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In quotes - Sunday in Budapest

26 Jul 2015

Ten teams, 20 drivers, and one official tyre supplier report back on Sunday's action in Hungary...


Sergio Marchionne, Chairman

“We dedicate this victory to the memory of Jules Bianchi, a fantastic guy whom we all miss terribly. Unfortunately, today in the end, we were unable to celebrate a one-two finish which was within our grasp because of a problem with Kimi’s car. That’s a clear sign we must never drop our guard. We will continue to work on closing the gap to those ahead of us, but without ever ignoring the reliability factor. We will soon be pausing for the summer break, after which I’m sure everyone in the Scuderia will return even more ready and determined than ever.”

Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal

“A fantastic win! Over the past few weeks, we had had comments from people who said we were in a slump, people who obviously can’t or don’t want to read the numbers. As a matter of fact, we had anticipated long time ago that there could be ups and down in the course of the season, but that does not mean that we were stepping back. This weekend started with a horrible Friday for us, so we knew we only had P3 on Saturday to properly set the car up. We calmed down and managed to recover, but still we didn’t know we could win the race. We were only confident that we could fight at the front. Then both Seb and Kimi had a tremendous start and being able to drive in clean air surely made a difference in terms of tyre management, as we knew the first two sets of Options would perform very well. I am very disappointed, though, that Kimi din not make it to the end, because he was having a great day. Congrats to him. This is Formula One and we must accept the lack of reliability as another challenge for the future. We won today, but still keep our feet on the ground and remain humble and committed”.

Kimi Raikkonen, DNF

“It’s a shame what happened today in the race, but when you have no luck you have no luck, we did our best today. The start was really good for both of us, probably the best since the beginning of the season; we had good speed and were able to pull away and stay in front. The speed was always there today and I was expecting to push right to the end, but at one point I heard something strange in the car, the sound was getting different and then got worse and worse. We tried to fix it but it was not possible so I decided to retire. As a team we had a pretty good day with Sebastian’s win, but I think that we deserved a better result today, more than just a win. Without my problem we could have got a one-two finish very easily but things seem to always go in the worst possible way. Overall in the first part of the season we had the speed but it has been a bit unlucky. There was always something dictating the final result of the race quite badly. The most important thing now is to get rid of all the problems, we’ll keep pushing and hopefully luck will turn on our side and we’ll get what we deserve.”

Sebastian Vettel, 1st

“It has been a week with a lot of ups and downs and as I said after the race I dedicate this win to Jules and his family. The race was difficult especially at the end with all the thoughts coming through my mind but for sure I’m very happy with the result. Our race was very strong from the beginning, we had a great start and after that we had great pace and were able to control the race. Of course the safety car in the end was not helping us, but we still managed to stay on top and win the Grand Prix. It was fantastic to see all the guys of the team around as I looked down from the podium, they were all very happy. Today we proved that the pace we showed has nothing to do with luck. In fact, if anything we were a bit unlucky with the safety car, but our pace on the Prime tyre was really good so we kept pushing and still managed to come out on top and never allowed the people behind to come into the range of DRS. For sure it was a great race from all the guys and a great recovery from Friday, especially after we had heard strange rumours about the team facing a crisis… Thanks to all our partners for their support and to Shell for helping us with more power”.

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg, DNF

“It’s a shame we lost the opportunity to get a great result today. I didn’t have much warning that there was a problem with the front wing - there was a harsh vibration just before it broke and after that I was heading straight into the barriers. The final impact was not too bad because that part of the track is well protected and it absorbed the energy nicely. Up until the accident, things were looking very positive: I had made a great start and was racing with the Red Bulls, which shows the step forward we have made with the b-spec car. The good news is that we have time over the next week to analyse what happened today and get the solutions in place before the summer break. Reliability has been a real strength of ours this season so it’s unusual for us to have these issues and the team will do its homework before we arrive in Spa. I go into the summer break knowing that we are competitive and that we can have a strong second half of the season.”

