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In quotes - Sunday at Silverstone

05 Jul 2015

Ten teams, 20 drivers, and one official tyre supplier report back on Sunday's action from the 2015 Formula 1 British Grand Prix...

Lotus

Romain Grosjean, DNF

“That was a very short race for the team and I feel for everyone here at Silverstone and at Enstone. Daniel must have thought his brakes and tyres would be able to slow him better than they did and the result was the end of both my and Pastor’s race. No-one likes to end a Grand Prix like that as so much effort goes into making and preparing the cars. I know we have many fans who want to see us race so I feel for them too. Budapest is next, and we’ve gone well there in the past. I’m pumped-up to fight for every single point available.”

Pastor Maldonado, DNF

“At first I thought I had a puncture and would be able to return to the pits and re-join the race but unfortunately the damage to the car was more serious than that and I had to retire. There is nothing you can do in situations like these as it’s all part of racing. Now my focus is on the next race where we’ll be trying our very best as always."

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal

"Motorsport is sometimes a cruel sport and we saw that today. There was nothing either of our drivers could have done to avoid the first lap incident and that was our race over. It’s been a frustrating home weekend for us. We weren’t able to show the pace we have in the car, we’ve suffered from a few niggles, then it was a very early bath for both our guys. Our focus is now very much on Budapest and doing everything we can to ensure we perform at the best of our ability there.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director

"Both Romain and Pastor were the victims of over-exuberance at the start of the race meaning that both returned to the garage for a very short debrief after only a lap on track. It’s now a rapid return to Enstone to put everything we can into preparing the cars for Hungary and our next opportunity for a points haul."

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat, 6th

“We were really competitive today, the race was really fun, a little crazy with the rain, and I was enjoying myself. The team have done a great job and the car is handling really well. We will keep pushing to improve and move forward over the next few races.”

Daniel Ricciardo, DNF

“I was really optimistic and excited for this weekend but it didn’t work out for us on the day. We suffered an electrical problem which forced us to retire. I could feel the loss of power going into turn 7, we tried circulating for a few laps to try and fix it, we also tried to reboot the engine in the pits but unfortunately it didn’t work. The last few races haven’t been kind to us but that’s racing. We have some time off to look forward to and we’ll go into Hungary a little more hopeful as the track there should suit us better.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“The weather produced an exciting British Grand Prix, adding an interesting twist which hopefully the fans enjoyed. Dany drove a great race, and all weekend he has done a good job. He possibly could have been in contention for a podium if we had pitted him earlier when he was fighting with Sebastian, and he also spun on his in-lap, but nonetheless, he drove a very strong race. Unfortunately, for Daniel, he suffered an engine energy related issue which forced him to retire early.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault

“Daniil had a good start and managed to stay at the front. His performance in the wet was strong and he deserved the finish. Daniel suffered an electrical issue during the race, which affected both the ERS-H and K. Despite several resets, we were not able to fix the issue on track and had to retire. The problem is under investigation and we will resolve it soon.”

Pirelli

Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director

“That was certainly one of the most exciting races of the year, during which the timing of the pit stops was absolutely crucial – not just once, but twice, when the rain began to fall properly right at the end. Strategy was key to the race, with big gains and losses at stake depending on which tyres were chosen and when. Once more the crowd at the British Grand Prix was absolutely fantastic this year: the scenes of celebration at the end were of the sort that you rarely experience anywhere else in the world.”

Marussia

Roberto Merhi, 12th

“I’m so happy to end the team’s home race in 12th position. To be honest, this had not been the best weekend for me prior to the race, but it all came good when it mattered and I found the performance I needed to get ahead. When the weather started to change and we switched to the Inters, it was very difficult to know what would happen next because the conditions were hard to read. We were a long time on the Inters before the rain intensified, which meant that we had to pit again for a new set quite close to the end of the race. The team has made some good progress here this weekend, so it was good to give everyone a nice reward for all their hard work over the past few months in preparing for the new upgrade. It has been a great weekend racing in front of the home crowd, and now we look forward to the next race ahead of the summer break.”

