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Austrian GP 2019

JUNE 30, 2019

Sunday Team Quotes

Lando Norris, Austrian GP 2019
© RV Press

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport

Valtteri Bottas (3rd): "I think we made the most of it today. We expected this race to be tricky, but it turned out to be even more difficult than we predicted. We had to do lots of lifting and coasting and couldn't use all engines modes to keep the engine from overheating. So, we couldn't really race properly, and I had to manage temperatures for the majority of the race. It made both defending and attacking very difficult. But you have to look at the positives - I got some good points out of this weekend and I don't think there was much difference in terms of race pace. So, it isn't all bad. We'll investigate and hopefully come back stronger at Silverstone."

Lewis Hamilton (5th): "It wasn't the easiest day, we knew already before the race started that we might be in trouble here. Overheating proved to be a fairly big issue for us today. I think we had good pace, the car felt good, but we just couldn't race due to the overheating. It seemed to be a limitation of our car this weekend and the other cars didn't seem to struggle quite as much as we did, so we'll have to look into this and try to fix it. There's going to be more hot races coming up like Budapest, so we'll need to get on top of this, otherwise it could be a difficult few races for us. I also damaged my front wing on the kerb, so we had to change it, which cost us a bit of time as well. It's just one of those bad days in the office, but at least I still got some good points with fifth place."

Toto Wolff, Team Principal: "From a fan's perspective, this was a really exciting race to watch; however, from our team's perspective it was a difficult day. We said before the race that the high temperatures will be a huge challenge for us and that turned out to be true. Our Achilles heel was exposed, with both drivers struggling with overheating in these incredibly warm temperatures. We had to open up the bodywork all the way, turn down the engine and had to do lifting and coasting for long stretches. So, we couldn't really race with our car today, neither attack nor defend, we were just trying to keep it alive and cooling it properly. On a more positive note, though, we still scored a good haul of points and managed to put in some decent lap times despite these limitations. However, it's clear that we have to fix our cooling problems for the coming hot European races. As we say, the bad days are the ones when we learn the most to come back stronger. And we'll be looking to do just that at the next race at Silverstone."

Andrew Shovlin: "It was good to see Honda get their first win since coming back into the sport; they have worked so hard for it, so hopefully they can enjoy the moment. For us it was an incredibly tough afternoon, we were on the limit with cooling all race. We knew this was our Achilles heel and the combination of ambient temperature and altitude were just too much for us to fight today. Valtteri did a good job to get on the podium, he was having to manage a lot whilst racing today and we had to give up a lot of performance to keep things cool, so we're happy that he got some reward. Lewis was in the same situation as Valtteri with temperatures and he was having to having to manage from start to finish. He was keeping his tyres in good shape but unfortunately his front wing flap broke on the kerb at turn 10 on lap 27 and we were losing too much time so stopped for a new nose and the Hard tyre. It was a shame to lose the place to Vettel right on the end, but it was just a consequence of all the issues we were having to deal with. Whilst temperatures were the headline item for us today, we weren't particularly quick even in Qualifying, so no doubt there are a few areas that we need to investigate and improve. We're looking forward to Silverstone, the car should work better there so hopefully we can get back to fighting at the front."

Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow

Charles Leclerc (2nd): "It was a positive weekend overall. Unfortunately, it did not end as we would have liked it to. My first stint was good and our pace was there. We pitted early to prevent losing our track position to Bottas. This made the second stint longer and more challenging than expected, as the rear tyres degraded quite a bit towards the end of the race. Second place is not what we wanted, but we gave it our all and made good a step forward this weekend. I am conviced that this will bring further progress for the next few races and allow us to achieve the success that we want."

