Singapore Grand Prix - selected driver quotes 28 Sep 2008
Renaults Fernando Alonso on taking his first Formula One victory for a year; Ferraris Felipe Massa on the fuel-hose problem which could spell disaster for his championship challenge; and Williams Nico Rosberg on securing a career-best finish. All 20 drivers report back on Sundays action
Fernando Alonso, Renault (1st):
This is a fantastic result - my first podium of the season; my first victory and Im very happy, although I think it will take several days for me to realise what we have achieved. Wining a Grand Prix here just seemed to be impossible because we missed our chance yesterday in qualifying, but we were very fortunate today and its a superb result for the team. We chose a very aggressive strategy and we had a bit of luck, but we had the pace and the car was fantastic throughout the weekend.
Nico Rosberg, Williams (2nd):
"It was a race of so many ups and downs for me. It started badly as I ended up behind a heavy Jarno Trulli and I absolutely had to get by him to allow my strategy to work. It was quite a hairy moment getting past because it is so bumpy to outbrake at Turn Seven and I couldnt get close at Turn One, the only two places where overtaking is possible. Anyway, having eventually cleared him, I couldnt believe it when I saw that the safety car had come out just after the team had called me in for my stop and I thought thats the end of it. Before my stop-go penalty, I just had to push like mad and do qualifying lap after qualifying lap and I managed to build enough of a gap to complete my second stop and hold on to second place. With a handful or laps to go in the most physical race this year and a car in your mirrors, time goes amazingly slowly, but for once everything went our way. I think Frank will have to wear his lucky tartan trousers again!"
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (3rd):
"A positive end to a difficult weekend at this fantastic new venue. I started well, but then my rear tyres faded and, although we had good pace, I wasn't in a position to challenge Felipe ahead of me. During my first pit stop I lost a bit of time because everybody came in due to the Safety Car period. After that I was unfortunately stuck behind David and although I was clearly faster it was really difficult to overtake him. After the second re-start, I tried to stay as close as possible behind Nico; however, I didn't want to take chances - particularly as the Ferraris were outside the points. Also, this is not a track where overtaking is easy. The first night race in Formula 1 history was great fun, and I now look forward to the forthcoming double-header in Japan and China."
Timo Glock, Toyota (4th):
"I am happy with the job I did; I made no mistakes and fourth is a good result. It was quite tough out there in these conditions and with such a bumpy track the car was not very comfortable to drive; I am sure I will feel the effects tomorrow. My goal at the beginning of the year was to score 20 points this season so I am very satisfied to achieve that with three races still to go. However, I am fighting for the team to help them finish fourth in the constructors' championship and we were a bit unlucky with that today, but congratulations to Fernando, who did a great job. Now we will go to Fuji and aim to recover the lost ground."
Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso (5th):
Overall, this was a good race for us, even if the Safety Car didnt help. It was a difficult race for everyone, but the important thing is we have scored some more points. The hardest elements in the race were dealing with the heat and concentrating not to make any mistakes, as it could be very easy to clip a kerb. I tried to keep the car on track but still push like crazy. It was one of the toughest races of the season, but I think with everything that happened, this was the best result we could get. Maybe fourth might have been possible if I hadnt lost a place to Timo (Glock) when I missed a braking point, but we can be happy with this fifth place.
Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (6th):
"Although I shouldn't complain about finishing sixth when I came from ninth, I must say it is such a shame I couldn't show my pace today. The car was so good and I could have gone a lot faster if I hadn't been stuck in traffic all the time. I was even saving fuel and tyres because I hoped the others would kill their tyres and I could attack later. I think some did ruin their rubber, but still this wasn't enough of an advantage to overtake. I had a good start during which I managed to pass Nico Rosberg. However, because of how the race turned out for me I hardly sweated at all."
David Coulthard, Red Bull (7th):
That was my second points finish this year, so Ive got to be happy with todays result. As far as the second pit stop went, the guys have been great this year and the work that they did on Saturday morning to get my car out so I could do a run was quite remarkable, so Im not going to point any fingers at them. Its just one of those things. There was a misunderstanding between some of the guys and I go when the lollipop comes up, but these things happen. Thankfully we got some points today. It was incredibly bumpy out there, you cant see the braking down into Turn Seven and it was as hot as hell.
Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (8th):
"It was a great day for the team, returning to form and of course congratulations to Nico. As far as my race was concerned, the safety car timing was a little bit unfortunate, but I just had to push my race pace on regardless of what happened and overtake a few cars, and in the end, it was great to claim a point for the first time in a while. Hopefully today showed potential which we can try to maintain for the rest of the season."
Jenson Button, Honda (9th):
"Yes, it was one of those races today where luck and the timing of the safety car could make or break your race. Unfortunately luck was not on our side and the timing of the two safety cars hurt our two-stop strategy. In addition to that, we were just not competitive or quick enough as I was struggling for balance for much of the race. To finish in ninth position is always frustrating as you are just outside of the points."
Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (10th):
"I made a good start and was going to pass Kubica round the outside at the first two corners. Unfortunately he touched me and almost spun me around. My underfloor was slightly damaged as a result. I lost momentum and two cars overtook me. When the safety car came out and the pitlane was opened a couple of laps later, Lewis and I came in and I had to wait behind him until it was my turn. It then was a strange race and most of the time I was in traffic with no overtaking chances. Halfway through the race I had brake problems and had to conserve them until the finish. Im happy for Lewis and the team now that he has extended the championship lead and we are on top of the Constructors rankings. I will now go for it in the next races and help to make sure that we stay ahead in both championships."
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (11th):
"The race was physically very hard. There are so many bumps, I hope the organisers will work on the surface for next year. On top of that, the visibility was getting worse and worse as I was getting tired. Over the final fifteen laps I had an incredible headache. The decision not to pit on the first lap when the pit lane was closed because of the safety car was unlucky, and cost me a good race result as the cars behind me closed the gap. The team thought the pit lane would reopen very soon, but this was not the case. However, that's racing."
Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso (12th):
It was a tough race. When I was running on my own my brake balance was fine, but once I was in traffic I kept losing the front end, even with all the brake bias on the rear. I know it was difficult to pass here, but I was even having difficulty following other cars and didnt know where my limit was. It was a really tough race physically too, given how long it was and the lack of air coming through the cockpit and with a long last stint, I was running a heavy fuel load which meant my tyres were suffering towards the end. Its been a long night.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (13th):
"It's hard to deal with losing in this fashion a race that was within our grasp, with a car that was just the way I wanted it. We had a good strategy and all the signs were there that we could get a one-two finish. But things can change in a moment and that's what happened today. At the pit stop, one of the guys made a mistake. But we are only human. Each one of us always tries to do our best and these things can happen. With the Safety Car still on track, I didn't lose a lap, but then I got a drive-through and later I also picked up a puncture in the left rear. On this track it is almost impossible to overtake and ending up at the back meant I had not chance of getting into the points. Seven points to make up in three races? That can be a lot or it can be a little. We have the potential to do well, as we saw today and we will give it our best shot. We mustn't give up and I'm sure we won't."
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India (14th):
"It was a long, hard race, but I have to say we really did the maximum possible. A big thank you to everyone on the team who did such a fantastic job to get the car going again after the accidents yesterday and for giving me a car we could really race with. It was great to be back racing again and I think we had a good strategy that let us move up a few places. In the final few laps I had a small problem, but I'm really pleased we could get to the finish."
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (15th):
"I was trying to attack Glock in case he might make a mistake, but I went slightly wide at the chicane, jumping over the kerb and when the car landed, I lost control and ended up in the barriers. My situation in the championship was already rather compromised, so this doesn't really make that much difference but I am unhappy because the team has lost precious points in the constructors' classification. In the opening laps, the car was a bit difficult but then it improved a lot, to such an extent that I was able to close right up to Hamilton. When the Safety Car came out, I know my race was compromised given that I had to pit behind Felipe. I was able to get back up to fifth but then the incident I described earlier happened. Clearly, morale is not high today. But I am not used to giving up and will do my very best to try and help the team reach its targets."
Jarno Trulli, Toyota (DNF):
"The race was going pretty well, I was on a one-stop strategy and I made a good start. After the safety car, I was one of the quickest on the track and I led the race for several laps. But in the end a weekend which started pretty bad has finished even worse. I had a hydraulic problem when I would have finished in fifth; that would have been good points from a weekend which has been quite hard for me. I am exhausted because I am so disappointed. I have been fighting really hard and doing a good job but when that bad luck comes you can't do anything about it. I think I am owed a lot of good luck after that."
Adrian Sutil, Force India (DNF):
"I think it was a good race as the race pace was good and I felt really confident in the car. We lost a little in the first safety car period as we were a little too late coming into the pits but after that it was nice to be able to push. It was just so unlucky when Felipe spun in front of me and then suddenly pulled away. The way was blocked, but I avoided a crash with him only to go into the barrier myself. It's really disappointing as we've had so much bad luck already this year. It's Fuji next though, which I really enjoy and know I can perform well on."
Mark Webber, Red Bull (DNF):
I lost seventh and then fifth gear, which cost us a fantastic result, as I was stopping for my second pit stop later than Fernando (Alonso). It would have been nice to
share the podium with him today, with him winning and me second. We got a bit lucky with the safety car, but in the end it didnt work out. We had some good pace in the second stint and it was looking good. Overall, the event here has been very impressive, I think we should do more night racing.
Rubens Barrichello, Honda (DNF):
"Coming into the race from 18th on the grid, we were obviously hoping for any eventuality to help us move further up the grid. That opportunity came on lap 14 when my engineer made a brilliant call following Piquet's crash. I came into the pits just before the safety car was called and when I rejoined I would have been in a strong position. But then the engine just died. I had lots of fuel on board and my place was great because I had good pace and was keeping up with the whole group in front of me. So we could have had a great end to the race. We lost a great opportunity today and obviously I feel very sad about that."
Nelson Piquet, Renault (DNF):
From the start of the race things were complicated and I had a lot of graining and the situation got worse and worse. The team asked me to push, which I tried to do and finally I lost the rear of my car. I hit the wall heavily but Im ok. I am disappointed with my race but obviously very happy for the team this evening.