Austrian GP 2016
JULY 3, 2016
Sunday Team Quotes
Lewis Hamilton (1st): "I was in a good position, head down and targeting as many points as possible today - The opportunity to try for the win came on the final lap when Nico ran wide out of Turn 1. I was then able to get a good run on him and went down the outside, leaving as much room as I could. I was surprised to make contact with Nico and then from there I just tried to push as hard as possible, passing him ahead of the next corner as he slowed due to the sparks coming off his car. This is motor racing and the team allow us to race and it's the aim for both of us to win races - this was just an unfortunate incident today. I'm looking forward to getting to Silverstone to catch up with my fans and hopefully I can get another good result there."
Nico Rosberg (4th): "It was disappointing to lose the race like that. It got quite difficult on the final few laps as I had to manage my brakes and I was confident that I could bring the victory home. I had the inside line and we both went into the corner a bit long. I was surprised that Lewis turned in and it ultimately meant that we came together - that's how the sport goes sometimes but it's really difficult to lose the race in that way."
Paddy Lowe: "It was a very eventful race as we had predicted given the quite unusual starting grid and the different tyre options in play. Our plan was fairly straightforward for Lewis as we had him on our baseline one-stop strategy; ultra-soft, soft. Nico had a rather difficult first stint as his ultra softs went off quite quickly so we reverted him to a two stop strategy and he made fantastic progress through the traffic. In Lewis' case we stayed out to cover the Ferraris who were also clearly doing a one stop. By the time it had all shaken out it was clear that Lewis' one stop was perfectly viable to beat everyone else but not his teammate because Nico's two-stop was faster than predicted. We therefore elected to also stop Lewis for another set of soft tyres and Nico changed onto the super softs as he didn't have another set of soft tyres. Towards the end of the race Nico ended up running towards the limits of brake wear. We did our best to manage this but by the last lap his brake system had defaulted to a 'passive mode'. This allowed Lewis to launch his final attack and unfortunately this didn't end as we would have liked. Ultimately we're happy to come away with a win for the team. The car performed very well all weekend and our team performance was very strong so congratulations to the team at Brackley and Brixworth for the continued great work."
Toto Wolff, Technical Director: "It was incredibly frustrating for the team to see a one-two finish potentially become a double DNF on the final lap of the race - and to see us lose points again as a result of a collision between our two cars. We let our drivers race and we trust them to do so - but colliding team-mates is not what we want and this is something that needs to be stopped. If we need to reconsider our philosophy, and to take some unpopular decisions, then we must be prepared to keep that option open. It had been an intense race until that point: we tried the one stop with Lewis, anticipating that Ferrari would do the same, but converted early to a two-stop for Nico. However, as the race unfolded, our predictions began to show that Nico would come out on top, so we converted to a two-stop strategy with Lewis as well to give him the best chance of the win. Lewis was running our preferred tyre, the soft compound, in his final stint but Nico did not have any soft sets left, so took super soft to the finish. The drivers were also right on the limit with the brakes, having raced hard all the way through, and Nico's brake by wire system went into passive mode on the penultimate lap. As for the collision, I am not going to try and put blame more on one side than the other; it always takes two to tango and, as we have said before, this should not happen between team-mates. We will now let the emotions settle before we sit down and discuss our next steps."
Kimi Raikkonen (3rd): "It was not an easy day but I did my best. Third position is an ok result but I'm a bit disappointed with where we ended up: considering the first part of the race, we expected more here as a team. At the beginning we had good speed to catch up a bit with the Mercedes, but then after my pit stop it was not easy to recover. I lost precious time trying to pass Ricciardo, I got close to him many times, but then I was losing traction trying to get out of turn two. Once I got past him I had a very good speed and I was very happy with the handling. In the last part of the race I think I could have passed Max, but with the yellow flags on track it was not possible. Handling-and-speed-wise today we got the maximum out of the car, but it was not enough because we want to be up there with both cars. Hopefully in Silverstone we'll have a smoother weekend and a better result."
