British Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 08 Jul 2007
Kimi Raikkonen on leading Ferraris fight back with a second consecutive victory; McLaren pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton on struggling during his home Grand Prix; and Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher on Toyotas double retirement. All 22 drivers report back on Sundays action
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (1st):
"It was a great race for me. After my mistake in qualifying yesterday I was very disappointed, but today I was able to make up for it. If I had managed to start from pole though, things would have been much easier. The car worked very well both on the soft and harder tyres. We were strong all weekend and I hope this trend continues over the coming races, but I know how difficult that will be. In the first stint, I tried to look after my tyres and save fuel. At one point I got very close to Lewis but I didn't want to take any risks hoping he would pit before me. In the second part, I knew Alonso was on a different strategy and would stop before me. I had to stay in touch and then push at the decisive moment. I am very happy. We have made up ground in the drivers' championship and there is plenty of the season still to go. We must continue to push on the development of the car and we are working in the right direction."
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (2nd):
"Second was the maximum we could really do today. We decided to change the strategy during the race to a shorter fuel stop for the middle stint, hoping we would be able to maintain the lead after the second stop. Unfortunately we did not build enough of a gap to Ferrari during this period, and Kimis six laps with less fuel were too much to overcome. It was a gamble but definitely the right thing to do. I had a few problems with traffic, and we didnt quite have the pace of Ferrari, so it didnt pay off. The points are very important for the Championship, and we will work very hard at the test next week, in Spa-Francorchamps, to regain our advantage."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (3rd):
"We had an interesting race. I got a good start and tried to pull out a gap, but Kimi was extremely quick. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the pit stop, which obviously lost me a few seconds of valuable time. I tried to push, but continued to struggle with the balance. I tried to drive round the issues and although I was a bit more consistent towards the end the team choose to save the engine for the Nurburgring and backed off for a safe third. I think that the tyre choice played a big role in the race, and ultimately starting with the harder tyre was not the best way to go as the softer tyre was clearly faster. However we have come away with more points. I have to say the fans have been tremendous this weekend, and the race would have been harder without their support."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (4th):
"I am very happy. I found myself in front of Felipe Massa, but this race was not as easy as in Magny-Cours as I had to keep him behind me for the last 13 laps. Being behind here is tough as Felipe lost a lot of downforce, although he was quicker when he was alone on the track. He had a harder job than me as I just had to control the situation, not push too much, not make any mistakes and I was pretty sure I would hold him. In the middle of the race it was quite easy for me, but as soon as I heard over the radio that Felipe was closing the gap I tried to push. I did everything to get the maximum from the car and from me. We are happy to finish fourth, the car felt good and now we have to maximize our potential. Fourth second time in a row and ten points from this isn't bad."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (5th):
"All things considered, I am happy with what I achieved today. It's clear I could have had a very different race without the problem at the start, but racing is like that. Sometimes everything goes your way and other times, unexpected things shatter all your plans and you have to try and make the best of the situation. At the start, the engine died, but I have not realized yet what had happened. It's a shame because I had a great car today andthis will be a race I will remember. Of course I am disappointed at having lost points in the classification but that's life and we have to accept what happened. In the final stint of the race I quickly caught up with Kubica and I was sure I could pass him. But when I was in his slipstream I was losing so much downforce and I could not get close enough. I hope things come good in the European Grand Prix: we will have to get both our cars ahead of the McLarens."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (6th):
"I am very happy with the race, but not with the race weekend overall. I started from ninth and finished sixth, three seconds behind Robert. The start was special. I didn't really accelerate better than Giancarlo Fisichella, but overtook him in the first corner on the outside, which I enjoyed, although at the exit of turn one we banged wheels. Later he caught me on the Hangar Straight. I was aware that Felipe Massa would have his second pit stop later than mine, but the advantage of a low fuel load is quite big here, so I could not stay in front of him. All in all I think a better grid position would have improved my chances significantly. The two leading teams are not running away from us and we had Renault under control again. We couldn't have asked for more today.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (7th):
