Hungarian Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 06 Aug 2006
Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher may not have finished, but that did not detract from Jenson Button's and Honda's achievement. After an action-packed afternoon the drivers report back from Hungary...
Jenson Button, Honda (1st):
Wow! What a day! This is such an amazing moment for me and one that I have worked my whole motor racing career for. I always had faith that we would achieve our objective together and this victory is testimony to that belief. There are so many people to thank right now - everybody in the team, Honda Motor Company, our partners and, of course, all the fans. I would also like to pay a very special tribute to my family who helped me start out on the path to victory. To win such a tough and challenging race from 14th place on the grid is incredible for me and all the more important because I know I won on merit today. No one can dispute that today the Honda Racing F1 Team got everything right.
Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (2nd):
"I am extremely happy to score my first Formula 1 podium today, and it is great to score eight points for the team, who have all worked so hard for this. It was a very interesting race with the wet conditions, so I just tried to keep my head down, push all the way and stay out of trouble, as I knew if I got to the end we had the speed to be on the podium. The Michelin tyres worked really well today in all the conditions, especially the dry tyres at the end. We backed off a little in the middle section as we were very heavy on fuel and we wanted to conserve this and go as long as possible, but in the end the track conditions changed, and we pitted earlier to change the tyres. This really is a great feeling and it is down to all the team that we were able to achieve this today."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (3rd):
This is a fantastic day. Not only for me but for the entire team. Especially as we had a rather low point after the last two races. It is also very good that Robert finished in the points. This result gives all of us enormous motivation. My race was good. I had to be somewhat careful with the tyres to avoid overheating, but I believe this was the case for most of the drivers today. The pit crew did an excellent job. They got me ahead of Coulthard and allowed me to be on the podium. Although it was a great race I did have two worrying moments, one earlier in the race when I went off on some gravel and then near the end when I overtook Michael Schumacher. He ran into the back of me and destroyed his suspension, although my steering was then damaged I knew I had an advantage so took it easy to the end of the race.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (4th):
I am truly happy for Jenson and the Honda Racing F1 Team today. It was a shame for me that we had the wrong tyres at the start or we could have both been on the podium. A huge effort from the team this weekend and we hope to carry this success forward for future wins.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (5th):
My cars looking pretty sorry for itself to be honest. I came together with Kubica in the first corner and lost the side of my end plate, and then later with (Michael) Schumacher when he spun, which broke the side of the car a little bit too. Rubens (Barrichello) banged wheels with me at the chicane and then Trulli came down the inside of me and nearly hit me. So, with everything we had going on, I realise I was pretty lucky to finish and especially to get some points! Its good to extend our position over Williams. Id like to say big congratulations to Jenson Button too. Ive always been in the camp of those who believed that he undoubtedly had the ability to win, he just needed the right circumstance. Today gave him that circumstance and it was long overdue. Hearty congratulations to Jenson, its his day today."
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (6th):
"That was a very turbulent race and after everything that happened we are happy to take away three points. A lot of things went badly, but the rain was especially difficult at the start of the race. The track was really wet and we just could not warm up the tyres. It was like running on smooth ice and we were extremely slow so it was pretty hard work. As the track got drier we improved our pace and the Bridgestone standard wets worked extremely well even in dry conditions. At the moment when we decided to change to dry tyres it might have been quite risky. But it was a risk we had to take and it worked. On dry tyres we were quick and I was able to make up ground and take 6th place."
Robert Kubica (7th):
"My start was very good. But then I struggled a bit with the conditions because I dont have a lot of experience with the traction control and other settings. On lap two I made a mistake in the chicane and spun. Later on I made another mistake and hit the barriers. Because of this we had to change the pit stop strategy and I finished the race on intermediate tyres. They were destroyed in the end and this is why I was so slow. The result is good, but my driving today was not. I made too many mistakes."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (8th):
A very difficult race for us, in what was pretty much a lottery. Given how things went, especially in the first part of the race, a point is still something and at least it helps us close the gap in the Constructors classification. In the wet we were not totally competitive, both on normal and extreme wets. However, as the track began to dry, we began to run very strongly, even more so as soon as I fitted the dry weather tyres, to such an extent that I set the fastest race lap. We have a very competitive package and we will fight right to the end of the championship, starting at the next race in Istanbul.
Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (9th):
Of course, I am very disappointed. We had a great opportunity but we did not take it. All weekend and especially the race was something of a rollercoaster and in the end, we found ourselves back where we started, although with one less race to go. The track rod broke as Heidfeld went past. We touched, partly because the track was still a bit slippery. These things happen. Did we take a risk staying out on track with intermediate tyres and in the fight with my rivals? Thats the way I am. I always want to fight for the top which is why I have won so often. There are still five races to go. Nothing is yet lost and I will give it my all in trying to win the title.
Tiago Monteiro, Midland (10th):
"Obviously, it's great for the team to get another top 10. We were hoping for conditions like this to try and get some points, but unfortunately for us, there are lots of reliable cars out there and we still need a little bit more luck to be able to do that. But in the end, it was a good race. I think we had a great strategy, especially with the tricky conditions. It was very, very difficult to drive initially and I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning of the race. It's inevitable when you're trying so hard to push and find the limits in such slick conditions. But once I got settled, the car balance was pretty good and I have to thank the team for giving me a stable and reliable car that could bring me to the finish."
Christijan Albers, Midland (11th):
"We made the wrong tyre choice at the beginning of the race. I don't know why; we must analyse why this happened. I was just too slow on our standard wets and I took too long overtaking Tiago early in the race. The pit stops and traffic were always a problem and I kept having to race off line. But when I finally got on to dry tyres, I was able to push and put in some reasonable lap times. The overall pace is definitely getting better, so I'm feeling positive for the races ahead."
Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (12th):
My race was pretty much over when, at the pit stop, my team decided to fuel me heavy enough to go to the end of the race, even though there was a dry line appearing. After the stop, carrying all that fuel, I was a bit slow. So Rubens ran into the back of me in Turn 4, cut me up in Turn 5 so I had a half spin and other guys got by. At that point the race was over. I was a bit optimistic in going for dry tyres too early and I had to pit again to change back. It was a lesson learned. It was too bad because looking where I was in the early stages, I might have had a good shot at bringing home a point.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (13th):
"This has simply been a chaotic weekend from start to finish. During the first lap I was hit by a car on the infield and I lost several positions. Then during the first stint we had a major struggle for grip which got worse as the rainincreased. Then when I could have done with some luck from the safety car I pitted a lap too soon and I was stuck behind it a lap down. I had been starting to make up ground but I was then stuck behind a lot of cars that were slower than me. That lost me a few seconds a lap and with the strategy I had it ruined my race. As the track got drier and the temperatures went up, the car became quicker and we were doing pretty well in the last stint on dry tyres until we suffered our engine failure. We should have finished in the points but in the end everything that could have gone wrong did. We will hope for a more predictable weekend in Turkey and a better result."
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (14th):
I am happy that we finished a very hard race, not only because of the weather conditions today, but also because of the gearbox problem I had. During the first stage we were looking good and I was actually pulling away from the Midlands, which was very encouraging. But after the pitstop I had a clutch problem and almost lost all drive - at one stage I thought that I would not be able to finish the race. Fortunately I was able to solve the problem by changing the setting from the cockpit, but I later had a gearbox problem and lost a gear which meant that it became incredibly tough to drive the car towards the end. I am pleased that we were able to bring the car home and finish the race as it is very important for the team to have this data before the summer break.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (DNF):
These things happen in motor racing, but what an incredible race. The first part was fantastic, and the car felt really good in the wet conditions, even with a much bigger fuel load onboard than our rivals. After the safety car, we avoided taking too many risks and with the dry tyres, I think it would have been a comfortable win for us today. But as I came out of the pits, something broke at the rear end and I spun in turn 2. Even though I am disappointed, everything is relative and with Michael retiring, it means we haven't lost anything at all this weekend. Even better, the car was really competitive this weekend. We are starting the important part of the championship now, and I am confident we are in a very strong position after this race. I also want to congratulate Jenson on his first Grand Prix win, he did a great job this afternoon and deserved it.
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (DNF):
"I could do nothing to avoid the collision with Liuzzi. He really slowed down on the racing line and there was just nowhere for me to go except into the back of him. The start of the race was really good for me with my first set of Michelin tyres working really well, but after the first stop I was really struggling with grip on the front, and as a result Fernando Alonso was able to build on his lead. It is never great to end a race like that especially when there was every opportunity to win it, but we just have to move forward, and I really appreciate the gesture of Liuzzi coming to apologise. Well done Pedro for a strong performance."
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (DNF):
It was a birthday with a bang. A shame as I was going well, the car was reasonably competitive, but I lost visibility as my visor was misting up and I could only see out of half of it. This meant that quite often I could not see the apex of the corners and I had to use the kerbs to know where I was. That meant I went off the track a few times. As for the incident with Kimi, I went wide, trying to let him by before the chicane. Probably, he did not expect me to slow at this point and so he ran into the back of me. This track is really tight and twisty and I was really trying to move over to let him by. It was a misunderstanding and Im sorry as it ruined both our races.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (DNF):
It was very difficult to drive in the wet on our tyres today. In fact, it was almost impossible because the rear of the car was so nervous. I was trying hard not to make any mistakes and maintain a decent pace to get to the end. Unfortunately, something went wrong with the electrics and eventually the engine cut out on the exit of turn one and that was it. It was an interesting weekend, very challenging, where everything was a complete lottery.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (DNF):
It was a tough afternoon for me. The wet conditions are usually very good for me, but the car was very difficult to drive in the early part of the race, with understeer into the corners then big snaps of oversteer as soon as I touched the throttle. I followed Michael for a long time and eventually managed to get past him, but then went off in turn 8. I was pushing hard to build a gap, lost the rear end and damaged the rear wing. I carried on because I could not feel any damage, but then it came off on the next lap and I spun at turn three. This was not a good race for me, but I am still fighting for third in the championship, and confident that we can be quick in Turkey.
Christian Klien, Red Bull (DNF):
I had to start from the pit lane as I had a problem with my car, so I had to push really, really hard in the race. It was very difficult out there, as you couldnt see much due to all the water on the straight. I overtook a few cars, but then I was a little a bit too quick on one corner and that was it, I was already in the gravel.
Mark Webber, Williams (DNF):
The conditions were very tricky for us today. The first lap was unreal with a few big moments as I had zero grip in the rear of the car and struggled to get the tyres going. I was doing my best to keep it together but, while going through the kink at the back of the circuit, I just grazed the armco. The wing became stuck under the tub and I just couldnt get out of it. Retiring from such a good starting position is a real disappointment, but we are improving and well head to Turkey more determined to do well.
Sakon Yamamoto, Super Aguri (DNF):
The weekend started quite well and I was looking forward to starting the race from the grid. I made a reasonable start off the line and tried to overtake a few cars in front of me at turn one, but the engine stalled and my race was over. It is a very disappointing end to the weekend again for me, but I think that we made good progress with the SA06 here in Hungary. On the positive side, I think that Hondas win is fantastic and I would like to send my congratulations to them as part of our family.