Chinese Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 07 Oct 2007
BMW Saubers Robert Kubica on more hydraulic woes; Renaults Heikki Kovalainen on his unsuccessful fight with Red Bulls David Coulthard for P8; and Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen on keeping his title hopes alive. All 22 drivers review Sundays action
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (1st):
I am very happy! It is a really great result for me and the whole team, who have done a truly excellent job. We needed this win and we got it. At the start of the race, I had a lot of understeer but then the situation improved. I was one of the last to switch to dry tyres but this was a help as after a little while the rain began to fall again. Even after the second stop I had a bit of understeer, but as before, the situation improved in the final stages. I knew Alonso was very quick but I was in full control of the situation. The car overall was working well both in the wet and in the dry. Last week in Fuji, we were unlucky but today things went right for us. We have had yet another example that in this sport anything can happen. The situation in the drivers' classification is still difficult, but I will try everything to win in Brazil, even if the final outcome does not just depend on what we do. It should be a great battle, very hard to predict and interesting.
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (2nd):
Today was a very good result for me. I had a battle with Felipe at the start, but unfortunately I was not able to finish the first lap in front of him. As a result I lost a lot of time behind him in the first stint because there was a loss of downforce when following him in the high speed corners. It was difficult towards the end on the wet Bridgestone tyres as they were practically slick, but we stayed out as long as possible to get through the final shower, which was the right decision as I was able to come out ahead of Felipe on my final stop. Although this result is a boost to my chances in the Championship it is still not going to be easy. However I will not be giving up until the chequered flag in two weeks time.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (3rd):
I had hoped to be fighting for the win, but the race was affected by the changing weather conditions. At the moment I switched to dry tyres, the timing was not ideal. The rain came back immediately and it was really difficult to stay on track. In any case, in these instances, it can pay off to take risks: sometimes it works out and sometimes not. After a few difficulties with graining, the situation to the extent that, in the final part of the race, I was going very well. All in all, finishing on the podium in a race like this is very important and I am very happy for the team. There is one race to go: anything can happen and we must continue to work to stay ahead of our rivals.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (4th):
P4! A Fantastic race. In the beginning it was quite difficult, starting in the mid field. For a couple of metres the visibility was okay and then you got all the spray. After the start, I used my momentum to go round the outside of several cars. Even though it was really slippery I took the risk. I kept pushing as hard as I could. After I passed Kovalainen I had a clear track ahead of me and was able to push harder. Just as I changed to dry tyres the rain came, but fortunately it went away quickly. I fought with Jenson (Button), but when we realized he was on a two stopper, I didn't worry. The last 20 laps were unbelievable and even though I had the situation under control and slowed the pace, it was tough. A fantastic day for the whole team, especially with Tonio (Liuzzi) in P6. Yesterday I wasn't happy with my grid penalty but today I got my revenge on the track. Finish fourth is fantastic. When I left the factory in Italy, the guys said 'Sebastian, you must bring back some points' and I said I'd try. In Fuji we got close and today came this great result. Now I will celebrate with the team who did a great job in the pit stops and with the strategy.