This was a race of two halves for me. I had a good start and managed to get past Ralf (Schumacher), which meant I was running P5 after Massa stalled on the grid. Quite quickly, though, the rear tyre performance began to drop and I was really struggling with the car, especially in the slow speed sections. I used hard tyres for the second stint too, and the same thing happened. It was only really in the final stint, when I got onto the soft compound, that the car felt better and more consistent on a long run - and strangely, it seemed to be the opposite for Giancarlo (Fisichella). To finish P7 is not where the team wants to be, but there is no magic recipe for going forward from here. We need to sit down, analyse what went wrong, eliminate the problems - and carry on improving the car. It's what we have done very well so far, and I know the team will carry on pushing, beginning with this week's test in Spa.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (8th):
I had a tough race this afternoon. I got Ralf (Schumacher) at the start, but Nick (Heidfeld) passed me in the first corner. However, I managed to get a good run on him through Becketts, and overtook him on the run to Stowe. The first stint was pretty good, and the second one too, when I was using the hard tyres. Then we stopped for the final time and put on the soft tyres - and the car felt like it had much less grip. It was very inconsistent, hard to drive, it was almost like I had a problem with the car. The situation was very unusual, but I was not under threat for my position, so I could just bring it home. It's another point for me, but we have lost ground to BMW the last two weekends. Everybody is working very hard to turn that situation around, hopefully starting with the next race in Germany.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (9th):
"I felt like I had one of my best Silverstone races today but unfortunately it was not enough for a points finish. We had a good race and our one-stop strategy worked well for both myself and Jenson, so it was a shame for the team that we could not get a point. The car was quite heavy with all the fuel, which caused it to bottom out a little bit, but otherwise the balance felt good. We are just not quite there yet with our overall pace and will be working hard at the Spa test next week to improve."
Jenson Button, Honda (10th):
"I'm reasonably happy with our performance today and it was good to make up some places during the race to finish 10th from 18th on the grid. The one-stop strategy paid off for us but I didn't get the best out of the car this weekend as I struggled with rear grip and had a lot of understeer, which is something that we need to look at. Rubens was able to get the maximum from the car but we were just a little bit off. The problem with my back on Friday hampered the preparation a little bit, leaving just Saturday morning to work on the set-up. I'm looking forward to the Spa test now and hoping that we can continue to push and make small steps to improve our overall performance."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (11th):
I didnt drive very well today unfortunately, I made a couple of mistakes in the second stint and lost a bit of time. The car was tricky to drive, it had a lot of oversteer and the balance just wasnt there today. So, its back to the drawing board and well see what we get in Germany.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (12th):
Due to having to start so far back, we decided to go for an aggressive strategy. I attacked from lap one and managed to overtake a few people at the beginning of the race, which I really enjoyed. I then became stuck behind Coulthard and I tried to pass him. He messed up, went wide and pushed me onto the grass. After that, I didnt get another chance to pass him. Despite the poor result in the race, the positive aspect is that I feel I have been on the pace all weekend. We have to look ahead now. We have a test in Spa this week and then some welcome days off before the next race.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (13th):
I started 13th and finished 13th, so naturally I am not happy that we didnt manage to make any progress today. I think, looking back, the risky combination of the option tyre and my heavy fuel load meant that traction would be difficult and I didnt have a very good start, so the strategy didnt really pay off. However, when the car was lighter and we moved onto the other tyres, the lap times were pretty good. Around lap 30, I used the opportunity of the blue flags to out-brake Speed after he left the door open, but after I went through, he hit my rear wheel. His race was over, but fortunately I was able to continue with no problems.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (14th):
I struggled a lot with high-speed understeer due to the fact that we changed to the T-car chassis. Obviously as I started from the pits there was no lap to the grid, so we had to rely on the base set-up of the car. Unfortunately I lost quite a bit of time during the first stint until my first pit stop when we were able to adjust the front flap. Then in the second stint, once I was clear of the traffic, I was able to push hard and clocked some decent lap times. But in the end it was a very difficult weekend.
