Honda F1 website
Honda website

European GP 2008

AUGUST 24, 2008

Sunday Team Quotes

Robert Kubica, European GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive


Felipe Massa (1st): "It's fantastic having won this race, especially after the disappointment of Budapest. The team did an amazing job in preparing for this Grand Prix and the benefits of that could be seen right from the very first day. Yesterday, I got pole and today the win, with the race fastest lap as the icing on the cake. You cannot ask for more especially at my one hundredth grand prix with every single one of them powered by a Ferrari engine. I got a good start and I pushed to the maximum right from the early laps. In the second part of the race, the car was exceptional, but also in the final stint, when I had the softer tyres, I could do the lap times easily. This is an important moment in my career and I must continue to work in this way. I am sorry for what happened to Kimi: we have to look very carefully at our reliability. I am confident the team knows which countermeasures to take to react to this issue, as it has always done in the past."

Kimi Raikkonen (DNF, Engine): "Not much to say after a day like this. It was definitely not the weekend I was hoping for but I do not believe that, despite this negative result, I am now out of the running for the title. There are still six races to go and sixty points up for grabs. We have seen that the situation change really quickly, even if I realize things are now more complicated. Today, I lost a place at the start and I was stuck in traffic for all of the first stint. Then, when I had a clear track ahead of me, I was able to push and was doing good lap times. At the second pit stop, I made a mistake and left before I should have done. Fortunately, Pietro (Timpini) is not too badly hurt. I wish him all the best and hope he gets better soon. In any case, it would not have changed anything as then the engine broke. Now we must concentrate on preparing for the next rounds and on improving our qualifying performance."

Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "Felipe has had an extraordinary weekend. Yesterday he was very quick in qualifying and today he drove in impeccable style, without putting a foot wrong to take what was a very well deserved win after the disappointment of Budapest. I want to compliment him and the whole team who have worked so hard in preparing for this event. Unfortunately, once again, we have suffered with a reliability problem, this time on Kimi's car, which lost us precious points. Now we have to find out what happened in yet another engine failure and then decide how to react. Clearly what happened is serious and we will have to do all in our power to make up for the ground we have lost through reliability problems in the coming races. Now we must continue to push to the maximum to develop the car and improve reliability in order to be as well prepared as possible for the forthcoming races. We still have two test sessions, at Monza and then Jerez and a lot of hard days work in the factory. Finally, I want to say a few words about Piero Timpini, our mechanic unfortunately injured in Kimi's second pit stop: his first words were to say sorry, as though the incident was his fault: it is thanks to the passion, dedication and professionalism, that these guys show on a daily basis for Ferrari how special is our team."

Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "A great performance from Felipe all weekend long. He was fantastic and deserves all our praise. Unfortunately, yet again, we were not reliable, both from a technical point of view and in how we operated on the track, given what happened during Raikkonen's pit stop and then the failure of his engine, which initial investigations seem to point at a similar failure to the one Felipe experienced in Hungary. Fortunately, Pietro Timpini, the mechanic operating the refueling, injured at Kimi's second stop, got away with just a small fracture to the left foot and it is not particularly serious. Today we have seen two sides of the coin. We have a great potential, from both the team and the car, capable of putting us in front of everyone else, but if not all elements are operating at their optimum, then we are throwing away precious points that could cost us dear. We must work to remedy these problems and that's what we will do starting in the days that follow."

BMW Sauber

Robert Kubica (3rd): "I started pretty well but in corner 1 I went over the kerb and Lewis was closing. In the second corner I was going to overtake Lewis, but I saw Felipe braking quite early. It would have been too much of a risk, as I could end up overshooting the braking point and crashing into him. Over the next few laps I was consistently a bit slower than Lewis. Suddenly I saw a white plastic bag flying across the track, but could not avoid it and it went under the car. I couldn't steer for two corners, which was extremely dangerous. Fortunately most of the bag soon flew away, but my confidence was very low over the next sector, and I lost around three seconds. In the end I finished third. Eventually I think my good qualifying result yesterday was crucial for today's result."

