United States GP - Sunday - Team Quotes

Sebastian Vettel, United Stats GP 2007

Sebastian Vettel, United Stats GP 2007 

 © The Cahier Archive

McLaren-Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (1st): "It just keeps getting better and better - what an amazing week this has been. I can't believe that I have won and am so incredibly grateful to the team who have worked to hard to continue the development which has seen us taking one-two here today. Everything went right; start, pitstops, strategy and I'm really happy. I was under pressure all the way from Fernando and we were both pushing as hard as possible. I made a good start to maintain the advantage but Fernando was right there. In the second stint Fernando managed to get really close when my tyres were graining, and he had a go at the end of the straight, but I was able to keep him behind. It's been a long and hot day, but I have really enjoyed myself and the support from the fans."

Fernando Alonso (2nd): "I didn't win but I finally managed to leave Indianapolis with a trophy. I think the race was decided after the first corner, and I didn't manage to get past. All I could do was to stay as close to Lewis as possible. We were side-by-side on one occasion, but it was all fair and square and it was good racing. I was constantly in his slipstream and was getting all kind of dirt from the brakes on my overalls, the car and the helmet which was why I sometimes went slightly off line to try and get some clean air. The car was working well, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. At the end of the day the team can leave Indianapolis having extended the gap to Ferrari in the Constructors' battle and having eight points is better than none. I'm looking forward to going back to Europe and the rest of the season."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Lewis and Fernando raced from beginning to end. During the middle stint Fernando pushed hard and caught Lewis and this of course created some positive but tense moments on the pitwall. We were obviously happy to let them race but had to be mindful of the fact that our competition was not threatening our one-two finish. 15 laps from the end both drivers reduced their revs to save the engines for the French Grand Prix but still continued to race. Their sporting behaviour both on track and especially during the podium celebrations made the team proud to have two such great drivers. We will continue to push hard in our development programme which will allow us to bring more performance to the French Grand Prix in two weeks time."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A thrilling race between Lewis and Fernando. I guess we need some good nerves this year. Congratulations to both drivers on a fantastic result. The fourth win of the season with three one-two victories is a great reward for the hard work so far from everybody in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart. The important thing is to continue, the competition was clearly stronger than in the last race. This was certainly a great race for all the American Formula 1 fans."

Renault

Heikki Kovalainen (5th): "This was another strong result for me, and I am starting to get some good momentum now. I had a good start, and when the other cars went to the inside, I braked late on the outside line and managed to overtake Raikkonen. I kept him behind until the first stop, and when he pitted, along with Heidfeld, I tried to really put the hammer down and push home the advantage. I didn't even realise I was leading the race, until I came into the pits. Unfortunately, though, the tyre performance just wasn't there any more - and I lost out to Heidfeld and Raikkonen coming out of the pits. I tried to pass Nick on the way into turn 4, but couldn't make it stick, and then the tyres started graining because I was sliding around in the slipstream. But I kept pushing him and when he retired, it was just a case of pushing the car and keeping the lap-times consistent. The balance felt really good on both types of tyre today, and it was nice to see that we can fight BMW on pure pace in race conditions. Ferrari and McLaren are still a step ahead, but we are moving in the right direction with the car. If we keep pushing like this, we will keep on making progress back towards the front."

Giancarlo Fisichella (9th): "I am just really sorry about the result today. I lost the rear end going into turn 4 on lap 2, and that compromised my whole race. We had planned to do a one-stop strategy, and even with the heavy fuel load I was able to pass guys quite easily on my way back through the field. The pace was very strong today, and I even managed to overtake a few cars off-line on the outside of turn 6. I had to be aggressive and I was, but we still ended up just outside the points. Without the spin, I could definitely have got P6 I think, so it's a missed opportunity. The results in these two races haven't been good, but the pace of the car has, and that is encouraging as we go back to Europe. We are heading in the right direction, and there are two important races for the team coming up now. I am confident we can race with BMW, and start closing the gap in the championship."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It was another controlled and effective race for Heikki, to build on his strong result last week. He has been very competitive all weekend, and these are four more well-deserved points. Unusually, we decided to split our pit-stop strategies at this race, putting Giancarlo on a single stop. Had he not spun on lap 2, he would have finished very close to his team-mate. Overall, our trip to North America has shown that we are pulling our performance level back to where we want it to be, and that is certainly encouraging for everybody working so hard at the track and back at the factories. But equally we are under no illusions, and there is still more to do when we return to Europe."

