Race - selected team & driver quotes 11 Sep 2011
HRTs Vitantonio Liuzzi on sparking the first-lap collision which ruled out three of his fellow drivers; Red Bulls Mark Webber and Ferraris Felipe Massa on their coming together; Mercedes Michael Schumacher on his battles with McLarens Lewis Hamilton; Saubers Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi on their double DNF; and Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel on matching his 2008 Toro Rosso victory with sister team Red Bull. The drivers review their Sundays at Monza
Sebastian Vettel (1st)
It was an emotional win today. This circuit means such a lot to me and is very special. I had my first win here, so when I crossed the line I remembered every single bit of it. The podium is absolutely unbelievable here; when you stand up there you feel blessed, as it doesnt happen to many people. There are so many people underneath and you can see them all coming, even from Curva Grande its just unbelievable. This circuit has been tough for us for the last two years and so to come back this year and win! The car was amazing in qualifying yesterday and in the race today it was even better. The start was not that good, Fernando was suddenly there and I didnt know where he was coming from it took me a while to see we were three going into Turn 1. I kept second place and then after the restart, I was able to pass Alonso. He didnt give me much room there, but it was just enough, so it was very enjoyable. It was a great race for us. As its 150 years for Italian Unity also, I think it makes it special for everyone here, so thank you to all the fans.
Mark Webber (DNF)
I didn't get the best start, me and Jenson were together, so I lost a few spots there. I think also Sebastian didnt either, so there were a few different starts going on. Fernando made a phenomenal one. Then there was the restart after the safety car; I got a good one that time and managed to pass Jenson straight away. Then, on the next lap, I was lining up Felipe, breaking around the outside for Turn One, trying to get the inside line for turn two. I probably wasn't quite far enough to get completely inside, but when I tried to come out of the move the kerbing on the inside is obviously pretty high; as soon as I touched that I unfortunately made contact with Felipe and that was that. I then tried to get back to the pits, trying to lose the minimum time possible, the car wasn't too bad for the first part of the lap, but at some stage the wing got caught underneath, so I couldnt turn the car or brake. I went straight out of Parabolica and that was the end of my race.
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal
A phemonenal race today. To win in Monza is a dream come true and it was a really dominant performance by Sebastian today. We had great pit work, strong strategy and Seb made a really brave overtaking move to retake the lead from Fernando after the safety car. Thereafter it was a very controlled and well executed race. Unfortunately Marks race came to a premature end after contact with Felipe Massa. The front wing was tucked under the car on the approach to Parabolica, when Mark was trying to get back to the pits as quickly as possible. It prevented him from being on the podium today, but Im sure he will bounce back in Singapore. It was a great day for the team and a phenomenal result at a circuit which, on paper, wasnt our best. Very sadly, we lost a team member earlier in the week, Erin Pezzella, a young lady who has been with the team for four years. She lost a very brave fight against cancer and we would like to dedicate this result in her memory today.
Cyril Dumont, Renaults principal track support engineer to Red Bull
Im very pleased. To win the race already is something quite fantastic, but for an engine manufacturer to win Monza - well thats the race to win - so this victory has a very special taste for us. Also with the new agreement we have announced with Red Bull this weekend. We have worked with them for five seasons now and I think this partnership is something really solid. I think it was good race from Sebastian today, his pace was incredible. Unfortunately Marks race was too short; he had shown good enough pace to potentially finish on the podium. I would like to say thank you to all the people working at Renault and Red Bull Racing for this great result today.
Jenson Button (2nd)
Its nice to have fought my way back through to second = but its frustrating to have had a problem at the start with the clutch, because it cost me dearly. I dropped back to sixth, then, at the restart, I had no way of keeping Mark [Webber] back, because his straightline speed was so strong, so I slipped to seventh. Obviously, that enabled the leaders to get a long way out in front, and I was delayed by a further four or five seconds when Mark and Felipe [Massa] tangled in front of me at Turn One. After that, I was able to get my head down and passed Lewis and Michael [Schumacher] within the space of about five corners, which was really satisfying. After that, I set about closing down Fernando [Alonso], it was great to be able to secure second because we got some good points for the team. On the whole, the teams done a great job this weekend, but its the little problems that are frustrating: if you have one of those, then youre not going to beat Red Bull and Sebastian [Vettel]. Hopefully, well have no problems at the next race because if we can get everything together then we can challenge for a win.
