2013 Indian Grand Prix - Driver reaction
The 22 drivers have their say on the race in New Delhi
By William Esler
Last Updated: 27/10/13 3:44pm
Sebastian Vettel: "First of all I would love to say thank you to the crowds, it was an unbelievable reception today and it's a shame we are not racing here next year. I'm speechless. I crossed the line and I was empty. I took ages to think about something to say. It's one of these moments where you want to say so many things but you can't. It's been such a phenomenal season. I think the team and the spirit inside the team is so strong; I said it on the radio already - it gives me so much power. It's a pleasure to jump in the car and go out for the guys and girls and try to give it all I have. The car was fantastic today.
"I didn't think about the do-nuts before the race today - it just happened. My engineer directed for the usual procedure, but I said 'not this time!'. There are so many people on the main grandstand here, I just had to do it. I want to say a big thank you to the team to all the people behind us. It was for sure not an easy season and even though people on the outside thought we had it in our hands, I think it was difficult.
"It a was tough season for me personally, to receive boos even though we haven't done anything wrong; to overcome that and give the right answer on the track and get acceptance makes me very proud. To join people like Prost, Fangio and Michael is unbelievable. I think this is one of the best days in my life so far. There are so many people that I have to thank; I've always tried to listen and learn and it's incredible to race some of the best drivers in the world."
Mark Webber: "Obviously I'm pretty disappointed with today's race, but there is not much I can do, the alternator went wrong with very short notice so we had to stop straight away. It's tough because we did a lot of things right this weekend, but I've got a smile on my face as I could not have done any more. Well done to Seb on his Championship and also to all the Team; to get a fourth title is amazing. It's been a great job by the whole team to achieve the title four years on the trot and it has once again set itself as the benchmark for the others."
Fernando Alonso: "Today, the problem I had on the first lap compromised my entire race, because we had to immediately change the nose and with one extra stop, without any opportunity to overtake, it was all an uphill struggle. In front of me, Webber touched someone and then me, then at turn 4 I also touched with Button. The steering felt very heavy in right hand turns and the only thing to do was pit.
"If you look at Webber's race or Perez's then I'd say our strategy was good, because when the others began to pit, those two were leading, but it's also true that it went well for those who started on the Softs. I must congratulate Vettel, because in this, as in other sports, it's the best that win. I'm a bit sad at not having scored points for the Constructors' title, but now, if we want to take that second place, we have to do better in the next three races and try to always finish on the podium, at least with one car, if not both".
Felipe Massa: "That was a nice race and I am very happy, because the strategy worked. I managed to always run at a good pace, even with the Soft tyres. Here, I could have fought for the podium, but as the track evolved, some cars, such as Grosjean in the Lotus, managed to make just one stop, which was impossible for us. I lost a position to Rosberg, who came in early for his second stop, but I have to be happy with this day when we made no mistakes.
"Today, we lost second place in the Constructors' classification, because Mercedes was very quick and we are well aware, that even if it won't be easy, there are still three races and we will do our utmost right to the very end. I want to congratulate Sebastian, who deserves everything he has achieved so far. I am really happy for him, because he is a great driver and a very nice guy. From today, his name will sit alongside the greatest drivers in the history of Formula One, such as Senna, Schumacher and few others".
Sergio Perez: "Unlike the past two or three weekends, I was finally able to enjoy a clean race without any bad luck!
"Fifth place is a great result for me. Without question, I have a lot of pressure on my shoulders, but it's always sweeter when you perform well while under pressure. I'm extremely satisfied.
"In the closing laps, it was a fantastic feeling to get past Kimi [Raikkonen] and Lewis [Hamilton] in a single move. I just braked as late as I could for Turn Four to try and keep Lewis behind - and I managed to do it.
"It's been a tough season, but today's result is a promising sign and really motivates the whole workforce ahead of the last three races, where we'll be doing our best to get more strong finishes under our belts.
"Finally, I want to say big congratulations to Sebastian. He's shown over the past few years that he's a truly great champion. He's had a great season; what he's achieved is incredible.
"Now, I really hope we can fight against him next season!"
Jenson Button: "Today was just one of those days...
"Exiting Turn Four on the first lap, I got hit quite hard on the right-hand-side by Fernando [Alonso]. I don't quite know why he couldn't make to the apex, as I'd given him loads of room, but he hit me in the side pretty hard. The contact damaged the car and damaged the wheel rim, which also gave me a puncture, although it didn't cause me an issue until about three laps later.
"It was an extra shame that I was running on the Medium tyre when I had the puncture, as that was the one you wanted to run long around here! So that incident destroyed my strategy for the rest of the afternoon.
