Brazilian Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 21 Oct 2007
McLarens Lewis Hamilton on missing out on the drivers crown; Kazuki Nakajima on his debut race for Williams; BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld on helping his team to score over 100 points this season; and new world champion Kimi Raikkonen on his memorable day at Interlagos. All 22 drivers review Sundays action
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (1st):
"It is very difficult for me to explain in words what I am feeling at the moment: it is an incredible emotion. I want to thank the team for everything they have done this year. Even when we went through some difficult times and it looked as though there was no way to fight back, we never gave up and this work produced its reward today. Thanks also to my parents, to my wife Jenni and everyone who believed in me. I have achieved what I have been after for a long time. Now everything else will be an extra. Today, Felipe's help was vital and he was amazing. We had to get a one-two and then see what the others did. This time, things went our way and the unexpected did happen. This has been a very nice year for me during which I have enjoyed Formula One like never before. In Ferrari, I have found a great family and I am proud to have won the title with them."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (2nd):
"Today is a great day for the team and for Kimi, who has won the drivers' title. Of course I would have liked to have won my home race again this year, but I am happy to have helped my team mate, who was the only one of us still in with a chance of taking the title. I am proud to have done it for Ferrari who believed in me even when I was not in Formula One. It is thanks to the people in Maranello that I am here and it is with them that I have grown as a driver and as a man. After everything that has happened this year, both on and off the track, today it is great to be able to celebrate two world titles. Today I had a fantastic car and I could have gone even quicker on track than I did. I also want to thank all our partners for all their support."
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (3rd):
The result today is of course disappointing but we already knew that it would be difficult starting from fourth to win the race and the championship today. I predicted at the start of the season that it was going to be very close and that it would come down to the race here in Brazil, I just hoped that it would have been in my favour, but that is not the case and I just have to accept that for this year. It was a difficult race for me. During the first laps, I thought I was able to match the Ferraris speed; however, when they began pushing they were just too fast. Our car was fast and competitive throughout the year and I won four races. I am still satisfied with this season.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (4th):
I am very happy! This is a super result for the team, and for me, because fourth is my best result in F1 so far. Thanks to my engineers who improved the car a lot throughout the weekend, their efforts definitely helped me out in qualifying and then in the race. My strategy was very much on the limit; a heavy fuel load on the second stint was really tough on the tyres and I was struggling a bit, but I could make up the pace with my last set which were good. The pressure was on today because everything was on the line, the Constructors position for the team and my position in the drivers so I am very pleased with the outcome. The best thing is that this race was my personal best result which means I can go into the winter happy - thats going to be fun!
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (5th):
The race started pretty well, especially after my problem in qualifying. I had to push right from the start because of my three stop strategy. Everything was going all right until I got the call to reduce the rpm of the engine because the temperatures were too high. Then when I was behind Nico Rosberg I was losing a lot of time each lap. In the last ten laps I was having lots of problems with the tyres and I was just trying to keep the car on the track. In the end if was a good season for the team.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (6th):
We have cracked the hundred points' milestone, and it was a fantastic season. At the start Robert passed me, as he had the advantage of a lighter car and the clean line on the grid. During the race graining was an issue with the front tyres as well as the rear tyres, and this resulted in a couple of mistakes, but this must have been the case for everybody. But still in the final stint I was fourth until Nico Rosberg outbraked me. The manoeuvre was hard and on the limit, but if I had not opened the door we would have crashed. We both went on the dirt a little bit and Robert squeezed through. At the very end I was faster than him again but couldn't go by. I find it unbelievable that Kimi Raikkonen has won the world championship."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (7th):
Obviously I am pretty disappointed with the result today, having lead for so much of the season and then not to win the championship. However I have to put the result into perspective, this is only my first year in Formula One and overall it has just been phenomenal. I am still very young and have plenty more years in me to achieve my dream of becoming world champion. I have to thank absolutely everyone in the team for everything they have done for me this year, without them and all their hard work I wouldnt have even been in this position today.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (8th):
I am happy because we finished the season with our first finish in the points for a long time. I have been trying hard for many races without luck and finally today things went more smoothly. We all had a battle with the tyres today. We took the gamble to go for a three-stop strategy and in the end eighth position was quite a good result. It is also good for the motivation of the team as we head into the winter. I would like to thank everyone because it has been a hard season but we never gave up. That is the most important thing because we have to look ahead to the future, to improve the car and the performance. I believe we have the potential and next year I think we can bounce back up the grid. This was my last race with Ralf as a team mate. Weve had a fair and competitive battle over three years and weve worked together to develop the team. Now I wish him all the best for the future.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (9th):
I thought we might get into the points today, but unfortunately I didnt have enough pace relative to the cars in front. I came together with Nakijama towards the end of the race, which knocked my front suspension out and the car was moving strangely around left-handers for the last ten laps. We just werent quick enough today.
