Brazilian GP 2016
NOVEMBER 13, 2016
Sunday Team Quotes
Lewis Hamilton (1st): "I've just won my first Brazilian Grand Prix! I remember watching Ayrton win back in 1991 and thinking "one day, that's what I want to do". I shared his emotion that day and now I can finally understand how he felt. It's the 44th Grand Prix here as well, so it's a really special one for me. To win on Senna's turn in front of that crowd... it's a moment I'll never forget and I genuinely can't believe it's finally come. It's crazy - all these years it's been so hard to win this race and then today was one of the easiest wins I've had. Of course, in those conditions I could easily have made a mistake at any point. But I was generally very relaxed out there today and felt completely in control. I love driving in the rain. It must come from years of racing around the UK as a kid! It's all in the mind - keeping your cool, not making mistakes, having great reactions and knowing where to put the car. It was one of those races where I was able to focus purely on driving. That one set of tyres just kept going and going, I didn't have any problems at all and the car was really fantastic. I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone back at both factories who have worked so hard to give us such an incredible car. This result is all down to them. Every week we're making another piece of history and we've out-and-out proven that we're the best team by far, in every area. Our hospitality is the best, our food is the best, our guys in the garage are the best, the guys back in the factory are the best, our cars are the best... it's so rare to see every area so spot on and I'm proud to be a part of that. I'm glad that it's come down to the last race. All I can do is focus on being as strong as I have been in these past few races. If I can do that, I'll know in my heart what I've achieved this year."
Nico Rosberg (2nd): "The conditions were really tricky out there today. Up the hill there was heavy aquaplaning and a lot of drivers went off the track. I had a bit of a moment when I spun at one point but luckily this wasn't at high speed, so I was able to catch the car again. Lewis did a better job today and deserved the win, so I must be happy with P2. Max also did a good job. We knew that the Red Bull would be very strong in the wet but he drive a great race. Thank you very much to my team for choosing the right strategy and letting me stay out on the full wet tyres. Now I look forward to Abu Dhabi, where I have good memories from last year. I will be going all out for the win there."
Paddy Lowe: "Absolutely mind-blowing. To get a 1-2 from a day like that is really incredible. Most of the credit for that must go to the drivers, who kept their heads in very difficult conditions. It was great to see such a thrilling race in the end too for the crowd at this iconic circuit. Such difficult weather makes it tough to run a safe race and their dedication must be applauded. In the end we had a lot of exciting racing, so I'm happy for them. From a technical point of view, to us it was clearly a full wet race all afternoon. Twice, others gambled on the intermediate tyre - but we resisted that temptation as the data simply didn't support it and neither did the drivers. On both the initial start and the two re-starts, that proved to be absolutely the right call. Credit to the team and the drivers for making those choices, which won the race for us today. Congratulations to Lewis on becoming the second most winning driver in Formula One history. We now take the Championship finale to the final race in Abu Dhabi, which is a perfect outcome for the sport."
Toto Wolff, Technical Director: "To come away with such a result in a race like that is really quite something. You simply can't expect a 1-2 in such conditions. It's a rare achievement and the whole team is to be congratulated for that. I'm very happy with the result. When you consider the circumstances, it's maybe the best result of the season. It was a faultless drive from Lewis, with easily the best pace of the field, while Nico showed his strength to stand firm in P2. A word for Max too, who was very impressive today. It was the Verstappen show out there - really unbelievable driving and great entertainment. Also, for Charlie and the Stewards. It's very difficult in these conditions and, overall, they probably made the right calls. I probably wouldn't have stopped the race the last time around because the conditions hadn't changed. But if you have to sit up there, put your neck on the line and take responsibility for the drivers' safety, you might see it from a different perspective. Now, we have a showdown in Abu Dhabi - just as Bernie would have ordered it. Our job is simple - give both drivers the cars they need to fight to the flag on track."
