German GP 2016
JULY 31, 2016
Sunday Team Quotes
Lewis Hamilton (1st): "What a day! Just awesome! I wasn't expecting to be as strong as I was today. I had a great start. We have been working really hard to get off the line faster and more consistently and that hard work has clearly paid off. A big thanks also to the guys in the garage, I'm glad they get a well-earned break now as they really deserve it. I'm super happy with today - especially after yesterday. When I personally fail, knowing from 23 years of experience that I could definitely have done better, I really kick myself. Today, I have the opposite feeling. I delivered the way I'm supposed to. I know that I had the pace, I worked the tyres just right and I was never under threat from the guys behind. No mistakes this time either, so I'm very happy with that. It's awesome to go into the break on such a high. I was 43 points behind at one stage, so to keep working on the gap turn it around like that is great. Lastly, I just want to say a big thank you to the fans. So many of them have turned up here in Germany and they've been so supportive. That positive energy really drives me on, so a big thank you once again to them and I hope they have a great holiday. I'm definitely going to!"
Nico Rosberg (4th): "It was a difficult and disappointing day for me. I had a lot of wheel spin at the start. That was strange, because my start during the formation lap was good. That cost me the lead and then the next two places as well, which meant it was always going to be a difficult race from there. I was happy to fight back to P2 after a tough battle with Max and was very surprised that I got penalised. We also lost a lot of time in the pits, so a lot of things went wrong today. But that didn't count really at the end. The penalty made it impossible beat the Red Bulls. In general, I didn't feel as comfortable in the car as I have done in the past - especially with the rear tyres. I had some problems with them today, so I need to get my head down and find out with my engineers what went wrong. I look forward to the summer break now and want to come back stronger. I hope everybody in the team can charge the batteries. It's very well-deserved."
Paddy Lowe: "First, huge congratulations to Lewis and the team for a great victory at our home race here in Germany in front of our very supportive colleagues from Mercedes-Benz. It was enormously important to us to do a great job here, representing the 280,000 Mercedes employees worldwide. Lewis managed the race faultlessly from start to finish - delivering pace when necessary and saving the tyres when required. The pit crew, too, did a great job on all three of his stops, allowing him to maintain the gap he had worked hard to build to those behind. For Nico, it was a less straightforward afternoon. His clutch was over-engaged at the start, leading to excessive wheel spin and an instant drop to P4. That gave us some work to do to get him back up to second - which we managed through a combination of a good strategy and some bold overtaking on Nico's part. Unfortunately, he was then given a five second penalty for the latter - which dropped him back once more. We did lose some time in the box as we took more safety margin than was required. But, as it turned out, this didn't affect the result. It became clear quite soon into the final stint that we didn't have the pace to compensate for the penalty. We were hoping that, with no soft tyres remaining, we would manage to catch and pass the Red Bulls at the end once they ran out of rubber on the super soft - but to their credit they managed it very well, so all respect to them. As they say in motorsport, you're only as good as your last race - so it's good to have something to savour over the next month, as that's something we hadn't managed in either of the previous two seasons. A very nice way to pick up the holidays, which will provide everyone with a very well-earned break before we come back even harder in the second half of the season."
Toto Wolff, Technical Director: "First of all, what a fantastic drive from Lewis and a great feeling to win the German Grand Prix once again with Mercedes. This has been a very special weekend for the team and Lewis delivered a pretty perfect drive today: great start, great speed, great management. He's gone from a big deficit to now leading the championship, so it's been a very good streak. We have seen these waves of momentum in both directions and he is riding the crest right now. But as well as the sweet part of the afternoon, for Nico it was more bitter. The start didn't go well for him with big wheel spin but then he struggled for pace in the race, too. There were two big talking points. First the penalty. I think you will find lots of opinions but what we really look for is consistency in the decision making. Sometimes you see cars battling and there is no consequence, other times penalties are handed out. Today's felt tough because I think the fans want to see hard racing - and that's what it was. Then there was the pit stop to serve the penalty. In such a high-tech sport, we don't often have to use a stop watch in a manual process. Today, it didn't start, so we had to take the safe option to make sure Nico observed the right amount of time. Sometimes these things happen. Overall, I think we can be very pleased with our first part of the year. 11 wins from 12 is a nice statistic to take into the summer break - but we know that our rivals are continuing to improve, too. We will take the break, recharge the batteries and come back with fresh energy in Spa."
