Singapore GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Sebastian Vettel (1st): "I am very, very pleased with the result today, the car was fantastic all the way through. When we needed to push, we could pull away quite easily, which helped us. When the safety car came out, it didn't really fit to our plan as we had a gap of about thirty seconds with thirty laps to go, but nevertheless I had a very good restart. I was a bit lucky that there were some back markers between me and Jenson and I was able to get back into the rhythm straight away. I pulled out a gap and I was quite happy. All in all it is a fantastic result. I really love this track and I love the challenge here - it's one of the longest races of the season, but the car was fantastic and engine-wise everything was great. Renault again did a very good job, so we were in a comfortable position for most of the race, which is pretty handy around here because it's quite a challenge to put all the sectors together, not only in qualifying, but also in the race. I'm very pleased and for the Championship it looks like we have another chance at the next race."
Mark Webber (3rd): "Unfortunately I've found myself having to come back through the field too often this season. I can't make the starts I made last year at the moment. I need to work on those; we'll look at them and definitely improve. I have to keep working harder because it's quite frustrating and it's quite risky to have to come back through and try to regain positions on the track, particularly when the DRS isn't working. In the end I probably lost a position today out of that, JB put a good last stint together so it would have been good battle with him, even if he did have track position. Seb deserved the victory today and overall, if you come here and you get a podium, it's not too bad. Of course you'd love a win, that's what we all strive for, but this is a very challenging venue. The guys have done a great job all weekend, for me in particular - as it's not the easiest track for me here. I want to thank all the guys - they've done a great job for me all weekend and Renault also - we have had 100% reliability, so a great job."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "It was a big performance today to win the Singapore GP. It's one of the stand-out venues of the calendar with a really unique atmosphere and it's probably the toughest and most demanding race for the car and the drivers physically, due to the hot and humid conditions. Sebastian was faultless today; he was truly dominant in the first half and in managing the race to the end; not taking any risks to record his ninth win of the season. Starting from the left-hand side of the grid, the dirty side, Mark lost out as others did on the run to the first corner, but thereafter he had a really good race with Fernando and we seemed to be lighter on the tyres than the Ferrari today. He managed to pass Fernando twice and then our strategy worked to the end of the race. On top of that I think we also had the fastest pit stop of the day, so a truly great team performance that puts Sebastian within one point of achieving his second World Championship. However, that said, it doesn't change our approach as we head to Japan."
Cyril Dumont, Renault: "Today it was simply a fantastic race with good driving from Sebastian. He was able to be quicker by almost a second to all his opponents. He pulled out a big gap and was incredible today. Looking to Mark, unfortunately the start was not that good, but he was able to overtake Fernando twice, so I think it was a solid driving from him. All in all it's a wonderful result for the team and I think it starts tasting good."
Jenson Button (2nd): "I was being told throughout the race to look after the car and the tyres; the only time I was really able to push was in the last 12 laps, when I chased down Seb [Vettel] on the Supersoft tyre. I gave it everything - but, in the end, we didn't quite have the pace to make up the gap. Still, I think we had the best possible strategy for both Saturday and Sunday, and I couldn't realistically have asked for a better result this weekend. In fact, we didn't make any mistakes this weekend and, as a team, I think we did the best possible job with the equipment we had. We need to improve a few things in our package, but I think Suzuka should suit us a little better [than Marina Bay]. I've had a run of podium finishes recently, so I'd really love to finish one step higher at the next race!"
Lewis Hamilton (5th): "Congratulations to Seb on a great drive - he drove fantastically all weekend. And well done to Jenson, too - he showed what was possible from our package by really getting the maximum out of it. He nearly brought home the victory too - so I'm encouraged that we can continue to challenge for wins for the rest of the season. I had fun picking off cars after my penalty, but it was frustrating to once again be down the field when I felt we had a car that could have challenged up at the front. For me, this weekend was a bit of a missed opportunity. As always, though, I'll put it behind me - I'm already looking forward to Suzuka!"
