Canadian GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Lewis Hamilton (1st): "I'm on another planet after this - I simply can't find the words to describe what it feels like to win my first Formula 1 race. The team has done a fantastic job and I'm so happy to be part of the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes family. I made an OK start off the line - nothing spectacular but managed to get a good exit out of the first corner and whilst mayhem was happening around me I was able to keep my cool and focus. Obviously I'm pleased that my good friend Robert is OK after his accident. It seemed like every time I opened up a bit of a gap the Safety Car came out and I had to start all over again. It was only a few laps from the end I realised that victory was within my grasp and I started noticing things like the fans cheering and when I crossed the finishing line it was amazing. I now have to stay focused and keep up the good work. It's been an incredible start to my Formula 1 career so far but I know there is a tough season ahead of us. Finally thanks to the entire team at McLaren and Mercedes-Benz for all the hard work they have put into the car - it's an absolute pleasure to drive and be part of such a winning combination."
Fernando Alonso (7th): "I think this was a strange race with the Safety Car being deployed so many times which worked to Lewis' advantage today and my disadvantage. I came into the pits for the first time on lap 24 as I had no more fuel so basically there was nothing I could do. It was a shame as this resulted in a ten second penalty but I guess that unfortunately those are the rules but there was no alternative other than to stop on track with no fuel. After that I had to push as hard as possible because I was stuck in the middle of the field and when you push to the maximum you sometimes go off track but at that stage there was nothing to lose. Whilst it was a difficult race for me I'm pleased for the team and Lewis that we were able to secure some important points and Lewis winning his first race and also that Robert is OK. I hope for a bit more luck for the US Grand Prix next week and at least I can leave Montreal with two points more than Massa."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "The whole team worked so hard to achieve the optimum result today. The frustration and disappointment of receiving a stop-and-go penalty having been forced to stop in the pitlane when the pitlane was closed in the first safety car period was obviously immense. However this in no way should detract from a mature and disciplined drive by Lewis to claim his first Grand Prix win. His family should be justifiably proud of his achievement and whatever McLaren and Mercedes-Benz have contributed only compliments his talent and commitment. Fernando was truly unlucky today but there is still a long way to go in the World Championship and we appear to be extremely competitive. The entire team is obviously delighted that Robert Kubica is OK."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "Lewis took his first Grand Prix victory in his sixth Formula 1 race. He did the best job of all and kept cool throughout. Congratulations and compliments to him. Fernando fell to the new Safety Car rules and received a stop-and-go penalty because he had to refuel as the pits were still closed during the first safety car phase, but when the tank is empty you have no other choice than to come in. He posted the fastest lap of race and was a contender for the podium, but at least he achieved a couple of points under difficult circumstances. We have won three out of the six races and finished all the race laps with both cars so far this year and are the only team to have finished every race in the points. Thank you to everybody in the team for their great efforts to make this possible. We now look forward to the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis in one weeks time. The most important news today is that Robert Kubica is OK after his horrifying accident."
Heikki Kovalainen (4th): "This was such a satisfying result for me. Of course, I needed some luck to score points after starting last - but you have to take advantage of your opportunities, and I think I did exactly that. I seemed to spend a lot of the afternoon overtaking other cars, but we had changed the set-up before qualifying to give me better straightline speed and that definitely paid off. The conditions were very hard, with a lot of marbles out on the track, and it was really easy to make mistakes. I didn't make any, and this is a great reward after two really hard days here in Montreal. All the problems I had this weekend only made me more determined to succeed, and it just goes to show that you should never, ever give up. You have to stay positive, keep looking ahead and the results will come. Everything fell into place for me today, and hopefully things will continue the same way next weekend in Indy."