Sebastian Vettel (5th): "We're usually faster in the race than we are in qualifying, but this wasn't the case today: we were sliding around too much and this affected the tires as well. Fifth and sixth place was the best we could do but we obviously can't accept that, we will be working to improve and we know what to do, the stuff that's coming up for the next races has always been part of our plan. The first part of the season didn't go as we wanted, we need to work on ourselves and I, for one, had too many ups and downs which cost me some points. But we'll keep fighting. As for today's race, the decision to fit Softs in the end was a pretty straightforward one, as we had a new set available. I decided to stay out for some more laps as I did not want to go too long with the last set, with hindsight it was probably a too conservative choice as we would have had a chance to put some pressure on the car ahead. The atmosphere today, with all the German and the Ferrari flags, was incredible and from this point of view it was my best home Grand Prix ever!"
Kimi Raikkonen (6th): "It was a very quiet and boring race, nothing much happened. At the start I had some wheelspin and lost one position on Sebastian. With new tires the car felt pretty ok but then I was starting having understeer and oversteer, as basically we lacked grip. In the last stint we had to do fuel saving so there was not much to do. Obviously we have to improve the car in all areas, if we add downforce it will definitively help us. We all want to do better and it's painful to see that we are not where we want to be, but I believe in the team. We need some time and hard work and we'll get there. It's important for us to find improvements and work as a group."
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal: "While one week ago, in Hungary, our race pace was totally respectable, here in Hockenheim we experienced again some issues with both mechanical grip and downforce, which unfortunately are not unknown to us. Obviously, we must react as quickly as possible to cure these problems and most of all we must lose not to too much time in the process. Having been jumped in the Constructors' championship only pushes us to react, and perform better in the second part of the season, after the summer break."
Valtteri Bottas (9th): "The race was going OK until Force India managed to get in front of us with the undercut. They did a three-stop and we tried a two-stop. There was definitely something wrong with our tyre calculations, because there was no way to get to the end on that set of tyres. The stint was just way too long and that really cost us some points today."
Felipe Massa (DNF, Handling): "It's such a shame that someone hit my rear right tyre on the first lap because it felt like something definitely happened to that area of the car. Perhaps a toe issue or something, because the car felt undriveable. Although I tried to carry on with the race, I was suffering massively. The pace was just so slow to the point where it was better to retire than carry on. Now, I'm going to take the summer break as an opportunity to relax with my family and prepare for the second half of the season to make it much better than the first half."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: "Felipe was hit in the rear in Turn 6 on lap one and there wasn't a great deal we could do from then on. We were trying to understand what the problem was as Felipe was completely off the pace and complaining about the car. There was no alternative other than to retire because he was towards the back of the field and struggling. With Valtteri, we tried a strategy which clearly didn't work. We deployed the wrong tactics in the race, which is something we've got to learn from. As a group of people, we get it right most of the time, but today we didn't. We thought the tyres would go to the end but they didn't and so ninth was the best we could achieve, unfortunately. It hasn't been a great day but this is where we see the mettle of everyone moving forward and make sure we don't let our heads go down. We'll carry on improving and trying to do the absolute maximum that we can do with the car that we've got. We'll keep pushing on."