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "This was a great race for Heikki, and he did a fantastic job at the end of a perfect weekend. He put pressure on BMW and was very competitive in every stint. Giancarlo could have done something similar, but unfortunately a mistake early in the race ruined his chances. Even so, it's a positive day for us. We took points off our direct championship rivals, and need to continue this trend in the next races."

Ferrari

Felipe Massa (3rd): "We can't be satisfied with third place. I did my best and I am happy to have got on the podium. We need to work out how to improve the car to get ahead of our closest rivals. We need to work flat out on the technical development to make up the ground lost over these past three races. In the final stint of the race, Kimi got very close and I was struggling a bit because I was on the hard tyres and he had the softs. I didn't make any mistakes and managed to stay ahead of him."

Kimi Raikkonen (4th): "The car had a very quick race pace but I paid a high price for the positions lost at the start. We lost precious time behind slower cars and it is always difficult to overtake because when you close on a car ahead you lose so much aero downforce. In the final stages I closed on Felipe but there was never a really clear opportunity to overtake him and we were both thinking about the next race where we use the same engine. We must improve, especially in qualifying, because our target has to be to try and win."

Jean Todt, Team Principal: "As expected, we had a very closely fought race and as was predictable, the final classification followed the grid order, confirming how important it is to start from the front if you want to win. Felipe drove a straightforward error-free race, while Kimi lost two places after the lights and then fought back well. Clearly the situation in the classification is getting more complicated but there are still ten races to go. Next week in Silverstone, we will try out some new developments which should help us in getting back to the level we were at from the start of the championship. We cannot deny we are disappointed with how the last few Grands Prix have turned out, but we strongly insist that we really want to turn the situation around."

Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "It was a close race if not very dramatic. Felipe got a good start, maintaining third place and stayed in touch with the McLarens in the first part of the race. Then in the second stint, he lost a bit of time with traffic and that built the gap that remained to the end. Kimi, after losing two places in the rush off the grid, drove a good race, which brought him back up to his team-mate. We have seen that in the race, we are competitive compared to our main rivals. We must do better in qualifying because it is crucial to start from the front to get the desired result at the end."

Honda

Jenson Button (12th): "It was a fun race today but ultimately another disappointing afternoon for us. At the start I was on the outside and I was hit by Rubens, which damaged the front of my car along with the bodywork. That forced me across the grass and left me almost at the back of the field which was disappointing. Still it was a fun race with some good overtaking until my pit stop, when we had a problem with the fuel rig which cost me time and then I had about 15kg too much fuel in the car which compromised the rest of the race. We were just off the pace again and we now have a lot of work to do next week in Jerez to move our performance on."

Rubens Barrichello (DNF, Damage): "I think it was just an unlucky first corner racing incident today. I tried to avoid a spinning Ralf and unfortunately hit two cars, one of which was Jenson. The contact broke my front suspension and that was it for me today. Sadly Jenson's car was damaged as well. We have an important test next week in Jerez, so the team just has to look forward now and focus on improving our performance for the rest of the season."

Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "Rubens got a good start which allowed him to overtake Rosberg and get on equal terms with Ralf Schumacher. Unfortunately he was involved in a first corner incident which ended his race as the damage to his suspension was beyond repair. Jenson also lost five places in the same incident and sustained damage to the right hand side bodywork which compromised the aerodynamic performance of his car. Despite this he was able to make up six places before his pitstop. At the stop we had a pressure release valve failure on the fuel rig and switching to the second rig lost Jenson precious seconds in the pitlane. The midfield was very close so this lost Jenson three places. Both rigs delivered fuel at the stop so he was also running too heavy in the second stint which compromised his pace during the rest of the race."