Sebastian Vettel (5th): "Obviously, today it was not ideal: in the first part of the race I span, I had some aquaplaning but I wasn't the only one. I think it was a good recovering in the end, it was difficult to come back, and I struggled to get past Sainz: I don't know why it took me a lot of laps before I really started to feel well in the car, and then it was too late. About the duel with Verstappen, I think I was racing side by side to him and he saw me. I still had a little bit of my nose ahead, he was much faster so it was about making the corner and he got past. Not a difficult passing manoeuver, but I don't think it was fully correct. But I wouldn't complain about anything today: I think I was not the only one who got caught out by the aquaplaning, but luckily I didn't crash."
Kimi Raikkonen (DNF, Accident): "The conditions today were not the easiest ones: it was very tricky, and when you do many laps behind the Safety Car it gets even more difficult. It was not raining heavily, but there was a lot of standing water. The biggest problem was the aquaplaning and I got it in a place where I was not expecting it: I spun off on the straight! I almost got the car back, but then I went off in a pretty bad place. The Wet tires are very vulnerable, easy to aquaplaning. It obviously depends on the circuit and on many other things, but comparing to some years ago, those tires could handle this kind of water with no issues of aquaplaning."
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal: "Maybe we could have achieved more, both yesterday and today, but no room for complaining now. Kimi's accident was a shame, while Seb had a great comeback after spinning off track. Now let's focus onto Abu Dhabi: it's the last race of the season but, as we always say, we're not giving up till the end."
Valtteri Bottas (11th): "It was a very difficult day in very difficult conditions. We managed to keep the car in one piece but it wasn™t easy. We had quite a lot of potential with the strategy, but in the end the intermediate tyres starting working a bit too late for us. It™s a shame that Force India got a lot more points than us, so it™s going to be tricky in Abu Dhabi. We were just really unlucky today with the timing of our strategy. It™s been amazing to see the support here for Felipe and I™m sure he really appreciated it. We™ll enjoy Abu Dhabi."
Felipe Massa (DNF, Accident): "It™s impossible to explain my feelings from today, for everything that has happened. So much love. We couldn™t finish the race. I wanted to finish in the right way, with the flag on the top. Unfortunately, I couldn™t, but I think God knows what to do. I was just walking, in front of my people, with this amazing reaction. Not just from the fans but from all the people in Formula One coming out to clap their hands for me. It™s impossible to explain these emotions. I never expected this in my life, I don™t think I deserved as much as this. The minimum I can say is thank you very much to everyone, all the people I™ve worked with, all of the fans. I will never forget this day."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: "We knew we needed to do something different to get in the points. We hoped the rain would ease off enough to cause the extreme wet tyre to wear, so that our early decision to switch to the intermediates would give us the advantage. Unfortunately, with all the safety cars and red flag periods, it allowed everyone to keep changing their wet tyres for fresh ones, so we never saw the benefit. We did our best in difficult conditions but the safety cars and stoppages didn™t help us. It was a shame that Felipe had to end his race the way he did, as it would have been great for him to get a good result. You could see that he was absolutely filled with emotion, as he has been all weekend, and this final home race for him, in front of his fans and surrounded by friends and family must be something very special for him. It™s been an emotional rollercoaster. Credit must also go to Max Verstappen, who was in a class of his own today and was incredible to watch. He may have even won the race had it gone on a few laps longer. Thank you as well to all the fans who stayed to watch despite all the delays."
