Singapore GP 2016
SEPTEMBER 18, 2016
Sunday Team Quotes
Nico Rosberg (1st): "That was a fantastic weekend! In the past the Singapore track has not treated me so well, so this win is a very special one and an even more emotional one for me. The weekend started perfectly with a good qualifying session. Then, I had a good start and was able to keep the Red Bulls and the Ferraris behind me - both of which had beaten us comfortably last year. It was a bit tight at the end after Daniel (Ricciardo) did a clever pit stop timing wise. If I would have also pitted I would have come out behind him because I was stuck in traffic on my in-lap, so we chose the best strategy to stay out and a big thanks to the team for that. It's great that we learned from our mistakes last year and won at what is clearly a Red Bull track. This shows the competence and strength of our engineering group. I look forward to Malaysia now - but first I will definitely celebrate this win tonight!"
Lewis Hamilton (3rd): "A difficult day and a difficult weekend. At one stage it looked like I might even miss out on the podium but fortunately it didn't work out that way. It was an okay start. I didn't lose any ground which is a good thing after the last one. But then I was struggling so much after the Safety Car went in. The brakes were near critical temperature for most of the race, so I kept having to back off to cool them down. I then ended up making a mistake and ran wide which let Kimi past. Fortunately, with the car a bit lighter, I was able to bring the temperatures down, push a bit more on fresh tyres and get back past him in the stops. Pace and strategy weren't the issue - it was all down to the brakes. I was just watching the leaders pull away right from the start, so P2 was the maximum today. If that's the worst weekend of the year, I'll definitely take it. These things are sent to try us and now I'm just looking forward to the next one and a chance to give it another shot. I need a couple of strong weekends to get back to where I need to be."
Paddy Lowe: "What a tense race! It could so easily have been second and fourth today - but some good strategy calls, strong pit stops, great driving and a decent slice of luck got us a hard-earned double podium. A fantastic weekend for Nico to pick up pole and the win on his 200th Grand Prix weekend. well-deserved. A great job too from Lewis after a tough few days here in Singapore. He didn't quite have the car underneath him this weekend for reasons we need to study in more detail. But overall we can be very pleased to come away with first and third at a circuit which is notoriously demanding on cars, teams and drivers alike. Congratulations once again to all of the engineering team on the great job they've done to understand the issues of last year and come back to claim the win at arguably the toughest race of the season."
Toto Wolff, Technical Director: "What an incredible race: that was F1 at its best today. Nico did a perfect job all weekend - after the stunning lap yesterday in qualifying, he managed his race in the most controlled way today, all the way to the final metres. We wanted to make a third stop with him but Ricciardo put in a stunning out-lap after his final stop - and Nico had traffic on the lap, which cost him time. When those factors combined, they meant he would have lost the position, so he had to tough it out in the lead - and he just made it. Initially we thought it would be comfortable, then it became clear it would be very close, and we saved all the tricks and engine modes for the final laps so he could fend off Ricciardo if he needed to. As for Lewis, it was a great recovery to come back to the podium after a difficult first half of the race and a tricky weekend. It just shows how important all the practice laps are if you want to reach the perfect set-up and preparation for the race - and we didn't give those to Lewis this weekend, which left him on the back foot from Saturday onwards. Taking a step back from the race, though, most of all I want to congratulate our team. A year ago this circuit, we were nowhere; today, we have come away with a double podium and an amazing win. It shows that we are able to learn the lessons of our failures and turn them into strengths. Next we head to Malaysia, another circuit where we failed to win last year, and we will be aiming to turn that around, too."
Kimi Raikkonen (4th): "It was a good and solid race, the car was behaving well and we had a pretty good speed. Obviously it was very difficult to overtake, but at one point Hamilton made a mistake and I managed to pass him, then after the pit stop he got the position back. We lost the place there, I don't know how and why they managed to jump us, and I don't know what would have happened if we would have stayed out. Now we have to go through everything, see what happened and what we could have done better. Today we gained one place from the starting position, but of course this is not the result we are looking for, we are trying to be in position to win, but we need to make the car a bit faster."
Sebastian Vettel (5th): "We sure had a good strategy today, also we had the chance to make a big progress with a safety car, but it didn't come, so P5 is a very good result. Thanks to the team, I had been a bit down after qualifying yesterday. What nobody wanted to happen has happened, so we had to deal with it and move on. My start was not good, then there was the accident so I took it a bit easy; most important, the car was still intact, but after the restart it was tricky to get the tires working, I was on the primes, I lost quite a lot of time behind the Sauber, it was quite tough to get past, but then it was important to survive until we fitted the last set of Ultrasofts at the end, where we really could unfold the pace. In the last laps we had a big gap from the front and from the back, so I took it easy. I know patience is not a quality of the Ferraristi, it's not a quality of mine either, we are here to win and we're not satisfied until it happens, but we're progressing step by step and one day I think it will pay off. I believe in the team, and I believe that in the future it will be better."
