2013 German Grand Prix - Driver reaction
The drivers have their say on a thrilling race at the Nurburgring
By William Esler
Last Updated: 08/07/13 9:59am
Sebastian Vettel: "It was a tough race; it was one of the toughest for a long time. I'm happy the race wasn't two or three laps longer, as Kimi was a bit quicker towards the end. I'm very happy that it worked out and it's very special. The team worked really hard to give me the chance to win this weekend and we got it.
"First of all you have to remember that it's a privilege to have the opportunity to race in your home country; we have around 20 races, but there are obviously more than 20 countries, so it's special to race at home and get so much support. I had a good start and then just focused on every single lap during the race. You don't really think about where you are while you are racing, you can't allow your mind to drift, but when the flag came out and the race was over I really let myself enjoy the parade lap and saw a lot of people in the grandstands cheering and waving flags. These pictures will remain in my head for a long, long time."
Mark Webber: "I knew we had lost the tyre in the pit stop of course, but not that someone got hit by it. That's bad and I hope he is okay, that's the main thing. Today was a bit of a nightmare and you want to wake up tomorrow and have another go at it. We had an excellent start and were in a great position leading up to the first stop with Seb, but we lost all of that. We lost a lot of points today and a chance to challenge for the win, but there's no rewind button now."
Fernando Alonso: "This was a difficult race, we weren't very quick and at some moments we were not competitive enough. In the first stint, we paid the price for being on used tyres, because by lap twelve they were already finished, which cost us some of the advantage we hoped to gain from our strategic choice. Even if we were hoping to finish on the podium, finishing less than eight seconds off Vettel after starting eighth is an encouraging result.
"The team is doing its utmost to make the car more competitive and after tackling a few races without being too sure about our updates, today we can claim to have cleared up many of our doubts and to have understood which are the areas we must concentrate on to move the development forward. When we arrived here on Thursday, the Silverstone test did not seem that important, because the race drivers were only meant to be testing the tyres, but having heard what the FIA had to say, it's been confirmed that we can test updates and this makes it a much more sensible proposition. If I get the call from the team, I'm ready to go."
Felipe Massa: "I am very disappointed with what happened, especially after the rest of the weekend had gone well. At the start of lap four, when I was on the straight, at the moment when I braked, the rear wheels locked up and I couldn't stop the car from spinning. When the car came to a stop, it was stuck in fifth gear and I couldn't stop the engine from stalling.
"It's very odd that it got stuck like that, even if so far, the team has not seen anything unusual. The Mediums did not have the pace we expected after Friday's free practice, but maybe other factors, such as the higher temperatures, came into play and made the difference. Now I want to focus on the next race when I plan to do my utmost to turn things around."
Jenson Button: "There are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend; our pace was reasonably good; it's nice to be racing cars closer to the front, such as the Mercedes; our laptimes compared to the four cars at the front weren't too bad either; and today's points are badly needed right now.
"Unfortunately, the two Caterhams fighting in front of me in the closing laps probably cost me fifth place. When you're fighting for position, you expect the backmarkers to move over, even if they're fighting for position themselves. It's a shame - those points could be so important for us later in the season.
"The Safety Car also didn't help our strategy - but we were a lot stronger this weekend than we've been for the past few races.
"We can be positive - as a team, we didn't put a foot wrong all weekend, and we got the best out of what we have. Overall, it's a positive day for the team - now we just need to find some more pace in the car."
Sergio Perez: "My car performed a lot better today than it did yesterday. We had better pace and degradation than we'd expected: we managed a very long final stint, and I think we maximised everything today. We should be happy.
"After the Safety Car, it was like the start of a second race. I just focused on preserving the tyres over that long stint - the car and tyres performed very strongly, but we just lost out on the final corner. It was always going to be difficult to hold Mark [Webber] back.
"This is a good step on from Silverstone - it's been a very promising weekend, and I hope we can take another step forward for Hungary."
