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In quotes - Sunday in Montreal

07 Jun 2015

Ten teams and 20 drivers report back on what proved to be a drama-filled 70 laps around Canada's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve...

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat, 9th

“It was a tough race because the Mercedes powered cars had a clear advantage over us, but we managed to keep two of them behind us today which is the maximum we could have done. Two championship points is the best we could have achieved. The team did a good job but we obviously have to improve in many areas including the power unit.”

Daniel Ricciardo, 13th

“It’s been a strange weekend for me and I am a little confused about today’s race. I was lacking pace and we are not sure why. There was nothing that felt especially wrong but we just couldn’t get any pace out of the car. I had a few set-up changes compared to Dany but that doesn’t explain the difference in pace. It is something we will look at to understand what the cause was.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“A difficult race for the team today, as we simply did not have the pace to make any progress. Having said that, Dany did a very good job all weekend to salvage a couple of points and that was the maximum we could achieve today. Daniel struggled for pace all weekend, which is unusual for him so we’ll now have an in-depth look at that to see what might have caused it.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault

“A hard weekend for the team, as expected. We finished the weekend without any reliability issues, but the performance was not at the right level. We know the steps that need to be taken to come back to the front so it’s just a question of time now. Now the reliability issues are under control we can focus 100 percent on the performance. We hope to be able to run the up-to-date engine spec as soon as possible to take as much advantage as possible before the end of the year.”


Will Stevens, 17th

“After a good start I was having a really strong race, managing to get ahead of my team-mate despite a problem with the front left in the pit stop, which lost us quite a bit of time. After that my race was going pretty much according to our one-stop plan and then on lap 50 I was hit by Grosjean as he was passing me, which was a little surprising as I left him so much room. It was an unnecessary accident and one which required another pit stop for front wing damage. The wing was snapped clean in two. All that aside, it’s been a stronger weekend for us here. It’s a shame we had our first retirement with Roberto’s car, but that was a good long run compared to other teams and I’m sure we’ll have things sorted for Austria.”

Roberto Merhi, DNF

“It has been a very positive weekend for me and the team, so to retire from the race for the first time this season is disappointing. I had a nice battle with Will though and there is so much to take away from here in terms of steps forward, so we have to focus on the good things. I feel like I’m making good progress, so it’s all about what we can do to prepare for the next one and keep pushing to improve.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“After what has been a strong weekend for us here in Canada, it’s a shame to have experienced our first retirement of the season. Roberto suffered a broken drive shaft, which, after such a long run of reliability up until now, is disappointing. He’s doing a great job at the moment though and I’m sure he’ll bounce back for Austria. Will was having a very good race before he was hit by Grosjean, breaking his front wing. He was at least able to recover and take the chequered flag. So, a less than straightforward race than we’ve been used to, but plenty of positives to take away nonetheless.”

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, 8th

“I am very happy to come away from here with four points - that's definitely some positive news. It was not the most eventful race and I was by myself most of the time, except for the battle with Sebastian [Vettel]. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have tried so hard to defend against Seb, but when you're a racer you just don't want to give up a position without a fight. He took the outside line, I was on the inside, braking on the dirt and the marbles. I could see it coming but he didn't leave me anywhere to go so to avoid contact I kept braking, lost the rear and spun. Fortunately I was able to get going and didn’t lose too much time. Overall it’s been a positive weekend: we keep finding good performance from our VJM08 and the team is pushing hard to find more speed. We’ve had a good run in the last few races, with Checo scoring in Monaco and my points today. It means we are making good progress and we're closing in on fifth in the championship, so the second half of the season should be very interesting.”

Sergio Perez, 11th

“It was a tough race today and I just didn’t have enough pace to finish in the points. In the first stint I was suffering with a lot of understeer and couldn’t really attack the cars ahead of me. The main battle was against the Red Bulls and I managed to get ahead of Ricciardo, but it was hard to match the pace of Kvyat. Towards the end of the race I had to save the tyres, the brakes and fuel, so I just had to make sure I brought the car home.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal

“It’s encouraging to see another strong performance from the VJM08 and to come away from Montreal by adding four more points to our tally. Nico has been impressive all weekend and eighth place is a well-deserved result following an excellent drive. Sergio just missed out on the points, but he wasn’t particularly happy with the car balance and in such a straightforward race there were no opportunities to use the strategy to our advantage. The points’ standings in the midfield are very tight and we are just a couple of points adrift of fifth place. The whole team has worked extremely hard to extract performance from the VJM08 and we are optimistic of adding more speed in the races to come. So there’s plenty to look forward to as we approach the middle of the season.”


Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“As we expected, given the specific characteristics of this circuit, tyre wear and degradation was extremely low on both compounds today, with an extremely stable product. This can lead to some criticism, as the goal is to have more than one pit stop per race. With only four tyre specifications available, sometimes it does become difficult to provide the perfect choice for every situation. Despite that, we did see some different thinking about strategy from many of the teams. In particular, the drivers who started further down the order were able to boost their prospects by doing something different to their direct rivals.”


Valtteri Bottas, 3rd

"We really maximised everything today and I'm really happy for us as a team. We had an opportunity to get third and we took it. We had the chance to change the strategy in the middle of the race and go for one stop instead of two. We knew it could be a risk but the team knew what to do and we were right. There was not much threat from behind so we could take a bit of a risk, and I'm really proud that we did. We were racing hard today and we earned the podium. It’s great to be back in the top three and we know there are better Grands Prix to come because of the updates we are bringing so I can't wait for the next few races."

Felipe Massa, 6th

"After a challenging qualifying for me yesterday I’m happy with how the race has gone and I’ve picked up some good points. Starting P15 was always going to lead to a busy race and there was a lot of great overtaking and the car had good consistent pace. We managed to have a one stop race and still keep the pace with the option tyre at the end which was fantastic. With the car I had today I could have been fighting for podiums, but all in all this has been a very positive weekend for the team and we should be very competitive in the next few races, especially with some upgrades planned for the car."

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering 

"The message I gave to the team this morning was that we have to go into this race believing in ourselves and be on the top of our game. If we did that I believed we could get on the podium with Valtteri and get a lot of points with Felipe, and that's exactly what we've done. The two drivers were absolutely fantastic all race. The team has worked well as a unit and the strategies were spot on. The rewards are there when you get it right and we need to use this as a good boost to keep moving forwards. We now have races ahead of us where we should be aiming for more podiums."


Kimi Raikkonen, 4th

"The result of today is not ideal, we expected more than what we got in the end. My start was pretty good but then I did not have enough speed to go through and try to pass the Mercedes at the first corner. The tires were working pretty much ok, but in this kind of circuit fuel saving plays a big part and this obviously limited our speed today. My spin is exactly the same story of last year, I had no problem in any of the sessions during the weekend, but for some reason today in both the outlaps something odd happened with the throttle, and I could not control it . It's a very unfortunate thing. Then we tried to recover from that but we found ourselves on different tactics than the Williams. Overall we had a pretty good weekend, we definitely improved in certain areas but of course this is not the result that I was expecting this morning. We'll keep on working and improving things."

Sebastian Vettel, 5th

"It was an entertaining race and I had a good recovery, but obviously there was not much more we could have done. In the opening laps I was not very happy with myself, I was very aggressive but I could not find the gaps, I wanted to go crazy but there was no room, so I had to be patient and it's a shame because these are the moments when if you are lucky you can gain easlily five, six , seven or eight seconds in total race time. It did not happen so we had to fight back afterwards, but the pace was good, I felt happy in the car and especially toward the end the speed kept coming. I lost time at the first pit-stop and I am not sure it was totally on me, something went wrong at the back of the car, but the guys have done a super job so far and they shouldn't be blamed if sometimes things go a bit slower. About the move on Hulkenberg, I noticed that I was already ahead of him on the outside, and I think he braked too late and could not make the corner. We did our best today and I am quite content with 5th, but it's a bit of a shame because around here there is a very nice podium and without the penalty I think we could have had a shot at it."

Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal

"If we look at the race pace, it was good, but a lot of circumstances occurred which prevented us from getting a better result. Sebastian drove a great race, making up thirteen places from the grid position. The upgraded engine gave us a positive feedback, but the weekend just wasn't a good one. As for Kimi, he was scheduled for a one-stop race, then we switched to two tire changes when he fell behind Bottas. His spin at the hairpin is something we haven't fully understood yet, it may be a case of contributory negligence as he said the same thing happened last year. It would be wrong to blame either him or the team in any case. He was pushing hard, too, but some issues slowed him down at some stages in the race. We must remain humble and try not to let the podium slip off from under our feet as it happened this time. We're still the second strongest team, but we must look ahead instead of behind us."


Jenson Button, DNF

"It was obviously a very difficult day, made even more difficult for me since I'd started last with the addition of a drive-through penalty in the first three laps. I was then obviously out of sequence; the leaders lapped me, pitted and then lapped me again. One of our biggest issues today was fuel saving. In addition, we lost a bit of tyre temperature as well. That said, our pace on the Prime tyre was pretty good.

