Monaco GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Fernando Alonso (1st): "This win means a lot to me and our World Championship Campaign. It's a very nice surprise to see how the team's hard work during the last couple of weeks has made our car so competitive. I have never had the experience of being more than one minute ahead of the competition which probably makes this one of my best victories. I didn't get off the line brilliantly from pole position, but as there is such a short run to the first corner I was pretty sure that I would be able to keep the lead. However, as I was able to save fuel in my first stint I was able to stay out for two more laps than originally planned. After that the race was pretty quiet with only the backmarkers causing a few problems especially shortly before my second pitstop when I lost a lot of time. I will enjoy this victory and look forward to the races in North America."
Lewis Hamilton (2nd): "To finish second and running similar lap times to Fernando at the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix makes me very happy. The team has done a fantastic job, and Fernando and I were able to give them the result they deserved. My start was quite good, and I could run close to Fernando but obviously it didn't make sense to try anything crazy as our job is to ensure the maximum amount of points for the team. It's almost impossible to overtake in Monaco and as a result your only chance is for the guy in front of you to make a mistake. However, Fernando is a double world champion so I knew there would be none. I had good pace in the beginning, but then I had some graining on my front tyres which didn't help. It was an exciting race which also saw me tapping the guardrails a couple of times, fortunately without influencing the handling of the car. All in all a great weekend for the team and me."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "An outstanding result for the team. Both Fernando and Lewis drove so well and responded excellently to the team's wishes of bringing both cars home safely in what was a memorable one-two result and McLaren's 14th victory in the Principality. However there is some disappointment because of the different strategies we needed to follow to cope with a potential deployment of the Safety Car which has happened four times in the last five years. Consequently you virtually have to decide in advance which one of the team's two drivers will claim the victory. Once the first round of pitstops had taken place we reverted Lewis from a one-stop-strategy to the faster two-stop-strategy and at the same time slowed both cars down to conserve the brakes. As a team we would like to race but this circuit requires a disciplined approach and as a result we can leave Monte Carlo with the maximum amount of points."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "The team showed a picture book performance today in Monaco. At this challenging circuit Fernando and Lewis were fast like nobody else on both the Bridgestone Potenza prime and option tyres which worked perfectly well on our car. Both drivers' performances were flawless and the team's strategy was perfect. Thank you to the colleagues in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart for all their hard work making this second 1-2 victory in the fifth race of the season possible."
Giancarlo Fisichella (4th): "It was a very good result for me and the team, and encouraging for the future. We should be proud of the job we did at the circuit this weekend, and say thank you to all the people in the factory whose hard work made it possible. The car had more grip thanks to a new wing, and the consistency was much better too. I was happy with the race I drove, pushing all the way through the first two stints until we knew for sure that my position was safe. It was good to finish ahead of BMW for the first time, and now we have some more time to push again at the factory, and make more progress. Canada is another good circuit for me, so hopefully we can take another step forward there."
Heikki Kovalainen (13th): "I think this was a weekend to forget for me. It didn't start well, qualifying was difficult, and I wasn't able to make up any ground in the race. I got stuck behind Coulthard in the first stint and although I got past him at the stops, and pushed hard after that, it wasn't enough to catch the cars in front. Then at the end, something happened with the engine and I lost almost all the power and drive. It is all the more frustrating because the car felt good through the weekend, but at the critical points, it just didn't happen for me. I suppose the race was really spoiled on Saturday afternoon, but that's history now. It's time to look forward to Canada, where I think we can be confident of a competitive performance. It's another new track for me, and I am looking forward to driving there."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Giancarlo drove a smooth and competitive race, and was untroubled in achieving our best result so far this year. We called him in early for his first stop to avoid traffic, but other than that, planning his strategy was straightforward, and his race turned out the same way. After Heikki's problem in qualifying, it was natural for him to run a one-stop race and at a circuit like Monaco, it was always going to be very difficult to improve on his starting position. The strategy was slightly compromised by an early first stop because of a left rear puncture, which was caused by a brush with the wall. On top of that, his engine lost a significant amount of power on the last lap, and we need to investigate the cause of the problem. Overall, though, it has been an encouraging weekend for us, and we will look to confirm this improved performance at the next races."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "Giancarlo put in a fantastic performance all weekend, and congratulations to him for his fourth place. From the team's point of view, it is encouraging to have moved closer to the front of the field, and back towards our normal level of performance. Our step forward confirms that we are moving in the right direction at the factory, and credit goes to all the people who have worked night and day in the last few weeks. We know that there is still a long way to go, and we will be aiming to make steps forward with each race. I am confident that we can continue to improve from here."