Jenson Button, Honda (5th):
A fantastic race today and I'm very happy to come away with four points and our best result of the season. I struggled at the start of the race as the car was not working well in the wet conditions and I had no grip, so I ended up slipping back through the field. When the track dried out we decided to pit and go for the dry option tyre and a light fuel load. From then I started setting fastest laps which was a great feeling. It was a fun race with a lot of overtaking and very close driving. it is very satisfying to come away with some good points today.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (6th):
This was a great race from start to finish with everything going perfectly. I think Sebastian's one-stop strategy was better but that does not matter now. It is fantastic for the team that we both scored points. I made no mistakes and had some great fights with Williams, Renault and BMW. I don't think we could have done more than this. I am really happy for the team who really deserve these points. Many times this year, we have shown that we were capable of scoring points, but somehow we never got them. Now everyone can be happy and it shows that the team is growing and that all the guys are doing a great job. Now we can go to Brazil in a really positive frame of mind after showing what we can do, both here and in Fuji last week. We deserve this result.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (7th):
I am very disappointed as fourth was possible for us today. In hindsight it was a mistake to take a second set of wets after 28 laps. At this time my first set was completely finished and I lost about 12 seconds a lap. On top of that it looked like we would have more rain. But after 32 laps I had to pit again for dry tyres. The race started well - I managed to gain two positions at the start, and it was almost three. On lap four I made a mistake under braking before the hairpin and Vitantonio Liuzzi passed me. Later in the race we met again, but I couldn't overtake him. I was very close in the corners but couldn't catch him on the straights.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (8th):
A frustrating race. To start fifth and finish eighth is pretty disappointing, but at least we take a point from China and move closer to Williams in the battle for fourth in the Championship. It was a bit of a lottery with the tyres today and unfortunately at the point I changed to dry tyres it started to rain lightly costing me around 30 seconds in two laps.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (9th):
The start of the race was a disaster for me: I made a good start and climbed three positions, but the understeer was just really bad, with low grip. Four cars passed me, and I lost too much time. We changed to dry tyres at exactly the right time, and after that the car was pretty good. In the middle of the race, I lost time in a very strange way: Kimi had just lapped me but he was on old wet tyres, while my dry tyres were new. I couldn't pass off-line because it was wet, and I didn't want to have an accident with a front runner, so I lost about seven or eight seconds until I could overtake him. After that, I pushed as hard as possible, but I couldn't get past David at the end: I was quicker, but not by enough. The car ended up running pretty well in the dry, but this result is because of my mistake in qualifying yesterday: without it, I would have been in the top ten, with a better result. The team deserved a better result than we got, as the potential was in the car to be fourth, and I'm sorry we couldn't do it for them today. Now we need to go to Brazil, and just go for broke.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (10th):
I had massive under steer on my wet tyres in the first stint, which made it very difficult to get through Turn one and twelve - important corners for lap time. I made the call to go to dry tyres, which was about the right time for my pit stop. It was a tough call to know if wet or dry tyres were best. Once on the dry tyres, the rain started again and I saw a car off the track on the last corner and also had a moment myself. I made the call to put wets back on, which wasnt good, as the rain didnt last for long, so I had to go back onto dry tyres again. Unfortunately, we didnt quite get it right today. Davids point has closed us up to Williams a little bit, so lets see what we can do in Brazil.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (11th):
I did my best all the way through today, but I think we could have done better with the strategy. The car was very heavy and inconsistent at the start, and we could have been much faster on a lighter fuel load. We changed to dry tyres at the right moment, and after that, I knew I had one more stop to make so I just pushed to the limit. It nearly worked for us, but we just ran out of time. It is frustrating to finish only eleventh after overtaking so many cars today, especially because we were capable of more.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (12th):
I guess I was hoping for more rain today. The conditions worked well for me at the beginning and I was the first one to put on dry tyres, which initially worked well for the conditions, so we thought wed pulled a rabbit out of the hat, but eventually we experienced a similar problem to yesterday with tyre grip and we just dropped back in performance.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (13th):
This weekend has been a real struggle for me. Yesterday I had problems with the balance of my car and todays race was always going to be a challenge as a result. Still, we made a good start and I was making good ground on the wet tyres given the conditions. But after the pit stop we lost a few places. It was a difficult race for everyone and it just didnt work out for me. I gave my best and pushed hard but it was not possible to score points. Now we head to the last race in Brazil and we will hope for a better result there.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (14th):
It was an exciting but tough race for us. I made a good start, gaining a few positions and it was exciting overtaking in the wet conditions. But within a few laps we had a mechanical problem and from then on the car was bouncing quite a lot. I immediately radioed to the team, but there was nothing we could do. With the changing conditions I was able to catch a few cars ahead, but we just werent quick enough to overtake. Thankfully we were able to finish, but the car handling was far from ideal which made it an even more difficult race for me.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (15th):
Unfortunately we made one decision too many this afternoon, which compromised the possibility of a good race. When the rain started after my first pit stop, I thought it would be wet for the remainder of the race, so I came in for wet tyres again but this proved to be the wrong choice just a few laps later. A disappointing end to the weekend but I look forward now to my home grand prix in Brazil in two weeks time.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (16th):
It didnt quite work out for us today. I had a poor start which dropped me back, but then it was working pretty well for me in the wet and I passed several cars. In the next stint, we had switched to dry tyres and we had the same problem we experienced yesterday in qualifying with the tyres. On Lap 29, I got a left rear puncture at the end of the straight, but I am not sure what caused it as I didnt make contact with anyone else. Obviously it cost me to come in for an extra stop and that was the end of my race. I am now looking forward to Brazil and to end this season with a good result.