Sergio Perez, DNF

“It was a really tough weekend for us, from the Friday to the Sunday. We have a lot of reasons to be disappointed about the race because I feel we could have scored some really big points. The first few laps were very strong and we made up a lot of positions, but the contact with Pastor [Maldonado] compromised my race. I was as cautious around him as I could be and left him plenty of room but unfortunately it wasn't enough. After that, getting points was always going to be a challenge and ultimately some brake issues put an end to our race. Looking at the positives, up until the clash with Pastor the car performed very strongly and this gives me the confidence we can really challenge for good results in the second part of the season.”

Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer

“It has been a difficult day and it’s disappointing to come away from Budapest empty-handed. Nico was on course for a good helping of points until he suffered an issue with the front wing on the approach to turn one. We are still looking into what caused the wing to break, but the most important thing is that Nico is perfectly okay. Sergio’s afternoon suffered after Maldonado made contact with him after Sergio had passed him going into turn one. That incident cost us a lot of time and resulted in some damage to the right side of Sergio’s car. As the race continued, he was suffering with a long brake pedal and we had to retire the car. Sometimes in racing things don’t go your way and this was certainly an unlucky weekend. We will regroup ahead of Spa and come back stronger for the second half of the season.”


Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering

“We weren’t where we expected to be today following the pace we had on Friday. It was an eventful race all round. Valtteri was unfortunately hit from behind through no fault of his own picking up a puncture, and without that could have been on the podium. Felipe’s tyres only worked in the final stint, and we need to investigate why that was as it made for a tough race for him. Results like this make us stronger as a group and we can go away and analyse what went wrong. Williams has been on a constant learning curve over the last 18 months and you have to take days like this with that. We now head into the next few races which will play to our strengths and we’ll aim to recuperate the points we lost today.”

Felipe Massa, 12th

“That was a really challenging day for us. I got a penalty early on and then the medium tyre in traffic didn’t work well for me at all, it was uphill from there on. As a team we walked away with no points, which is a blow for the Championship, but something we now have to make up for.”

Valtteri Bottas, 13th

“It was a disappointing day to score no points. At the start of the race we were running in line with the pace of the car. There were plenty of opportunities to score well, but I suffered a puncture at the wrong time and from then on it was a struggle. It is important we move forward from this, have a good rest and arrive fresh and ready for Spa.”


Romain Grosjean, 7th

“I think today was an incredible race; it was an incredible weekend. Being in the top ten in qualifying yesterday was a miracle and today was actually beautiful; we really pushed hard and it was good, we deserved some points. I had a terrible start, lost a lot of spaces and I was pushed into the gravel by Carlos Sainz on the first lap. Then I came back on track and couldn’t pass the McLaren. Then there was a penalty for an unsafe release and then the safety car. But we got the strategy right and, after all that, we ended up in P7 fighting with the Mercedes.”

Pastor Maldonado, 14th

“It was tough race and the stewards were certainly very strict today, very tough on driving with me and many other drivers. I struggled at the start as our strategy was to run with the harder tyres, but then the strategy was working well with the softer tyres until the penalties affected our race. With Sergio Perez around the outside of me it felt like a racing incident to me; there was nothing intentional in the contact."

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal

"Today we saw a great race illustrating the never-give-up attitude from everyone at Enstone. Romain scored a nice tally of points and it’s a pity that Pastor was unable to join him in the top ten as he certainly looked set to finish there too. We started the weekend pretty far down the timesheets, but we improved every day. The E23 is a great car which still has further potential to perform strongly. It was a fantastic race to watch too; amazing for the spectacle and it illustrates that Bernie Ecclestone and Tamas Rohonyi can put on a great show at the fabulous Hungaroring.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director

"After a poor start we expected a very difficult fight to try to get any points, but in an eventful race Romain was able to salvage a decent points finish. The E23 worked well in today’s track conditions, we had a good strategy and we were able to take advantage of the safety car period to change Romain back to the softer tyres. Romain did a great job to defend from the Mercedes to finish between them, and the points scored helps us in our battle for fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship. Pastor had the potential to also score well today, but unfortunately too many penalties blunted his charge."


