Driver reaction - The 2013 Spanish GP
The 22 drivers have their say on the race at the Circuit de Catalunya.
By William Esler
Last Updated: 12/05/13 6:47pm
Sebastian Vettel: "I think we can be happy with fourth today. The first three cars were a little bit too fast for us and regarding looking after the tyres, they did a better job. We need to catch up; we're not going the pace of the car, we're going the pace of the tyres and obviously we do something to make the tyres wear more. We got some good points today, although of course we wanted more. The start was good, we then tried to hold on with a three-stop strategy, but had to change to four stops."
Mark Webber: "We were struggling for the range and a bit of pace today, to be honest. The Ferraris and the Lotus were in a bit of a different league and that made it hard for us to compete today. I think we got the most out of what we had, particularly as by the first corner I was probably 14th or 15th, so to come back with that result was pretty good.
"We managed to get back in to the scheme of things, but we were always a little bit on the back foot in terms of tyre wear and ultimately pace. If you don't have the pace, then you can't have the magic strategy. I was happy with how I drove and we got some points, but it wasn't the result we wanted."
Fernando Alonso: "Even if this is the third time I've won a home race, the emotion is still very strong, as if it had never happened before. It's nice to be able to give the whole of Spain this win, especially at a time when the country is in crisis and for many people, it's not possible to come here to bring their support. I thank everyone for that support and the team for doing a fantastic job. After a far from easy qualifying, everything went perfectly, the start, the strategy, pit stops, tyre management.
"At the start, I had to make up some places but after passing the halfway point on the straight, there was no more room to do so. So I switched off the KERS, so as to use it in Turn 3, where I realised, after watching the GP2 race, that it was possible to attack around the outside. We had to bring forward the final stop because of a slow puncture which meant the left rear tyre was losing pressure in the final part of the lap, but fortunately, that had no effect on the final outcome.
"I think that with this car we can fight for the World Championship, because in five races we have finished second once and had two wins. From now on, we must manage to produce a consistent performance and score as many points as possible because we are well aware that we are not the quickest and to change that many people are working night and day at the track and in Maranello".
Felipe Massa: "I am very happy with this podium. It was a really nice race and a fantastic result for the whole team. When you start from far back everything's more complicated, but I managed to get away well and I immediately had a fantastic pace. On the first lap I pulled off a few overtaking moves thanks to the car being very competitive, which meant I could be aggressive, while at the same time looking after the tyres.
"Right to the very end, I thought it might be possible to fight with Kimi, but when I fitted my last set of Hard tyres, the ones we thought would be best as they were new, I had oversteer and began to lose the rear much earlier than I had expected. All the same, I am very pleased with our performance at this track. Now we head for Monaco, a completely different track where overtaking is very difficult. We know we don't have the quickest car, but all we can do is continue to work with the same amount of effort, because I'm sure we are going in the right direction".
Jenson Button: "That was an interesting race.
"The lap to the grid was very slow, which hurt us, and my start wasn't great. I had no grip, so Turn One was a mess. I was unlucky to end up 17th at the end of lap one.
"We took the same approach as in China, adopting a different strategy from the others. To finish eighth show what a good job the team did with the strategy. I don't know whether we've improved our package or not, but we certainly beat some cars that we possibly shouldn't have beaten.
"Still, it's a positive that both cars finished in the points, and hopefully this'll be the start of an upward trend. We gathered a lot of useful information today, and we'll be working on that over the next few races in order to continue developing MP4-28.
"I want to say a big thank-you for all the support I've received from the British fans this weekend. It's great to see so many Vodafone 'rocket red' caps and T-shirts in the grandstands. Hopefully, we'll have a full house at Silverstone and we'll be stronger there.
"There's still a lot of work to do. It's tough at the moment, but I'm pleased that we're making the best of what we have."
Sergio Perez: "That wasn't the race I'd hoped for. It's so difficult to manage these tyres. We didn't do a perfect job, and, like many drivers, I required four pitstops.
"So I didn't maximise the full potential of our car today, so I wasn't happy in that respect, but, having said that, I think it's been a stronger weekend overall for us.