Felipe Massa (3rd): "I think this was the best possible result I could have got today, given the pace of our closest rivals. At half distance, given the situation, I concentrated on just managing my race and bringing the car home. These six points are very important: the championship is still very open and there is still a very long way to go. We tried to see if we could change the situation by using the extra soft tyres in the second stint of the race, but it did not make much difference. The main problem today was the traffic: I lost a lot of time behind backmarkers, but I don't think that had any effect on the final result. Today we were the inferior of the two teams, but we have all we need to get back to winning again, right from the next race."
Kimi Raikkonen (8th): "We knew we were facing an uphill battle and that's how things turned out. I got a good start, quickly moving up to twelfth, but from then on I was nearly always in traffic, never getting any chance to overtake. I never had a clear track ahead of me and it was only thanks to the strategy that I was able to make up some more places and get into the points, but I couldn't do any better. Obviously the situation in the classification is now a bit more complicated but there is still a long way to go in the championship and I am not the sort to give up."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "Today we were not competitive enough to win. We tried to change things about a bit with Felipe, switching to the extra-soft tyres at the first stop but this choice didn't pay off. Even so, we don't think this would have changed the result. Kimi faced a very difficult race starting from sixteenth place. He made a good start but then he spent nearly the whole time in traffic and the point for eighth place was the best he could do. We have to study the situation and understand why our rivals were better than us, before tackling the double header in North America in better shape so that we can fight for the wins."
Rubens Barrichello (10th): "I'm disappointed with 10th because I thought we had a shot at the points today but the opportunities did not materialise. After my first pitstop I was held up by Wurz and that was that really. I was a little bit faster than him and if I could have got past then there was a chance to close the gap and get closer to the points, but there was no possibility to overtake. Overall I think we have had a slightly better weekend and we just have to keep pushing now and continue to move in the right direction. I hope for better things in Canada."
Jenson Button (11th): "A difficult race today. I was stuck in traffic in all three stints and never got a clear run, so I couldn't make the most of the strategy. After yesterday's qualifying it is disappointing but we have to take some encouragement from the signs of improvement we saw here earlier in the weekend, keep our heads down and focus on what we are doing to move us forward."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "After achieving 9th and 10th in qualifying yesterday we hoped for a points finish today. Rubens got a good start, making up some places over the first few corners, and then both drivers held their positions reasonably well over the first pit stops. However, our race pace was not fast enough for us to finish in the points. We have clearly made a step in the right direction and we are now knocking on the door of the points placings. Despite no testing before the two North American races, we will have some improvements with which to try to close the gap to the teams directly in front of us."
Robert Kubica (5th): "Unfortunately I don't think our one stop strategy was the right one for this year's Monaco. We expected Safety Car periods and these did not happen. Looking back now, I think we could have finished better, but I am happy to have scored some important points again. I had a small problem with the brakes soon after the start of the race and had to pump them all the time which did not make me feel confident. Then I was stuck in traffic and at the end I had a sensor problem which meant I was without traction control for quite a long time."
Nick Heidfeld (6th): "Because of my one stop strategy the most important thing for me to do was overtake Mark Webber at the start, and this worked out. I was also able to get passed Nico Rosberg, although our cars touched in the first corner but luckily mine wasn't damaged. In the early laps of my first stint I had some problems with the soft tyres, but later they became better and better. On my second stint I lost quite a few seconds when I had to let the two McLarens by. It was enough to let Robert get just in front of me after his pit stop. But altogether I am quite happy with the result."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "McLaren Mercedes has achieved an impressive one-two here - congratulations to the team. Monaco was again an exciting race, although there wasn't much overtaking. The choice of strategy was crucial here . one or two stops was the question. Some had clear laps for most of the race while others got stuck in traffic and lost time. We are pleased we were reliable again, bringing both cars home and scoring seven important points."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "We can be pleased with this result as we have seven championship points after a race which was thrilling for us. Nick had quite a heavy fuel load, and in the early stages of the race he lost too much time with the softer of the two tyre compounds. Only after the tyres had come back was he able to achieve the lap times we had expected. Robert started the race with even more fuel on board, but as early in the race he got stuck in traffic he couldn't exploit the car's potential. When he had a clear track his lap times dropped immediately."
