2013 United States GP - Driver reaction
The 22 drivers have their say on the action in Texas
By William Esler
Last Updated: 19/11/13 11:55am
Sebastian Vettel: "It's the day after, normally on the Monday, when you feel what you have achieved. It's a great feeling, you have a grin on your face and it's nice. On Sunday things happen fast and you don't always realise what has been achieved until later. It's down to team effort today. Everyone is willing to push; this morning the guys were working hard as we had some concerns about reliability on the car, so they were flat out trying to fix the problem and the car ran okay all race, so a big thanks to them.
"I'm not sure what we have done since the summer break in order that we have been winning races, but whatever it was it has worked. When you are a sports man, not every day is supposed to be a good day and you have ups and downs. Certainly you feel the points when you are low, they hurt more than when you are on a high, of course you enjoy those times, but I kept saying that there's no guarantee for the next race or the one after that or after that! You never know what is coming next, so you have to enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow."
Mark Webber: "The initial launch and my getaway was pretty good. Romain had a good start too, I wanted to get on the right for the breaking point at the first corner, but that's what everyone did too. I got boxed in and didn't get a good exit off the corner, but after that it was a strong race. Our pace was good, but you have to manage the tyres well here.
"Qualifying was where a lot of the race was decided. In the end I did what we could, but I think we left some on the table yesterday. I have some family and friends here this weekend, so it's good to get a strong result. It would have been better to have had a win, but Seb did a good job here this weekend."
Fernando Alonso: "Finishing in the top five today is a very positive result when you consider how difficult this weekend has been and the fact I had to start from the dirty side of the track. We were well aware it would be very difficult to maintain position and in fact I lost it to Perez. In the first part of the race, we weren't quick and we decided to save the tyres and then attack round the pit stop.
"We were more competitive on the Hards, we passed Perez and set off to get Hulkenberg, but even if our situation compared to Mercedes has improved, we were unable to beat them. I am very proud of this second place in the Drivers' Championship, it's a small reward for me, the same as being first of the "mortals" behind Red Bull.
"My back is okay, as I did a good warm-up before the race and it didn't bother me. I feel more tired from all the tension of the race, but now I have three days to rest and arrive in Brazil feeling a hundred percent. We really must improve there, because our goal is still to finish second in the Constructor's Championship".
Felipe Massa: "It's been a really difficult weekend and I was struggling right from Friday, unable to get the tyres up to temperature or to run at a good pace. At the start, I didn't make up any places and then for all the race I was stuck in traffic, on a track where overtaking is not that easy.
"We knew that making a second stop was not the best choice, but I already found myself in a difficult situation and so we decided to risk stopping for a set of Medium tyres: if anything had happened ahead of us, maybe a Safety Car, we might have profited from the situation. Unfortunately, nothing happened and the tyre wear of those ahead of me was very low, so I was behind them ending up in the same position from which I started. It's a real shame because we could have done better.
"Now we must keep concentrated for the final round of the season in Brazil, my final race with Ferrari on my home track: it's bound to be a very emotional weekend because of that. I hope I can be more competitive there and even if our rivals are very quick, we will do our best right to the very end."
Sergio Perez: "To be honest, I was expecting to achieve a little bit more than seventh today.
"On the opening lap, I managed to push past Fernando [Alonso], and the car initially felt pretty strong. After that, however, between about lap 10 and lap 15, the tyre degradation started to kick in, and we struggled relative to the others around us. They seemed to be coping with the [tyre] deg[radation] a little bit better than we were.
"But, more importantly, I want to say a big 'thank you' to all my Mexican and American fans for the support they've shown me all weekend.
"They came here to watch me perform, and, while I would love with all my heart to have given them a better result than seventh, it was still amazing to have their support throughout what has been a difficult but very special weekend."
Jenson Button: "Even though I was only battling for a single world championship point, I still wanted to do the best job I could this afternoon.
"As in all the past few races, I made contact with another car on the first lap - and that contact broke my left-hand front-wing endplate. It wasn't quite as bad as in Abu Dhabi, but it still left me with quite a lot of understeer.
"We considered changing the nose-box at the pit-stop, but, instead, the mechanics added some extra front wing, and that helped to re-balance the car. It still wasn't ideal, because losing downforce at the front doesn't affect only the front-end, it affects air-flow across the whole car as well.
"Still, I enjoyed the race. The first 30 laps, during which I was stuck behind Felipe [Massa], were particularly tough, but I was able to make some good moves at the end, and that made our day a bit more interesting.
