Hungarian GP 2007
AUGUST 5, 2007
Sunday Team Quotes
Lewis Hamilton (1st): "A very emotional race and an eventful weekend. During the last two weeks, the team has done a great job and we definitely have made a step forward. However, the Ferrari was also fast today and during the final laps, Kimi put a lot of pressure on me. I managed to pull out a slight gap in the first stint but during the last two stints, I had a small problem with the steering on the car. This meant Kimi was able to close on me which made me a little nervous. However the team told me on the radio that everything was OK which meant I was able to push to the very end."
Fernando Alonso (4th): "I am quite pleased with the race today which was a difficult one. The maximum we could have reached from sixth position on the grid was a podium finish - especially on this circuit which is comparable to Monaco in terms of overtaking opportunities. This didn't work out in the end, but fourth is better than fifth and at the final stage of the race I did not push too much to save my engine for the Turkish Grand Prix. Without the penalty after yesterday's qualifying the victory would have been possible today as you can see on my lap times when I had a clear track. I am now seven points behind Lewis. The fight for the championship is still open and I will try my best to close the gap."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "A weekend full of stress and emotion. The issues that faced us, not just this weekend but also in the previous month, has tested the resolve of the whole team. It's at these times that you have to stay true to your principles and values. We will take the time between now and the Turkish Grand Prix to continue to develop the car and strive to maintain our winning streak. Both drivers did great jobs in different but very difficult circumstances."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "Lewis drove a flawless race from the start to the finish. Lewis achieved his third victory and his 10th podium in only his 11th Formula 1 race. It is also the 50th Grand Prix win of the McLaren Mercedes partnership since our first victory at Melbourne on 10 March 1997. Fernando improved from sixth on the grid to fourth on a track where overtaking is almost impossible. This is our fifth victory within the last seven races and our sixth out of the 11 races so far this year - thanks to everybody in the team for working so hard to get these results. Following our penalty we lead the Constructors' Championship with 19 instead of 34 points, but I am sure that everybody in the team is even more motivated to maintain the lead in both championships until after the final race of the season on 21 October."
Heikki Kovalainen (8th): "It was a difficult race today starting from eleventh place on the grid. But I never gave up and I pushed as hard as I could and succeeded in finishing in the points. I made a good start and I tried to be as consistent as possible and I didn't make any mistakes. It would have been difficult for me to do better today. I'm still disappointed after yesterday's qualifying but we did our maximum as I've already said. Now we have to concentrate on the Turkish Grand Prix inthree weeks time."
Giancarlo Fisichella (12th): "My race was more or less decided by yesterday's penalty that I still believe I didn't deserve. I made a good start but it was difficult to maintain a good rhythm as I was stuck in traffic throughout the event. When I was able to have a few clear laps I was on the pace. After my 2nd stop I tagged Davidson and my car was damaged, so it was difficult to drive. I'm disappointed with today's result, which isn't very good for the team. It doesn't reflect our true level of performance and we have the potential to do better. Hopefully, we'll be back near the front in Istanbul."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Today we paid the penalty for our qualifying issues yesterday. Heikki was very quick in the race, and on a circuit where overtaking is well nigh impossible he managed to pull back 3 places, more than any other driver today. He scored a point after having gone flat out throughout. Giancarlo not only had to cope with his penalty after qualifying, but he also had a car that was difficult to drive after his collision with Davidson, which largely compromised his race today. Now, we're all looking ahead to Turkey, the next round of the championship."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "The Hungaroring circuit has a reputation for being difficult, especially where overtaking is concerned. Today, given our positions on the grid and Fisichella being demoted it was hard to do better. We gave our all. Heikki drove a great race; he was very aggressive and gave nothing away. I'm disappointed for Fisichella who also deserved a place in the points."
Kimi Raikkonen (2nd): "My main aim today was to make up points on my three closest rivals for the title. I didn't manage it and so I cannot be completely happy. We knew we could count on a very good car in terms of race pace and so it was, as was clear to see on the few occasions when I could drive with a clear track ahead of me, but it was not enough to win. When you find yourself very close to a car with similar speed, unless it makes a mistake, it is very difficult to overtake, especially on a track like this one. I fought to the very end to try and win but I never had a real chance to pass Hamilton. We came in together for our first pit stop and at that point, the choice of fuel levels determined the final outcome. But bit by bit as the track rubbered in and got more grip, my performance improved. Clearly, on some tracks, we suffer a lot in qualifying and we have to understand why. I think that in the coming races the situation should definitely be better, starting in Istanbul."