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Jenson drove a truly fabulous race yet again - and bagged 18 valuable world championship points as a result. He controlled his pace faultlessly, looked after his tyres brilliantly, and then attacked the Marina Bay circuit with total commitment at the end when aggression rather than circumspection was called for. But for a bit of bad luck in the form of a few backmarkers whom he encountered at precisely the inopportune moment, he could well have snatched a truly sensational victory. He's now a clear second in the drivers' world championship too. Lewis had a more frustrating day, but drove with great determination to finish fifth at the chequered flag, pulling off some fantastic passing manoeuvres in so doing. All in all, he had to make five visits to the pitlane - so, as I say, bearing that in mind, fifth place was a seriously impressive achievement. Next, though, we go to Suzuka, which is one of the great circuits on the Formula 1 calendar from a driver's point of view. Both Lewis and Jenson will be aiming for ultimate honours there - as indeed they will in all the remaining races of the 2011 season."
Fernando Alonso (4th): "Unfortunately, today it was impossible to finish on the podium. We were not fast enough and, even if we were third for some parts of the race, we knew that sooner or later we would be overtaken. Sure, if you nail the start and something unusual happens and you do everything perfectly and then some, the podium might come your way, but at the moment, the reality is that our car is third best in terms of performance. Then, as happened today, if the Safety Car wipes out the few seconds advantage we had put together over Webber and the backmarkers, who were maybe a bit distracted, create unexpected problems, then everything becomes more difficult. At the start, on the Supersofts, we had very high degradation, while on the Softs the situation got back to more or less normal compared to Red Bull and McLaren. We fought all weekend long and I'm pleased with the way the team worked, because they always did their very best and we got the most we could have done out of this race. We have five difficult races ahead of us, but our motivation does not change: at some point maybe we will be able to attack, while there will be other times when we have to defend, but either way, we will always do our best."
Felipe Massa (9th): "There's no point in me hiding the disappointment and anger I feel at the end of a race that could have delivered a very different result. The damage following contact with Hamilton penalised me a lot because I lost so much time in the early stages when the traffic was still very heavy. After the race, I tried to talk to him to clear the air but he walked away without even answering: so I told him what I thought when we found ourselves in the interview area. On top of that, the Safety Car added to my troubles: I had changed tyres a few laps earlier and had fitted the Supersofts which definitely would not have got me to the end of the race, while other drivers were able to make the most of the race being neutralised to make their stop without losing too much time. In the end, first of all, I lost some time behind Barrichello and then I had to let Vettel by, which meant I was a lap down on him and had lost any chance of finishing seventh, given that Sutil and Rosberg in front of me were struggling with their tyres. I would really like to have a trouble free race at some point, something that I have not experienced recently, if you look at Monza for example. Today, a top six finish was definitely within reach."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "The result itself is not a surprise, but the performance definitely was, and in a bad way. We were slower than we expected and we must carefully analyse the reasons why things turned out this way. It will be a useful exercise for the coming races and also when looking to the future. Fernando did his best, staying in the hunt for a podium finish right to the end and he is still definitely in the running for second place in the Drivers' Championship. Felipe could also have been up there with him, but his race was ruined by the puncture caused by Hamilton: our Brazilian is definitely having an unlucky time of it at the moment and yet again, as in Monza, he had to fight his way back up the order through no fault of his own. Now we must roll up our sleeves and maintain our motivation for the remaining races of this season, in which our aim has to remain the same, namely to try and win some races. At the same time, we must learn as much as possible about the behaviour of this car, to apply the lessons to the one that is currently at the design stage."
Pat Fry: "We have to be honest and accept that this result reflects the relative strengths of the teams at the moment. Our car is third best and to finish fourth is more or less what we might have expected. We cannot say the same as regards our performance level, which did not match our expectations. Tyre degradation, especially with the Supersoft, was very high and we must try and understand why. In terms of strategy, I think we took the right decisions: the Safety Car certainly did not help, because both Felipe and Fernando had made their stop a few laps earlier and so they could not exploit that advantage compared to their closest competitors. In the end, we left Fernando on the Softs, because it was the best choice to cover Hamilton, the only one who could have taken the position off us. Unfortunately, by this time, the podium was already out of reach. To those who ask what will motivate us as we tackle the remaining races, I would say that we have a lot of work to do, both to try and improve the performance level of this car and to get pointers for next year. We have some new parts in Japan and Korea which will be useful on both these fronts. We are Ferrari and we won't let ourselves be discouraged by a poor showing."