Giancarlo Fisichella (Disqualified): "I was having a great race, but it ended up being a bad day for me. The podium was within my reach, and it's so frustrating to miss out on a golden opportunity. In terms of the incident coming out of the pits, I was concentrating on Kubica who was alongside me, and so focused on beating him that I didn't see the red light. On the positive side, though, the car was clearly competitive today - and we were competitive with Ferrari. That's positive for next weekend, and I will be hoping for a better afternoon in Indy."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It was a very mixed day for the team, after one of the most exciting races for many years. On the one hand, we are extremely disappointed that Giancarlo lost a likely third place through a simple mistake that, to be honest, anybody can make in the heat of the moment. Giancarlo's first instinct is to race, and his concentration at the pit exit was on racing Kubica; under those circumstances, it is easy to miss the light. In contrast, Heikki scored a fantastic result. He went from last place to fourth through a combination of luck, strategy and excellent driving on his part. It just goes to show that the race is never over until the chequered flag falls. We also saw a terrifying accident this afternoon, and we were all relieved to learn that Kubica was not severely injured. That he should survive an accident of that magnitude is an eloquent tribute to the continuous hard work that the teams and the FIA put into constantly improving the safety standards in our sport."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "I think the only person who had a trouble-free race this afternoon was Lewis Hamilton. For everybody else, it was a case of trying to make as few mistakes as possible. We have some important positive points to take from the race. Giancarlo was fast all weekend, and his pace was competitive with Ferrari in the race. As for Heikki, he showed why we still believe in him. He held off Raikkonen and Alonso at the end, kept a cool head all the way through, and did a fantastic job. Congratulations to him on a great race. Now, the challenge will be to take the maximum from the improved performance of the car next weekend in Indy."
Kimi Raikkonen (5th): "It was a very difficult race for me, right from the beginning. I did not have much grip at the start, being on the dirty side of the track and immediately after, I hit Felipe's car with my front wing. Then, there were so many safety car periods that it caused chaos. On top of that, after Kubica's accident, a piece of debris got stuck in my front wing and I had so much understeer and some difficulties with the brakes. All these problems put together made this a really complicated race. At the end of the day, I picked up some points: it could have been better but it could also have been worse."
Felipe Massa (Disqualified): "What happened at the pit stop is a real shame. Even if the safety car didn't help me I was having a good race and I could have brought home some important points for the championship. Unfortunately, when I left the pits, I did not even look at the lights, partly because there were so many cars in pit lane behind me. It's true that today the McLaren was very strong, but this was not the result we should have had, we should have been able to finish on the podium. The season is long and still very open. We must work to improve our performance. I am happy that Kubica, who is a friend of mine, was not seriously injured in his accident: it is almost a miracle."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "We expected a tough race, but given the outcome, that was just a euphemism. The only really positive news of the day is that Kubica, who had a really serious looking accident, is reasonably alright, given the impact he sustained. In a race that was confusing and chaotic thanks to the numerous safety cars periods, we come away with just four points for Kimi, whose car was damaged in a collision at the first corner after the start and then after Kubica's accident. As for Felipe, he was disqualified for driving out of pit lane when the light was still red. Of course this is not a happy moment for us. Now we have to study everything about this weekend, to understand how to move on. It is not the first time we have been in a situation like this and we have always shown that we can extricate ourselves from these difficulties."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "You could say this was a pretty chaotic race, featuring lots of safety car periods. Kimi damaged his front wing right at the start and the car lost its aerodynamic balance when some debris off Kubica's car got stuck in the wing, making the car especially difficult to drive. Felipe was going very well and could have secured a good result. The roulette of the safety car certainly didn't help and we committed an unfortunate mistake which led to the Brazilian being disqualified. From what we could see, our race pace was competitive."
Rubens Barrichello (12th): "It was a crazy race today and we could have benefited from all the incidents and retirements to get into the points. However the last safety car ruined our strategy, which could have brought us home in fifth position. After Kubica's accident in the middle of the race, my thoughts were with him. You never want to see another driver get hurt in that way in front of you. I am just pleased he is okay. For us, this is a race we have to put behind us and turn our attentions to Indianapolis."