Sebastian Vettel (4th): "I'm always positive and today the team gave me a great car to drive and I think this was a better weekend for us, maybe like in Canada a few weeks back. I'm disappointed about how things went for me yesterday but today's race was fun for me from the cockpit and I enjoyed some good wheel to wheel battles, pushing throughout. I'm also disappointed for Charles as he did an excellent job and was very strong all weekend. All in all, I'm happy in one sense but unhappy in another, because we could have had both cars on the podium this weekend, one of them on the top step. As for the car, we know what's needed: we need more downforce. We are strong at tracks like this and the one in Canada and we know what we have to do to improve the car, but it's not easy and it can't be done in just one day. I'd like to thank all the team in Maranello because all of them are very passionate about this and are working like mad to improve the car. This year's Ferrari is definitely good enough to win races."

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal: "Every race has a tale to tell and today's was a great one, featuring some exciting battles. For our part, we have shown that we are continuing to improve. Charles drove a really strong race from start to finish and indeed he was fantastic all weekend. Seb also had an excellent race: on the hard tyres he attacked and pushed to the maximum even if in doing so, they wore quickly. From that, it's clear his two stop strategy was not planned in advance, but adopted as his race evolved. There's obviously disappointment for the radio problem we had at Seb's pit stop. Not all the mechanics heard the call and that cost him precious time. With regards to the decision of the stewards, we fully accept it, even though we don't believe it is the right decision. They are the judges and we have to respect that. However, even though I am first and foremost a Ferrari fan, I think it's time for F1 to turn the page and to look ahead. As we often say, we should leave the drivers free to fight, as overall this will be good for the sport and good for F1. So 'bravo' to Verstappen, he drove a fantastic race today as did Charles. There will be new opportunities for us in the future."

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen (1st): "It was an incredible race and I'm so happy to take the Team's second victory at our home Grand Prix. It was a shame at the start as I triggered anti-stall and dropped back to seventh. From there onwards the pace was really good, I stayed calm and kept pushing hard. The second stint was decisive for us as the car really came alive. Once I passed Valtteri I thought I could have a go for the win as our pace was so strong but you never know. I just kept pushing, drove flat out and didn't give up. We passed Charles with a few laps to go so I'm extremely happy. The move was close racing and if you can't make moves like that I think it is better to stay at home. I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, all weekend we have been working really well and the upgrades seem to have worked. Thank you to all the crew here, everyone at the factory and of course Honda, it's not been easy for them over the past years but to win for them today is just incredible."

Pierre Gasly (7th): "It was a tough race and a difficult day. I didn't have great pace on the soft tyre in the first stint and then I was stuck behind the cars in front. On the second stint, I pushed too hard at the beginning and destroyed the hard tyre after only a couple of laps which left me with massive blisters, so from there I was just slow and I didn't have the pace to catch Lando. Overall, it's nice to see the new upgrades are working with Max. He did a fantastic job so this is positive and we now look forward to Silverstone. On my side, I'm not very happy with my performance and I could have managed the race a lot better. I'm a really competitive guy and there is work to do. I haven't found exactly what I want from the car so we will keep pushing, but it's good to see the car is working and I think we have a good direction for the upcoming races. I have a lot to learn and take from having Max next to me. I want to deliver more and I know I can, so now we need to work."

Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "What an unbelievable performance by Max today. To win the race here in Austria and to give Honda its first victory with a V6 hybrid is unbelievable. Winning our home race means an enormous amount to everyone in the Red Bull family. Mr Mateschitz has put so much into the sport with both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, so it means an incredible amount to deliver this victory for a second year running. It was a tense wait after the race but the stewards made the right decision. What happened today between Charles and Max is hard racing and I think that's what Formula One is all about – it's two young guys going for it. Formula One has come under a lot of criticism recently and I think today's race was an exciting one with overtaking, tyre degradation and drama – exactly what the doctor ordered! We came to Austria as outsiders and so to win here is a dream come true and I think that was Max's best win. It was a tough race for Pierre but he managed to make progress and pass Raikkonen. When your teammate is performing at this level the benchmark is extremely high, but with time and as his confidence builds, Pierre will close the gap. Our target in the constructors' championship is Ferrari and we need both cars to score the maximum points possible."

