Hungarian GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Sebastian Vettel (3rd): "I would have loved the race to have been a bit longer, as it was fun with Kimi at the end. It's hard to pass on this track, I got close but I wasn't in the prime overtaking spot at that point; I was trying to set something up for the next corners, but it didn't work. The key issue in the race was when I got stuck behind Jenson, there's no one to blame for that, I lost more time than expected on the way into the first stop and we came out just behind him. I couldn't get past; I tried to force it and damaged my front wing, which was a mistake from my side. I was maybe trying to urge a bit too much. It was close with Kimi and nice to be on the podium again today. Congratulations to Lewis, he did a good job today."
Mark Webber (4th): "I think we had the right strategy. We knew there was a lot of pressure on getting a good first lap and I got some clear air, which worked well. The start was okay and the first sector was very good, I was able to put a bit of pressure on Kimi and then we just settled in. I had a pretty tricky car for the first three or four laps, as I knew the option tyres were quite grippy and after that we just got our heads down. I don't think we could have got much more than that result today. The strategy was pretty solid and you have to pace the option tyres until the end."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A very hot and tough afternoon. Probably the decisive moment in Sebastian's race was after the first stop when he emerged behind Jenson Button. We weren't able to get past quickly and sustained a bit of wing damage. That then effectively released Lewis and put us back into the realms of fighting with Kimi on a two stop. However, despite the damage, Sebastian was able to maintain a very strong pace and pushed all the way to the flag. Mark's recovery from tenth was excellent today, a very strong first stint put him back into contention and to recover from tenth on the grid to fourth was a very good performance. So heading into the summer break, we've extended our lead in the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships and everyone now deserves a well-earned rest to recharge their batteries for when we come back at the end of August."
Thierry Salvi, Renault: "We would have liked to finish the race in higher positions, but the weekend has been strong and we improved the car during all sessions. Seb and Mark did a fantastic job in the race, Mark was able to come back towards the front and Seb pushed like hell until the end. We are happy with the third and fourth places which increases our positions in the both Championships."
Fernando Alonso (5th): "Finishing fifth today, maybe we actually did better than what should have been within our grasp, because Mercedes, Lotus and Red Bull were quicker than us, a fact we had already seen from Friday's practice. This race ends what's been a generally difficult month for us and, with Silverstone and NuÃàrburgring, is part of a cycle where we were not up to par. However, looking at the points we have obtained, we haven't lost out too much and today, Hamilton and Raikkonen helped us to keep the gap from growing too big to Vettel in the lead. Now, our aim is to work hard to arrive at Spa and Monza with a more competitive car. There are still nine races to go and the points available are more than enough. The team can do it and the potential is there, so I don't see any reason why we can't fight right to the end of the championship, as we have always done."
Felipe Massa (8th): "Today's race was difficult from start to finish, because right from the first lap, at turn 5, after making contact with Rosberg, I lost the left part of the front wing. At that time, stopping to change the nose would have lost valuable time, so we decided not to come in, but from then on, the balance of the car was never the same and I lost a lot in terms of performance, suffering a lot with understeer and oversteer and my tyres degraded more than they should have done. I definitely can't be happy with eighth place, because both in the race and in qualifying, we lacked the pace to fight for the lead. For various reasons, this track doesn't suit our car, but it's precisely because things can change from track to track that we must absolutely stay focused now. From now on we will concentrate on the development and on the preparation of the second part of the championship, when I hope we can be more competitive."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "Going into this race weekend, we knew we would be struggling a bit. Today's result cannot put a smile on our faces because at no point in the race were we competitive. After a promising start to the season, we are experiencing a drop in competitiveness. Now we need to stay calm and not give up, which is what we are used to doing, especially in the most difficult times. We must use the next few weeks to gather some ideas and act promptly. I expect the whole team to react strongly with the intention of improving the car to allow our drivers to express all their potential."
