2014 Hungarian GP - driver reaction
The 22 drivers have their say on the action in Budapest
By William Esler
Last Updated: 27/07/14 6:54pm
The 22 drivers have their say on an action-packed Hungarian Grand Prix where Daniel Ricciardo triumphed for Red Bull.
Daniel Ricciardo: “Winning this today, it honestly feels as good as the first. It sank in a lot quicker this one, so crossing the line today I knew what was going on a bit more and it’s like I could enjoy it immediately rather than it being delayed, it was awesome.
“To have to pass guys again to win the race, as I did in Canada, makes it a lot more satisfying, knowing that we did have a bit of a fight on our hands – you beauty! In this environment now I feel, I am a different driver and in a way a different person, a different sportsman than I was last year.
“I’ve got a lot more belief in myself and it’s cool, I definitely feel like I belong here now and I’ve got confidence; obviously we’ve converted two races into wins this year so far and I think that confidence is showing. I’ve got some friends from Australia here this weekend, so the plan was to always have a few drinks tonight, so I think we’ve got an excuse to now!”
Sebastian Vettel: “It wasn’t a great race. I spun, which was my mistake, and before that I was unlucky with the safety car in the first stint. The timing meant the first four cars lost positions to those running behind. Unfortunately we were then in the wrong mode for the restart and I lost two positions. It’s good for Daniel that he won today, I’m happy for him.”
Lewis Hamilton: “It is a great result today; I was just pushing as hard as possible to get as high as I could. It was obviously damage limitation after what happened yesterday. I can't express the pain I feel when we have issues such as in the last couple of races; it's hard to swallow and difficult to come back the next day and get the right balance between not attacking too much, but pushing to the limit.
“The two safety car periods helped quite a lot, but naturally I looked fast and had the pace this weekend, so there was an opportunity for more points. I was in the same race as Nico and if I let him past and he had the opportunity to pull away, then he would have come back and overtaken me. I didn't understand why the team asked me to do that as he didn't get close enough to overtake and I didn't want to lift off and lose ground to Fernando.
“I would like to say a big congratulations to Daniel and Fernando. It was close at the end and it was getting very hard to keep Nico behind as he was catching at close to 3 seconds a lap. Coming back through shows how great this car and team is, and this result is much more satisfying than an easy win. Going into the break, I'm still in the fight for the championship, which is very satisfying.
Nico Rosberg: “That was a disappointing afternoon. A few things didn't work out for me and it was a very up and down race. In the beginning it was all under control. Unfortunately the safety car cost me the lead, because I just missed the pit entry and then I couldn't pit.
“I also had some braking issues after the safety car went in and a difficult period of time with handling this, which cost me some positions. Then I was able to push a lot. I had a great last stint and at the end there was one chance to overtake Lewis in the last lap, but it didn't work out. So that is massively disappointing.
“We need to sit down and analyse internally what went wrong today. I'm still leading the championship, which is a positive thing, and I'll be ready to attack again after the summer break.”
Fernando Alonso: “This podium means a lot to me and the whole team, because after so many difficult races, we managed to get the most out of everything, also taking a few risks and second place seems like a win. To do 31 laps at the end on used Soft tyres was a great challenge. At that point, the strategy suggested that if we had made a third stop, we could have finished fourth, but we decided to run to the flag instead.
“This race shows that anything is possible when there are unusual conditions like today, with a wet start and the appearance of the Safety Car. We managed to make the most of all opportunities that presented themselves, taking the best decisions even at the most difficult moments. Sure, the characteristics of the circuit, with its limited overtaking opportunities, helped us and that’s why we have to be realistic and continue to work on the car, to improve in all aspects.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Today’s race was difficult, but much more fun than the others, as I had a good feeling with the car, the pace was good and I felt I could push. After the way qualifying went yesterday, sixth was the most we could hope for. At the start, I got away well but then I lost vital time behind a Sauber and when I caught Massa’s Williams, I couldn’t get past: here in general, overtaking is not easy and we lack speed down the straights.
“Sure, this is a good team result, but we must not get too excited, because even if there are signs of improvement, we still have much work to do in a lot of areas to get to where we want to be. We’ve had a very complicated start to the season, but I hope the second part of the championship will go better. I have great faith in the team and I feel we are going in the right direction. Even if it's going to take some time, I’m sure the results will come.”