I would like to thank every member of the team, both race and test and everyone based at the factory, for all their efforts this year. As difficult as this season was, its only going to get more difficult as we move forwards - but Im up for the challenge and Im sure they are too.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (10th):
First of all I would say Im really sorry that some of my mechanics were injured during my pitstop and that I hope theyre ok. It was a good first race for me but it was slightly overshadowed. My start itself was as good as the others around me, but I lost some positions because of the collision in front of me going into the first corner. I was then held up by Sato for quite some time before I could overtake him. Car balance was almost perfect, especially in the third stint on the option tyres. I really enjoyed the race and I did well physically. I would like to thank the team for giving me this great opportunity.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (11th):
It was a very hot day today but that wasnt a problem and the car was good to drive. In the beginning it was a bit tough but after that it was fine. At the start of the race I was in a Toro Rosso sandwich and I lost a bit of ground. But it was a relatively good race from there. It is my last race for Toyota and for sure it is a pity to be leaving after three years. This has been a difficult season in terms of results but we tried our best and it simply didnt work out. The team has worked really hard and we have made a lot of changes to the car during the year. It has been a pleasure to work with the whole team, both at the factory and at the races and tests. I have enjoyed my time here and I am looking forward to seeing some of the guys for a drink in the future.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (12th):
It was a tough, but exciting race. I did not get a great start off the line, but into turns one, two and three I was side by side and overtaking lots of people, in fact the whole lap was full of exciting moments and I really enjoyed it. I then started to struggle with the balance and pace, but I think that we had done everything we could and it was a tough race for the team. It has been a fantastic season and we have achieved so many things. Our result has been a great achievement. I would like to thank the whole team, the factory back in Leafield and our colleagues at Honda, our sponsors and fans for all of their hard work and support.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (13th):
The first corner here is always difficult. I saw Giancarlo lock up the wheels and go straight and I expected him to miss the corner, so I went down the inside but he came back and clipped my nose and that ruined my race, as I had to pit. Then, for the first stint I was struggling as I think front wing debris went under the car and it was really undrivable. In the last two stints I was quite strong, but coming back from last, the race was over for me. A shame, as I was in a positive frame of mind about this race before the start. Now, I am looking forward to my future and I hope to know where that future is quite soon.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (14th):
It was a fun last race. The car didnt quite have the pace to match our stronger competitors in the mid-field, but we had reliability on our side again. The team did a fantastic job in all the pitstops and considering I got taken out by Sutil early on in the race I thought that my pace was really good towards the end on the prime tyre and I really enjoyed it. It was a good race to end the year on and I would like to thank everyone in the team, back at home in Leafield and in Japan, for their hard work this year.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (DNF):
At the beginning the race was good, I could put some pressure on other cars but then there was the accident just after my first pit stop. I tried to brake for the first corner, but suddenly there was no deceleration and I crashed into Davidson. I could carry on as the car was okay, but then I started to lose brake pressure and I even had to pump the brakes on the straight. We couldn't fix it, so ultimately we decided to retire the car. It was a bad way to finish the season, but we have to look forward now.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (DNF):
A disappointing end to a very hard season for us. Our position wasn't looking too bad before I came in to make my second stop but unfortunately there was an engine problem and that ended my race early. I would like to say thank you to the whole team for the effort they have put in this year. It was been a very difficult experience but the team has done a lot of growing together and we will work very hard over the winter to improve our situation for next year.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (DNF):
We were planning to run a very short first stint, and with the car light on fuel, I made a good start. I went right on the way to turn 1, hoping it would then give me the inside line through the next corner, and was running alongside Ralf Schumacher. I think Fisico got hit because his car suddenly moved over, setting off a chain reaction and Ralf hit my car. At first, I thought the front left suspension was broken, but as I drove back to the pits I thought it was maybe just a puncture. That proved to be the case, so we fuelled the car longer and went back out. Unfortunately, the time I had lost put me right in a group of cars lapping me, so I drove with blue flags all the time for the first stint: I was quicker than the guys in front, but because they were a lap ahead, I had to let them all past!