Kimi Raikkonen: "We had a pretty good last stint of the race, but the cars are close on performance so it's difficult to overtake. Maybe some more laps would have helped us, but the race is only 60 laps so you have to do your best with that. After my first stop I was stuck behind a Mercedes for a while, but once I was past the car was pretty good. After the safety car three of us were able to pull away, but we were too close on speed to change the order. It was a good day for the team. Of course, we wanted to win; we couldn't, but we did score the most points here. The warmer temperatures definitely helped us, so let's hope for some more hot weather in Budapest."
Romain Grosjean: "After some difficult races, everything went right today and it was pretty special when I was leading the race and returning to the podium is naturally a good thing. My car felt great on the first stint with the soft tyres and it's clear that the summer weather really suits us. Hopefully we'll have a long summer now in Europe! Letting Kimi past at the end of the race was the sensible thing to do as we were on different strategies and he had more of a chance of going for the win than I did at that point. We didn't know which tyre would be the best at the end of the race, so we didn't put all our eggs in one basket."
Lewis Hamilton: "That was really a tough race out there for us today. I didn't have a great start and the Red Bulls were much quicker off the line, dropping me back to third. We really struggled with the second set of tyres which then compromised the rest of my race. It's a real shame as the team are working so hard and doing such a good job. We've clearly got a good car but for some reason, it doesn't work in these hot conditions.
"We'll keep working on it and the positive from today is that we were able to recover to fifth place with a good strategy and great pit stops, and we're still second in the Constructors' table. Hopefully we'll have a better chance at the next race but, for now, there's a lot of hard work ahead of us."
Nico Rosberg: "The car didn't feel so nice to drive today. We struggled a lot with the rear tyres and that's why we weren't able to match the pace of the guys in the front. Even so, I had a bit of fun when I changed to the option tyres and could really push to at least score a few points. But we need to understand the new tyres a bit more because it seems that the new construction has shuffled things around, especially in these hot conditions. We have to do a lot of work in the next weeks to make sure we arrive in Hungary in good shape."
Nico Hulkenberg: "It was an extremely tough race. I was fighting on every lap, but this is what we were able to get out of it. To be honest, I expected we would have better pace today, but we didn't. The car didn't feel as good as I expected it would either. I thought, and hoped, we could fight with McLaren, but, unfortunately, they were too fast for us today. It was a race with a lot of overtaking and wheel-to-wheel battles, which are always fun.
"However, having to fight for positions all the time is never good for the strategy, as it's tough on the tyres and you lose time. Nevertheless, this weekend was better than the previous ones. We didn't have an update on the car, we experimented with the set-up, which worked well."
Esteban Gutierrez: "From the beginning to the end we were fighting for positions, so it was a very tough race. It was difficult to overtake, because we were lacking speed on the straights. My rhythm was quite reasonable and I tried to do my best. The strategy wasn't ideal, although everything went to plan, but we pitted just before the safety car, which didn't make it any easier."
Paul Di Resta: "It's not been the easiest of weekends for us, but in the final part of the race it looked like we were on course to score some points. In the end we just ran out of tyres during the last couple of laps, but it was always going to be risky with our two-stop strategy, especially as we had to pit under the safety car. There were times in the race when the car was working well, but I really struggled with the first set of mediums and was not happy with the balance. Things improved quite a bit for the final stint, but by then we were out of position. It's a bit gutting to miss out on points so we need to unleash our potential and get back to our usual form in Hungary."
Adrian Sutil: "It turned out to be quite a disappointing race and for whatever reason we've just not had the pace this weekend. I struggled a lot with the tyres and had to convert from a two-stop race to a three-stop race, which was not our plan. I also lost some time at my final pit stop and after that the points were just too far away."
Pastor Maldonado: "It was a good race for us today as we put everything together and we were on for some points. It's disappointing to finish where we did today after the problem with the pitstops but we have to look at the positives and move forward from this."
Valtteri Bottas: We didn't get a good start today as we had a few problems getting away from the line. We also lost some time in both pitstops so we need to work out what happened there. The race pace was better than we had seen previously this weekend which meant that we could have been challenging for points, but unfortunately it wasn't to be.
