British Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 11 Jun 2006
An imperious drive from Alonso kept Michael Schumacher and Raikkonen at bay, while a first-lap incident eliminated Speed, Ralf Schumacher and Webber. All 22 men explain their afternoon...
Fernando Alonso, Renault (1st):
This is a very special win - in fact, it has been three special wins in a row for me. After Spain and then Monaco, this is another of the classic races that you want to win. Great Britain is the home of motorsport, I live in Oxford myself only half an hour from this track, and of course we have a big part of our team based nearby in Enstone. It is really something wonderful to win for them, at home. The race was really competitive, and tough. We had a set-up on the car that meant it was quite understeery in the first part of the stint, but just got better and better and I could build a lead as the fuel loads came down - although I had a little bit of graining in the second stint that slowed my pace. It was windy out there too, like all weekend, so that made things a little bit unpredictable, and we are not used to this heat in Silverstone. So it was never an easy win, but this shows we are working really hard. There's no secret to this fantastic season. We attack every race as a new challenge, we are concentrating all the time and there are no mistakes from the team. The best form of defence is attack - and we showed that today.
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (2nd):
Second place was the best we could today, given our grid position. Although there were no real problems with the car this weekend, we were simply not quick enough to win. We must work very hard now to come back right from the next race. But all in all, we should still be pleased with these eight points. There are still ten races to go with a hundred points to play for. Even though I am twenty three points behind Alonso, I dont think the fight for the championship is over. For much of the race I was behind Kimi even though I had more potential, which is why I feel this result is not so bad. The next two races take place on completely different types of track. It will be interesting to see who has the upper hand on these circuits. We have to try and get back on top.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (3rd):
"I made a good start off the line and was able to maintain my second place. However I was not fast enough on the straights to pass Alonso. After the Safety Car came back in I could close the gap a bit, but that was it really. I suffered from oversteer towards the end of the race which allowed Fisichella to close up. However I wasn't too worried as I knew it would be almost impossible for him to actually overtake. We were not as quick as Alonso and Schumacher and third place was the maximum possible, but I think the good news is that this weekend has shown we are moving in the right direction and are getting more and more competitive."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (4th):
It was a good race for me, I had a competitive and consistent pace and I was quicker than the cars around me; there was graining in the second stint, like for Fernando, but it cleared up on the final set of tyres and I was able to really push. In the final laps, I was much faster Raikkonen in the first sector, but he was a little bit quicker in the second and third parts because they were running more downforce than us - and as I got near him, I lost grip because of the turbulence and couldn't get close enough to overtake. This was another great result for the team though - just like in Monaco and Barcelona, we scored the most points of anybody today and got both cars to the finish. Canada is next, one of my favourite circuits, and this Renault team is really on a roll at the moment.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (5th):
Not exactly a great day for us. We were hoping to be more competitive, but Renault showed itself to be very strong. I lost a place to Giancarlo in the way the pit stops played out. I dont think I could have done better than this fifth place, which is reasonable. I did not have any particular problems during the race, even though I had no more sets of new tyres, having used all of them in free practice and qualifying. There are important developments on the way for the car and I hope they will allow us to raise our game.
Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (6th):
"A big shame that Villeneuve lost control and hit the side of my car as we were coming into the first corner at the start, as our car and strategy would have seen us have a much stronger race. The impact created a big hole in the sidepod and consequently I struggled a bit with the balance throughout the race. Apart from that the race was relatively quiet as there was not much I could do. I was able to conserve my engine which is positive coming into Canada where we aim to continue our progress."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (7th):
I had a very good start when I passed two cars off the grid and a third into the first corner. Naturally it is great that both cars finished in the points on their own merits. We have obviously made a step forward. I was able to keep in front of Montoya as I stayed out longer than he did. It was only at the beginning that he was faster than me because I was fighting understeer. Then the balance of my car was improved. Unfortunately at the first pit stop first gear didnt work and that cost me time and a position.