John Booth, Team Principal

“A very difficult day, at the end of a very difficult week, for our team and the entire F1 community. The build-up to this weekend has been incredibly emotional, but we had one job to do today to honour Jules, and that was to achieve the best possible placings. That’s exactly what we did, and I am so proud of the whole team for their tremendous courage and fortitude. It has been both difficult and comforting for them to see Jules’ family here at the track today. Difficult, because they too are a part of this team and we have shared so many happy occasions together. And comforting, because if they could find the strength to contend with the incredible outpouring of love and affection for Jules today, then we certainly could. It was not easy for any of the drivers, but well done to Roberto and Will for their focus and composure.

“So we reach the summer break, after what has been a very long first stint of the season, from which we take away many positives from the ten rounds so far. The next few weeks will provide everyone with a much-needed opportunity to reboot in preparation for the nine remaining races.”

Roberto Merhi, 15th

“Today was very tough and it was not easy to go racing, but it’s what Jules would have done and what he would have wanted us to do. The team did a great job as the race was not the easiest. I got a good start and was ahead of both Saubers and I was also fighting with Grosjean. Soon after that, my headrest came loose, so we had to pit early to deal with that, which put us off-strategy, but the safety car situation changed the shape of the race. It was a good result to finish 15th and 16th, so I think we did the best job possible for Jules today.”

Will Stevens, DNF

“It’s been a pretty tough weekend for everyone in the team, but I think we can feel very proud of the job we did today. Roberto and I have had a good battle here and this continued into the race. After he pitted early on, we were chopping and changing positions and racing on different tyres at many points in the race. It was disappointing to have to stop at the end, but I felt a vibration on the right rear and the safest thing to do from our position was to stop and investigate that, given that we were still classified. Now, I hope the team have a good chance to rest over the summer break so we can come back fighting again in Spa and beyond.”


Marcus Ericsson, 10th

“It is nice we have scored at least one point on a track which does not suit our car well. The start of the race was not ideal, so I lost one position. After that I felt comfortable in the car straight away. On the strategy side the team made the right calls at the optimal times, and I think overall we did a good job. I am pleased to bring home at least one point before the summer break.”

Felipe Nasr, 11th

“Finishing 11th is a better result than we expected when looking at the grid position. The team did a decent job on our strategy. However, once I became stuck in traffic my pace was compromised. Marcus did a good job scoring one point for the team, and I was close to getting into the top ten as well. Nevertheless, all in all we did everything we could today. Now we look forward to racing in Belgium.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal

“An eventful race in which it was important to stay focused and calm. Both drivers have done this and gained one world championship point for the team from grid positions that were further back. We are now glad that this most challenging track lies behind us. After the summer break there are tracks which will suit our car better. In addition, we will go into these races with updates on the engine and chassis side. The data we have for these updates makes us optimistic, and gives us the potential to gain positions in the constructors’ world championship.”

Red Bull

Daniil Kvyat, 2nd

“I am very happy with the results; it was a fantastic turn around in what was such an eventful race. During the first stint, I thought my race was over because of the vibrations from the flat spot. But the car was really competitive during the last stint and we were able to finish very strongly. All the team deserves this double-podium, and all the guys back at the factory, everyone has kept pushing, and I want to say a big thank you to them. I am dedicating my race to Jules and his family; we lost a fantastic guy, our hearts and thoughts are with him and his family.”