Will Stevens, 13th

“A good result for the team but incredibly frustrating for me. The weekend up until the race had been really positive and even in the early part of the race we were going strong on the option tyres, which were working really well for me. When it started to rain we stopped for Inters but we had 15 laps on them and the worst of the rain only lasted for a couple of laps. I was effectively on slicks by the end of the race and that’s what caused me to spin off and damage my nose. Overall, we have to look at the positives though. We’ve made a good step forward here, so well done to the team, and the support of my home crowd has been incredible. All in all it has been a special weekend and one to remember.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“What a great race! A classic British Grand Prix which had a bit of everything. In particular, the changeable conditions kept us all on the edge of our seats, with the intensity of the rain being very difficult to read. Both Will and Roberto delivered a strong performance today and it was nice to see everything coming together for Roberto after having a rather more frustrating earlier part of the weekend. We did experience a software glitch, which affected the calling of Will’s first pit stop and lost him a substantial amount of time in the pit box. Towards the end of the race, the combination of the greasy conditions and Will’s worn intermediates caused him to spin off, damaging the nose in the process. Nonetheless, our excellent reliability enabled us to achieve a good two-car finish in front of our home crowd. The fans have been incredible all weekend, so I’m pleased we were able to shine a little in today’s race.”

Williams

Felipe Massa, 4th

“It is a frustrating result because the race was amazing today. I had a fantastic start and we were fighting with Mercedes the whole time, it could even have been possible to win the race if it had stayed dry, which is great to see. It was a shame to lost positions in the rain. We waited one lap longer on the second stop which is where we lost the opportunity to be on the podium. That shower also highlighted the car’s weakness in the wet.”

Valtteri Bottas, 5th

“In some ways it was an incredibly frustrating race, and others it was very pleasing. Both cars had great starts and we raced the Mercedes with genuine pace, but when the rain came I really struggled with the intermediate tyre. I was allowed to race Felipe, but it was hard to get through, and I didn’t want to make any mistakes. We have to have a look the race data and make sure we continue to learn from this.”

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering

“There were a few moments in the race where things didn’t go our way. We have to remain positive and proud of our result. The pace we showed throughout this weekend was great, we had a stunning race up until the rain came. We raced two cars against both Mercedes for a majority of the race which shows the hard work and upgrades we are bringing to the car are all working. We closed the gap on second position and moved further ahead of fourth, so it has been a good weekend.”

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, 7th

“That was an entertaining afternoon and it’s great to come away from our home race with a good bunch of points. My start was sensational – maybe the best I ever had in Formula One – and I rocketed up to fifth place ahead of the two Ferraris. I was able to keep them behind me for the first stint, but they had too much pace and were able to use the strategy to jump us by pitting early. When the rain arrived at the end of the race the track was very slippery. I was a bit unfortunate with the timing because I had just passed the pit lane entry when the rain became really heavy and I had to do a full lap before I could change to intermediates. Overall, though, I think seventh place is a great result and we should be satisfied. A lot of the performance today is down to the updates we brought here. It’s moved us in the right direction so I have to say a big well done to the team.”

Sergio Perez, 9th

“Finishing with both cars in the points at Silverstone is a very positive step for the team. We probably could have been even higher up, but the strategy didn’t really work out in my favour. After my first stop, I lost a position to Sainz and I spent a few laps stuck behind him when my tyres were at their best. I was in the dirty air and struggling with the front tyres, which had a lot of graining. When the second rain shower came we had a lot of discussions over the radio about what call to make and unfortunately we waited too long, which cost us a place. When you get opportunities and you don't make the best of them you are obviously disappointed, but I think we should focus on the positives of this weekend. We’ve shown good progress and there is a lot of potential for the second half of the season.”

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director

“To score eight points in our home race and strengthen our hold on fifth place in the championship is a fantastic achievement. Historically we’ve never been especially strong on the high-speed layout of Silverstone, but today the updated VJM08 looked competitive in all weather conditions. This track provides a tough test of a Formula One car so I’m optimistic we can keep up the momentum as we enter the second half of the season. Both Nico and Sergio drove exceptionally well today; they kept out of trouble and coped well with the changeable conditions. It wasn’t easy to know when to pit for intermediate tyres because some parts of the track were wet and some were dry, but I think we made the right decisions with the information we had.”

