Ricciardo led Verstappen in the early part of the race but with Ferrari looming behind, the team opted to split their strategies. Unfortunately for the Australian, the better strategy ended up with Verstappen, who duly delivered a calm composed race to keep Raikkonen behind and win his maiden Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen, 1st
“It’s a very special feeling. Of course I didn’t expect to win; after the Mercedes pair crashed then you’re targeting a podium, but in the end to come out on top, it’s incredible. To hear the Dutch national anthem for the first time in Formula One, I have to think about my dad for sure and I heard he was crying, so yeah it’s unbelievable. He invested a lot of time in me and this achievement is also because of him. I wasn’t nervous during the race, I was just trying to focus and drive the best I could. We focused a lot on keeping the tyres alive because at my last stop I still had to do 32 laps until the end, but it worked out well! With five laps to the end I saw Kimi was dropping off a bit, he tried a few times and of course it kills your tyres and from there I just like ‘okay, focus on the tyres now and bring it home’. I will for sure remember this and at the moment it’s just a great feeling. It’s amazing, I have no words for it. It was very good company on the podium, I mean Kimi even raced against my dad, so it’s very funny! I was celebrating a lot on the in lap and I got a bit of cramp, but that’s part of it!”
Daniel Ricciardo, 4th
“Mixed emotions today, for sure. Some of it was just bad luck today, I was leading and then went on a three stop strategy, which meant I had to try and pass three cars on track, which isn’t easy. Seb had already jumped us on the pit stop, which resulted in more overtakes to get back to the front. In hindsight, a three stop strategy was the wrong thing to do, but maybe during the race it seemed like the right thing to the team. I wasn’t content sitting in fourth so I tried to pass Vettel, I had a crack, but it didn’t work out. It really sucks to not even be on the podium and then the puncture at the end just rubs salt in the wound. It’s a big day for Max with his first race win, so congratulations to him. He got the job done, everyone questioned the decision during the week but he has proven today that he is a top class driver. It’s not hard for me to see Max on the podium, it’s just hard not to be there myself. Let’s move on to Monaco and hopefully we will both be on the podium next time.“
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“A quite remarkable day for Max Verstappen who, on his debut for the team, has become the youngest ever race winner after producing an exemplary drive. After the first lap incident between the Mercedes, we were in a great position to get some points, but to take on the Ferraris who had a very fast race car was always going to be difficult. We had to make some difficult decisions in the race, as it wasn’t clear whether the two or the three stop was going to be quickest, so we elected to split the strategies. We felt that the two stop was right at the limit, but Max made the tyres last and didn’t make any mistakes to score a very impressive victory. Daniel was obviously coming back through the field with much younger tyres, but unfortunately picked up a puncture with a couple of laps to go; otherwise I am sure he would have been on the podium too. But, there’s a lot to look forward to and it’s great to be back on the top step of the podium.”Ricciardo led Verstappen for much of the early part of the race. With Ferrari looming behind, the team opted to split their strategies. Unfortunately for the Australian, the better pit stop choices ended up with Verstappen, who duly delivered a calm composed race to keep Raikkonen behind and win his maiden Grand Prix.
The race was over on the first lap for both drivers, after a collision led to Hamilton and Rosberg being stranded in the gravel. Both drivers were summoned to the stewards, who subsequently deemed it a racing incident - although Mercedes will surely review the incident again behind closed doors...
"I had a decent start from pole but got slipstreamed on the way to the first corner and lost the lead. Coming out of turn three, I was catching Nico really quickly and went for the gap on the right - I had part of my car alongside but then had to take to the grass. The gap was there and, if you're a racing driver, you go for that gap. We saw what happened after that. I'm hurt and disappointed for the team most of all because we lost 43 points today. We're all here working together towards the same result and the team give me the opportunity to race with the work they do. When I came to a stop in the gravel trap, all I could think about was how gutted I was for the team - that's where I feel the pain. But we will move on together and come back stronger in Monaco."
