Honda F1 website
Honda website

Spanish GP 2008

APRIL 27, 2008

Sunday Team Quotes

Robert Kubica, Spanish GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive


Kimi Raikkonen (1st): "It would be hard to do better than this! Yesterday pole, today the win, rounded off with a second place for Felipe. We are leading both championships which I'm happy about. The whole weekend went well and we managed to get the result we came here for. It was not an easy win, but what matters is the ten points, not the lead you have when you cross the line. I did not get a perfect start, but it was enough to keep the lead and then we tried to control the situation. The two Safety Car periods complicated things slightly, wiping out the lead we had built up in the first part, but we never lost the lead of the race. The car handled very well and had a great balance. We are leading the world championship, but we know we cannot let up at all: it takes nothing to drop down the order. Heikki's accident? I was very happy when the team told me he was alright and that's the most important thing."

Felipe Massa (2nd): "These are eight very important points. It is not always possible to win as I did manage in Bahrain a fortnight ago. I made a great start and managed to pass Alonso, getting very close to Kimi. I knew I was stopping a lap before my team-mate and that therefore it would have been very difficult to get ahead of him. That's why I think that today, I did the most I could have done in this situation, bringing home valuable points for myself and for the team. Even this year, despite the banning of electronic driver aids, overtaking is pretty much impossible and the result of qualifying, along with strategy, remains crucial for deciding the finishing order."

Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "We are obviously delighted with this result, the best one possible. It comes as a result of the work done in preparing for the race throughout the weekend and I want to thank the whole team, both those who are here at the track and those back in Maranello, for their efforts. We have to continue in this way, paying great attention to every little detail. We are up against very strong opponents and it takes just the slightest thing for a good result to slip through ones fingers. We are leading both championships and we have to keep on down this path."

BMW Sauber

Robert Kubica (4th): "We had a very good pace during today's race. Unfortunately I lost a position at the start. Anyway at the end our gap to the leader was only five seconds. If someone had told me that yesterday I would not have believed it. I hope Heikki is ok. When I passed the accident I saw the car in a very strange position. The FIA is making great efforts for car safety, so we have to be really thankful to them."

Nick Heidfeld (9th): "At the start I managed to gain the two positions I had wanted to. That's positive, especially because recently we have had less impressive starts. I was fifth in the race when I had bad luck with the timing of the safety car period and my first pit stop. I had just passed the pit entry when I got the signal to come in. I then tried to save fuel and delay my pit stop, but in the end it was the choice between running out of fuel on the track or getting a stop and go penalty."

Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "First of all we are all relieved that after his accident Heikki Kovalainen signalled he was okay. Robert lost a position at the start and was close behind Lewis Hamilton turning into the first corner. He was almost as close to Hamilton when he finally crossed the finish line. Nick gained two positions at the start so was well on his way. The safety-car period destroyed our strategy. We literally missed getting Nick into the pit lane before the safety car by a few seconds. As a result he had to refuel during the safety-car period, and we got a 10 second penalty because of that. For our team it was the least points we have scored so far this season, but we had a good performance throughout the weekend without any technical problems."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "Overall we expected more from this race. Robert lost a position to Hamilton right after the start and, because they both had a similar speed and were on the same pit stop strategy, he couldn't get third place back. Nick purely had bad luck. Just before he was supposed to come in, the Safety Car went out. His tank was empty and he was forced to enter the pit lane under the red light. The ten second penalty ruined his race."


Fernando Alonso (DNF, Engine): "This weekend has been both sweet and sour. The car was very competitive and we were up there with the Ferraris and the BMWs, which is a good first step. I think now we should hopefully start enjoying races again and racing closer to the front. Although I am disappointed not to finish, it was a nice surprise to see that we are more competitive than we thought we would be."

Nelson Piquet (DNF, Accident): "I made my first mistake early on and went off the track, but I was able to rejoin down the field and from then on I tried to attack, which meant I had to take a few risks. I am disappointed, but there is no doubt that we have made a lot of progress this weekend. I must take what I can from this race, so that I do not make the same mistakes in the future. I am now looking forward to Turkey and doing my best there."