Jenson Button (DNF, Gearbox): "I went to select first gear at the start but there was nothing. I kept switching from neutral to first on the grid to try to clear the problem but it just wasn't happening. The same thing happened when we tried to start from the pitlane. My race was over before it began which is obviously massively frustrating and that's all we can say really."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "It goes without saying that this has been a very disappointing race for us. First, Jenson had a gear selection problem off the line and was unable to start the race. Rubens drove well in very dramatic circumstances and did well to fight his way up to third place. We had planned our second pitstop for quite late in the race in order to minimise the number of laps we completed on the option tyre. Unfortunately the safety car came out again just before that stop, which bunched the field back up. Without that safety car, Rubens would have dropped from third to fifth place but the final safety car consigned him to 12th position. On a positive note we were all pleased to hear that Robert Kubica escaped serious injury after what was a very nasty accident."
Nick Heidfeld (2nd): "More than anything else I am happy with the news that Robert is okay. We hoped to get a podium and we were speculating about maybe getting third, but didn't expect second. More importantly, what is satisfying is I think I had a very good chance to finish second even in normal race conditions without so many safety cars, and Fernando being penalized. I was pulling away from him, I had a good gap after the stop and this was unexpected. Great thanks to the team as I think they have developed the car very well. Until quite late we didn't know how strong we were because I had so many problems over the weekend, especially on Saturday. Then seeing the pace I was doing I spoke to the team and asked them to confirm that it was really as good as I thought. The race was great and definitely the best moment was the start where I overtook Fernando and was right behind Lewis in the slipstream. In the beginning I was a bit worried about Fernando as I was not only looking forward but looking back a bit. After that I just kept the car on the road, which was quite complicated."
Robert Kubica (DNF, Accident):
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "This was the most emotional race weekend we have experienced with our new team. After this race which was full of incidents we have two reasons to be very happy today: Firstly, according to the first medical reports, Robert has escaped this very heavy accident relatively unscathed. Then Nick laid the foundation stone for our first podium of the season yesterday with his third in qualifying. Today he put in a very strong performance and drove to second on his own merit. Congratulations to him and the entire BMW Sauber F1 Team. I believe Robert would have also come close to the podium today."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "Most important is the news Robert isn't badly injured. This is thanks to the high safety standards the FIA have instigated over the past years. Before the accident Robert was in a promising position and on course to get valuable points. We hope he recovers quickly, but we are still waiting for news. For Nick our race strategy payed of. After the start he took advantage of Alonso's mistake and then drove a strong race. He was constantly in second position without losing contact to the front and this was not only due to the safety car periods. All in all it was a very difficult race, and second place is fantastic for us."
Ralf Schumacher (8th): "That was another difficult weekend for me but of course it is nice to get a point after starting from 18th position. I'm sure no one expected that but it was a chaotic race. Today given our grid position we fuelled up the cars heavily for the first stint. The car was not too bad and we were able to make up ground but we were short of straight line speed so it made it hard to overtake into the chicane. Towards the end I was overtaken by Sato who was on the prime tyre when I was on the options. That was clearly the worse tyre today but the rules mean we have to run on it. We obviously have a lot of work ahead of us but at least we got a point today."
Jarno Trulli (DNF, Accident): "That was a very difficult race for me. The start was reasonable but I was short of grip and I could not keep up with the pace, especially towards the end of the stint. After we pitted for new tyres during the first safety car period Robert Kubica hit me from behind and crashed. I had not moved from my line but when I saw the car roll over I was very concerned. When you see another colleague have such a big crash and you are hit from the back it's not a nice feeling. At that stage a lot of things were going on in my mind but I have since heard that he's fine so I hope that he will get back soon. I had a flat tyre so I had to pit again but then I wasn't exactly sure where I was in the race. Eventually when I pitted for the last time I was caught by surprise and when I came back out in last place I pushed too hard to catch the field and went into the wall. But after a day like this the race doesn't matter."
Tsutomu Tomita, Team Principal: "That was easily the wildest grand prix of the year and crashes and safety cars dominated the racing action. We used our safety car strategies but we ended up with very different stories for our two cars. Considering he started from 18th on the grid Ralf did a very good job. He was fuelled very heavy but he saved the tyres for the first part of the race. He was able to make up a lot of ground with the safety cars, although the last one cost us some places. Like others, he was on the option tyre at the end of the race and struggled for pace. Jarno had some difficulties with grip during his first stint and then he had a flat tyre after the incident with Kubica. In the end things didn't work out for him. Clearly we have not had the best performance this weekend and we have work to do. But we managed the suspension problem we had on Friday and I'm happy that we had no mechanical issues today. The point is a good leaving present for me and I wish the team all the best and good luck for the future. See you at the Fuji Speedway."