"I had a great start and I was ecstatic after passing Lewis around the outside of turn one. At that point, it was my race to win. I came out of turn three and realised I was down on power with the wrong mode selected due to the engine mode switch being in the incorrect position. Lewis was closing in, so I decided to make a clear move to the right hand side as soon as possible, to close the door and show him that wasn't an option. I was very surprised that Lewis went for the inside anyway. The next thing I knew, we were in the gravel trap. I'm gutted, not just for myself but for the whole team, it's the worst feeling as a driver."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"After all the hard work we've put in over the past two weeks it's deeply disappointing to come away with no points, but in my opinion this was a racing incident, with the drivers racing for position, and I don't want to start blaming one or the other. Both Lewis and Nico are upset and we talked with them, looking at the pictures and the data, to determine exactly what happened. By letting the drivers race as we do, this kind of eventuality can happen but we won't change our approach - we owe it to Formula One and the fans to let them race. But today, it was the work of the whole team that finished in the gravel trap, and this isn't what we want to see happen - both of the boys know how much hard work goes into each race weekend and that they have the responsibility to bring that home. We have matured as a team over the past years, so we will be able to move on from this and, hopefully, fight back in a positive way in Monaco. I want to add a word for Max, too; on a bad day for us, he sprinkled a bit of magic on the sport, so big congratulations to him on what I'm sure is only the first of his Grand Prix wins."
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
"First of all, congratulations to Max Verstappen. It's a tremendous story for Formula One. It was a very short race for us today and it was a huge disappointment for the team, especially to lose both cars in such dramatic fashion. It's hard to take, especially given the amount of hard work prior to this weekend to solve a number of reliability risks and to bring the level of performance to the car that was witnessed in qualifying. It was a dominant front-row lockout and we were looking forward to a great race. We pride ourselves on allowing both our drivers to race, and race to the limit and that involves some tough manoeuvres from both Lewis and Nico and they sometimes won't work out as we saw today. The stewards have ruled for no further action against either of our drivers. Most importantly we head to Monaco stronger and in better shape to continue in our quest for the 2016 Championships."
Running different strategies, both Vettel and Raikkonen had opportunities to win this race. Raikkonen couldn't find any way round Verstappen on a track not known for its overtaking, whilst Vettel ended up on the slower three-stop option and did well to keep a feisty Ricciardo behind.
Kimi Raikkonen, 2nd
"I had a poor start, with massive wheel spin when I released the clutch. I managed to recover some places in the first few corners and then I caught up with Max pretty easily. The car was ok and the speed was good, but once you are following another car for many laps this doesn't help the tires and I was missing a bit of grip and downforce. It was a struggle to follow him close, I never really had a good run on him out of the last corner because he was really fast there. It's a bit disappointing when you get that close and you don't win, but after a difficult weekend we have to be somehow happy for this result. As a team we keep working as hard as we can and try to get the wins, we keep fighting and when we have difficult weekends likes this one, we have to keep the fight alive and be up there to score points. Max really deserves this win, for me he's not a surprise. He was doing a very good job already last year and today in a better car he was able to win."
Sebastian Vettel, 3rd
"Today there was a big chance to win the race, so definitely I was attacking to win, that was what I was hoping for. But that lasted up to the point where I came out after the last stop and I realized the advantage I had, with a set of tires that were a couple of laps fresher, over the guys ahead was practically not there. We struggled on the Medium tires, where Red Bull was strong, and this is the reason why Kimi and I couldn't attack, but we were very strong on the Soft tires. We decided to split the strategies between the two cars: I went for the three stop strategy, then I tried to attack the leader and I succeeded, but in the end both Daniel and myself came out behind the two stoppers. So all in all we were lacking pace, which is something we need to understand. There is nothing wrong with our car, it's good, it works well, and the stuff we brought here seems to work. My congratulations to Verstappen. The first win is one of the best moments you can have, it's something really special. So 'chapeau', Max managed to stay ahead, even if he had a lot of pressure from Kimi."
Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal
"We must be realistic and accept the fact that, if both Mercedes had been in the race, the result would have been different. Today we had an opportunity and we failed to take advantage. Even if on track we had a fast car we had to pay a hefty price for the problems we experienced in qualifying and which, on some parts of the circuit, re-surfaced during the course of the race. Now we must address these issues and move on from there. Congratulations to Max Verstappen for his maiden Formula One win."