Sebastian Vettel (DNF, Tyre Failure): "When the rear right tire failed, I didn't feel anything, or rather, I felt it when it was too late and it exploded out of the blue. There were no signes before that, everything was normal. I spoke with the people on the pit-wall and everything looked the same, the pace was the same as the lap before, the tires felt fine, the lap times were fine. It's completely a question mark on why the tyre had the failure. Obviously the idea was to go on as long as possible with that set of tires and to shape our race on that idea, but I don't think it was an aggressive strategy, as lots of people went longer than us on the same tires. Now there are still a lot of races left, but surely not finishing the race doesn't help."
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal: "The result could have been better as Sebastian, today, would have finished very high on the podium without the tire failure. That happened when he was leading the race and all of a sudden, with no prior warning, so the causes will have to be investigated together with Pirelli. As for Kimi, he scored another nice podium finish: we had split strategies between our drivers and both our data and his feedback showed that he could have come ahead of Verstappen in the last stages of the races, had it not been for the yellow flags which came out following Perez's crash."
Valtteri Bottas (9th): "We definitely expected more points today. The main problem was getting the tyres to work and to last, so that is something we need to understand before Silverstone because the temperatures could be similar to what they were here today. I don't think our car was too bad this weekend, we just really struggled to get the tyres to work. It was a disappointing day, but it's going to be very important to learn from today to move on."
Felipe Massa (20th): "The race was going ok for me, I was fighting and gaining positions from the start and I had a very good pace during most of the race. Unfortunately, I had a puncture and had to pit for new tyres. I had been saving the brakes for the whole race, but at the end I was close behind Gutierrez so the temperatures rose even more and I had to stop."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: "Our race with Felipe was dictated by our first priority, which is safety. We found some structural damage on his front wing, which we believe was caused by vibrations over the kerbs. We changed it for safety reasons which meant he had to start from the pitlane, so his race was never going to be easy. We started him on the option tyre and ran for as long as we could before he had graining. Then we put on the prime and he was looking good. Unfortunately, he picked up a puncture due to a cut in the tyre, so we had to pit and put him back on the option. We subsequently had to retire him because of brake wear when the temperatures rocketed while he was behind Gutierrez, so that was the only safe thing to do. Valtteri's race wasn't as eventful but we were only able to get a couple of points. He struggled with graining, so his pace wasn't where he should be because the way he manages tyres is usually one of the best in the pitlane. Unfortunately, as a group, I don't think we've understood this asphalt and rubber combination, so that's the first thing we need to do."
Red Bull-Tag Heuer
Max Verstappen (2nd): "It's a great feeling to get the second Formula 1 podium of my career. For sure that was a good race today, the car was performing well, as were the tyres. I managed to overtake some cars at the start and had some good battles so that was really good fun. From there on I did my own race, Kimi was catching fast but I managed to hold him off until the end. I expected P3 but got the P2, I was surprised but very happy to pick up another position in the last lap. The safety car definitely helped us today and allowed us to make the most of the pit stops. Towards the end we had to deal with the pressure but that just means you can't make any mistakes, and we didn't today. I hit some traffic which cooled the tyres and made it a bit tricky but we finished with no problems. We are working hard for this season and picking up podiums so it's definitely positive looking at 2017, and looking at Silverstone next week it should be good, the car usually performs better there than here so that is another positive after a good day today."
Daniel Ricciardo (5th): "I think for the team it was a really good day. We didn't expect to be on the podium here in Austria. Obviously I wish I was up there with Max, but from my side the race was a bit disappointing. At the beginning we seemed to get passed before Turn 8 which is not normal, so that was a bit frustrating but then once it settled we just weren't quick. I was obviously trying to push on the tyre and then get what I could out of it. It seemed we could hold the pace, but then when everyone was improving and getting quicker and quicker we were just getting slower and slower. For now I just want to understand why and look into it. If there are things I need to do better, then I will make sure to figure that out. I'm glad the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone are back to back. It's always nice when you can get back into a race straight away so hopefully Silverstone is better. We've got a few days to work out why I wasn't quick today, but I'm in the factory tomorrow so we've got time to look into it. But for now for sure it was disappointing not to be quicker."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "An action-packed Austrian Grand Prix. After making good starts Max managed to get ahead of Daniel fairly early on, and having started the race on the supersofts we knew we'd be in reasonable shape tyre-wise for the race. As other cars started to pit on the ultrasofts we went a few laps longer before making a stop on to the soft tyres we had. And in the cooler temperatures suddenly a one-stop became a viable option. The drivers did extremely well to start to make that happen, running in third and fourth places for large percentages of the race. Once Raikkonen managed to pass Daniel, there was nothing to lose in pitting him for the ultrasofts. In the meantime both Mercedes stopped putting Max in to the lead and he did what he could but the car was toothless in responding on the old tyres which were pretty much down to the canvas. But he managed to get the car home and was able to capitalize on the incident between the two Mercedes and take a fabulous 2nd position, and our first podium in our home race. A great grand prix and we look forward to taking that momentum to Silverstone in one week's time."
