German GP - Sunday - Team Quotes
Sebastian Vettel (4th): It was fun with Fernando today - we started maybe where we left off in Silverstone! It was quite entertaining the first half of the race and at one point it was quite tight with both the Ferraris, but we managed to stay ahead. The second stop was a bit too close and Fernando was able to pass without too many difficulties, which put us on the back foot, but we decided to be a bit more aggressive towards the end and make sure we got the undercut and then we could put some gap between us, which was crucial for us as we were quite tight in terms of fuel towards the end of the race. I think that was the best we could get today. Daniel just missed passing Fernando at the end unfortunately.
Daniel Ricciardo (6th): That was awesome fun, one of my most enjoyable races I've had. I mean, not on the first lap, obviously, that was just the wrong place at the wrong time. I wasn't as worse off as Massa and hopefully he is okay. I was on the outside and the collision happened, I had to avoid it and went pretty far down the field, I don't know exactly how far back. From then on I just got on to the radio and said let's make an amazing recovery and make ourselves proud today. And I think we did that, we fought hard and we didn't leave anything on the table. These are the moments and battles that I personally thrive off and enjoy. Fernando is known to be a tough racer and I thought who better to have a good fight with. I was on the Primes and he was on fresher Options and I gave it the best fight I could and, well.., nearly!
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: Fourth and sixth were the absolute maximum we could achieve out of today, especially after the first corner when Daniel did an amazing job to avoid the accident. There was some great racing with Sebastian and Fernando early in the race and he was really our main competitor today. Our strategy worked out that we were able to beat him in the end reasonably comfortably with Sebastian and Daniel came close as well after recovering extremely well and fighting hard with some more great racing towards the end. It was an exciting Grand Prix - there's still a big gap to Mercedes but we're working hard to try and close it down.
Thierry Salvi, Renault: Daniel was unlucky today at the start as he lost positions to avoid the accident and had to rebuild everything during the race. He's done a fantastic job and was quick enough to come back to sixth. Seb had to fight all race to maintain position and he had a lot to do to manage energy and fuel consumption, but it worked fine. All went OK today reliability-wise, which is the first step. We still have a lot to do on performance to be able to reach the podium, but Hungary should suit us a lot better.
Nico Rosberg (1st): Wow, what a great day after so many great events for me this week! I came here hoping for a win and it worked out perfectly. My Silver Arrow was so dominant, thanks to the team for this fantastic car. Before the race I was worried that without the FRIC system the gap in the race would be smaller. But we were again the quickest out there. I did a two stop strategy, which was difficult to manage at the end of the stints as the tyres were almost gone. I'm so happy for Mercedes; it was the first win for many many years in Germany. Thanks for the support here at Hockenheim, the fans were amazing to me. Also at the start I saw a Mexican wave, which was great. Now I look forward to Hungary.
Lewis Hamilton (3rd): First of all, congratulations to Nico on winning his home race; it's a special feeling and I am very proud that we could put both cars on the podium for Mercedes-Benz in Germany and represent for all the Mercedes employees and fans here this weekend. From a personal point of view, I can't be too ecstatic about the race because it has been a tough weekend for me and I've ultimately lost more points to Nico in the championship battle. But I'm grateful that I could limit the damage with a podium finish. When you are sitting on the grid basically in last place, with no other cars in your mirrors, it's very hard to imagine that you could be standing up there two hours later. I'm so grateful to the team for this car, I really take my hat off to them for building a machine that can put in that kind of performance. To be honest, it was a pretty straightforward race for me, although I had some trouble following what was going on and where I was running at times. I had a nice battle with Kimi early on, when I was lucky not to damage the front wing, then the incident with Jenson was just unfortunate. He has been such a gentleman this year and not given me too much trouble getting past but it was just a misunderstanding today. I wasn't close enough to try and pass but I was on the inside line in the corner. It looked like he had gone wide, then he cut back across the corner and perhaps he didn't see me there. I lost quite a bit of downforce with the damage and it made it very hard to look after the front left tyre. I had a lot of