Grosjean had a difficult afternoon, locking up and running wide into the gravel before retiring with brake issues. Gutierrez ran in the points for much of the race, before losing ground as his tyres degraded. He eventually missed his first points by less than eight seconds.
Esteban Gutierrez, 11th
“It was a very tricky weekend for us, which started with a few problems in FP2 (Free Practice 2) on Friday. However, the team did a great job in recovering. In the race, I was doing my best from the beginning to the end. I think we could have done a bit better with the tyres – maybe taken a bit of a longer stint with the softs as toward the end of the race I just ran out of tyres. However, it was really enjoyable out there and I had some great battles throughout. Today wasn’t straightforward for us to finish in the points, but we’re finding more consistency in the car, which will give us more opportunity to go forward.”
Romain Grosjean, DNF
“I had a very good start, a very good first lap. I managed to get into the top-10 and was fighting there. Then my front wing decided to go, for some reason. We came back to the pits, fitted a new nose, got some tyres, but then the brakes went. The car wasn’t having a good day. We really need to find out what’s going on because we reverted back on most of the setup, and we’re still very much struggling with the balance. Testing this week is going to be very important for us.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“It was a very eventful race for us with both our drivers. We had a problem with the front wing for Romain. We changed it, obviously, but then we had to retire him as he had a brake issue. Esteban did a good job. I think in the end he ran out of tyres. There was no grip anymore – they’d gone off the cliff. He fought the whole race. We got him to 11th – almost a point – but we just didn’t get it. It shows we are there when we need to be there. All in all, it was our most difficult race and our most eventful race of the year. It’s part of the game. It doesn’t always go perfectly.”
A bold early pit stop by the Williams team jumped Massa up the order, in what became a good recovery drive from 18th on the grid to finish in the points. Bottas had a relatively quiet race, running solidly in fifth, albeit some way behind the Red Bull-Ferrari battle.
Valtteri Bottas, 5th
"I think we got the maximum today and I’m pleased to get decent points. We know our car wasn’t quick enough this weekend, but we had a good result, so that’s positive. Of course we would like to battle for the podiums and wins, but it wasn’t possible this weekend. We need to keep pushing on the development and we need more pace on these type of tracks. We knew that if something happened we could gain a couple of places, otherwise it was always going to be tricky, but this is racing. A lot of things can happen and this time we took a small advantage from it."
Felipe Massa, 8th
"It was definitely a very good race for us with some good points, finishing eighth positon from starting 18th. It was a difficult race, and not on our best track to finish in the points, so I’m happy. I know we’ve lost points compared to Red Bull, but that’s the way it is. I am really happy for Max. I know what it means to win for the first time, and he is only 18-years-old at a top team. Looking forward to Monaco, I hope we can show that we have a better car for that type of track, as we have struggled there over the last two years. Monaco is Monaco though and anything can happen."
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering
"I think Valtteri did a really good job. At the end of the first stint we asked him to push to overcut Sainz and Perez. We were about to call him in but we kept him on track so he could get the overcut, which worked well as Valtteri was very quick and pushing hard. After that, it was a straightforward race for him. Felipe’s race was much more complex. It was a much harder job to get those four points. I think we did a really good job in terms of strategy, which we switched around a little bit. We had planned a three-stop strategy, but we changed our tyre plan in the middle of the race to ensure Felipe had good pace to overtake and make progress when he needed to. We got him past the McLarens and onto the back of Perez, but he was unfortunately not able to pass at the end. That’s what we expected him to do in the race, and Felipe delivered. It was unfortunate he had to start from 18th, but we’ve all made mistakes and we’ve got to learn from them and do better next time. The pitwall worked well today and the pitstops were fantastic again; the team seems to be building in confidence as our stops continue to improve. Unfortunately, the car’s pace isn’t quick enough at the moment. Red Bull may have won today, but we won’t stop challenging them. We’ll keep pushing them as hard as we can, and in order to do that, we need more pace from the car."
Hulkenberg's day ended in flames, with an oil leak forcing his second retirement in a row. Perez had a better time of it, coming home seventh after a solid, if unspectacular drive.