"Now, I'm hoping for a trouble-free, exciting and prosperous final grand prix of the season in Brazil next weekend."
Heikki Kovalainen: "My start wasn't great but then it was going okay until the first pit stop as I was racing with the pack with the car feeling quite good. After the pit stop I started to have a few problems, but it was difficult to know exactly what was going on. We had issues with downforce so we changed the front wing and after that it was much better, although still not as good as it's felt previously this weekend. There was a KERS issue too, though not enough to account for my lack of race pace. We'll have a good look at the data and hopefully be on top of things far better for the race in Brazil."
Romain Grosjean: "That was a really tough race. I had to have probably one of my best ever drives to keep Mark [Webber] behind and it's a great feeling to have tamed at least one of the Bulls in Texas as they clearly had the fastest package today. We knew a good start would be the key, so making up one place in the first corner was really important and the car was just fantastic from there onwards.
" The whole team here and back at Enstone are doing an amazing job. Every day I see them working hard together to keep us at the front and when you look at the gap to the next nearest challenger, it's clear that we're the second best team after Red Bull right now. I think this place must bring me luck; this time last year I found out my wife was pregnant and now I've equalled my best finish in Formula 1, so I can't wait to come back again and see what happens next year!"
Lewis Hamilton: "That felt good out there this afternoon and I'm really happy with fourth place. It was so nice to have a race where I could fight for position and make progress. The car felt much better today than recently so the change in chassis has definitely made a difference and a big thanks to my guys in the garage for their efforts there.
"I had a great start today and that was crucial to my race. We had to give up third place to Mark fairly easily to make sure our tyre management and strategy worked as it was more important for the team to finish ahead of Ferrari. There was no way I was letting Fernando past at the end; I was ready for him to make his move and had a couple of tenths ready to pull out if he did!
"We've had a few difficult races on my side of the garage and I'm so proud of the team for all the hard work they have put in. We're all determined to maintain our second place at the final race in Brazil next weekend."
Nico Rosberg: "I didn't have a great weekend here in Austin unfortunately. It really started yesterday in Qualifying where I struggled with getting temperature into the tyres and starting from 12th place makes your race really difficult, especially in a one-stop race.
"I made some nice overtaking moves but we weren't able to do much with the strategy today because of the single stop so it's disappointing to only have finished ninth as our car was quicker than that today. Overall though, as a team we managed to increase the gap to Ferrari and that's a good result. After such a tough weekend, I'd love to be back in the car in Brazil tomorrow and not wait another seven days! We'll be pushing really hard there to end the season on a high."
Nico Hulkenberg: "A very solid result yet again. If I'm not mistaken, since Monza that would have been the eighth points finish in a row if it wasn't for the brake disc failure in India and the drive through in Abu Dhabi. That's a pretty impressive statistic. It was an interesting race. I didn't have to fight that much, only at the end with Fernando (Alonso), which was good fun.
"Unfortunately in the crucial part of the race, about ten to 15 laps before the end, we didn't quite have the pace of Fernando, so he was able to overtake me. During the last lap going into turn one I passed him, but then I just missed the apex and he was able to get me back at the exit. But we finished just a couple of seconds behind our competitors. I think it's been a good weekend with a gain of a good eight points."
Esteban Gutierrez: "It was a very tough race starting from P20. We had to make up a lot of positions on track. I managed a good first lap. I made up a couple of positions and then, once the safety car was deployed, we decided to pit in order to put me on a different strategy to the other cars. We need to analyse the situation now and see how much we gained from that. I think all in all the problem came from the ten place grid penalty, which made it complicated at the end."
Paul Di Resta: "I made a good start and was in reasonable shape for the first stint. But it soon became clear that we were struggling for pace and not really in the zone with the tyres. We were pushing to do a one-stop race, but the tyre wear was a bit higher than expected and I ran out of tyre performance with nine laps to go.
"It was hard to defend my position so I had to make a second pit stop. It's a shame because we were quite optimistic before the race and we thought the warmer weather might play into our hands. So it's a bit disappointing, but we will pick ourselves up and look to end the season with a better result in Brazil next weekend."
Adrian Sutil: "It feels like I ran out of luck this weekend. Up until Saturday morning I was looking competitive and was happy with the car, but all of that promise disappeared with the problems we had in qualifying. In the race I made a good start, gained a few positions and was racing ahead of Maldonado on the back straight.