"Our car is still improving, and I think we can do a slightly better job at Monaco. After that I hope we'll be able to gradually close the gap to the cars in front of us over the next few races."
Kimi Raikkonen: "Unfortunately it's second place again so it's not time to celebrate too much. The car felt good and we did pretty much all we could today, but we didn't have the pace to challenge Fernando [Alonso]. I drove to the maximum and it's good for the championship that Sebastian finished behind us. It's nice to be on the podium for me and the team; let's see what we can do in Monaco."
Romain Grosjean: "I made a poor start but after that I was on the pace and we know we're able to produce good race strategies, so there was potential for a strong result today. The car was feeling pretty good until we had an issue with the rear suspension which meant I had to return to the pits and retire from the race, which is a great shame. It's always disappointing for everyone when something like this happens but there's no-one to blame; it's just a part of motor racing."
Nico Rosberg: "I had a very tough race this afternoon. The start was good and I managed my first stint well to keep some of the quicker cars behind me. From there, I had to drive my own race and we began to go backwards as it made no sense to destroy my tyres by trying to stay ahead. We didn't have the pace of the quickest cars today and there's a growing gap to three teams ahead of us which we need to get on top of. We have a very quick car but we have to make it work for us in the race."
Lewis Hamilton: "A difficult afternoon today and going backwards is never fun. We switched to a four-stop strategy during the race but I suffered with a lack of grip and balance throughout and we were never really able to get the tyres working. I know that everyone at the team is working so hard and we need to keep positive. I'm sure we will figure the problem out and we've got to keep pushing together to close the gap. I will be doing my best to help and encourage the guys."
Nico Hulkenberg: "We knew that it would be a difficult race today. The start went well and, until the incident in the pit lane, we looked quite good. We planned for a three stop, but then had to convert to a four stop. But then we had the incident, which ruined the race for us. Obviously the timing wasn't quite right, but we are a team, so we have to look into it and make sure it does not happen again. Overall the car still felt quite difficult to drive, and I think we still have some homework ahead of us."
Esteban Gutierrez: "I focused on getting the most out of the car today, and it was important to achieve a result like this for me and the team. The team has given me the patience and tools to improve as a driver and this is what I could extract from the car. It was a tough race and tyre management was critical. At the beginning of the race I was quite surprised about how much I could get out of the tyres. The last two stints were a bit more difficult, but this is a step forward."
Paul Di Resta: "We said before the race that seventh would be a good result and towards the end I was even fighting for sixth. So we can take a lot of positives from the weekend because this is a track that has traditionally not suited our car. It was a great effort by the team to get through to Q3 yesterday and come away with a seventh place today. The result shows the consistency that we have had since the start of the year and that we can perform each weekend. There's more to come too, because there is more we can do to optimise the car with the new parts we introduced here, but this is definitely a big result for us."
Adrian Sutil: "It's extremely disappointing to come away empty handed from this race because we were so quick today. My start was very good and I went around the outside of the first corner, which worked well because I was up in eighth by the end of the first lap. It was all going to plan until the first pit stop when there was an issue and I lost so much time. The team told me to switch the engine off while they sorted the problem, but it cost me the chance of points. For the rest of the race it was a case of pushing as much as possible because you never know what can happen. It's frustrating, but you have to accept these things. Hopefully it will not happen again."
Pastor Maldonado: "The pace was unfortunately not in the car today. We made one more pit stop than we hoped to because I was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane but overall we did the best we could. We now need to regroup, work hard and prepare for Monaco."
Valtteri Bottas: "I couldn't feel the grip in the car and we were sliding a lot from the start which meant we were hard on the tyres. We made a three-stop strategy work but in the end, Pastor switched to a four-stop race and that seemed to be better. We're not where we want to be, so there is still a lot of work to do."
Daniel Ricciardo: "I had a really poor start off the line, with a lot of wheelspin and, to be honest, the first few laps of the race I really struggled with front grip and locking the front brakes. I tried to be patient and eventually it improved and I could see the cars ahead of me were not pulling away so much. It was disappointing to lose ground like that, but the pace itself was not too bad.