Nico Rosberg (7th): "The optimum today would have been sixth place but it didn't quite work out for us this weekend. I was struggling with the rear end in the race, and our car just really didn't suit this demanding track. I had more problems with tyre degradation than the cars around me, which combined with having to switch our strategy when the safety car came out, meant it was impossible to make any progress. Whilst we might not be happy with the outcome of our weekend here in Singapore, we will now work hard to improve the car for the next races here in Asia."
Michael Schumacher (DNF, Accident): "It was a very unfortunate ending to my race in Singapore tonight and obviously I am a bit disappointed. What happened was what I would call a misunderstanding between Sergio Perez and myself. He was about to go inside and lifted, and I was not expecting him to do that so early, and therefore hit him. It's probably one of those race incidents which look more impressive from outside than from inside, as I am totally ok and my impact in the end was not too heavy. It was a pity because my car and the tyres worked well, and therefore the pace was very good. I will look ahead to the next races and hope to have better endings there."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "It turned out to be a fairly tough race for us this evening. As expected, we didn't have the pace to match the leaders but we were quite comfortable in the gap behind the top six cars. Unfortunately Michael's accident hurt us both from his own point of view and that it brought out the safety car at the wrong time for our strategy. Nico then did a very good job to make the set of tyres that he had last for over half of the race. Seventh place was about as much as we could have expected today, and whilst it feels disappointing, we will keep working hard and pushing forward."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "The race developed quite well for us until Michael's incident with Sergio Perez which brought out the safety car. We had no choice but to pit Nico and put him on the prime tyres, on which he then did 31 laps, more than half the race distance. Nico did a very good job to keep the tyres together for such a long stint. Michael's speed before the accident looked good, considering our current technical package, so it is a shame for him as he could perhaps have finished in front of Nico. Without the safety car, and with an ideal strategy for Nico, he could have been in a position to finish one place higher. Thank you to the organisers here in Singapore for hosting this race, which is one of the most spectacular events in the calendar, and produces the best television images over the course of the season."
Bruno Senna (15th): "It was a tough race. My first lap was very good, but we then suffered from some very high tyre degradation. I was pushing hard to complete good lap times but we had to adjust the brake balance a lot to try and compensate for the rear tyre wear. When we put the soft tyres on they didn't have quite the same bite as the super softs. Then, when I came into the hairpin which is the slowest corner of the track, my wheels locked up and I hit the wall. This made my race very, very complicated firstly because of the time lost there and secondly because of the extra pit stop. It could have been a much better race for us, but we did what we could and we will now start to think about Japan, where hopefully we can bring out more of the potential of the R31."
Vitaly Petrov (17th): "Today we had a race to forget. First of all I had some problems with KERS shortly after the start, which cost me a few tenths each lap and made it difficult to overtake. Then, the tyres started to behave poorly; when cars started overlapping me, I had to slow down a little and the tyre pressure went down. We have to pull together and look at why the car isn't performing at circuits such as this. We haven't performed at our usual level today, but the final five venues are all places where the R31 should perform better."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Coming to Singapore, we knew that we were in for a tough weekend. The R31 was never suited to street circuits and there were very few reasons to hope this might change here. However, we never expected our performance to be so embarrassing. Seeing our cars so low in the classification today, clearly struggling for grip among blue flags, was a painful experience. In these conditions, it is difficult to draw any positive from the race apart from the flawless job made by the organisers of the Grand Prix, who have definitely produced one of the best venues on the calendar. We will all forget this race quickly and turn our focus to Suzuka, where the track's quick corners should make us smile again. Finally, I would like to wish Steve Nielsen, our Sporting Director, all the best for the future. Steve has been with the team for more than 10 years and today was his last race with us."
James Allison, Technical Director: "Today's race was 61 laps of misery to cap off a weekend of disappointment. We did not start today with high hopes; poor pace and high tyre degradation during the race simulation runs on Friday are not good weapons to take into the race and our cars suffered accordingly. Bruno nudged the wall after his first tyre stop which left him in last place after stopping to replace the damaged wing. Thereafter he showed good fighting spirit to get back to 15th place. Although it has been highly reliable in races hitherto, Vitaly was additionally hampered by loss of his KERS early on which made it very tough for him to overtake."