Jarno Trulli (15th): "At the start of the race the car almost stalled. I had to do a good job to pick up the clutch and start the race. I lost a lot of positions at the first corner so from the very start I was just keeping up with the cars in front of me and then the brakes started heating up as they did in qualifying. I had to slow down a bit and the only thing I could do from there was bring the car to the end of the race. It was a difficult race for me and now we have to work hard before the next race and make some improvements."
Ralf Schumacher (16th): "It was just stuck in traffic in the first laps. That made the race very difficult from then on. The pace was not too bad when you compare it with the others when I was on a clear track. I lost a lot of time stuck in that position as you could see from my lap times when I had a clear track in front of me. The balance was actually quite okay later on and I was able to push a bit harder. We could clearly have been fighting for points today for sure if we had qualified better. Qualifying was really where our race was decided but I will try hard to get that right and hope for better next time."
Tsutomu Tomita, Team Principal: "To be honest before coming to Monaco we had very strong confidence about our competitiveness and on Thursday we were actually competitive. I thought it was very promising for the race but on Saturday in practice we were struggling and in the afternoon in qualifying it was a bit of a disaster for us honestly. We lost many, many positions to slip to 14th and 20th. From then we could do nothing about the race. Jarno's race was over really very quickly when the engine almost stalled at the start and he was passed by many cars. Ralf also got passed by a few cars at the start and it is just impossible to overtake here. Therefore from this point of view the two drivers fought very well today but we could do nothing. The very important thing to learn right now is to bring the best performance of the car to the race and we will challenge again to do that in Canada."
David Coulthard (14th): "Unfortunately I came together with Tonio and damaged the front wing and end plate of my car, so I had a lot of understeer all through the race. We were debating whether or not to change the wing at the pit stop, but decided to stick with it as the time lost in changing it would be so high - but we couldn't get anywhere. When I stopped at the end of the race, we saw the end plate was broken, so we must have been losing a lot of down force. The guys in the garage have done a great job turning mine and Mark's cars around this weekend. There are still a lot of races left this season and I still think Red Bull is going to improve."
Mark Webber (DNF, Gearbox): "There were a couple of things going on. First I had a small misfire on the engine, which wasn't really fantastic, especially through the Swimming Pool section, but it also affected me at other parts of the track. I was pressing on and dealing with that. Then I lost third gear and although I tried switching between second and fourth, the car kept locking up. Initially I tried to drive around the problems, but when that happens here, you end up in the fence looking even more stupid!"
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A very disappointing race. Mark's car unfortunately developed a misfire which confused the gearbox and caused third gear to break, ending with his retirement. David made contact on the first lap with Tonio Liuzzi, and damaged his car's front wing. The damage sustained was greater than suspected and he lost a considerable amount of time which prevented him from getting anywhere near a points-scoring finish. It tops off what's been a frustrating weekend where the potential was there to score points, but we're going home with nothing."
Fabrice Lom, Renault: "It was a tough race and we are a bit disappointed. David's position on the grid made his race very difficult, as we expected. For Mark, it was another story. After the start, he started to feel some engine misfires that ultimately caused the gearbox to fail. The problem is still under investigation to allow us to understand what happened. We are not worried regarding the reliability of the engine but we must understand the origin of the issue we had today on Mark's car. It's a shame we were not able to make the most of our package today because it has real potential. We look forward now to racing in Canada, which is a very different type of track."
Alexander Wurz (7th): "I'm a bit sad the race is all over - I love it here in Monaco and you want it to go on for ever. It was a good afternoon and it was critical for me to really pull some laps out to get past Button & Barrichello in the middle part of the race and then keep Raikkonen behind me at the end. I am glad it worked - Sunday has played out well and I did my bit behind the wheel of the car."
Nico Rosberg (12th): "Today was something of a disappointing race, really. I had a good start but then Fisichella really closed in at the first corner and I had to back up. My first thought was to be careful not to crash, but looking back maybe I shouldn't have and I might have had the chance to score points. I realised that my race was really compromised when I was stuck behind Heidfeld and had no chance to pass him. My strategy was right, but being in traffic ruined it all. Our pace was good here, and it's a shame we could not score more points."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Today was a good result for Alex who drove a solid race and picked up a couple of points. Unfortunately Nico's race was over at the first corner when Heidfeld got past him. Without that he had the pace to run in the top five, but that's the way it goes around Monaco. It's good to come away with some points and two reliable cars."
