Turkish Grand Prix - selected team & driver quotes 08 May 2011
Virgin's Timo Glock on the last-minute gearbox problems which stopped him racing; Ferrari's Felipe Massa and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton on their problematic pit stops; McLaren's Jenson Button and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi on their three-stop strategy; Fernando Alonso on taking his first podium of the year; and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel on stepping back on the winner's step of the podium. The drivers review their Sundays at Istanbul Park...
Sebastian Vettel (1st)
It was a great result today especially after I gave the team so much work on Friday. I hope giving a victory back goes some way to help them forget it. Saturday morning was crucial. When I walked into the garage everyone gave me the impression that nothing is wrong and there was nothing to worry about. The whole team was working so hard to get the car back together and times like these are important. The team are close to me and if they are not happy or unmotivated it reflects on me and the other way round, so after being a bit down on Friday, it picked me back up. In the race we had a very good first stint and got a gap and you can always benefit from that cushion. At the end I did two short stints, which was the right thing to do - it was seamless today. We dont know what happens next, so we have to take it race by race. There will be days when we are beaten for definite, but we need to minimise the loss - but for today, it was a great result for the team.
Mark Webber (2nd)
It was good to get second place - and a relief to finish there and not third. In the end it was a good fight with Fernando, you lose a bit of time when youre into each other like that, but it turned out okay and I got him back in the end. For the first stop, the team pitted me earlier than expected as they were worried about the undercuts coming into play. Ferrari saw the same thing and it was really a race between us two from then onwards. At that point, you make your bet that you will be having a few stops during the day. It was a good victory for Sebastian and Fernando drove well too - it was a great result for the team with a one two. The grip wasnt great at the start, but I will leave Istanbul happy - it was my best result of the year so far.
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal
A fantastic team performance today. It was a very busy race with a four-stop strategy, perfect pit work and a great performance by Sebastian to take what was, in the end, a dominant win. Mark had a bit more on, dropping a place on the dirty side of the grid at the start, but then his recovery was excellent. He worked the tyres really hard to get past Nico Rosberg and then came under pressure from Alonso, dropped a place to him, but kept calm. We had a new set of primes for the last stint and Mark really made them work, resulting in a great passing move to achieve our first one-two of the year. All compliments to the team, it certainly exorcises the demons from last year and I would like to thank all our partners for their fantastic support.
Fernando Alonso (3rd)
"I am pleased with this result, which is down to three weeks of hard work from the entire team at Maranello and at the track this weekend. We had not started this Grand Prix on the right foot, after having quite a few problems on Friday, but then we moved forward and today it was great to be back fighting for the top places. We had come so close to the podium already in Malaysia and in China and today we managed to jump onto it, but this is only a first step: we must continue in this direction. Given the shape we were in at the start of this season, this is a great finish. The next three or four races will be crucial. At 99% I could not have fought with Vettel, but the remaining 1% went when I was stuck behind Rosberg for too long: maybe I could have put him in difficulty, forcing him to push even more. In the end, Webber passed me because he had the benefit of a new set of tyres, while I had none left. I know it seems strange having to stop eleven laps from the finish, but it was getting hard to keep the car on track and there was a risk of ruining everything. There is more overtaking, but I think that has more to do with the different behaviour of the tyres rather than the moveable rear wing. It's true that the gap in the classification is very wide, but there are still so many points up for grabs: there is certainly no need to give up."
Felipe Massa (11th)
"Everything happened to me today and I was not able to get the result that was within my grasp. It's a shame, because the car was competitive and the pace was very good. We did the first stop at the right time, but already at that moment, I lost the place I had just taken off Hamilton. Then I also had problems at the third and fourth pit stops: we have to all work together to improve this element of the race, which is becoming really very important. I was always fighting with other drivers, which meant I was unable to get the most out of the tyres, as Fernando was indeed able to do and he definitely had a cleaner race than mine. The positive thing about this weekend is the improvement in performance of the car: we had a bit more aerodynamic downforce and also greater speed on the straights. It's an encouraging sign, but we have to continue moving in this direction, introducing new parts already in Barcelona."