"At the first stop, we made quite a few changes in terms of wing settings and tyre pressures and that helped, so the next two stints were quite good and I made a few passing moves, so it was certainly not a boring race. But then, towards the end of the race, our pace began to fade again. It wasn't easy to get tenth, even if we looked on course to get more than the one point earlier in the race, so it's better than nothing."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "After a good start, I then had a lot of understeer and we had to keep adding a lot of wing at each pit stop, which didn't really help. The strategy we adopted was the right one and even with a damaged floor and wing I was able to do good lap times. Yet again I was unlucky and I hope that stops soon, because as I was coming into the pits, Sauber did an unsafe release with Hulkenberg who drove into me and then I had a problem with a tyre, so it was one problem after another today.
"I plan to have a better weekend in Monaco in two weeks time. I haven't lost hope for the future, given the performance we had shown earlier in the weekend and it's just such a shame as that good pace should have allowed us to score points today."
Charles Pic: "I'm really happy with today's performance. Finishing 17th doesn't really tell the whole story as we ended the race right behind one of the Williams cars which shows that we've made some good progress this weekend. The blue flags didn't help as without them I'd have had a much better chance of overtaking him, but it was still good that I could attack him in the last few laps. The car felt great for the whole race, particularly after my third stop when we went for a 25 lap final stint on the hard tyres and I was able to manage the degradation levels well which meant I could push right to the flag.
"It's good to have a Sunday like this as I hadn't really been able to get the most out of the new package on Friday or Saturday, but it felt good right from the first lap today. There's still more to come from the parts we brought here, quite a bit more in fact, so we'll work on that back at the factory and see how much more we can extract for the next race in Monaco. That's obviously going to be busy for me and the whole team, but after seeing the pace we had today, more to come from the race five update and the fact the team has been strong there in the past, I think it could be a really interesting weekend for us."
Giedo van der Garde: "It's obviously such a shame that my race ended like it did today, but sometimes these things happen. I'd had a great start and was fighting with Button and both Williams cars through the first couple of stints The car felt great, really good and I was definitely having the best of the season so far. When I came in for my second stop I could feel that there was a problem with the left rear as soon as I rejoined the track. At some point the wheel came off so I tried to make it back to the garage to see if I could continue, but once the team had taken a close look it was clear I had to retire the car.
"As I say, it's a shame but it's another lesson for me and the team. Sometimes you don't have the luck, but we have a lot of positives to take from this weekend. The updates on the car are working well, and we have more to come. Our race pace is really good, strong enough to fight with a few cars ahead and my quali performance was easily my best this year. Next up we go to Monaco, a track I know well and one where I was on the podium twice last year in GP2, and in Formula Renault 3.5, so another qualifying performance like I had in Spain, and a race like I had until retiring today, and I think we can do well."
Jules Bianchi: "I feel like I drove a really hard race today but there is not so much to show for it. I am obviously pleased to have had three strong middle stints but the damage was done in the opening few laps when I had to pit for a new nose. I think we recovered well from this and had we not had the extra stop we could have been fighting with Bottas today. Our lap time was much faster than theirs and I managed to get the gap down to eight seconds in the final stint, but pushing so hard stretched the tyres too much and I had to back off to just focus on getting the car home. Another two-car finish is important to us. It was a race that demanded all my concentration and I certainly put all of the tyre management experience I have gained in the first four races to good use today, so it was quite an exhausting day but one which also had some positive highlights. I will focus on these and hope for better things in my home race in Monaco in two weeks' time."
Max Chilton: "It was disappointing to have such a problematic start to the race and then we had the pit stop issue, which was a further setback. What is encouraging is my lap time in free air today, which I'm pretty pleased with, and it's good to be able to demonstrate more of my outright pace than I've been able to over the past few races.
"If we can get on top of some of these problems we can really start to come into our own a bit more. The pace is there so we should be able to get back to closing the gap to the midfield. Next it's one of my favourite races and I'll be doing everything I can to prepare for my first time out in a Formula 1 car there. Hopefully we can enjoy a better reward for our efforts."