Sergio Perez (DNF, Accident): "It's a big shame that we retired on the last lap of the race. I'm feeling sad for the team because we really deserved some points. Yesterday and today we have been really unlucky, and it's frustrating because we've been competitive here with our pace. The race was going really well and I thought we had the points in our pocket. I was pushing hard to stay close to Grosjean because I knew he had a five seconds time penalty. Then, on the final lap, going into turn three, I had no brakes and went straight on. I touched the barrier and damaged the front of the car, but I'm perfectly okay. It's annoying because the team did everything right today and it's just bad luck which stopped our great recovery."
Nico Hulkenberg (DNF, Retired): "I'm pretty disappointed and gutted, to be honest. It was a really tough race and nothing really worked out for us. The start wasn't great and I dropped a couple of positions on lap one, but the opening stint was very difficult because the car was sliding around and the tyres were graining. That became the story of my race because the balance of the car wasn't allowing me to manage the tyres and I was suffering with so much graining. With a new set I could manage just three of four laps before they fell away. Towards the end of the race I had some vibrations with the car and the team saw that I was critical on brake wear, which is why we retired the car in the end. We have to digest and understand what happened today and then look forward to Silverstone."
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: "Not the way we wanted to end our weekend after all of the promise we showed yesterday, but that is the harsh deal racing sometimes hands you. We looked on course to score some good points with Sergio, who had completed a great comeback to P8 from a low grid position, but unfortunately he suffered a brake problem on the last lap and ended up in the gravel. It's a shame as he would have richly deserved this result after a determined performance. Nico lost a few places at the start and then all his tyres suffered from graining. The timing of the safety car also didn't play into his hands. In the end, his race was brought to an end early as we saw some brake issues arising on his car and we called him in to retire as a precautionary measure. It's disappointing not to score, but we will regroup and try to bounce back for our home Grand Prix in Silverstone."
Jolyon Palmer (12th): "I'm quite happy with the race. We just needed that little bit of extra luck and we could have been right there within the points. The car was okay, it felt better than in the last round and this was probably one of my strongest races personally. Had we needed to change to soft tyres when the safety car came out, we might have been able to make a pit stop then get to the end on that set to score points. I've been feeling stronger and stronger over the last few races and knowing we could have done well today makes me hopeful for points at the next round at Silverstone."
Kevin Magnussen (14th): "The car felt good today and we made a reasonable first stint. Unfortunately the safety car didn't work for us and after that we weren't able to deliver the pace to get a stronger result. That said, both cars were there at the end which wasn't the same for a few teams today. The five second penalty was fair enough as I did move more than once and you're not allowed to do that; equally I didn't know which way he was looking to try to pass and sometimes it's difficult to make the right call. Now we're looking forward to Silverstone, which is pretty much my home track."
Fred Vasseur, Racing Director: "Our race pace wasn't too bad and both drivers were able to deliver what was required today. We were a little unlucky with the safety car as we had opted to run a long middle stint on the soft tyres with both cars and shortly after we'd gone on to the soft Sebastian Vettel had his crash. We did struggle on the restart relative to cars on fresher tyres but we were able to make places at the end thanks to the retirements of others. We're looking forward to heading to Enstone's and Viry's adopted home race in Silverstone."
