Bahrain Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 06 Apr 2008
BMW Saubers Robert Kubica on starting his first race from pole; Hondas Jenson Button and Red Bulls David Coulthard on the incident that scuppered both their chances; and Toro Rossos Sebastian Vettel on his third consecutive DNF. All the drivers report back on the Sakhir action
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1st):
"Sensational! Finally, after a start to the championship under dark clouds, I can see the sunshine again. We kept our concentration all weekend long and this is the result. We knew we could count on a great car and that certainly proved to be the case, given that I never had to push to the maximum once I was in the lead. I made a good start, managing to overtake Robert. Then, there were a few difficult laps because of oil on track between Turns 5 and 8, but I was always in control. Clearly, I always had in mind what happened in Malaysia and so I tried to pay attention all the time, to ensure I brought the car home. It is nice to be back in the winner's position here in Sakhir, a track I have always liked."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (2nd):
"Second place was the best I could hope for on a weekend which was definitely not the best for me. These eight points move me into the lead of the championship and that is definitely a reason for me to leave Bahrain reasonably satisfied. I never found the ideal balance. Sometimes you get weekends like this but I am convinced that in Barcelona, the situation will be different. My first pit stop was not very quick because we had a problem with the lights, but it definitely did not affect the final result. Once I had consolidated my position, I managed the situation, trying not to push the car too much, knowing how important it is to always bring home the points."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (3rd):
"I am happy with the result. This is my second consecutive podium and the team is leading the constructors' championship. Unfortunately I had massive wheel spin at the start and hit some debris in the first corner of the second lap. When I drove through the oil I was sure I had punctured my tyre as at that point I didn't have the information about the oil. But this was a great day for the team. I am now looking forward to Barcelona."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (4th):
"Now after the race I'm much happier than I was yesterday. Having finished fourth is a positive result after what was a difficult weekend for me. The car's balance on this track was just not how I wanted it to be. I hope I won't have such troubles again. Finishing the race just one position behind my team mate, who started from pole while I was sixth, is a good result. I enjoyed overtaking Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen. Once again for us in the team everything went smoothly."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (5th):
Quite a tough race today. I made a great start and overtook Kimi coming into Turn Two but then outbraked myself in Turn Four and he regained his position. I then went in too deep at Turn Eight and flatspotted my front right tyre which caused a lot of vibration. It vibrated so much that I was worried something would fall off the car. Things improved in the second stint and the car worked really well towards the end when we changed to the prime tyre. Fifth was the maximum I could do today. However we still scored points on a difficult day, and that is the main thing. I have total commitment to the team and a good car, and I know we will keep working hard to improve for the start of the European races.
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (6th):
I'm delighted with another finish in the top six today - both for myself and for the team who worked very well and did a good job. We finished right behind the top three teams so that is the most we could expect from this weekend. I made a strong start and I was able to gain a couple of places into the first corner. I briefly came under pressure from Nico Rosberg early on but then I started to do my race. The car was well balanced, I knew I was quick and we had a good strategy so I just got my head down. The car's pace was very strong, both cars finished and we looked very competitive. This result gives us a boost for the future. We will now head to the test in Barcelona looking to build on this in preparation for the next race.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (7th):
"The guys did a good job here all weekend. There were quite a few incidents in the first few laps, which we were able to capitalise on. The first lap went okay for us, but it was very tight on the track, you always have to be careful here on the first few corners.There was oil or something on the track too at the start, which made things difficult. After that I got my head down and spent the rest of the afternoon chasing Jarno (Trulli)."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (8th):
In the final analysis I guess I should go home happy as we got a point, but I dont feel satisfied. We should have done better. However it was very difficult out there, the tyre performance was very changeable and the wind conditions were different to Friday when we set our gear ratios and in the end the car was just not good enough. So we have got some work to do before the Spanish GP. Historically Barcelona is a difficult track for us, but we have got some new developments for the car, so I hope this will help for the next race.
Timo Glock, Toyota (9th):
That was a good race today and overall I was happy with the car. It was a big improvement for my driving style and I also made some small adjustments during the race which helped. The early laps were interesting with all the guys around me crashing into each other. That made it tricky with the oil in the first and middle sectors. We could have made the points but I lost speed when I was chasing Nico Rosberg in the middle of the race. It was quite hard to fend off Fernando Alonso after that but in the end I'm happy to have finished. The car was really good in terms of set-up, now we just have to keep working on improving the rest.
Fernando Alonso, Renault (10th):
The race was difficult, as I had expected. Our qualifying yesterday in Q3 had been a big surprise, but we knew that our race pace would not allow us to do much better in the race. We are still missing some speed but we hope to improve in Barcelona.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (11th):
"It was a good race for us today in terms of the pace of the car. I didn't have a very good start and it was chaotic on the first lap with others going off the track. I was able to avoid any collisions but lost a few positions in the process. After that I was stuck behind Fisichella and lost a lot of time until the team did a great job with my first pit-stop to get me out ahead of him on the road. From then on, the car felt good and I could start closing the gap to the pack ahead.