Sergio Perez, 7th
“It was a very good race and I think we managed to get the maximum result we could hope to achieve today. We were able to keep some very fast cars behind us and we capitalised on the accident on the first lap [between Hamilton and Rosberg] to bring home a good amount of points. I had to fend off Felipe [Massa] in the last three laps: I was on very old tyres and he was closing in on me, but I managed to defend my position. This was pretty much the only action I had all afternoon; the rest of my race was quite lonely, which helped me look after the tyres and allowed me to defend in the final few laps. We had a good strategy that helped us leapfrog the Haas and brought us this good result on a track that has never been our strongest.”
Nico Hülkenberg, DNF
“It’s frustrating not to finish another race. I saw some smoke coming from the back of my car and then it developed into a fire so I had to park quickly at the side of the track. It’s a shame because I missed the chance to fight for points and we also missed out on learning more about the car in race conditions. Sometimes in racing you have periods when things don’t go your way, but you have to keep the faith and believe that sooner or later your luck will change. There are also some positives to take away from this weekend because we’ve made progress with the car and I think the performance will continue to improve. So we will keep working hard and come back stronger at the next one.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“It’s been quite an eventful weekend for us, so it’s fairly satisfying to be leaving Barcelona with six points in our pocket. We made a good step with the car, allowing Sergio to run solidly inside the top ten all afternoon. It’s a track with limited strategy options and few overtaking opportunities so it was quite a lonely and straightforward race for him. On the other side of the garage, Nico was out of luck with an oil leak causing a fire and forcing an early retirement. Thankfully Nico was able to park up and helped the marshals extinguish the fire. So it’s been another mixed weekend, but I think our improved performance bodes well for the remainder of the season. As we learn more about this car we have the potential to continue scoring good points at the upcoming races.”
Sainz had an electric start, but could do little to resist the Ferraris whom he'd overtaken. He finished sixth, to end a good weekend at his home race. Kvyat had a more eventful time, having to give up a place to Magnussen in the early stages after being adjudged to have overtaken under the safety car. He never gave up though, and some good late overtakes lifted him to tenth.
Carlos Sainz, 6th
“What a fantastic race! We finally put a whole weekend together – we had a productive Friday, were fast in Quali and had good pace in the race today – and I’m a very happy man! P6 is an amazing result for me and the team, and to achieve this at my home race makes it even better. The start to the race was great, I think I did one of the best race starts of my life to be honest, running in a podium position and battling with Ferrari… Those first laps were really nice! I felt comfortable during the rest of the race, the team did a very good job with the pit-stops and I had a big smile on my face when I crossed the line in sixth position. I’d like to thank all the fans that have shown their support all weekend here in Barcelona, especially to those who came to my grandstand at Turn 12, they really gave me an extra boost. I’d also like to congratulate Max on his win today, I’m very happy for him and the Red Bull family – I think it’s great that Red Bull brings young talent into Formula 1 and we keep succeeding, proving them right.”
Daniil Kvyat, 10th
“It was a good race for us today. We had to give two positions back at the restart of the race, so we lost a bit of time there. But a part from that, the pace was strong and we were competitive. It’s positive to be back and to finish in the points straight away. The car felt good and it didn’t take me a lot of time to get used to it. The second half of the race was fun, following the leaders without interrupting their fight, and I was able to overtake Gutierrez and get back into the points. The team also did a great job with the strategy and I’d like to congratulate them for this. It was a very productive day for the team, overtaking Haas in the Championship, so all in all, a positive weekend and we will continue fighting.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal
“First of all, I’d like to congratulate Red Bull and Max for their first victory of the year. It’s great to see that Max was well-prepared for such a big success and to achieve it so quickly is something extraordinary! As for our race, Carlos did a very good qualifying yesterday and this was the base for his fantastic race result today. After the first lap, he was in third position and he defended well, but clearly we didn’t have the performance in the straight against the Ferrari’s. From that point onwards he drove a very comfortable race, with really good lap times and showing an excellent pace. Regarding Daniil, he had to start from P13, which didn’t make things easy, but he also did a good job in the opening laps. Unfortunately he overtook two cars under the Safety Car, so he had to give these positions back and this compromised his race a bit, but then he caught-up again thanks to a great strategy and good pit-stops. He managed to cross the line scoring a point, which is a positive sign and very important for us. We are now fifth in the Constructor’s Championship and I hope we can defend this position. We have a very strong package also for Monaco and I’m quite confident that we can also score good points there.”