Pat Fry: "The result of this race is in line with our current potential: we knew this cycle of races would be difficult and that the fight for the podium at this track would be out of our reach. Car performance on both compounds did not give us any margin to attack, not even with a more aggressive strategy. For this reason, we preferred to defend our positions from attacks from those behind and from those caused by traffic, opting for a more conservative strategy. Both drivers did their utmost, especially Felipe, who from first lap onwards had to drive with a damaged front wing. Even if we have managed to limit the damage, now we need to make significant progress if we want to fight for the title. The next two races after the summer break take place on circuits that are very different to the Hungaroring and so we will work on various fronts in the hope of seeing our efforts rewarded as soon as possible."
Jenson Button (7th): "That was a fun race - although I seemed to be a target for other cars! Sebastian [Vettel] tried many times to get past me, and clipped my rear wheel into Turn Two - he may have damaged his wing, but I was lucky not to puncture. With Romain [Grosjean], I don't know what he thought - unless I took to the grass, it was inevitable we were going to touch! I don't think he was thinking at that point. I ran almost half the race on the Prime tyre, which was the longest of anybody; it's good to show we can do that. Our middle-stint pace on the Option was also very good, and I had a blinding first lap, jumping from 13th to eighth. We beat a Ferrari fair and square, and we'd also have beaten a Mercedes if Nico [Rosberg] hadn't stopped - we can take a lot of positives away from here. Seventh position might not look too exciting - particularly after we fought for fifth at the last race - but we've done a good job this weekend and taken a step forward - and that's a nice little boost to send everyone off into the summer break."
Sergio Perez (9th): "We really needed the starting tyre in the best possible condition to make a two-stopper work properly. After qualifying yesterday, I think we were in a good position to score some good points, but we were affected by the run on the used Prime from qualifying. So, unfortunately, I think we lost out a little too much in the first stint; I struggled with the rear of the car, had to pit earlier than planned, and then ran into traffic and lost more time, so it's a bit of a shame. Still, it's a positive to get both cars into the points again. I think we can feel satisfied with the job we've done over the last couple of races - a result like this is encouraging for everybody in the team, and it's a nice present with which to send us into the August break."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Jenson controlled his pace brilliantly throughout today's race, optimising a two-stop strategy to score six valuable world championship points here in Budapest. Moreover, he was quick in his middle stint, on Options, which underlined the decent race pace that MP4-28 was able to produce on this tricky and idiosyncratic racetrack. Checo was very unlucky to get boxed in at the start, losing places as a result, but thereafter he did a very solid and professional job, hanging on in there to bag two useful world championship points also. Moreover, both Jenson and Checo deserve plaudits for their great professionalism here today, driving very cleanly in challenging circumstances made even trickier by the proximity of drivers on three-stop strategies who were obviously able and willing to push harder than they were. Now, as we go into the mid-season break, I want to say two things: first, that it goes without saying that we'll continue to do our utmost to score as many points as we can in the second half of the season, and, second, that everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes richly deserves a good holiday after having worked spectacularly hard so far this year. Well done, guys. Last but not least, I want to say 'congrats' to our old friend Lewis [Hamilton], who drove very well indeed to score his maiden victory for Mercedes-Benz AMG F1 here today."
Kimi Raikkonen (2nd): "It was a good race and a good result for the team. The strategy worked well. We did two long stints on the tyres but they weren't too bad and the car felt strong so it allowed us to make one less stop. In the last few laps the rears were a bit on edge, but apart from that it was ok. Sebastian [Vettel] got the run on me a couple of times but luckily it was in places that you can't really overtake. The main positive is that we gained a few points to Seb in the Championship. For sure we could have maybe closed the gap a little more with a win, but anything we can get back will help. We're only halfway through the season and it will be hard to catch up, but anything can still happen so we'll keep fighting until the end."