Riccardo Penteado, Engine Support Leader: "The weekend didn't go as well as we hoped. It was difficult to find the right engine maps for this track but at the end we were happy with the driveability. Nevertheless, it was always going to be hard to do anything from our qualifying positions. Let's look forward to Japan. We've performed well on this type of track this season so we'll focus on getting back to form there."
Pastor Maldonado (11th): "The car had quite a lot of oversteer throughout the race, particularly in the first stint. We tried everything to get rid of it to save the rear tyres but the wear rate forced us to pit early. It didn't make that much of a difference to our strategy though and it actually worked out well in the end. I managed to get into a good rhythm, especially in the second half when I was able to follow Massa quite consistently. I think the team did well and I'm pleased too because it's my first time racing in Singapore."
Rubens Barrichello (13th): "We said at the beginning that the tyres would have a hard time. With the safety car deployed when it was, the only option was to stay out to have a chance of scoring points. It was a tough call to do that many laps on the same tyre - and when Massa came up behind me there was nothing I could do. We gave it a go, but it didn't pay off for us today."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We tried a couple of different things on strategy between the two cars but today we didn't have enough pace to get into the points. Both the drivers probably got the best out of the car they could. It was a tough race but both FW33s came home with no reliability issues. As that was my last Grand Prix for AT&T Williams, I would like to thank everyone on the race team and at the factory for the last 11 years and to wish them all the best for a bright future."
Paul di Resta (6th): "My first Singapore Grand Prix was a lot of fun and I'm very happy with the outcome. I don't think the safety car really helped us because I still had a lot of life left in the supersoft tyres in the middle of the race, but it didn't really hurt us either. After that it was a case of managing my pace to Rosberg, looking after the tyres and bringing the car home. I was in free air for the final part of the race, which helped, and the pace was strong. It's probably my best race of the season, but it's the result of all the hard work behind the scenes. We came here with an upgrade package that has allowed us to gain performance in the race, gain tyre life, and we saw the benefits of that today."
Adrian Sutil (8th): "We have been aiming to get both cars in the points for a while now, so we can be very happy with where we finished. The points we scored give us some breathing space over Sauber in the championship. It was quite a normal race for me, although I lost some track position under the safety car as Rosberg got ahead of me and stayed there until the end of the race. The final stint was quite difficult because I had to do about 30 laps on the soft tyres. I had Perez close behind me and then Massa was closing in fast on the final lap. Fortunately I had enough to hold on to eighth."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "I have to say I am delighted with today's result. We knew we had the performance in the car to get both drivers in the points, but to come away with 12 points is extremely satisfying. It strengthens our sixth place in the championship and moves us closer to fifth place. One of the key moments of the race was the safety car period, when we chose to pit both cars at the same time. The pit crew did an excellent job of stacking the cars and that played a critical role in where we ultimately finished. Both Paul and Adrian have performed brilliantly all weekend and haven't put a foot wrong. With five races remaining we now need to build on this momentum so that we continue our strong finish to the season."
Sergio Perez (10th): "I think tenth was the best we could manage today. I was on a two stop strategy, starting on the supersoft tyres and changing after 15 laps to the soft compound. For my second stop I had to pit earlier because I had a puncture after the accident with Michael (Schumacher), and then I had to do a very long last stint - actually just a bit over half the race distance - with the second set of soft tyres. I think Michael was too optimistic with what he tried. It is a shame to have lost a place to Felipe (Massa) in the end, but the tyres were finished and I couldn't defend anymore. We will keep fighting to get back sixth place in the Championship."
Kamui Kobayashi (14th): "This was a very difficult weekend for me. Our pace all weekend was actually okay, but in the race, due to traffic and a mistake with the strategy when the Safety Car was on the track, it didn't work out. I was very surprised when I got the drive through penalty, because I didn't see any blue flags."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "I can't pretend to be that happy with one point, as I think we were expecting a little better than what we achieved today. Unfortunately the Safety Car didn't come at the right moment for us. Under the circumstances I think what Sergio did was the best we could achieve here. I have to be honest and say we should have left Kamui out during the Safety Car period, but still I don't think he could have scored points today. Performance wise I think we are better than we looked, but we just didn't get through the traffic when it was there."