Scott Speed (9th): "I got a good launch off the grid and as everyone bottled up going into Turn 1, I made an aggressive move round the outside and it paid off as I got around David and we battled hard. Then I think we had a reasonably good pace in the race. In terms of the strategy, maybe I should have pitted a bit earlier, but Kimi was out of reach anyway. I enjoyed myself but every time for the last 15 laps I was hoping someone would drop out and that I'd see my pit board go from P9 to P8 to get that point, but it never happened."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (DNF, Accident): "I was hit hard at the first corner after the start by someone behind me and I think it must have damaged something, because the car was not right after that. But I tried to do one more lap and then as I came over the bump at corner three I lost control. It was a real shame because I had a reasonably good starting position so I was optimistic I could do something good this afternoon."
Gerhard Berger, Team Principal: "Well done to the team and of course to Scott who drove a superb race. Today's performance shows the team has potential and hopefully that will be realized soon."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Scott had a very good start, going from 18 to 13 and he did his best ever race for Toro Rosso. He deserved a point because he was always pushing very hard and the lap times were very consistent and very very fast. All I can say to him is thanks and congratulations for a job well done. Tonio was unlucky. He was hit from behind and he lost air from his right rear tyre, which is what led to his crash."
Christijan Albers (19th, Driveshaft): "It was a difficult weekend. First of all we had really bad luck with Qualifying with the hydraulics and then we retired from the race. As we were at the back we had to take a risk and went for a really aggressive strategy, started on soft tyres and went for two stops. At first I was struggling with the rear but when I came in and changed to the normal soft tyres, it started to go really well and we went a lot faster, but then you are just lost in the traffic and have to let the leaders through. It's just a shame, but on the other hand if we had had some luck the strategy it could have worked out. Now we should leave this behind and go to Canada - I have some ideas about what we will change and make the car more driveable over there."
Adrian Sutil (DNF, Accident): "In general it was a good race until I crashed in Casino corner. The start was the normal Monaco crowded style but I managed to do the first corner quite well. Over the first 44 laps we had a very good performance, the tyres were consistent and I just went quicker and quicker as the track improved. My lap times were pretty fast as well and we were racing some cars. It wasn't a lonely race as I always had somebody behind me and had to push so I enjoyed the race. I'm disappointed I made a mistake - the brakes had became worse and worse and it was hard to find the find the right braking performance as they were unpredictable. I went a little bit to the outside of the corner and there was so much rubber and dirt that I hit the barrier and the tyre came off the rim. There wasn't a lot of damage, it was just the tyres but I couldn't continue, which is sad for everyone."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "Although the result was a real disappointment, there are some positives we can take away from the weekend. Adrian's superb fastest time in practice and our race pace were both exceptional given our form until now, so we have to focus on these rather than the fact neither cars made it to the end. It's a strong basis for Canada and the US GPs."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A disappointing end to quite a good weekend. Christijan started from the back after the problem in Qualifying and we went for two stops, relying on a safety car period as we had to do something with the strategy, but that didn't happen so we knew his race was compromised. Adrian had a good race on a one stop strategy and was very competitive in the group around him and was able to race other cars, but he made a mistake, touched a barrier and his race was over. It had been a good weekend until this point, so ultimately very disappointing."
Takuma Sato (17th): "It was a tough race for us and we tried our best. I drove as hard as I possibly could on this circuit. In the traffic these are very difficult circumstances, but when I had clear air I was lapping very quickly and we were competitive. But, as is typical in Monaco, I caught up with the traffic a few times and that was really critical for my pace. Because of traffic before my second stop we missed an opportunity to improve on my position. We tried our best and recovered well I believe, but we needed more speed. On the positive side it is great to finish the demanding Monaco Grand Prix."
Anthony Davidson (18th): "Just to finish this race is an achievement in its own right. Going out there this afternoon I didn't expect much from the positions we were in and I got an average start. I went into Turn One with a Renault and I actually tapped him and got a hole in my nose cone. It didn't affect the car too badly and I was able to keep pushing. And then about half way through the race, when I was stuck behind Trulli's Toyota, Massa was slowly catching me up, two 10ths of a second a lap, and I was waiting until he got closer to let him by. I was going to let him pass when we got a drive through penalty. He was about two seconds behind me at that time, so I think it's a little bit unfair. I've always been good in traffic and I think that other people were being bad about the blue flags out there and maybe they made an example out of me."
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "It was not a good weekend for the team. It is very important to qualify well at this circuit and as we did not have a good session yesterday, it was always going to be a difficult race. Both drivers and the team did a very good job today, so I hope that our weekend in Canada is a different story and we can return to performing in higher positions."