Lewis Hamilton (4th)
It was a good race: I finished and I got some points, so I cant really complain. At the restart, Michael [Schumacher] was on my outside; I was looking at him in my mirrors, then, all of a sudden, the guys ahead had gone, so I missed an opportunity to slipstream Sebastian [Vettel]. So they caught me napping. We were a little bit slow on the straight today, which meant it was hard to get past Michael, who was faster along the straight even when I had my DRS activated. I had to really fight Schumacher, but the fact that I finished ahead of him meant everything was okay. Thats racing. The support weve had in Italy - the weather, the fans - has all been incredible and Im really looking forward to coming back here again next year. I doubt its still possible to beat Sebastian for the title, but well keep pushing. For now, Im looking ahead to the flyaways - theyre going to be exciting and Im really focused on getting some more wins for the team.
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
Today our cars were the quickest of the lot - Lewis posted fastest lap, while Jenson took second-fastest lap - but unfortunately our drivers didnt get off to good enough starts. The result was that they spent much of the race stuck behind Michael (Schumacher), whose Mercedes-Benz was remarkably quick in a straight line and extremely wide on the approaches to the corners. Meanwhile, Seb [Vettel] was able to pull away, which was deeply frustrating for us because we knew we had the pace to take the race to him, had our guys got off to better starts. But thats motor racing: youve got to qualify well, start well and race well. Well, this weekend we qualified pretty well, we raced very well, but we didnt start well enough. Even so, we scored 30 world championship points this afternoon, consolidating our second place in the constructors world championship and pulling out a margin of 71 points over our closest challenger. Now, we embark on a tough run of six fly-away races, starting in Singapore in two weeks time and ending in Brazil in late November. There are still a lot of points up for grabs, and well be doing our damnedest to bag as many of them as we possibly can.
Fernando Alonso (3rd)
Returning to this magnificent podium wearing the Scuderia race suit is always very exciting. I said it yesterday: a podium place is within our grasp. We knew we needed to get a great start and we managed it, partly down to a great preparation job done with the engineers over the past two days. The start was really a magical moment, like in Barcelona, although we knew this was not our true position and that sooner or later we would have been passed. However, it was still very nice to see our fans cheering during those laps at reduced speed behind the Safety Car. There was nothing we could about Vettel, he was much quicker than us and passed me easily. The situation was better up against the McLarens: with the Softs, we could defend well, but on the Mediums they still have a significant advantage and I think that if the race had gone on a few more laps, I would have been off the podium. Having said that, I am happy with this result: we were better in the race than in qualifying, but that has been a constant factor since the start of the season. Sure, it would have been fantastic to do the double after 2010, but we must stay cool and concentrate and try to reach targets that are within our reach: today we did just that. Its true the title has gone now, but there is still great motivation: we want to win races and try to defend the position I have just reached in the drivers championship.
Felipe Massa (6th)
I can only be disappointed with this sixth place, because today I could definitely have fought for a place on the podium. Unfortunately, the incident caused by Webber cost me too much time and I dropped to tenth place. That meant I had to pass so many drivers to try and catch up to the leaders again, but by then it was anyway too late. The collision with Webber did not do any damage: he hit my wheels and that pushed me into a spin when we were at the second corner. I braked slightly late, taking the inside line and, going round the outside, he would never have got past. I am really disappointed, because the car was not bad today in terms of pace and even when we were running the Medium tyres in the final stint of the race, we were reasonably quick and degradation was pretty low. Now we hope to have a bit more luck in the final six races of the season.