"I guess it's easy for people to look at today's result and say we're having a bad season, but that's not actually the case. We've made very big improvements since the first race, in fact. You do have difficult days, and today was undoubtedly one of those, but that's always the way of it when you begin a new project and you're starting from zero. So, yes, we're still quite a long way behind the other teams in terms of power unit development, and even the design philosophy behind our car too; but if you don't take a stab at it at the start of the season with a new project like this, you're never going to be able to fight the top guys.

"Today was quite painful, yes, but so far this season there's been improvement at every race, with the exception of today. The layout of the circuit here was always going to be tough on us, but hopefully we'll be back on track in Austria where we have some updates coming."

Fernando Alonso, DNF

"Obviously, I'm a little bit sad to have suffered a third consecutive retirement. I lost power and I had to pit, and that was it. Definitely, we need to put some things in order - we know the situation for what it is but what we have to do now is work harder than ever because we want to change the situation more than ever. All the developments I know are coming for future races make sense, so I can see positive signs. I think we need to be patient now, and we need to continue to work incredibly hard.

"It's been a difficult weekend for both Jenson and me, with Saturday's problems and now today's DNFs. Hopefully, though, we've learned a lesson, and it's better that all these problems are happening now, while we're not yet competitive. If, one day, we're fighting for a podium finish, or for a victory, and we have to retire the car, that will hurt even more than these retirements hurt; so, as I say, we're learning important lessons every weekend, and gradually we'll put things right."

Eric Boullier, racing director, McLaren-Honda

"In a word, today's race was disappointing. Fernando made a good start, moving up from P13 on the grid to P11 at the end of lap one. Thereafter, however, he was unable to stem the tide of rival cars passing him, owing to a straight-line speed deficit compounded by fuel consumption concerns that caused him to have to lift and coast extensively all afternoon.

"By lap 20 he'd dropped to P16, and by lap 46 his race had come to an end, owing to an as-yet-unspecified exhaust issue. Jenson started the race from the back of the grid, having not been able to enter qualifying yesterday. He immediately had to perform a drive-through penalty, owing to our having had to replace his car's MGU-H and turbo before today's race. He'd climbed to P18 by lap 58, when he too was forced to retire, owing to an unrelated exhaust issue.

"Clearly, as I say, all of that was and is disappointing, very much so. But, as I said yesterday, we know what we have to do to improve, and we're doing it. It may take us some time, but we'll get there. I want to take this opportunity to thank and praise both Fernando and Jenson, who are continuing to drive brilliantly in very trying circumstances, both of them digging deep and working extremely hard behind the scenes to help us move forward towards reliable competitiveness and eventual success.

"The staff of both McLaren and Honda, too, are working tirelessly to effect the same result. Finally, I want to pay tribute to our fans, whose steadfast support in these difficult times is impressive and edifying in equal measure. Truly, they really do #BelieveInMcLarenHonda, and that's incredibly heartening to see. Thanks, guys, I really mean it."

Yasuhisa Arai, Honda R&D senior managing officer - chief officer of motorsport

"We're extremely saddened by this weekend's result. The team had worked so hard to rectify the issues we'd encountered during the free practice and qualifying sessions, and against the odds we'd managed to get both cars ready for the race. However, both cars then retired owing to unrelated exhaust issues.

"Fernando's car suffered a rise in exhaust temperature and had to be called back into the garage. We think Jenson's car also had an issue in the exhaust area, but we won't know for sure until the car is back at the factory. The next grand prix, in Austria, will be run on another high-speed circuit, but we'll get to the bottom of today's issues, rectify them, and prepare for that race."


Marcus Ericsson, 14th

"It was not a bad race for me. I had some nice fights, but at the same time I had to defend my position. Overall the car felt good to drive, but we just didn’t have enough pace today. We were not able to fight for points the way we would have hoped for. Now we need to look into the data and see what we can do that is better for the next race."

Felipe Nasr, 16th

"It was a difficult race. The car was not easy to drive and we seemed to have a couple of issues. At the beginning of the race I had a loss of power. Besides that my brakes were overheating, so I had to sacrifice some lap time to recover them. There is a lot of data to analyse and understand."

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal

"A disappointing result. We certainly expected more, but unfortunately it did not work out. We need to analyse why we were not able to keep up with the pace of our main competitors."

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering

"Marcus and Felipe did their jobs well in the race. There are other reasons why we were not able to achieve a better result. Now we have to analyse everything; there is plenty for us to do."