Nick Heidfeld (9th): "This was one of the worst races ever for me. To finish ninth in a car which is obviously good enough for third is a disaster. After qualifying I was pretty confident because we realised we could go well. But in the race I had big problems with the harder tyres during the first two stints, and it was only better at the end with the softer compound. I lost one position after the start and later in the race I couldn't gain any. The pace wasn't there."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "First of all a big compliment to the organisers of the event for such a good first race. The atmosphere in the city and at the circuit around the harbour is just fantastic. From now on Valencia will be one of the season's highlights. Certainly we enjoyed being back on the podium, with it being the fifth time this year for Robert. He drove a strong race. During the early laps he had some trouble as a plastic bag was stuck on his car and affected its handling. Apart from this both cars ran trouble free and the pit stops went well. Starting from eighth was not an ideal situation for Nick. We were hoping he would improve one or two places at the start, but in the heat of the moment he unfortunately lost a position and then the race was basically over for him."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "This was a race without too much excitement. Our most difficult moment was when Robert radioed he had a problem. On the telemetry data we could see that his car lost downforce, which was due to a plastic bag stuck to the floor of the car. During the first pit stop we removed it, and after this, everything was fine again. At the start Robert almost overtook Lewis Hamilton, but finally it didn't work out. He then drove a good and consistent race, and he finished in third. Nick started from eighth, hence we expected him to score championship points. However, his pace was simply too slow. Of course we are happy about Robert's podium finish, but overall we expected to score more points today."


Nelson Piquet (11th): "The first lap was rough as I was in the middle of the pack and lost several positions. After that I tried to fight back, but my front wing was damaged and it was difficult to overtake. It's a shame that we couldn't get into the top ten, but I hope we can have a better race in Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix in a couple of weeks time."

Fernando Alonso (DNF, Damage): "After qualifying yesterday, I knew that me weekend was going to be difficult. At the start I was touched by Nakajima and I lost my rear wing. My mechanics did everything to try and allow me to continue, but my race was already compromised. I am extremely disappointed because I was hoping to have a special race in my second home Grand Prix and for the supporters who came here this weekend to support me. I now want to concentrate on the rest to the season and the next race in Spa."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It's very disappointing to leave this wonderful new track with no points. We are particularly sorry not to have had a better race with Fernando for his second home Grand Prix, but we must now move forward and think of the next race."

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "It's a weekend to forget. Our objective remains to fight for fourth place in the championship and we must now stay focussed for the races to come and continue with our efforts to grow stronger."


Nico Rosberg (8th): "I'm pretty happy with that. It's good to be going home with a point today as it's been a long time since it happened. The race went quite well for me and I was giving it my all, driving what felt like qualifying laps one after the other. The result is also good for the team as it shows we are getting back on track. Once again, I would like to say that Valencia has done a great job here and the race was good fun."

Kazuki Nakajima (15th): "I had a bad start and we have to find the reason for that. On lap one, going into turns four and five, I was just behind Alonso, but there was a bit of a battle going on in front and I couldn't avoid him going into the corner. After that, I just tried to be consistent. My pace was ok, but I was behind Barrichello and it was really difficult to overtake. Eventually I made it past him and my pace improved, but it was too late."

Patrick Head, Director of Engineering: "With the reliability of the cars these days, one point is what you can expect from starting 9th and 11th on the grid. Kazuki went into anti-stall at the start which lost him a lot of places. He then had to pit for a new front wing which put paid to what would have been a one stop race. Nico squeezed everything he could out of the car today. Unfortunately, we missed out on seventh place with him by a few fractions of a second in his second pit-stop. We now have to return to the factory to find those few tenths."

Red Bull-Renault

Mark Webber (12th): "We just weren't quick enough. We were hoping for a few safety cars to come out during the race, so ran a one stop strategy, but it didn't happen. It was a difficult race pace wise and we've got a lot of analysis to do."

David Coulthard (17th): "I was hit from behind on the first lap. I came back and passed a couple of cars, but when I tried to pass one of the Force India's, I aborted the manoeuvre and made contact with them, so sorry to them for that. That damaged my barge board and the side of the car, so after that the balance and downforce were very poor."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A disastrous race. David got involved in an incident in the first lap, which damaged his car and Mark, who was on a one stop strategy, was hoping for a safety car that never appeared. He didn't have enough pace, particularly after his pit stop. It's our most disappointing race of the year. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel who drove very well today and demonstrated what the chassis is capable of."