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "A weekend that had a lot of potential has slipped away from us. A fifth place with Fernando looked easy today and a good showing from Nelson would have backed this up. We don't yet know the cause of the engine failure on Fernando's car, but in spite of the disappointment of the final result, we take encouragement that our relative performance has moved up. There is still a lot to do, and we will continue to work hard to improve the car."

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "It is disappointing to come away with nothing, especially after such a hopeful weekend. Nelson's race was spoiled when he ran wide at the beginning, but Fernando drove impeccably and in spite of the engine problem we have seen that the car is very competitive and we can look forward to the next race."


Kazuki Nakajima (7th): "It was a good race and it was important to me to score points today. I made it off the line ok, but I was then caught behind Button so I lost position, which was disappointing. I'm happy with the end result though and this race is another step forward for me. There is, of course, room for improvement but five points in the first four races is a good start in my first year."

Nico Rosberg (DNF, Engine): "In the end, this result is a combination of two things. We brought a new aero package to this race and we went the wrong way with it when it came to set-up in practice. We were able to change this for the race and went much more towards Kazuki's setting, which worked a lot better as I was able to push harder and I was much happier with that. It was going really well in the race. I had a good start, chose the right way to go off the line and went from 15th to 11th in the first lap so I knew we had a good chance to do well and overtake Jarno for sixth place. Even if I hadn't passed Jarno, I still would have finished seventh, which would have been good also, so the end result is a shame."

Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was good to score some points with Kazuki for the team's standing in the Constructors' Championship, but it's also slightly disappointing as we should have scored more. Nico was looking good for sixth place after he took advantage of the second safety car period and pitted at the right time, but he unfortunately suffered a failure. We haven't identified the problem as yet, it's currently under investigation."

Red Bull-Renault

Mark Webber (5th): "I'm very, very happy. The team worked very hard following the test to get all the parts ready in time and it paid off. We didn't have a great start to today's race, but we had good pace and we were there at the end, it's a great to get a strong finish. I didn't have very good grip in the final stint, but we weren't under pressure at that point, so were okay. I'm happy with my driving and the team did an excellent job."

David Coulthard (12th): "It's a horrible thing about being down near the end of the grid ... you try to keep out of trouble, but it's never so easy. I got whacked by Sutil going into Turn four and picked up some light damage to the side of the car, but after that I was running okay. After my pit stop, I took a defensive line into Turn four and five to show Glock that I knew he was there, but he hit the rear of my car and punctured a tyre."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "It was an excellent race for Mark, well executed by both driver and team, his pace was strong all weekend and we're very pleased with fifth place. For David, the nightmare of yesterday's qualifying session continued. It looked as though he might be able to pick up a couple of points at one stage in the race, but unfortunately things just didn't go his way today, I'm sure his luck will change soon."

Fabrice Lom, Renault: "It's a very good result for us, fifth place is a strong place to finish. We've taken a step forwards in performance and we were quicker than Williams and Toyota today. For David, it was difficult starting so far back, it was always going to be hard to recover from there."


Jarno Trulli (8th): "We've scored another point but it should have been more today. This race wasn't easy but everything was going well and we were heading for sixth. Then a communications error led to the team mistakenly calling me into the pits. These things happen but that cost us two precious points today. Up to then it had been a hard weekend but we were heading for a strong result. It was a battle but I was getting the maximum out of the package and doing my best to stay as close to Webber as possible. We are in a tight group of teams and we will have to keep pushing hard on development to maintain our momentum."

Timo Glock (11th): "The start didn't go well and on the way down to the first corner I lost two or three positions. Then a car crossed in front of me and damaged my front wing. That heavily affected the first stint as I lost some aero performance and it meant we had the whole race in traffic. The car felt much better after we changed the nose at the pit stop. But later on Coulthard came out in front of me and he was slow on his out lap. He left me a bit of space and then closed it and I crashed into him. It destroyed my front wing again and that was it."

Tadashi Yamashina, Team Principal: "This fourth race weekend has been tough from the beginning on Friday practice, through qualifying to today. Still, everybody worked hard and did their best - including the drivers - and we were heading for a very strong result. Then one error cost us. After Timo's collision there was confusion between the cars and Jarno received the wrong message. So we must analyse what happened and make sure we avoid this mistake in the future. At the next race we will do our best again and hope for a better result."

