2013 Brazilian GP - Driver reaction
The 22 drivers have their say on the final race of the season
By William Esler
Last Updated: 24/11/13 9:20pm
Sebastian Vettel: "I don't want to compare the record what we have got today; it's not fair as it was a different time when Ascari was driving. Cars broke down more often then and teams were less consistent, so therefore it's a different type of record that we have got today. For all of us in the whole team we love coming to work and giving it all we have. There's a great spirit and it's sad in a way that the year comes to an end, but that's how it is. I'm sure everyone's looking forward to a break to get the batteries charged and to look forward to next year.
"My start wasn't so good today, but I was able to get past Rosberg. It was hard to know what was going to happen in today's race. When we came for the second pit stop, it was a late call and then we had to wait for the tyres. We managed to recover with some laps to go. Today was of course Mark's last race. We didn't have the best relationship, but nevertheless we always had respect for each other on a professional level and whatever was going on off-track, didn't make a difference to us on track and we both pushed each other very hard. I certainly learned a lot from Mark.
"I learned to become a better driver, due to his impressive skills; that's why I consider him one of the best drivers on the grid."
Mark Webber: "It was nice to take the helmet off for the final lap. In this sport it's not always possible to give things a personal touch. We have the helmets on all the time, so they fans don't always see a Formula One driver in a car without a helmet. It was nice to get it off and see the marshals and the fans; it was just a really nice thing to experience. I heard a lot of noises that I don't normally hear.
"The difficult part for me today was actually getting in to the car for the final time. I was overcome with some emotion then to be honest. That moment of the helmet going on and stepping into the car was actually the strongest emotion I've had all day. Then crossing the line and seeing all the guys was great. Christian radioed me and said enjoy the last lap, which I did. I did it as slow as I could; it was a very special day. Seb and I have had our challenges over time and it's easier to have a relationship with Fernando, as he's in another team, but to finish on the podium with those two guys - well, they have been the best of this generation.
"I have raced them a lot and to finish with those guys was nice for me because it meant a lot, showing that I can drive well at the end of my career and that I got the timing right. Formula One is a sport which I've loved. I could never have dreamt of the career that I've had, the tremendous highs, the tough lows - you know they have to happen and you learn from adversity.
"The biggest and strongest memories you have are from when you are in the car; it's what we were tuned and trained to do. Driving on the limit is what I was paid to do and what I enjoyed doing. They are the strongest memories you have as an individual at this level."
Fernando Alonso: "A podium is the best way to end this long season and finishing behind two Red Bulls almost tastes like a victory, as well as being the maximum we could have done today. It's a real shame that the much awaited rain didn't arrive in the end, because in the wet, we would definitely have been more competitive. I did not get away well at the start and I found myself blocked on the outside and then the inside. However, after catching Hamilton and Rosberg, I began to push and my race was all on the attack.
"Even if we cannot be fully satisfied with this result, because our aim is always to win, I would view the season in a positive light: we did win and get podiums, as well as finishing second in the Drivers' Championship and these are figures we can be proud of, both myself and Felipe. He's been a fantastic team-mate and even if we continue to see one another in the paddock, I will miss the relationship we have had. I wish him all the best for the future."
Felipe Massa: "My race began perfectly, with a great start and then a strong pace that allowed me to immediately pull of some nice passing moves and I was having a really great race up until the moment I was given a penalty for crossing the white line. I don't think I deserved a drive-through and I believe it was very unfair.
"I am very disappointed because today I could have finished fourth or third. I am sure that if I had found myself behind Fernando, he'd have let me pass. However, I don't want this incident to ruin such a special weekend for me and all my team. In their eyes, I am a world champion and I will never forget them, nor anything about my time with Ferrari.
"I want to thank everyone who gave me this opportunity and maximum support all the time, including President Montezemolo, Stefano Domenicali and all the mechanics and engineers who work at the track and back home, as well as all the Ferrari fans who, over the years, have rejoiced with me and also suffered with me during the most difficult moments. Thank you!"
Jenson Button: "For Checo, myself and the whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team, today was an incredible day.
"I'm pleased to have finished fourth: it's almost the podium position that I came here aiming for. We really needed today's result.
"The 2013 season hasn't been an easy one - it's been tough for all of us at the circuits, but it's probably been even tougher for the guys back at the factory, working flat-out to make parts. They're a really amazing bunch of totally passionate and utterly dedicated people, and they richly deserve the 'lift' that today's result will have given them.
"I'm also pleased for Checo. He won't be with us next year, but he drove a great race today. Well done, mate.
"I also want to say a big 'thank you' to Vodafone. Vodafone has been an absolutely incredible title partner, and we've also had a lot of fun together - both on and off the track. Some of the videos they made with us have been truly brilliant. I'm sad to see them leave, but I guess nothing ;lasts for ever.
"This is a great way to end the year, and now our focus turns squarely to 2014. McLaren is an incredibly strong and powerful organisation - and, believe me, we will fight back."
Sergio Perez: "What a contrast today was to yesterday, when we were unlucky to lose five grid positions owing to a gearbox-change penalty, but I think we made a very strong recovery this afternoon.