Fabrice Lom, Renault: "A poor result, we were off the pace. After qualifying we didn't really have any opportunity to bet on, so we finished where we qualified. We have poor pace and we just have to work."


Jarno Trulli (5th): "That was a good result and a great performance by the team. The weekend started badly for me but it has finished really well today so I'm happy. I could drive a strong race without attacking much. I pushed very hard when I needed to while paying attention to taking care of my tyres and my brakes throughout. This shows how good we are getting and how nice it is to race with a competitive car every weekend. Toyota is doing a very good job this year and looking strong and more competitive at every circuit. The team is still pushing with the development work so I'm confident that we can maintain the form in the coming races and keep the points coming."

Timo Glock (7th): "That was one of my hardest races ever because I have had a bad cold for the last two days. But I had a good car and the right strategy and I think P7 was the best result we could have achieved today so I'm really happy. I made up some places at the start and then just tried to do my race. It was tough in the middle of the race and in the last 10 laps I pushed as hard as I could to stay concentrated. Considering our qualifying and my condition, I am happy. It's a great result for the team to get both cars into the points for the constructors' championship."

Tadashi Yamashina, Team Principal: "This has turned into one of those good weekends. After qualifying, everybody was a bit disappointed but today went much better due to excellent teamwork. After Jarno missed Saturday's practice session, the crew put Timo's set-up into Jarno's car and he delivered a very good performance and a very smooth race to 5th place today. Timo was not feeling well but he made an excellent start, managed his tyres well and put in a huge effort to complete this race with the best result. I'm very happy that we are confirming our good pace. Now we will push to keep these results coming, with a particular eye on the Japanese Grand Prix later in the season."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel (6th): "Incredible! A perfect day. It was fun but tough and hot out there. It's a nice race track. My start was not so good on the dirty side and going into Turn 1 I was right on the limit and very close to Kimi and could defend my position against Jarno for the first stint, but he had a bit more fuel on board and stayed out an extra lap and he overtook me in the pits. But we can be very very happy with this result. We made no mistakes, no mistakes all weekend and maximised our performance. The whole team can be very proud of what it has achieved and hopefully, for the next races we can be in the top ten again."

Sebastien Bourdais (10th): "That was a very nice race, apart from the fact that I touched with Heidfeld which broke my wing, which was a real shame, as I had to do 17 laps like that, losing around 20 seconds to the group I was in. The next two stints were good quality and I had a good pace. But I am happy with the result and I think we had the right strategy. It's my best result since Australia and especially from the second stint onwards I felt much more comfortable and confident with the car and felt I could push as the track rubbered in. As for the next races, I continue to tackle them one at a time and hope that next time out in Spa I can make it into the points."

Franz Tost, Team Principal: "All weekend, the team has performed excellently. We ended up with both our drivers finishing where they started in sixth and tenth places, which is a solid result as all the top teams apart from Ferrari had both their cars finish. Vettel had a good start considering he was on the dirty side of the track, but a touch with Raikkonen left him with some vibration from the front left wheel and his second stint he had a bit of graining. Bourdais also drove a good race and also performed well through the weekend. We have shown that our performance is improving from race to race and so we are looking forward to Spa and Monza. I am convinced that both of these races, especially Monza will suit our package. For Scuderia Toro Rosso and our Red Bull parent company this has been a really successful weekend."


Jenson Button (13th): "I had a good start to the race and gained three places to 13th but that was the highlight of my race really. We made things difficult for ourselves by qualifying so far back on the grid after we had expected to perform a lot better. I was heavily fuelled compared to most others and running long on a one-stop strategy, but I was stuck behind Heidfeld when he had already pitted which cost me some time as I didn't have the pace to overtake him. We ran the option tyre for the second stint, which was initially fine but then the rears went away quite badly due to the rear brakes overheating."