Renault Sport Formula One Team

Daniel Ricciardo (12th): "It was a tough weekend, for sure. From lap one today it was tricky and I struggled for grip. We improved as the race progressed, managed a decent stint on the Softs at the end, but it was probably a bit too late. We need to figure out why this weekend was so tough. There's stuff we can improve, but I won't put it all down to the car. I'll look at myself and see what I can do better as well. Something wasn't right this weekend and Nico shared the same feelings too. We'll do our best to figure it out and get on top of it."

Nico Hulkenberg (13th): "We can't be happy with this weekend. We had multiple issues on the car today and it made it hard work out there. We didn't have a points worthy car today and we didn't have the pace to get by anyone during the middle or latter stages. Over the years, Austria has proved to be quite a particular circuit and one we don't tend to do so well at. We'll use this week off, dive into the data, and see what's going on to make some improvements ahead of Silverstone."

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director: "Clearly, it's not a good weekend. Although we had the pace to be slightly higher up on the grid, the track exposed weaknesses of our car, similar to previous races but in a more exacerbated fashion this weekend. We need to identify if there was anything specific with set-ups or simply a feature of the chassis on which we must work."

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

Romain Grosjean (16th): "It's a tough one, it's really hard to understand where the grip is going, and how we can make the car go faster. I had no grip on those first few laps, then just no pace in the race. It's been a very difficult afternoon with no balance, I was fighting the car as hard as I could. We're in a very difficult situation. We'll work on it, we'll find it, it may take some time. I'm sure our guys have got the resources to get on top of our issues. There's obviously just something that we're not doing quite right."

Kevin Magnussen (19th): "We didn't have any pace today in the race after qualifying P5 yesterday. It's disappointing after a very good day on Saturday. It's strange, and very frustrating. Nothing was really working, it felt pretty hopeless. It's really confusing."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "A disappointing race, obviously. Running around like that is negatively amazing. After qualifying in fifth position, to then have a race like this, I can't say anything other than it's disappointing. We'll keep working on it, try to get a better understanding of why this kind of performance is happening from qualifying to the race. We just do not understand it, at the moment we have no clue."

McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris (6th): "It was a fun race! A good start, managed to go forwards and battled the Mercedes and the Ferrari for a lap or so, but had to concede those positions and think of my own race. The Alfa got past me on the first lap, around the outside at Turn Four. Not much I could've done and dropped back to fourth and then fifth, then had Max behind me for a little bit, so I was in there. I saved my tyres for the first few laps, had it under control then pushed and did what I needed to do, pulled a gap, boxed, and managed the pace from then on. I was on the Medium, so was a little bit unsure about what we could do, or what the tyres would do towards the end of the stint. Gasly was pushing me for the last few laps, but I was just doing what I had to do in terms of saving the tyres and not taking any risks – there was a lot more in it if I really needed to push. A massive thanks to the McLaren team at the circuit and back at the factory. Looking forward to my home race now!"

Carlos Sainz (8th): "What a race! I'm really, really happy with how we recovered from a tough weekend, and from P19 on the starting grid. Up until yesterday, I had this feeling of frustration due to the [PU] penalty, but this morning I turned all that frustration into motivation for the race. I think we executed a very strong race today, with a long stint on the Medium tyre and then pitting for the Hard compound in the right moment. From that point onwards it was overtake after overtake, and I made my way into the points. The only setback of the day was that my front wing got damaged 10 laps from the end when I was starting to attack Gasly. With the pace I had, I think I could've taken P7, but I really had to drive the car carefully to avoid any mistakes and finally managed to stay ahead of Raikkonen. Very happy for everyone in the team. Great race, great comeback and congrats for another double points finish."

