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Hungarian GP 2008

AUGUST 3, 2008

Sunday Team Quotes

Felipe Massa, Hungarian GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive


Kimi Raikkonen (3rd): "I am sorry for Felipe and for the team as it is horrible to lose a race in this way. It was tough for me because, when you spend a long time behind a slower car it becomes frustrating and boring. When I was finally able to push, the car was behaving very well, but by then it was too late. I came up behind Glock but in the end, I had to slow as I had a mechanical problem with the rear end and the team told me to be very careful to ensure I brought the car home. It's true that I'm the one who has won the most points out of the top three in the classification, which shows this championship is really unpredictable, with ups and downs for everyone. It was a disappointing weekend for me but, at least I managed to come away with a decent result. We must try and fix the problems we have in qualifying to start at the front, so as to exploit the potential of the car. If we can do that, then we can get back to fighting for the win."

Felipe Massa (17th, Engine): "It happened completely without warning, without giving the slightest indication. I was managing the race, because I had a good advantage over second place after Hamilton was delayed with a problem and I was taking no risks whatsoever. I am very frustrated at the moment, because today we had a great car and we had done everything perfectly until just a few kilometres from the finish. Unfortunately, racing can be a cruel sport. We had given it our all, but these things can happen. Now we must not give up, but instead we must react quickly. There are seven races to go and 70 points up for grabs, which means there is plenty of time to make up ground. Our rivals are strong but we have shown we are at their level."

Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "Today we showed the worth of our team and our drivers, but we lacked the total reliability which is absolutely vital. Felipe drove possibly the best race of his career and we are very disappointed about what happened to him just a handful of kilometres from the end. He made an amazing start, attacking at the right moment and then he was comfortably managing his race in the final stages heading for a well-deserved victory. Kimi's race was compromised by his poor qualifying result yesterday: when you start further back it's hard to climb up the order. He was stuck behind Alonso for much of the race, but when he finally had a clear track ahead of him, he showed all his and the F2008's potential. We have to react to this negative moment in our usual way: with grit, determination and with everyone playing their part. We have three weeks of hard work ahead of us to be as well prepared as possible for the European Grand Prix."

Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "It hurts to see a car stop with a failure just a few laps from the end when you are solidly in the lead. It's a real shame, because Felipe drove an extraordinary race: a perfect start, always a fast pace and a great management of the situation in the final stages. Kimi was behind Alonso for two thirds of the race and only when he had a free track ahead of him was he able to show what he can do. Today, we showed our package is up to the job in terms of performance, but we lacked the necessary reliability. We must continue to work to improve still further, as indeed our competitors are doing. We can expect some weeks of hard work ahead of the next race where we want to achieve what slipped from our grasp today in the very last moments."

BMW Sauber

Robert Kubica (8th): "This was a difficult race. We were very slow and I was struggling with the overall grip of the car. I had massive oversteer and could not really push. I was trying hard to keep the car on the track. Anyway, one point is better than nothing."

Nick Heidfeld (10th): "My start wasn't perfect but okay. As I had hoped, I was able to overtake three cars on the first lap. But later it became more difficult than expected to race with the heavy car. We went for a one stop strategy, so my car was almost full of fuel at the start and I also had to take care of the tyres. I couldn't match the pace of the cars in front of me. Now we have to analyse today's lack of race pace. Normally this is one of our strengths!"

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "We were completely off the pace during the race. Neither driver was able to do the lap times we expected after the sessions on Friday and Saturday. It was the same on both tyre compounds. The reason for that is currently not clear, but we shall analyse everything. Congratulations to Heikki Kovalainen for his maiden win in F1 and, of course, Timo Glock for his strong weekend, crowned by finishing second."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "Of course we are very disappointed with today's performance. Now we need to analyse why we were not able to match our qualifying performance during the race. We shall do this in the factories in Hinwil and Munich because, due to the testing break, we are not able to test before the next race in Valencia in three weeks."


Fernando Alonso (4th): "We fought hard today and we were on the pace with a car that was working well, which is encouraging for the rest of the championship. We scored some important points which is satisfying, even though we could have maybe been on the podium. We must now continue working hard, but today's result shows that we are moving in the right direction."

