Turkish GP - Sunday - Team Quotes

Fernando Alonso, Turkish GP 2007

Fernando Alonso, Turkish GP 2007 

 © The Cahier Archive

McLaren-Mercedes

Fernando Alonso (3rd): "It was not the plan to lose two places at the start, and so my race was pretty much over when I came into the first corner in sixth place. I was following Nick Heidfeld for 17 laps at the start, and it was very difficult to overtake him. Fortunately we were able to do this in the first round of pitstops and that was when my race could really start. Unfortunately I was 30 seconds down at that point, so third was a good result considering. I was told by the team to take it easy after Lewis's puncture to avoid the same thing happening to me, but as I was already quite far back it did not make too much of a difference to my race."

Lewis Hamilton (5th): "A little bit unfortunate but still we did a good job, and the team was fantastic all weekend. We had the pace of the Ferraris, but when you are behind you lose a little bit of downforce; we were just matching them for most of the race. I saw some bits fly off the tyre and then it just blew on braking into Turn Nine. It was lucky that I didn't put the car in the gravel and managed to control it back to the pits, as this meant that in the end I only lost two places. We still got some good points and I remain in the lead of the championship by five points, so it is not all bad."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "This was always a race we expected to be challenging, so all in all we are not too upset with today's result. Our pace was good and Fernando and Lewis both put in strong performances. Lewis's tyre failure came at an unfortunate time as he had enough fuel to go a few laps longer than the Ferraris, so we may have challenged them at the end. Anyway we now look forward to the next race at Monza where we expect to be stronger than we have been this weekend."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "It's a shame -.the puncture on Lewis's car prevented him from finishing on the podium, but Fernando did it with a very good drive. However Lewis saved four important points under very difficult conditions following the failure of his right front tyre 15 laps from the finish. These points could be decisive in the end. Important is that with Fernando and Lewis, who finished third and fifth today, we retain the one-two lead in the Drivers' World Championship and stay ahead as well in the Constructors' rankings."

Renault

Heikki Kovalainen (6th): "This was a really good race for me. The start was quite exciting, as Heidfeld pushed me very wide on the run to the first corner, and I had to back off quite a lot. But I defended my position aggressively and once the tyres started working properly after a few laps, the car balance was stable and the pace was consistent. Both types of tyre worked well on our car today, although it felt a little more comfortable in the final laps on the softer one. The team did a great job with the pit-stops, and the strategy was spot on. Ever since Nurburgring when we introduced some new developments, we have been looking for the chance to prove they were a step forward, and I think this race has done that. Now, we need to get our heads down and try to make another step at Monza."

Giancarlo Fisichella (9th): "My race was compromised by what happened at the first corner. Jarno braked very suddenly in front of me, I had nowhere to go and ended up hitting him, which cost me positions and made him spin. That ruined his race, and I am sorry, but it also cost me the chance of finishing in the points. After that, it was tough: I just had to drive flat out, and hope for retirements. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but the pace of the car was not too bad."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "After the disappointment of the last two races, it was great to see some concrete evidence of the recent improvements we have made to the car. Both cars performed strongly throughout the race, and Heikki's position was a just reward for a very good drive. There is no doubt that without his collision at the first corner, Giancarlo would have been right with him. All in all, this result was a promising reward for all the hard work that the team has done in recent weeks, and it once again demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction."

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "It was a very good performance from Heikki, and a shame for Fisico because the car was good today. This is the first race in a long time where we have been competitive with BMW, and it felt like we were back racing properly again. There were no mistakes this afternoon, and the team did a very strong job all weekend. We can go to Monza and Spa feeling more optimistic after this performance."

Ferrari

Felipe Massa (1st): "This is becoming a special place for me! It is a really great win! I maintained my concentration for the whole race, trying to control the situation. Only towards the end of the second stint did I make a small mistake at Turn 7 which cost me the gap I had over Kimi, who closed right up to me. I made a very good start and the car behaved perfectly even though it has to be said it was a difficult race. Today's result is a great encouragement when looking to the final part of the season. It is fantastic to head to Monza after a weekend like this. We must continue to work in this same way and give it our best shot."

Kimi Raikkonen (2nd): "Of course I would like to have won but probably the race was decided in yesterday afternoon's qualifying session. When your main rival is your team-mate, there are less unknown factors and even less room to come up with something. However, the important thing is to have put two Ferraris in front of everyone else and, in any case, we have made up ground on the championship leader. I got a good start then I had a bit of understeer which went away after a few laps. The second set of tyres did not work as well as the first. The quick lap at the end? I was a bit bored with spending the whole race behind another car and so I tried to see how quick I could have been. In Monza I will have to try and do a good qualifying to be in the best possible situation for the race."