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
Honestly, this result is the best we could have hoped for, given our current technical situation. The fact Fernando is second in the Drivers championship is amazing and I think it highlights the stuff our driver is made of. Once again today, he delivered a majestic performance, either attacking, as he did at the start, or defending as in the closing stages. Felipe also did well and I am sure he could have been right up there in the fight behind Vettel, if he had not been pushed into a spin by Webber: all the same he delivered a good race. Clearly Ferrari must always aim for victory and a third place is not and should not be something to get excited about, but the team worked well, keeping its cool and concentrating and, step by step, the situation is improving. Our aim for the final part of the season remains the same: we will try and win races and always do our best. We owe that to ourselves and to our fans who once again today, were magnificent. I am sure Fernando felt goose bumps up on the podium: standing there in a red suit is something special
Pat Fry, Ferrari deputy chassis director
We expected a very close race and thats what we got right from the start. These twenty three points are more or less in line with what we could have expected from our potential at this track. Over the weekend, we worked a lot to improve the performance of the car and the result of that was there to see, considering where we started from on Friday morning. The drivers were great, always getting the most out of the car and the guys were also impeccable during the pit stops. From a strategy point of view it was a relatively simple race to interpret and, given how the early stages of the race evolved, we tried to cover what our main competition was doing. We knew that on the Medium, the performance gap would be higher than on the Soft, but we still managed to maintain this podium place which was our realistic target going into the race. The European season is over and the final part begins, which will see us travel the world for two months: we will look to do our best and bring home some wins.
Michael Schumacher (5th)
"It was an exciting race today, both for me and I think for all of our fans, and that is why I am happy. The fighting against Lewis was big fun, and my mirrors seemed to be very small at times. We are both known for driving on the limit, and that is what we did. I had to make my car as wide as a truck, and had to stretch the possible as much as I could, but in the end, as expected, he was still faster. The start was ideal, I held back on purpose at first in order to use the grip perfectly afterwards, and then the left side was all free. To make the most of your possibilities is the maximum possible at times, and that is why I had fun today, especially knowing that there is more to come in the future, with all the support we have from Mercedes."
Nico Rosberg (DNF)
"It was a disappointing race for me today in Monza. I had a difficult start on my prime tyres but still managed to gain a place at the first corner, so it was quite good. Then Liuzzi flew like a torpedo over the grass and put me out of the race. It's a pity because I had a strong strategy and, as Michael's good result showed, our car was very strong this afternoon."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
"A fantastic drive from Michael today, and I'm sure he really enjoyed his racing out there. The boys have done a great job with our starts this year, and Michael was able to get away well and show his race craft in the first part of the race. Then he settled into a really tough battle with the McLarens, particularly Lewis, which was great racing and vintage Michael. We haven't quite got a car that's quick enough yet but we are all pleased with Michael's fifth place today. For Nico, it was a short and not at all sweet afternoon. We had an exciting strategy starting him on the prime tyres, and looking at how those tyres performed on other cars at the beginning of the race, it would have been very interesting to see how it developed. It's doubly frustrating that he was taken out by a car starting in 24th position. If you get tangled up at the first corner because you are vying for position, that's racing, but to be swiped out by someone that far back is hard to take. However, we have shown as a team that when we do have the right car, we will be able to compete at the front, and that's our inspiration for next year."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"A thrilling drive from Michael again today - the first half of the race delivered probably one of the best television shows of the year and I am sure lots of people at home were standing rather than sitting in front of their televisions, which was the case for us on several occasions today. Michael repeated his Spa result today and everybody realised during his drive how committed and hard-fighting he is - it was a joy to watch, and certainly not just for us. It was a shame for Nico to be in the middle of a first-lap shunt at Turn One. With two fresh sets of option tyres available - which none of the top drivers had today - I am sure he would have been in a good position to fight for a strong result. We all are now looking forward to the Singapore night race where we want to consolidate our recent performances from Spa and Monza."
Jaime Alguersuari (7th)
I am very happy with my race today. I think I would like to start even further back on the grid for the next one, because it seems that whenever I have a poor grid position, I finish in the points! I am also very pleased for the team, as they got both cars home in the points. I am a bit surprised at the way the car performance came good on Sunday in the race, because I did not expect to be quicker than Force India and Sauber. Getting this great result at our home race, also makes it extra special. We need to keep on working like this and try and improve our qualifying performance on Saturday. If we do that, I think we can finish in the points on a regular basis.