Sakon Yamamoto, Spyker (17th):
At the end of the day we can say we made some mistakes over tyre choice, but nobody knows how it will go and you just have to take the risks. If it works out, then it will be a success and if not, a very tough race. One positive thing was that I could again finish and, even with four tyre changes in mixed conditions the crew did very well. We have now just got to look to Brazil, one of my favourite tracks, and just give a good race to end the season.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (DNF):
I retired from the race with a hydraulic leak. That more or less says it all as I found myself with no power steering and no gears. It was looking pretty good up to then. We stayed out when it started raining with grooved tyres for three or four laps, which was very difficult, but it paid off. However, in the end it didn't pay off because I couldn't finish the race.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (DNF):
When I got out of the car I was obviously gutted for both myself and the team. I havent made a mistake all year but I am over it now. There is still one race to go, so I can still do it. I made a strong start to the race and my first stop went well. Prior to entering the pit lane for my last stop I was constantly talking to the team. Although my tyres were in poor condition we took a joint decision to get through the last rain shower before changing to dry tyres. I was trying to be very careful and as a result was not really fighting aggressively with Kimi. It would have worked out perfectly, but I then made a mistake coming into the pitlane and that was it. We made the right decision, and it was just unfortunate. I will now focus on attacking in Brazil where I will do everything I can to bounce back.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (DNF):
That was a tough, disappointing race. I spun on the first lap while trying to avoid a collision with another car. After that we were able to make up good ground and I passed a lot of cars. It was a pity that Liuzzi hit me but Im sure it was not on purpose. At that point the track was drying so we took the risk to switch to dry tyres because we didnt have much to lose. But then the quick shower arrived, I lost grip and the engine died. It was an enjoyable race but its too bad we dont have a result. I only have one race left for Toyota but I will head to Brazil seeking to score as many points as possible to end my time here on a high note.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (DNF):
For sure this was a disappointing weekend. We took some risks with the weather, starting first on extreme wet tyres. We were hoping for a lot more rain, but ultimately it didn't come and we changed to the wets. It was very difficult to drive, but we carried on until the second pit stop for the dry tyres. It turned out to be too early and then the rain started again. It was just the wrong moment to change to dry and tough to drive and suddenly at the last corner the car just went straight on and into the barriers. We all have to forget this one though and now look to Brazil. There are good races and bad races, and this was just one of those bad ones.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (DNF):
It is a disappointing end to the weekend. We had a very poor start and Rubens was able to quite easily overtake us into turn one. I managed to get back past and fight with a few other cars on lap one, but then going into turn one on lap two Rubens tagged my right rear and we both spun. I had damage to my body work which covered my brake duct sending the temperatures sky high. This then gives you a long brake pedal, leaving you only with the front brakes so I came in to the pits for the guys to remove the damaged body work and see if that would get more air to the right rear brake duct, but it wasnt to be. The brakes never came back so instead of putting myself and the team in danger I decided to retire from the race.