"Without that contact, and the resultant puncture, I think we could have had some fun out there. It's just a shame, because our car was quick around here - Checo showed just what was possible by driving an extremely good race.
"Congratulations to Seb for winning his fourth world championship. That's very impressive - especially to win four in a row. His team did a great job, Adrian Newey demonstrated how good he is, and Seb finished it off nicely with a win."
Kimi Raikkonen: "We ran maybe the first twenty laps with no brakes as they had overheated massively, so every time I got close to somebody I lost braking. At the end of the race I ran out of tyre performance too so it's been a pretty disappointing day.
"I knew the tyres would drop off quite quickly, but there wasn't much to lose between trying to get to the end and making an extra pit stop in terms of time lost. In the end it didn't work."
Romain Grosjean: "If you had told me yesterday that I'd be on the podium here I would have said you were crazy! Straight from the beginning of the race I felt very comfortable on the option tyres and we looked in pretty good shape, then we fitted the mediums and the car was really quick. I lost quite a lot of time behind [Esteban] Gutierrez which maybe cost us the fight for second, but we managed to come back from that well.
"When I saw that I was fourth in front of [Felipe] Massa with 27 laps to go I knew it was going to be close with him as we had to take care of the tyres, plus we had an engine issue at the end of the race which made things quite tricky. In the final laps Kimi was really struggling with his tyres so I managed to pass him and luckily had enough pace to keep Felipe behind. Before the race our best prediction was fourth if we had a strong start and a perfect race, so it was an amazing result and a great performance from the team."
Nico Rosberg: "A great job from Sebastian today and his fourth title is well deserved. For our team, it was a very important race today. We scored a lot of points and climbed back up to second place in the Constructors' Championship. I'm quite confident that we can keep that position until the end of the season as the team is doing a great job and our car looks good but it will be a fight. I had good pace today and we really nailed the set-up here.
"The team did a fantastic job on the strategy and thanks to the boys for that. The only thing which didn't work out perfectly was when I dropped behind Felipe at the start as it was not easy to overtake him on the track, but then we managed to clear him in the pits. Our target was to be the best of rest this weekend and it worked out perfectly."
Lewis Hamilton: "Massive congratulations to Seb on becoming four-time World Champion today. That's an awesome achievement and he's put in some incredible performances this season. I really hope we get to take the fight to him next year! Looking at my race today, it's great that we got some good points, particularly with Nico's podium, and that the team are back to second place. The car has been pretty good this weekend but the race was frustrating for me.
"I tried so hard to get past Felipe but it just wasn't possible and unfortunately I destroyed my tyres in doing so. Finishing in sixth place is never satisfying but we've got three more races and we'll keep pushing. I'm confident that we can get some more good results to keep the team in second place and we'll keep fighting to achieve just that."
Nico Hulkenberg: "Today I would have passed the finish line in eighth place. We don't know yet what happened. When I was braking into the last turn something clicked and all of a sudden my brakes were gone. Something must have been broken on the car. Following that I pitted and went out again, but something wasn't right. It is very disappointing."
Esteban Gutierrez: "This wasn't a great weekend, yet I gained valuable experience during the race today. Unfortunately, I made a mistake at the start and I paid for that with a drive through. We had a good pace today and I had good fights with Fernando (Alonso) and Roman (Grosjean). I enjoyed that. The car had a very good balance. At the end I struggled a bit on the options, but still I think if I avoid mistakes and we are able to qualify better we can for sure finish in the top ten again."
Paul Di Resta: "It's great to score points here in India - the team's home Grand Prix and a really important race for us. We took an aggressive strategy by pitting at the end of the first lap to change from softs to medium tyres - which was always the plan. After that we effectively split the race in two and I pitted again for my second set of medium tyres on lap 30.
"The other positive is that we've steadily improved the car over the last few weeks and I'm feeling more comfortable, so I think we can be optimistic of performing at a similar level in Abu Dhabi next week."
Adrian Sutil: "The target was to score points so eighth and ninth places are a great result for us today. My one-stop strategy was the riskier approach and it was only during the race that we decided to go ahead with it. The medium tyres, which I started on, were performing really well and I realised that doing a one-stop race was possible.
"We thought that the soft tyres would only last around five laps, so I made sure I really looked after them, and in the end I managed just under twenty laps. After some difficult races recently, we showed everybody what we can achieve with some great teamwork today."
Pastor Maldonado: "This was a better weekend for us, with the car showing better race pace which is encouraging. I had another strong start and made up a good number of places on the first lap. I was fighting hard at the end of the race to try and get us in to the top ten but unfortunately we didn't quite make it today. We can take positives from this weekend and I feel we are getting closer to the points so hopefully we can score some more in the final three races."