Jacques Villeneuve, BMW Sauber (8th):
Nico Rosberg got me because at the start into turn one Juan Pablo Montoya and myself crashed in what was a racing incident. I was on the inside and he was following another car on the outside. He came across the track, took his line but couldnt see I was there. I locked my wheels and ran into him, but luckily there was no damage. I was stuck behind Nico for three quarters of the race, which was a shame but he wasnt making any mistakes. It was a good fight, but when I saw him come into the pits three laps before me for the last pit stop I really took some big risks on those laps on old tyres. To get two cars in the points today, not because people didnt finish the race, but because we raced strongly is good for Montreal. People told me married men go slower, but I think it is the opposite!"
Nico Rosberg, Williams (9th):
Its pretty disappointing pushing the whole race and coming away with nothing. I gained several places on the start, moving from twelfth to ninth, but later on in the race I was surprised not to get ahead of Villeneuve. He came out of the pits in front of me after his second pit stop despite me really pushing on my out lap. Anyway, I think from my point of view this was a useful race for me, adding to my experience of Formula One and each weekend gets easier for me. That said, its difficult to accept not achieving something because when I had a good race in my earlier career it meant I had either won or was on the podium! Looking ahead, I am confident its going to be better for us in Montreal and Indy which are different tracks to here and hopefully better suited to us.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (10th):
"I'm really disappointed to finish 10th after starting from a reasonably good grid slot. The car works well with new tyres and then the performance just goes away during the race and I just seem to be fighting the car the whole time. We have a lot of hard work to do if we are going to close the gap to the top teams because it's very frustrating right now and the car is too far away from where we should be."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (11th):
"It was always going to be a hard day's work out there from the back of the grid, but I enjoyed it. Silverstone is never the easiest place to overtake but I still made it past a lot of cars at the start and over the first three or four laps. The car was well balanced and I was fighting really hard throughout. Thanks to the team's good strategy we were able to gain some more positions at the first pit stop. It's very hard to stay close to the car in front here so we couldn't really expect to score points from where we were. But nevertheless I'm happy both with my own performance and with that of the TF106B which looks like a definite step forward."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (12th):
The car had a lot of understeer during the race. I thought I might have done some damage to its underside when I was pushed wide over the kerb at the exit of Stowe on lap one during a battle with Jacques Villeneuve. There was more understeer than there had been during qualifying or the practices and I was surprised by the cars balance. We increased the front aero by two percent during the race to reduce the understeer, which is a hell of a lot, and it was a little better by the end. Mechanically we performed well, but aero efficiency wise, which is what you need round a circuit like this, were not where we need to be and we know weve got work to do. The teams knuckling down and getting on with it and Im looking forward to next weeks test.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (13th):
I had quite a good race, it felt like a long one. It was a shame that in the early stages I could not keep up with the group ahead of me, because I had too much understeer. It was the right choice to change our strategy during the race. Apart from the understeer the car went well and it was a good performance given that we had always known Silverstone would be a tough track for us, as the V10 was never going to be ideal round here. So, to sum it up - a good result.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (14th):
The race was a disaster for me, I think. I had to start on scrub tyres, so I lost two positions at the start and it was difficult to warm them on the low grip track. I had a lot of understeer during the race and struggled through the high-speed corners. As a result, I lost time in the first sector. The second stint was better; I added some front flap and the pace at that point was actually very good. I made up time on David, but unfortunately not enough to jump Tonio. In the last stint my tyres were badly damaged and for the last ten laps the pace of the car was pretty far away from the top eight.
Christijan Albers, Midland (15th):
"From my point of view, we had decent pace. We had a reasonably good car and we're closer to the field - about 13 seconds behind the mid-pack at the end, I believe. So I think we did a good job, especially considering what a bad day we had yesterday. It's easy to forget that, but if you take those setbacks into account, our performance today seems even better. We had a chance to fight with the Red Bulls and other cars. Our start was terrible: everybody passed me when I let out the clutch and I had to overtake two Super Aguris on the first lap, before Corner 8. Fortunately, it worked out, but there are some tracks where that's not possible. So we have to work much harder on that. Tiago held me up a little bit, because it's really difficult to drive behind other cars, especially on a track like this. But when he made his pit stop, I was able to push ahead and stay out front. I think everyone on the team did a good job today, and if we can do that for an entire weekend - not just on Sunday - then we have a chance to be competitive in Montreal."