Felipe Massa (13th): "It was a horrible race; there are no other words to describe it. At the start, I managed to pass some cars but at the exit to Turn 1, I lost position again. Then, at the next corner, I tried to pass Wurz but I ran wide and Sato also got past me. At that point, any hopes I had just evaporated. I had a very heavy car and lost downforce every time I tried to close on other cars. It's been a weekend to forget but I have not lost confidence. We know we have a good car and we must return to winning as soon as possible, starting in Turkey. We must not give up."
Jean Todt, Team Principal: "A second and thirteenth place are a meagre reward for this weekend. There is a slight bitter taste at seeing how competitive we were in the race with Kimi, as it showed yet again that starting from the front is vital, especially at a track like the Hungaroring where overtaking is almost impossible. Of course, Felipe was even more heavily penalized because of the negative outcome of qualifying, given that he was constantly stuck in traffic. We knew this track would not suit us that well. Now we need to try and get both our drivers on the podium all the time to try and make up the gaps in both championships for the remaining third of the season. We have all we need - the team, the car and drivers - but we have not always been able to put them all together to the best effect. If we don't manage it, the championships will not be won."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "We cannot be happy with this result. We saw we had a very competitive race pace but the outcome of qualifying made the situation very difficult especially for Felipe, who was almost never able to run with a clear track ahead of him. Kimi did his best, starting well and always attacking Hamilton, but on this track, overtaking is an impossible task. Apart from the mistakes made with Felipe yesterday, in certain conditions we have serious difficulties in doing a time over the first timed lap, as was clear to see yesterday. We have to analyse the situation well to improve our performance in this area."
Rubens Barrichello (18th): "Today we just didn't have any pace and despite the fact that I was pushing as much as possible, there was nothing coming from the car. The race started badly when I was pushed wide at the exit of turn two and ended up at the back of the field. Overtaking is next to impossible at this track so that was the story of my race really. Everyone at the team is feeling the pain at the moment. We know how bad the situation is but we have to keep our heads up and keep working at it over the break to find some improvements."
Jenson Button (DNF, Throttle Sensor): "What can I say? We all know the problems and how much work there is to be done. The problem that brought my race to an end appears to be a sensor problem as I couldn't get full throttle for a few laps before I eventually slowed for the blue flags. Then the engine just stalled. Before that we were massively off the pace and I struggled with huge understeer. Our results today speak for themselves."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: "This has been a weekend to forget. Quite simply, we did not have the race pace here. On the first lap Rubens lost some places when he ran wide at turn two. Thereafter, having started 18th on the grid, it was just a case of getting to the end of the race and looking for opportunities. There was nothing more he could have done with the car today. A similar story for Jenson until an engine-related problem stopped him out on the circuit. We have three weeks before the next race and a huge amount of work to do in that time."
Nick Heidfeld (3rd): "This was a superb race for me. I was on the podium for the second time this year, and podiums were on our 'to do' list for this season. I had a bad start on the dirty side of the track and lost a place to Kimi Raikkonen, but anyway both Lewis Hamilton and he have clearly been faster today, so a better start would not have changed much. I had some difficulties with the second and third sets of tyres and it was not easy to race against a 'ghost'. Of course I knew I was racing Fernando Alonso but, due to the different strategies, he wasn't visible to me. We decided early this weekend to go for a three stop strategy because the softer tyres caused trouble. I only used them in the last stint when my car was relatively light and the track had a lot of rubber. Fernando was faster than me almost everywhere and put me under pressure, but he didn't have a proper chance to overtake as this is very difficult here."
Robert Kubica (5th): "I am happy with the pace. Today the car worked well, and my race was pretty good. I had to start with used tyres, therefore, the first laps were very difficult for me. However, after the first stop the pace was really good and then I closed the gap to Nick to three seconds. Without yesterday's problems we could have finished a lot better. Nick had a good result and this is good for the team."