Jean Todt, Team Principal: "Sixth victory of the year and the second one-two after the one in Magny-Cours. This was a dream race and a dream result which should make us all happy; drivers, team and fans. I want to thank all our commercial and technical partners, especially Shell. As we had expected, it was a very tough and closely contested race right from the start. In this job, you must never give up because things can change very quickly and today that change worked in our favour. In less than two weeks, we will be on track in Monza for our home race. The effort we will put in will be the same because we will be after an identical result to this one, while remaining aware of the difficulty of the task and the competitiveness of our closest rivals."

Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "It was a great race which brought us the maximum result possible. All the team worked perfectly and the cars were at their best. We also got useful support from our technical partners, such as Shell, who provided us here with a new gearbox oil. We chose to start with the softer tyres because in Friday's free practice, we saw that their performance was very good, even on a long run. The start was very important, with both drivers doing a great job. Now we look to the race in Monza, where we must try and repeat this performance. The one-two is one of the few result combinations that allows us to close the gap in both classifications."

Honda

Jenson Button (13th): "It was a lot of fun passing 10 cars! If you put to one side where we finished - because 13th position is still far from a good result - I think we had a reasonable race compared to the last one. I had a good time and was able to pass quite a few of the midfield competitors that we've been struggling to keep pace with in recent races. Obviously starting from the back of the grid is not something I want to have to repeat but we did a good job to fight for something better and I think the team can be pleased with our performance today."

Rubens Barrichello (17th): "Obviously today was always going to be difficult starting from the back of the field. The car was moving around quite a bit from corner to corner and there wasn't much I could do from where we started."

Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "Starting from the back row of the grid, it was never going to be an easy race today. However, Jenson drove a strong race, making best use of the car to progress from 21st to 13th position and overtaking 10 cars on the track. Rubens drove a steady race and was able to gain positions at the start due to the first-lap melee but after that, on his last two 'option' sets of tyres, too much understeer slowed him down and he finished P17."

BMW Sauber

Nick Heidfeld (4th): "I am very happy about this result, as the team did a fantastic job. The race strategy, the tyre choice and the pit stops - everything worked perfectly. We made the most out of everything. The start especially was great fun. As the lights went out it wasn't so good, because I was on the dirty side, but then I was able to overtake the others on the outside. I was braking very late for turn one and, once again, I came very close to Fernando Alonso. Of course I dreamt I could keep him behind me over the distance, but we knew he would refuel later than me. After the stop he was in front of me and he was also faster. I pushed very hard for the whole race, and only in the very last laps I felt a little less pressure."

Robert Kubica (8th): "It was a very hard race and I just hadn't got enough speed. Also when I was lighter in the first stint I could not build up a big enough gap. Every time I pitted someone was overtaking me. I did not have enough speed throughout the whole race, and this also meant I was not able to overtake. I suppose my problems were a bit of everything and I just found the car difficult to drive."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "For our team it was a mixed result. For Nick our strategy worked. Without technical problems and without a slower car in front of him he was able to run his race as planned. For Robert we decided before qualifying to try a different strategy. We wanted to give him the chance with a short first stint and soft tyres to attack the front runners, but soon after qualifying we figured out, even with a lower fuel load, the expected times would not be possible. Beside that, in the race he was unlucky both times when he came out after his pit stops - the first time he was right behind Heikki Kovalainen and the second Nico Rosberg. Six points for our team is good."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "It is good to collect another six points, but actually we expected a bit more. For Robert our aggressive strategy didn't work but, if you consider our situation in the Constructors' World Championship, you have to take a risk from time to time. Nick had a good start although he was on the dirty side of the track. He was consistently fast, fulfilled our expectations and took our 'reserved' fourth place. After this hot race we are looking forward to the Italian Grand Prix on the high speed Monza track."

Toyota

Ralf Schumacher (12th): "I am not really happy with the result. I think we had the speed, but I couldn't really push early in the race and the car was not ideal with the hard tyres, so I lost a bit of time. Also, because I was on a one-stop strategy my car was very heavy and that made it hard to push earlier in the race. But it was the right strategy as it was very difficult from where we were on the grid. As we have seen on Friday, we have decent race speed and when I was in clear air my pace was not so bad in the end. My lap times got better towards the end of the race and they were actually quite good. If our result in qualifying had been better we would have been able to score points. We can definitely expect to fight for points in the remaining races, starting at Monza in two weeks."