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "Congratulations to the entire team here at the track and back home. It's a great result for McLaren, scoring important points to establish P4 in the constructors' championship. Today P6 and P8 were well-earned, confirming us for the second time in a row as the fourth fastest team. Great work from both drivers, great pit-stops, and great strategic decisions. Lando had a great start and an exciting first lap before he was then able to control his pace in P6 on Soft tyres. After the pit-stop we switched to Medium tyres and just did enough to match the times of [Pierre] Gasly to stay in front of him. Carlos made a great start from last position and then had to do a long first stint on the Medium tyre to create the opportunity to attack on the Hard tyre in the second half of the race. He made brilliant overtaking moves and his charge only ended when he ran wide once and broke the front wing when he was in sight of overtaking Gasly. After this he did an excellent job to bring it home in eighth. We're looking forward to Silverstone and our home grand prix now but this was a brilliant race for Formula 1 today, not just in the midfield but also at the front, which was important after the negative comments of the last week."

Racing Point F1 Team

Sergio Perez (11th): "We gave it everything today, but points were just out of reach. My start was good, but I locked up into turn three trying to get ahead of Giovinazzi and that's pretty much where I stayed for the rest of the race – trying to chase him down. There was not much difference between the soft and the medium tyres in the first part of the race and most of the cars ahead of us were able to run a very similar strategy. There were no real opportunities to do anything different. It's always frustrating to finish in P11, but that's the reality of our speed today."

Lance Stroll (14th): "It was definitely not our race today. The first stint looked promising and I was in the hunt behind Hulkenberg and Perez, but then we had some power unit issues to manage for around ten laps, which I think cost us five or six seconds. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but we had an issue with the fuel flow meter, so we had to turn down the mode quite a bit, which cost us another place to Ricciardo. So overall a tough afternoon for sure, but our sights are set on Silverstone and looking forward to the team's home race."

Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer: "A highly entertaining race today, throughout the field. Obviously, we're disappointed not to come away with points - but we were right in the mix of a tight midfield battle. When it's this close, a tenth here and there can make a big difference and we were just shy of where we needed to be. But it looks like it's going to ebb and flow throughout the season, so we need to keep our heads down and keep pushing. We now look forward to our home race at Silverstone."

Alfa Romeo Racing

Kimi Raikkonen (9th): "We can be satisfied with scoring points, it was a good result for the team. I had a good start and the first laps were pretty ok, but then it became a bit more difficult. I felt I lacked a bit of speed to challenge the cars around me and when I did have it, I had to be careful with the tyres. It was a balancing act, trying to keep the tyres alive long enough while still going fast enough. It was a bit of a shame but in the end we got a good result. We still have margin to improve. I feel we were a bit better yesterday, but our performance is improving."

Antonio Giovinazzi (10th): "I'm so happy to score my first point. It's a great feeling and it's a big weight off my shoulders. I think this is the maximum we could have done today so I'm really pleaseda to have two cars in the top ten. We had a really positive qualifying yesterday, but today's race was very difficult. Perez was right behind me for most of the afternoon and the pressure was heavy, but I really wanted this point. I feel a lot of our work has been rewarded today, but we have to continue moving forward. Since France we have done a step in the right direction and we have to keep it up."

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "I am very pleased with the work we did today. We put two cars in the points for the first time this season and we showed again we can compete towards the front of the midfield. Both Kimi and Antonio raced intelligently, knowing when to attack and when to look after their tyres, and to have both scoring is a reward for the whole team. We could have perhaps scored a few more points in the end, when we were catching Sainz with both cars, but in the end we can be satisfied of what we got. We have been showing improvement in the last few races, so we will aim to build on that and continue our good run of points."

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

Alexander Albon (15th): "Unfortunately, we didn't have the pace today, it was a tough first stint where we weren't quick enough. We weren't too bad in the second half of the race, but we lost too much time in the first stint. It's a difficult one to swallow because our long runs were looking quite good on Friday, and that's two races in a row where we've struggled with the balance of the car, so we need to figure out where we can improve."