"I was praying for heavier rain at the end of the race, so that I could have a go at making up some more positions. But unfortunately I had to save fuel in the final laps, which meant I couldn't really attack Nico [Rosberg] as hard as I'd otherwise have been able to.
"I've learnt so much from everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, the best team I've ever raced with, and I wish every single one of them all the best for the future. I wish Jenson and Kevin all the best for the future, too.
"I think I've grown up a lot this year - both as a racing driver and as a man - and I think I'll be an even stronger competitor in future as a result."
Heikki Kovalainen: "It has been a great opportunity to drive for Lotus F1 Team and I'm upset that I was not able to score any points for them today. I think the car is great, but I was not able to unlock the pace and make the most of it. I made some mistakes - probably through lack of routine - but I was anticipating it would be easier to come back and race competitively.
"My starts both here and in Austin were really poor, with procedural issues both times meaning I wasn't able to keep pace with everyone off the line. That was disappointing as it's such a big part of the race and it's very difficult to recover positions. I'd like to thank everyone at Lotus F1 Team for all their support during these two races."
Romain Grosjean: "At this point in the season I think everyone needs a holiday, but apparently my engine decided to go on vacation early! Of course, that's not the way we wanted to end the year but it's been a fantastic season for the team and I think we can be really proud of what we've achieved together. We've proven this year that we are a top team, and I'm certainly proud of all the guys in the garage and back at Enstone.
"Today was obviously disappointing for everyone as they deserved more from this final race after all their hard work, but now it's time to get a little bit of rest and then focus on making sure we head into 2014 and the new regulations as one of the top teams once again."
Nico Rosberg: "Today is a great day for the team and to finish in second place in the Constructors' Championship is a huge step forward for us. My thanks to everyone who made our success possible and congratulations to the team here at the track and back at our factories. It was certainly an interesting race today; I had a perfect start but then I struggled a lot with my rear tyres in the opening stint and lost a few positions.
"We could have cleared Jenson in the pits but it was better for us to be conservative and focus on our battle with Ferrari. I'm so happy that we have achieved our aim and now everyone can look forward to a break and the new challenge of 2014. It's a huge project and there's a lot of work ahead over the winter. I'm very much looking forward to working with the team to put us in the best possible position for next season."
Lewis Hamilton: "Firstly, congratulations to the team today for achieving second place in the Constructors' Championship. That result means so much to everyone and I'm so grateful to have been a part of it this year.
"From my side, it was a tough race today. I don't know what happened exactly with Valtteri and will have to have a look at the replay. I thought that I had moved to the left, he outbraked me and then we touched but it happened so quickly and it was obviously judged that I did something wrong. I was having a good race until that point in fourth place and a podium might have been possible as I was closing on Fernando.
"That's why I'm so disappointed with my own race but of course I'm delighted for the team. They have done an incredible job this year and really deserve this result. It's the reward for what I know has been many years of hard work and my thoughts are with everyone here at the track and back at our factories at Brackley and Brixworth. We've got so much to look forward to next season so I'll put today behind me quickly and focus on what should be a great year in 2014."
Nico Hulkenberg: "It was a good race. I had a good start and nice battles in the first few laps. Then I was by myself for most of the race. The problem today was too much understeer. Because of that the front tyres were ruined pretty quickly, which cost us time. But finishing eighth is a solid result and it puts me in tenth place in the drivers' championship, which I have never achieved before. That is a good feeling."
Esteban Gutierrez: "Overall I feel positive. It's been a great race and I enjoyed all the fights on track today. I had a good first lap overtaking quite a few cars. We were struggling a bit with the hard tyres in the first stint, but then managed to recover some time with the medium tyres during the second and third stints.
"So the way we approached everything today was good. It was still quite a challenge to manage the front graining we had and I was doing everything I could to try and compensate for that. All in all I have finished the season with a positive race. It was a season where learning and gaining experience have been the main topics for me, and I feel I did a solid job as a driver to take the next step forward for my performance."
Paul Di Resta: "The light rain made for quite a tricky race, but it was also enjoyable with lots of overtaking. Losing six places off the line with too much wheelspin was a key moment and really put us on the backfoot, but the performance of the car in the race was consistent and we achieved the two-stop race.
"We chose to extend each stint but I struggled for performance on the hard tyre at the end and I wasn't able to challenge Ricciardo for the final point. However, I think we can go away from here quite satisfied with what we achieved today and with the year as a whole. Although I missed out on a top ten position in the championship, it's been a successful season, an incredible journey and I want to say a massive thanks to the team for the job they've done this year."
Adrian Sutil: "It was quite a challenging final race and I was really hoping for some points, but it just wasn't possible today. It was drizzling with rain for most of the race, but I felt quite sure the track was going to stay mostly dry. The main issue for me was the tyre wear because we had to stop three times and that made it hard to race for points.
"In the final laps I was catching the train of cars ahead of me, but I didn't get close enough to change my position. It's been an up and down season, but I will remember the positives and the fact the team is once again in sixth place in the championship, which is a great effort by everybody."