Daniel Ricciardo, 3rd

“It was definitely an eventful race but one I am very proud of. I have mixed emotions but I‘m grateful to be on the podium. It’s been a tough year and to have two cars on the podium is pretty surreal. I pushed hard in the last stint when I was on new softs so the opportunity was there to go for the race win. It’s a shame that Nico and I made contact but I wore my heart on my sleeve and left everything I had on the track.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“Today was a great result for the team, with Dany’s P2 finish – his first Formula One podium, and Daniel right there in P3, both drivers taking maximum advantage of this circuit’s characteristics. The strategy with Daniel really came into play after the final safety car, having run both the soft and hard tyre, which meant he had a new set of softs available for that final stint. He put them to really good effect to pass Lewis, which set him up to have a go at Nico. Unfortunately their contact denied Daniel the opportunity of fighting for the race win, but it looked like a racing incident and certainly provided an entertaining drive. Dany had a difficult start, locking the tyres, but he made a very strong recovery to bring it home in second. This is a great way to head into the summer break and also a great day for the Red Bull Junior Programme, from which all of today’s top four drivers have graduated.”

Matthieu Dubois, Renault

“First of all, I would like to reiterate that all of our thoughts were with Jules Bianchi this weekend. All we can do is to carry on racing, as I'm sure he would've wanted. I think the team went through the full spectrum of emotions that Formula One has to offer today; from confidence when we arrived at the track this morning, to disappointment after the race start, and determination to push our engines to the limit following the Safety Car period. The entire team did a fantastic job to ensure that we maximised the opportunity and made it to the chequered flag. This result is a great reward for all the hard work from Renault during the challenging first part of the season, and has come at a good time as the championship takes a short break for the summer.”

Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen, 4th

“Unbelievable, a P4! What a great result, I have no words! I didn’t expect that at all after a bit of a bad start. However I managed to stay out of trouble and during my second stint everything was going well, I felt comfortable in the car and the guys behind me were not catching me up. When the race restarted after the Safety Car period there was a lot going on, with cars crashing in front of me… I also damaged my front-wing a bit and was given a drive-through penalty. So with a few laps to go I was asking my engineer in what position we were in, and when he said P4 I just couldn’t believe it! I’m very, very happy today. I’d like to thank the team, they are a great support and they deserve this result, I couldn’t have done it without them!”

Carlos Sainz, DNF

“A very frustrating way to end the weekend, what a pity! We could’ve finished in a really good position today if we hadn’t retired… We were running in P5 and doing a very good race, but then I ran out of power towards the end of the race and that was the end of that. This is now the third race in a row where we were running in the points and we are not able to finish, so I’m not happy with that, but at least today Max was able to score some good points which is great for the team. It’s unfortunate that due to some reliability troubles I couldn’t contribute to our points tally today, but I’m not concerned at all about my performance because I know that I was also up there. It’s upsetting and difficult to accept another retirement right now, but fortunately we now have the summer break to analyse what has happened, to reset, and come back stronger.”

Franz Tost, Team Principal

“Budapest showed once again an exciting and very interesting race, which is good for Formula 1. Scuderia Toro Rosso managed to score the best result since years with Max’ fourth place in today’s race. He drove fantastically and showed a really good performance, managing the tyres well and keeping everything under control. Unfortunately, with Carlos we had a technical failure from our side – because of a broken hose clip - otherwise he could’ve also finished in the points. We have now closed the gap to our direct competitors and I think we are still in a position to achieve our goal, which is to finish the season in fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship. I’d like to congratulate Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel for today’s fantastic win, as well as the Red Bull drivers, especially Daniil Kvyat, as a P2 is his best result in his F1 career so far. It was nice to see that the first four to cross the line are present and past Toro Rosso drivers.”

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 track support leader

"Max had an absolutely brilliant race today! Everything went smoothly with the car as far as the Power Unit is concerned. It was a shame that he was handed a penalty towards the end of the race, but in the end it was a great result for him and the team. Unfortunately Carlos was forced to retire his car after a technical issue which resulted in a loss of boost pressure. Obviously we're delighted with Max's result, but it is bittersweet because Carlos was on track to score a lot of points as well. However, it's a great way to conclude this first part of the season."


Fernando Alonso, 5th

“This was a very good race, and fifth position at the finish is a nice little present for the whole team, particularly as we’re not as competitive as we’d like right now.

“On the calendar, there are a handful of circuits where we expected our performance to be better – Monaco, Singapore, and here in Hungary, so we knew we needed to make the most of today. Critically, we did just that: it was a chaotic race, and we took advantage of every opportunity that came our way.