Sebastien Buemi (12th): "I think twelfth was pretty much the maximum I could have hoped for today. If one analyses the weekend overall, I would say we did not have enough downforce, reflected in the fact we had a very good top speed down the straights, but were not fast enough through the corners. But of course, it is always easy to say these things and be wise in hindsight. Degradation was quite high and we opted for three tyre stops. I expect that, with the car we have, we should be much more competitive at a track like Suzuka, so I am looking forward to going to Japan for the next round. Before that, we must analyse the data from this race very carefully, to see how we can improve for future races at this type of track."
Jaime Alguersuari (21st): "We already knew on Saturday what sort of race we would have today and although ready to do my best, I was not expecting much from this evening. I had a lot of oversteer after the first few laps onwards. With a couple of laps to go I crashed into the barriers and that was my race over. Looking at my performance and that of my team-mate, who was on a different strategy to me - I was on a two stop - I don't think points would have been on the agenda for us this weekend. As for the drive-through, I am not really sure why I got it, as I only made very light contact with Trulli."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "This was not our weekend, as we were behind right from the start, after experiencing difficulties in Friday free practice. Qualifying was therefore difficult and, starting 14th and 16th, having got both cars through to Q2, clearly we were going to have a tough race on a street circuit. This evening, we did the best we could, even though we were simply not quick enough. Sebastien got the most out of the package we gave him for today. As for Jaime, I still do not understand why he was given a drive-through penalty, which completely compromised his race and ruined the strategy we had planned for him. We must now look to improve on this front before tackling a very different type of circuit, as we head to the next race at Suzuka in Japan."
Heikki Kovalainen (16th): "I'm really pleased with the performance today and we should all be happy as it was a great race from the whole team. The pitstop strategy worked out well for us and the boys worked brilliantly to get me out quickly each time, helping me make sure I could stay ahead of Petrov at each stop. The car felt balanced throughout the whole race and the tyres worked well so I was able to pull away from Petrov and ended up finishing strongly in 16th. It's also good that the upgrade we've brought here has helped us take a small step forward and I think we'll see more from that in Suzuka where it will come more into its own. After a race like today I can't wait to get back in the car, so we leave Singapore feeling pretty good about the last few races of the season."
Jarno Trulli (DNF, Gearbox): "I had another really good start and was ahead of both Renaults and the Toro Rosso. They were pushing me but the car felt great and I was able to keep ahead of them pretty comfortably, coming out of the first stop still ahead and feeling good on the second set of tyres. Then Jaime hit my left rear and I had to come which was pretty disappointing - it's just bad luck really, but that meant I had to try and fight back which I did my best to do until the gearbox problem meant I had to pull over. I'm pleased for the team that we were able to fight from the start and I think it's a good sign that we could do so well in the race, but now we move on to Japan and I hope we can keep pushing on there."
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "For me that is probably the best race we have had in our short life in Formula One so far. Heikki drove an outstanding race and was able to keep pace with a lot of the cars around him, and pull away from the cars behind, and he made the most of the new package we brought here to finish very well. Jarno again suffered from bad luck and maybe the strategy we gave him was not the best, but we called it as we saw it and I am sure we will learn from how his race worked out. I am delighted for everyone back at the factory to see their hard work on the upgrade work out well on track, and I think we can look forward to a strong end to the season, knowing we can fight with established teams around us when the opportunities arise."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "Mixed reactions from me because that was possibly our strongest race performance, particularly early on, but it obviously did not end for Jarno as we would have wanted. Jarno drove a very good first stint and by switching the strategy and stopping Heikki early we were able to control the cars behind us that we were racing at that point. When we pitted Jarno we got him back out in front of the cars he was racing but unfortunately Alguersuari hit him, causing a left rear puncture and ruining his race. He kept pushing when we got him back out but finally he had to stop with a gearbox problem. Heikki drove a very strong race and it was good to beat one of the Renaults on pace today, both on track and in the pitstops. It is a shame we could not get both cars to the finish, but this was still a very good performance from the whole team."