Mark Webber (9th): "My start was poor, I lost out to Rosberg and Kubica on the run to the first corner and was trying to fight my way back through. I had a good battle with Robert (Kubica), but I went a little bit on the dirty stuff on Turn One and lost a few positions. I started to move up through the field again, which was going okay, but I knew there was still a long way to go. The safety car was deployed and initially it looked like it was going to help, but in the end it wasn't easy to follow what was going on, I didn't know who was doing what! The soft tyres weren't very good at the end so it was hard to fight Sato who was on the other tyre compound."
David Coulthard (DNF, Gearbox): "I had a gearbox problem exiting the chicane and had difficulties moving up through the gears. It started to work again, but the gearbox temperatures had risen so much, I had to park the car. It remains to be seen what caused the problem, we need to wait and see. It's obviously disappointing, as I think our strategy could have worked well for us. We had a lot of laps under the safety car in this race, which can penalise some drivers who haven't done anything wrong. In the case of Alonso, a slightly different strategy at just the wrong time, put him out of the race. It's good to hear Kubica's okay, I saw his accident on one of the main screens, but I've heard he's conscious and talking, which is good news."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "Today was the first day that we saw the effects of the new pace car regulations. Mark benefited during the first safety car stint, but we lost out massively when the pace car came out again later in the race. Mark had been running in second and third, but dropped from second to ninth, so ultimately it was a very frustrating race for him. David had no choice but to pit under the safety car as he was right in his fuel window when it came out, and unfortunately we later had to retire the car with a gear box issue."
Fabrice Lom, Renault: "Needless to say we are really disappointed today. One of our cars retired and we need to understand what happened. With Mark, we missed the chance to score a strong result today. Once again it's a shame we were not able to make the most of our package because it has shown real potential. We have to hope for a better result in Indy next week and we will of course do our best to achieve it!"
Alexander Wurz (3rd): "Scoring a podium on the 10th anniversary of my Formula One debut is a dream. I had a difficult weekend and starting the race from the back was hard, but I didn't give up and tried to push as much as I could. It was one of those hectic races but I had a super car and the team did everything right in terms of strategy and keeping me well informed about all the various incidents. On the driving side, I made no mistakes and I was able to get rid of some graining by the end of the race, just in time to keep Kovalainen behind me who was on prime tyres. Early on it had been a close call when Speed and I touched and my rear wing got damaged, but the team knew it was safe and everything was okay to continue, even if I was giving some downforce and straight line speed away for the rest of the race."
Nico Rosberg (10th): "After I gained two positions at the start, I thought I could really get something good out of today's race, but then I was really unlucky. I had no fuel and had to pit exactly when the safety car went out for the first time and according to the new rules, I was penalised, and from this point onwards it was very difficult to recover the position I had. After my second stop, I came out of the pits at the back of the pack. The battle with Trulli ended in both of us spinning and I lost even more time when the gearbox got stuck. What an afternoon! One positive thing for the team is that Alex made third today and our car has showed good pace, which makes us confident for Indianapolis next weekend."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "A fantastic day for Alex and the team, he ran a one stop strategy and was carrying a lot of fuel for much of the race as well as coping with the super soft tyre for forty laps and the loss of downforce due to damage to his rear wing sustained when Speed ran into him, so he did a really good job, kept his head down and never gave up despite all the problems. Nico was very unlucky, his pace was really good and he had everyone around him covered and he would have been on for a podium, but he missed the safety car pit window by 13 seconds. We had no option, we had to bring him in and take the penalty, otherwise he would have run out of fuel. He suffered because of the new safety car regulation but we have secured six points today which is great for the team and it has been a great effort from everyone at the factories in Grove and Cologne."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (DNF, Accident): "It was not the way I had hoped for this race to end. After Kubica's accident I got some debris caught under the car and thought I was going to have to retire. It was like a slalom trying to avoid the debris. But I continued and then everything seemed to be fine. Unfortunately, at the final chicane I went over the kerb, which put me in the wall and that was the end of my race."