Romain Grosjean (6th): "For sure this is one that got away, but I'm very happy with my race and I honestly don't think I could have done much more. Maybe the strategy didn't quite work how we wanted, but the car felt really good and it was the traffic that cost us. Without this maybe there would never have been a drive-through penalty which for sure didn't help. I haven't seen the footage yet and I thought it was a good move, but unfortunately the stewards took a different view. I've no problem with the time-added for the incident with Jenson and I apologised to him afterwards. This could have been the one for me, but we will just have to wait a little bit longer and keep improving like we have been recently to make it happen."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Another good result for Kimi today. He drove very well and was backed up by a strong strategy to help him make the podium. Romain was very unfortunate in that we couldn't quite jump Fernando [Alonso] in the pits which cost him a lot of time, plus the drive-through penalty cost him a far better result. He made a great move at a circuit where overtaking is difficult and he had no room to do anything else. For us the Stewards' decision was harsh. The most important thing to take from the weekend has been the pace of the car; this circuit is a bit special, and I think there will be some circuits where we have to work a bit harder, but I'm confident we'll be consistently fighting for podiums at every race weekend in the second half of the season. Red Bull are a long way ahead, but we've shown today that they can be beaten so we want to keep pushing them all the way."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "It was a great race today from Kimi - as always. We started the race intending a three-stop strategy, but as the race played out it became clear that a two-stop would give us better possibilities so we switched over to that strategy. Kimi drove superbly to look after his tyres but deliver exactly the pace we needed at the appropriate time. He was rewarded by returning to second in the Drivers' Championship. I feel really sorry for Romain for what appears to be a very harsh penalty for a fantastic overtaking move on Felipe Massa. Yes, he ran off the track, but he had nowhere else to go. It certainly seemed like good racing to me; were it not for the drive-through penalty, we would have had two cars on the podium again."
Riccardo Penteado, Engine Support Leader: "We had high expectations after our strong qualifying positions. Kimi drove a fantastic race with an aggressive strategy of two pit stops which was successful with a podium second place. Romain was very fast all the weekend but with his penalty he lost any chance to get to the podium. We controlled the engine temperatures during all the race and we demonstrated one more time that the Lotus-Renault package is really very fast. The summer break will be very good and we are looking forward to come back on track at Spa."
Lewis Hamilton (1st): "What a great weekend! We really didn't expect this when we came here this weekend and I said last night that I would need a miracle to win today. Well, just maybe they do happen. The team called the strategy and the pit stops just right and then it was just about managing the gap. I had some racing to do out there, though, with Jenson and Mark and I think we had the pace on everyone today. The team has just done an exceptional job: we have worked so hard to understand these tyres and we got the balance spot on today. I am very hopeful this could be a real turning point for us as we coped with these high track temperatures. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone at the team here and at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. Team work achieved this result today and I really couldn't be happier."
Nico Rosberg (19th): "Today was a great day for the team, for Lewis and a brilliant job by everyone here at the track and back at our factories. Unfortunately my weekend didn't go quite so well and it's a shame that we couldn't have had a two-car finish today. I got a good start but then Felipe and I came together on the first lap which was unfortunate as I was in front and had left some space for him but his front wing hit my rear tyre. That cost me a lot of positions and it's really difficult to make the places back up on this track. Then my day came to an early conclusion with the engine failure. However there are lots of positives for us to take as a team from this weekend and now I really look forward to the upcoming races as we know that we have a quick car and we made the new tyres work for us this weekend."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "We went into this race not really knowing where we stood in terms of tyre performance and behaviour but as the race unfolded, it became clear that we were able to stay competitive with both cars and drivers. Lewis drove an absolutely perfect race and didn't put a foot wrong all afternoon. He was able to race aggressively and keep the tyres alive to make our strategy work. Nico was unfortunate to get tangled up with Massa on the first lap and then suffered an engine failure, which was a little worrying in the closing laps as we hadn't seen any signs of overheating. Overall, this has been a very encouraging weekend. In extremely hot conditions, we maintained our Saturday afternoon competitiveness on Sunday afternoon and it certainly feels like we have made a good step forward today. Now we need to get our heads down before the well-deserved two-week shutdown so that we arrive in Spa as well prepared as we possibly can."