Thierry Salvi, Renault: "I think we can be pleased with how we Heikki finished but again the luck was not with Jarno. Another good start put him in a very good position early on and even after his first pitstop he was still in good shape. After that the puncture meant he had to give up the positions he had won at the start which is obviously very bad luck but it was fortunate that Heikki was able to push throughout the whole race and finish in front of the Renault. I think that is a good car and it shows that our car is getting better and better. Engine wise it was all ok for us. We managed the temperatures the pressures well and had no issues on either car so I think we can be pretty happy with how it ended."
Daniel Ricciardo (19th): "Unfortunately my race wasn't too exciting because I got my nose clipped on the first lap. It was all a bit bunched into turn 8 and I didn't have a clear line so I just wanted to keep that line for the next corner and had a touch. It was my mistake for going in a bit too deep and it was a costly one because then I encountered quite a few blue flags which upset my rhythm. But the middle stint wasn't too bad, we got a bit of a rhythm going but towards the end of the race we got more blue flags and tried to go quite long on the tyres, which was pretty difficult to manage. But we made it and it's good to get to the finish line though in the toughest race of the season. Now I need to keep on working and move forward."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (20th): "Today's race has been quite tough; not only because the car was difficult to drive in such conditions but also because we have been a little unlucky. The first half of the race has been good and then, in the last quarter, we were forced to change to our last set of tyres because the rear was going and had to put on the tyres that we used in qualifying. Immediately I felt that the car had a lot less grip, to the point where I locked the front on turn 14 without doing anything different and I touched the wall, which caused the wing to break. So I was forced to pit again. After the wall incident the car was difficult to drive with quite a lot of understeer so we just tried to reach the checkered flag from there. So it was tough out there but with the positive of having reached the end."
Colin Kolles, Team Principal: "We knew it was going to be a tough race and it has been, but we achieved the main objective of the team that was crossing the finish line with both cars. We had different strategies for each one of the drivers and we knew that the chances of a safety car were high therefore we had alternatives to adapt our strategy quickly. The planning was good but it had to come into place earlier than expected when Daniel had to pit to replace his front wing. Both Tonio and Daniel did a good job on the track because they adapted to the circumstances and kept focused. They managed to keep a fairly good rhythm despite the blue flags and pushed each other to the end. This one is over and now we are hoping for a better race in Japan in two weeks."
Jerome d'Ambrosio (18th): "I'm quite happy with my race today. I had a good start and pushed hard on the first two laps and then tried to save the tyres as we were following a two-stop strategy - that was pretty good. The last stint was long and not easy to manage. I could push, but I had to have in mind that I had to look after the tyres until the end of the race. It has been quite a good race. I'm satisfied and we need to continue like this. It's certainly the toughest race I have done, but I managed to go to the end without many problems, so it was good."
Timo Glock (DNF, Accident): "It's a disappointing end to the weekend for the team and for me. I had quite a good start but I lost my positioning with Jerome because I was on the outside. Then, unfortunately, in the second sector Ricciardo drove into the rear right of the car and from that moment my steering wheel was not straight, it was quite a lot to the right, and in all the left-hand corners the car was really difficult to drive. I had a lot of degradation on the rear right tyre and then suddenly I lost the rear under braking and when I hit the wall I think it broke the rear suspension and that was it. It's a real shame for the team that has been working hard all over the weekend, but this is racing and now we just have to look forward to the next race in Japan."
John Booth, Team Principal: "Jerome drove possibly his best race of the year today. We were really pleased to see him battling with cars that are usually several seconds in front of us on pace. Enabling him to do this was a well thought-out strategy by the engineers which was executed faultlessly by the pit crew, with last minute calls and Safety Cars thrown in the mix. I'm sure he'll take a big lift from this race and look forward to the final races of the season. Unfortunately, Timo's race was over on the first lap with the impact from Ricciardo. It's a great shame we didn't get the chance to see him in action at his favourite track. It's certainly been a very hot and humid weekend for all of the guys in the garage, however they have done a fantastic job to keep to our normal high standards of operation."