Carlos Sainz (8th): "I'm very pleased with my race today, especially because we didn't have an easy one! We started from the back and did a good start, managing to get into the top 10 in the early stages of the race. Suddenly, after the second pit-stop during the Safety Car period, we were nearly last... Which meant we had to do a very good last stint on the Soft tyres - 35 laps - overtaking lots of cars and managing to get back into the top eight, something a bit unexpected after seeing myself back in P15 with half the race to go. After a tough Saturday, I'm happy to finish the weekend with a good result as we've worked very hard for this - now we just need to make sure we have better Saturdays in order to start races further up the grid and fight for more points. I'm confident we can do it and I look forward to next week's race weekend in Silverstone - my favorite track together with Spa - where we will keep pushing!"
Daniil Kvyat (DNF, Mechanical): "What an unfortunate weekend. We started today's race from the pit-lane, but I was only able to complete one lap before having to retire because of what looks like a mechanical issue - we still need to investigate what the exact reason is. It's painful, but this is racing... Of course today I feel really frustrated, but tomorrow I will wake up and will have found the strength to move on. In moments like these I always remember what someone once told me: 90% of being a racing driver is tough but the remaining 10% is so good, that it's all worth it - let's just hope that 10% is back in Silverstone next week! We will definitely work hard to make it happen."
Felipe Nasr (13th): "Personally I am satisfied with my race, considering I started from the back of the field. In the first part especially I was running quite a lot of laps in the top ten. I had a decent pace on the soft tyres. When the safety car came out it was too early to box for the supersoft tyres, so we decided to stay out. Overall, this result is the maximum we could have achieved today. We can build on this. I am looking forward to the upcoming race weekends."
Marcus Ericsson (15th): "It was a disappointing race. I think we just did not have the pace during the whole weekend. I was hoping that the lower temperatures would have helped us today, but that was not really the case. I was struggling a lot with my front tyres. Now we have to focus on the upcoming race weekend. We have a new chance in Silverstone, so we need to bounce back there."
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "We got the maximum out of our car on this engine performance related track. Marcus and Felipe both put in a good performance. At the next race weekend in Silverstone the Sauber C35-Ferrari will be provided with an engine update. We will continue to do our best in order to make further steps."
Jenson Button (6th): "I knew the race was going to be difficult - starting near the front definitely helps because you can race in clear air and do your own thing a little bit more, but, with two DRS zones around this place, we couldn't keep the other cars behind. While our pace was okay, once a car came past, they could overtake in places we never knew were possible. Nonetheless, we beat the Williams cars on sheer pace, and I think we did a great job today with our race strategy. We really got the maximum from everything. Through every session, we've been improving; every run we've done, we made the car better and better. We did a great job all weekend, but we know that we head to Silverstone not expecting to be in this position next week."
Fernando Alonso (DNF, Battery): "We had bad luck this weekend. It was a tough race for me today - the engine wasn't running well from about lap three or four, I was losing power due to an issue with the battery, so we were on the verge of retiring the car for the whole race. But, since we were running on the fringe of the top 10, we knew there was a point on the table, and kept going in a bid to finish. In the end, it just wasn't possible. We need to learn from the problems we had this weekend, but we also go away with some positives: our car was competitive in variable conditions yesterday, and Jenson scoring some good points for the team today."
Eric Boullier, Racing Director: "Jenson drove brilliantly this afternoon to finish sixth - and at a circuit where we wouldn't have expected such a strong result. In fact, the whole weekend has shown just what we can achieve when we're able to take full advantage of the strengths, resources and determination of this organisation. This result is a landmark for the team, because it clearly shows in which direction we are headed: towards the front of the grid. Fernando gave his all this afternoon but sadly came home unrewarded. He was able to push hard at the start of the race, but became increasingly hampered by a systems issue with the battery pack, which meant he couldn't make any progress. The issue worsened, and we were forced to retire his car before the end of the race. We head to our home race under no illusions that the fast sweeps and long straights of Silverstone will play to the strengths of our car, but, equally, we go there feeling hugely encouraged by the ongoing improvements we continue to show."