Toto Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "What an outstanding drive from Lewis this afternoon - he got a clean getaway and then executed the race strategy perfectly, including some really strong and aggressive overtaking moves when he needed to. He did a great job, just like the team with six clean pit stops for our drivers and the right race strategy. Nico lost positions on the first lap tangling with Felipe and then was making up places when his engine failed near the end of the race. That gave us a nervous few closing laps but we were able to bring Lewis' car home safely. We came into this weekend with a lot of discussion over how the new tyres would affect us. We did our homework in practice, found the right set-up and managed to take a good step forward this afternoon with how we managed the tyres in race conditions. It is only halfway through the season and our rivals have been consistently competitive while we have experienced some ups and downs in the first ten races. Our target for the second half of the year must be to consolidate our performance and deliver this kind of speed consistently. We are still the underdogs right now but we are on an upward trend and we will keep working hard. Thank you to everyone at our factories back in Brackley and Brixworth for their hard work and enjoy a well-deserved summer break. Congratulations as well to our customer sport team-mates who took victory for Mercedes-Benz in the Spa 24 Hours. It's been a good day for the three-pointed star!"
Nico Hulkenberg (11th): "The race was all right up until the second pit stop. I had trouble shifting from first to second gear. There is only a certain window where you are able to do that, otherwise it won't shift. That didn't work, it got hectic and somehow I must have released the button too early. Without the drive through penalty we could have clinched one point. Overall, our pace was ok, but not good enough to get into the points easily. Now I'm looking forward to the three weeks off, to get some sun and relax at the beach."
Esteban Gutierrez (DNF, Gearbox): "It was a pity what happened. We were on a good strategy and everything was running as planned. Unfortunately, we had to retire due to a gearbox problem. This is not really the best way to finish a race, but we did everything we could during the weekend. We had an engine problem yesterday and now the gearbox during the race, so this is something we have to look at to avoid it happening again. It is frustrating, but we need to stay positive and look forward to the next events, because we can see our performance has improved. The car felt very good up until that point, and I want to thank the team for all the effort it put in. Now we have to solve the issues we had in order to have trouble-free weekends."
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "We expected to get one or two points today. Unfortunately, we knew early on this wasn't going to happen. Esteban had to retire because of a gearbox problem. Nico had a good race, however, an unfortunate issue with the pit lane speed limiter earned him a drive through penalty. This ruined any chance we had of getting into the points. On the positive side, we now know we are more competitive. We are optimistic going into the second half of the season."
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: "Starting from P12 and P17 on this kind of circuit always makes it a hard race. Unfortunately, Nico also lost positions on the first lap, having had a good start initially. He ended up P15 at the end of the first lap. With Esteban's car we had a gearbox problem, which we need to investigate. Unfortunately when exiting the pit lane, Nico had a problem with the activation of the pit limiter, resulting in a drive through penalty, therefore ruining any chance of points today. Going forward, we can take positives from the better tyre management and pace we showed today. We'll return after the summer break more competitive than we started the season."
Paul di Resta (18th): "I made a good start and was very aggressive on the opening lap. I think I was up to about P12, but from there on it was difficult because I was struggling with the balance and tyre performance. Without the speed we did not have the flexibility to make the strategy work and points were looking out of reach. Towards the end of the race the team called me to the pits because it seems we had picked up a hydraulic issue, similar to the problem with the other car. Over the summer break we will regroup, analyse things properly and take a fresh approach into the second part of the year."