Pastor Maldonado: "We were fighting hard today with the cars around us but the pace wasn't quite in the car to be able to challenge for the top ten. We lost some time in the pitstops today and ultimately we couldn't recover the places. It's been a great three years with this team, I had a nice moment with Frank and the team this morning and they will stay in my heart forever."
Valtteri Bottas: "Unfortunately we had to end the season without finishing the race today. We seemed to be struggling a bit with the prime tyre but once we put the option tyres on we seemed to be able to catch the cars in front. We had an incident with Hamilton where I tried to keep my line overtaking on the outside and we touched. It's disappointing to end the season like this but a points-finish may have been too much for us today anyway."
Daniel Ricciardo: "The conditions were very difficult with the occasional drop of rain. From the cockpit, it's actually quite difficult to judge how much rain there is. You see a few drops on your visor, look at the guy in front of you and if he doesn't go off, you assume it's dry. We were not very quick from the start and I was struggling with cold graining on the front right. We did try and rebalance it during the race, but we struggled in terms of pure pace, so I was quite happy to come away with a point.
"At midnight tonight I become an Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver, but for now I just want to say thank you to everyone at Scuderia Toro Rosso, here at the track, back in Faenza and at our wind tunnel for two fantastic years. Thanks guys!"
Jean-Eric Vergne: "Catastrophic starts for both Toro Rossos today and after that, I had a car that was very difficult to drive. I know it's the same for everyone as it was the first time we ran here in the dry, but the balance of my car just wouldn't allow me to push. It improved in the final two stints but it was a real struggle.
"As for the incident with Maldonado, I came up the inside of him at Turn 1 and he didn't leave me any room, so we touched and he spun. This season has had more bad times than good ones for me, but we are all determined to work very hard over the winter to start next season with a better car."
Charles Pic: "My start wasn't great but by the end of lap five I was past Bianchi and closing the gap to my teammate. We put in a long first stint on the mediums with one eye on the rain that could have come, and boxed on lap 25 for another set of options, coming out clear of Bianchi which was obviously the first target. My pace in the second stint was good - the car felt great and Giedo and I switched positions just after the halfway mark as I was on a different strategy and pace to him at that point.
"My laptimes on that second set were good - running in the 1.18s which was close most of the midfield, but at that point it was all about hanging on to see if the rain would come. The tyres held up really well and I was in 17th when the rain was just starting to fall a little more heavily, but then, on lap 58, there was a suspension problem on the car and that was the end of the race for me. It's obviously a real shame that my race ended like that as the plan was working well and if the rain had fallen harder we'd have been in a really strong position, but sometimes it's like that."
Giedo van der Garde: "My start was really good, I passed my teammate and was fighting with Bianchi through turn one, but had to lift slightly to avoid one of the Force Indias which let Jules through. The car felt good at that point so only a couple of laps later I was past him and immediately put clear air between me and him, pushing on to Kovalainen ahead in the Lotus. We went until lap 24 on the first set, at one point running as high as 14th, but the main aim was to put a gap between us and the Marussias, and when I rejoined on another set of mediums we had the gap up to about seven seconds.
"My second set of tyres weren't performing as well as the first and about halfway through the planned second stint I was given the command to change positions with my teammate. That set of mediums had started to go off but with the possibility of more rain coming we had to stay out. We were still pulling away from Bianchi which meant we were covering his plan, but it was a struggle to keep up the pace we needed on those tyres as they were pretty much gone by lap 42.
"The second stop was on lap 47 when we went onto the primes. I came out ahead of Bianchi again but had to serve a drive through a few laps later which put me about 15 seconds behind him. I was pushing really hard and closed the gap a lot, down to seven seconds by lap 65 but that was as close as I could get.
"It's obviously not how I wanted the season to end, but I think, overall, I've learnt a lot. There have been quite a few highs and a few lows but this is a great team, a good group of people who work so hard and are determined to succeed, just like me."
Jules Bianchi: "Well done to everyone in the Team on a fantastic season and the well-deserved 10th place in the Championship. Thanks for all the hard work and dedication to providing us with the best car possible right until the end. Today, I got a fantastic start once again and the opening lap was strong, but a few laps in I struggled with some graining on the Medium tyre and it was really tough to drive round this, which caused me to have to yield the place.
"I knew it was all about the long game and just sticking with it, knowing that the balance would be much better on the prime Hard tyre. I dug in and drove as fast as I could on the next two stints to make as much progress as possible and it is nice that not only have we got 10th today but we finished ahead of Caterham again. This has been a very important and rewarding year for me personally and I can't wait for us to take that to the next level together in 2014."
Max Chilton: "It was hard finding our way today having only driven in the wet all weekend. We had just the sighting laps to the grid to make a few changes in order to try to optimise the dry balance as best we could.
"The middle part of the race was quite nail-biting with the constant threat of rain, but I knew that all I had to do was keep going and be ready for any scenario, especially with the weather. In the last stint I struggled with a vibration on front left tyre, which was really costing me time and that is why we pitted for an unscheduled third stop.
"I would like to thank the whole Team for a brilliant season, with particular credit to my car crew. I am really proud of my record-breaking 19 finishes in 19 races and this is the result of a fantastic Team effort."