Jarno Trulli (16th): "We had the opportunity to get a better result but that is racing. It was a shame because the car was well balanced throughout the race and this is thanks to the hard work back at the factory. There was no clear lap for me to show my potential but the feeling of the car was good. The start went well but unfortunately at the first corner Fisichella hit me at the back and I lost a lot of positions. These things can happen. After that I overtook many cars and I had a lot of battles but when you end up at the back it is so difficult to catch up. With our strategy we were hoping to challenge for points but after the first lap that was clearly not possible. Now I will try to forget this race and focus on my home race in Monza. I enjoy racing in Italy so I hope we can get a better result there."

Tadashi Yamashina, Team Principal: "We expected a much better result this weekend because we had some new parts on the car thanks to the hard work of the team at the factory. The weekend started quite well and should have finished quite well. Our cars spent most of the race in traffic. With Ralf, due to his starting position, we went to a one-stop strategy and this was the decision we had to take in order to gain some positions. It worked to an extent but Ralf was stuck behind slower cars for too long at the start of the race. For Jarno you can see what happened, he got hit by Fisichella and that was it - he went to the back of the field and stayed stuck in traffic. He had almost no laps in free air. In these hot conditions both drivers got to the end of the race and that is the only thing we are happy about. We must analyse what happened over the weekend. For the next race, at Monza, we will push hard again and hope for a better result."

Red Bull-Renault

David Coulthard (10th): "I made a good start and made up a few places, I think four, and thereafter I found the car to be a bit inconsistent which did not help me maintain a good pace throughout the race, especially when I had a bit of fuel on board. Now we will just have to see what we can find for the next race in Monza."

Mark Webber (DNF, Hydraulics): "It looks like it was hydraulics. It's a shame because I was fuelled to go for a long stint, longer than those directly ahead of us and I was just sitting in there, ready to go for it for the rest of the race. On the lap before I stopped I started to have problems with downshifting and then the team called me in to retire."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "With David, we started thirteenth and finished tenth, in a situation of total reliability ahead of him on the track. Performance-wise that is pretty much where we were today. He drove a good race and got the most out of the package. Of course it was disappointing to post a retirement with Mark. A problem in the differential led to a hydraulic failure. We have learnt quite a lot this weekend about the areas in which we need to improve. We must now try to move forward and that starts with next week's test in Monza."

Fabrice Lom, Renault: "We made a very good start but unfortunately Mark's race ended too early. David had a strong race today and finished in the Top10 with lap - times that show there is very little separating us from our direct rivals. But the fight is really tight with Williams and Toyota and it's a shame Williams scored two more points today in the championship. But we are still very focused and we will be working to prepare for the Italian Grand Prix next week which will be an interesting challenge for the engine team."

Williams-Toyota

Nico Rosberg (7th): "Before this weekend started, I didn't expect that we would finish the race in 7th, so I am very pleased - it was a great race. I am also very happy to have beaten Kubica in the BMW - I didn't expect him to pit before us and we beat him fair and square. Towards the end of the race it became more difficult, but the car handled pretty well and the tyre graining was there for a shorter time than I anticipated, so I could continue to push hard. It was great to win two points for both Championships and now I am looking forward to Monza, hoping that we can add to our points tally."

Alexander Wurz (11th): "My start was good and I felt comfortable on my first set of tyres which allowed me to attack. After the first stop, however, it was really close because a lot of people who were on a one-stop strategy went past me and that obviously cost me a bit of time. Ninth may have been possible and so I was pushing from first to last lap, heat is never an issue for me, even if mentally it was a bit tough today. But my nature is always to push! Congratulations to Nico who really had a fantastic drive."

Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Nico had a good drive today and did everything right. He also had a good strategy which earned him a place, so we have gained a couple more useful points. Alex did the best job he could from his starting position on the grid and it was also good to have no problems on either car."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Vitantonio Liuzzi (15th): "Overall, this was actually quite a good race from my point of view and the most important thing is that I finished. I had some problems with a harsh upshift in the first stint and towards the end I eased off a bit to look after the engine. It was good to see the chequered flag. I had a strong race but unfortunately the finish position is not so good, but hardly anyone stopped ahead of us. I am happy to have driven without making any mistakes. I had some good fights with Fisichella at the beginning and then with others at least for a few corners. Even though it is such a tough circuit I felt fine at the end."