Tiago Monteiro, Midland (16th):
"Another finish, but a difficult one. The advantage we gained by making it to the second qualifying session actually hindered us a little bit during the race, because we had to use all the tyres we had available to achieve that. We didn't have any new tyres for the race, so that accounted for the major difference between my times and my team mate's. When we planned our race strategy, we didn't think it would make such a huge difference because of fuel loads and such, but in the end, it was a massive disadvantage. I think we had an amazing car for qualifying, but obviously the balance wasn't that great over a race distance and the tyres never really came to me. It was more of a struggle throughout the race, but we learned from it. We gambled and it didn't pay off, so we'll use that knowledge next time. Overall, though, it was a positive weekend. We had amazing pace throughout and the team made good progress, so I'm satisfied. If we were slow all weekend, perhaps I wouldn't feel that way, but having seen what we've done, I'm pretty confident for the future."
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (17th):
It is great that we have achieved a two-car finish again. We had a difficult start to the weekend but in the end we finished the race, which is a good result for the team. Obviously we were quite off the pace today and it was a tough race for us, but the next two rounds of the championship have different track characteristics to Silverstone, so we will concentrate now on these circuits and look forward to the next fly-aways.
Franck Montagny, Super Aguri (18th):
The beginning of the race was really difficult for me, I do not know why, if it was the tyres or not, but the car was really unstable and it was impossible for me to follow the pace of the others. After a few laps the track improved and the car got a little better also, but I still had a lot of oversteer and no traction at all. The good news is that we had both cars finish the race and we did not have any engine or chassis problems, so that is good. We have to improve everything for the next two rounds but this is a good result for the team today.
Jenson Button, Honda (DNF):
"The race was going well for me and the car felt pretty good. We weren't as quick as the leaders but the car was working well and had a good balance. I was absolutely loving it out there, working my way through the field, and given our fuel load I was doing pretty well. Then I saw the flames out of the back of the car and went off due to oil on the tyres, so it is looking like an engine oil leak unfortunately. A disappointing end to the weekend really, especially in front of my home crowd. It's frustrating that I couldn't give them the race they deserved today. When I walked back in it was quite emotional as there were lots of cheers and flags being waved. The fans' support this weekend has been fantastic. As for the next race, the important thing is to get the best out of what we have which we weren't able to do here this weekend."
Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (DNF):
I had a really awesome start and got past Tonio and Christian. I tried to get by Ralf as well in the left hander at Becketts, as he seemed not to have got a good start and I had a lot of grip. I came up alongside him in the right hand part and then we just got tangled up together as I went round the outside of him. I dont think he was expecting me to be there. It was just a racing incident, but unfortunately it was the end of our day, as I had bent a track-rod.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (DNF):
"Unfortunately that was just one of those things that happen in racing. It all began with my very bad start. I lost too many positions and found myself in traffic. That's how these things can kick off because in a mess like that no one really has any space. I had cars all around me so it was really difficult to see exactly what happened but I was hit from behind. That sent me into a spin, which meant that I couldn't help veering into Mark's path. It was a racing incident and no one is to blame because no one does anything like that on purpose. But it's the second time in a row that we have struggled off the line so we should now work hard on improving that."
Mark Webber, Williams (DNF):
I had a pretty good start and made up a few places off the line. It looked like Scott Speed clipped Ralf on the right rear going into Becketts which caused the Toyota to spin and end up in my path. Ralf was obviously trying to save his car, which is fair enough, but he came directly back across the track when I was on the inside trying to get a clean run out, so I had nowhere to go. Weve had a tough weekend so its a shame we couldnt get something out of it. We have a lot of work to do now and we have to keep pressing on and get ready for Montreal.