Nasr and Ericsson spent much of the afternoon fighting each other, with the Swede complaining about Nasr's aggressive defending on occasion. Ericsson brought the car home 12th, ahead of both Renaults in an encouraging, if ultimately pointless, weekend for the team.
Marcus Ericsson, 12th
“I am happy with my race today. We went for a good strategy from my point of view. I am also satisfied with my driving, as I did not make mistakes and had a good pace at the same time. I would say it was one of my best races in Formula One so far. We all know that we are still struggling with our car to keep up with other teams, but today I was able to beat one of our main competitors. Without updates on the car, I think we can be satisfied with this result today. We will keep pushing for Monaco.”
Felipe Nasr, 14th
“It was a difficult weekend. I had a good start to the race, and I was able to gain some positions on the first lap. I was surprised we did not change from our initial plan - a two stop strategy - to a three stop strategy. I do not think the two stop strategy was the right choice, as I could not keep up the pace. The stint was too long on the medium tyes, and I lost all the track positions I gained at the beginning of the race. Now we have to look forward to Monaco.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal
“That is a result which we can build on. Marcus was able to make his way up to the midfield due to very good driving. It is a positive sign that the team needs. Felipe also did his best, but was on a different strategy.”
Haryanto was the only driver to start on the medium compound tyres, a strategy which saw him running as high as 10th at one point. But after the first round of stops had been completed, the Manor drivers were left to tussle amongst themselves at the back of the pack.
Pascal Wehrlein, 16th
“We got both cars to the finish, which was good, but otherwise there isn’t much more to say today; our race was pretty much as we expected. The upgrades are positive but they didn’t influence the overall result at this track with the way the race panned out. We also suffered from quite high tyre degradation again, so there is still some way to go to keep improving the car. I think the next couple of races will be a little better for us and of course Monaco is a track I’ve been most looking forward to. My first race there will be something very special so we’ll keep working hard and looking forward.”
Rio Haryanto, 17th
“After the disappointment of Russia, it was good to see the chequered flag today. We decided to go long on the Medium for the first stint but there was too much traffic at that stage of the race so our strategy didn’t work out so well for us. For my third stint I was quite quick on the Soft tyres, so we need to understand why the Mediums worked less well for us. It’s been a mixed weekend but I’m looking forward to Monaco where I think things will go better for us.”
Dave Ryan, Racing Director
“It’s good to get two cars to the finish here but it was a long and lonely race for Pascal and Rio. We ran different tyre strategies between the two drivers – Pascal ran Soft, Medium, Medium, while Rio finished up on the Soft – just to create different options if the race presented some opportunities. Unfortunately, there was a certain amount of inevitability about what we could achieve here. On paper, the next couple of tracks should be slightly more favourable for us, plus we have the test this week to delve a little deeper into how we can extract more performance from our new developments.”
After a strong initial showing, Alonso failed to finish his home Grand Prix, pulling to the side of the track with sudden power loss. Button meanwhile made up places from the start and ran strongly in the points all afternoon.
Fernando Alonso, DNF
“My car felt okay this afternoon, but I didn’t manage to make a good start and lost everything – so my race was effectively over by the first corner.
“After that, I followed Jenson for 50 laps and had traffic all race long, so I wasn’t able to do too many laps in free air or show my true pace.
"At the end, I lost power somehow – we don’t know the exact cause.
“We weren’t able to capitalise on our reasonable level of competitiveness. With both Mercedes out, we had a good opportunity to score some points today, but we didn’t manage it, so we need to keep improving.”
Jenson Button, 9th
“It’s a shame that Fernando retired, because we were having a good battle out there.
“I had a great start – it must’ve been the best getaway out there!