Sebastian Vettel (19th): "I had a good start and got away well, but as I upshifted through the gears I lost a bit of momentum. Especially in the first stint I was unable to match the pace of those ahead, particularly down the straight. Apart from that, my biggest problem was at the pit stop when the engine stalled, so we had to re-start it and I was then in neutral instead of first, so it cost me a few seconds. Overall, it was a tough race, and we have to see now why we were not able to run at the pace we had expected. Now, I am looking forward to having my first proper test with the team at Monza next week. As for today, I would prefer to feel a lot more tired than I do, but me much higher up the order!"

Gerhard Berger, Team Principal: "Tonio had a good race within the possibilities of our package. He had a tough fight with Davidson and the Hondas. We are still a bit behind in terms of speed, but Tonio and the team made no mistakes. Sebastian struggled a bit this weekend to get the car right. In the race, his engine stalled in the pit stop and we need to find out why. Later, he suffered an electrical problem with the gearbox. But we know we will have a couple of races like this with Sebastian this year in preparation for him being able to fight harder next season. It is very tight in this part of the pack and we just have to work on improving the car to move forward and that starts with next week's Monza test, when we will have a few new parts to try."

Spyker-Ferrari

Sakon Yamamoto (20th): "First of all I would like to thank the team as my aim was to finish the race and I've achieved my target, so I am really happy. It was not that easy as I stalled in the pit stop as the fuel pressure was low, but I did not lose too much time with this thankfully. For Monza we should have the B-spec so I am looking forward to this next race. I will go through the data and then prepare for this race and the next test in just a couple of days."

Adrian Sutil (21st): "I had a very good start but then I had to go wide as a car was spinning. I didn't lose any places though and the first stint was very competitive. I knew I was quicker than the Toro Rosso but I couldn't find a way past. Then in the pits I stalled and got stuck in gear and as Sakon was coming in soon after me they had to put the car in the garage to restart. It is a shame as I had hoped to have a good race, but you know it happens. We did do some really strong lap times though and the stint with the harder tyres got better and better especially the last laps. It was just on the last lap that we had some problems with fuel pressure and I had to stop before the chequered flag."

Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "Again we raced the cars in front and could have stayed with them but for the problems in the pit stops where we lost too much time. We can now go to the Monza test and the first real running of the new car, and then onto the Italian Grand Prix, where we will hope for a result that is more reflective of what we can do."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A difficult race: unfortunately we weren't able to get both cars to the finish as Adrian stopped on the last lap with a fuel pressure problem. The first stints were pretty good and competitive with the group around us as normal, but sadly we were held up by the Toro Rosso in front. Then both cars stalled in the first pit stop with a fuel pressure issue. With Sakon we could get him going again without losing too much time, but Adrian was stuck in gear. Well done to the boys for turning the cars around in the pit stops so quickly, but after that it was just a question of taking care of the blue flags. We'll move on to Monza where we should be using the new car and hope for a better finish."

Super Aguri-Honda

Anthony Davidson (14th): "It was a good start, but then I got sandwiched going into Turn One between Coulthard and Fisichella. Fisichella and Trulli touched, Trulli spun and I had to go on the outside of him off the track and when I rejoined I touched another car and damaged my front end, which definitely affected the balance of my car. It was a tough race from there on really. We had a good strategy. We got ahead of the Toro Rosso, which was who I was fighting with all race, so it is a shame to have had a bit of contact at the start. After that, it was a good clean race and it felt good to finish another Grand Prix."

Takuma Sato (18th): "It was a tough race. I did not have a very good start off the line, but I held my position. I was optimistic that I would be able to gain some positions in the back of the queue into Turn One, but just in front of me one of the Toyota cars spun and completely blocked my line. I had to brake really hard and to avoid him I had to go round the outside and I lost many places. From then on I had a very tough race and nothing else really happening. It is a shame to finish the race weekend like this, but we just struggled with grip all weekend and continue to lack the pace."

Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "It was quite a tough race, with the majority of the field crossing the finish line. Our two cars made okay starts and the first corner incident with Trulli meant that Anthony had to run wide and he then touched another car, whilst Taku had to almost stop to avoid collision in the traffic. Because of this, Anthony suffered a problem with his SA07 which affected his lap times for the whole of the race. On the positive side, we achieved another two-car finish and the team and drivers did a good job today."