BMW

Sebastian Vettel (8th): "It was fantastic, a lot of fun but a longer race than I ever imagined it to be. I think I am quite lucky to get away with a point as the first corner was quite tight. I had an okay start, but not a very good one. When I saw the cars were close I decided to brake just a little bit later and then caught up quickly to those in front of me. To avoid an incident I decided to cut turn two and lost a lot of places. After that I was stuck in traffic which more or less destroyed our strategy. It is good to finish the first race and better still in the points. The car was working well. I could have been a bit quicker, but quite often I was stuck in traffic and it is extremely difficult to overtake here as the other guys are not sleeping and they know how to defend. In the end when I saw the chequered flag I was quite relieved. I am quite happy for me and the team who have done a fantastic job. I can only say thank you to all my mechanics and engineers who were supporting me."

Nick Heidfeld (DNF, Hydraulics): "I had a good start and overtook Kimi. On the first stint my speed was okay, and it was only in the beginning that Felipe Massa could pull away a little bit. Later when I was braking for turn one the rear wheels just locked and I spun. When I wanted to get going again, I couldn't get a gear, which was why Heikki Kovalainen could pass me. The spin caused a flat spotted tyre and I made my first pit stop a little early. The next laps were good, and I overtook Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki. However, when Kimi was at top speed I could not keep him behind. After the second pit stop I got stuck behind Mark Webber, but then the hydraulic problems occurred anyway."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "Without doubt this was not the result we had hoped for. Nick was doing well in the race but retired due to a hydraulic leak. I am happy for Sebastian and the team that he has scored a point for us in his maiden Grand Prix. In the first corner he had to learn a lesson the hard way and lost three places. But later he drove a solid race without any mistakes. Robert will have to pass another medical check prior to the next race in Magny-Cours. As soon he has the green light he will be sitting in the race car again."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "We were far away from showing our true potential here. Nick gained one position at the start and had a good pace afterwards. He never lost contact to the three leading cars, which was very positive. Because of a flat spotted tyre we called Nick in early, but he went back out in fourth. Unfortunately he retired later because of the hydraulic leak. Sebastian gave away his chances for a good result in the first corner after the start. This dropped him into a group of slower cars and did not allow him to demonstrate the potential of the car. There he lost the one important second he needed to finish one place higher. We also called him in a little bit early because we tried to free him from the traffic. At least in the end we scored one point."

Toyota

Jarno Trulli (6th): "It is incredible - I can't believe I have finished in the points today. Despite all the effort we put in I thought it would be hard to get in the points but the team has done an incredible job. We haven't got anything wrong and we got sixth which for us is like a victory today. It is an unexpected result to be honest because before the race I never expected such a good performance from me or from the car so I am really pleased. Mentally it was a very hard race because I was on the limit for the whole race. I was fighting with Webber and I did not think I would come out ahead but in the end I managed it. It took a lot of fight. I really enjoyed it but after a very good manoeuvre when I overtook him following the second pit stop I thought I was going to lose the position. When I finished the race I asked more than once 'are you sure I finished sixth?' because I couldn't believe it! In the last four races we have had a few problems but this shows when we get it right we can battle for points."

Ralf Schumacher (DNF, Accident): "That was a disappointing way to end my race after a pretty good qualifying. Obviously going into the first corner it was very crowded and everyone is on cold tyres. Going into the first corner I braked quite calmly but my tyres locked a bit. David came around from the outside and we crashed into each other. I think it was a racing incident. It is disappointing but these things can happen easily in that kind of situation at the start of a race when everyone is trying to gain positions. It is unfortunate and a bit unlucky for us because we could have had a good race. I will be testing at Silverstone on Tuesday so now I fly directly to England to prepare for the French Grand Prix, where I hope for a better result."