understeer and the tyre was degrading fast, which is the reason why we converted from a two-stop strategy to three. Then the team called me in early on the first set of option tyres because we expected a Safety Car to come out - and I was surprised that there wasn't one, to be honest I caught Valtteri pretty fast in the final laps but he just had too much straightline speed to get past. I'm doing absolutely everything I can to get back on level terms with Nico in the title battle: I can't focus more or work harder than I am doing right now. This championship is proving a big challenge for me but that's how I love it - and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes Motorsport Director: It feels like a 1-2 today because considering where Lewis was coming from in P20, it was a magical drive. He had a misunderstanding with Jenson that could have cost us the race. Personally I know he is a very competitive guy and he will never be satisfied with third but it felt like a very good performance from our side, with so much going on out on track and the need to convert his pit strategy. For Nico, he was controlling the race from the beginning to the end. He knew that the task was to pull a gap and then bring the car home and that's exactly what he did. It was a brilliant performance from him. It was an amazing race and a credit to Germany; it's clear to see the sport is very much alive and well. Finally, I wish to make two special mentions for this victory: first of all, I offer this win to all of our colleagues at Mercedes-Benz who have given us so much support and dedication to reach this level of performance. We are proud to wear the three-pointed star and to represent the best car company in the world. But our thoughts on every race weekend are also with Michael Schumacher, who did so much for our sport in Germany and won so many times here in Hockenheim. He is fighting as only Michael can and we send all our wishes of strength and support to him and his family.
Paddy Lowe: It was an afternoon we knew was going to be challenging from the outset. Not only to get Lewis from the back to the front but, as always, to get two cars home with a lot of systems to manage and a long race with the threat of rain. Nico drove a faultless race with two stops as we had planned. Lewis' race was a bit more eventful with fantastic overtaking and some great driving. He lost a lot of downforce from the damage to the front wing, so we decided to convert to a three stop strategy in order to give us an opportunity to adjust it and reclaim the aero balance we were missing. We took a gamble on the Safety Car that didn't pay off but did affect our strategy slightly. In the end we were thwarted by the speed of the Williams down the straight, our lap time was faster but we couldn't overtake in the end. Congratulations to Williams on P2 and it was great to see three Mercedes-Benz powered cars on the podium here in Germany.
Fernando Alonso (5th): We did what we could today and even if as always, we were aiming for a podium finish, the cars ahead of us were just too quick. It was a good race, even if it was very complex, as we decided to change from a two to a threestop strategy. It was not easy fighting while also keeping an eye on consumption and in the end, with the help of newer tyres, getting ahead of Ricciardo meant we finished in the highest position that we were capable of. Here in Hockenheim, we made a small step forward and even if that didn't translate into lap time, it encourages us to keep trying to improve. The aim is still to score points to help the team in the Constructors' Championship. So now our thoughts turn to Budapest. We will only find out how things will go once we are there, because every circuit is a story in itself.
Kimi Raikkonen (11th): It's a real shame the way my race went, because this weekend, I felt more comfortable and today, on fresh tyres, I was going well. Unfortunately, twice I found myself squeezed between two cars and on both occasions my front wing got damaged and that compromised my race. Tyre performance dropped more than expected and I had graining on the front left and was losing aerodynamic downforce. On the positive side, I was able to drive the way I like today. I am sure that, but for these problems, things would have worked out differently and I would have been able to finish in the points.
Marco Mattiacci: This was a very hard fought race for both the drivers and the team, which confirms the great effort put in by everyone on a weekend that never had a moment's breathing space and in which we did our utmost. Fernando produced another fantastic performance, while we saw encouraging signs from Kimi, which unfortunately did not translate into concrete results. We know the weak points of our car and at every race we are looking for improvements that can also be useful for the new project which is beginning to take shape. Now attention turns to the next round in Hungary. It will be another demanding race, but at the same time another opportunity to improve.
