British Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 10 Jul 2005
After a hard-fought battle between McLaren and Renault at Silverstone, Juan Pablo Montoya scored his first victory of the season - while Fernando Alonso extended his Championship lead. Here are the drivers' reactions to an exciting race
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren, 1st
"It's a great feeling winning my first Grand Prix for Team McLaren Mercedes. My start was perfect, and I managed to get by Fernando in a wheel-to-wheel dice after the second corner. I was really going for it and knew that he had more to lose than me I just wanted to win the race. It was then all about staying ahead and our strategy combined with two excellent pit stops really helped me to manage that. The team did a great job particularly calling me in one lap early for my first pitstop to avoid traffic, which was the right decision and meant I gained an advantage to Fernando. However, it was not an easy race as Fernando put me under a lot of pressure until the very end. I'm relieved to have won my first race of the year especially as it was the home Grand Prix of McLaren and a lot of the people from the Technology Centre and Mercedes-Benz at Brixworth were here cheering."
Fernando Alonso, Renault, 2nd, +2.7 seconds
It is a nice surprise to be on the podium at one of our most difficult circuits, and to have extended my lead over Kimi in the championship. It was also encouraging because we started from pole, which shows that the car is competitive, and I think we are looking strong for the rest of the season too. In terms of the race, I lost the lead at the start and after that, followed Montoya until the stops. The team gave me a heavy fuel load so we could try and overtake during the final stops, but then I got stuck in traffic I lost a lot of time behind Trulli but it wasnt his fault because they were not showing any blue flags. That meant I was still behind when I came out after my last stop. It is a bit frustrating to lose a win because of that, but this is still a great result for us.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren, 3rd, +14.4 seconds
"I think I did the best I could today, and we can leave Silverstone with two podium finishes. If I had not had the problems yesterday and lost 10 grid positions, the result would have been different, but that is motor racing. However we lost only two points in the Championship battle and hopefully we can challenge for victory at the remaining races. During the race I lost a lot of time behind other cars. It's so difficult to get close in the fast corners as you just lose all grip. When I got past Michael and Trulli in the pitstops it was too late and the gap to the front was too big. There is no doubt that we have the speed as I was able to set the fastest time of the race on the last lap, so I look forward to Hockenheim where hopefully we should have an 'uneventful' weekend."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 4th, +17.9 seconds
Once again, it is a bit of a disappointing result for me, because I should have been on the podium today if it wasnt for the problem in my second pit-stop. But even so, from P6, it was a very strong race for me, the strategy the team worked out was excellent and I was in the fight at the front of the race with a good race pace. When we came here this weekend, we knew that McLaren would be quicker than us but honestly, it was very close indeed. We have come out OK after all.
Jenson Button, BAR, 5th, +40.2 seconds
"I'm obviously not going to be happy with a result like this at my home race but it was evident that we can't expect any more from the car at the moment. We came here hoping that we would benefit from our improvements but they obviously didn't go far enough and we are still some way behind. The top two teams are just in a different league from the rest of the field at the moment and watching the cars in front and behind me was just staggering with the amount of grip they had in the high-speed corners. We are strong compared to the rest of the teams. I finished over half a minute ahead of Michael in sixth. Still we got some more points for the team and put on a good race for the British fans here this afternoon. I'm just sorry that I couldn't get the podium that we all wanted."
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 6th, +75.3 seconds
Of course, I cannot be happy to have finished sixth, especially looking at my lap times in the race. Clearly, we are simply not fast enough at the moment. If I had not been delayed by Trulli, I might have been able to fight with Button, but I am not keen on using the word if as an excuse. If you compare our performance from the two North American races to these last two, we appear to be going backwards instead of forwards. We are not up to the level of our competitors. I am still looking forward to my home race in Hockenheim, but I wish I could promise the fans there a bit more than this.
Rubens Barrichello, Ferrari, 7th, +76.5 seconds
This was quite a difficult race. Basically, we did not have the pace which we thought we might have. I made a good start and I knew I had to pass Trulli at this point if my race was going to go to plan. It was all going pretty smoothly apart from the fact I was held up by Button which cost me time. This meant that the three stop strategy I had adopted did not work out the way it should have done. I had some brake problems, as at Magny-Cours. But seeing how the race evolved, I dont think I could have done much better.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota, 8th, +79.2 seconds
"After a tough race like that I have to be happy with a point today, although I wish it could have been more. I made a tyre choice which I hoped would have worked to my advantage, but it meant that I was struggling for grip and sliding around. That made it hard to keep the car on the road and to maintain consistent lap times. I also lost a position at the start, so that is why I am especially happy with my result, bringing home one point. Still, it's obvious that we have a lot of work to do and I hope we have a better performance at Hockenheim in a fortnight's time."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 9th, +80.8 seconds
"It's very frustrating to miss out on the points after a day that was as hard as that. I made a slow getaway and that meant I lost positions at the first corner. Then we had grip problems during the early part of the race just as we had in France last week. That eventually got better and better with each stint as we went through the race. But we made a mistake with our strategy and I lost positions because I was always in traffic or being held up by blue flags. I did my very best and went as quick as I could. Now we have to hope for a better race next time."
Felipe Massa, Sauber, 10th, +1 lap
At the start I had a problem with the clutch and was slow away. I made up the places Id lost to the Jordans, but then I got stuck in traffic and lost a lot of time. Despite that my strategy was the right one, and when I was alone on the track the car was very good and very consistent. If Id been able to start higher I could have taken points for sure. It was a shame that I couldnt score, but I was very happy with my race.
