British GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Fernando Alonso (2nd): "Second was the maximum we could really do today. We decided to change the strategy during the race to a shorter fuel stop for the middle stint, hoping we would be able to maintain the lead after the second stop. Unfortunately we did not build enough of a gap to Ferrari during this period, and Kimi's six laps with less fuel were too much to overcome. It was a gamble but definitely the right thing to do. I had a few problems with traffic, and we didn't quite have the pace of Ferrari, so it didn't pay off. The points are very important for the Championship, and we will work very hard at the test next week, in Spa-Francorchamps, to regain our advantage."
Lewis Hamilton (3rd): "We had an interesting race. I got a good start and tried to pull out a gap, but Kimi was extremely quick. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the pitstop, which obviously lost me a few seconds of valuable time. I tried to push, but continued to struggle with the balance. I tried to drive round the issues and although I was a bit more consistent towards the end the team choose to save the engine for the N‚àö¬∫rburgring and backed off for a safe third. I think that the tyre choice played a big role in the race, and ultimately starting with the harder tyre was not the best way to go as the softer tyre was clearly faster. However we have come away with more points. I have to say the fans have been tremendous this weekend, and the race would have been harder without their support."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Fernando did a tremendous job making every effort to turn our short fuel middle stint into a race win. Ultimately both he and Lewis were asked to turn their engines down in order to ensure that we had the best ability to attack again in Germany. It's of course clear that we didn't quite have the pace, but both drivers did a great job, and we still went away with valuable points and an even greater motivation to do better at the next event."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "Despite not winning here today we have to be positive about the first half of the season. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is leading the Constructors' World Championship by a margin of 25 points and Lewis and Fernando are at the top of the list in the Drivers' World Championship with 18 and six points ahead of Kimi respectively. Congratulations to him on his win today. All the team in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart did a great job in the first nine of 17, races and I like to thank everybody for their efforts. Now we need to find even more speed and are looking forward to Mercedes-Benz' home race at the N‚àö¬∫rburgring, where we expect a lot of supporters on the grandstands again. It was a great weekend in Silverstone, and we are sorry that we couldn't deliver a win for Lewis, as most of the spectators had wished for, but everybody should be pleased by the fact that he is leading the Drivers' Championship."
Heikki Kovalainen (7th): "This was a race of two halves for me. I had a good start and managed to get past Ralf, which meant I was running P5 after Massa stalled on the grid. Quite quickly, though, the rear tyre performance began to drop and I was really struggling with the car, especially in the slow speed sections. I used hard tyres for the second stint too, and the same thing happened. It was only really in the final stint, when I got onto the soft compound, that the car felt better and more consistent on a long run- and strangely, it seemed to be the opposite for Giancarlo. To finish P7 is not where the team wants to be, but there is no magic recipe for going forward from here. We need to sit down, analyse what went wrong, eliminate the problems - and carry on improving the car. It's what we have done very well so far, and I know the team will carry on pushing, beginning with this week's test in Spa."
Giancarlo Fisichella (8th): "I had a tough race this afternoon. I got Ralf at the start, but Nick passed me in the first corner. However, I managed to get a good run on him through Becketts, and overtook him on the run to Stowe. The first stint was pretty good, and the second one too, when I was using the hard tyres. Then we stopped for the final time and put on the soft tyres - and the car felt like it had much less grip. It was very inconsistent, hard to drive, it was almost like I had a problem with the car. The situation was very unusual, but I was not under threat for my position, so I could just bring it home. It's another point for me, but we have lost ground to BMW the last two weekends. Everybody is working very hard to turn that situation around, hopefully starting with the next race in Germany."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "We cannot be satisfied with the results of this race. The last two weekends have shown that if we are to fight with BMW, we need a significant improvement in our race pace. It appeared today that our relative performance varied according to the type of tyre we fitted, although not in the same way on both cars. In spite of this, we continue to show progress in our performance. Silverstone is an extremely demanding circuit for the cars from an aerodynamic perspective, and there is no doubt that only a few weeks ago, it would have been hard to get in the points. Now, it is time for us to take another step forward."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "This is where we are at the moment. The championship shows we are in fourth position and today, on a circuit that really tests the cars, we were fourth quickest team. Now we have to get back to work in the factory, and on the test track, to make another step forward. The team has shown the ability to overcome its problems, and stay motivated during that difficult time. The second half of the season will be the time for us to accelerate our development, to try and catch up our rivals."