Red Bull-Tag Heuer
Daniel Ricciardo (2nd): "I'm very pleased with today obviously. To beat one Mercedes is nice but for both cars to beat one Mercedes and the pole-sitter was really good. In the first part of the race I was sitting in third and the pace was okay but I think I really came to life in the second half of the race and that's when I was able to show a bit more speed and capture second place. It was the best we could do today and I'm now happy to go into the summer break with another podium in the bag. For me the strategy worked very well, I was comfortable on the supersofts and it worked out my pace was better in the end with that tyre. Drinking out of the shoe on the podium is an Australian thing. It's called a "shoey". I said if I win a race this year I'll do it, but just in case, I thought I'll do it next time I'm on the podium. The last few races I got a bit more out of the race weekends and it's nice to get a bit of momentum now before the summer break. Just to stand up there on the podium is the best feeling in the world."
Max Verstappen (3rd): "The start was very strong and during the race we had good pace. We didn't expect it to be that good this weekend so we definitely maximised the result. Strategy doesn't always work for you but I took one for the team today and we still finished second and third and in front of Ferrari, which was the main aim. Rosberg just braked very late and then didn't turn into the corner, that incident cost me a lot of time, he pushed me wide and put me in a bad situation. I then let Daniel go by as was the strategy of the team, in the end the most important thing was to score the points and move up in the Constructors' Championship. Finishing only 10 seconds back from Mercedes is very good. It is still too early to say how close we can get by the end of the season as I think they may have some in reserve. It's good to go on a little break now and spend some time with family and then be ready to go again in Spa and see all the Dutch fans."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A fantastic team performance today, particularly from the drivers starting from the second row of the grid. After they both made strong starts, Daniel gave Max just enough space at turn one, though it looked pretty tight and from there on the drivers settled in to their race. We elected at the first stop to split the strategies, putting Daniel on to the soft tyre and Max on to the supersoft, so they were both running slightly different races. When we pitted Max to cover Rosberg he did manage to get a run on him and then obviously Rosberg picked up a time penalty down at turn six, so the objective thereafter was for both drivers to clear him at the pit stop. With Daniel being on the faster supersoft tyre, he quickly closed on Max who allowed him to pass after the request from the team, to not lose any time, allowing them both to get out ahead of Rosberg at the final pit stop. To finish up second and third on the podium here at Hockenheim, to have outscored Ferrari and go into the summer break with a 14 point advantage over them in the Constructors' Championship is a great end to a really strong first half of the year. Time for a well-earned break for all of the team, to recharge their batteries and come back for the final nine races, where there are circuits on the calendar that will hopefully suit us. We've exceeded all of our expectations in the first half of the season. I don't think pre-season any of us could have imagined to have been second in the Constructors' Championship after 11 rounds."
Nico Hulkenberg (7th): "Seventh was probably the best result available to us today, so it feels good to get the maximum from our race and score some important points. The team did a great job with the strategy because we went into the race believing a two-stopper was possible, but then made an early decision to switch to three stops. It was definitely the right way to go and allowed me to take seventh place in the final few laps. The tyre degradation was very high so most of the race was about managing the tyres. It was also quite a lonely and straightforward race because my main fight was against Bottas and we were running different strategies. So it's a happy Nico and a happy team. We can look forward to the summer break and aim to carry this momentum forward in the second part of the season."
Sergio Perez (10th): "It's safe to say today was the worst start in my whole career. I had a lot of wheelspin at the start and dropped back to P16 - so it was a long fight back through the pack. The team had to think on their feet and tweak the strategy to get me back into a competitive position. Degradation was quite high, especially when following other cars, and I spent a lot of time in the middle of the race fighting with Fernando [Alonso]. In the last few laps I was running out of tyres, but I knew Fernando was in a similar situation, so when I saw an opportunity I knew I had to take it. I honestly didn't think we would score points after turn one, but we did it. We go on holiday now, proud of the incredible work we have done as a team in the first half of the season. I am confident we have a lot of good days ahead of us in the final nine races, but for now it's important to get some rest."