“These points are a good way to send the whole team into the summer break, but we need to further maximise our chances in the second half of the season.

“This hasn’t been an easy weekend for anybody in Formula 1 – the minute’s silence for Jules [Bianchi] before the race was very emotional, and it was very tough to get in the cockpit straight afterwards.

“But, today, we respected Jules and we respected the sport.”

Jenson Button, 9th

“Fernando did a great job today. Fitting the Option tyre for the final stint was the right decision for him; I didn’t stop for tyres under the Safety Car whereas pretty much everyone around me did. That decision made it very difficult for me, because my used Primes were pretty old by the end of the race, and there were plenty of faster cars around me running fresher Options.

“Still, it was a fun race, and it’s great to get points ahead of the summer break. The accidents and penalties certainly helped us, but we still did a good job out there today.

“This is a step forward for us, but we’ll need to take another step if we’re to repeat this sort of result. Equally, the next two races – at Spa and Monza – will probably be difficult for us, but it’s good to see we’re making progress.”

Eric Boullier, Racing director, McLaren-Honda

“Yesterday afternoon, despite our cars having qualified only 15th [Fernando] and 16th [Jenson], owing to unreliability problems, I said publicly that much better race performances were within our compass.

“Sure enough, today we saw exactly that come to pass.

“Granted, we benefited from a goodly degree of attrition ahead of us, and clearly our team didn’t build its illustrious reputation on fifth places and ninth places, but, nonetheless, the 12 world championship points we scored today represent a buoying fillip as we pack up and head off on holiday for the midsummer shutdown.

“The first half of the 2015 season has been an extremely challenging one for all at McLaren-Honda, but we’ve supported and sustained one another throughout, and we’ll continue to do exactly that as, working as hard as it’s humanly possible to do, we gradually claw our way back to the front. And, lest we forget, our drivers have been magnificent both on- and off-track, today and every day.

“It’ll take time to get to where we want to be, we know that, but we’ll get there; that I guarantee.

“Finally, I want to say five more things.

“First, today we saw a truly great race, which must have been hugely entertaining to watch for spectators here at the Hungaroring as well as for viewers in their homes all over the world. As such, it was a fabulous advertisement for Formula 1, which remains a magnificent sport, despite our occasional tendency to be critical of it.

“Second, I think we can be very proud of the way we all joined together this weekend, almost as a family, remembering and honouring Jules, whose absence many both here and in the wider world feel so acutely.

“Third, I want to send a message of solidarity to our dear friend Aki [Hintsa, McLaren’s doctor], who was recently diagnosed with abdominal cancer. Stay strong, mate, and keep fighting the good fight. We’re all rooting for you.

“Fourth, I want to say a big thank-you to the entire staff of McLaren and Honda, not only here in Budapest but also in Woking and Sakura, who have worked so tirelessly for so little reward thus far. Have a great break, guys; you really deserve it; success will come, believe me.

“Fifth, and last, but far from least, I want to pay tribute to our team’s many fans all over the world, who are the most loyal and passionate anywhere. Guys, your unwavering steadfastness is massively important to all of us, and we hereby publicly salute you. Truly, you really do #BelieveInMcLarenHonda.”

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

“The temperature today was significantly lower than for Friday’s and Saturday’s practice sessions, which changed the condition of the track drastically, so it was a difficult race. Furthermore, there were many incidents that made the race very hard to read, but we were able to bring both cars home in the points thanks to some brilliant driving from Fernando and Jenson.

“The settings on both the cars and the power units were solid, so this race was important for us in order to prove their worth.

“During such an eventful race, our drivers’ talent, the excellent pit-work and the quick thinking of the engineers shone through. They kept their heads down and pushed, and I’m thankful and happy for the good result.”