Sebastien Buemi (10th)
I am bit disappointed with the way the race panned out. I made a very good start, but then when an HRT triggered a big accident, I took a knock at the back of my car and it was definitely damaged in some way, as it did not work at its maximum potential from then on. If that had not happened, maybe I could have finished ninth or eighth. But while tenth is therefore a bit disappointing, losing out to Senna right at the end, when he was on the Soft tyre and I was on the Medium, its time to look ahead and think about doing better in two weeks time in Singapore.
Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal
Our home track always appears to be a lucky one for us, because we seem to finish regularly in the points here at Monza. Jaimes seventh place finish was the best result of his Formula 1 career and it was the teams best so far this season and a good result overall as we got both cars home in the points, with Sebastien Buemi tenth past the flag. The points we got today see us close the gap to both Force India and Sauber in the Constructors Championship. Jaime drove an excellent race, making up eleven places from his grid position. He was especially quick on his second set of tyres, putting in one fastest lap after another. Sebastien was lucky to finish the race, after being involved in a collision when he clipped another car with the left rear tyre. Well done to the entire team, who delivered a good strategy and executed it well during the race. This was a good way to end the European leg of the season and I am now looking forward to seeing if we can continue like this in the remaining six races of the championship.
Paul di Resta (8th)
Of course Im really happy to finish eighth today after what hasnt been the easiest of races. My launch was not great, but the guys around me didnt get away well either. Going into turn one I could see a Williams coming towards me so I moved as far to the outside as possible, but there was no option but to bump across the chicane. After that we went aggressive with the tyre strategy and I think we extracted as much as we could because our ultimate lap time in race trim was not quite there today. So its great to pick up four more points, which helps us move up a place in the championship.
Adrian Sutil (DNF)
I made a good start, but I was in the middle of a lot of cars and I couldnt really gain any positions. Then the biggest problem was Liuzzi spinning and hitting the field at turn one. I was on the inside and I had to go into the gravel to avoid the crashed cars, which cost me a lot of time. Fortunately my car was fine with no damage so I was still able to continue. I was running on the medium tyre so things looked okay and I felt points could still be possible. A few laps later the power steering went so I knew I had a problem. I tried to downshift into turn three and I couldnt so I had to park the car. As we saw with Pauls result, we missed out on getting two car in the points today.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal
Another very entertaining race at Monza and a great performance from Paul and the team to finish eighth. We always believed that points were possible, but we had to fight hard and stay out of trouble. Paul did well to avoid a messy first corner and went on to drive a very mature race and beat some cars that were perhaps quicker on absolute pace. The strategy came to us and we made the tyres work to score four important points, which moves us up to sixth position in the constructors championship. As for Adrian, he was out of luck today. He lost a lot of time during the first lap, but that soon became academic when his car suffered a hydraulic problem. So we end the European season full of optimism and look forward to racing in Singapore in a couple of weeks time.
Bruno Senna (9th)
"Im happy to score my first F1 points today, especially as it was only my second race for the team. Although I started 10th, it was not been an easy job to finish ninth. We suffered some bad luck in the first corner; everybody was cutting the chicane which forced me to drive on the outside, and in the process I lost all the places I had fought so hard for in qualifying. It makes me very happy to know that I am able to put myself in the position of scoring points, and also to fight with the guys who have been doing this for a long time. The pace of the car was clear for all to see, but I wish the race was just one lap longer because I may have been able to pass Paul (Di Resta) for eighth. The team chose a great strategy, the tyre was fast enough where I needed it to be and I am very happy to get my name on the points board. The team did a great job and I am really looking forward to Singapore.
Vitaly Petrov (DNF)
Naturally I am very disappointed with what happened today. I had a reasonable start and, as I was heading into the first chicane, Vitantonios HRT came from nowhere and hit me big time, which brought my race to an end. Theres nothing I could have done to avoid this. First of all, Im happy not to be injured, as the impact was quite strong and it could have been a nasty accident. We have put in so much effort since Spa, at the track, Enstone and Viry, so Im sorry that wasnt translated into points today. This is part of racing, but I cant help thinking that we could have secured a good result. We must now concentrate on Singapore, which will be a real test for us. We will be bringing another technical upgrade with us, before going on to quicker tracks like Japan and Korea, which should suit our car better. On the upside, the car has felt good since the first practice session here; we definitely made a step forward performance-wise and we should have a strong end to the season.