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal: "It's fair to say that we drove an aggressive race today! Kimi's move on Hamilton to pass him on track shows that he's not a world champion by chance. Considering the distance to cover to the end of the race, and tire degradation, it made sense to call him to box one more time to cover Mercedes' strategy. As for Seb, it's a shame that he was so penalized by his starting position, but he drove a fantastic race, supported by perfect strategy. There are six more races to the end of the season, and all of them will be important."
Felipe Massa (12th): "It was really bad today. It all went wrong before Turn 1. Someone touched my rear and I got a puncture, so we came into the pits. We went back out again but we saw that there was some damage on the car, so the pace was really poor. The car was sliding a lot and we didn't really have the speed. We tried to do everything that we could but then had a mechanical problem so we had to retire."
Valtteri Bottas (DNF, Mechanical): "It was definitely a tough race. I'm not happy with everything that happened. The race was going well in the beginning, but with the strategy and being stuck in traffic things changed a little bit. Anyway, that's the way it was. We now need to concentrate on the next race and try to score more points with both cars because today it wasn't good."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: "It was a difficult race, starting from 10th and 11th. Valtteri's race was almost done on that first lap when he got a puncture and dropped to the back. We suspected he had mechanical damage after his last pitstop, so the best thing to do was retire the car. For Felipe, we chose to go on a three-stop strategy to give us a bigger tyre delta at the end, but throughout the pitstops and through the traffic we just seemed to be on the back foot. Coming out behind Gutierrez after that final stop cost us because we might have been able to get onto the back of that Perez train at the end, on a better tyre, but that's racing. For a circuit like this, and in terms of where we are in the championship, the damage has been limited. The teams around us didn't get the points they could have done so we've been quite lucky."
Red Bull-Tag Heuer
Daniel Ricciardo (2nd): "It was close today. We did everything we could and I thought it was pretty much a perfect race. The only thing that would have been better was to get Nico at the start. Then throughout the race I wasn't really thinking about what happens when I catch him, I was just focusing on trying to catch him and put some pressure on. I knew his engineer had been on his radio saying: "Ricciardo is catching you, two seconds a lap." It's not a nice feeling to hear that, so I was just trying to keep on pushing and keep the crowd entertained. I pushed so much at the end on the supersoft and really tried to do something but it wasn't close enough. I don't really leave here with any regrets. Obviously we came here to win and we didn't but I felt we left it all on the track."
Max Verstappen (6th): "I had a bad start, it wasn't as bad as Monza but it wasn't good, which is disappointing. I had a lot of wheel spin and then with Hulkenberg spinning in front of me, I had to brake even more which compromised my whole start. I got stuck behind slower cars in front of me and after three or four laps you lose the advantage and it completely destroys the tyres. I had some pretty intense battles which I enjoy but it's tricky to pass here, so you do get a bit stuck. Dani and I fought quite hard, but we didn't touch so that's always a positive. I like overtaking, but I wasn't fighting for a position that I would have liked so it's not as much fun. We have to try and do better in Malaysia, but first we have to focus on getting the start where we'd like it to be."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A really exciting finish to a long and hard grand prix. Tyres and strategy were always going to be key to today and in the end opting to go to a three stop strategy with the tyres that we saved from earlier in the weekend brought Daniel tantalisingly close to Nico. Lewis triggered the final round of pit stops with Kimi covering him and then us in turn covering Kimi. That gave Daniel roughly 27 seconds to hunt down Nico who did a good job to manage his pace to the end but Daniel drove an outstanding race to finish 0.5 seconds behind him, splitting the two Mercedes. Unfortunately for Max we had some clutch issues overnight which we thought we'd cured in time for the race, combined with an awful lot of wheel spin at the start, it cost him some time as did avoiding the (Hulkenberg) accident. He was then stuck in traffic and burnt his tyres out fairly quickly in the first two stints. Once he was able to get in clean air he made some great passing moves and was able to make progress back up to P6. Overall a positive weekend, we've extended our lead over Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship, we've scored another second place finish and produced an enthralling end to the grand prix."