Eventually, I got out of the traffic, and was just looking to bring the car home to the finish. But then, going through Turn Two I felt a vibration at the left rear, and as I lifted off, the back end snapped and put me in the wall. It's a real shame to retire like this and not manage to finish all the races, but that's the way it goes. All I want to do now is move on to the next challenge: firstly the New York Marathon in November, and then focusing on next year. If I want to become world champion, which is my aim, I need to be even better prepared mentally and physically than I was this year. I want to start working towards that goal as soon as I possibly can.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (DNF):
I had to retire with a hydraulic problem on the car. First I lost the gear shift and then the power steering. Up to that point I think I was very competitive and the last few races have shown we are getting better, also in the dry here. So that is positive, even if retiring from the final race is disappointing. I loved the fantastic atmosphere here with this incredible crowd.
Jenson Button, Honda (DNF):
Not a great end to the season for us. We had a problem with the engine overheating in the very high temperatures. We have to look forward now, put the experience of this year behind us and focus on 2008. I would like to thank the whole team for the commitment that they have shown this year. It hasn't been easy for anyone but we have stuck together as a team and worked so hard to take something from every race. I would also like to say a special thank you to my physio Phil Young who has been with me at every race for seven years and is now moving to a new life in Australia.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (DNF):
I had a good start and our pace was not too bad - I hoped to get some good points, but then something failed on the car. Its pretty unbelievable really. The guys saw a disconnect between the engine and the gearbox, which is another new issue by the looks of it, but its early days and we need to investigate it further to see exactly what happened. We were on for some good points, so its a real shame.
Sakon Yamamoto, Spyker (DNF):
It is a very bad result for me as the set-up and strategy looked good so I really expected to have a better race, but unfortunately at the start of Lap Two, Fisichella went off and just came back onto the circuit. He just came back onto the racing line. It's a strange situation as normally when you go back on you avoid going onto the racing line, but he didn't so I couldn't do anything other than crash into him. It's a really bad situation as I wanted to have a good race but it was over so quickly. But thanks to everyone who has supported me this year, I appreciate all their support and particularly all the team members. I am now going to look forward to testing and I will try to give it my best.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (DNF):
This has been a difficult season for the whole team, but I had hoped that the last race would last for a bit longer than two laps. I got hit in the rear at the start, which damaged the car. Then, on Lap Two, I went off fighting with a Williams on the way into Turn One. The car was very hard to control or slow down on the grass, with very low grip, and that meant that when I came back onto the track, I was involved in a collision with another car. It was just a racing incident, and I am sorry that it ended both of our races. It is a shame to leave the final race empty-handed, after a year when we had to fight so hard. But thank you to all the guys: no matter how hard it got, they never stopped working, and they deserved more from the end of the year.