Tadashi Yamashina - Vice Chairman: "To finish in sixth place in the last race of Tsutomu Tomita's era as Chairman and Team Principal before he leaves at the end of June is fantastic. I am ecstatic. Jarno drove a fantastic race but the result is also due to a great job from the all the team. What happened to Ralf can't be helped but we expect he will have a better result in the next race. It was just a normal incident at the start of a race. It was a weekend which was quite difficult at the start because of the low grip we experienced but this is a good result. It was quite an interesting race. Jarno did a very good job in the race because he was fighting at the end with Mark Webber, who was a little bit faster on top speed but a bit slower in the infield. Our strategy in Q3 yesterday paid off for Jarno because we went quite long on the first stint and that helped him to stay in front of Webber. We had absolutely no technical problems on the car all through the weekend and that is of course good news. Now we will aim to build on this result at the next race in France."

Red Bull-Renault

Mark Webber (7th): "The race for me was pretty much a scrap with Jarno (Trulli) from start to finish. I would have liked slightly better car balance in the middle stint, but it's good to get two points in the bag. Of course, you always want more - more downforce, more reliability, more speed - but hopefully those things will continue to come and we can look forward to more points finishes like this in the future."

David Coulthard (DNF, Damage): "That was a disappointing race, I only got to Turn one! I kept a steady line off the start into the first corner, making sure I left space on the inside to keep out of trouble. Watching the replay, it seems Ralf (Schumacher) came together with another car behind me. That rotated Ralf's car and he speared into the side of mine, which caused a lot of damage. It burst the oil cooler, so that was the end of my race."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A problem free race for Mark, and probably his first clean run of the year. It's great for him to finally get on the scoreboard with a solid seventh place today. He very nearly pipped Trulli at the final stop, it was very, very close as he exited the pit lane, and the team did a great job to put him into that position. Unfortunately, David was a victim of somebody else's incident at the first turn of the first lap, but that's just one of those things. We now look forward to Magny Cours."

Fabrice Lom, Renault: "The result today is very satisfying although we must admit it's a pity David was not able to race at all after the accident he had in the first corner. As we expected, the car performed pretty well this afternoon and we did not have any reliability problems; Mark had a fantastic race and scores today his first points this season. We were very pleased by the engine performance throughout the weekend and today's result seems encouraging for the French Grand Prix in two weeks."

Williams-Toyota

Alexander Wurz (10th): "I made up a few positions at the start by overtaking several cars at the first corner. Our planned strategy was also good, so I was looking good for a positive race. Unfortunately, I ended up stuck behind Liuzzi, who was much slower than me, and that cost me too much time to finish in the points. I could not pass Tonio because I could not attack as my car was quite difficult to drive today with a lot of fuel onboard. I'm now looking forward to Magny-Cours."

Nico Rosberg (16th): "I was having a really solid race and was happy because I thought sixth place was in the bag. We were on a good strategy and the car was going well. We've shown that we've made some progress on performance and we would definitely have been in the points today. I can't be so angry because I drove really well. It will go my way another day, I'm sure of that. Sometimes things go wrong, that's just the way it is and I have to accept it."

Rod Nelson, Chief Operations Engineer: "Today's result is obviously hugely disappointing for the team. Nico drove a storming race on a one stop strategy, which was the right thing to do. He had no tyre problems or any other issues. Unfortunately, he was held up quite badly by back-markers and we really struggled to get enough blue flags out for him in time. It looked like it was going to be an easy sixth place but then an oil leak struck in the last few laps. The cause of the leak is currently under investigation. Alex had a cracking start, but he was caught up behind Liuzzi with no way past. Both drivers gave great performances and today we were looking for two points-scoring finishes. It wasn't to be, though. We will now look into the failure on Nico's car and ensure it doesn't happen again and look ahead to the next race."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Scott Speed (13th): "The track was slippery out there and with our low downforce set-up we really needed the track surface to develop more grip for our car to work better. It was definitely a tough race and just keeping it on the track was in itself a challenge. So I am happy to have managed to bring it home in thirteenth place which is not too bad. We need lots of small improvements to move forward but we are working in the right direction."