Adrian Sutil (DNF, Hydraulics): "It's disappointing not to finish, especially as the race was coming back to me after a poor start on the medium tyres. Just before my pit stop I had a problem with the gear shifts and I could not shift up any more. I came into the pits and it became clear we had a hydraulic problem so the team immediately told me to park the car."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "It's not been the easiest of weekends for us and it's disappointing to come away from Budapest without any points. Adrian celebrated his 100th Grand Prix this weekend, but he remained out of luck in Hungary and had to retire early with a hydraulic problem. His strategy was looking good so he missed a chance of points today. Paul's race was quite straightforward, but we did not have the speed to make his three-stop strategy work - despite his superb start. With a few laps to go we noticed a similar hydraulic issue with his car and he also had to retire. With the next race coming up in four weeks' time, we will analyse our performance and work hard to recapture our form in Spa."
Pastor Maldonado (10th): "I had a really good start from P15 and made a few overtaking manoeuvres during the race which were on the limit, which is especially pleasing as at this track it is very hard to overtake. The car felt consistent, maybe not as fast in the second and third stints, but very consistent. I really want to keep scoring points now and be even stronger during the second part of the season."
Valtteri Bottas (DNF, Hydraulics): "It's a shame to have my first retirement of the season as the goal was to finish every race, but there was nothing I could do today. We still need to investigate what happened but it felt like hydraulics as first I lost the power steering and then the engine. Today wasn't my best race but in general I feel I am improving all the time and looking forward to the second half of the season. Congratulations to Pastor and the team on claiming our first point, we now need to work hard to build on that when we return after the summer."
Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer: "We knew it would be a challenge with the high temperatures today, but we stuck to our three-stop strategy which worked well for us. Pastor made a great start which put him in straight into contention to fight for points. It looked like Perez was too far ahead towards the end, but with Rosberg's late retirement Pastor was able to collect an important point for us. Valtteri drove well but unfortunately had a hydraulic problem which caused him to stop on track. Our first point gives us a good motivation going into the summer break to come back even stronger for the remaining races of the season."
Laurent Debout, Renault: "We were a lot more competitive during all practice sessions this weekend and so we are very happy to score our first point. Pastor drove a great race finishing 10th while Valtteri retired with a hydraulic issue. We continue to make some significant progress and we are looking forward to scoring more points in the next few races."
Jean-Eric Vergne (12th): "A difficult race after we saw yesterday, particularly with Daniel, that the car has a good pace, but in the race we struggled and we could not match our usual rivals. I did what I could after a bad start, which meant I had to fight to get back to where I was. Beating my team-mate? It means nothing, especially when we are outside the points. I'd rather finish behind him inside the points. The holiday starts soon, but my focus is still on racing and I will be doing a lot of training to be in good shape to have a strong second half of the season. We still have a week to go when, along with the engineers, there will be a lot of work for us to do."
Daniel Ricciardo (13th): "Right from the start, it was clear we weren't really quick. I tried to hold position as long as I could but we were way too slow. I tried my best in terms of trying to maintain a good pace and look after the tyres, but today it was not enough to go looking for points. We got a bit more out of the car in qualifying yesterday, but it's hard to repeat that for seventy laps. We struggled at Nurburgring as well, so the heat has got something to do with it. We could not match our competitors today, just lacking speed when we have a heavy fuel load, which is the opposite of what we tended to see with last year's car."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "A difficult race for us, as it highlighted what appears to be our weak point at the moment, namely racing in hot conditions and with track temperatures exceeding 50 degrees, this was the hottest Grand Prix of the year. The opening stints were tricky on both cars, but towards the end, we picked up a bit more pace which saw us close on the Saubers and Force Indias. Hopefully, when we return to race in cooler conditions, we can once again get back in the points. However, there will be more hot races, so we must investigate ways of improving our car for these conditions. We have demonstrated again this weekend that the car is fast, as we secured a fifth consecutive top ten grid start, but of course there are no points for that. We still have one week to work before the enforced factory summer shutdown and we will be working flat out to ensure we come back in better shape for Spa."