Nelson Piquet (6th): "I am happy with my result this weekend. I scored some valuable points which is promising for the rest of the season. I made a good start, but unfortunately I made a small mistake on the first lap, which meant that I lost the two positions that I had made up. It shows that at this level you cannot afford to make the smallest error. I am continuing to learn and I am determined to continue building on this progress when we go to Valencia at the end of the month."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "It's a great result for the team and probably our best race of the year. Both cars had to race hard and we had to think our way carefully through to the end of the race. The results and points achieved today are a good reward for lots of hard work in the team and at the factories."

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "Today's result is a solid and encouraging one for the whole team. Our two drivers did a great job and we are now ready to continue pushing hard in the second half of the season to finish in fourth place in the constructors' championship."


Kazuki Nakajima (13th): "Obviously it was a very difficult race for us. We converted my strategy to a one stopper, which was the right thing to do, so thanks to the team for that. After that though, I was running heavy and struggling on the option tyres so had to fight for pace. I then made contact with Fisichella and lost a position. Fortunately, I was able to regain it when he had to make his final stop. That was all we could do today so we need to look into what happened and try to improve for the next race."

Nico Rosberg (14th): "My first lap wasn't great. I was in the wrong place and lost a few positions. Then, during my first pit-stop, something went wrong with the fuel rig which cost me a couple of decisive seconds and put me behind Fisichella. My strategy was over then. In terms of the heat I didn't have a problem with it; we've definitely had worse races this year."

Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Being a track like Budapest, it's extremely difficult to overtake, especially when everyone gets stacked up behind one another. We didn't have a good first lap, with both cars losing positions. We also had a problem with the fuel rig on Nico's car, which dropped him behind Kazuki, whose strategy we had changed. Difficult race, but we'll look forward to the next one. During the break before the next couple of Grands Prix, even though we're in a balancing act of developing the 2009 car with improving this year's car, we'll still be working hard on the FW30 in order to make progress in the remaining races."

Red Bull-Renault

Mark Webber (9th): "We weren't quick enough. We didn't do a good enough job in qualifying yesterday, which hurt us in the race. We struggled to find pace - and it was hard to stay with the Toyotas and Renaults, who we're fighting in the Championship. Let's hope it's this track though and that we can bounce back in Valencia."

David Coulthard (11th): "Unfortunately I got some traffic before my last stop, which allowed Nick (Heidfeld) to pass me; otherwise I couldn't do anymore today. The car has a lot of oversteer and rear sliding. Now we'll just focus on the next race and see that we can do there."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A disappointing race. Unfortunately we just weren't fast enough and it was a circuit that didn't play to our strengths. Our nearest rivals both had respectable scores today, but we'll be pushing hard to recover lost ground in the remaining races."

Benteyn Pierre-Emeric, Renault: "We're disappointed not to score any points this weekend. We'll continue working hard to find more performance in our package and will fight hard to come back soon."


Timo Glock (2nd): "What an incredible feeling. I couldn't believe it when I saw Felipe's engine go and I was P2. To get such a good result in my first year is fantastic so a huge thank you to all the team, including the engineers, mechanics and everyone at the factory. I knew from qualifying that we had good speed and we've looked strong all weekend. Today I made a good start and gained a place into the first corner. I had a really good car and everything went perfectly until the last stint on the soft tyres. I was struggling a lot and soon I had Kimi behind me. But I knew from last year here in GP2, when I was stuck in the midfield in a really good car, how hard it is to pass here. So when I saw him in the mirrors I knew I couldn't afford any mistakes. This result more than makes up for Hockenheim and now we must keep picking up regular points until the end of the season."

Jarno Trulli (7th): "This is a very good result for us and to pick up ten points is great for the constructors' championship. I'm glad for Timo because he has had a very good weekend and fully deserves this result. This could have been better for me too, despite my problems in qualifying. I was quick today but I couldn't push because I only had one lap that was clear of traffic in the whole afternoon. I gained one position early on but overtaking is practically impossible here. Around the second stops I was also stuck behind Lewis, holding me up further. Still, I'm delighted that we are showing such strong form and I just hope we can carry on in good shape and with such good results."