Kimi Raikkonen (1st): "It was a great race for me. After my mistake in qualifying yesterday I was very disappointed, but today I was able to make up for it. If I had managed to start from pole though, things would have been much easier. The car worked very well both on the soft and harder tyres. We were strong all weekend and I hope this trend continues over the coming races, but I know how difficult that will be. In the first stint, I tried to look after my tyres and save fuel. At one point I got very close to Lewis but I didn't want to take any risks hoping he would pit before me. In the second part, I knew Alonso was on a different strategy and would stop before me. I had to stay in touch and then push at the decisive moment. I am very happy. We have made up ground in the Drivers' championship and there is plenty of the season still to go. We must continue to push on the development of the car and we are working in the right direction."
Felipe Massa (5th): "All things considered, I am happy with what I achieved today. It's clear I could have had a very different race without the problem at the start, but racing is like that. Sometimes everything goes your way and other times, unexpected things shatter all your plans and you have to try and make the best of the situation. At the start, the engine died, but I have not realized yet what had happened. It's a shame because I had a great car today and this will be a race I will remember. Of course I am disappointed at having lost points in the classification but that's life and we have to accept what happened. In the final stint of the race I quickly caught up with Kubica and I was sure I could pass him. But when I was in his slipstream I was losing so much downforce and I could not get close enough. I hope things come good in the European Grand Prix: we will have to get both our cars ahead of the McLarens."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "Kimi was simply majestic, from the first to the last lap, to produce our fifth win of the season, his second in a row and his third with Ferrari. Felipe drove an extraordinary race but was penalized with a technical problem at the start, which meant he had to start the race from the pit lane. Considering this handicap, finishing fifth is really impressive. On the one hand we are happy with the win, obtained on what is the home track for our main rivals, but on the other hand we have had yet another confirmation that in this season, our Achilles heel is reliability. Once again today we lost precious points, which has prevented us from making up ground in the Constructors' classification even if we have the best package on track. We have to work on pushing hard with our performance development so as to regain the maximum level of reliability. In order to succeed, we need the support of all our technical partners, starting with Shell, who are doing an excellent job. We will leave nothing to chance in our bid to continue this winning streak."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "A great race, great drivers, a great car! Even if unfortunately we suffered a problem with Felipe's car, the cause of which we have yet to find, that stopped us from repeating our Magny-Cours result. The strategy chosen for Kimi worked perfectly, putting him where he had to be to win the race. We must continue to work with the same intensity both to increase our performance level as well as improving our reliability. Already, as from the day after tomorrow, we will be back on track in a test session at the Spa Francorchamps circuit. We will have new parts to try because if we want to reach our goals we must leave nothing to chance."
Rubens Barrichello (9th): "I felt like I had one of my best Silverstone races today but unfortunately it was not enough for a points finish. We had a good race and our one-stop strategy worked well for both myself and Jenson, so it was a shame for the team that we could not get a point. The car was quite heavy with all the fuel, which caused it to bottom out a little bit, but otherwise the balance felt good. We are just not quite there yet with our overall pace and will be working hard at the Spa test next week to improve."