Eric Boullier, Renault team principal
I have mixed feelings because that first corner cost us dear today; Vitaly was very unfortunate to be out of the race, and Bruno was in eighth at the end of the first lap. However, the team mapped out a very strong strategy, which helped Bruno come all the way back from to ninth. It is good to see him score his first points in F1, and it is clear that if we have a trouble-free race we can finish much higher. We still have some upgrades to come, and if you combine that with the fact that our car has really been on the pace this weekend, we should be confident we can push on from here. As a sport, Formula 1 has once again put on a good show for fans today and we should all be delighted with the quality of racing we have witnessed.
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer
It goes without saying that without the first corner incident, it would have been a very different race for us. Vitaly lost his rear suspension and retired on the spot, whilst Bruno lost many places and finished up 15th behind the safety car. We started him on the medium tyre because we thought Nico (Rosberg) could start on this tyre and we didnt want to get stuck behind him on softs. The early safety car gave us the opportunity to switch strategy with the hope of overtaking others, as they had to go onto the medium tyre at the end. It worked up to a point. We were certainly quicker than the cars around us but even with DRS and better top speed, overtaking was difficult. To come from 18th to ninth is not bad, but we could have scored more points today. Having said that, our performance showed that we can have a strong end to the season."
Riccardo Penteado, LRGP engine support leader, Renault Sport F1
Monza is the hardest track of the year for the engine, which is why we introduced new units here. Having said that, all weekend the car has been very quick and the top speed, which peaked at nearly 350kph yesterday in qualifying, was particularly impressive. It was a great result for Bruno to score points in only his second race for the team. He demonstrated his speed and reliability, and if he hadnt been caught up in the accident he may have scored even more points. Vitaly was very unfortunate today to get caught up in the incident at the first corner. Singapore is a very different circuit from Monza, but the team will look to build from this and score more points.
Pastor Maldonado (11th)
I had a great start and made up a lot of positions while also avoiding the accident. The pace at the beginning was quite strong, but in the second stint we started to lose time and it was difficult to maintain that good rhythm. At the end of the race we had a consistent pace but unfortunately it just wasnt quick enough.
Rubens Barrichello (12th)
I had a brilliant start, gaining three or four positions as we headed into the first corner, but then I saw an HRT come past. I was lucky he didnt hit me but I was then in the middle of the action and so had to stop the car. I didnt hit anyone, but when Rosberg started to move he hit my nose, it was a difficult situation. Its a shame I got caught in that, as with the pace and the strategy I could have scored some points for the team today.
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
We didn't have the pace to score points today. Rubens was caught up in the first corner incident through no fault of his own but recovered the car to change his front wing. He then began chasing up to the back of the pack during the safety car, although not making it to the back of the field as the race restarted. From that point onwards, we had him scheduled to make just one more stop to try to take advantage if something unusual happened. Pastor had a great position after the safety car and a decent first stint, but we didn't have the pace in the following stints to hold on to the position. Our focus is now on Singapore to put the next upgrade on the car for the remaining races.
Heikki Kovalainen (13th)
I had a great start, passing Jarno and then seeing the HRT coming into T1 in a pretty hardcore style so I avoided that and was then up into a good position early on. I managed to hold that place for a good number of laps and found the tyre degradation pretty easy to manage. The pit stops were really good today - the calls to come in were made at the right times and the whole crew did a great job to get me out so quickly, so thanks to them and the whole team for a good end to the weekend.