Red Bull-Tag Heuer
Max Verstappen (3rd): œI think the word for today is ˜Exciting™. I overtook Nico around the outside of turn 3 which was really fun to do, I just seemed to find a bit more grip out there. I then started chasing Lewis which resulted in me having a massive moment in the final sector, I was really lucky to keep it out of the guard rail. After that scare my pace was still good and I held onto P2. The rears then started to lose grip and I was told Daniel had pitted for Intermediates and was going fast so I followed that plan. For a lap or so it was really good but then more rain came which resulted in no grip in the last sector. There was no way we could carry on so had to pit again for wets. From there on the race was really good fun, plenty of overtakes around the outside because if you stay behind them there™s too much spray, I had to find another line. I just kept my head down and managed to get past quite a few cars in the remaining laps. I could hear the crowd going crazy when my engineer was on the radio, so I™m very thankful for the Brazilian fans for getting behind me. At the end when I crossed the line it felt like a victory, it was almost as beautiful as my race in Barcelona.
Daniel Ricciardo (8th): œIt was a frustrating race, we never really felt like we got lucky with the strategy; every time we made a change with the tyres there was a safety car or a red flag. We lost positions and obviously we could not predict what was going to happen and we felt a little bit on the back foot. But the real difficulty today was my visibility, which was a struggle as my visor kept fogging up. I kept opening my visor and trying to wipe it but it™s never happened before, and it held me back. It™s a shame as the car was a lot better than eighth, when we had a clear track our speed was good. It was tricky out there, for example with Kimi, I didn™t see him crash in front of me. It wasn™t until I got back to the pits and saw a replay I knew he™d crashed. From that point of view they obviously make some good calls with red flags. I™m glad we got to race and glad we could finish it, and that despite some crashes everyone was safe. The fans put up with a long afternoon so thanks to them for staying with it.
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: œAn extraordinary motor racing day in testing conditions for the drivers and of course the officials. Having got ourselves into a good position at the start of the race, at the restart Max made an unbelievable pass on Rosberg round the outside of turn 3 which set up his afternoon of audacious driving and passing moves. It was a race that continuously teetered on the Intermediate being the better tyre and after the delay due to the conditions it did look like the better tyre. When Daniel fitted the tyre he started setting purple sectors and we therefore took the gamble to put Max on to the Inter. The rain then marginally increased and we had to make a difficult decision to pit both of our cars, dropping them down the order but giving them fresh extreme tyres. Thereafter, the last 15 laps were something special to witness as Max made his way back through the field to achieve a quite remarkable podium. With Daniel finishing in eighth place that secures our second place in the Constructors™ Championship which is a quite a feat. We™d like to dedicate this race to the memory of a very valued member of our team, Mark Simpson, who we unfortunately lost after a difficult illness earlier in the week. ˜Simo™ as he was known to us, was an important part of our team and I™m sure he would have enjoyed what we saw from Red Bull Racing today.
Sergio Perez (4th): "What a fun but tense race today! It's a shame to lose a podium place in the last two laps, but Max [Verstappen] just had a different pace: he was the fastest on track and there was nothing I could do to keep him behind. Even though I am a bit disappointed, we can still celebrate a great race and an incredible result, especially considering the conditions we had out there today. Just getting to the finish line on a day like this feels like a victory, and to bring home fourth is a very important result. It was so easy to make mistakes; you risked aquaplaning at any moment - every time I crossed the finish line I had a breath of relief. It's a big result, not only for me, but also for the team as it brings us important points for the battle for fourth place. A lot can still happen in Abu Dhabi, but we can be happy about this result."
Nico Hulkenberg (7th): "That was an intense race and I don't know whether to laugh or cry because I think a possible podium slipped away today. I had great confidence in the car, felt comfortable and I had the pace to push and overtake. There were some scary moments in the race, especially when Kimi crashed in front of me. Some of his debris hit my car and caused a lot of damage. At least I survived that, but then I picked up a puncture from the debris, which was so frustrating because it dropped me down to the back of the field. Without the puncture, who knows where I might have finished? I'm happy and proud of myself and the team. We did a great job, but we were just missing a bit of luck."