"For some reason he hit my left rear wheel and I immediately lost control of the car and crashed into the barriers. I don't really understand why he was so close to me because the track is so wide there. I stayed on my line and there was a lot of space to the right and the left. So it was an early finish and a very disappointing day."
Daniel Ricciardo: "It was a tough end to the day, really tough. It looked as though we were going to hang on to the flag to get the point for tenth place, but then in the last five laps, I lost pretty much all the grip I had and I saw the guys closing in on me. I tried to hold them off but I didn't have enough left in the tyres to do it.
"It's frustrating to get that close but I put up the best fight I could and there was nothing more I could have done today. It was very difficult to overtake in the early stages when the cars were full of fuel and it wasn't easy to stay with the car in front through the fast corners, so we had to be patient."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "The final result was nothing special, but I feel I had a good race. We had planned a two stop, but switched to a single tyre change and for the second part of the race, I was told I had to manage my Options carefully, but I was given the go ahead to push again with 15 laps to go and at that point my race pace was quite good.
"So I feel we did a good job with the car we had. On the last lap, I tried to pass my team-mate at Turn 1, and it didn't work and we ran wide, but I think he had used a bit of Kers on the straight so I couldn't pass him. I used all my KERS on the next straight to try and outbrake him but then Gutierrez clipped my rear wheel at Turn 12 and he tried to pass me and we touched."
Valtteri Bottas: "I'm very happy to get my first points in Formula One today. The whole weekend has been good from setting up the car in practice through to the strategy and pitstops in the race. We managed the tyres well today and I had good feedback from my engineers on them throughout. We did have a bit of pressure from Rosberg at the end but I was able to keep pushing and hold the position. I want to say a big thanks to everyone in the team and at the factory as they have all been working so hard and really deserve this result."
Pastor Maldonado: "It was a difficult race for me as the incident with Sutil compromised the strategy. We did manage to get 40 laps out of the prime tyres which was pleasing on a track like this. Overall, we had a difficult weekend and I'm looking forward to a better race in Brazil."
Charles Pic: "Off the line I passed Chilton and was right behind Giedo and Bianchi at the end of the first lap. However, the car balance today was the same as it's been all weekend, just not quite there, which meant I couldn't push at all. I was keeping up with my teammate for the whole race, up to the drive-through in the last couple of laps, but we just didn't have the pace today to put in the normal sort of race performance we've seen for most of the season.
"We have the chance to bounce straight back in Brazil, and we'll work hard over the next few days to understand what we need to do to find a setup that allows us to get the most out of the package. I had my highest finish of the season in Brazil last year so we'll aim to sort out the setup issue and be there to take advantage of anything that comes our way."
Giedo van der Garde: "I didn't have a good start and was behind Bianchi at the end of the first lap. From there it wasn't possible to pass him as, even though I had a quicker car round the whole lap, his straightline speed was better than mine and every time I got close my front tyres started graining because the car was understeering a lot so I couldn't make a move past him stick. Sometimes it's like this, there's not much you can do when you're so evenly matched.
"Despite how today went, overall it's been a good week in Austin. The track is good and the atmosphere in Austin and at the circuit is amazing, but obviously for us we need a bit of a crazy race to be in with a chance of reclaiming tenth in the Championship, so now it goes down to the wire in Brazil. We're ready, we just need to see what happens."
Jules Bianchi: "It's fair to say that today was the toughest race of the season for me. With just the one pitstop, switching from the Medium to the Hard tyre, it was a really long race with so much of my focus being given to looking after the tyres. Anyway, the start was good - enough to put me ahead of van der Garde - and then I'm really happy with the race I drove as we were easily able to keep both Caterhams behind.
"I have to say a big thanks to the whole Team as there has been a great deal of work not only to help us resolve the problems of the weekend, but also to bring new parts to the car and make them work to good effect at this late stage of the season. A really good race for us today and we go into the final race in Brazil next week able to feel more confident."
Max Chilton: "Heading into this race with the drive-through penalty to serve, I was always aware that this would be a tough and lonely race for me. I lost 15 seconds in the pitlane and the reality is that you are simply going to hit the blue flag phase much earlier and pay a hefty price for that in the second half of the race. I'm pleased with the job I did to try to play catch-up and I think my fastest lap reflects that.
"Unfortunately the other factors defined my race. On the bright side, I've finished yet another race - my 18th out of 18 - and the car is performing well versus the Caterhams, so we'll throw everything we have at the final race next weekend."
More to follow...