Jenson Button (10th): "I'm reasonably happy with our performance today and it was good to make up some places during the race to finish 10th from 18th on the grid. The one-stop strategy paid off for us but I didn't get the best out of the car this weekend as I struggled with rear grip and had a lot of understeer, which is something that we need to look at. Rubens was able to get the maximum from the car but we were just a little bit off. The problem with my back on Friday hampered the preparation a little bit, leaving just Saturday morning to work on the set-up. I'm looking forward to the Spa test now and hoping that we can continue to push and make small steps to improve our overall performance."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "As was the case last week in Magny-Cours, our race pace was better than our qualifying position. Both drivers lost some positions at the start, but they drove an excellent race and we maximised the performance of the car with a good strategy and excellent pit-stop work. The eight cars who finished ahead of us were the current top four teams in the championship. Our attention now turns to taking another step forward and this will be our objective for the test in Spa next week."
Robert Kubica (4th): "I am very happy. I found myself in front of Felipe Massa, but this race was not as easy as in Magny-Cours as I had to keep him behind me for the last 13 laps. Being behind here is tough as Felipe lost a lot of downforce, although he was quicker when he was alone on the track. He had a harder job than me as I just had to control the situation, not push too much, not make any mistakes and I was pretty sure I would hold him. In the middle of the race it was quite easy for me, but as soon as I heard over the radio that Felipe was closing the gap I tried to push. I did everything to get the maximum from the car and from me. We are happy to finish fourth, the car felt good and now we have to maximize our potential. Fourth second time in a row and ten points from this isn't bad."
Nick Heidfeld (6th): "I am very happy with the race, but not with the race weekend overall. I started from ninth and finished sixth, three seconds behind Robert. The start was special. I didn't really accelerate better than Giancarlo Fisichella, but overtook him in the first corner on the outside, which I enjoyed, although at the exit of turn one we banged wheels. Later he caught me on the Hangar Straight. I was aware that Felipe Massa would have his second pit stop later than mine, but the advantage of a low fuel load is quite big here, so I could not stay in front of him. All in all I think a better grid position would have improved my chances significantly. The two leading teams are not running away from us and we had Renault under control again. We couldn't have asked for more today."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "This time we really had to fight hard for our "reserved" fourth place. At the end Robert felt the heat from Felipe Massa for the last 13 laps, but he defended his position very strongly. After starting from ninth, for Nick his sixth position was also very good. Having collected nine points a week ago in Magny-Cours, again we scored eight important championship points and strengthened our third place in the constructors' battle. The pit stops, which were crucial to our race strategy, played an important part in this success. Performing this way we are well prepared for our home race at the N‚àö¬∫rburgring in two weeks."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "This is a fantastic result for our team. Neither car had technical problems, and Nick and Robert were fast and consistent over the entire race distance. In the last part of the race Robert could feel Felipe Massa's breath on his neck, but was good in defending his position. Nick started from ninth, caught both Renaults and, by finishing sixth, also drove a very good race. Compliments to our pit crew, but also to the guys in Hinwil and Munich as these were 17 really important championship points from the European double header."
Jarno Trulli (DNF, Retired): This has been a difficult weekend for me and today was no exception. All weekend I've struggled with very high tyre wear compared to my team-mate. It started badly on Friday and I was unable to find a way to improve my car all weekend. So I was expecting a tough race but as it turned out the race was even worse so we need to look into the reason for that. The car was very nervous throughout and in the end the team brought me in because there was something wrong on the car which we will have to investigate. The positive thing is that Ralf was able to push and be consistent. So we must now forget this one and look forward to the next race because every grand prix is a different story. But for me it was a weekend to forget."
Ralf Schumacher (DNF, Retired): "That was a disappointing day. We retired when I had a problem with our front left wheel although we still have to investigate the exact cause. I felt the failure as I came into the complex and I had to retire straightaway. It is a pity because we looked strong all weekend and we were confident of a good result today. Unfortunately we had lost some positions at the start as well so we will need to look into that to understand why that happened. So it's clear that the outcome is not satisfactory but the positive thing is that we were back in the top ten with both cars in qualifying. We had quite good lap times today and we were able to stay with the BMWs and the Renaults while I was in the race. So we have showed a decent performance and I'm reasonably happy with that. The fact that we were able to fight higher up will give the team an extra push as we prepare for the next race at the N‚àö¬∫rburgring."