Scott Speed (DNF, Accident): "It is a disappointing day for us. It was crazy out there. I have to say sorry to the team because I made a bit of a mistake. Alex was quicker than me down the straightaway, but he made a mistake at the hairpin and then another at the corner before I tried to pass and when I did try, there just was not enough room for two cars."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "I must congratulate the team on doing an excellent job in terms of strategy, but it did not pay off today. They reacted under very complex situations in a perfect way, especially when carrying out the two tyre stops which meant we not only got our stint on the less good tyre out of the way, but we were also able to check the car in terms of safety as far as debris was concerned. They refuelled at the right time too and that put us back in the race."
Christijan Albers (DNF, Damage): "We have to hope that Kubica is OK as it was a huge crash. At the beginning of the race when I was fighting in the back I touched the wall a little bit, but I thought it was going to be OK and not a big issue, but then the car got more and more unbalanced as the race went on, especially the left front. Then at one moment I arrived at T8 and the car just went straight ahead into the wall. It seemed there was a problem with the wing, but obviously I am disappointed as we could have had a good finish."
Adrian Sutil (DNF, Accident): "Obviously I am very disappointed not to have finished the race. I just want to say sorry to the team as they have worked so hard all weekend and it would have been easy to have a points finish if I had not made a mistake."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "First and foremost, we all have to hope that Robert Kubica is safe and well following his crash. For us, we really missed an opportunity here. We had a reasonable pace and could actually race other cars. We also got all our strategy calls right, but again small mistakes meant we could not capitalise on our position. Both Adrian and Christijan really need to focus on this now, learn from it and move on. We cannot let this situation happen again."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "First of all we have to be grateful that Kubica is safe after the terrible accident. It was an action-packed race, and a big disappointment as we could have easily picked up some points. Adrian once again went off on his own accord - he really has to stop making this kind of mistake now if he wants to compete at this level. Christijan was running very well, but his wing came off through turn eight, which was more than likely due to damage sustained when he clipped the wall earlier on. The wing coming off then damaged the brake line, which meant he couldn't continue. Again another mistake has meant we missed out on an opportunity of a points finish, but you have to move forward and make sure that we're ready for Indy."
Takuma Sato (6th): "What an awesome weekend for us. So many things happened during this race - I was really worried about what happened to Kubica and when I heard he was okay I felt relief and I would like to say a big thank you to the Formula One safety team. After that accident I then tackled the racing. It was a real mixture of competitive racing and safety car situations and our strategy worked well. At one stage I came into the pit because I saw an opportunity immediately after safety car was deployed and the pit lane was still open. The team knew and was on hand straight away. During the last few laps I had a great feeling because I was able to race with the front runners and I was able to confidently overtake and take back my position. This was absolutely the most beautiful day in my racing career and is an amazing result. A huge thanks to the guys today and all the people who support us."
Anthony Davidson (11th): "It is such a shame about the beaver. It had it in for me for sure! I was running in third place at the time, behind the safety car. I was on a clear, one stop strategy and it damaged the front wing. I couldn't even see it at high speed and I could not understand why suddenly I locked up the front tyres and so I had to come in to the pitlane. The guys were taken by surprise in the garage when I came in, but they were really on it with the race strategy after that, telling me to overtake the safety car to get my lap back and it was a really enjoyable race at the end. I hope Kubica is okay because I saw the accident from the other side of the road. The race was complete carnage from the word go and I'm just happy to have made it to the end. I equalled my best result and it is great news for the team who did a great job today. I was out there on the option tyre, realised there was lots of graining and reported it to the team. I came in under the safety car to change the tyres and before Taku had even done any fast laps they knew to change the tyres back to the prime and the tyres paid off. It was really good team work so I am extremely happy."
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "It has been a perfect day. Our team, and Taku, achieved another three points - it's incredible what they have done today. Anthony also did a very, very good job, but it's unlucky that during the race he hit an animal and this damaged his car. The whole team did great job today and I am very proud of them."