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
"It's been a very long time since we last saw one of our drivers on the podium and today, finally, we were able to. Fernando drove a very nice race, to crown a great weekend on his part: he did not put a foot wrong and was aggressive when he needed to be and prudent when he had to manage the situation. I am very sorry for Felipe, who had every possibility of also getting a good result. We had already seen in the three previous races that, in the race, the 150º Italia seemed to be the more beautiful sister of the one seen on Saturday afternoon in qualifying, but for one reason or another, in the first three Grands Prix, we never managed to make the most of all its potential. Today we were competitive for long periods and if Fernando had not been stuck behind Rosberg for a few laps after the start, he could have even put Vettel under more pressure. We must definitely not get carried away with this third place: the road is still very long and there is still a very long way to go to where we want to be. At least we have shown that we have started off down the right road."
Pat Fry, Ferrari head of race track engineering
"Mixed emotions and feelings at the end of a very intense race, which featured a large number of pit stops. On the one hand there is the satisfaction of having a driver on the podium again and on the other, there is disappointment at not getting the result that was also within our grasp with Felipe, whose race was ruined by a series of problems during the pit stops. From a performance point of view, I would say we were competitive in some parts of the race, especially on the softer tyres. In the final duel with Webber, we paid the price for him having a new set of hard tyres while we only had ones that had already been used. Felipe was nearly always in traffic and was penalised through losing time in his pit stops: this operation is becoming ever more crucial and everyone involved has to be perfect in order to do it well. We will have to work on it, as well as continuing to push on the development of the car, because the gap to make up is very big, especially in qualifying."
Lewis Hamilton (4th)
I got a pretty decent start but made a mistake on the opening lap and lost a lot of ground out of Turn Three when I was trying to go around Webber. That was the defining moment of my afternoon: if I hadnt dropped behind Fernando [Alonso] and Jenson, I think I could have got up to third and battled for second in the race. The battle with Jenson was good and fair, as always, but that, and the fact that I had too much front-wing dialled into my car meant I struggled to look after the rear tyres; so my tyres were finished and thats what kick-started the four-stop strategy. Considering the time I lost at my third stop [when a pair of cross-threading wheelnuts on the right-front caused a delay], I think we recovered reasonably well. I dont think that made a huge difference to our overall finishing position, and I was quite happy with the way the car behaved once wed taken out some wing. We were definitely able to do better today but to start fourth and sixth and finish fourth and sixth was a good recovery.
Jenson Button (6th)
Its a pity to finish so far back after everything in the first stint seemed to go so well. Strategy-wise, I dont think we got it right today. My battle with Lewis was great fun and I there was a lot of excitement on the track, but I was disappointed to finish where I did: the car felt very good but we just went the wrong way on strategy. I think most people probably started the race aiming for a three-stopper, but because many of them damaged their tyres in the first stint, they changed their approach. We didnt, and I was able to put a couple of laps on everyone and my tyres still felt pretty good but I felt the next two stops were earlier than the tyres could have done, which is disappointing. We didnt leave the stops late enough the tyres were still good at the end of every stop, so we should have stayed out longer because it just made the last stint extremely difficult. During the final stint, I was trying to get the best out of the car but its so hard because the difference in pace between a fresh and used set of tyres is so great.
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
Well, we qualified fourth and sixth, and we finished fourth and sixth. And, although clearly we'd hoped to score considerably more than the 20 points we netted as a result, both our drivers drove hard and well all afternoon - and I'm sure their contribution to a race that included lots of action and no fewer than 80 pitstops was a very significant one in terms of providing entertainment for grandstand spectators and TV viewers alike. At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes we've traditionally never sought to prevent our drivers from racing each other and they certainly did that today. It was good to see: they get on extremely well off the track, as I think everyone knows, but on the track theyre as keen to beat each other as they are to beat any other driver, and thats the way it should be. Although we werent quite as quick as the Red Bull and the Ferrari this afternoon, Lewiss four-stop race pace was strong; Jenson was the quickest of the three-stoppers, but with hindsight it probably wasnt the optimal strategy and consequently he struggled a bit through no fault of his own. So, looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix, well continue to push extremely hard from a car-development point of view, and we intend to be competitive in Barcelona. We lie second in the constructors world championship, and Lewis lies second in the drivers world championship too, but well continue to do all we can to convert both those seconds to firsts during the rest of the season. Last but not least, I want to say something about Pete Vale, our chief mechanic, who operates the lollipop during all our pitstops. He acted quickly and level-headedly during Lewiss problematic second pitstop, when two wheelnuts cross-threaded on the right-front, to prevent a potential collision - so well done Pete!
