SHARE

DRIVER QUOTES BELGIAN GP – RACE

24 AUGUST 2014

INFINITI RED BULL RACING

#1 Sebastian Vettel
“Towards the end of the race was good, I was in a rush to get through because the laps were going down and obviously Alonso and Magnussen didn’t have fresh tyres, so Jenson and me caught them fairly quickly. In the end it was good not to lose a position compared to when we decided to pit, which was probably a little bit late, but in the end we maintained the position. The battle was fairly interesting, it was a bit all over the place with people pushing each other off on the track, but we race hard, although sometimes maybe a bit too hard! The team did a great job in the pit stops, three perfect stops, they felt really quick.”

#3 Daniel Ricciardo
“You know everyone was saying we didn’t really have a chance around here, but I think we had some really good pace today and surprised ourselves. It feels a bit surreal, but another win is very cool, very cool. It was difficult staying out at the end of the race. When you’re the leader as well you always feel like you’re the most vulnerable when it comes to a pit stop or not, but Simon my engineer came on the radio and said I think it’s 11 laps left, can these tyres get to the end? And I said I think I can keep more or less this pace, and we were able to, and then on the last lap I found a couple more tenths, so I was having a bit of fun then! There’s been a lot of good things about the win today, obviously the last two came from a more aggressive style of race, but today was more calculated and it was nice to win under different circumstances.”

MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS

#44 Lewis Hamilton
“I’m gutted with the result – not just for my own Championship hopes but for the team, as we really should have had a one-two today. It’s been a tough year for everyone and the whole team has been working so hard – every time we’ve been knocked down they’ve never given up. I didn’t fully understand what had happened until I saw the replay just now, but I gave him plenty of space, took the corner like I usually do and suddenly felt a big hit from behind. There was nothing I could do about it and that was effectively my race over. I wanted to retire the car early – not because I was giving up, but because I couldn’t catch the people in front of me and even with a safety car I don’t think I would have been able to pass them. The car was quite badly damaged and my thoughts were to preserve the engine after the last one was destroyed in Hungary. What happens next is not my
call – that’s one for the bosses to make. But I’m now almost 30 points behind in the Championship so that’s the main thing on my mind. It’s a big gap and it will be hard to recover from here. That’s tough to swallow – but ultimately it’s just been one of those days.”

#6 Nico Rosberg
“That was a tough race. We had the pace to win today but the incident cost us a top result, so I’m really disappointed because for the team it was a bad day. As drivers, we are here to entertain and to show the fans a good time, so our duels are always on the limit. I regret that Lewis and myself touched, but I see it as a racing incident – just as the stewards did. I was quicker down the straight and went to the outside as the inside line was blocked. I gave it a go and, after we touched, I realized that my front wing was damaged and thought that was it. In the next second I saw that Lewis also had a problem, which was very unfortunate for him and for the team. We sat down quickly after the race but there will be some more meetings to be held in to avoid races like today.”

SCUDERIA FERRARI

#14 Fernando Alonso
“Today my race started on the back foot as the car did not fire up and we had to use another battery. It’s a shame because we had a strong pace all weekend and, starting fourth, we could have finished on the podium. With a penalty to take and on a circuit where top speed is our weak point, we knew we didn’t stand much of a chance, but all the same we did our best. Unfortunately, towards the end there was some rather questionable driving and after my front wing was damaged in a coming together with Vettel, the important thing was to get to the chequered flag. I know the Stewards acted on what happened, but I don’t think it’s that important when you are fighting for sixth and seventh places. Now we must look ahead and prepare for Monza. Even if it’s a track that won’t suit our car, it’s our home race. We will have the support of all the fans and so it’s a race where we want
to do better. Let’s hope we succeed in that.”

#7 Kimi Raikkonen
“We had decided to tackle this race more aggressively, making an early stop to get ahead of the cars that had yet to pit and that meant I was able to stay with the leaders for much of the race. When Bottas in the Williams began to close on me, I knew I didn’t have the speed to defend on the straight and with a few laps to go, he managed to pass me. In general, I’m happy with how this weekend ended. We knew it would not be easy on this circuit, but we did our utmost and for the first time, we managed to have a clean race without any problems. The car has improved and today the pace was good. Fourth place shows we are going in the right direction, but it doesn’t mean we can settle for that. Today, we scored a good number of points, but we are here to win and we will continue to work to reach the top.”