Valtteri Bottas: "The first lap was very slippery for me and I was sliding a lot more than other cars and lost some positions, but my pace in the first stint was getting better and I was getting more and more grip from the tyres.
"However I had a radio failure which meant my first pitstop was later than planned and I lost track position, and in the second stint I was fighting closely with a lot of other cars and that traffic cost us a bit of time. Our race pace was stronger than in the last few races and I felt that I was on the right strategy, but the lack of running in free air meant that I wasn't able to capitalise on this and challenge for points."
Daniel Ricciardo: "I am pretty pleased with today's performance, even if during the race I thought we were looking better than a tenth place finish, especially after the first stint went well and the pace was looking good. It seemed as though we could have matched Sutil and Di Resta, so there's a little bit of disappointment about the fact I couldn't get past them and get a couple more points.
"Generally, I am pleased with what I did in the car and now we move on to Abu Dhabi, where we have a lot of support, so I hope we can give them a good result next Sunday. Vettel? Phenomenal! Particularly since the summer break, when he grabbed the title and never let anyone else look at it."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "I think the strategy we had was a good one, coming in very early to get rid of the Soft tyre. It could have paid off to the extent of getting into the points, but we were just too slow, even though we did everything we could. I just couldn't do better today, so of course I am disappointed, because making up one place from my grid position is not really enough. At least we only have a few days to wait before trying again in Abu Dhabi. Vettel? What he's done is something truly special, so congratulations."
Charles Pic: "After the start and coming out of turn one I was ahead of Chilton and my teammate. Giedo didn't have anywhere to go and made contact with my right rear tyre and it punctured which meant I had to come in immediately for a stop. We'd started on the soft tyres so we were always going to have to stop early, but obviously not on lap one, and with the time I'd lost with the first lap puncture I was back to where we were in Japan, having to play catch-up for the rest of the race.
"On the first set of mediums the car started behaving strangely and I was told to box again on lap 16. It turned out we had another puncture on the right rear and the tyre had lost a lot of pressure so we put on another new set of mediums and I pushed to close the gap to the cars ahead, but with such a big deficit it was always going to be unlikely I'd be able to catch and pass them.
"We gave it a go but we started losing hydraulic pressure, affecting the gearbox first, making changes harder, and then the steering started getting heavier and on lap 39 I was given the call to retire the car. My engineer explained afterwards that we'd had to stop because of a hydraulics leak which is why we'd had problems with the gearbox and the power steering and we had to retire to stop any more problems with the rest of the car.
"Overall this has been a bit of a tough weekend, but we will keep fighting, next weekend and for the rest of the season."
Giedo van der Garde: "I'm really disappointed my race ended so early. I made a fair start but coming out of turn one Chilton left me no room and we made contact, breaking my front wing and suspension. It's been made really clear to us that we have to give each other room but today I wasn't given any at all and that's what's finished my race before it really got going.
"It's such a shame as this weekend the car's felt really good, the balance has been there right from the first practice session and we know we have the pace on Sundays to pull away from the cars we're fighting with. Having it all end so quickly is obviously bad, for me and everyone in the team who keep working so hard, but we can come back from this straight away next weekend in Abu Dhabi and that's exactly what I aim to do."
Max Chilton: "I'm so happy with my performance in that race. The start was great and with the help of my engineers we did a good job of driving around a problem that at one stage had looked like it might end in retirement. Thankfully it eased and we could set about recovering our strategy, which in the end played out very nicely for me. From the video, the circumstances of the first corner seem pretty clear - I was ahead of van der Garde and he hit both Pic and myself with his front wing. When I looked in my mirrors I could see he had damaged his wing.
"Overall, it hasn't been an entirely straightforward weekend but we have been there or thereabouts with the Caterhams on pace and we had it in the car today to do a good job. I'm obviously very happy to maintain my record of finishing every race but it will be an even nicer feeling if I can still be saying that in Brazil! My thanks to the Team for all the hard work, which is clearly paying off. Finally, congratulations to Sebastian on a well-deserved fourth title."
Jules Bianchi: "I am happy that we finished the race with both cars again but disappointed with my position to be honest. Our two strategies were very close, although the theory was that mine would be just a little quicker. The car was good and the strategy should have paid off had it not been for a problem at the first pit stop, which cost me a lot of time.
"At the end of the race that really made the difference. Overall we have to be pleased with the car performance and think positively about every opportunity for the Team to hold position in the Championship. My best wishes to Sebastian - a great achievement for him."