Tadashi Yamashina, Team Principal: "I really can't find the words to celebrate this result, the best of our season. We had a few difficulties in practice but during qualifying the drivers pushed themselves to the limit and things got better and better. Today Timo did a fantastic race. We saw immediately that his car was quick and and his third stint was almost perfect. He was under threat from Kimi but he was quick in the third sector and he was able to fend him off. Jarno was quick as well and pushed hard but he was blocked for most of the race he couldn't show his pace until briefly in the last stint. So this is a stunning performance and my thanks go out to the whole team and everyone working in the factory. I'm very appreciative of all their hard work and next we will aim for the centre of the podium."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Sebastien Bourdais (18th): "There have been two sides to this weekend: it got off to a good start and then I had some problems in qualifying. The race also started quite well, as I had a good pace. Then it all went to hell at the first pit stop, as the guys had to use the fire extinguisher and I got a lot of foam on my visor. It happened again at the second stop and this time I had foam inside and outside my visor and couldn't see a thing so had to make another stop to get it cleaned. By this stage, we had lost so much time, there was nothing else to do and I preferred to make the extra stop as the lack of visibility was dangerous."

Sebastian Vettel (DNF, Engine): "I didn't have a very good pit stop and that caused the engine to overheat and that messed up some parts and I had no choice but to retire. It's a shame as I had a good pace from the car this afternoon. I made a mistake in running wide at the last corner on the first lap and lost a lot of places. I was stuck behind Barrichello and it was impossible to overtake. This hasn't been a good weekend and that goes back to Friday when I suffered reliability problems and then came the disappointment this afternoon."

Franz Tost, Team Principal: "There can be no excuses: this was a bad weekend for the whole team. It seems that Budapest is not Vettel's place as we had technical problems on Friday and this continued in the race, as he had to retire. At this time, we are not exactly sure what the failure was, but we suspect it was due to overheating. As for Bourdais, he made a good start, moving up from 19th on the grid to 16th. Then, at his first pit stop on lap 32, we had a problem with the fuel system which caught fire. Fortunately it was extinguished in time, but the problem reoccurred at his second stop. On this occasion he had to make a further stop to have the extinguisher foam removed from his visor as he could not see. We must now carry out a full investigation of all the problems on both cars, after what was a very disappointing weekend for the whole team."


Jenson Button (12th): "Looking at the weekend as a whole, we have made good progress and can take a lot away from here. Unfortunately the race was frustrating. I made it tough for myself with a poor start, which dropped me down to P14 after the first couple of corners. I got boxed in at Turn 1 and had a lot of wheelspin out of the corner, which allowed a few people to get past on the outside. I was able to get past Rubens on lap three, which was fun, but after that I quickly came up to the back of Heidfeld. He was very strong on the last two corners so I had no chance to overtake on the track and he was on a one-stop strategy. However in clean air, our pace was good, so this weekend is a definite step forward and I am reasonably happy with the outcome."

Rubens Barrichello (16th): "After a good start where I made up four positions on the opening lap, unfortunately it wasn't a very exciting race for me. We decided to start with used front and new rear tyres which proved to be a problem as the car was out of balance for the first stint. Then at my first pitstop we were unlucky to have the problem with the rig which resulted in a small fire and a long delay whilst we got fuel into the car using the second rig. After that, my race was effectively over as the number of blue flags made it impossible to make progress. We decided to drop the revs on the engine and do some testing with the tyres as we had overheating problems over the weekend and it was good to collect some data on this. For me the actual race was one to forget really."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "Today's race was never going to be easy from our grid positions. From the first lap both drivers were held up by Heidfeld who was running on a different strategy and this prevented them from using their true pace. The new developments that we brought to Hungary have definitely helped us to improve the performance of the car. As is always the case though, the rest of the field isn't standing still and we do not yet have the pace to score points on our own merit. The break will give the Race Team members some well-earned respite from what is a fairly gruelling schedule, however the staff at our bases in Brackley, Bracknell and Tochigi will all be pushing on to help us improve our competitiveness for Valencia."

Force India-Ferrari

Giancarlo Fisichella (15th): "It was a tough race as we were fighting quite a lot. We were quite heavy at the beginning of the race but the pace really wasn't too bad and I could keep up with the others in front of me. In fact the two Williams were only two laps heavier than me when I was just behind them, but I was keeping the same pace. Even at the end of the race in the last few laps I could do a 1min 22.6, which is a good lap time. In terms of strategy we did well, that was the maximum we could get from this race, we just need a step forward for the next few races."

