Brazilian Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 02 Nov 2008
Red Bulls David Coulthard on finishing his final Grand Prix in the gravel trap; Toyotas Timo Glock on how his brave late-race tyre choice indirectly decided the championship; Ferraris Felipe Massa on his bittersweet victory in front of his adoring home crowd; and McLarens Lewis Hamilton on taking the drivers title. All 20 drivers report back on Sundays action
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1st):
"It was an exciting day. We did everything to perfection and we almost managed to pull it off. Then, as I crossed the line, (race engineer) Rob (Smedley) told me that Hamilton had finished fifth and therefore he took the title by one point. Sport is like this and one has to accept that. Congratulations to Lewis: whoever gets the most points deserves the title. I am very proud of the whole team and how much support they have given me during this fantastic season. Now we must be happy with what have done, namely bringing home the constructors' title which I know is so important for the team. It was a season of highs and lows and we have learned a lot, from the good moments and from our mistakes. I can leave Interlagos with my head held high because once again I have won in front of my home crowd and because this is an unforgettable day. Now I want to celebrate with my family, my friends and my team. We deserve it!"
Fernando Alonso, Renault (2nd):
"I am very happy with this second place. The conditions were difficult but we were able to take advantage of them. We did our maximum, the team made the right decisions at the right times, and I managed to keep Raikkonen behind me until the finish. It's a fantastic result for the team and a great way to end the season."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (3rd):
"I am happy that the team has managed to win the Constructors' title and I am sorry for Felipe, who has lost the title by a single point. That's racing and we have to live with it. I am particularly happy for Stefano (Domenicali), in his first year as team principal as I know how much pressure he has had to deal with and I think that this result is a good reward for that. My race was not particularly exciting. At the start the track was wet, especially the first three corners, where I was being very careful not to make a mistake. Then, my first set of dry tyres gave me a lot of understeer and I was struggling to match the pace of the leaders. On the second set, things gradually improved and I managed to close up on Alonso. Then, when we went onto wets, I got very close but the team told me to avoid taking any risks as Felipe had a chance of winning the title and so I gave up on attacking him. A not very positive season for me has come to an end, but I will do all I can to make up for it next year."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (4th):
It was a difficult and chaotic race and its great to end the season on a high with this fourth place. I didnt make any mistakes and I feel we deserved this result, even if I was hoping for a podium. It was great to be racing against Massa, Alonso and Hamilton. Great fun! Towards the end, I was concentrating on staying on the track and I didnt know where I was in terms of position and I just tried to pass Lewis like any other guy and I succeeded. I passed Timo just at the last corner, as he was struggling on dry tyres. Lewis was behind me at that moment, but as I wasnt sure where I was after the final pit stop for rain tyres, I was definitely not aware that I might be influencing the world championship. It was hard to know who was a backmarker or not and as it got darker and darker it was even difficult to know who the cars in front of you were. The important thing is that I scored five points. Its been a fantastic season.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (5th):
"Well, that was a really tough race. We never pushed hard, we never did anything silly, but of course the late rain made things extraordinarily tense. Even so, even when Sebastian got past Lewis, we never gave up, and Lewis never gave up, because we knew that Timo was on dry tyres. Lewis took his chance brilliantly, and the result was one of the most thrilling finishes in sporting history. Im so proud of Lewis; Im so proud of the team; everyone - every single one of them - did an absolutely fantastic job. Thanks, also, to Mercedes-Benz and all our partners - and, last but not least, congratulations to Ferrari on winning the constructors championship."
Timo Glock, Toyota (6th):
"I was on dry tyres at the end of the race when it was raining quite badly and it was just impossible on the last lap. I was fighting as hard as I could but it was so difficult to just keep the car on the track and I lost positions right at the end of the lap. Finishing in the top six is a decent result for me because I'd been struggling with the car earlier in the weekend but we were very close to fourth place so I am a bit disappointed. It's the end of my first season with Toyota and I'm happy with it as a whole. It was not easy for me early on but we improved the car a lot and I also improved myself during the year. Since Hockenheim it's been positive for me; beating my target of 20 points and finishing on the podium as well is a good achievement. Now we have to work even harder for next year to make another step forward."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (7th):
"The most important news today is that Lewis pulled it off; he did exactly what he had to do to win the championship. Everybody in the team deserves this title, particularly after what happened here one year ago, but the guys stayed focused throughout so congratulations to everyone. Ill now work even harder over the winter and hopefully next year's world champion will be on the other side of our garage!"
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (8th):
"It was an eventful race. We had a good start and the first laps were pretty good, when I was following Felipe Massa. It started to dry up and we went for dry tyres. Unfortunately I got stuck behind Fisichella who was much slower than me. I didn't have the top speed to overtake him so I lost a lot of time over those laps. As soon as I got away from him I was one of the quickest on the track, I was recovering quite a lot and closing the gap to the guys in front but it was not enough. When it rained we took the choice to stay on dry tyres and we got a point. Having started second we missed an opportunity but overall we have done a good championship and I am pretty happy with that. Now we are aiming to make even bigger progress for next year. Finally I would like to say that my five years working with Richard Cregan has been fantastic and I wish him all the best with his new career."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (9th):
The car was pretty difficult to drive today. We had a long middle stint, but the pace wasnt there and I struggled. We knew some of the problems we had from practice and we tried to cater for those in the race, but in the end most of them were still there. Its disappointing to finish ninth.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (10th):
"My biggest problem today was the start. I just had too much wheel spin, so I literally stuck on the spot. Then I had a few good overtaking manoeuvres and gained positions. Later the balance of my car tended to become very difficult and, especially when I was behind Jarno Trulli, I lost downforce. Later in the race I was behind Mark Webber and tried to fight him, which ruined my tyres. When the first rain drops appeared with eight laps to go I gambled and pitted for intermediates. There was nothing to lose. I was tenth, but unfortunately I stayed tenth. Anyway we didn't have a good race today, but nevertheless we had a good season. Congratulations to the world champions!"