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: "What an exciting race! To come away with 18 points from such a challenging race is a fantastic reward for an excellent job by the entire team. Both drivers didn't put a wheel wrong and the decisions from the pit wall were spot on. Sergio came within a whisker of another podium and thoroughly deserved fourth place. For Nico to recover from the puncture to finish seventh showed his class once again and made us all wonder what might have been because he was running in fourth when the puncture struck. With such difficult track conditions, just getting both cars to the finish is a victory and to have both in the points takes us a good step closer to achieving fourth place in the constructors' championship."
Kevin Magnussen (14th): œThe conditions today were definitely testing, especially turn 12 which isn™t actually a corner in the dry but became a real corner in the wet! There was clear aquaplaning there, and even if there hadn™t been, it was still on the limit. I do wish we could have driven more today though. Of course you should have red flags to clear a crash and safety should always be the priority, but after that, I feel we were too careful with driving in the wet. At the end of the day, it™s up to us drivers to slow down enough to get around it. We just need to drive to the conditions and not go over the limit, which is exactly what we do in the dry.
Jolyon Palmer (DNF, Damage): œThe conditions this afternoon were very difficult and unfortunately we had to retire following contact with Kvyat. I had some more grip at that point on full wet tyres and I was faster than cars in front on intermediates. I wanted to make up some places. In the end the visibility was so bad that I couldn™t even see past my steering wheel. I didn™t see where the corner went, I knew that there was the pitwall and pitlane somewhere; I just couldn™t see anything. Kvyat in front of me was slower and I hit him. Around the lap, the visibility wasn™t too bad and there were some places where you aquaplaned but coming up the hill you had no traction and couldn™t see if you were behind anyone else. You had to guess where you were going, there was water on track and rivers of water running across. It was really tricky.
Fred Vasseur, Team Principal: œIt was a tough afternoon for the team and a tricky race in wet weather conditions for everyone. The biggest issue we encountered was the performance of our car with the full wet tyres. We weren™t able to perform over long stints with these sets of tyres and had to switch to intermediate tyres whenever it was possible but in the end it wasn™t enough for us to get into the points with Kevin. Unfortunately Jolyon sustained front suspension damage when he hit Kvyat and we had to retire him. We are now looking forward to the ultimate race of the season in Abu Dhabi where I hope we can have a race in better conditions.
Carlos Sainz (6th): "Well, the rain dance definitely worked and what a race that was! I'm super happy! To finish P6 after qualifying P15 yesterday is just amazing. I thought it was too risky to put the intermediates on and I asked the team to leave me out on extremes, and it worked! Today was all about a good strategy with no pit-stops for me and a strong pace with no mistakes. To do it in these difficult conditions just makes it even better. It was so hard to drive out there today - it was very, very difficult to keep the car on track at times! It was really tricky, especially in the aquaplaning areas like Turns 13 and 14 ... Particularly during the Safety Car restarts, when you are racing at 300kph and you can't see absolutely anything, it's risky! Having said that, I really enjoyed it today, I love the rain - I've always been strong in the wet, since I'm a kid in go-karting and today was no exception. We can also be very proud as a team, as we were matching the pace of the top runners in the wet, which means that our car is actually a very good one and that we've done an excellent job all weekend - I'd like to congratulate everyone for this! To bring back home another 8 points when we were not expecting many more is great news, I'm over the moon - I have to say that this second half of the season is full of surprises for us and I definitely welcome them!"
Daniil Kvyat (13th): "What a crazy race. My start was good and we switched to intermediate tyres at the right time, but then I suffered a puncture under the Safety Car, so I was last after I pitted, unfortunately. I didn't give up and I was starting to come back up the grid, but at that point the car was very damaged... The reason for this is that during one of the restarts, Palmer crashed into me and, even though we stayed out because of the tricky conditions, the car was very difficult to drive. It's a pity, because up until today I was satisfied with how my weekend was going and I was hoping for more."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Taking into consideration our pace from yesterday's qualifying session, I must say that we were very lucky and the rain really helped us today. Carlos drove a good race - to finish P6 and take home 8 points here in Sao Paulo is a great result! Daniil on the other hand was involved in an incident with Palmer, where he destroyed the front part of his diffuser. This had a big impact aerodynamically - he lost more than 20 points of downforce to be precise - and therefore he couldn't do more. The team did a good job throughout the whole weekend and this will certainly give us a boost to face the last round of this Championship in Abu Dhabi."
