British Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 06 Jul 2008
McLarens Lewis Hamilton on making amends for recent errors with a win at his home Grand Prix; Felipe Massa on his race to forget for Ferrari; and BMW Saubers Robert Kubica on ending up in the gravel trap. The drivers report back on all the action at Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (1st):
"This was the toughest race, but also one of the best ones I have ever driven. It was so extreme and slippery out there, very similar to the Japanese Grand Prix in Fuji last year. I had troubles with my visor and tried to clean it a couple of times. I thank my team for a great job; they did fantastic work and we always made the right decisions with the tyres in the difficult conditions. When I came round the last time, I saw the crowd standing up and I prayed: Just finish, just finish. It was a very emotional moment to win my home grand prix and I want to dedicate this victory to my family. As everybody knows I had some troubles over the past few weeks and they have been always there for me and supported me. To pull on another Vodafone McLaren Mercedes rocket red victory T-shirt feels awesome."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (2nd):
"It was a good race. I am happy with second place because today it was the best I could achieve. Qualifying went well and in the race we did everything right. Obviously it was crucial to make the right tyre decisions. At the first stop we were wondering if we should stay with the used set of inters, but luckily we then decided on new tyres. We were expecting a small shower, but when I drove down Hanger Straight and saw a black wall in front of me I thought I should expect more than that! The most difficult moments in the race were when cars were overtaking me who had been lapped, but were just on better tyres for the conditions at that time. There was so much water and I couldn't see where it was lying. Once before Abbey I almost spun, but just managed to keep the car on the track."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (3rd):
"It's a great feeling to be back on the podium today after such an exciting race where the weather conditions really helped us to get the best out of the car. The most important decision of the race for us was switching to the extreme wet tyre when the heavy rain started to fall at half distance. I had a real moment at Club, going off at high speed and almost hitting the wall, and that made me realise that we needed to make a quick decision. After fitting the extreme wets, I was able to overtake the cars in front easily which was a great feeling. Making such a crucial decision at a key time comes from experience and from the team having the confidence in me to make the call. I would like to say a big thank you to the team today - to everyone back at the factory and also in Japan. Life is about learning from your experiences, and we have been through some tough times over the last couple of years. But I always had faith that there were good times ahead and I know there are plenty more to come."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (4th):
"I am disappointed, but I am equally aware that things could have been much worse. We had the possibility to win the race but we made a mistake at the first pit stop, keeping the same set of tyres, because we expected the track conditions to improve. It was a joint decision: we are a team and we win or lose together. Things are not going too well for me at the moment, given all that happened in the last few races, but I am leading the championship, even if it is on equal terms with Felipe and Lewis. We know we have a great potential, but we have to put everything in place to get the most out of it."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (5th):
"Congratulations to Lewis on his superb home win. I had a good start and, for a few laps, Lewis was really pushing hard - which meant he eventually managed to overtake me on lap five when I ran a little wide. It was an extremely difficult race with lots of things happening. It was so easy to get caught out today by aquaplaning and slippery conditions: I spun twice but I was not the only one. At least I scored four points and helped to increase our constructors points total."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (6th):
"I had said that when it rains, anything can happen, which was the case today as we had a difficult race with a very wet circuit. I used up my tyres very quickly and I finished the race virtually with slicks, which meant I lost a lot of time in certain parts of the track. We could have probably had a better result today, but in the end I scored three points, which is important for the championship."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (7th):
"It was a good race and it's good to take two points but I hoped for more. Throughout the race I was very strong and I'd made it up to third place when the heavy rain came. At that point the track was really bad, I was aquaplaning everywhere and losing 15 seconds a lap. We should have gambled on switching to the extreme wet tyre but unfortunately when it came to take the decision we knew it wasn't going to rain any more. It was just a question of making a difficult decision in difficult track conditions but in hindsight we should have gone for it. It's a pity because I was driving so strongly that we could have made the podium. Nevertheless after yesterday's qualifying, two points is not bad. We've scored at the last three races and we have a good chance to keep up the momentum. Now we must keep pushing to develop the car and then we have to take our chances at each race."
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (8th):
"It was good to score a point again, but it was a shame to lose seventh place to Jarno on the last lap. His tyres were in a better condition than mine, though, and he was just a bit quicker than me in the final laps when the track was drying out. It was enjoyable out there today, although a little hard to control the car in the opening and closing stages. The team made a really good decision to put me on the extreme wets at just the right time and so I was able to manage the car well in such wet conditions."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (9th):
"It was pretty difficult out there today. When the rain started, there were just rivers of water everywhere which, on wets, caused everyone to aquaplane all over the place. Circuit conditions were continually changing as well which caused the water to move around the track making it quite hard to tell where the best line was. It wasnt an easy race, but we definitely had the strategy right and came in for the extreme wets at precisely the right moment. After that, it was going well until I unfortunately ran into the back of Timo (Glock). He was going much slower than me and I had planned to overtake him on the inside but my vision was limited by the rain and I misjudged it. All of a sudden, I was in the back of him. A big disappointment. I am now looking forward to Hockenheim. Its my home Grand Prix and I expect us to go better there because the track is more suited to our car."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (10th):
Unfortunately I dropped it on the entrance to Becketts on the first lap. I was quite close to Kimi and just got on the white line. I lost the car on the exit and had to let the field go past, so it was clear to spin back round. After that it was about making the right call for the right conditions. It was a difficult day to go car racing and it just didnt go our way today. The guys did a good job all week and its a shame we couldnt convert our good qualifying performance.