Tadashi Yamashina, Team Principal: "After yesterday's strong qualifying performance we were expecting a better result in today's race. But today the starts were everything. Our starts were simply not good enough so we must investigate again and make our best efforts to increase our pace off the line. After he dropped places Ralf was in traffic but at least his pace was reasonably competitive. Then he was forced to retire with a wheel fixation problem at the front left. Then Jarno ran into balance and grip issues which we will also have to investigate. We tried everything to understand what was going on and we pitted him early for his second stop to check the tyres and change the nose. But in the end it was not possible to change things and we called him in because his car was massively unbalanced with no grip. Of course we must now analyse everything that has gone wrong today and work hard to develop our cars further. But this was just not our race."
David Coulthard (11th): "I didn't drive very well today unfortunately, I made a couple of mistakes in the second stint and lost a bit of time. The car was tricky to drive, it had a lot of oversteer and the balance just wasn't there today. So, it's back to the drawing board and we'll see what we get in Germany."
Mark Webber (DNF, Differential): "I was happy with my start, I overtook Jarno who was running a lighter fuel load than me. I knew I was running heavier than some of the guys ahead of us, so the plan was to hang on in there at the pace we had, and then to get the benefit of running longer. As I came past the start-finish line on lap eight, my engineer told me to switch to a different gearbox map, but there was a problem with the hydraulics. As I came into Becketts, I had no power steering. I tried to keep going, but no hydraulics meant no throttle, steering, gearbox, the whole shooting match."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "It was disappointing for Mark to retire early on with a suspected differential failure, which consequently caused the hydraulic system to fail. He'd looked reasonably competitive in the opening laps and, as it was clear to see the top ten had all gone very short, we would have had a reasonable race. David had a couple of moments on his second stint, which ultimately didn't permit us to outrun the Hondas, which were on a one stop strategy. It's frustrating to finish in eleventh position today."
Fabrice Lom, Renault: "We are disappointed this afternoon as we were once again not able to show our real potential. Mark retired which showed also that our reliability was not strong enough. We are expecting some evolutions and improvements for the next race, we will have now two weeks and a testing session in Spa to get ready for the German Grand Prix where I hope we will be able to make the most of our package and score some points."
Nico Rosberg (12th): "Due to having to start so far back, we decided to go for an aggressive strategy. I attacked from lap one and managed to overtake a few people at the beginning of the race, which I really enjoyed. I then became stuck behind Coulthard and I tried to pass him. He messed up, went wide and pushed me onto the grass. After that, I didn't get another chance to pass him. Despite the poor result in the race, the positive aspect is that I feel I have been on the pace all weekend. We have to look ahead now. We have a test in Spa this week and then some welcome days off before the next race."
Alexander Wurz (13th): "I started 13th and finished 13th, so naturally I am not happy that we didn't manage to make any progress today. I think, looking back, the risky combination of the option tyre and my heavy fuel load meant that traction would be difficult and I didn't have a very good start, so the strategy didn't really pay off. However, when the car was lighter and we moved onto the other tyres, the lap times were pretty good. Around lap 30, I used the opportunity of the blue flags to out-brake Speed after he left the door open, but after I went through, he hit my rear wheel. His race was over, but fortunately I was able to continue with no problems."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was disappointing not to get any points today but, from where we started, it wasn't going to be easy. The cars were solid and reliable and both Nico and Alex drove well in the race. Most of the afternoon was spent in traffic, but we still need to improve our qualifying and race performance. We'll work on this at next week's test in Spa and look ahead to scoring points in Germany."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (16th, Gearbox): "Yet another retirement through a mechanical failure with the gearbox. We need to work on reliability as this is our main problem at the moment. I had problems from about lap 15 onwards as something got stuck between my back and my seat, so it was really uncomfortable to drive, especially as this is a high speed circuit so it was very painful. That meant I was unable to push as hard as I wanted because of the pain. I also had a lot of understeer right from the start."