Vitantonio Liuzzi (17th, Retired): "Unfortunately we were too slow in the first stint, where we had chosen an aggressive strategy starting on hard tyres. I did enjoy a good fight with Fisichella though. But I struggled with rear stability and a lack of grip in the rear. This cost us a lot of time. On the softer tyre, our strategy was right as I was brought in just before being lapped. The car felt better but the lack of downforce meant I was always fighting the rear tyres. Then at the end the team called me in because of a problem with water pressure. At the Silverstone test we will see if we can make a good step forward for the next race."

Franz Tost, Team Principal: "From the start of the weekend we were unable to find grip at the rear. Both drivers said the rear of the car was unstable with oversteer in the infield which meant they could not set competitive lap times. While Scott did manage to bring the car to the flag, Tonio had to retire in the pits with a loss of water pressure. Our programme continues and we now join the other teams in Silverstone starting on Tuesday when we will test our new quick-shift gearbox for the first time. After that we will have a clearer picture of what to expect in Magny-Cours."

Spyker-Ferrari

Adrian Sutil (14th): "We had a solid base set-up and after a great start I could really fight with other cars. There seemed to have been a little step forwards since Canada, and it was a very good race for me. I am happy to have made it to the end, especially as it was a hard race with the high temperatures. It was tough to push and get as much as possible out of the car, but I'm pleased and now really looking forward to Magny-Cours."

Christijan Albers (15th): "We were on a one stop strategy, but the beginning of the race was OK and I managed to keep up with the rest of the field. Then the first leading cars were coming through and starting to lap me and I lost a lot of time when they all made stops and lapped me again! It's a shame, but when you are in this kind of position you have to risk something and be aggressive with the strategy. The team was right to go for the one stop, if there had been a safety car or problems for the cars in front this could have made the difference."

Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "I am very pleased that we have put the disappointing results of Monaco and Canada behind us now. Both Christijan and Adrian were able to race the group in front and, although it's ultimately a shame not to have finished in front of some people, we did get two cars to the finish and Adrian in particular showed impressive race pace. It's a good footing to go back to Europe now, first for the three-day test in Silverstone and then over to France."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A reasonable weekend and race for us. It's slightly disappointing not to have a better result as today we certainly had the pace to finish in front of some people. Adrian made a good start on a two stop strategy but unfortunately we lost too much time behind the Toro Rosso in the first stint. Although Adrian pushed hard in his middle stint, he just couldn't get enough to jump the cars in front that were on a one stop strategy. He was quicker at the end so it was disappointing not to have finished in front of more cars. Christijan was on a one stop strategy, which was compromised by a stall in his pit stop and lot of blue flags and it didn't really work for him, but overall it was a much better weekend for us; at least we were involved in the race with the group in front. We now have to make sure that we start finishing in front of some of those people, but well done to everyone in the team."

Super Aguri-Honda

Anthony Davidson (11th): "It was an interesting race with the different speeds of cars on the straights and round the corners with differing wing levels. We opted to save the tyres by running a bit more wing and it was such hard work to try and close the gap and get a tow off the cars on the straight. There was a lot of overtaking, with a chaotic first corner and 'marbles' all over the place. It was a fantastic race and I had really good fun. I'm really pleased to finish another Grand Prix and it is a great result for the team and for Honda. It was a brilliant day."

Takuma Sato (DNF, Spin): "I had a difficult start to the race and as a result got overtaken by two cars. I avoided the incident at Turn One and lap by lap I overtook people and made up a number of positions. That was a good moment, but unfortunately, when I got clear air and I really needed to push, I got on the dirty side of the track and I went off at Turn Three. It wasn't a great day for me, but hopefully we can start again in Europe in a strong position."

Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "This was always going to be a difficult weekend and a very demanding race for us. But Anthony did a good job today and Taku was just unlucky. Anthony's lap times were fast and consistent. Overall it was a demanding weekend for the team and we encountered a number of issues, but in the end Anthony and the team did an extremely good job."