Sergio Perez (8th): "I am so happy about tonight's performance; it surely ranks as one of the best races in my career. To be able to do 36 laps on one set of soft tyres, in this heat, and to keep my position under pressure from Kvyat is a big achievement. Pitting on lap one put us behind Gutierrez and that impacted on our strategy: we lost a lot of time behind him and it was very hard on my tyres, which was not good for what was effectively a one-stop race. We knew stopping one time less than our rivals was the only way we could score points, so managing the tyres was crucial. There was no point fighting with Fernando [Alonso] after his last stop: he was in a different race and I knew I couldn't afford to destroy my tyres that early in the stint. It was the same with Max [Verstappen] - on a day like this I had to race intelligently and pick my fights to make the strategy work. It's a good result for the team and it puts us back in fourth place in the championship. It's a shame that Nico's race finished so early, but we were able to score some good points on a difficult night."
Nico Hulkenberg (DNF, Accident): "It's extremely disappointing to end my race in the barrier after just 50 metres, especially because I had made such a good start - probably my best getaway off the line this year. I went for the gap between the two Toro Rossos, which was there, but obviously things got very tight. I had Daniil [Kvyat] on my right and Carlos [Sainz] on my left, and Carlos hit my left rear, which sent me into the wall. I think all the avoiding actions led to the gap I was in disappearing. So it was a really frustrating end for me, especially because all the good work we did on Friday and Saturday counted for nothing."
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: "It was a rollercoaster race for us tonight - starting with a low and ending on a brilliant high. Losing Nico before turn one was very bad luck and he was just the innocent victim of a Formula One start. Having made a sensational getaway, he was clipped on his left rear, which pushed him into the wall and caused some heavy damage to the car. The resulting Safety Car caused us to roll the dice with Sergio as he pitted at the end of lap one, switching from ultra-soft tyres to softs. From there we deployed a brave strategy, which saw Sergio execute what was effectively a one-stop race as he stretched his second set of soft tyres over a mammoth 36 laps. It was a brilliant team effort from everyone, with excellent decisions being made on the pit wall, and Sergio executing an almost impossible strategy. It was a close call on tyre life, but we pulled it off. Considering the bad luck we have encountered this weekend, it feels very sweet to pick up four points and move back into fourth place in the constructors' championship."
Kevin Magnussen (10th): "I'm very happy for the whole team as this must be a boost for all of us. It's been a very demanding season as we all want to score points at every race, but that's not been possible. Nevertheless we all keep fighting and a result like today shows why we fight and why we never give up. The team nailed it with the strategy, with the start and with the balance of the car. To drive a race like this and not to win it; it feels strange because for me it felt perfect."
Jolyon Palmer (15th): "That was a tough race and we didn't have any breaks come our way. I lost out with the shenanigans at the start and probably collected some debris as I had an early slow puncture too. We pitted pretty early and this meant we had to run for longer subsequent stints which meant nursing the tyres more than if we'd run the more balanced stint length planned. I lost a lot of time behind the Manors but it wasn't possible to pass them on this track. The positive from today is we've seen that there's still scope to get points if everything goes your way; that's what I'm gunning for in Sepang."
Fred Vasseur, Team Principal: "A strong and measured race from Kevin with some great strategy and exceptional pit stop work meant we scored for the second time this season. Jolyon kept pushing despite a frustrating race for him with a slow puncture early on. We can see how everyone at Enstone and Viry, whether at the track or back at base, keeps on pushing and we will continue to do this no matter how difficult the challenge."
Daniil Kvyat (9th): "I think I did the most I could out there today - I had good fun and enjoyed some great battles! Unfortunately, after a first good stint things didn't come together as expected... we ended up behind Perez and didn't have enough straight-line speed to overtake him. I pushed until the very last centimetre and left my soul on the track - it's a shame, but I'm happy to finish in the points again. In all fairness, the team did a good job after what's been a tough period."