“But it wasn’t a very easy race for me. There was no grip at all out there – and, whatever we did, we struggled. But, equally, the leaders weren’t very quick at the end, which made it really difficult for me to manage the situation because Dany [Kvyat] was right behind Seb [Vettel] and Ricci Bobby [Daniel Ricciardo], and he was on fresh rubber. Fortunately, I was just quick enough to stay ahead of those cars, and he couldn’t jump me.
“We knew it was going to be difficult to score points here, so this result wasn’t too bad.”
Eric Boullier, McLaren-Honda Racing Director
“Such was the drama of today’s Spanish Grand Prix that few spectators or TV viewers will probably have paid much attention to Jenson’s calm and well-judged run to ninth place – another points-scoring result following immediately after our double-points-scoring success in Sochi two weeks ago.
“Disappointingly for the local fans, Fernando was unable to score points today, owing to a software command issue that stopped the ICE. Until that moment he’d been driving hard and well, and, but for the problem that ended his race, may well have also finished inside the top 10.
“However, as I’ve said before, mere points aren’t what we at McLaren-Honda are all about – podiums, wins and championships are what float our boat, and undoubtedly they’ll come. I’ll make no predictions about the next race, the unique challenge that is the Monaco Grand Prix, but you may rest assured that we’ll be gunning for a decent result on the notoriously unforgiving streets of the famous Principality.
“Last but not least, I want to take this opportunity to congratulate young Max [Verstappen], who today became the youngest Grand Prix winner in Formula 1 history, a record held for the past eight years by Sebastian, for the five years before that by Fernando, and for no fewer than 44 years before that by the founder of our company, the great Bruce McLaren.”
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer
“It was a bittersweet end to an eventful Spanish Grand Prix. Fernando’s retirement was caused by a software command issue that stopped the ICE. We think that the power unit as a whole is not damaged from this incident, but we will continue to investigate the effects of this stop. Obviously we will work with the team to see how this kind of situation can be avoided in the races going forward.
“Jenson started brilliantly, but, on the whole, it was a long and difficult race for him, trying to save tyres while fending off the competition and maintaining position. Therefore, it was a pleasure to see him finish in the points after a difficult weekend.”
Palmer won the intra-team battle, coming home one place ahead of Magnussen. Renault were the only team to try out the hard tyre, which Palmer made work for a two-stop race. In a race to forget for Magnussen, he was later penalised for a last lap collision with his team mate, demoting him from 14th to 15th.
Kevin Magnussen, 15th
“We had decent pace on the soft tyre but on the hard and the medium – especially the medium – we were weak. It wasn’t a good day for me and I’ll be working closely with the team to understand why we weren’t able to deliver. I’m definitely looking forward to the test and getting some new bits on the car as today certainly wasn’t representative of what we’re capable of achieving.”
Jolyon Palmer, 13th
“I think that was probably the best race I’ve done in terms of pace and performance. The car was feeling okay, we were battling tyre degradation a bit but it was managable. It’s a bit disappointing not to finish in the points but for myself, I’m happy. More performance should be coming from the upgrades we have in store so I’m looking forward to Monaco.”
Fred Vasseur, Racing Director
“That was a tough race for us but both our drivers pushed hard, right until the chequered flag. Kevin struggled on the hard tyre so we switched strategy for him whereas Jolyon was able to make the most of a two-stop strategy and gave us his best performance to date. It was an great race for Formula 1 today. Congratulations to Max Verstappen on his first Grand Prix victory ; it is good for the sport to see Red Bull back on the top step of the podium, especially in such an exciting manner.”
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director
“This was a complex strategic battle all the way to the very end, with the balance of power shifting between Red Bull and Ferrari as the tactics evolved from lap to lap. The result was a fascinating race that remained absolutely unpredictable all the way to the chequered flag, making it one of the stand-out events of the season. During the final 10 laps the drivers had to manage their tyres to be sure of maintaining performance to the finish, adding yet another intriguing dimension to the action. This is the sort of race we were hoping for with our current range of compounds and the latest tyre regulations, so the Spanish Grand Prix certainly delivered. We’ve seen Formula One history being made today with the youngest winner ever in the sport, and we feel very proud to play a part in that.”