Romain Grosjean: “We didn’t finish the race today which is very disappointing. The conditions on the circuit this afternoon were very tricky and we couldn’t get the best out of the tyres. We made the right call to move to slicks when the safety car came out – like most of the grid did – but I made a mistake when I was trying to keep the tyres warm.
“Unfortunately, I touched the white line and spun and that was it. I feel very sorry for everyone in the team who are giving everything they can to give me the best car possible. Hopefully these last two weeks of work and the break ahead of us will help us move forward and come back stronger for the next race in Spa.”
Pastor Maldonado: “It was a tough race for us. It was a struggle to find enough grip and the track surface was very slippery. We didn’t always have full power, which certainly added to the challenge in what was already a pretty difficult race with the changeable conditions.
“We weren’t able to close in on the cars ahead along the straight which made it hard to overtake, and there aren’t many places to overtake around here. The important thing is we finished all 70 laps so we have plenty of information to make further improvements to the car.”
Jenson Button: “I’m glad it was an exciting race for the fans, but it was a tough afternoon for us. We didn’t make the right decisions today.
“The opening laps in the rain were great: I got up into fifth – which wasn’t a bad position for us – but it went downhill from there. As the track started to dry, we thought it was going to rain again – unfortunately, however, we were the only ones thinking that.
“I feel like I did everything right, and in every track condition, which is why it’s tough – but we win as a team and we lose as a team, and we’ll quickly put this behind us and move on.
“It’s the perfect time for the summer break – obviously, we’re not where we want to be, but we’ve had some positive results, and the whole team has worked incredibly hard throughout this first half of the season. I hope that everybody can get the chance to recharge their batteries before we embark on what we hope will be a better half of the season.”
Kevin Magnussen: “We didn’t make the best of things today, but having started from the pitlane, I don’t think I really lost too much by choosing to stay on the Inters when everybody pitted for dries. I know we took a risk to wait for more rain, but I think we had to take that risk.
“I don’t think things would’ve been much different if we’d made a different strategy call, but we now need to sit down with the engineers and strategists to discuss it.
“Once we switched to the Prime, we didn’t have the pace to challenge for too many points. After a race like today’s, we just need to stay positive and look for areas where we can further improve. The whole team now has the opportunity to take a break, rest and return feeling stronger than ever. I want to thank everybody for their hard work, spirit and determination throughout these first 11 races – we can come back and achieve better things in the second half of the year.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “It was not the best day in the office and I’m feeling very disappointed. The track was drying out and I was quite close behind Checo when I made contact with him at the final corner. The previous lap he had taken a much wider line so I tried to overtake on the inside, but he took a tighter line and I couldn’t back out of the move.
“I made contact with his car, lost my front wing and went straight on into the barrier. It was my mistake and I’ve apologised to the team. It’s especially frustrating because there was a lot of potential in this race, but I guess it was one of those days when things didn’t go our way.”
Sergio Perez: “It's a very disappointing end to our weekend, just when it looked like we could have scored some big points. I went a little wide on the exit kerb of the final corner, lost the rear and that was it – I was in the wall. It was a very unfortunate end to our race and I feel sorry for the team because they deserved some points today.
“Conditions were very difficult, the track was drying and improving, and it made you want to push to the limit, but there were some wet patches that could catch you out. We'll take the positive elements of this weekend and get back in the points in the next race.”
Esteban Gutierrez: “The race started well, as I could gain positions during the start. I was pushing as much as I could, trying to drive very precisely and consistently. I was able to gain some positions and everything was going in the right direction.
“During the safety car period I came in for the pit stop, everything was right on target. After the restart, I was fighting with Kimi (Raikkonen) and trying to keep him behind. The pace was good and I was also able to keep up with the drivers in front of me. It was an unfortunate ending, but there are a lot of positives we can take from the weekend.”
Adrian Sutil: "Finishing in P11 was very close to gaining one point. It was not an easy race, especially at the beginning with the difficult weather conditions and the two safety car periods. During the first safety car period we made our first pit stop. When I came to the box I had to wait as Esteban had not finished yet. I did loose some time, but I was fighting back.
“At the end I finished the race in 11th. In the corners I was faster than Jenson (Button), but I could not overtake him as he did not make any mistakes and drove away on the straights. However, it was a positive day as we came closer to the teams in front of us, and this is what counts.”