LOTUS F1 TEAM

#8 Roman Grosjean
“The car was pretty good; the pace was much better than expected, which is encouraging. Unfortunately the race was compromised early on, we had to change the nose on the first lap and we picked up some damage later on from debris on the track. We lost a lot of downforce as a result so we retired the car. We’re moving forward every weekend and learning a lot, though Monza is likely to be challenging too. Singapore should suit us a lot better.”

#13 Pastor Maldonado
“We were expecting a tough weekend – both here and Monza are challenging tracks for us –
although the car seemed competitive and consistent today. It might have been possible to fight
with Sauber and Force India during the race. Unfortunately I felt a big loss of power at the end of the first lap and saw in the mirrors that the engine was smoking a lot so we had to retire.”

McLAREN MERCEDES

#22 Jenson Button
“We played the long game today – most people were making their pit-stops early – and I felt I kept the tyres in good condition. I also had a lot of fun out there, especially racing Kevin [Magnussen], Sebastian [Vettel] and Fernando [Alonso] at the end. In the final laps Kevin and I didn’t touch, although I had to back off a bit at Turn Eight, when Fernando ran off as he and Kevin were dicing. I lost a place to Fernando there, which was a bit of a shame, and in turn a place to Sebastian after that, but as I say I really enjoyed it out there. It’s such a fantastic circuit; driving here always feels so good.”

#20 Kevin Magnussen
“Despite being penalised after the race, I have to say I enjoyed the weekend. I had great fun out there this afternoon – I was involved in exciting racing on an awesome circuit. It was a tough challenge, because everyone around me had slightly fresher tyres than I did, and they’re all great drivers: they’re not the easiest guys to keep behind. So I just tried my best to defend my position as well as I could. Changing the subject, I want to say how brilliant it was to see so many Danish fans in the crowd. The support I’ve had this weekend has been incredible – I’ve never experienced anything like it, to be honest. Last but not least, it was good that Jenson got past Fernando at the end, to score some useful points for the team.”

SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM

#27 Nico Hulkenberg
“It’s a shame to miss out on points today but I guess I paid the price for the mistakes yesterday [in qualifying] which gave us so much ground to recover in the race. My start was not great, but I was able to gain a few positions on the first lap. After that I had good pace, but it was hard to show it because I was stuck in heavy traffic. There was a train of cars in the midfield with everybody using DRS and making it very difficult to overtake. I think that’s where we lost the most time today and it stopped me from scoring points. I was closing quickly on Kvyat at the end and I was very close, but I probably needed an extra lap to be able to get ahead.”

#11 Sergio Perez
“Somehow I avoided all the crazy battles that took place today because my race was quite straightforward. I went flat out and I think we achieved the most that was possible from the race. I lost a bit of time in the second stint, having to pass the two McLarens and I took a bit too much out of the tyres, which cost me some time later in the stint. In the final ten laps I was under a lot of pressure from Kvyat: he was catching me quickly, but I managed to hold him off. In the end, we got some points out of this weekend and that’s the important thing.”

SAUBER F1 TEAM

#99 Adrian Sutil
“It was an exciting race, but 14th was the maximum today. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind Felipe (Massa). As I came in for the pit stop, he also went in at the same time. In some sectors on track I was faster than him, but on the straights he was just too fast. Felipe’s engine was simply too strong and I could not overtake him. We then decided to race with a three-stop-strategy, which in the end was the right choice. I felt more comfortable with the soft compound in comparison to the medium
tyres. I am satisfied with the procedures over the weekend. The team did a good job without making any mistakes.”

#21 Esteban Gutierrez
“It was a tough race. The race strategy was to attack straight from the beginning on. Unfortunately, it did not work out as expected, but at least I was able to gain some positions during the first laps. Throughout the race I struggled a lot with the medium tyres. This aspect made things complicated and put us in a difficult position. Our pace was too slow to finish the race in the points. We need to keep working to be in the top ten as soon as possible.”