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: "It's satisfying to move five points closer to fourth place in the championship and end the first half of the season with a double points finish. When you look at how the race unfolded, there wasn't much more available to us and the team did an excellent strategic job to help Nico come out on top in the battle against Bottas. Sergio's race became a recovery drive following a very poor getaway and, all things considered, the team did a good job to pick up the final point. The stage is now set for a very close battle in the second part of the season, but we feel we can grow even stronger in the races to come following the break."
Kevin Magnussen (16th): "We decided on a two-stop strategy before the race as all the data pointed to it being the correct thing to do, however we saw that the three-stop strategy of our rivals worked better today. This wasn't immediately obvious and we were too committed to the two-stop so it's a lesson learnt. We were too slow on the soft compound on the final stint and our degradation on the supersoft was greater than expected which undid our opportunities of finishing higher today."
Jolyon Palmer (19th): "Everything was really positive coming into this event, and I had a good start; I think I was up to tenth, so it's a disappointing result today. I had a big lock up in turn two and massively flat-spotted my tyres. I could barely see where I was going because of the vibrations and I tipped a Williams whilst trying to hold on from one of the McLarens. This damaged my front wing which we changed at the second pit stop. After that there wasn't much I could do. It's a shame but we can take the positives, put the rest behind us and focus on the second half of the season."
Fred Vasseur, Team Principal: "Despite not getting the result we wanted today there are a lot of positive to take from this weekend. We reached Q2 in qualifying with Jolyon and we showed that we are able to regularly fight with Haas and Toro Rosso during races, which wasn't the case in previous events. Both drivers fought hard today however neither was able to finish strongly. The two stop strategy ultimately didn't work out for Kevin due to timing and better than expected pace from our rivals in the latter part of the race. Jolyon made a super start but unfortunately flat-spotted his tyres so wasn't able to deliver on the potential shown from his qualifying. We'll come back after the break fighting."
Carlos Sainz (14th): "It wasn't the best of races... Starting from P15 because of the three position grid penalty meant it was never going to be easy, but we had a good start and the first part of the race wasn't' that bad. We were able to overtake quite a few cars, make a good recovery and get very close to the points positions, racing in P11. It even looked like another comeback was possible, but we lost quite a lot of time during our first pit-stop, and that cost us the places we had gained earlier out on track. From then onwards we were unfortunately stuck in P14, which is definitely not where we wanted to be. I'd say it's not the perfect way to end the first half of the season but in general I'm happy with my performance so far this year - now it's time for a well-deserved break but I can't wait to go back racing again in a few weeks' time!"
Daniil Kvyat (15th): "Our race pace was a bit more consistent today and we had some good laps, even though we were missing a bit of grip and power in the straight lines. It was therefore difficult to battle the other guys ahead of us and it was a tough race, where we ended quite far away from the points. We now need to see where we can improve, try and maximize our strong points and come back stronger for the second part of the season...today's pace is not enough. I will now use the summer break to recharge my batteries and come back as fresh as possible for the next races."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Definitely not the way we wanted to end the first half of the season... If I say the truth, we were hoping for a better result today - in the end, we didn't score any points while our direct competitors did. We lost some time during our pit-stops and, even though the drivers were fighting hard, the car just didn't have the pace to finish in the top ten. As we scored points in nearly all the last races, we need to investigate why it wasn't possible to do the same today. Having said that, I'm positive that we can be back in the points in the second half of the season. We just need to continue working hard. The summer break will be very useful for everyone and I expect the team to be refreshed and fully motivated to kick-off the second half of the year at Spa and at our home race in Monza."
Marcus Ericsson (18th): "Bearing in mind that we started from the last row, it was a decent race. It was a good start during which I could overtake some cars going down to turn 1. But then one car in front of me had a moment and braked a lot. I had to brake as well, and fell back to last position after the first corner. That was disappointing after having a good start. I am definitely not happy with P18, but we knew it was going to be a difficult race. We did what we could."