Scott Speed (DNF, Damage): "I got a good start and after that it was unfortunate that I did not get ahead of Trulli in the pit stops as that would have made our race for us. Then it all came to a quick end as we were letting the leaders by. It was certainly a bit of a complicated incident, because I knew that for about half a lap the leaders were quite close behind us, but Alex wasn't letting them by. When I did, I knew that me Alex and Trulli were so close I decided to let Fernando by at the same point as it would have been foolish to hold the race leader up for so long. As we went into the next corner, really tight together, Alex decided to take a very optimistic move down the inside but he couldn't hold it and ran wide into me. I didn't see Alex until we were in the corner. I went narrow to try and protect my position because I didn't want to brake late and run into the back of Fernando."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "We had a reasonable opening lap, with Scott coming up to twelfth and Tonio in fifteenth. Then they were both overtaking by Rosberg and Massa and after his pit stop, Scott collided with Wurz which put him out of the race. Tonio did not finish because of a gearbox problem. Next week we have a three day test in Spa, where we will have some updates which we hope can help us run at a more competitive pace."
Christijan Albers (15th): "I enjoyed the race quite a lot as we could drive with the field. I had no problems to drive the car, there was quite a reasonable balance in the performance but it was a shame that in the end I lost the position to Sato. But I think I had a good race and am happy to finish. The team can now go to the test in Spa with a good rhythm."
Adrian Sutil (DNF, Engine): "It's frustrating that I could only do 17 laps before I had to retire with an engine problem. The car was not bad, although I think everybody struggled in the first laps as the tyres were cooling down from the second formation lap. But after two laps the pace was not too bad, it's just disappointing that I had to give up after 17 laps. If you are close to the cars in front you just want to race them, but hopefully we have better luck in the next race as we really need to finish."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "Once again today we showed we are making small steps to close the gap to the midfield. It's disappointing not to get a double finish, but we have a test in Spa next week where we can work as a team on these issues."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "Of course it's disappointing not to get two cars to the finish but, overall, once again we were a little bit more competitive with the group of cars in front. Unfortunately Adrian had an engine failure, but Christijan had a very steady drive to compete with the Super Aguris for most of the race, although in the end we just lacked a little bit of speed to finish in front of them. A solid performance from Christijan and it's just unfortunate for Adrian that he couldn't make it to the finish. We'll look forward to the new car in Turkey."
Takuma Sato (14th): "I struggled a lot with high-speed understeer due to the fact that we changed to the T-car chassis. Obviously as I started from the pits there was no lap to the grid, so we had to rely on the base set-up of the car. Unfortunately I lost quite a bit of time during the first stint until my first pitstop when we were able to adjust the front flap. Then in the second stint, once I was clear of the traffic, I was able to push hard and clocked some decent lap times. But in the end it was a very difficult weekend."
Anthony Davidson (DNF, Mechanical): "A disappointing first British Grand Prix for me. I had a good start, overtook one of the Hondas and was right with the mid-field pack. I had a good little fight with Jenson when he got me back at the exit of Club; it was good, clean racing. I kept in touch with the two Hondas for the next 15 laps or so, and then suddenly started feeling that the car was touching the ground quite a lot on the rear and it felt like it had become a bit unsafe to drive. We're still unsure of exactly what the problem was. We tried to get back out there, but the problem remained and we had to retire the car before the end of the race. It was a frustrating weekend in general really, because the speed I felt was still there and it was annoying that I could not to get to the end."
Graham Taylor, Sporting Director: "I think the fact that we didn't test here prior to this race hurt us all weekend and today confirmed that. It was a tough race for both the drivers. We opted to start Takuma from the pitlane. Anthony seemed to get a run on Jenson in the first lap, but then lost the place back. Ant followed him for a while until he had a problem with the rear of this car and unfortunately we had to retire him. Takuma soldiered long and hard and showed his speed when he was clear of traffic. But that's the only ray of sunshine in a very difficult day."