Toro Rosso-Ferrari

Sebastien Bourdais (DNF, Damage): "I would not like to say exactly what happened until I see the replay. All I know is that I checked my mirrors and Nelson did not seem to be in a position to attack, even though he was close to me, but not close enough. I braked for Turn 10 quite late, started to turn into the corner and all of a sudden, he was there alongside me as I turned. That was the end of the story. It's a shame as we had done a pretty good job this weekend up to that point."

Sebastian Vettel (DNF, Accident): "This is very disappointing, especially as there was nothing I could do about it. The collision happened at Turn 4, when Adrian (Sutil) was far too optimistic in attempting an overtaking manoeuvre. He clipped an other car and that spun him round right in front of me. I tried to get through on the inside, but there was no way for me to go. I might have managed it, but I had a Super Aguri also trying to get past it. We'll just have to try again in Istanbul. Hopefully we can get the new car soon and move out of the back of the pack, where I have had so many problems at the start of races."

Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Our races are getting shorter and shorter at the moment! Vettel stopped at Turn 4 on Lap 1, while Bourdais managed six more laps. Vettel could do nothing about it as Sutil spun right in front of him and Bourdais didn't see Piquet and they collided."


Jenson Button (6th): "It was a good race for us today and I'm really pleased to finish in 6th with three points. Unfortunately the safety car came out at the wrong time for us, although I am pleased to hear that Heikki is okay. I was on a long first stint so it was bad timing and definitely cost me some places. The car was working well with the balance improving lap by lap, particularly on the last stint with harder tyres where I felt very comfortable. The team are doing a really good job and we are benefitting from Ross' technical management. I got a really good feel for the new aero package during the race today and it is definitely an improvement. The good thing is that what we are seeing from the car reflects the information from the wind tunnel. This circuit is not the best for our car as it's a bumpy circuit here and we seem to lack some driveability over the bumps. When we get to the next race in Turkey, I expect the car to perform better than here."

Rubens Barrichello (DNF, Damage): "The car was performing well today so it was especially disappointing that the incident in the pitlane with Fisichella brought my race to an end. From what we can see, it was just one of those unfortunate incidents. The team released me and advised me of traffic, so I stayed out of the fast lane. Fisichella overtook me and cut into his box clipping my front wing at the same time. I managed to get round the lap with the wing caught under the front of the car but unfortunately the damage caused to the bodywork was too great to continue and I was forced to retire. It's a shame as I could have scored some good points today. We have certainly made a step forward in performance this weekend. The new aero package has performed well and although it took some tuning this week to ensure that we achieved the optimum set-up, the car was well balanced and performing well in the race. There is still a long way to go but it is encouraging to know that we are improving step by step. I look forward to the next few races and hope that we can continue to make progress."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "The whole team is delighted to score some points as we embark on the European season and it is just reward after the tremendous efforts made by everyone. We have made a good step forward with the new upgrade package and today's result reflects all the hard work that the team have put into developing the car since the start of the season. We are making good progress, which is encouraging for the rest of the season and for the future. I really feel that all elements of the team, chassis and engine are beginning to gel. We have a number of smaller developments to introduce over the next few races, to tailor the package to the varying characteristics of the forthcoming circuits, and at the same time we will be working hard on the development of our next substantial upgrade for Silverstone."

Super Aguri-Honda

Takuma Sato (13th): "It was a hard race, but I enjoyed it. The start was reasonably good and I overtook a few cars. Ahead of me a few cars had a coming together and I could not avoid them and lost part of the nose, which then obviously affected my aero balance. The team said that the car looked okay, so we just fought our way through the rest of the race. At one stage we were up in the middle, running as high as ninth, and that was a fantastic feeling. The boys did a great job under difficult circumstances this weekend. I am very happy for them and all the people who are supporting us and I just hope that we can keep this momentum going."