Toro Rosso

Carlos Sainz, DNF

“Not the best of endings to a race that was looking good… It was a tough start to the race and during the first stint I struggled a bit, but as soon as I pitted for another set of tyres we picked up the pace and started to push. From then on, it was all going really well, running comfortably in P9 and waiting for the rain to arrive, but suddenly my car just switched off and that was the end. It’s a very frustrating way to end the weekend here at such an amazing track as Silverstone.”

Max Verstappen, DNF

“A very short race for me unfortunately. I didn’t have the best of starts and I suffered from a lot of wheel-spin. Luckily I was able to escape from the crashes that happened in front of me, but when the race restarted after the Safety Car period I suddenly lost the rear of the car at Turn 2. Even though I only damaged the front wing a bit, I wasn’t able to reverse and my race ended there. A shame, but we can’t change it now so we just need to focus on the next race, keep my head up and come back stronger.”

Franz Tost, Team Principal

“We clearly expected a much better result today because the car has shown a very good performance this weekend. Max lost the rear of the car and therefore he couldn’t continue, while Carlos had to retire when his car stopped because of what seems to be an electrical issue. Of course this is very disappointing because I think that both cars had the potential to finish in the points, but instead we’ve ended up with two retirements. The fact that our direct competitors have scored points isn’t helpful for our championship hopes either. We will now analyse the reasons for these retirements and we hope to come back fully-prepared for the next race in Hungary in two weeks’ time.”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader

“Both drivers had a strong pace and it is frustrating that neither driver could capitalize on the performance. The engine stopped in Carlos’ car as a result of an electrical issue. We will determine the cause when we study the car in more detail. Max retired when he went off track, but we need to take the positives from the weekend as a whole and look forward to Hungary where we hope to be on the pace again.”

McLaren

Fernando Alonso, 10th

“It’s not the best of results, but 10th position helps to motivate everyone. The whole team is incredibly focused – they’ve been working day and night to improve the car – and we all know this is a long-term project, and there are no magic solutions, but to get a decent result, and to put some points on the table, is always important.

“The start was unbelievable. It was a big mess as we arrived at Turn Three. The two Lotus drivers were far too aggressive, and they touched each other; in avoiding them, I had a half-spin, and touched Jenson. There were a lot of retirements, and little common sense on display.

“Still, we know we’re improving, and today has been a good day for morale.”

Jenson Button, DNF

“On lap one, there was an incident between two cars at the apex of Turn Three. Fernando tried to move to the right in order to miss them, and in so doing I think he lost the rear end and clipped my rear tyre. The impact lifted the car up and turned it off. With the engine not running, I had no option but to retire.

“When you start towards the back, there’s always a greater chance that incidents may occur because the closing speeds between cars are much larger.

“I just want to add that the crowd has been amazing all weekend – they were even clapping and cheering me after my race. It’s been such a nice atmosphere – very special – and I just wish I could have done more for them today.”

Eric Boullier, Racing Director

“Although it’s well worth mentioning that Fernando got off the mark in the 2015 world championship standings by finishing 10th here today, that isn’t an accomplishment we’re about to extol.

“Having said that, it was heartening to see that his car ran reliably all afternoon, even though its race pace was demonstrably insufficient. He never gave up, though, and his dogged efforts fully deserved the world championship point they earned him. Irresolute he is not.

“In the changeable weather conditions in which he usually excels, Jenson was very unlucky to be eliminated on lap one, through no fault of his or indeed of Fernando’s. Their collision was just one of those things – the culmination of an unavoidable chain reaction triggered by the unruly jostling for position by drivers immediately ahead of them. So, yet again, poor Jenson was unable to put on a show in his home Grand Prix, which was a great pity.

“As always, the Silverstone crowd was magnificent – 140,000 super-knowledgeable race fans shouting themselves hoarse – and it was fitting that a local hero, and an ex-McLaren driver to boot, won for them today.