Felipe Nasr (DNF, Engine): "It was not a good day for me. My start went well, so I was able to gain a few positions. I felt my tyres were losing grip quickly. We lost some time during the first pit stop, as my call to pit came too late. Towards the end of the race, I suddenly lost power. I had to stop the car due to a technical issue. It is a shame to finish a race this way, but this is also part of racing sometimes."
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "A difficult weekend for us, which started off well, but ended on Sunday in P18 as well as with a retirement. Now we will turn our focus to the races after the summer break, where we bring new parts on the car side. We do expect an improvement in terms of the performance of the Sauber C35-Ferrari."
Jenson Button (8th): "I made a very good start and made up most of the places there. After that, it was just about looking after the tyres, which were degrading faster than we'd expected. We also had to do a fair amount of fuel-saving, too, particularly in the last 10 laps. In fact, I went off the circuit towards the end, just because I was doing so much fuel-saving that I hit the brakes and they were just stone cold. I hadn't even been braking hard. At the end, I was able to pick off Valtteri, who was struggling on his tyres. It feels satisfying to have beaten both Williams, but eighth was as good as it was going to get today - we were 20 seconds behind the car in front, and there's still quite a bit to go before we catch those guys. Still, we've made good progress: we're consistently fighting in the points, and the team are doing a great job this year, bringing something new to pretty much every single race. I want to say thank-you and well done to the whole team for their efforts. I'm looking forward to coming back and fighting after the summer break - but, right now, I'm looking forward to a holiday!"
Fernando Alonso (12th): "It was a very tough race, possibly one of the toughest so far this season, especially towards the end, when my tyres were finished and I had to do a lot of fuel-saving. We knew before we came here that it might be a tough weekend. Ultimately, I lost 10th position at the end of the race, so we didn't score that last point that we were hoping for. But we just didn't have the pace throughout the entire race. Getting ready for the Belgian Grand Prix is our priority now - hopefully we'll come back stronger after the summer break."
Eric Boullier, Racing Director: "Jenson drove faultlessly today, showing all his authority and intelligence to push throughout the entire race, moving into a well-deserved eighth position - after overtaking Valtteri Bottas - right at the very end. His was a fantastic effort. Fernando also looked set for a points finish, and was running 10th, closing on Jenson, when he began losing pace in the closing laps as he battled to save fuel and manage the tyres. His 12th position wasn't a fair reflection of his efforts this afternoon. Still, after a tricky two days of practice, it was heartening to see our improved pace in the race. As we head into Formula 1's traditional summer shutdown, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the hard work, dedication and efforts of the entire team. These past six grands prix have seen an unbelievable amount of work from our mechanics, engineers, hospitality team and riggers - many of those people have not seen their homes or their loved ones for many weeks. I now sincerely hope that everyone can get some well-earned rest and recuperation - well away from the Formula 1 paddock - before returning for the next race, in Belgium, in one month's time."
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda: "In comparison to yesterday's qualifying, we were able to show better race pace today, and I am happy that Jenson and the team were able to score points with a P8 finish. It was a very difficult race for both the team and drivers, trying to manage on-track battles, fuel-saving and tyre management. Fernando also had very good race pace, but due to this, he was obliged to manage his fuel and pace at the end of the race while trying to hold off his rivals. He fought a tough fight, but was unable to maintain his position and finished in P12. Looking back at the last few races, we are now confident that our progress is definitely headed in the right direction, and we're now aiming to make another step forward in the early part of the second half of the season. Last but not least, I would like to thank every member of the McLaren-Honda team for their brilliant work in this long and gruelling first half of the season. I hope everyone enjoys their time off and can come back refreshed for the latter half."