Adrian Sutil (DNF, Brakes): "My start was normal, I was on the outside going into turn one but then I had to go a little bit wide and dropped back a place. Then the problems started on the third lap when my brakes started to overheat, particularly the rear ones, and I had to move my brake balance forward. From that point on I had problems, with lots of locking on the front and understeer and it was difficult to handle the car. Considering this, my race pace was not bad in the first stint, but then in the second stint I was held up by the group in front when I was quite light and lost some time there. In the final stint I had a puncture on the front right under braking and then the brakes gave up and my race was over. Overall, I am disappointed because we've worked hard for the whole weekend and then after three laps we have a problem so I couldn't show the performance I wanted to."

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "I think we can be pleased with the team's performance this weekend. On a track where qualifying often determines the finishing position, Giancarlo was able to improve three positions on his starting position through a combination of a bold strategy and his own very polished overtaking manoeuvres. Adrian also looked to be racing competitively, despite the problems that started very early on for him. While it's disappointing to not get two cars to the finish, again we raced very well and finished in front of cars yet again. We're looking forward to the European Grand Prix now where I hope the introduction of the seamless shift gearbox will move us ever-closer to the midfield."

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "An exciting race for our guys, with both driving very good races under the circumstances. Giancarlo lost a position at the start but both drove good first stints. We put them on slightly different strategies, with a short middle stint for Adrian and a longer one for Giancarlo. We were able to jump some people in the pit stops with Giancarlo, and although he just wasn't able to hold it in the final pit stop, at least we were able to race with the group in front. Adrian had a brake problem very early on, which meant we had to wind his brake balance forward and ultimately he had to stop with a puncture caused by this brake failure. While it's disappointing not to get two cars to the finish, we can be pleased with the team's performance and both the drivers who all pushed very hard this weekend."


Heikki Kovalainen (1st): "There have been races this year where I've been in a position to challenge for victory but had something go wrong for me. Halfway through this race, things started working for me and I started pushing Felipe hard - and it worked. I feel sorry for Felipe because he drove a great race, but my car felt good and I knew I could push for the victory. This is a great moment for me, something I've been targeting for many years. Hopefully, this victory will be the first of many."

Lewis Hamilton (5th): "Congratulations to Heikki for his first and very well deserved grand prix win. The race could have been better for me. My start was okay, but Felipe's was better and he managed to overtake me. I managed to maintain the gap during the first stint and felt comfortable in the second stint because I was matching his times but was going to be running longer to the final stops. I feel I could have had a go at passing him, but the damaged tyre halted my progress. I don't yet know what happened. But at least I scored four points and maintained my lead in the championship, so this result is not too bad for me."

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "One of the oldest motor racing phrases ever coined is: 'To finish first, first you have to finish.' Hackneyed it may be, but it's true nonetheless. Even so, you have to feel sorry for Felipe, who did a very good job. But Heikki drove superbly, scoring his first grand prix victory in fine style and converting his excellent qualifying pace, which has been apparent all season, into a thoroughly well deserved win. Lewis's race was compromised by his losing the lead at the start; but we fuelled him long for the second stint and therefore believed he was well placed to leapfrog Felipe in his final pitstop. Sadly for him, though, it wasn't to be: damage to his front-left tyre cost him that victory chance. However, from Lewis's perspective, as bad days go, it could have been a lot worse. But today was Heikki's day, and a very good day it was, and everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is absolutely delighted for him."

Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "I'm sorry for Felipe and Ferrari. Lewis had bad luck with the tyre, Felipe with the engine. Heikki's first win is sensational and he deserves it. We are obviously successful with our Finns; first Mika, then Kimi and now Heikki. Without the damaged tyre, Lewis also had a chance of victory; until then his race went according to plan and his strategy with a later second stop could have put him ahead of Felipe. Congratulations to Timo and Toyota on their second place - today Timo kept the world champion behind him. The podium showed again that the fight for the World Championship will remain very exciting. During the so-called summer break, we will continue to work hard to be well prepared for the next race on Valencia's street circuit which will be new for everybody."