“British Formula 1 fans are among the most loyal and passionate in the world, and we’re acutely aware of how steadfast their support for us has been and remains even in times of tribulation; speaking on behalf of all at McLaren-Honda, let me aver that next season we intend to give the Silverstone faithful something about which to enthuse.”

Yasuhisa Arai, Honda R&D Senior Managing Officer – Chief Officer of Motorsport

“Thanks to a great job by the race team, and all Fernando’s efforts, he was able to gain a precious world championship point for us today.

“Jenson was unfortunately forced to retire due to the incident at the beginning of the race, so we still have a task ahead of us to get both cars to the finish in future races. On the plus side, our power units’ settings for both qualifying and the race were exactly as we targeted for this weekend, so we hope that this is headed in the right direction.

“The next circuit in three weeks’ time is a low- to mid-speed configuration, so energy management is going to be very important throughout the race. We’ll use the data learned today to race at Hungaroring.”

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel, 3rd

“I had a really bad start, I nearly didn’t get off the line and lost positions. At the restart I made up a position, but I lost two as a consequence. It didn’t seem to come together at this point, a bit like the whole weekend for us, but then we were able to turn it around. We recovered through strategy, mostly by being very aggressive. I was in touch with the team all the time, it was not easy to take the right decision with the weather. But we did a great call to pit just in the perfect lap, made up a lot of ground and finished on the podium. I’m sorry for the people that got wet, but the rain helped us today! It was in the end a podium finish that we deserved, as we made the right call at the right time. Williams did a small step forward, for us I think we just didn’t find the rhythm at this weekend. There is plenty of things we have to learn and understand quickly. We are not in favour of these hard tyres, but it is the same for everyone, so no excuses allowed. If you look at the gap to the first two cars, it was bigger than normal, so it is up to us to come back for Hungary.”

Kimi Raikkonen, 8th

“In the early part of the race we were stuck behind Hulkenberg’s Force India, they were too fast on the straight and in the places you could pass, while we lacked some speed. It’s a pity because the handling of the car was good through the whole race and the behavior was definitely better than yesterday. When it started raining heavily, the track became very slippery, especially in Turns 7 and 8; so I took the decision to come in the pits for Intermediate, but then the rain stopped. Probably I made the call three or four laps too early. But in general, this kind of track is not ideal for us, and this is something we have to work on.”

Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal

“Overall I can’t be happy with this weekend: on an all-dry race, the result would have been much different. I feel happy because once again Seb made the perfect call to come into the pits, and then drove superbly to open the gap to the Williams cars. Also, I am pleased with a very good race strategy. We need to stay humble and not brag ourselves, because today third place came courtesy of a great drive by Seb and a great strategy-but we also need a great car. The strategy guys do a wonderful job, but when it rains, it’s the driver who has the final call to the pits. In the case of Kimi, whose strategy was identical to Seb’s, he thought it better to come in. If it had rained harder, maybe he could have won the race. But we must be honest and acknowledge that Williams was stronger than us today.”

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton, 1st

“It's been a very, very special weekend for me. I thought I'd seen it all last year but the fans have just been unbelievable. I could never have imagined this level of support - this one is for them. Thank you all so much. I'm delighted for the team - everyone back at base has done an incredible job to build this amazing car and everything today was just perfect too. Huge thanks to every single one of the team - it's great to get this result for them at home. The race obviously got off to a bad start but the guys did a great job with the first stop to turn it around. Then, when the rain came, it was really tough out there in a different way. As the one in front it was so hard to judge where to push and my front tyres went so cold. I think that's the best pit call I've ever made to come in at that time. From there it was just bringing it home. I have to admit, as I came round that last lap I was welling up seeing all those people on their feet. What an unbelievable day and an unbelievable feeling. I'm so, so grateful.”

