have been working so hard to bring us forward. But I truly believe that had we been able to follow our original strategy, we could have reached a podium position. As you can see from Jarno's performance, we have shown that this is definitely possible. I am looking forward to Hungary to make things better."

Tsutomu Tomita, Team Principal: "The results of the race were unfortunately not as good as we were hoping for. But I have really enjoyed the race and found it to be quite exciting to see how our two cars could overtake many cars in the field. The most positive thing for me, was to see Jarno move up from 20th in the back to 7th place. He even had the fastest speed of 317kmh in the speed trap, and the drivers had the 4th and 5th fastest laps, which show how good our pace is improving. Unfortunately for Ralf, we had a few incidents, like his collision at the beginning and then his drive-through penalty, which cost him a lot of time. But he did his best to move up the field. I am very confident and sure about our car's performance based on today's race. We just need to make sure that this progress continues in a positive direction for us to be competitive among the top teams."

Williams-Cosworth

Mark Webber (DNF, Water Leak): "It was a promising race but a disappointing ending. I had a really good start and climbed from 11 th to sixth after lap one and the stint went well. I had a big fight with Rubens who got me in the end, but I knew he was lighter and had to stop before me. After the first pitstop I passed Fisichella on the track and was on the limit until the second stop. After that, things started to go wrong - I lost a bit of balance on the car and then suddenly started to lose engine power quickly. It seems we had a water leak, which of course is terminal for an engine and it was all over eight laps from the end."

Nico Rosberg (DNF, Accident): "It was very disappointing not to fully participate in the race because it looked like a lot of fun to be racing here today in front of a home crowd. The car has been good for most of the weekend and I wanted to move up the field as quickly as possible. I lost the rear in the Motodrome but didn't really feel it coming - I probably overdid it because I wanted to get too much out of the first lap. Mark had a great race today and deserved to get some strong points for his performance, but if nothing else, at least we are turning the corner with our pace. I will put today behind me quickly as we will be racing in Hungary next weekend."

Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We have made some clear progress in terms of our pace, although today's reliability was very disappointing. Mark had a great drive today and we knew our tyre would be much better in race conditions than in qualifying, but we suffered a failure of a water pipe between the engine and the water cooler, so we gradually lost water. After Mark's second pitstop, we started to see the problem, which hurt our ability to keep Raikkonen behind us, but the worst finishing position Mark would have had today was fifth. Unfortunately Nico was out on the first lap."

Chris Jilbert, Cosworth: "It's very disappointing to have to retire from the race when Mark was running so strongly. The engine has continued to work perfectly all weekend, and we increased the duty to help hold position. Unfortunately, the water supply hose to the engine appears to have been damaged resulting in significant water loss. We risked carrying on as far as we could, but in the end the engine just got too hot, and the car was forced to retire."

Honda

Jenson Button (4th): "I had a great race today and the first two stints were very enjoyable. To get past both Renaults at the start and then past Kimi during the race felt very good and I had a lot of fun out there. The last stint was really tough because I had massive amounts of tyre graining on the front left and a lot of rear locking, so I just couldn't fight off Raikkonen. I'm really happy though. We've made a definite step forward here and we've been strong all weekend but we have to continue that into Hungary now which will be hard work. It looks like we're getting back on track though."

Rubens Barrichello (DNF, Engine): "We made some good progress here this weekend, so it's very disappointing for me that we let that go with a bad start and an engine failure. In the first few laps the car was running well and with the strategy and long run pace we had I think we should have done well today. Not long after my first pit stop the engine caught fire and there was oil on the tyres which caused me to spin and that was the end of my race. I just have to hope that we can carry this progress through to Hungary now because everyone has been working so hard to take this step forward."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "Jenson achieved a good result for us today. After our strong qualifying performance yesterday, neither car had the best of starts, nevertheless both Jenson and Rubens were able to fight back during the first stint when the cars were handling well. Jenson was fighting hard for a podium, however the car's handling went away in the last stint and there was no way for him to maintain 3rd place. It was disappointing that Rubens had to retire after such a strong weekend. Overall we are happy with 4th place and we come away from Hockenheim encouraged by the improved performance of both cars, the credit for which must go to the whole team who have worked relentlessly on a variety of new developments to both car and engine."