Lewis Hamilton, 1st

"I love Montreal! It's really special to win here again - the place where I had my first win back in 2007. The team did a fantastic job, so a big thank you to everyone. I wouldn't say it's a relief because I've had good pace for both of the past two races - I'm just happy to get another win for me and the team. It was quite close after the stops. I think because Nico was in my tow he was using less fuel, so I was having to save a bit while managing the gap. It was really just about matching the times each lap. I had a couple of lock ups but luckily they weren't too bad and not enough to cause any real problems, so I felt in control. On behalf of everyone in the team I'd like to dedicate this to my engineer Bono's father, who passed away last week. Bono has had a tough time but he's been fantastic all weekend, so this one is for him."

Nico Rosberg, 2nd

"It was a tough race, with tyres, brakes and fuel all on the limit. The problem for me was to cool my brakes behind Lewis. I had to take different lines to get some fresh air. In the last 10 laps I ramped up the pace and started to attack by using some of my electronic Hybrid power, which I had saved until this point. But the problem is that your team mate's engineers always have knowledge of your activities and can ask him to ramp up the pace too. So, he was mirroring what I was doing and there was no chance of a surprise attack. That was a bit of a shame - but it is how it is. Really, I lost it in qualifying so I need to do a better job there and get together a perfect weekend like in Spain. I'll move on now and look forward to Austria, where I have very good memories from last year with my win."

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport 

"Today our guys on the pit wall did the perfect job managing the fine line between allowing the drivers to race each other and keeping the cars healthy so we made it to the finish. Montreal is the toughest circuit of the year for fuel consumption - and the toughest for brakes, too. With no Safety Cars to spice up the action, we had a straight, flat-out fight between our two boys across 70 laps - and it was a real battle. But running one stop, which we felt was the quickest strategy, the boys had to manage the cars during periods of the race, too, as has always been the case here in Montreal. After the stops, it was very cat and mouse, with Nico saving his brakes for a charge at the end - and Lewis conserving fuel to have margin to defend. Then, when they went for it in the final 10 laps, it was very tense indeed - but they did the perfect job to keep it under control. We needed this result today, after all the discussion and criticism following Monaco, and it was good to do it with a faultless performance. I'd also like to highlight two great stops from our boys today in the pit lane - both of them clean and quick and efficient. Congratulations to Lewis for his win but also to Nico for such a strong drive; there were only fine margins between them in qualifying and in the race, and that rivalry pushes the whole team forward. It was great to see Valtteri on the podium, too. A 1-2-3 for Mercedes power after all the hard work that went into the updated engine we ran this weekend is just a great job. But we know we didn't see the true pace of Ferrari today, either, as they had a bit of a messy afternoon. So we will keep our feet on the ground, keep our heads down and keep on pushing."

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) 

"Another fantastic result for the team. In the end, our greatest difficulty today was allowing both drivers to race each other in a situation where a lot of vital parameters were on the limit - fuel and brakes in particular. This circuit is tough on many elements of the car and asking drivers to manage those demands is not necessarily the easiest thing in the heat of battle. That put a lot of pressure on the pit wall, as we wanted to allow the drivers to race and put on a great show while also managing the cars home to ensure another great result for the team. I have to say that everyone performed superbly, so the success was well-earned. Congratulations to Lewis on his fourth win in Canada and also to Nico on another strong podium this year."


Pastor Maldonado, 7th

"Finally, here we are in the points! I think now we’ve started scoring there’s potential for this to be a great season for us as we have really good pace. It was a good race. We had to pit quite early to gain the place against Nico Hulkenberg which made the later part of the race quite tricky and I couldn’t defend later on as a consequence. I’m pleased for the team that we got both cars in the points; let’s continue like this."

Romain Grosjean, 10th

"It was good for the team to get both cars in the points. Unfortunately, that car didn’t feel as strong as it did in qualifying but I was able to push nevertheless. It can be difficult with traffic here and I was held up a few times even when there were blue flags. I thought I was past the Manor, but it was soon clear that I wasn’t. It was my fault entirely and I apologise for it. You never stop learning as a driver."

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal

"It was a happy day for us. Pastor scored his first points of the season after driving a strong and measured race and Romain was in the points too even if it was in a more eventful manner. For Pastor this should be a turning point for his season and we thank all his supporters in Venezuela and PDVSA for their faith in us. Both cars scoring points is always our target and we want more of the same for the rest of the year."

Nick Chester, Technical Director

"That was pretty good. Pastor drove strongly and consistently with a long second stint for seventh place. Romain should have finished further up were it not for the rub with the Manor but the weekend overall has been positive. We ran well in qualifying and if anything lost a little bit of pace in the race, which is something we'll be studying ahead of our visit to Austria. All things considered, we have a good platform for the races ahead."