Pascal Wehrlein (17th): "I'm really happy. It was a very straightforward race, so there were no opportunities to improve further through the field, but we still achieved our target of finishing ahead of Sauber and we got a Renault too. So it was a good race. I was on a three stop strategy, so it meant that there were many cars to overtake - and overtake again - so it made the race very interesting and fun. For most of the race I was running without a front-wing end plate, but it didn't hurt us too much. It was a very special atmosphere and you could really feel the crowd. Before the race, we stopped in the Motodrom to greet the fans and they were really great and supportive. It is something very special to see so many German flags and I think they got a good race today after so long without a German Grand Prix. I'm happy that I got a good result too. Now we have the Summer Break and though I'm not that eager to hang up my helmet for four weeks, everyone in the team deserves a holiday, so my thanks to them and I'm looking forward to us coming back stronger than ever in Spa."
Rio Haryanto (20th): "Overall, the race wasn't too bad for me. We were still fighting with Sauber, which is what we need to keep doing. Early in the race, I saw an opportunity to pass my team-mate when the gap between us came right down. Unfortunately it didn't work out and we ended up touching, so I damaged my front wing in the process. We kept going until my first pit stop and in the meantime I was able to keep in touch with Ericsson, just ahead between Pascal and me. We knew we had some damage, but we kept going until our first planned stop, then made the nose change at the same time. It takes a bit longer, so I lost some time, but after that I was catching back up to Ericsson and trading places with Nasr as our respective strategies played out. It was a good weekend for us and a nice result for the team at an important race for us. Not too much rest though; we're busy working to ensure I continue into the second half of the season. But I do wish the rest of the team a good break because it has been a very long 12 races and everyone has worked incredibly hard. My thanks to them for a good job so far."
Dave Ryan, Racing Director: "It's really good to end the first half of the season on a positive note and with a good team result at Pascal and Mercedes-Benz' home Grand Prix. Our strategy worked well and our performance was strong versus the cars around us, which enabled us to displace Sauber and a Renault. We did pick up a bit of damage on both cars when we had contact between our two drivers, which was less than ideal, but fortunately it didn't hurt our race as much as it could and obviously we need to avoid that in the future and focus on the fight with our competitors. As we embark on the summer break, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the team - trackside and back at base - for a tremendous effort in the first 12 races. It has been a real challenge and a huge amount of hard work, but we head into the shutdown period with our first point and ahead of Sauber in the championship. I look forward to seeing everyone refreshed in four weeks' time so we can keep things that way."
Esteban Gutierrez (11th): "It wasn't an easy start. I had too much wheel spin and I was passed by quite a few cars. We were the only ones on soft tires, which was an aggressive strategy, so we were expecting to struggle for the first stint. After that I started to hold as much as I could and then began to fight back in the second stint. I was pushing all the way, trying to recover as much as I could, as well as trying to handle fuel saving. We're not satisfied where we ended up, as we didn't get the points we were aiming for. Now we head into the summer break, which will be good for the team after four races in five weeks. We're all going to recharge our batteries and come back stronger, fighting for points at Spa."
Romain Grosjean (13th): "It wasn't too bad. I think we had a good pace, but the middle stint behind the Renault saw my brakes massively overheat, and I lost them completely for a few laps. That clearly put us on the back foot. I couldn't get by, and that cost us having a shot at points. We need to understand that, but generally the car behaved in the race. I'm happier this afternoon than I was yesterday. Overall, it's been an awesome first half of the season. I want us to be able to come back and score regularly in the top-10. There are a few things we need to unlock. We've got the potential in the car. We just need to put it all together."
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "In general, we had a good race, though Esteban had a bad start. We need to look into that, and do better there, because we finished 11th again, one position out of the points. We basically started 18th and 20th and not 11th and 20th. Romain went from 20th to 13th. There wasn't a lot more to do there, and obviously Esteban finished 11th. The car showed the pace and we had no mistakes, but when you start in those positions, sometimes that's the best you can achieve. We know the pace is there. We can do it, we just have to pull it all together and get it done. We've showed that we can do that, which is ultimately a positive for the team moving forward."