Jarno Trulli (14th)
For once I didnt have a great start but I managed to avoid the crash at the first corner and luckily Heikki and I were able to get through that and avoid damaging our cars. While I was racing Heikki, I think Massa got into trouble into the first chicane, so I had to go off track to avoid hitting him. When I rejoined the track he shut the door on me, so I went down the inside, kept flat out and managed to overtake him. Then, going into the first corner I had two faster cars behind me with KERS they had just pressed the button and while going into the second corner Massa lost the car under braking and hit me which forced me into the car next to me, damaging the front end of the car and the front wing. It was really unlucky as I was basically in a sandwich and I was the only one that was damaged! The team did a great job to bring me in, change the nose and then rethink the strategy, switching me to one stop strategy pretty much straight away. From there my lap times were really good and I enjoyed the whole of the rest of the race. Im really happy about the performance today and the pace was excellent all afternoon. In fact, throughout the whole weekend I have been very happy with the pace of the car overall and this mornings news about next years contract has made this a fantastic home race for me - thanks to the whole team for that!
Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
It has been a great day for Team Lotus and, for me, about the best race I have been to so far! To come 13th and 14th at Monza is way above my expectations so I am very proud of both drivers and the whole team. Obviously the race had a number of incidents which helped our final grid positions, but there are two key points for us to take out of today we were there at the end to take the advantage of the positions that were available and our pace over the race distance was strong enough to keep up with a number of the established teams. Both Heikki and Jarno did an absolutely fantastic job throughout the whole afternoon and they were helped by the pit stop crew who performed brilliantly, and the engineers who made the right calls at the right times. Well done to all. This has been a pivotal few days for our team and we will be making a number of announcements over the next few weeks that will show just how well we have laid the foundations for the future of our team. But now for me it is back to London and Loftus Road!
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
That was a great race for us. Both drivers managed to avoid the carnage at the start but then Jarno lost a bit of time early on after being hit by Massa. That incident meant we had to bring him in to change his front wing, putting him back a few places but we switched his strategy and put him onto a long stint on the soft tyres tyres before changing to the mediums. That change, and the fact he was pushing throughout the whole race, helped him get back in front of his direct opposition and he did well to finish 14th. Heikki was also strong all afternoon and was holding the places he had gained at the start as long as he possibly could - we are all delighted that he brought his car home in 13th without any issues at all as that was the primary goal for today. After a difficult Friday this performance was a great recovery from the team to show how we can bounce back from a difficult start to the weekend. It is been an extremely positive result which sets us up well for Singapore, so well done to everyone.
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader
From the engine perspective that was a pretty tough race but one that we are very pleased to have finished so well. Jarnos pace today was really good he was easily able to pull away from Timo once he passed him and to have both cars finishing so closely together after the incident Jarno had is a very positive result. Monza is extremely testing for the engines as the drivers spend so long at full throttle, but we managed to get both cars home without any problems so that is a good afternoon for us and the whole team.
Timo Glock (15th)
The race today was okay, even though the car was a bit difficult to drive, which is a little disappointing after yesterdays qualifying. Over the weekend we have definitely seen a step forward. The car felt better, but we have to look at why the car wasnt so good in race trim and see how we can develop the package for Singapore.
Jerome DAmbrosio (DNF)
A really disappointing end to the weekend. I was really looking forward to the race and then during the formation lap I realised that I had no second gear. I started the race but the car was undriveable, so I had to come back into the garage and retire. Its a real shame because todays race looked like a close one but we just have to move on and get ready for the next race, as the initial signs from the upgrade have been positive.
John Booth, Virgin team principal
Timo had an absolutely outstanding start and picked his way through the chaos in the first corner to end the lap in 14th position. From this point on, unfortunately we didnt quite have the pace to stay with Heikki, however Trullis early stop meant that at least we were racing him. We perhaps could have pitted a little bit earlier on the first stop, but overall we didnt quite have the pace to stay in front. Nonetheless, the very fact that we are back racing with Team Lotus shows the improvement we have made for this weekend. With Jérôme, its very unfortunate that the gearbox failed on the formation lap. We had no indication of any issues up to this point, so we will review this back at our technical base in order to understand how this happened. We have a very busy week ahead, with half of the team moving on to an aero test in Vairano, Italy, on Tuesday and the other half will be back at base to finalise our preparations for the final flyaways. The team and the drivers are very much looking forward to heading to Singapore where, if our simulations are correct, this upgrade should yield greater gains.