Nico Rosberg (5th)
"My start today was fantastic to overtake Mark and be running in second place on the first lap, but from there I was struggling with my tyres on the first stint. Our strategy worked out well to bring me back into a decent position so we can be reasonably satisfied, and I'm happy to be in front of Jenson and just a few seconds behind Lewis in the McLarens. There is still a gap to the top but we have continued to improve the car this weekend. We don't know exactly why we are better in qualifying than in the race but we will work on this. Overall I had another good weekend and I'm looking forward to Barcelona."
Michael Schumacher (12th)
"A lot of fighting and action today, and that was probably the positive part of my race. Obviously I am not very happy with my weekend, but I'm responsible myself for the result. The incident with Petrov kind of dictated my race: we were very close and I was surprised that we touched but it was mostly my mistake. After making such an early stop, the way the race played out was given from there. What we can take away from this weekend in Turkey is that we have confirmed our good trend and we still have things to come to help us deliver more of our potential."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"The race balance that we gave Nico wasn't as good as we had hoped and on high fuel, the car was too hard on its tyres. That spoiled the first half of the race but in the second half, our pace was more respectable. Nico began climbing back through the field towards where we had hoped to be racing; however we were too far back by then. Fifth place is still a respectable result taking everything into account, but fine-tuning our race set-up will be a particular priority for the next races, especially at circuits where the tyres are delicate to manage. Michael got out of phase because of his unplanned stop on lap two and that left him with a difficult task, especially as a number of other events in the race cost him time. Overall, we are moving forward from where we began the season, but we're still not where we want to be. We will keep on pushing hard."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Of course, everybody was expecting another good result from us today after Nico qualified third yesterday. In reality he was a few thousandths ahead of Lewis yesterday, and today Lewis was quicker. Alonso in the Ferrari had a great drive from fifth whilst the Red Bulls are still clearly in front. To beat one McLaren Mercedes and one Ferrari was the maximum that Nico could achieve after a great drive with our current car. We have made improvements over the last two races, and closed the gap to the best which shows that we are heading in the right direction. Michael had an eventful weekend and was very committed from lap one in the wet practice of Friday. His clash with another car dictated the outcome of his race and cost him the time missing to finish in the points. We now look forward to Barcelona where we will try to improve our position further."
Nick Heidfeld (7th)
"Its always good to score points, but I think I could have finished even higher up today, even though I started in P9. I am not totally happy with the race -I was stuck in traffic for quite a while, overtaking was difficult and Vitaly made contact with me- but my pace was good, especially at the end of the race when the car was light on the soft tyres. I also think our strategy was the right one. Overall, to finish in P7 and take six points for the team is good, given that I did not qualify in a higher position.
Vitaly Petrov (8th)
It was an interesting race, and strategically it was challenging for all the teams. I think what really affected my position today was the collision with Michael early in the race. He hit my car and then I was stuck behind some slower drivers after the first pit stop. If this had not happened, my race would have been much stronger and I could have pulled away. However, I was pleased to overtake Sebastien (Buemi) at the end, which took me back into eighth. We must be positive, we have both cars in the points and its another ten points for the team.
Eric Boullier, Renault team principal
Today, going for four pit stops was the right decision. There was no spectacular start from our cars but we pitted at the right time to ensure both drivers finished in the points. We definitely need to work harder on Fridays to understand the tyre degradation, which will allow us to know where we stand for the rest of the weekend. From here, we will push even more as the result today was not as strong as it could have been - we will be striving to get back into the top six.
James Allison, Renault technical director
Today we opted for a four stop rather than a three stop race, and the balance of the evidence suggests that was the right choice. In all honesty, I feel satisfied rather than happy with todays performance - satisfied because our finishing places in the race were stronger than our qualifying positions, but not happy because the gap between us and the cars that finished on the podium was too large. We have more improvements planned for the car and we will be aiming for top six finish or better in the coming races at Barcelona and Monaco.
Sebastien Buemi (9th)
In general I am very happy with my race and I dont think I could have done better. However, its true that in the final two laps I lost two places and if not for this we could have brought home a seventh place finish. But I could not even hold the steering wheel anymore because there was so much vibration coming through from the tyres: it was not due to tyre wear, so we will have to analyse carefully what happened as I had not felt this before. All the same, it was a great race and I pulled off plenty of overtaking moves and I fought hard. Scoring points after starting sixteenth is reason to be pleased. We decided to do only three pit stops, although it was clear that here it did not cost that much time to make a pit stop so that was an interesting situation. We are continuing to develop the car and have more parts coming which I hope can keep us fighting for points in the next few races.