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO

#25 Jean-Eric Vergne
“The start wasn’t great. There were some cars already passing me by on the straight and I couldn’t do anything to defend myself. It’s a bit frustrating to sit in the traffic, with my tyres which didn’t last very long and suffering of a lack of performance. We need now to have a look at all the data to see if there is anything we can do to be back in Monza in a better condition. We are not far from the points but we need to sort a few things out, have a clean weekend and score some points at our home Grand Prix.”

#26 Daniil Kvyat
“This was a good but tough race, especially the end where I was defending my position against Hulkenberg who was on new options. That was quite thrilling, as I had to look after my tyres and at the same time fight to keep tenth place. The car handling during the race was good and I was quite pleased that the weather stayed dry. All in all, it was a positive weekend, where we were able to improve step by step and I’m happy to take away a point from this race. I can’t wait to get back into the car in two weeks’ time when we will be in Monza.”

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING

#19 Felipe Massa
“Unfortunately at the beginning of the race I had some tyre debris stuck in the floor that came from Hamilton’s car and this made the car very slow, losing about two seconds per lap. This wasn’t removed until my second pitstop and after that I was nearly three seconds quicker and the fastest car on track, but at this point it was too late for me to really do anything. Obviously I’m very disappointed that something like this has hurt my race and I just hope that in Monza my luck will change and I am able to put the car in the sort of position it is capable of.”

#77 Valtteri Bottas
“Our pace was solid today and a lot better than in qualifying, with some good battles with the Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s, and I think third was probably the right result. I was stuck behind slower cars at the beginning which made the first stint difficult, but I managed to make my way past cars when it was needed and that was important for my race. We came into this race aiming for a podium and it is very satisfying to achieve that after an up and down weekend with tricky weather and Felipe being very unlucky today with debris.”

MARUSSIA F1 TEAM

#17 Jules Bianchi
“There is not much to say beyond this was a race that was not meant to be. For sure it is disappointing after a really positive day yesterday, but with the puncture and the retirement, both were problems that were out of my hands. I’m pretty pleased with my race, considering. It was a bit lonely, but I was happy with the way I managed to close the gap and manage the tyres well at the same time, which are all signs of how the race might otherwise have played out for me. It’s a shame that I was unable to take the flag due to a gearbox problem, but I can’t be too disappointed and we’ll look to Monza now as I think the package is stronger.”

#4 Max Chilton
“It’s great to end the weekend on a positive with 16th place, having gained three positions and finished ahead of the Caterham. We’ve improved the car since Hungary and we are in a good place versus the teams around us, so this has enabled us to fight this weekend. That what is required now, to try to hold onto 9th place in the Constructors’ Championship. I’m pleased with how the race panned out, especially taking Ericsson right at the end.”

CATERHAM F1 TEAM

#9 André Lotterer
“I didn’t even get the chance to sweat unfortunately. I was really looking forward to a good race and I had a good start, but then I went a bit wide at turn 17 and there was a sudden loss of power. The team and Renault will have to investigate this tonight and see what happened. It’s a shame, but I am pleased with my race weekend – I made no mistakes and did a reasonably good job. Of course it would’ve been fantastic to finish the race and do a whole Grand Prix, but it’s still been an amazing weekend. I can go home happy even though it didn’t really end the way I would’ve liked it to. I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this amazing opportunity – it’s been fantastic to experience Formula
1, I got a lot of support and the team has been great. It’s frustrating to have only completed two laps of the race, but this is motorsport and these things happen.”

#10 Marcus Ericsson
“I did a very decent start but then I was a bit unlucky in the first corner and I didn’t gain any positions. But I got a really good run after Eau Rouge and managed to overtake Chilton at turn 5. After that it was a long race fighting him – he put a lot of pressure on me throughout the whole race and it wasn’t easy to keep him behind, even though I managed to do just that for pretty much the whole race. Unfortunately he overtook me with only two laps to go, which was of course very frustrating as it would’ve been nice to beat him. With the performance we’ve had this weekend I think we can be satisfied with our race. I’m happy with both the team’s and my work and now we just need to work even harder to continue to develop the car and push forward. I feel we have really taken a step forward this weekend here in Belgium and we just need to build on that and keep pushing.”

 

SHARE
An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.