Daniil Kvyat (17th): "It wasn't exactly the most enjoyable race of my life, although we saw it coming yesterday after Qualifying. I was carrying more downforce today, so I was a sitting duck in the race. It just wasn't our day today, it was one of those weekends where we were far away from everything. We know we're better than this, so we need to reset and move forward. We will put these two races behind us and try to extract everything out of the car in the next few races."

Franz Tost, Team Principal: "First, I'd like to congratulate Honda, Red Bull Racing and a great Max Verstappen for this fantastic victory here at the Red Bull Ring. They have done a terrific job in Sakura to achieve this result and the team did an amazing job. As for Toro Rosso, there is not much to say. We did not perform well today."

Jody Egginton, Technical Director: "Qualifying out of position made today's race very difficult. The drivers pushed as hard as possible early on whilst also having to manage brakes and PU temperatures, which slowed down any progress. Once traffic was cleared, Alex was able to run some reasonable lap times and closed in on the pack ahead, but ultimately, there was some time lost either side of the pitstop which limited the progress we could have had. Once Dany got free of traffic, he still had to manage his tyres due to some rear brake duct damage and therefore, he wasn't able to make any progress. Today definitely wasn't one of our best days and we have a lot of analysis to do ahead of the next race to improve on the weaknesses shown here. We will be focused on this, aiming to come back stronger in the next event."

Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director: "Thanks to the efforts of all the Honda F1 staff in Japan and the UK, who worked tirelessly on our PU development, we finally made it, our first win in the hybrid era, the first since Hungary 2006. And a special word of thanks to all their families who supported them. Thanks of course to Max for a great drive and to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing for providing him with a fantastic car. We must not forget the great contribution made by Scuderia Toro Rosso, who helped us get back on the right path last year. Honda has not done this alone and so we want to acknowledge the contribution of our outside suppliers. This win is also a way of saying thank you to all our fans, all over the world, for their continued support. We have been back in this sport since 2015, but today feels like a new beginning. While we can enjoy the celebrations for a short while, we must get back to work as soon as possible, because we still need to close our performance gap to the quickest teams."

ROKiT Williams Racing

George Russell (18th): "I managed to fight the Toro Rosso's and the Haas at the beginning, hold them up for a bit and I managed to hold off Magnussen in the closing stages. We're still a long way off, but there's a few positives in there. Those opening laps were good. I managed to take Robert and Daniil Kvyat at once, which was surprising and nice. I was pushing absolutely flat out every single lap, and I'm glad it was noticed. We need to be patient now and wait for some more downforce to come to the car."

Robert Kubica (20th): "It was a difficult race. The pace was not there. I gained a few positions on the opening lap, but then the handling was very bad. I tried to defend but it was so difficult to keep the cars behind. I am lacking overall grip and in these conditions when it is hot, when there is a lot of overheating and the tyres are suffering a lot, I am just sliding even more."

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: "Having found some damage to George's front wing following qualifying, we opted to fit a spare, and, due to a small specification change, we were forced to start from the pitlane. Despite this, George drove very well and was able to race with the Haas and Toro Rosso cars at the beginning of the race, whilst everyone started to manage their brakes and power units. Robert meanwhile had a strong start and opening corners, gaining several places. Unfortunately, he couldn't hold on to them beyond lap one. Once Magnussen had pitted and taken his drive-through penalty, we were able to pit Robert for new tyres and emerge ahead of him. We hoped that straight line speed and power unit temperatures might allow Robert to stay ahead of the Haas but this wasn't the case and Robert had then to endure a difficult race as he absorbed a lot of blue flags. George was able to complete a good opening stint on the Option tyre and stay close to Kvyat. We pitted into a decent track position and began to close the gap to Kvyat. Thanks to another excellent effort from our crew, George's pitstop was much better than Kvyat's and we almost emerged ahead. Unfortunately, once Kvyat had the track position, he was able to pull away and George's race became one of defending against Magnussen. He did this very well whilst managing his Prime tyre to the end, finishing 18th. The whole team did a good job of managing the car in the demanding conditions of Austria and again get two cars home."