European Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 24 Aug 2008
Ferraris Felipe Massa on his controversial win in Valencia; Force Indias Adrian Sutil on narrowly avoiding the Brazilian in the pit lane before ending his race in the barriers; and Renaults Fernando Alonso on exiting his second home race of the season on the first lap. All 20 drivers report back on Sundays action
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (1st):
"It's fantastic having won this race, especially after the disappointment of Budapest. The team did an amazing job in preparing for this Grand Prix and the benefits of that could be seen right from the very first day. Yesterday, I got pole and today the win, with the race fastest lap as the icing on the cake. You cannot ask for more especially at my one hundredth grand prix with every single one of them powered by a Ferrari engine. I got a good start and I pushed to the maximum right from the early laps. In the second part of the race, the car was exceptional, but also in the final stint, when I had the softer tyres, I could do the lap times easily. This is an important moment in my career and I must continue to work in this way. I am sorry for what happened to Kimi: we have to look very carefully at our reliability. I am confident the team knows which countermeasures to take to react to this issue, as it has always done in the past."
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (2nd):
"I can't complain with second place today. This was a strong weekend for us despite my having a few problems health-wise, but we pulled through. The track was pretty difficult to overtake on, but I maintained the gap - our lap times showed that our overall pace was good, which was encouraging. Heikki (Kovalainen) and I scored 13 points today, which is very positive for the team, so Id describe it as a satisfactory weekend for us."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (3rd):
"I started pretty well but in corner one I went over the kerb and Lewis was closing. In the second corner I was going to overtake Lewis, but I saw Felipe braking quite early. It would have been too much of a risk, as I could end up overshooting the braking point and crashing into him. Over the next few laps I was consistently a bit slower than Lewis. Suddenly I saw a white plastic bag flying across the track, but could not avoid it and it went under the car. I couldn't steer for two corners, which was extremely dangerous. Fortunately most of the bag soon flew away, but my confidence was very low over the next sector, and I lost around three seconds. In the end I finished third. Eventually I think my good qualifying result yesterday was crucial for today's result."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (4th):
"My start was good, and I was consequently able to overtake Kimi (Raikkonen) before the first corner. However, Im not really happy with how the race went for me after that, because I had grip problems with the prime tyres in the first and second stints - whereas with the option tyres in the last stint I had much better grip and traction. As a result I could close the gap to Robert Kubica a little. At least I scored five points, but a podium would have been much nicer. Having said that, its good that the team scored a lot of points with Lewiss second place and my fourth place."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (5th):
"That was a good result and a great performance by the team. The weekend started badly for me but it has finished really well today so I'm happy. I could drive a strong race without attacking much. I pushed very hard when I needed to while paying attention to taking care of my tyres and my brakes throughout. This shows how good we are getting and how nice it is to race with a competitive car every weekend. Toyota is doing a very good job this year and looking strong and more competitive at every circuit. The team is still pushing with the development work so I'm confident that we can maintain the form in the coming races and keep the points coming."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (6th):
Incredible! A perfect day. It was fun but tough and hot out there. Its a nice race track. My start was not so good on the dirty side and going into Turn One I was right on the limit and very close to Kimi (Raikkonen) and could defend my position against Jarno for the first stint, but he had a bit more fuel on board and stayed out an extra lap and he overtook me in the pits. But we can be very very happy with this result. We made no mistakes, no mistakes all weekend and maximised our performance. The whole team can be very proud of what it has achieved and hopefully, for the next races we can be in the top ten again.
Timo Glock, Toyota (7th):
"That was one of my hardest races ever because I have had a bad cold for the last two days. But I had a good car and the right strategy and I think P7 was the best result we could have achieved today so I'm really happy. I made up some places at the start and then just tried to do my race. It was tough in the middle of the race and in the last 10 laps I pushed as hard as I could to stay concentrated. Considering our qualifying and my condition, I am happy. It's a great result for the team to get both cars into the points for the constructors' championship."
Nico Rosberg, Williams (8th):
"Im pretty happy with that. Its good to be going home with a point today as its been a long time since it happened. The race went quite well for me and I was giving it my all, driving what felt like qualifying laps one after the other. The result is also good for the team as it shows we are getting back on track. Once again, I would like to say that Valencia has done a great job here and the race was good fun."
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (9th):
"This was one of the worst races ever for me. To finish ninth in a car which is obviously good enough for third is a disaster. After qualifying I was pretty confident because we realised we could go well. But in the race I had big problems with the harder tyres during the first two stints, and it was only better at the end with the softer compound. I lost one position after the start and later in the race I couldn't gain any. The pace wasn't there."