Rubens Barrichello (16th): "After qualifying, we took the opportunity to start from the pit lane and work on the car to try and resolve the issues that we had yesterday. We changed the brakes completely so the car was very different to drive but it did improve a little bit during the race. We need to get to the bottom of the brake problems that we have had all weekend as these cost me a lot of time and positions. It was a poor weekend overall."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "Jenson got a good start and was able to make up three places during the first lap, however the midfield was quite close today and with a heavy fuel load he was unable to progress through the field. Starting Rubens from the pit lane was the right decision as he benefited from the melĀ©e at Turn 2 and ended up being further up the field than he would otherwise have been. Contrary to expectation though there was relatively low attrition with only three cars failing to finish and no safety cars, which meant there were no real opportunities to take advantage of. Fundamentally we have improved the car over the August break and we saw clear signs of that progress in free practice. We didn't make the most of that when it counted this weekend and we suffered in qualifying and the race as a result. So our first priority will be to understand where we failed and make sure we have a more robust approach for Spa and beyond. We have a three-day test in Monza next week where we will focus on getting the most out of our recent developments."

Force India-Ferrari

Giancarlo Fisichella (14th): "It was a difficult race with the very hot conditions, but overall I think it was a good performance. The strategy wasn't bad, but we did expect a safety car after seeing the other support races, but there weren't any incidents so it didn't come. Our pace was good, it wasn't far off the others, and we made a step forward with the gearbox. We now have to keep focussed and keep moving forward."

Adrian Sutil (DNF, Accident): "The first stint was OK as I was closing the gap to the rest of the field and then I could pass a few cars in the hairpin. It was a shame that I couldn't pass Giancarlo quickly enough to take full advantage of the two stop strategy and lost a little time. Once I passed him it was getting better but it was still difficult to pass more cars. Then under braking I lost the rear and tried to avoid a crash, but the barrier was too close and that was it."

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "I think this weekend has been one of our most competitive to date, with strong performances in practice and qualifying, and now a very close race showing we have made a step forward and now are racing with the other teams in front. We've got to keep our heads down and keep going in that direction and the results will start to come."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "Although it was disappointing not to get two cars to the finish, both drivers drove excellent races, with good pace showing we'd made a clear step forward. Adrian was honest enough to admit he made a mistake, but until that point he was having a very good race. We had put one car on one stop and the other on two to cover all bases in case of a safety car, which we were expecting for this race, and had he finished, Adrian on his two stops would have been able to finish just behind Giancarlo. Overall it's been a very positive weekend for the team."


Lewis Hamilton (2nd): "I can't complain with second place today. This was a strong weekend for us despite my having a few problems health-wise, but we pulled through. The track was pretty difficult to overtake on, but I maintained the gap - our lap times showed that our overall pace was good, which was encouraging. Heikki and I scored 13 points today, which is very positive for the team, so I'd describe it as a satisfactory weekend for us."

Heikki Kovalainen (4th): "My start was good, and I was consequently able to overtake Kimi before the first corner. However, I'm not really happy with how the race went for me after that, because I had grip problems with the prime tyres in the first and second stints - whereas with the option tyres in the last stint I had much better grip and traction. As a result I could close the gap to Robert Kubica a little. At least I scored five points, but a podium would have been much nicer. Having said that, it's good that the team scored a lot of points with Lewis's second place and my fourth place."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "We saw another extremely solid Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team performance today, the result of which was a very useful clutch of championship points, but in truth we lost the chance of outright victory yesterday in qualifying. In my view it's pretty clear that if Lewis had qualified with the same level of fuel as Felipe, he'd probably have been able to control the race from the front. But the nature of the circuit dictated that it was always going to be difficult for him to overtake today - and, that being the case, we opted fairly early on to take the championship-strategic option of settling for second place. Following on from his victory in Hungary, Heikki also drove very strongly and helped bolster our points total in the constructors' championship. He responded well to the pressure applied by Kimi and thoroughly deserved his fourth place."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "I am quite satisfied. Lewis leads the Drivers' World Championship, six points ahead of Felipe and 13 ahead of Kimi. No other team scored more points than we did today; we reduced the gap in the constructors' and extended the lead in the drivers' rankings. Congratulations to Felipe and Ferrari on their strong race and victory. The first grand prix here in Valencia was a great premiere - thank you to the organisers and to Bernie; this grand prix most certainly set an example. The most positive element was that the boxes containing our spare parts were kept closed all weekend - we didn't need to fit a single replacement part throughout a race weekend that everybody thought might be full of crashes. We will now continue to work hard in order to be well prepared for the final third of the season, which will begin with back-to-back races at Spa and Monza, two particularly challenging circuits that will put maximum stress on the engines."