Christijan Albers, Spyker (15th):
I enjoyed the race quite a lot as we could drive with the field. I had no problems to drive the car, there was quite a reasonable balance in the performance but it was a shame that in the end I lost the position to Sato. But I think I had a good race and am happy to finish. The team can now go to the test in Spa with a good rhythm.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (16th):
Yet another retirement through a mechanical failure with the gearbox. We need to work on reliability as this is our main problem at the moment. I had problems from about Lap 15 onwards as something got stuck between my back and my seat, so it was really uncomfortable to drive, especially as this is a high speed circuit so it was very painful. That meant I was unable to push as hard as I wanted because of the pain. I also had a lot of understeer right from the start.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (DNF):
This has been a difficult weekend for me and today was no exception. All weekend Ive struggled with very high tyre wear compared to my team mate. It started badly on Friday and I was unable to find a way to improve my car all weekend. So I was expecting a tough race but as it turned out the race was even worse so we need to look into the reason for that. The car was very nervous throughout and in the end the team brought me in because there was something wrong on the car which we will have to investigate. The positive thing is that Ralf (Schumacher) was able to push and be consistent. So we must now forget this one and look forward to the next race because every Grand Prix is a different story. But for me it was a weekend to forget.
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (DNF):
A disappointing first British Grand Prix for me. I had a good start, overtook one of the Hondas and was right with the mid-field pack. I had a good little fight with Jenson when he got me back at the exit of Club; it was good, clean racing. I kept in touch with the two Hondas for the next 15 laps or so, and then suddenly started feeling that the car was touching the ground quite a lot on the rear and it felt like it had become a bit unsafe to drive. We're still unsure of exactly what the problem was. We tried to get back out there, but the problem remained and we had to retire the car before the end of the race. It was a frustrating weekend in general really, because the speed I felt was still there and it was annoying that I could not to get to the end.
Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (DNF):
I got a good start and after that it was unfortunate that I did not get ahead of Trulli in the pit stops as that would have made our race for us. Then it all came to a quick end as we were letting the leaders by. It was certainly a bit of a complicated incident, because I knew that for about half a lap the leaders were quite close behind us, but Alex (Wurz) wasn't letting them by. When I did, I knew that me Alex and Trulli were so close I decided to let Fernando (Alonso) by at the same point as it would have been foolish to hold the race leader up for so long. As we went into the next corner, really tight together, Alex decided to take a very optimistic move down the inside but he couldn't hold it and ran wide into me. I didn't see Alex until we were in the corner. I went narrow to try and protect my position because I didn't want to brake late and run into the back of Fernando.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (DNF):
That was a disappointing day. We retired when I had a problem with our front left wheel although we still have to investigate the exact cause. I felt the failure as I came into the complex and I had to retire straightaway. It is a pity because we looked strong all weekend and we were confident of a good result today. Unfortunately we had lost some positions at the start as well so we will need to look into that to understand why that happened. So its clear that the outcome is not satisfactory but the positive thing is that we were back in the top ten with both cars in qualifying. We had quite good lap times today and we were able to stay with the BMWs and the Renaults while I was in the race. So we have showed a decent performance and Im reasonably happy with that. The fact that we were able to fight higher up will give the team an extra push as we prepare for the next race at the Nurburgring.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (DNF):
It's frustrating that I could only do 17 laps before I had to retire with an engine problem. The car was not bad, although I think everybody struggled in the first laps as the tyres were cooling down from the second formation lap. But after two laps the pace was not too bad, it's just disappointing that I had to give up after 17 laps. If you are close to the cars in front you just want to race them, but hopefully we have better luck in the next race as we really need to finish.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (DNF):
I was happy with my start, I overtook Jarno (Trulli) who was running a lighter fuel load than me. I knew I was running heavier than some of the guys ahead of us, so the plan was to hang on in there at the pace we had, and then to get the benefit of running longer. As I came past the start-finish line on lap eight, my engineer told me to switch to a different gearbox map, but there was a problem with the hydraulics. As I came into Becketts, I had no power steering. I tried to keep going, but no hydraulics meant no throttle, steering, gearbox, the whole shooting match.