Lewis Hamilton, 6th

“That was a very tough afternoon. The team did everything right and the car clearly had the pace - I just had a very bad day at the office. It was one of the worst races I think I've had and I don't really have any explanation for it at the moment. All I can do is apologise to the team and work hard to make amends at the next race. My start wasn't ideal and the Ferraris were really quick off the line, so suddenly I was under attack from both sides. It was tight with Nico later in the lap where I locked up and went off, then of course there was the incident with Daniel. It wasn't deliberate but it was my fault. He took a tight line around the outside and I just lost grip, ran out of road and understeered into him. That meant a drive through which dropped me right back again after all that work to make it back through. From there I just had to tell myself to calm down and not give up so I could fight back for some points. You could see in that phase that the pace of the car was really strong and the pace was really there all weekend. I just made too many mistakes today. In the end, it's damage limitation in terms of points for the Championship so I just need to take the positives into the summer and bounce back in Spa.”

Nico Rosberg, 8th

“I had a decent start, if not the best. But I still didn't have a great balance on the option tyre so the Ferraris were pulling away quite quickly at the beginning. It went better on the prime and the race was going well for me until lap 64. Racing is very tough sometimes. It's an awful feeling to lose it at the end. For me, the incident with Daniel was pretty clear. I was on the ideal line, he braked too late and went wide. I then stayed on the racing line, so it was my corner, but he still had his front wing there and hit me and I got a puncture. That destroyed my race, which is a real shame as I could have gained a lot of points on Lewis. At the moment I'm not looking forward to the summer break. I just want to be back in the car and racing again tomorrow.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“We had more incidents in today's race than we've had in the entire season so far - it was an afternoon for getting a few more grey hairs! First of all, many congratulations to Ferrari; not only was it a well-deserved win but it has been a difficult week for the entire team, having lost Jules, and I am sure this victory has a very special meaning for everybody in Maranello. On our side, we had two bad starts - and then things went from bad to worse. Lewis ran off track on lap one, then came the incident with Ricciardo, the nose change and the drive-through - and somehow still managed to get back to P6. As for Nico, he didn't have the pace to match the Ferraris in the first stint but was running strongly for a podium finish. When the Virtual Safety Car came out, it was close for him to get into the pits - but he managed it. However, the default set of tyres was the prime, as we still had around 30 laps to go in the race under normal conditions - and that was the only set we were able to fit to the car in time. In hindsight, the option tyre would have been ideal to attack Sebastian, who was forced to run the prime - but hindsight is a wonderful thing. He nevertheless did a great job to salvage P8 and score a few more points today. For us, this was a really frustrating day and it just goes to show that our success so far this year has been the result of fantastic attention to detail and teamwork, getting everything right to deliver the results we have had. Now we need to analyse the race and learn our lessons, then recharge the batteries and come back fighting in Spa.”

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)

“Not a great day, quite obviously. It began with two rather mediocre race starts. With Lewis, we suspect it was an overheating clutch after the second formation lap. And for Nico, it looked like there was just very little grip from his grid position. We apologise to both drivers for not being able to give them the platform for the start they needed. That put both drivers behind the Ferraris and Lewis then lost further position attempting to pass Nico later on the first lap. So, at that point it was already looking like a difficult afternoon with one driver in third and the other back in tenth. We persevered with our race strategy to attempt to get both cars onto the podium and perhaps even the top step - but it soon became clear that Ferrari were very quick here today and we didn't have enough of a pace advantage to make that happen. There were then a number of events including minor collisions and penalties which eventually consigned us to sixth and eighth. A bad day without doubt - but as they say, you can't win them all and it's still points on the board.”


Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for winning one of the very few races that had eluded him so far and to Daniil Kvyat for his first F1 podium. Hungary was one of the most dramatic grands prix we have seen for a long time, made even more complicated by the multiplicity of strategy options presented by the safety car running through the pit lane, and the fact that the race started in relatively cool conditions – compared to what we saw previously this weekend – and then got warmer. As a result, we saw a number of very impressive performances, with drivers making the very most of all the opportunities presented to them; helped by the right calls from the pit wall. The fans were treated to a thrilling spectacle that showcased all the drama of this thrilling sport.”