Kamui Kobayashi (DNF)
This is, of course, disappointing for everybody. I had no power anymore no matter which gear I selected. Until then it had been quite an exciting and difficult race for me. I had a set of the new harder tyres - the medium compound - for the start and, of course, the plan was to stay out with them for a long time. Sergio proved later that this was possible, but after the accident in turn one, which involved a couple of cars, everybody tried to stop so as not to run into the accident. I touched the car which braked in front of me. Not only did my front wing come lose, but I also damaged a tyre and therefore I had to change to a set of used soft tyres. Because of this our strategy was ruined, but I was still very confident about scoring points today. It is a true shame.
Sergio Perez (DNF)
Despite our poor grid positions, we were doing well in the race, but then both of us retired, and that is tough. I started 15th and our race strategy was to do a very long stint on the harder tyres - the medium compound - and in the end only a short stint on the soft tyres. From lap 20 I had been in seventh. I had a gap in front and one behind, so it all looked good, but then first of all I could not use third gear and then after that couldnt shift in any gear. We missed a great opportunity to score points today.
Peter Sauber, Sauber team principal
We deliberately put all our focus on the race, accepting that this would compromise our qualifying performance. Our performance today proved that this approach worked out perfectly. We were faster than our direct competitors. Today it would have been easy to score many points, but both our drivers were stopped by gearbox problems, Kamui on lap 23, and Sergio on lap 33. Sergio drove an excellent race and was safely in seventh at that time, and running on a one stop strategy which was perfect today. In addition, our car was as fast as expected today.
Giampaolo DallAra, Sauber head of track engineering
As expected, our pace in the race was much better than in qualifying, and the strategy was also very good. Sergio was on a one stop strategy, drove very consistently and didnt suffer on the medium tyres in the beginning. Over 33 laps he set very respectable lap times. He was 15 seconds ahead of the competition, and we were just waiting for them to stop and then do the same. In Kamuis case we had to bring him in after his first lap incident. We then changed to a two stop strategy, using two sets of the soft tyres, which would also have worked well in his case. Unfortunately the gearbox failures stopped all our efforts.
Daniel Ricciardo (not classified)
The race started as bad as it could, for some reason the car went into anti-stall, jammed in third gear and then the engine switched off. I couldnt get restarted and had to get the car back into the box. The mechanics got it going again and I was back on track but the engine temperature rose and they called me back to check it and it took us a few more minutes until we could rejoin the race. I went straight into a bit of traffic which made it hard to get a bit of rhythm. But at least in the second stint at the end of the race I was able to get in quite a few good laps and we got some data out of that. A little bit is better than nothing but I need to keep pushing for a better result in Singapore.
Vitantonio Liuzzi (DNF)
I was really looking forward to my home race and, although I knew it was going to be tough, it all ended prematurely. I had a good start getting past both Virgins, Lotuses and Daniel but then I went for another overtaking manoeuvre and got closed out. That put me into the grass and once I was there I tried to slow down but completely lost control of the car and unfortunately hit other cars. I am really sorry for Petrov, Rosberg and the other drivers who were forced to retire because of this. Now its over but we are fighters and we have to look ahead to the next race.
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
This was a weekend to forget after losing both cars before the first corner of the first lap. The mechanics managed to fire up the car and Ricciardo completed 39 laps. We knew that Monza would be difficult but everything was set up for a satisfying race. It is a pity for both our drivers, but let´s look ahead to a much better weekend in Singapore.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
Our first home race in the very special surroundings of Monza was everything that we hoped it would be, and the fact that there are five world champions in the top five just underlines the quality of the action. We experienced a very hot Monza weekend but despite these high temperatures and the sheer energy that the track puts through the carcasses, both the soft and the medium tyres stood up extremely well to this massive test, with no blistering beyond the usual parameters and very good durability. It meant that none of the drivers had to hold back and we saw some great entertainment all the way down the field from start to finish. Were now looking forward to our very first night race at Singapore, which the heat here has prepared us well for, where we will see the return of our P Zero Red supersoft tyres.
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