Nico Rosberg, 2nd

“That was an exciting race for me. I had a really bad start - losing two positions and therefore being stuck behind the two Williams cars for a while because overtaking was impossible. Lewis managed to clear them in the pits but unfortunately that didn't quite work out for me - although it was close! Then, when the rain came, I was able to ramp up the pace, overtake them and close the gap to Lewis. At that point I really thought I could win the race. But then he made the pit stop - which I thought was a wrong decision at that moment until suddenly it started to rain heavier. It turned out to be the right decision from Lewis, as I had stay out one more lap and lost too much time in the wet with my slicks. That was the decision that made the race and I had no chance anymore. But, all in all, it was well deserved by Lewis as he did the best job over the whole weekend. Another 1-2 is great for the team and for all of our colleagues in the factories. Thanks for this great car!”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“That was a pretty perfect race today and a real team result. We have to analyse what happened at the start – the Williams got off the line like rockets and both our guys complained of poor grip. After that, we had to stay close to the Williams and wait for the strategy window to open; we knew we could go longer than them on the tyres, so we made an aggressive early stop with Lewis and that jumped him into the lead. The key thing was the quality of the stop – we gained nearly a second on Massa through the pit lane, and that opened up the race for Lewis. Nico had to battle his way through but when the rain came, he was the fastest man on track and passed both Williams on the circuit – then charged down on his team-mate. There was a lot of communication with the drivers around that time and we even had the team back in Brackley sending us weather reports from up the road - but, in the end, it came down to Lewis making a perfect call to box. He got the inters and then just controlled the race from there. Nico boxed a lap later, then drove it home to P2. I was really proud of the decision making on the pit-wall – it was calm, clever execution in difficult circumstances. A really awesome day so close to both our factories – and a fantastic way to say thank you to all the women and men who’ve worked countless days and nights to deliver this incredible power unit and racing car.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

“What an unbelievable race! Formula One has a great habit of throwing up the unexpected, which is what makes it so exciting. It’s never easy and never straightforward. Both cars had poor starts and we need to analyse why that was. The Williams cars got a far better launch and also seemed to have much more grip in the opening phase of the race. I believe our tyres were a bit slower coming up to temperature after the start and then again after the safety car restart, so that’s an area we need to look into. The team then produced a fantastic first stop for Lewis in terms of timing and execution to hand him the lead with what was a very early stop for a one stop strategy. Nico was unfortunately struggling to pass the Williams cars, so we debated switching him to a two stop strategy to overcome this. But then, of course, the rain came which changed everything. Lewis made a perfectly judged call to switch to inters at just the right point, while Nico gambled on staying out and actually drove a superb lap to coax the car round in very tough conditions. Luckily, after those stops, the track stayed wet and from there it was a matter of managing the cars home. A great result for the team at one of our home races to bring both cars home in the top two positions after just missing out at the previous two attempts with various mechanical problems – and a fantastic battle once again between two really top drivers.”

Sauber

Marcus Ericsson, 11th

“It is disappointing to miss out on points when we had it in the bag for quite a long time. The first half of the race was reasonable. I had a good start, gaining some positions on lap one. My pace was good, so I was able to keep up with our direct competitors. It was one of those days when it was difficult to make predictions, as it started to rain on some parts of the track and others were still dry. It was not an easy situation, either for the drivers or for the team. Unfortunately, we made too many pit stops today. We need to sit down and analayse what we could have done differently.”

Felipe Nasr, DNS

“An unlucky day for me. When I went out to the starting grid I got stuck in sixth gear. As soon as I returned to the garage the team detected a mechanical issue with the gearbox. It is a shame. Looking at the number of cars that retired, this was a race in which I could have taken advantage of some situations. Now we have to look forward and focus on the next race weekend in Budapest.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal

“A very unfortunate race in which many things went wrong. Felipe was not able to race due to a mechanical issue with the gearbox. Marcus put in a strong performance until the weather conditions changed. Afterwards it is clear that we changed too early onto intermediate tyres. As the rain that was predicted didn’t come as much as it was expected, his intermediate tyres lost grip and, therefore, he lost lap time. Then it seemed that we were able to close the gap in the next two to three laps due to what we expected to be a dry period. That’s why we changed to slicks. If we had waited for one more lap, this wouldn’t have happened.”