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "That was not only a great result points wise, but it was also the best result so far for our team. Nick third and on the podium and Robert fifth - that means ten important points. To date we have never managed to get more than that with the BMW Sauber F1 Team in a single race. That is fantastic. Today everything worked well for us. Our race strategy was aggressive. The pit stops were perfect, and today that was very important. A great compliment to the team here at the track and also to our colleagues at home in Hinwil and Munich. Being third in the constructors' championship means now we have a big cushion, and we look forward to going into the summer break highly motivated."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "This race was a wonderful game of chess, in which you could plan where and when to make your moves. Strategically it was extremely enjoyable, and because of a great pit crew it really worked perfectly for us. The performance of the pit crew was a crucial ingredient in this game of chess with the third stops, with the very quick tyre changes, being the most important. Both our drivers were fantastic today. They were fast and consistent and achieved the maximum today."
Ralf Schumacher (6th): "The race was great. I made a strong start and was fighting for fourth place in the first few corners. The car was really good, at the beginning it was a bit nervous but we made some front flap adjustments and then it was okay. After the first pit stops we started to see different strategies from some of the teams. We went with a two-stopper and I think we made the right decision. It was a shame we lost quite a bit of time coming up behind Heidfeld later in the race but still three points is good for the team. We need them and now we are looking good for the rest of the season. It's my best result of the season so I am happy."
Jarno Trulli (10th): "That was a disappointing race because we had looked competitive this weekend. It was very difficult for me after the start because again it was bad. I lost a lot of positions and from there I couldn't really do anything because it is so hard to overtake on this circuit. I was just stuck in traffic. We tried to make up some positions with our strategy and when I was in clear air my lap times improved so I moved up a bit. However, you cannot do too much on this track. The final stint was quite difficult on the option tyre but at that stage there was not much we could do to improve our position. We have work to do before the next race."
Tadashi Yamashina, Team Principal: "Today we had a very solid race and Ralf was able to score points, which is good. Ideally we hoped for a better result because we had a good race pace here. Next time we will push for that. I was a little disappointed with the result for Jarno and we will analyse what the reasons are for his problem at the start. We will try to improve. What made the race especially interesting was the tyre strategy. We were flexible between two or three stops and we had enough evidence from the first part of the race that the two stop would be better and Ralf almost got past the BMWs with that but he got held up behind Heidfeld. It was very interesting from a strategy point of view and we got it right. Today the whole team worked well and I am very proud of our pit crew's performance. They trained a lot this weekend and I am very satisfied."
Dieter Gass, Chief Race Engineer:
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis:
Mark Webber (9th): "Regarding the strategy, we thought that if we could get some clear air between lap 20-something through to 30, we'd switch to a three-stop strategy, but it wasn't enough for us to get a point today. The car balance improved as the race went on, and I had slightly better pace in the last two stints, but I don't think there was much more we could have done today. I was happy with how I drove, we gave everything. It's good now for everyone to have a break and re-group so we can finish the last six races as strong as we can be."
David Coulthard (11th): "It was very inconsistent between sets of tyres out on track, so it was difficult to judge our out and out performance. Other than that, there wasn't too much to report from this race."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "It was a frustrating race, as we were lacking a little bit of pace. With Mark we opted to run a three-stop strategy, which was the quickest way for him to complete the race, but we just missed out on a point. With David, we rolled the dice when we saw Davidson's car beached in a precarious position on the circuit, as we thought the safety car could be deployed. David was out of the points, so we gambled on his position, bought him into the pits and fuelled him to the finish. Unfortunately it didn't work out, but it was worth a try. On a positive note, we got two more finishes today and had 100 per cent reliability all weekend."
Fabrice Lom, Renault: "On one hand, this is a good result, as both cars raced reliably, which has not always been the case this year. So, from a technical point of view this was a good day, but in mathematical terms it was not so good with a Toyota in sixth and a Williams in seventh, as we lose points to our main rivals. Therefore, we now have to look at improving performance while maintaining our reliability."
Nico Rosberg (7th): "In the end, I have to be pleased with this result, even if I had hoped to have done better than seventh. That's just the way it turned out and there wasn't much more we could have done. It wasn't an easy race. Hungary is one of the hardest tracks on the calendar from a physical perspective, but that is why I work so hard in training and had no problems. Our strategy was good - I didn't come across any traffic, and that allowed me to go at my own pace, but we just missed out today."