Pat Fry: It was a very tight race and with both cars, we pushed to the limit trying to make up places. Because of the accident at the start, we made up three places and both Fernando and Kimi drove very aggressively with a lot of spectacular overtaking moves. Behind the scenes, managing all the parameters of the two cars gave us a lot to do, from monitoring traffic, to the choices relating to the pit stops and fuel consumption. Unfortunately, with Kimi it was all more complicated, partly affected by a couple of collisions that damaged his front wing and affected tyre behaviour. In his second stint, we lost a few seconds because of graining, seconds which unfortunately, cost us a points finish. Fernando managed his race very well and thanks to his final move on Ricciardo, he brought home points that are important for the Constructors' Championship. In a few days, we will be back on track in Hungary, a circuit where aerodynamic downforce plays a significant role and where we will try and get the most out of our package.
Pastor Maldonado (12th): It was a tough race from the beginning; the incident in turn one was quite tricky to avoid but then the pace looked consistent. I did my best to manage the tyre degradation, which was quite high, and we were able to do only two stops. Today's lower temperature helped us there as well. The initial plan included three stops but we had a competitive first stint so we went for plan B which worked well for us today.
Romain Grosjean (DNF, Engine): We didn't have an easy start with the soft tyres and I struggled to warm them up after the safety car too, but our overall pace was quite good today. I suffered from a loss of power due to an issue with our cooling system so was asked to switch off the car. It's such a shame as we were on a different strategy from our rivals so we looked like we could be on course for scoring points. Sometimes that's how it goes in motor racing.
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: There was great evidence of the team's spirit over the whole weekend in Hockenheim. We lost our suspension system which has meant a new challenge and some long days adapting the car to work in its new configuration. Despite this, we had good race strategies and looked to be managing the tyres well with the pit stop crew making some fantastically fast tyre changes during the course of the race. Pastor drove impeccably all race and was unlucky not to be rewarded with points. Romain drove superbly too, but we weren't able to give him a reliable car today. We have improvements planned for Budapest and hope to perform much better there.
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: It was a good drive from Pastor from nineteenth to twelfth. We stretched out the tyre performance lift to make two stops possible rather than the three completed by most other teams as the E22 and Pastor were working well on this strategy. It's a shame we couldn't make up the last couple of places and get some points, but it was a great race from Pastor nonetheless. Unfortunately we had a failure on part of the water system on Romain's car, which we will investigate back at Enstone to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Simon Rebreyend, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: The team has struggled to get a good balance on the car all weekend. It was always going to be a hard race from our starting positions so Pastor did a good job to get into 12th. On Romain's car a cooling issue caused some problems and the team stopped it to avoid further damage to the Power Unit. All eyes forward to Hungary now.
Jenson Button (8th): I got a good start - I was running as high as sixth in the early stages - so things were looking okay. But I think we got the strategy wrong when we made our second stop. I'm not sure why we stopped so early, but it made it extremely difficult for me to keep the set of tyres alive until the end of the race, which was the plan at that point. The strategy didn't work out for us, which was a shame, but we'll learn some useful lessons from it. When I felt the hit from Lewis [Hamilton, on lap 30], I was a bit surprised. A lot of drivers take a wider entry line into Turn Six in order to get a better exit - perhaps Lewis expected me to let him past, but why would I let anybody through? We were racing. We expected more from today.
Kevin Magnussen (9th): A real pity: I think I could've had a decent race if I hadn't had the accident at Turn One. I need to see a replay of the accident, but I feel that, if I'd had somewhere to go, then there wouldn't have been contact with Felipe. I did my best to try and avoid the accident, but there wasn't much else I could do. I spun after that, and had to box to change tyres and the nosebox. Then I spent the first half of the race coming through from the back of the field. Really, it wasn't the best thing that could happen. Still, there are some positives from today - the car behaved extremely well; the rear tyres held on - which is something new for this car, it's usually a bigger problem to keep the rears alive, but today it was okay. I'm happy to come away with some points, but I'm disappointed because we should have scored more. I hope we can be on the pace and get a decent result in Hungary next week.