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (10th):
That was a very nice race, apart from the fact that I touched with Heidfeld which broke my wing, which was a real shame, as I had to do 17 laps like that, losing around 20 seconds to the group I was in. The next two stints were good quality and I had a good pace. But I am happy with the result and I think we had the right strategy. Its my best result since Australia and especially from the second stint onwards I felt much more comfortable and confident with the car and felt I could push as the track rubbered in. As for the next races, I continue to tackle them one at a time and hope that next time out in Spa I can make it into the points.
Nelson Piquet, Renault (11th):
The first lap was rough as I was in the middle of the pack and lost several positions. After that I tried to fight back, but my front wing was damaged and it was difficult to overtake. Its a shame that we couldnt get into the top ten, but I hope we can have a better race in Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix in a couple of weeks time.
Mark Webber, Red Bull (12th):
We just werent quick enough. We were hoping for a few safety cars to come out during the race, so ran a one stop strategy, but it didnt happen. It was a difficult race pace wise and weve got a lot of analysis to do.
Jenson Button, Honda (13th):
"I had a good start to the race and gained three places to 13th but that was the highlight of my race really. We made things difficult for ourselves by qualifying so far back on the grid after we had expected to perform a lot better. I was heavily fuelled compared to most others and running long on a one-stop strategy, but I was stuck behind Heidfeld when he had already pitted which cost me some time as I didn't have the pace to overtake him. We ran the option tyre for the second stint, which was initially fine but then the rears went away quite badly due to the rear brakes overheating."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (14th):
"It was a difficult race with the very hot conditions, but overall I think it was a good performance. The strategy wasn't bad, but we did expect a safety car after seeing the other support races, but there weren't any incidents so it didn't come. Our pace was good, it wasn't far off the others, and we made a step forward with the gearbox. We now have to keep focussed and keep moving forward."
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (15th):
"I had a bad start and we have to find the reason for that. On lap one, going into turns four and five, I was just behind Alonso, but there was a bit of a battle going on in front and I couldnt avoid him going into the corner. After that, I just tried to be consistent. My pace was ok, but I was behind Barrichello and it was really difficult to overtake. Eventually I made it past him and my pace improved, but it was too late."
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (16th):
"After qualifying, we took the opportunity to start from the pit lane and work on the car to try and resolve the issues that we had yesterday. We changed the brakes completely so the car was very different to drive but it did improve a little bit during the race. We need to get to the bottom of the brake problems that we have had all weekend as these cost me a lot of time and positions. It was a poor weekend overall."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (17th):
I was hit from behind on the first lap. I came back and passed a couple of cars, but when I tried to pass one of the Force Indias, I aborted the manoeuvre and made contact with them, so sorry to them for that. That damaged my barge board and the side of the car, so after that the balance and downforce were very poor.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (DNF):
"Not much to say after a day like this. It was definitely not the weekend I was hoping for but I do not believe that, despite this negative result, I am now out of the running for the title. There are still six races to go and sixty points up for grabs. We have seen that the situation change really quickly, even if I realize things are now more complicated. Today, I lost a place at the start and I was stuck in traffic for all of the first stint. Then, when I had a clear track ahead of me, I was able to push and was doing good lap times. At the second pit stop, I made a mistake and left before I should have done. Fortunately, Pietro (Timpini) is not too badly hurt. I wish him all the best and hope he gets better soon. In any case, it would not have changed anything as then the engine broke. Now we must concentrate on preparing for the next rounds and on improving our qualifying performance."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (DNF):
"The first stint was okay as I was closing the gap to the rest of the field and then I could pass a few cars in the hairpin. It was a shame that I couldn't pass Giancarlo quickly enough to take full advantage of the two stop strategy and lost a little time. Once I passed him it was getting better but it was still difficult to pass more cars. Then under braking I lost the rear and tried to avoid a crash, but the barrier was too close and that was it."
Fernando Alonso, Renault (DNF):
"After qualifying yesterday, I knew that me weekend was going to be difficult. At the start I was touched by Nakajima and I lost my rear wing. My mechanics did everything to try and allow me to continue, but my race was already compromised. I am extremely disappointed because I was hoping to have a special race in my second home Grand Prix and for the supporters who came here this weekend to support me. I now want to concentrate on the rest to the season and the next race in Spa.