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda: "Jenson capitalised on his starting grid position and showed enough pace to score more points for the team with a well-deserved sixth position. On the other hand, Fernando unfortunately suffered an ES pack system failure, therefore we elected to retire the car for safety reasons, which was disappointing as he was also within reach of the points today. On a positive note, I think we were able to show our strength in both the car and the team this weekend, which is very encouraging for the next race at Silverstone, McLaren-Honda's home race."
Pascal Wehrlein (10th): "It's incredible. I'm so happy! It's just been one of those weekends and to end it this way is a fantastic reward for everyone. At one point I was feeling quite dejected, because we were a little unlucky with our strategy in relation to the safety car. I'd just pitted, so when I came out after my second stop, I was last. That wasn't such a great feeling, but we just had to work with what we had, which was Soft tyres all the way to the finish - 40 laps! To finish the race in the points from that position by running for more than half a race distance on a single set of tyres is an incredible achievement. It's very important. Not just because of what it means for our position in the Championship, but it also shows that we have made real progress. It's been a step by step process, and one that hasn't always been visible to people outside of the team, but today is a good day and a really great reward for all of us."
Rio Haryanto (16th): "It's amazing. Congratulations to the whole team for a really great result for everyone today. So much work has gone into this from every single team member and it's not only nice but also really important for all of us to have this reward. It means we're moving forward and making good progress, and that's important as we head into the second half of the season. Yes, I started the race on the Soft tyre for 27 laps, then ran for two stints on the Supersoft. During the first stint I had an electronics glitch, which hampered my pace and took 15 laps to get on top of. The rest of that stint was working well for me then the safety car changed the complexion of the race and my strategy didn't work out so well today. I was pleased with my pace, especially towards the end when I was catching Ericsson, but unfortunately it wasn't possible to fight for a better position today."
Dave Ryan, Racing Director: "After yesterday's Q2 performance in qualifying, today's point-scoring finish is a fantastic way to end a really positive weekend. The most important thing about it is that it shows that we're a serious team and we're working extremely hard to improve. Pascal has been looking comfortable the whole time we've been here in Austria and even though there was a point in the race where things were not looking so great for him, we felt sure he would turn it around. That's exactly what he did and he put himself in exactly the right position to take advantage if things came his way. Rio was on a different strategy; we split the strategies so that we would be in a good position to respond to any opportunity. Nonetheless, he drove a really determined race and can be pleased with his 16th place today. Naturally, heading into our home Grand Prix next week, this will give everyone a huge lift. We need to keep our feet on the ground, but after an enormous amount of hard work in the first half of the season, everyone thoroughly deserves to enjoy the moment before the hard work starts again tomorrow."
Romain Grosjean (7th): "It was a pretty good race. The first lap was not great. I was pushed out by another car and I lost quite a few positions. After that we stayed out on the supersofts, even though the tires were going away. I managed to pick up some pace and run well. The safety car came when we had planned our stop, so that helped a little bit. After that I was behind (Jensen) Button. I was trying to chase him and overtake him, but it was just too hard to follow another car and then be able to pass. The last few laps, I learned I had a five-second penalty, so I had to open the gap to the car behind. I really pushed it to one hundred percent every single lap, which was quite fun, but stressful as well. I didn't want to go out. In the end it was Perez that went out, so it was all good for me."
Esteban Gutierrez (11th): "It was a very difficult race from the start. Going on anti-stall, we lost a lot of ground. After that I was recovering, trying to do my best to fight all the way up to the front on a different strategy from what we had planned. In the end, the pace was pretty good. We were regaining positions and getting back to being in good shape, but we were struggling with grip. We ended up P11, very close to scoring points. It's not great, but at least we fought all the way with what we had. I'll keep pushing and focusing on the next race."
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "Finally back in the points, but we didn't make it easy for ourselves. The whole team did a fantastic job and we ended up seventh and 11th. Romain got a time penalty. However, we managed to remain in our position. His tire strategy was a little different than most, but it worked and the car was quick. For Esteban, his start wasn't great, so he lost a few positions. Also, his tire strategy didn't work as we planned, but he managed to climb up the grid to finish in 11th, half a second behind (Pascal) Wehrlein. It will be Esteban's third time in 11th, so it shows he can do it and the team can do it too. Overall, it's a relief to have points again and we're looking forward to Silverstone."