Eric Boullier, Racing director: OObviously, we're extremely disappointed with this result. This should have been a day when we scored a useful clutch of world championship points; instead, we go home having lost ground to all our key rivals, which is extremely frustrating. Kevin's turn one incident at the start was very unfortunate; he'd made a great getaway, and was pushing to stay close to Valtteri Bottas. Massa was on the outside and probably didn't see Kevin, who was on the inside line, and had nowhere to go. Kevin was quite blameless in the accident, so it's even more annoying that it destroyed his chances of finishing in the top four. However, I think Kevin deserves commending for the level-headed drive he posted thereafter; with the promise of a good result lost, and having been relegated to the very back, it would have been very easy to lose focus, but Kevin drove with great maturity. Two points is scant reward, but he worked hard for them today. Jenson drove well, too; he showed tremendous fighting spirit even when the odds were somewhat stacked against him. His was a very aggressive strategy, which, as the race wore on, we began to appreciate wasn't going to succeed. Despite some great defending, Jenson was ultimately powerless to stop other drivers from leapfrogging him as his tyres faded away. We've worked hard to get ourselves into a situation where we can score good points regularly, so today was disappointing. Still, the Hungarian Grand Prix is but one week away, and we'll be doing our best to score some good points before the onset of the summer break.
Nico Hulkenberg (7th): It was a difficult race and different to what we expected, mainly due to the lower temperatures with the track being 20 degrees cooler than on Friday. We were expecting a lot of rear degradation, but after a couple of laps it became clear the fronts were the limiting tyres, and that changed the game. It was a pretty challenging afternoon and, considering how the car felt, I think we got the maximum from the race. I also had to overcome some engine issues in the middle of the race because there were some hesitations and it was not driving smoothly. It was a good recovery by the team to solve the issue. It was important to score more points and from that point of view I'm feeling satisfied.
Sergio Perez (10th): I was hoping for more at the start of the race, but I couldn't make my tyres last as we usually do and I therefore struggled with the balance for most of the day. It was a very strange race; the track changed a lot compared to Friday and it was the front tyres that were suffering from degradation and not the rears. Together with the much lower temperatures, it made the car very difficult to drive. These things considered, to come away with a point was a good result in the end, but we we'll need to achieve more at the races coming up to keep fighting in the championship.
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: We were expecting to be stronger in the race today, but the drop in temperatures didn't help us and both drivers struggled to show the pace we had seen during our long runs on Friday. Sergio did not feel comfortable and it became clear early on that he would need to stop three times. With Nico we managed a two-stop race and he brought the car home in seventh place. Considering the challenges we faced today, we can't be disappointed to come away with seven points. It keeps us in fifth place in the standings and demonstrates once again that we can score good points even on days when both drivers are struggling with the balance. We now look forward to Budapest where more warm weather is forecast next weekend.
Esteban Gutierrez (14th): The whole team did a good job over the weekend. From Friday on we developed the car as best we could. However, 14th position is not satisfying. I was fighting the entire race from the beginning to the end, trying to gain positions and keeping cars behind me. At the moment we are missing the pace to be able to fight with the others in front of us. There was not much that we could do. We need to keep working and focusing on our performance so we can be more competitive in the next races.
Adrian Sutil (DNF, Spin): It was an exciting race with good battles. I had a lot of fun and it was the first time I could keep up with some other drivers. It is positive as our car was more competitive this weekend. Suddenly, after my last pit stop, I lost power and when I entered the Motodrom I thought the engine would switch off. In the last corner I had a similar problem, then I spun and this time the engine did switch off. It is certainly frustrating, but at the moment we have to come to grips with it.
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: The race showed that our competitiveness has slightly improved, although we know that our level is certainly not satisfying yet. We had the chance to gain one point and it is a pity that we could not take advantage of this due to two unfortunate incidents. At first we suffered from a wrong driver procedure, following that the driver spun in the final corner and we still have to investigate the reasons for that. However, there were positive aspects and we need to deploy the insights we have gained and take every opportunity that comes up.