Jean-Eric Vergne: “I'm very pleased with the weekend, I think it was a good one. As for the race, the team did a fantastic job to call me in straight after the safety car and everything worked well. The race was really nice and I had a lot of fun being in second position for some time.
“I knew that I didn't have the pace to keep up with the others around me until the end of the race but it was a great moment. Obviously I would have liked to finish in a better position to get more points but we still have to improve the performance level of the car. I'm confident that step by step this will come soon, so I'm really positive for the second part of the season."
Daniil Kvyat: “This was a very tough race. I’m not sure what happened at the start, it has never happened to me before. The engine just stalled and so I was forced to start from the pit lane. The first half of the race was not too bad, I tried to catch up but overtaking was difficult and I had a hard time looking after the tyres, especially being stuck behind the other cars.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t finish the first half of the season on a high note, but I’m sure we can turn things around and come back stronger at the next race.”
Felipe Massa: “It was a very difficult race with a lot happening. We had many fights and it was difficult to stay on the track. We took some risks with the tyres in the pitstops and in the end it was a good result. Now we can look forward to the second part of the season and I'm sure we will score a lot more points than we've scored up until now.”
Valtteri Bottas: “After three podiums in a row P8 is not that satisying, but we got some good points as a team. There was more to come today but we were unlucky with the safety car when I went from P2 to out of the top 10. We need to analyse this race then focus on the next one. There are many more good moments for us to come this season, we are getting stronger.”
Jules Bianchi: “That was a tough race for me because I had to drive for more than 50 laps with a damaged car with terrible balance problems. Maldonado just came from nowhere and hit me in the side. I was really fearful it would put me out of the race and I knew it was a race that would present a lot of opportunities, for me and also our competitors.
“Although the Caterhams were not in the race for very long, the balance problems meant that I could not take the fight to the cars ahead, particularly the Saubers, who at one point were in a good position that might have threatened our championship placing. In the end, the dry conditions ensured the race ran more in competitive order and we ended the race holding onto 9th, which I am very happy about, obviously.
“It was a pretty exhausting race, having to fight the car for so long and not be able to lap quicker, but at least we got both cars to the finish and we end the first half of the season on a high note. My thanks to the whole Team and I wish everyone a very relaxing summer break, after which we will return stronger and hopefully finish the job we started in terms of beating Sauber on the track.”
Max Chilton: “I got a good start to the race and I was happy with the way the car was performing and that we managed to avoid any of the difficulties the retirees encountered. With Kobayashi and Ericsson out of the picture, and Jules having to make an unscheduled stop, it was good to be able to move up the field and then at the end have a good fight with Jules to the flag.
“I’m pleased for the Team that we have another two car finish and we’ve managed to hold on to our 9th place in the Constructors’ Championship, which is really important. Now we all deserve a good break so we can come back in Spa and have a good second half of the season.”
Kamui Kobayashi: “It’s obviously a shame we couldn’t finish the race today but an issue with the fuel system meant I had to stop the car as I had no power.
“My start was pretty good – I stayed on the outside to avoid any issues going into turn one and I had good traction out of the first corner, helping me pass a couple of cars and straight away I could push. The car felt good in the wet / dry conditions, they seem to suit us, and my pace in the first stint was pretty strong. We boxed for the first time on lap nine and rejoined on softs and again I had good pace, enough to push me up to 14th.
“I had a big moment with Maldonado when he span after making contact with Bianchi. That’s the third race in a row I’ve had a very near miss and this time I saw him hit the Marussia and then start spinning – I managed to turn in just enough to avoid him hitting me, but there must have only been millimetres in it!
“After that I was into a good rhythm and the balance was fine. We were going to run quite long on that set but then on lap 24 I lost power just after turn 12 and that was the end of my race.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It was quite a good race up until the point where I crashed on lap seven. My start was ok and I was having a good fight with Chilton and Maldonado, trying to line them up through turn three and I was just a bit too eager in the throttle. The back stepped out and I couldn't catch the car and that was it, I was in the wall.
“It was a pretty big shunt! I went to the medical centre straight after the crash and they told me it was about 20g, but physically I feel fine. I’m sorry for the guys on track and back at Leafield though – they put in 100% all the time and it’s obviously not a good feeling for them to see one of their cars in the wall, but we’ll come back fighting in Spa where we have some new parts and we’ll keep pushing, there and for the whole second half of the season.”