Felipe Nasr (9th): œI have no words to say how happy I am at the moment. When I saw the weather forecast for today, I knew it could be an opportunity. The opportunity came, and I was ready to go for it. We did an exceptional job today. The team was great informing me about the track conditions, while I was giving them my feedback. It was a tricky race, as the track conditions were very difficult at some points. In the end it was just an incredible feeling when I saw the fans in the grandstands cheering for me after the chequered flag. There is no better feeling than scoring these two important points on home soil. I could not have hoped for a better Sunday back home in Brazil.
Marcus Ericsson (DNF, Accident): œIt was a very disappointing end to this wet race for me. The conditions on track were very difficult. I lost the car going up the hill on the way to the start-finish-line, because of standing water on the track - at the end I was just a passenger. I am very disappointed. However, Felipe did a great job today scoring two very important points for us. This is great for everyone in the team. I will fight back at the final race of the season at the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: œFirst of all, I want to thank the whole team at the track, as well as at the headquarters in Hinwil. Despite the difficult circumstances, the team has always worked very hard and believed in its skills with a strong belief - therefore, these points are well deserved. We knew that it would have been possible to score points in wet conditions, even from the back of the field - Felipe made it possible with an exceptional performance here in Interlagos. Ninth position at his home race in front of his fans gives everyone in the team a lot of joy. Marcus was unlucky in these difficult track conditions and retired. Now we will focus on the season finale in Abu Dhabi, where we will again fight for tenth position in the constructors™ championship.
Fernando Alonso (10th): "I think we were aiming for something better today. I started 10th and finished 10th, and there were some retirements in front of me, so we definitely didn't take some of the opportunities that presented themselves out there. The conditions were extremely difficult today. Sometimes it was just enough to keep the car on track. There was very poor visibility and the drainage on the circuit wasn't great - I had some aquaplaning which made it hard to push the car and close the gap ahead. In the end, we scored one point. Hopefully, in Abu Dhabi we can finish the season on a high."
Jenson Button (16th): "After today's race, we need to go back to the factory and work out what it is that's wrong with the car. During Friday practice, it was working really well; I was comfortable with the car and in the high-speed corners we had a strong rear-end. Yesterday, it wasn't working, and today it was further exaggerated by the conditions. In terms of the restarts, those were very difficult conditions in which to judge what's right and what's wrong, but nobody was injured - and that's the most important thing. Finishing last is unusual for me in conditions like these - so there's definitely something wrong. I don't think I've forgotten how to drive in the wet..."
Eric Boullier, Racing Director: "For McLaren-Honda, this was largely a race to forget. For Formula 1 as a sport, it's a race from which we can learn in order to improve the show for future wet-weather races. Unfortunately for us, neither driver was truly able to seize the moment - Fernando drove bravely to run inside the top 10 for much of the race, then a lap-56 spin at Turn 13 dropped him to the back of the field. His comeback drive to 10th - passing seven cars in 15 laps - was brilliant, and displayed all his speed, bravery and commitment. Jenson was unable to rid himself of the handling imbalancehe encountered yesterday, and struggled to find any rear grip in the tricky conditions. We will go away and examine what went wrong for him."
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda: "The rain that continued to fall throughout the day forced the Brazilian GP to be the toughest survival race of the year so far. Fernando unfortunately spun after the restart of the last safety car period, and dropped to nearly the back of the grid, but after a stunning charge, finished 10th to claim the final championship point of the race. As with yesterday, Jenson continued to struggle with the balance of his car, and with the poor track conditions, could not improve on this during his race. Putting the results aside, I am in awe of the courage and the driving techniques of all the drivers on the grid today. It was a nail-biting race."