Mark Webber, Williams, 11th, +1 lap
If you are starting from 11th position it is usually difficult to score a strong result unless you have a fast car. It was very hard for us today as circumstances were similar to Magny-Cours. We didn't have much of a chance quite simply because the car was not quick enough. There's a lot of work ahead of us and we need to get back to form, and do so quickly.
Nick Heidfeld, Williams, 12th, +1 lap
It was a difficult race, as expected. I had a pretty routine start and held position. For most of the race, I had to work hard to defend my position from Coulthard, Klien, Villeneuve and Massa, while coping with a difficult and inconsistent balance on the car. This is of course not where we want to be and we'll now work flat out before the next race to address our problems. I'll be on duty at the Jerez test this week and will contribute as much as I can.
David Coulthard, Red Bull, 13th, +1 lap
"I hope that was, at the very least, entertaining for the crowds. Jacques overtook me near the start, but we continued to have a battle with both the Sauber and the Williams. I was able to overtake Mark (Webber) just before my first stop, as we all had different levels of fuel in the car at that time. I was surprised by the inconsistency of the car actually. At the start, I struggled with oversteer, so when we stopped we took a sizeable chunk of aero out of the car. After that, I still wasn't happy with the balance, but then, ten laps before the second pit stop, the car suddenly changed and started going much quicker. So much so, I was struggling to keep up with it!! We definitely need to work on a few things, but the support I received from the British fans here, both before and during the race, was fantastic and I hope they enjoyed the show."
Jacques Villeneuve, Sauber, 14th, +1 lap
Unfortunately I screwed up my first pit stop. I was looking at the lollipop, but then I got distracted by what was happening in the Red Bull pit and when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye I mistakenly thought it was my lollipop signal to go and moved too soon. My apologies to our refueller Silvan Ruegg, whose foot I hit. Fortunately he is okay. That incident cost me some time and because of that I got stuck in some traffic and had a pretty cut and thrust race all the way to the finish with Heidfeld and the Red Bull cars. My car was hard to drive today, so it was a tough race.
Christian Klien, Red Bull, 15th, +1 lap
"Fifteenth is very disappointing. The car was quite difficult to drive in sections and I didn't have the balance that I needed. The start was quite good and I managed to move up a few places. I was due to make my first pit stop early, so had a light car and could go pretty quick at the beginning. But I got stuck behind Mark Webber and couldn't go at my full pace. I also made a slight mistake on Turn seven. The car was a little nervous on the entry to the corner and I think we had too much front grip. After the first pit stop, I had some clear laps and, as my car was still quite light, I was able to set some good times. After that I got stuck behind Villeneuve and couldn't go at my full pace again for the rest of the race."
Takuma Sato, BAR, 16th, +2 laps
"The simple fact is that as I was going through the start procedure on the way to the grid, I hit the wrong button on the steering wheel as I was warming up the tyres. I would like to apologise to everyone in the team, everyone who got the car ready and put so much preparation into the British Grand Prix this weekend. I couldn't deliver the result we wanted and could have had today. The team did a great job to get me back in the race and I tried my best but was so far behind that I couldn't do anything. It's been a tough year for us all and we can only continue to keep trying and aim for better things in the second half of the season."
Tiago Monteiro, Jordan, 17th, +2 laps
"It was a good race for me again.I think we chose the right strategy: we were quite heavy at the beginning and planned on having two stops. I had a great start, passed a few cars and followed Narain as closely as possible in order not to let him get too far ahead. Unfortunately Narain experienced some problems and I was racing alone for a long time. Then, halfway through the race, I was told on the radio that Sato was still behind me. So I was really pushing like crazy to stay away but he was just to quick. There was nothing I could have done. Everybody was very reliable for this race therefore it was very hard for me to finish in a higher position. I have now finished 11 races out of 11. It will be hard for the next rookies to beat this record."
Christijan Albers, Minardi, 18th, +3 laps
"There was a bit of a problem with the start when it was unclear whether it had been aborted or not. That's why I was slow getting away and lost the positions I had won in qualifying. I was able to overtake Patrick on the first lap to regain a position, but as I was trying to catch Monteiro, the Safety Car came out, and after it went in, I just couldn't catch him. I'm quite happy with the result, as my lap times were pretty consistent on a circuit that doesn't particularly suit our car at the moment."
Patrick Friesacher, Minardi, 19th, +4 laps
"It was good to finish the race, but it was quite difficult from about one-third distance, when the traffic on some laps meant you lost up to six seconds compared with your normal lap time. Some drivers were two-stopping and some three, and as a result, there seemed to be traffic around me for much of the time, which disturbs your rhythm. Also, as a result of going off-line when other cars are passing you, your tyres often pick up debris when you run on a dirty part of the track. All of those things combined to make it a tough race today."
Narain Karthikeyan, Jordan, 20th, DNF
"I had a very good start and overtook Massa but unfortunately he was able to repass me at Becketts. However, I had a very good pace and I managed to run with the pack of Massa, Coulthard and Heidfeld. Unfortunately, shortly after, the car stopped apparently because of an electrical failure. It is very frustrating, as it is the second weekend in a row that I am experiencing some problems with my car, although I managed to finish the race in Magny-Cours. It is really a pity as I was going very well all weekend."