Jaime Alguersuari (16th)
As usual, I did my best, pushing hard from the beginning. But I suffered a lot from degradation on the rear tyres, especially in the final stint. This meant I had a massive amount of oversteer, which is why I really had to come in for an additional fourth stop for fresh tyres towards the end. I dont understand why my team-mate suffered much less than me in this respect, so we need to look at all the data to find out why. The next race is in Barcelona, which is obviously very important for me as its my home race. I have many good memories from there, including scoring points there last year.
Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal
Given our qualifying performance yesterday which put us in sixteenth and seventeenth places on the grid, we are happy to have finished in ninth place with Sebastien Buemi. He delivered his best performance of the season so far, as he was racing around eighth place for most of the race and occasionally even higher. Unfortunately, coming under pressure from the Lotus Renaults, who had much fresher tyres, he was unable to defend that position on the final lap. The team deserves praise for running a good strategy and we have picked up a further two points today, which is important in our battle in the constructors championship. In Barcelona, I hope that we can challenge for points.
Kamui Kobayashi (10th)
It was a lot of fun today, I really enjoyed this race. I found overtaking here a lot easier than last year in Hungary. Before the race I had promised Peter (Sauber) to score points today. It is just one point now because we lost so much time due to a puncture, which was the result of touching Sébastien Buemi when I overtook him. Otherwise I think I could have finished seventh and score more points. The car was great and also the team had a very good strategy for me, so I want to thank them for this. In the end I had to be a bit careful and save the tyres, because the last stint was quite long with 20 laps, but it worked out well.
Sergio Perez (14th)
We had a good pace today and I clearly had a chance to score my first points. It is a real shame what happened on the first lap. Pastor Maldonado was braking quite hard in front of me and I couldnt avoid hitting him. I broke my front wing and had to pit. Apart from that I found it quite difficult to manage the tyres - both compounds actually - but the car was really good. I will now continue to work with the team to improve my qualifying performance.
Peter Sauber, Sauber team principal
The Sauber C30 Ferrari was excellent today, as were both our drivers, and the strategy could not have been any better. Kamui overtook countless drivers, and Sergio also passed many competitors. Unfortunately neither driver was able to get the full reward they deserved today. However, Kamui scored one point despite starting from the back of the grid, which was amazing.
James Key, Sauber technical director
What an eventful race! A great drive by both our drivers. The car was definitely a lot better than in qualifying, and the drivers extracted the most out of it. Its a real shame we couldnt get them both in the points and finish a bit higher up, because it was possible. Unfortunately, Sergio had front wing damage on lap one, and we had to change his strategy and put him at the back of the pack. Kamui had a puncture towards the end of the second stint, which dropped him back. So its a real shame, but we cant complain, because we managed to squeeze a point out of it after starting with both drivers in a compromised position. I think its a tribute to Kamuis race craft to go from P24 to 10. Now we have an updated package for Barcelona, and we hope this will help us to continue to score points on a regular basis."
Adrian Sutil (13th)
My start to the race was not too bad: I kept my position and had some good battles with the cars around me. The three-stop strategy was the right choice today and the soft tyres felt like the better race tyre so I stayed on them as much as possible. In the final laps I was fighting hard with Perez and that was a lot of fun. Ultimately we didn't have the pace to race with the cars ahead of us and I think we got as much from the race as we could. The team is working hard to introduce a new aero package at the next few races, which will hopefully bring us a bit closer to the front.
Paul di Resta (DNF)
It was a tough start to the race, although I managed to hold my position on the first lap. However, as the race unfolded the pace didn't seem quite there and that's why we decided to change our strategy and make a fourth stop. When I was leaving the pits after my final stop, the team came on the radio and instructed me to stop. There was obviously a problem so I pulled up as soon as I could. It was unfortunate because the final part of the race would have been interesting on the fresh tyres.