Esteban Ocon (12th): œNo, I™m really disappointed and sad for all of us. It was such a difficult race and though I have my own feelings on whether the race should have continued, that doesn™t matter. If the track is declared fit to race on, we have to race and do the best job we can. There were some pretty scary moments out there; I was so lucky to react so quickly to the Kimi incident. Well obviously I was pushing as hard as I could - throughout the whole race in fact. In the third race stint - after the second red flag - it was clear I just had to push to catch Felipe because the chances of him coming back down the order to a position of safety were diminishing. The race was going his way, not ours. I did what I could but the cars behind me were closing and in the end they just had the pace to get by. There are so many reasons to feel disappointed today that I can™t just single that one out, but, yes, my first F1 point would have been nice.
Pascal Wehrlein (15th): œConditions were terrible - all the way through the race. Even when the rain subsided, the track was holding so much water. It was such a gamble for anyone making the switch from the Extreme Wet tyres to the Inters. The conditions were close at times, but not close enough. I was aquaplaning still and then the risk was that we could be brave, yes, but if we end up in the wall, we™ve gained nothing. Plus, the visibility was quite bad. It was a very nerve-wracking race with conditions I™m not keen to experience again anytime soon. Well, it™s happened, but we have to keep working hard and pushing. Today showed that anything can still happen, although I™m not expecting any rain in Abu Dhabi. Racing can be unpredictable, so we™ll keep fighting.
Dave Ryan, Racing Director: œWe were pretty apprehensive in Austin and Mexico, with Sauber hovering on the cusp of a point in both races, but we knew coming into this race that Interlagos carried a much greater risk. With conditions like we™ve seen today, it was always going to come down to luck. At one point things had fallen in our favour and we were looking at our first double points finish. Nasr was still ahead on track but we could have achieved more points if things had continued like that. But the race was evolving with every lap, every safety car and both red flags and in the end, things went Sauber™s way, not ours. Esteban put up a great fight to try to pull things back and actually both of our drivers did an incredible job in conditions that really tested even seasoned world champions. We™re down, but not defeated. The whole team is disappointed to say the least, but there is one race remaining and we have to keep pushing all the way to the chequered flag in Abu Dhabi.
Esteban Gutierrez (DNF, Electrical): œIt was a fun race - pretty boring at the beginning, but got much better when we started to race on full wets. The conditions were very tricky on track with the wet and the intermediate tires, and it was all about keeping the car on track. We were picking up a good pace and I was making my way up the grid and saw an opportunity to score some points. Unfortunately, we started to have some electrical problems. I was having power issues on braking and in the corners. In the wet, that™s the worst thing you can have. The team gave their best effort to fix it, but we had to retire the car. Now we™re looking ahead to the final race of the season. It™s another opportunity. We have to stay optimistic and try to do the best with what we have and focus on that.
Romain Grosjean (DNS, Accident): œWell, I™m sorry for the fans, for all of Haas F1 Team. We™ve gone from hero to zero in less than 24 hours. What can I say? I wasn™t even flat out. I was barely faster than Gutierrez, and then the car just spun. It was just bad luck. There was really no grip at that point. I picked up the wheelspin, spun and crashed. I feel so bad for the crew. It was a big impact, something like 30G. It happens fast in Formula One, but I™m okay physically.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: œIt was a disastrous race for us, but not a disastrous weekend. Up to today™s race, our weekend was a good one. But today Romain crashed out on the lap to the grid, so we lost one car even before the start. The conditions were tough out there and they played a role in his exit. Esteban had been driving a very good race, but then we had issues with electronics. At one point his MGU-K didn™t work, and then he had to retire his car when his MGU-H didn™t work anymore because of electronic problems. We™re pretty happy to be getting out of here and moving on to the next one.