Daniel Ricciardo: "A frustrating and rather dull race for me. After the start, I was able to hold position on the Option, but once we pitted for the Prime tyre, I really struggled for pace and couldn't push as hard as I wanted to in order to get more out of the car. I did try to push more, but the car wouldn't take it and I began to lock the brakes and slide too much, as I didn't have enough grip.
"This meant I had to drive more smoothly, but it was very frustrating going round and round, gradually slipping backwards. I can't explain why for now, so we will need to look at the data to see why we were just too slow for much of the weekend."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "There's not much to say today, because after not having a good pace all weekend, today there was no change. I found the car very difficult to drive right from the start, then there was the moment at my pit stop, when I had to brake hard to avoid Di Resta who was released from his pit right in front of me, which cost me more time.
"On lap 23 the team told me they had spotted a fault with the hydraulics and called me in to retire. It's extremely disappointing, as this is my second consecutive race retirement. A weekend to forget."
Charles Pic: "My start was ok - I passed Chilton but I had to brake hard in turn one and pretty soon I had a big vibration from the front right. We were always going to stop pretty early so we didn't have to change strategy too much, coming in at the end of lap four to go onto the primes.
"In the second stint the deg level on the tyres was good. We were looking at stopping earlier to cover one of the Marussia pitstops but as the tyres were performing well we could stay out. For once we had some luck with the timing of the safety car and boxed for another set of mediums, coming out behind my teammate in 17th. As we'd changed the plan under the safety car I had to manage that second set of mediums and they were holding up well until I had a slow puncture on lap 35 and had to box unexpectedly.
"The unplanned stop obviously ruined the strategy which is a real shame as we would have been right up with the pack ahead who were all bunched up because of the safety car. That's pretty frustrating but there's not much you can do in those circumstances. Because of the stop I came back out last but passed Chilton and with a few laps to go I passed Giedo whose tyres were gone and from there it was just a question of getting it to the finish."
Giedo van der Garde: "I made a great start, passed two cars and then did Vergne on the first lap so by the end of lap one I was up to 17th. The car felt pretty good but we wanted to get the softs out of the way quickly so we stuck to the plan and came in early to go onto the mediums which had held up well on the long runs in practice.
"The first set of mediums was performing ok but we adapted the plan, pitting on lap 20 for another set of the harder compound. I'd just seen the first blue flags when the safety car came out so I was able to get the lap back and when the race restarted I was in 16th, behind Bottas' Williams and Gutierrez, and ahead of Charles. From that point it was honestly a bit of a lonely race! I was focused on making sure I could get the car to the finish without any problems, and we didn't have any more blue flags until towards the end of the race so it was all pretty trouble free.
"I boxed again on lap 35 and from there it was all about bringing it home. That was a long final stint so the tyres were completely gone towards the end and my pace had dropped a lot, but both Charles and I were clear of our nearest rival so it was a pretty straight run to the flag with him.
"Despite the final place I think this was another small step for me. My tyre management in the race improved a bit today and I've been working on it all weekend. We now have a small break until the next race in Hungary so I have time to head back to the factory, do more work in the sim and come back in Hungary aiming to continue to progress."
Max Chilton: "Not an easy race today. We both struggled with our starts and the opening few laps and then I started to close the gap to Charles and Jules; I was happy with the car. Unfortunately for Jules he had an engine problem so I knew that I had to do my best to get some reward for the Team. In the middle stint there was nothing between us and Caterham and then the safety car came out and stirred up everyone's strategies. We made the right call, but just suffered with rear tyre wear with 10 laps to go. On the whole I was happy with my performance and speed today."
Jules Bianchi: "Obviously it is very disappointing to end my race so soon, due to an engine problem on lap 22. I got a very poor start and it was a real battle to recover from that and stay ahead of Pic. I had just completed my second pit stop and got ahead of Van Der Garde when the engine let go, but I think we had the pace to be able to fight to keep both Caterhams behind had I continued.
"The car felt well-balanced and we were showing the usual more positive race pace. It has been a less than straightforward weekend so perhaps this was just not destined to be our race and we just have to look ahead to the next one in Hungary."