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: Both our cars started on the supersoft tyres, which was meant to boost our chances on lap one, and worked well. When the Safety Car went in, Adrian was in P10 and Esteban in P13. Then we went to a split strategy with Adrian on soft and Esteban on supersoft tyres, which gave us a solid basis to make the right decisions for the second part of the race. This turned out to be the right decision. The drivers were racing close to each other and were able to keep up with our competition. Adrian's race ended on lap 48 after the final pit stop due to a wrong driver procedure, following that the driver spun in the final corner and we still have to investigate the reasons for that. Esteban lost some positions on track, so in the end the result was not different from what we have had before, nevertheless there are some encouraging signs concerning our performance.
Jean-Eric Vergne (13th): I was having a good race until the moment in which I had to make a five seconds stop-and-go penalty during my second pit stop, which compromised any possibility of scoring points. After it, I came back to the track on the option tyres, which are very fragile in traffic conditions. Very soon my front left was too damaged and I was forced to stop again for prime tyres to finish the race. I think points were possible here, the race was looking great so it's been a real shame.
Daniil Kvyat (DNF, Electrical): It's a shame how my race ended today, especially because yesterday went very well. My first stint was looking okay until the contact with Perez, which made me lose ground. I think I didn't look after my tyres well enough during the second stint, in which I tried to catch up and get back some positions. The final stint was looking good in terms of pace, but I suddenly lost drive and I then saw smoke and later flames in the mirrors. I started to feel really hot in the car, so I parked it and jumped out as quickly as possible. It's not a nice situation to be in, but I'm now more concerned about the car than anything else. I hope everything will be ok and I will now switch my focus to Hungary, where I hope we can do better.
Franz Tost, Team Principal: Daniil's race was compromised by the collision with Perez. We had to call him in to change the tyres but the right hand side of his car was damaged which had a big impact on the aero-balance. So from this moment onwards he was no longer able to keep the pace. Unfortunately he could not finish the race because of a drive train failure, which we are still investigating. Jean-Eric showed a good performance, especially at the beginning of the race until the overtaking manoeuvre with Grosjean. Coming out from corner six he went off the track with four wheels and therefore the stewards decided to give him a five seconds stop-and-go penalty, which he paid during his second pit stop. With the supersoft, he started to suffer from heavy front left graining, which slowed him down. Of course, for Jev to finish thirteenth is disappointing and after Daniil's good P8 result in his Qualifying session yesterday, we were expecting some points today. We have now a lot of work in front of us until the next race in Budapest, where we hope to show a better performance.
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: Today was a missed opportunity as our car performed yesterday and the team deserved to score a couple of points. Jev's car worked well but his penalty pushed us out of the top ten. Daniil was really unlucky to spin in the first part of the race and then to retire in such a dramatic way. The issue is still under investigation but we believe it was an ignition problem that resulted in unburnt fuel igniting in the exhausts.
Valtteri Bottas (2nd): I am really happy with the way the race went today. As a team we have been unlucky not to have both drivers on the podium as we had the pace. To keep a Mercedes behind at the end of the race was promising showing that it is possible, and the car is very strong. The engineers shared a lot of information with me about the tyres and where Hamilton was and that team work was the key to the good result.
Felipe Massa (DNF, Accident): Luckily I am ok but I am not happy. I was in front going into the corner, and so to have another race ended by another driver is not easy. I am doing my best, the team are doing their best, and we just aren't getting the chances we need. Going into the first corner I was near to Valtteri but had to back off to stop an accident, sadly some others didn't do the same. I am obviously very disappointed. Well done to Valtteri, it shows we have the car to get on the podium.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We have only one car home today, so we are not as happy as we could be. However, Valtteri did a fantastic job and the guys on the pitwall were exceptional. We kept calm and did what we needed to do. Our strategy at times was different to others, but we kept our confidence and Valtteri pushed when we needed him to. We have overtaken Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship which is the reward for our continuing improvements. We just need that bad luck for Felipe to stop as our aim now is to get both cars on the podium.