Carlos Sainz (14th): "I'm angry after today's race, especially after having qualified in P6 yesterday. The race didn't start well, as I had to avoid Max when the lights went out and, while doing that, a Force India suddenly came flying by and we collided. He took the worst part and I took the second worst part, damaging the right-hand side of my car. However, we still had decent pace after this and we were fighting for points, but we were forced to stop early as we were shown the black and orange flag and we re-joined the race behind too much traffic... Later on, halfway through the race, we had a problem with the Energy Recovery System and I had to run to the end trying to do the best I could. Days like today are very frustrating - nothing went right and when you have these kind of opportunities - starting P6 at a circuit like Singapore - you need to make sure you take them and today we didn't. But I stay positive: the level of performance we've shown this weekend has been amazing and points would've certainly been possible tonight. It's time to look forward to the next two races in Malaysia and Japan, where hopefully we'll achieve a better result than today."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "After qualifying in P6 and P7, we of course expected more than only two points today. Unfortunately, Carlos got stuck behind Max Verstappen, who didn't get a good start... Therefore, he had to move to the right-hand side where Nico Hulkenberg was, and they crashed into each other. This meant that Carlos' car was damaged and we had to pit him early - he was shown the black and orange flag and we needed to remove the broken barge board. From then onwards, his race was quite compromised. Nevertheless, he managed to do some good lap times until the end of the race, even if we had a problem with his Energy Recovery System. Daniil did a very good race. He was fighting against Alonso and defended quite well against Max, but couldn't overtake Perez at the end of the race because we simply miss some speed on the straights. Therefore, he finished in P9. Let's shift our focus quickly towards the next couple of back-to-back races in Malaysia and Japan."
Felipe Nasr (13th): "It was a challenging race. At the start we were a bit unlucky, as one car crashed into the barriers on the side of the grid I started from. I lost two positions because of this incident. Finishing the race in P13 was a good recovery keeping in mind that I started from P16. Overall, the two-stop-strategy paid off, and I think this result was the maximum today. Now I am looking forward to the upcoming race in Malaysia."
Marcus Ericsson (17th): "It is obviously a disappointing result after starting the race from P14. The start was ok; then I was able to move up into P11 before the safety car came out. After the re-start I had a decent pace and was able to attack. Then we took a gamble on the strategy-side and went to three stops, which in the end did not work out. During my second stint I got stuck in traffic and, therefore, lost time. Now we need to look into it and bounce back in Malaysia."
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "Being in P14 and P16 on the grid gave us better starting positions than expected. It was unfortunate that Marcus' race strategy did not pay off, and this was also because he lost time due to other cars in front of him. Felipe put in a good performance and extracted the maximum from his strategy."
Fernando Alonso (7th): "Seventh was the maximum we could achieve today - the best of the rest after the two Mercedes, the two Red Bulls and the two Ferraris. We weren't perhaps quite the fourth-fastest team here this weekend, so it's thanks to good strategy and a good start that we were able to bring home this result. I chose to go on the outside at the start, and the crash didn't affect me as I was already up into sixth at that point. Then I braked very late for the first corner and got past Daniil [Kvyat] and Kimi [Raikkonen]. Everything went fine - sometimes you just need to get lucky. For a time, I was even hoping for a podium finish - if something had happened ahead of me it could have worked out that way - but in fact it was one of those races in which nothing happened at the front. But, overall, we did the best we could today."
Jenson Button (DNF, Brakes): "I might have retired on lap 43, but, to be honest, my race was effectively over on the first lap. I got a very good start and pulled alongside Valtteri [Bottas], but I didn't see Nico's [Hulkenberg] car coming across the track until he was right in front of me, facing the wrong way. I lifted and pulled to the right, but there wasn't really anywhere to go, so I tagged Valtteri with my front wing. That broke my front wing, brake duct and floor. I pitted to change tyres and fit a new front wing, but the car had been damaged, so I was lacking downforce for the remainder of the race. Even then, the downforce I did have wasn't properly balanced across the car, which made it even more difficult. The reason we stopped was that we were concerned about the brakes - the temperatures were rising because of the duct damage. We were worried about a failure - it was the right decision to stop."
Eric Boullier, Racing Director: "Above all, today was a good day for Formula 1. After two hours of intensely competitive racing under spectacular floodlights here in Singapore, the fact that the first two cars home were separated by less than half a second underlines what we who love racing already know: Formula 1 remains a superb sport, as exciting today as it's ever been. From a McLaren-Honda point of view, we were pleased to score six world championship points as a result of Fernando's forceful and competitive run to seventh place. He made a strong start and then maintained impressive and consistent lap-times all afternoon. His was a great drive by any standards. As for Jenson, he too got off the line well, but his fine start was spoiled when his front wing touched part of the Williams of Valtteri, who was trying to avoid getting embroiled in Nico's shunt. It was no-one's fault: sometimes chain reactions of that nature occur in racing, especially on lap one, and there was absolutely nothing Jenson could have done to avoid getting tagged in Nico's accident this evening. I want to say a public 'bravo' to our race team - those in the garage and those on the pit-wall, as well as those back at Mission Control in Woking too - who managed the race so efficiently. That was a job very well done, guys. Next we travel from the warmth of Singapore to an even hotter venue: the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. It's a very different kind of racetrack from the Marina Bay Circuit on which we raced today - fast wide sweeping bends rather than slow narrow tight corners - but we'll be gunning for points again all the same."
