Hungarian Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 05 Aug 2007
Sebastian Vettel on a tough first race for Toro Rosso; Nick Heidfeld on keeping McLarens Fernando Alonso at bay in the BMW Sauber; and Super Aguris Anthony Davidson on tussling with Renaults Giancarlo Fisichella. All 22 drivers review Sundays action
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st):
A very emotional race and an eventful weekend. During the last two weeks, the team has done a great job and we definitely have made a step forward. However, the Ferrari was also fast today and during the final laps, Kimi (Raikkonen) put a lot of pressure on me. I managed to pull out a slight gap in the first stint but during the last two stints, I had a small problem with the steering on the car. This meant Kimi was able to close on me which made me a little nervous. However the team told me on the radio that everything was ok which meant I was able to push to the very end.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (2nd):
My main aim today was to make up points on my three closest rivals for the title. I didn't manage it and so I cannot be completely happy. We knew we could count on a very good car in terms of race pace and so it was, as was clear to see on the few occasions when I could drive with a clear track ahead of me, but it was not enough to win. When you find yourself very close to a car with similar speed, unless it makes a mistake, it is very difficult to overtake, especially on a track like this one. I fought to the very end to try and win but I never had a real chance to pass Hamilton. We came in together for our first pit stop and at that point, the choice of fuel levels determined the final outcome. But bit by bit as the track rubbered in and got more grip, my performance improved. Clearly, on some tracks, we suffer a lot in qualifying and we have to understand why. I think that in the coming races the situation should definitely be better, starting in Istanbul.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (3rd):
This was a superb race for me. I was on the podium for the second time this year, and podiums were on our - to do - list for this season. I had a bad start on the dirty side of the track and lost a place to Kimi Raikkonen, but anyway both Lewis Hamilton and he have clearly been faster today, so a better start would not have changed much. I had some difficulties with the second and third sets of tyres and it was not easy to race against a ghost. Of course I knew I was racing Fernando Alonso but, due to the different strategies, he wasnt visible to me. We decided early this weekend to go for a three stop strategy because the softer tyres caused trouble. I only used them in the last stint when my car was relatively light and the track had a lot of rubber. Fernando was faster than me almost everywhere and put me under pressure, but he didnt have a proper chance to overtake as this is very difficult here."
Fernando Alonso, McLaren (4th):
I am quite pleased with the race today which was a difficult one. The maximum we could have reached from sixth position on the grid was a podium finish - especially on this circuit which is comparable to Monaco in terms of overtaking opportunities. This didnt work out in the end, but fourth is better than fifth and at the final stage of the race I did not push too much to save my engine for the Turkish Grand Prix. Without the penalty after yesterdays qualifying the victory would have been possible today as you can see on my lap times when I had a clear track. I am now seven points behind Lewis (Hamilton). The fight for the championship is still open and I will try my best to close the gap.
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (5th):
I am happy with the pace. Today the car worked well, and my race was pretty good. I had to start with used tyres, therefore, the first laps were very difficult for me. However, after the first stop the pace was really good and then I closed the gap to Nick (Heidfeld) to three seconds. Without yesterdays problems we could have finished a lot better. Nick had a good result and this is good for the team.
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota (6th):
The race was great. I made a strong start and was fighting for fourth place in the first few corners. The car was really good, at the beginning it was a bit nervous but we made some front flap adjustments and then it was okay. After the first pit stops we started to see different strategies from some of the teams. We went with a two-stopper and I think we made the right decision. It was a shame we lost quite a bit of time coming up behind Heidfeld later in the race but still three points is good for the team. We need them and now we are looking good for the rest of the season. Its my best result of the season so I am happy.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (7th):
In the end, I have to be pleased with this result, even if I had hoped to have done better than seventh. That's just the way it turned out and there wasn't much more we could have done. It wasn't an easy race. Hungary is one of the hardest tracks on the calendar from a physical perspective, but that is why I work so hard in training and had no problems. Our strategy was good - I didn't come across any traffic, and that allowed me to go at my own pace, but we just missed out today.
Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (8th):
It was a difficult race today starting from eleventh place on the grid. But I never gave up and I pushed as hard as I could and succeeded in finishing in the points. I made a good start and I tried to be as consistent as possible and I didnt make any mistakes. It would have been difficult for me to do better today. Im still disappointed after yesterdays qualifying but we did our maximum as Ive already said. Now we have to concentrate on the Turkish Grand Prix in three weeks time.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (9th):
Regarding the strategy, we thought that if we could get some clear air between lap 20-something through to 30, we'd switch to a three-stop strategy, but it wasnt enough for us to get a point today. The car balance improved as the race went on, and I had slightly better pace in the last two stints, but I don't think there was much more we could have done today. I was happy with how I drove, we gave everything. It's good now for everyone to have a break and re-group so we can finish the last six races as strong as we can be.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (10th):
That was a disappointing race because we had looked competitive this weekend. It was very difficult for me after the start because again it was bad. I lost a lot of positions and from there I couldnt really do anything because it is so hard to overtake on this circuit. I was just stuck in traffic. We tried to make up some positions with our strategy and when I was in clear air my lap times improved so I moved up a bit. However, you cannot do too much on this track. The final stint was quite difficult on the option tyre but at that stage there was not much we could do to improve our position. We have work to do before the next race.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (11th):
It was very inconsistent between sets of tyres out on track, so it was difficult to judge our out and out performance. Other than that, there wasn't too much to report from this race.
Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (12th):
My race was more or less decided by yesterdays penalty that I still believe I didnt deserve. I made a good start but it was difficult to maintain a good rhythm as I was stuck in traffic throughout the event. When I was able to have a few clear laps I was on the pace. After my second stop I tagged Davidson and my car was damaged, so it was difficult to drive. Im disappointed with todays result, which isnt very good for the team. It doesnt reflect our true level of performance and we have the potential to do better. Hopefully, well be back near the front in Istanbul.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (13th):
It was a horrible race; there are no other words to describe it. At the start, I managed to pass some cars but at the exit to Turn One, I lost position again. Then, at the next corner, I tried to pass Wurz but I ran wide and Sato also got past me. At that point, any hopes I had just evaporated. I had a very heavy car and lost downforce every time I tried to close on other cars. It's been a weekend to forget but I have not lost confidence. We know we have a good car and we must return to winning as soon as possible, starting in Turkey. We must not give up.
Alexander Wurz, Williams (14th):
Unfortunately, for the first time this season, I lost a position at the start which put me behind Davidson and lost me a lot of time. After that, I was putting in some good lap times, considering my strategy. I spent the race fighting for position with Fisichella and Massa; we were having a bit of a battle but then came to lap Sutil in the Spyker. He let the other two past, but pushed me onto the grass. I don't think Adrian (Sutil) realised I was there, but it meant I lost a place to Massa.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (15th):
It was quite an exciting start and I got off the line well. Through the first few turns I was side-by-side with a couple of cars and made up some positions, so that was really good. But then I struggled with low grip and the car started to slide with the heavy fuel and this continued to half way through the race. On the third stint, with the super-soft tyre, the car had much better balance and a lot more grip, so it was really fun to drive. The lap times were very competitive, so it is a shame that we didnt have anybody to race with on the last stint, but at least it was a better day and overall it was hard, but a good race.
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (16th):
It felt like a long race, but the main thing is that I finished. It was not easy, as over a race distance, the car changes a lot and you have to adapt, which is not easy when you don't know the car. The team did a very good job, helping me where they could. I had quite a good start. I found it quite exciting and overall, it was a good weekend, considering Friday was the first time I drove the car.
Adrian Sutil, Spyker (17th):
This race we showed we were quite competitive with the cars in front of us. We could race Honda, which meant I really had to push and attack every single lap. We did keep them behind until the end, which is a little success with this old car. Let's see what we can do in Turkey now - we know we are much closer in races, so hopefully with a new car we can be even better.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (18th):
Today we just didn't have any pace and despite the fact that I was pushing as much as possible, there was nothing coming from the car. The race started badly when I was pushed wide at the exit of turn two and ended up at the back of the field. Overtaking is next to impossible at this track so that was the story of my race really. Everyone at the team is feeling the pain at the moment. We know how bad the situation is but we have to keep our heads up and keep working at it over the break to find some improvements.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (DNF):
My race was going okay, apart from the fact that our strategy choice meant that when I was stuck behind Massa, running slower with a heavier fuel load, it was costing me time. During the first stop, we sorted it out, changing my strategy and it could have gone better from then on as I had a good pace. Unfortunately, I had an electronic problem. For at least three laps, I was very slow down the straights and I could feel a lack of power. We tried to go ahead and to keep pushing, but it became obvious I would not be able to finish the race as I was going about three seconds a lap slower. We have to try and improve our reliability so that I can finish some more races before the end of the season. Maybe we should book a trip to Lourdes!
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (DNF):
It was a frustrating end to the day. I got a really good start and the car had a nice balance all the way through the race. Challenging Wurz and Fisichella was great as these were the guys we were trying to beat. But in the end, when I was racing Fisichella out of the pitlane, he ran out of road on the cold tyres. I tried to give him as much room as I could without running off the circuit and we touched. I think it was a racing incident, but it was enough to break my rear suspension and put me out of the race. So a frustrating end to a good weekend, but these things happen and we learn from every race. We had a good strong qualifying, so we are looking forward to next time.
Jenson Button, Honda (DNF):
What can I say? We all know the problems and how much work there is to be done. The problem that brought my race to an end appears to be a sensor problem as I couldn't get full throttle for a few laps before I eventually slowed for the blue flags. Then the engine just stalled. Before that we were massively off the pace and I struggled with huge understeer. Our results today speak for themselves.
Sakon Yamamoto, Spyker (DNF):
After the start I really pushed but suddenly I lost rear grip in Turn 11 and spun and crashed. I just made a mistake so I am really disappointed with this result as I wanted to finish the race, but I will keep working hard and focus on the next Grand Prix, where we will have the new car.