Kamui Kobayashi (16th): At the start I managed to avoid Bianchi who was slow off the line but I was behind Chilton going into turn one. After the safety car went back in Bianchi managed to get ahead so I focused on pushing to the first stop where really good work from the pitstop crew helped me jump Chilton, and I held that place comfortably up to the second stop on lap 32. The car balance was ok - there was a bit of understeer, less than on the supersofts I'd started on, but I didn't have the outright pace to catch the cars ahead. When we boxed again the guys did another great stop and helped put some more time between Chilton and me so I didn't have to push the second set of softs too hard on the first few laps of the third stint. I pulled away from Chilton and then when Sutil span we boxed for the last time to finish the race on another set of supersofts. 16th was about as much as we could have done today - we didn't quite have the performance to catch Bianchi so now it's on to Hungary next week for the last race before the August break.
Marcus Ericsson (18th): I started from the pitlane so it was always going to be a struggle today. Obviously the safety car on lap one helped but I had to serve the ten second stop / go we'd incurred for breaking parc fermé rules last night after the issue with the power unit straight after the safety car came in, and from that point I was having to try and play catch up for the whole race. My first pitstop was on lap 18, going from supersofts to softs for the second stint, and when I rejoined the blue flags for the leaders meant I started losing more time and there wasn't anything I could do to try and make up time to the cars ahead. My laptimes were pretty good, relative to the pace we could manage today, so I just kept pushing, right up to the second stop on lap 41 by which time that set was done. We went back out on supersofts for the final stint and I was told I could push to the flag. I made up some time on the Marussia ahead but with about five laps left that set was completely gone so I couldn't close the gap up enough to fight Chilton and finished the race in 18th.
Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader: We had a clean race this afternoon where we were able to run the power units to the maximum and are pleased to get a double finish, with one car ahead of a Marussia. We will build on this in the next race in Hungary.
Jules Bianchi (15th): I had an issue at the start and dropped to the back but I got back ahead of Kobayashi and Max in a few laps and I was happy for that. Then the race went pretty well for me. I could keep everyone behind me and I was quite a bit quicker than the cars behind, so the only factor was that we were not quick enough to catch the Saubers. As we know, this is something we have to work on. So, the race was how we expected really. The balance changed a little because of the different temperatures today but otherwise fine and a good team result with us retaining our championship position.
Max Chilton (17th): I got a good start and managed to avoid the Turn 1 incident but after that my race was not so good. We changed the strategy to try to get ahead of Kobayashi but it didn't work out for us. I was giving it everything but not getting enough back from the car, so we have a few things to work on before Hungary. We seem to have lost a little bit everywhere with the changes we have made to the car prior to this race, so it will be a short but busy week ahead to try to regain that ground.
John Booth, Team Principal: After a difficult start to the weekend we can at least be pleased that we have got back to a point that is fairly similar to the level of performance we have seen in recent races. After an issue at the start, which we are yet to fully understand, Jules was at least able to make progress after the safety car and from that point on he was in a fairly lonely race, although the mix of strategies of our two-stop versus the Sauber's three-stop did at least throw up some opportunities. Unfortunately Max had a delay at his first pit stop, which put him behind Kobayashi and from this point he was stuck. Again we can see the situation is clear that we need several tenths in order to move forward. This weekend we have seen the gap widen slightly and we look forward now to carrying on making progress refining the set-up on Friday in Budapest.
Claudio Albertini, Head of Customer Teams Power Unit Operations: It has been a very intense German Grand Prix, which ended with a result in line with expectations. Honestly it was difficult to achieve more today. From the point of view of reliability it has been a tough weekend, especially since the first the temperatures during the first two days were very high. Today the situation was improved thanks to the cloud cover, which has definitely helped. Now we are looking forward to another weekend on the track, this time in Hungary; a last effort before we can catch our breath during the summer break. At each race there is always something new to learn to try to get a better performance from a power unit as complex as that of this year and, at the same time maintain the highest level of reliability. One thing is certain: we got to the middle of the season and the Ferrari-powered Marussia is ninth in the Constructors' classification. We will do everything to help the team to remain in this position until the end of the season and develop further in terms of competitiveness.