Robert Fernley, Force India deputy team principal
It was a tough race for us today. We always knew it would be difficult to match the pace of the top five teams, but in race trim the Toro Rosso of Buemi and the Sauber of Kobayashi were a little bit quicker than us. Both our drivers raced hard and Adrian in particular had some good battles, especially with Perez in the closing laps. I think he got the maximum from his race and the strategy was spot on. As for Paul, he had some difficulties with the rear tyres and, with the benefit of hindsight, we probably should have switched him to a four-stop strategy a couple of laps earlier. Ultimately his race came to an end when we identified a fault with the car which meant he had to retire. After four races I'm quite upbeat about our start to the season. We were always on damage limitation until the new 2011 aero concept comes on stream in the next few races, but we're just four points behind Sauber and two points behind Toro Rosso. I'm hopeful we can haul them back in over the next few races.
Rubens Barrichello (15th)
"We struggled quite a bit with straight line speed today and at various points during the race I couldnt use KERS which made it difficult to defend and I also struggled with it locking up under braking when I was charging. We had a better qualifying session but we need to make some changes to the car to ensure the rear tyres can get to the end of the race in good shape. So it is up to us to improve our pace."
Pastor Maldonado (17th)
"It was difficult from the beginning of the race. It was difficult to maintain a consistent pace in the first two stints because I had a lot of oversteer. We had a much better pace towards the end of the race when on primes but I made a mistake by speeding in the pitlane which cost me a drive-through penalty."
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
"We brought both cars to the finish again, but we just werent fast enough today. In the first stint of the race we showed some decent pace against a number of cars that finished in the points. However from the second stint onwards we couldnt match the laptimes of those same cars. Small changes in the car balance can have a large effect on tyre degradation and wear. There were also some issues with cooling the KERS during the race. Our focus is now on the upgrades that we have for the Barcelona Grand Prix that will give the car a boost in performance."
Jarno Trulli (18th)
"That was a reasonably good race, particularly in the early laps. I had another incredibly good start but was blocked in the first corner so couldn't really exploit how well I'd got off the line. Early on I started fighting with the tyres so we changed to a three stop strategy which eventually worked out pretty well. However, the result today doesn't really show how we have improved our performance so I think that when we get to Barcelona with the whole new package on the car we'll really be able to fight with the midfield teams."
Heikki Kovalainen (19th)
"That was a pretty tough afternoon. I had a couple of mechanical issues, with a small hydraulic leak which affected the DRS and the diff, and I think the strategy didn't work out how we would have liked. Despite that it's been another good weekend for the team and a two car finish was always a major goal here, but now it's about looking forward to Spain and we're all focusing on taking a big step forward there."
Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
"This has been a good weekend for us and we are all happy that we got two cars to the finish. Heikki had some hydraulic issues and if they had not affected his race I think he would have given Maldonado a much better fight. Looking at the laptimes I am very happy that we keep improving every weekend. The whole team is excited about the updates we have for Barcelona, but for now I am very pleased with this weekend. Here in Turkey last year neither car finished so this is another positive development in our growth. We keep making small steps and moving forward and that has always been the plan - grow in a measured, controlled way that gives us the best foundations for future success."
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
"The key goal today was for both cars to cross the finish line and I am pleased we achieved that and it is pleasing to see that both drivers performed very well all weekend, and the whole team. With Heikki we tried to stick to two stops but the degradation of the tyres was higher than we expected so we switched Jarno to a three stop plan. Heikki's car then developed a hydraulic leak and we were concerned that he would not be able to get to the end, and that if his tyres went off he would be unable to stop again but we were forced to keep him on two stops and turn off the differential and clutch off which made his car very difficult to handle. Without that, I think we would have been able to beat Maldonado on the track. Jarno drove a good, strong three stop strategy but reported quite high tyre degradation so we have to look at why he is suffering more than Heikki. However, overall it is good to get two cars to the finish and we look forward to Barcelona where we will have our big update and I hope that we can take the fight to those in front.
Jerome DAmbrosio (20th)
It was a good race for me I'd say. Obviously I was pretty much on my own during the race as I was faster than the HRTs. I had a good fight at the beginning then I couldn't keep up with the Lotus cars, but it was good for me to manage the tyres well and be able to change to a two-stop strategy. Overall I'm happy with my performance this weekend - Qualifying in particular - and the team has worked very well. I'm looking forward to working with them to develop the whole package and I hope we can take a step forward in Spain.