Alexander Wurz (14th): "Unfortunately, for the first time this season, I lost a position at the start which put me behind Davidson and lost me a lot of time. After that, I was putting in some good lap times, considering my strategy. I spent the race fighting for position with Fisichella and Massa; we were having a bit of a battle but then came to lap Sutil in the Spyker. He let the other two past, but pushed me onto the grass. I don't think Adrian realised I was there, but it meant I lost a place to Massa."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was good to get a couple of points in the Constructors' Championship, thanks to Nico. We lost some time in the second stint which we couldn't make up, but he got everything he could out of the car. Alex unfortunately lost a position on the first lap to Davidson and that made his race difficult. Both cars were reliable today. There's a break now before the next race, with no opportunity for testing, but we're looking forward to Istanbul in three weeks' time."
Sebastian Vettel (16th): "It felt like a long race, but the main thing is that I finished. It was not easy, as over a race distance, the car changes a lot and you have to adapt, which is not easy when you don't know the car. The team did a very good job, helping me where they could. I had quite a good start. I found it quite exciting and overall, it was a good weekend, considering Friday was the first time I drove the car."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (DNF, Electrics): "My race was going okay, apart from the fact that our strategy choice meant that when I was stuck behind Massa, running slower with a heavier fuel load, it was costing me time. During the first stop, we sorted it out, changing my strategy and it could have gone better from then on as I had a good pace. Unfortunately, I had an electronic problem. For at least three laps, I was very slow down the straights and I could feel a lack of power. We tried to go ahead and to keep pushing, but it became obvious I would not be able to finish the race as I was going about three seconds a lap slower. We have to try and improve our reliability so that I can finish some more races before the end of the season. Maybe we should book a trip to Lourdes!"
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Tonio did a good job, in a race where we had to change his strategy at the stop, after which he ran at a very strong pace. Unfortunately, he was forced to stop with an electrical problem. As for Sebastian, all weekend he did a really good job, not making any mistakes. This afternoon, he made a good start, after which he ran behind Tonio at the same pace. He lost out a bit when he had to move off the racing line to be lapped. We are happy with what we have seen of him this weekend, which was effectively a three day test session for him."
Adrian Sutil (17th): "This race we showed we were quite competitive with the cars in front of us. We could race Honda, which meant I really had to push and attack every single lap. We did keep them behind until the end, which is a little success with this old car. Let's see what we can do in Turkey now - we know we are much closer in races, so hopefully with a new car we can be even better."
Sakon Yamamoto (DNF, Accident): "After the start I really pushed but suddenly I lost rear grip in turn 11 and spun and crashed. I just made a mistake so I am really disappointed with this result as I wanted to finish the race, but I will keep working hard and focus on the next Grand Prix, where we will have the new car."
Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "Adrian had a great showing, demonstrating we can beat other teams on race pace. It's hopeful, as with the improved speed of the new car in Turkey, we should be able to take the fight to a few more people. It was bad luck for Sakon, but I am sure as he gets more experience of the team and car he will have better races."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A good and bad race for us. Sakon made a mistake early on, which is a shame as he'd had a good weekend until that point. Adrian on the other hand had a very good race, showing we were able to match the speed and beat the works Hondas. For a team with our limited resources we can be quite proud of this. We know that the race pace is better than we show in Qualifying, so we must improve this area, but we can look forward to the updated car in Turkey where we can hopefully finish in front of some more people."
Takuma Sato (15th): "It was quite an exciting start and I got off the line well. Through the first few turns I was side-by-side with a couple of cars and made up some positions, so that was really good. But then I struggled with low grip and the car started to slide with the heavy fuel and this continued to half way through the race. On the third stint, with the super soft tyre, the car had much better balance and a lot more grip, so it was really fun to drive. The lap times were very competitive, so it is a shame that we didn't have anybody to race with on the last stint, but at least it was a better day and overall it was hard, but a good race."
Anthony Davidson (DNF, Spin): "It was a frustrating end to the day. I got a really good start and the car had a nice balance all the way through the race. Challenging Wurz and Fisichella was great as these were the guys we were trying to beat. But in the end, when I was racing Fisichella out of the pitlane, he ran out of road on the cold tyres. I tried to give him as much room as I could without running off the circuit and we touched. I think it was a racing incident, but it was enough to break my rear suspension and put me out of the race. So a frustrating end to a good weekend, but these things happen and we learn from every race. We had a good strong Qualifying, so we are looking forward to next time."
Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "The races are getting very difficult for us due to the reliability of everyone on the grid. Taku and Anthony did a very good job today and it is unfortunate that Anthony was unlucky with a coming together with Fisichella. In the second half of the race Taku's laps times were quick and consistent, however, with all of our competitors also performing strongly, we must continue to develop our car and push harder for the second half of the season."