Giedo van der Garde (14th): "I'm really pleased with today's race, for me that was the best race of the year and it's great to put in a performance like that before we head off for the August break. I think it shows that the plan we'd set for this season, about learning and improving race by race, is working as I was right on the pace we'd targeted until about six laps to go when the tyres were pretty much gone. For most of the season my starts have been good and it was the same here. I was ahead of Bottas by the end of lap one and keeping pace with the pack until my first stop, going onto primes, on lap eight. The car felt good at that point and the tyre management plan was going pretty well. I was making up time to the Williams ahead when we stopped for the second time on lap 28 and I was 19th when I came back out, well clear of both our nearest rivals. The goal today was to beat the cars we've been racing all year, so the second half of the race was really about consolidating the position we were in past the half-way point. Obviously the blue flags don't help us as we're having to race with one eye ahead and one behind, but we have to deal with them both on track and with the strategy, and I think the plan we had today was just about right. After the third stop I was about five seconds ahead of my teammate and knew I had to make the last set of mediums last until the flag, about 26 laps. I think the fact I was able to do that shows how my tyre management is improving, and I think the mix of a good strategy and a decent performance in the car combined to make this best day in F1 for me so far."
Charles Pic (15th): "I started on the options on a two-stop strategy and by the end of lap one I was just behind Bottas with my teammate ahead of him. We'd originally planned to stop around lap 10 but the soft tyres were holding up well so we extended the first stint to lap 13 so I could stay out, even though we knew it would be challenging with the track conditions today! After my first stop I came back out behind Bianchi and Chilton but passed them and started to make up time to Giedo who was then in 18th. Even though the track conditions were obviously very hot the first set of mediums was performing well and they held up for the distance we'd targeted for stop two on lap 38, by which point I was 18th. With that second stop successfully completed I had to make the tyres last for the rest of the race, 32 laps in total, so I managed them as best I could and there wasn't really anything more I could do today."
Jules Bianchi (16th): "It was a very tough race today and we were struggling with the balance the whole time and having to work so hard to preserve the rear tyres. All 70 laps were a bit of a battle to be honest. On the positive side we remained reliable in a race which is very demanding for the cars, bringing two cars home once again. My thanks to the Team for a good job, especially today with the pitstops and high temperatures. They did their usual strong performance. Now we head into the summer break and it is a time to both rest but also think about what we can do when we come back for the second half of the season. It is so important that we hold our ground to our competitors in order to achieve our objectives this year."
Max Chilton (17th): "A really tough day today for the whole team and easily the hardest race of my career. The track is challenging enough at the best of times, with little or no respite the whole lap - and there are 70 of them. Compounding things further for us was a real balance shift on the Medium tyres, which we started the race on, and this eased only for a short while when we ran on the Soft tyre for the second stint. This made it really difficult to drive the car for most of the race and at the same time try to manage the tyre degradation, so it really took every ounce of concentration and energy. These problems lost us a lot of time and this put us into blue flags much sooner and for a much longer period of time, which then causes you to lose even more time and have to fight to make up what we could when we were in free air. With that in mind, I am pleased with my relative race pace under the circumstances. Now, in common with the rest of the pit lane, a well-deserved summer break is due for the Team so we can come back fighting in the second half of the season."
John Booth, Team Principal: "Given the pace deficit we saw yesterday in qualifying it was always going to be tough to make progress today. We knew we had to do something different on strategy but we didn't expect to drop back as far as we did on the Medium tyre at the start of the race. The stints we were able to achieve today weren't quite enough to complete our planned two-stop race and so in the end we had to move to a three-stop race, which doesn't help the gaps shown on the timing sheet at the end. Overall a tough weekend and one we will want to move on from quickly. The next series of races coming up after the break will play to more of the strengths of our car and we will be pushing to ensure we learn every lesson we can from this race to come back from the break with renewed vigour. Finally I would like to thank the race team for their hard work in the heat today, we reacted well to the situations seen on track and the boys executed good pit stops, which was the most we could do."