Timo Glock (DNF)
A very short race for me. It was very frustrating to experience a problem with fifth gear just as I was making my way to the grid. I have to say the team did an amazing job to try to get me back on track but in the end it just wasnt possible. Overall I think we have made some progress this weekend but there is still plenty of hard work ahead of us if we are to keep pushing forward. Everyone is very committed to seeing that happen though, so we stay focused and look ahead to Spain when I hope we will have made enough progress to reintroduce the new floor and exhaust which should help us a little more.
John Booth, Virgin team principal
When the pit lane opened ready for the start of the race we had no reason to suspect that we would have anything other than a relatively straightforward grid procedure, so it was a surprise to hear Timo report a broken fifth gear on his reconnaissance lap. Back in the garage we attempted to change the gearbox, which is no mean feat in the pre-race window and when Jeromes car was lining up on the grid as normal. With the two car crews split between the two different situations, Timos crew worked calmly and methodically under extreme pressure to take the rear of the car apart. Despite a Herculean effort, in the end we took the decision not to compromise the car that was still in the race because the way things were panning out with the tyres, it looked likely that we would have some last minute calls from the pitwall and we needed the full crew to be on ready alert. Were disappointed for Timo after his efforts and well look into the data now to understand why this happened. Having experienced many gearbox issues last year and then to make such made enormous strides with the quality of the preparation this year, it is highly unusual that we should experience this problem.
As for Jerome, we predicted that he would have a real racers race and that is exactly what we saw. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands, using the DRS effectively to steal a march on Karthikeyan the minute the activation period came into play, then after a 3 or 4 lap battle with Liuzzi using the DRS, Jeromes tenacity paid off and he was able to ease away. From that point it was a lonely race for him, however he maximised the opportunity to perfect the strategy and managed the traffic well. In fact this was a race where we encountered the least instances of blue flags in our 23-race tally. On lap 30 we decided to change to a two-stop strategy, which was brave at the time given what everything else that was going on around us. We held our nerve and Jerome drove brilliantly, preserving the Prime tyres to allow this strategy to work. Our focus now moves towards an aero test at the Idiada proving ground in Spain next Sunday, where we will continue our evaluation of the new aero package under more controlled conditions in the hope of bringing more to the car in Spain. We are also pleased to be providing one of the drivers from our young driver programme - Adrian Quaife-Hobbs from Marussia Manor Racing GP3 - with an exciting first opportunity to drive a Formula One car.
Narain Karthikeyan (21st)
"I think we should be happy with the fact that today we got another finish under the belt. I got more time in the car which is important, I've now finished my second race out of three, so I need to get more comfortable in the car and that will happen with every lap that I do. I couldn't keep the two Virgin cars behind and we will have to analyze why we were slower. But, all in all, I'm reasonably happy, now we must work on the updates for Barcelona and keep on working to improve."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (22nd)
"Overall this has been a positive weekend up until qualifying. We've shown an improvement in our performance and had good pace on Friday and Saturday proving that the gap has closed with Virgin. In the race we need to try and understand what we did wrong, we had a problem with both front tyres and need to work on this to make sure it doesn't happen again in the next race. Our expectations are much higher for Barcelona, we're pushing for some new upgrades there as it will be important to show our home crowd what we're capable of, I'm sure we will be much more competitive there."
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
"The race was not as we expected because we faced some unpredicted problems with the tyres during the pit stop. The wheel gun seems to have not worked properly on Liuzzi's car resulting in the loss of a wheel nut.We had to do more stops also to make sure that it was safe to continue running.
"All in all without these problems we could have achieved a better result. Narain's lap times were a good sign, showing that our performance has improved. We will have a major update for Barcelona which should put us closer to our competitors. It is our home race and if all the upgrades bring the improvement in lap times that we expect then we will have a better weekend."
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
We obviously develop tyres that have to suit 20 different circuits this year, and the demands of Turn Eight in particular mean that Istanbul Park is definitely at the upper limit of what we are working with in terms of tyre wear. So were pleased that the tyres stood up to the challenge so well, giving the teams plenty of scope to utilise different strategies. We actually thought that Vettel could have won the race with three stops, but the comparatively short pit lane layout here in Istanbul meant that the performance advantage of an extra stop outweighed the 20 seconds or so spent in the pit lane. With the pace he had, Vettel could afford an extra stop, and that was clearly the decision taken by plenty of other teams as well.
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