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (11th):
"Losing third place in the Drivers championship in the last race is definitely not the best situation. We made too many mistakes during the weekend and this is the result. Unfortunately I started on dry tyres, as we had the wrong information about the track conditions. During the race I was stuck behind Adrian Sutil for quite a long time. I managed to make up some positions in the final laps of the race, but it was too late. Congratulations to Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton!"
Nico Rosberg, Williams (12th):
"I am generally quite pleased with my race. Starting 18th on the grid and finishing 12th in such difficult conditions is ok. I think I drove a good race, I had a great start and everything worked well. A long season is over and I am now really looking forward to the winter. Thanks to the whole team for their efforts in a difficult year and congratulations to Lewis for winning the championship, he really deserved it."
Jenson Button, Honda (13th):
"I had a good start to the race, making up three positions out of the first couple of corners, however from there we suffered from being held up in traffic. We made an unusual call on my strategy, pitting early and switching to what would have been a three-stop programme to avoid the traffic situation. When I did have clean air, the car's performance was actually not bad, however unfortunately the strategy didn't really work out for us. We then needed to stop again for wet tyres at the end of the race anyway and fitting the extreme wets didn't pay off for us. This weekend brings a difficult and frustrating season to a close for our team but I am proud of the way in which we have persevered and maintained our motivation right to the last race."
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (14th):
I had a fairly good start, holding my position, but after the switch to dry tyres, the car was a bit difficult to drive. Timo passed me, benefiting from a mistake I made.
We caught Fisichella, but I couldnt get a good exit out of the final turn so couldnt pass. This allowed the others to close on me. Jarno decided to go for it, which was fine, except he outbraked himself and pushed me towards the grass and I lost six places. Its the second time in a row that Jarno has upset my race. After that, I was stuck in traffic, with some graining and I was unable to attack anyone as I continued not to get the last corner right. At the end, the team gambled on heavy rain and put me on extreme wets, so I lost another position to Kubica on intermediates. Not a great weekend!
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (15th):
"It was a crazy race with the weather playing a big role in the result today. It was actually quite a competitive race for us in the context of the car's performance and I was running just outside the top ten before the final pit stop. When the rain came right at the end of the race, we took a gamble by fitting the extreme wets, thinking that it might pay off if the rain was particularly heavy. That didn't work out for us and I dropped a few places when I was forced to stop again just three laps later because the tyres completely overheated. We've always done our utmost to extract the maximum performance from the car this year and it is a credit to us that this resulted in a podium finish at Silverstone. Thank you to everyone at the team for keeping their heads up during a difficult year."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (16th):
"I think it was a good finish for this season - at least we could see the chequered flag. We had two cars behind us too, which was a good effort. It was quite difficult at the beginning to get the strategy right with the tyre choice. We started on the intermediates and then went back to drys and it worked out quite well for us. On the first set we had a lot of graining but the second was quite alright. We gambled at the end with the extreme wets as it was very dark and looked like it would rain very heavily. The rain didn't come soon enough though and we struggled, but overall we did the maximum we could."
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (17th):
"That was a very disappointing race and pretty much over for me in the first corner. The car took a lot of damage to the bodywork and to the suspension which compromised my pace a lot. It looks like it was a great championship fight between Hamilton and Massa, my congratulations to Lewis."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (18th):
"It was an exciting race, with so many things happening. It was a good decision to go to the dry tyres after the safety car came out and then it was looking very good. This part of the race was fantastic, even though it was very difficult through the first part of the circuit. Turns one and two were particularly bad, almost undriveable, but the rest of the circuit wasn't too bad as there was a dry line. The lap time was getting much better, then for a while I was in the first three and was keeping a good pace. Unfortunately in the first pit stop I had a problem with the clutch and dropped right back. In both stops there was no clutch and I lost a lot. In the rain at the end we tried to gamble with the extreme tyres as there was nothing to lose. Despite the result though it was an incredible start to the race and we can be pleased with the performance."
Nelson Piquet, Renault (DNF)
"I don't really know what happened: if I was touched or if I simply lost control of the car, but I couldn't see that much and I lost the rear of my car in Turn Three. It's really frustrating not to complete my home Grand Prix because a lot of things happened in the race and we could probably have taken advantage of them. But we should not look back and I want to thank the team for their support this weekend."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (DNF)
Im pretty gutted, its not how I wanted to end my career. I took a cautious approach into Turn One and left plenty of space for the car on the inside, but unfortunately I think Rosberg hit me though Turn Two, which spun me round. I thought it would be okay, but then Nakajima ran into the front of my car and took off the front corner. I felt good on the warm up laps going to the grid, I had no problem with it being wet and I wanted to get to the chequered flag. I was going to do some donuts for the crowd, which is something you normally get fined for, but it didnt work out. I cant complain though, Ive had a good career, so thank you to everyone who has supported me. Thank you also to the efforts of every member of the Red Bull Racing team for the last four years, which have been a lot of fun, I look forward to continuing to work with them in the future. Ive been overwhelmed by the level of support Ive had from the paddock this weekend, it means a great deal to me that so many people have taken the time to say nice career and good luck with the future. And, in the absence of a world championship, I think if I can leave with that, then thats a good ending.