Anthony Davidson (DNF, Radiator): "It was a disappointing end to the weekend for me. After Piquet ran wide at the beginning of the race he dragged a lot of gravel on to the track and a stone from that then damaged my water radiator, putting me out of the race. I got a good start and felt comfortable in the car up to that point, so it is a shame to have retired so early, but I'd like to thank everyone in the team for their hard work and determination this weekend."

Aguri Suzuki, Team Principal: "It was a tough race with only just over half of the competitors crossing the finish line. Despite the fact that we did not attend the test here last week, both drivers and all the mechanics and engineers have done a great job today. I am sorry for Anthony as he retired due to damage to his radiator, but he did a great job at the start. Taku had a very good race in a difficult situation and came home in 13th position, which is our best result so far this season. It has been a difficult weekend for everybody in our team and I would like to thank our partners and the fans for their continued support."

Force India-Ferrari

Giancarlo Fisichella (10th): "Not too bad, 10th is the best result of the season so far. I know several cars had accidents but I did my best. After the first safety car period, the car was very good. I was comfortable and I think I was quite competitive. Then in the last stint the grip with the hard tyres wasn't great. I was pushing but I was at the limit with the grip. I enjoyed the battle with Heidfeld - he was quicker than me but I managed to keep him behind for many laps. Better than yesterday definitely but we still need to work a lot and find something more."

Adrian Sutil (DNF, Accident): "Again a disappointing day. After a good start into turn four I was on the inside and had a try to overtake another car, but it was too close and I couldn't make the corner. I crashed into a car and my race was over then and there. A very disappointing end to the weekend."

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "I am so proud of this result today: a top 10 finish in our fourth ever race is quite some achievement, especially considering where this team was back at the end of last season. Giancarlo showed real star quality in the race, with a good start, pushing hard, keeping it together and actually being in a points scoring position for several laps. Keeping the car that was leading the constructors' World Championship behind us also put a big smile on my face! Unfortunately Adrian was not so lucky; he tried to move up, sadly it didn't work, but if you start close to the back you have to take risks. We now just have to work on qualifying and improve on this - if we start higher up the grid, who knows where we could go?"

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "Good and bad. Both drivers had excellent starts but unfortunately Adrian just lost the car on the first lap and was forced to retire. Giancarlo drove an excellent race and was able to pick up several positions and run at the pace of the group in front as we expected. It was difficult at his first pit stop when the safety car came out as we were just seconds away from coming in, but Giancarlo did a great job to conserve fuel so we could hang on until the pit lane opened. We short fuelled him to jump the cars in the pit stop, which worked perfectly for us, but we then got bottled up behind Sato, which meant we couldn't use the light car to build up the cushion and we dropped a couple of places. It was a shame as at one point 8th place was on the cards. But well done to Giancarlo and the team - our first top 10 finish. Once again our race pace shows well, but we now have to get Saturday right as we haven't got the most out of qualifying yet."


Lewis Hamilton (3rd): "First of all I am really happy to hear that Heikki is okay. During the race I saw a car had gone into the barriers and was told it was Heikki. As soon as the team knew he was okay, Ron came on the radio and told me which was a great relief. With regard to the race it's good to be back on the podium. After qualifying, we knew it would be a difficult Grand Prix so I am actually pleased to be third. I made a good start and was able to get lots of traction and could go to the right alongside Robert almost immediately. I managed to overtake him which is usually not easy as I recall from our battles in Formula 3. I pushed extremely hard, particularly in the second and third stints and tried to keep up with the Ferraris. Actually I was pleasantly surprised about how close the competition at the top was which is great for Formula 1. We did a good job today, but there are areas where we definitely need to improve, but it's comforting to know that we are relatively close to Ferrari. I look forward to the Turkish Grand Prix where hopefully Heikki will be back in his usual fine form."

Heikki Kovalainen (DNF, Accident):

Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Lewis drove very well to third place today - but for obvious reasons our main concerns during the race were with Heikki. I am therefore extremely pleased to be able to report that he is safe and well. Heikki was airlifted to the Hospital General de Catalunya in Sant Cugat del Valles, for precautionary checks, and will remain there overnight. However, he has no broken bones and CT scans performed at the hospital confirm that he has no head injuries and the team is optimistic that he will make a full recovery over the next few days."