"Overall we have had a very positive weekend in Bahrain. The car has shown the pace required to make Q3 and the lap times look good from the race today. I have successfully completed my third full race distance of the season which
shows strong reliability. Unfortunately we lacked the straight-line speed necessary to overtake on the long straights here today which compromised our race. I'm confident that the developments that we have coming for the next few races will see us continue to improve and enable us to challenge for points."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (12th):
"I had a good start and I overtook some cars in turn one and then some more when some cars spun in turn seven. Our pace was consistent so I had a good race. In the middle stint there were some problems with the soft tyres and they did not seem to work as well as they could have, but at the end of the race the hard tyres were working well and I was comfortable. I am really happy about my race, the team has done a good job so far and we just need to improve the car a little bit more and then we will be there."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (13th):
I am really disappointed and feel like I let the team down today as I always am the first to blame myself. The whole weekend has not been ideal starting with the accident on Friday, but I will keep my chin up and bounce back at the next race. I messed up at the start as I didnt hit the switch early enough and therefore had not engaged the correct engine setting, and the anti-stall kicked in. I lost a lot of places but things were still salvageable at that point. Then I had the incident with Fernando. I was behind him, and I moved to the right, and he moved to the right and that was it - a racing incident I guess. I am confident that we have the pace to be fighting at the front so the confidence is still there. I have had such a good run in Formula One until now, and it was almost inevitable that at some point things would go wrong. However there is a long way to go in the championship and I intend to win it.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (14th):
It was not an easy day for me, I had a very bad start and then I had a spin on the oil on lap two before the high speed esses, so it couldnt have begun any worse. After that I managed to keep up a consistent pace, but it was difficult to make any more progress through the field than up to P14 from the back. I will see what lessons we can learn from here for the next race in Barcelona.
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (15th):
"I did the best I could trying to drive as consistently as possible, making no mistakes. For a while I had a problem with the brakes. On the plus side, I have completed another race distance, feeling fine at the end of it, which is satisfying. But at the end of the day, I qualified fifteenth and finished fifteenth. Maybe we did not make the best tyre choice for the start as I was very slow, but as soon as we switched to the option, it was much more competitive. A trouble free race, a race with not much excitement either, but a useful experience."
Anthony Davidson, Super Aguri (16th):
It was an enjoyable race today. To come home with another two-car finish is great for the team. I had a bit of traffic for the first two stints of the race, but then once that cleared I was able to get into a good rhythm. It was another strong race for me and I would like to thank the team for all their hard work this weekend.
Takuma Sato, Super Aguri (17th):
I had an eventful few opening laps and I really enjoyed going through the middle of the pack. I had a little bit of contact and possibly damaged the aero, but nevertheless I got up to 14th position and that was exciting. After the first lap there was quite a lot of oil on the track and that was a dangerous situation, but we got over it and I think that we had a good race. We had a problem in the second pitstop, which cost me position, but in the end it was very important that we finished the race here today and hopefully we can keep up the momentum.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (18th):
"I didn't make the best of starts. I really just wanted to get through the first corner and stay out of trouble, but unfortunately I became a bit of a pin ball as a couple of cars bounced off either side of me. That caused some damage to my car; I got a puncture and had to make a pit stop. The car was quite slow after that, but I was battling for position with Jenson (Button), who was quicker. We got too close in one corner and had an incident, which took him out of the race and caused more damage to my car. I came in to the pits again and changed the front wing. That made the car feel a little bit better, but it wasn't a great race."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (19th):
"An unlucky race for us. After quite a good start I had an accident in the first corner and lost my front wing and punctured my left tyre so I had to go into the pits. I managed to get back and change the nose and tyres so at least I could do a race distance. The race turned out quite okay without major incidents. The car felt much better but I had some problems with the radio so I came into too early for my second pit stop. The race was a bit messy from that point of view, but at least I could finish and collect some information for the next race."
Nelson Piquet Jr, Renault (DNF):
I made a good start and the car was working well, then I suffered a gearbox problem. I tried to continue but it became dangerous and my engineers asked me to retire so that we would avoid a penalty in the next race. The result is not what we wanted, but I was able to learn a lot again this weekend and that is what I need to keep doing. I will now try to prepare as best I can for the next race, and try to make the most of the next test in Barcelona in ten days' time.
Jenson Button, Honda (DNF):
"I got a good start and was able to make up a couple of places off the line and then I'm not sure what happened into turn five. I was hit from behind, got a puncture and had to pit, which really ruined my race from the first lap. After we'd changed the tyres, the pace of the car was really good and I felt very comfortable with the balance. The lap times were very good for the car that we have at the moment so I was disappointed to be so far down the field following the first lap incident.
"I caught up with David quite quickly as he seemed to be struggling and I had a go at passing him down into turn eight. I committed early as he hit the brakes, when it was evident that there was a gap where I could get a huge run on him down into the apex. Unfortunately he moved back over to the racing line late in the braking zone and I had nowhere to go and couldn't slow the car down in time. We had to retire as there was significant damage to the rear of the car. It's a very frustrating way to end what could have been a really good race but we will take the positives from this weekend with our first top ten qualifying position and the pace of the car today. We now look ahead to Barcelona where we will have a lot of new developments and I'm confident that we will take a further step forward."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (DNF):
"I had a really good start this time after not so good ones in the previous two races. I was off like a rocket and I was able to pass two or three cars. Then going into first corner, when I was in the inside, I was blocked. We were really tight and I collided with a Force India. My front wing was a bit damaged but this was not the main problem, which came in Turn Four when someone arriving from the inside hit me on the rear right, causing the big damage that forced me to retire. I do not know who he was and what he wanted to do. It's really disappointing as we could have had a good race, but we will try again next time."