Red Bull-Ferrari

Christian Klien (8th): "I'm really happy. It's the second point I've got this season, the first being in Bahrain, so I've had to wait a long time. I've had a lot of bad luck and bad races, but finally we've scored a point again. The start of the race was really good. I gained a position at the first corner and another two at the hairpin, where David and Ralf (Schumacher) were fighting and hit in to each other. The pace of the car was good. We struggled a little to keep the pace of Barrichello and Webber in the first stint, due to some understeer and graining on the front tyres, but the pit stops worked well and I had more wing for the second two stints. We pushed 100 per cent today and got the results."

David Coulthard (11th): "I started 10th and finished 11th. That was my race and I've nothing more to say."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "It was a fairly busy first lap. Unfortunately David didn't have a great start and his car was launched into the air after a collision with Ralf. He was lucky to get away without any suspension damage, but ultimately it cost him any chance of a decent result, despite showing good pace during the middle of the race. It was a shame after he had qualified so well. Christian managed to stay out of trouble, kept his head down and picked up a well- earned point, his first since Bahrain."

Sauber-BMW

Jacques Villeneuve (DNF, Accident): "The impact was quite hard. After we changed the nose at the end of the first lap the car was very oversteery and every time I tried to push I was sideways. I just pushed a little too hard and I got caught out there. Just before the accident I was very sideways entering the corner, but when I caught it it just went straight."

Nick Heidfeld (DNF, Damage): "My start was only average, but in the second corner I managed to overtake several cars on the outside, and among them was Jacques. Although I braked very late, I got through the corner all right. Then I suddenly felt a hit on the right rear. I had to pit with a right rear puncture and changed all the tyres. But the brakes were also damaged. The pedal became longer and longer, so it was too dangerous to continue. Later I found out Jacques and myself had touched, which was unfortunate."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "For our team the race was practically over on the first lap. Both drivers were involved in incidents in the first corners. They continued after we changed tyres on Nickís car and a front nose on Jacquesí car, but both were in hopeless positions. On Nickís car also parts of the rear suspension had been damaged, which caused brake problems. Jacques never managed good lap times after his stop, and on lap 31 he went off. This marked the end of a totally disappointing weekend. In Budapest we have to try to make up lost ground."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director Chassis: "After the start there was chaos in turn two and both our cars were among those damaged. Jacques pitted at the end of lap one for a new front nose, and just a few seconds later Nick arrived with a damaged right rear tyre. Jacquesí car oversteered quite badly after the nose change, and this ultimately led to the accident. The rear of Nickís car was damaged due to the blown tyre and he told us on the radio he had a soft brake pedal. With things getting worse, we decided to retire him as a safety precaution."

MF1-Toyota

Christijan Albers (13th): "I think we had a reasonably good race result. We were competitive against Toro Rosso, and it was nice to fight with Speed. Sometimes he would close the door on me and I had to lift to avoid an accident, but when I passed him I was quite happy because it's nice to see that we've gained some ground against them - it's nice to be in competition. It's just a shame that about nine or ten laps from the end I began to lose power. So we have to analyse this problem and make sure it doesn't happen again, because it cost us a position."

Tiago Monteiro (14th): "This has been another tough weekend for me. Christijan and I were on different tyres, which we knew could be a risk, and it ended up being the wrong choice, unfortunately. That was the main issue for me in the race. I'd get two or three good laps out of each new set, and then the performance would just fall away. The balance was quite decent, actually; it was just a general lack of grip. But that's the way it goes some weekends - you gamble and take your chances. But the boys did a good job to give me a well-balanced car that brought me to the finish, so they deserve credit for that. This was definitely not a great track for us, because it requires hard braking and acceleration, which is a weak point for us at this time. Tracks like Hungary should be a lot better for our car, so I'm looking forward to that."

Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "This was a reasonable result, considering all the problems we had this weekend. Our race pace was quite good and we were able to fight with the teams ahead. But we have to keep pushing as hard as we can to take the next step."

James Key, Technical Director: "It was obviously good to get both cars home. Tiago and Christijan did well to complete the race. But we had mixed fortunes in many ways: Tiago had a few problems during the race and got stuck behind one of the Aguris, which cost him a lot time as a result. Christijan, on the other hand, drove a very aggressive race and was up with the cars around him, and we had similar pace to both Red Bull teams. Obviously, starting from the back of the grid meant that we weren't with them from the start and had to catch up to them, but we were able to do that. And then we had an issue at the end of the race where we lost some power. It's a throttle problem, but we're investigating why that occurred. We're not sure whether it's an engine issue or a chassis issue at the moment. In any event, that's why he lost his place back to Speed toward the end, which was unfortunate, because he had it in the bag. But the race performance was a lot better than our qualifying performance; it's where we thought we should be. We need to understand why our qualifying performance was not quite so good on Saturday, but it's positive that we had the pace we thought we should have and we can take that to the next race."

Toro Rosso-Cosworth

Vitantonio Liuzzi (10th): "That was a cool race! On the first lap I was on fire! For the team, to finish ten and twelve from the back of the grid is a good result. It was fun out there, fighting with Jarno, Ralf and David. It was difficult to keep them behind because they were quicker. A shame that in the end I was not quick enough to keep the two Toyotas behind me. It would have been a great opportunity for points, but we just did not have the power."

Scott Speed (12th): "The mechanics did an awesome job to get my car rebuilt after my qualifying crash. A big thanks to all the team. We drastically screwed up the car set-up for the start, having way too much front wing and just keeping the car on track was a challenge. We fixed that in the stop and then in the middle stint it was still a bit too much and by the end it was getting better. At the very beginning, I was catching David, Trulli and Tonio, but it soon went into big oversteer and that was it. I also had a problem with my brake balance in the early stages which also hurt my first and second stints, but once we fixed that I was able to get past Albers again."

Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Tenth and twelfth is what we could expect if you look at the list of better cars that finished ahead of us. Tonio did a really good job today. The whole team did an exceptional job to ensure that both cars got to the finish, considering how much work they had to do in such a short space of time to get Scott's car rebuilt. They did a tremendous job, thank you to the team."

Super Aguri-Honda

Takuma Sato (DNF, Gearbox): "The debut of the SA06 in Germany has been positive and the car performed very well in Qualifying yesterday. We were expecting a little bit more in terms of race pace today, so we are a little bit disappointed, but it is a big step up from the SA05 so this will come in time. It was exciting to be able to race with the Midland's and in the second stint I was still ahead of one of them. In the end I had a gearbox related oil issue so I had to retire from the race, but because this is a new car it is not really surprising that we encountered some kind of problem. Although it was obviously a disappointing race today, overall it was a good weekend for us, not easy, but definitely a good weekend."

Sakon Yamamoto (DNF, Driveshaft): "I am disappointed not to have raced here today as I only completed one lap. On the positive side, we have collected more data than we had for the SA06 today, so we shall study this before we arrive in Hungary. The SA06 is easier to drive than the SA05, so I hope that I can continue to adapt well and learn more about the car for the race in Hungary next week."

Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "I am very sorry that Sakon was unable to compete in his first race with the team today. He showed encouraging progress in the SA06 all weekend so I hope that he will have a good Grand Prix in Hungary. Taku did a good job here today - he was competitive and showed that he was able to fight with the Midland's, but unfortunately he suffered with an oil leak. Even with our result today I am happy with the SA06's first outing because we were not been able to test the car before this race and I think that we have made an encouraging start."