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda: "First of all, I must congratulate Fernando for another brilliant start that put him in front of the two Toro Rosso cars. That enabled us to finish seventh and score some all-important championship points. Both drivers struggled in all the free practices this weekend, but thankfully the car had much improved since qualifying to have a good, steady race pace. On the other hand, Jenson was unlucky to be involved in an incident at the start, trying to avoid a crash with Hulkenberg, which damaged his front wing and brake ducts. This led to a gradual decrease in pace and we eventually had to retire the car. Though bittersweet, I am pleased that it was a good result for Fernando and the team. We were able to show our pace in the race and finish behind the top three teams as best of the rest."
Pascal Wehrlein (16th): "Well, we've said all weekend this was not our track, but anyway we were P16 and with a Sauber behind me, so it was not so bad. I've loved the whole night race experience and I'm pretty happy. This was definitely the toughest race of the season. I was pushing hard from start to finish, but particularly from the midpoint of the race to make sure we kept Ericsson behind. Given our performance through the rest of the weekend, it was unexpected that we would have the pace to do that. I was also on the Ultrasoft for 26 laps in the final stint. I had to make that work, and I did, so again, I'm very happy with that."
Esteban Ocon (18th): "It was not the best. Pretty difficult, in fact. At the start I managed to avoid the debris that came from the incident involving Hulkenberg, but after that I picked up a penalty for passing under the safety car. I took the penalty at my first stop but that stop became even more problematic when there was an issue fitting the wheel. I lost so much time and it was very frustrating, because there was little I could do but focus on finishing the race. Then there was a second difficult stop and it was tough to be so far down. Yes, Singapore is a very special place and a spectacular Grand Prix, so although I didn't get the opportunity to show our strengths here, I have some good memories and experiences to take away. It's my third race finish now and so I have six races remaining to put that work to good use, which is what we'll do in Malaysia in two weeks' time."
Dave Ryan, Racing Director: "Well, what can I say? It's pretty obvious to everyone that we've struggled with pace this weekend and if we were going to get anything out of this race, it was going to come down to a brave strategy combined with great tyre management. That's exactly how it turned out. Pascal drove another superb race today. He did exactly what was asked of him and I can't stress strongly enough how impressive his performance was to finish ahead of Ericsson, in what has clearly been the quicker car all weekend. With Esteban, it was another story. First, there was the safety car incident with the resulting penalty; we need to look at that to understand exactly what happened, as Esteban was certain he was ahead of Nasr moments before the SC boards were out. But that's irrelevant; the stewards thought otherwise hence the 5 second penalty. This had to be served at our next stop, which, quite frankly, was an unmitigated disaster. Thereafter it was a case of getting what we could out of the race, but once again it's been a particularly frustrating weekend for Esteban. Hopefully it will all be different in Malaysia in two weeks' time."
Esteban Gutierrez (11th): "It wasn't an easy race, but I think the whole weekend we were pretty consistent. It's this consistency that's helping us to understand and work on the details and really try to improve. I lost a bit of time at the start and to recover that on track was pretty difficult. Trying to push the tires, I overheated them and they started to drop off at the end of the stint. However, we ended 11th, so close to the points again. We just need to keep optimistic and push forward. I'm proud of the crew. They've worked really well together. Although it hasn't been a simple one this weekend, I believe that Malaysia will be better and we'll have a better understanding of the car, which will help us attack the front."
Romain Grosjean (DNS): "There's not much to say, honestly. I lost the brake-by-wire and we couldn't race like that. I don't know what happened. I feel so bad for the guys. They gave their best in very tough conditions. It's hard on everyone. From FP1 it was always going to be hard, missing the session. We now just have to work away to get to Malaysia, get the best setup, right updates, see where everything is working, and hope for a steadier weekend. I love the race here in Singapore and I love the challenge, but this weekend was just not ours."
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "Esteban did a good job today. He finished, again, in 11th. I'm almost tired to say that now, but it is what it is. You always want things to be better, but we were fighting out there and ended up 11th. Esteban did a good job all weekend, so fair play to him. Romain, well I think he's happy the weekend's over and he can focus on the next one. His weekend started badly and ended worse by not even starting the race due to a brake-by-wire issue. We're still investigating why it happened on his lap to the grid. I think the only thing for him is onward and upward, and Esteban keeps improving. Now we get ready for Malaysia."