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (11th):
It was very tough at the start as I couldnt see because the water wasnt clearing off my visor. Its the first time Ive encountered this problem. In the early stages I had a lot of understeer which ruined the tyres. Putting the extreme wets on was a good call and the car was pretty quick but it was too late to do very much and eleventh was the best I could do. We must continue to work hard, starting with the up-coming Hockenheim test and try and do better at the next race.
Timo Glock, Toyota (12th):
"That was really difficult for me today. I concentrated on looking after my tyres during the first stint and everything was fine until the first stop. After that it was much harder. When the heavy rain came, I had no traction and the car was sliding around. There was massive aquaplaning and I had no chance to hold the car on the track. That was a pity but we will try for more at the next race. The guys in Cologne are working hard and the car is improving so we will push again in Hockenheim."
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (13th):
"This Silverstone weekend is one to be wiped out. On Friday I had an accident, yesterday there was the problem in qualifying and today a series of mistakes at all levels. We have to look ahead, because there is still a very long way to go in the championship and once again, we've seen that it only takes one result to turn the situation around. After nine races I am in the lead in the classification and I have every chance to fight for the title all the way to the end. Today, I could hardly keep the car in a straight line and it was always very difficult to drive. Only after the last pit stop did things improve a bit, but by then I was a long way back. We have to do a good job in the forthcoming Hockenheim test to be as well prepared as possible for the German Grand Prix that takes place on the same track."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (DNF):
"I was already aquaplaning for many laps and unfortunately in a straight line I just lost the car completely and went off. Here in Silverstone it was a crazy race in difficult conditions. Everything was running pretty well as I was having quite a good race and gaining positions. But when it rained and there was a lot of water on the track I was just struggling. I couldn't keep the car in a straight line, was losing power, the rear wheels were losing contact with the tarmac and that was it."
Jenson Button, Honda (DNF):
"It was a crazy race today with the conditions changing all the time. We had some good pace on the wet tyres for the first part of the race before the heavy shower which brought both Rubens and I into the pits for extreme wets on lap 35. Shortly after that stop, I hit standing water at Bridge which caused the car to aquaplane off the circuit. I tried to spin the car round but there was another car coming so I had to get out of the way, couldn't get the car round far enough and ended up trapped in the gravel. There's always a bit of luck involved in this type of race and unfortunately it wasn't my day for luck today. Congratulations to Rubens on his third place and first podium for the team."
Nelson Piquet, Renault (DNF):
"I'm obviously extremely disappointed with today's retirement. The car was very good, our strategy was perfect, and we were on course for a very good result. However, when the rain came down very heavily, the track was completely flooded. It wasn't just in the turns that the car was out of control, it was even on the straights. It was impossible to control. We have to take positives in that the car was good and we showed how competitive we could be, so we have to take that to Hockenheim now."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (DNF):
"I just lost control going through the complex because there was a lot of graining on the tyres as a result of the heavy fuel load we were carrying to be as flexible as possible with the weather. Even two laps earlier, the track was starting to dry out and there was some more graining. The grip level was absolutely zero and I spun."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (DNF):
"At the time of my spin, the track was starting to dry and it was tricky to tell where the wet patches were. This is what happened in my case - I just went on one of these puddles and aquaplaned off completely. It was a shame as considering how the race turned out, we could have had a chance of moving up the order some more, but this is racing and you never know how it will turn out. I'm now looking forward to the test next week where we can try out some more new parts and then we go onto my home race in Germany."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (DNF):
Massa spun going into Bridge which caused a lot of confusion and meant the cars were all running very close. Then in Turn 14, I got hit on the rear left and it spun me around. I tried to save it, but I got stuck in the gravel. I thought there might have been a chance of being pushed out, but when I got out of the cockpit I saw the gravel was much too deep.
David Coulthard, Red Bull (DNF):
The visibility was incredibly bad as you can imagine. I was very close to Sebastian after Abbey, as he had a wobble coming out of there. There was a clear gap down the inside, but unfortunately it was closing as I made the move. Im sorry for him that we made contact and went into the gravel, Im sorry for Red Bull too, as it was two cars out in one hit. Im extremely disappointed for this to happen at my last British Grand Prix.