Read Mark Webber’s thoughts on bouncing back to win; Sebastian Vettel’s diabolical first lap; Fernando Alonso and his stoush with Robert Kubica; which team gives the longest-winded press releases (hello, McLaren!) and everything in between.
All 24 drivers, the team managers and key personnel offer their thoughts on an action-packed day at the British Grand Prix…
Red Bull Racing
Mark Webber (1st): “It’s great to win here in Silverstone; it’s got such a lot of history and to win big races like this one and Monaco is so rewarding. The start was ideal, when I got to the first corner I was ahead and thought, ‘let’s get on with it’. It was a special day and a lot of hard work has gone in from the team – you don’t get results at this level if you’re not putting the effort in. They deserve this today. Yesterday was a unique situation, but I’m confident we can sort everything for the future. Going forward, I will do the best I can. It was an incredible day today and I’m looking forward to enjoying myself this evening.”
Sebastian Vettel (7th): “I had a bad start, we went too aggressive with the clutch and I had quite a lot of wheel-spin. Then I had the puncture, I didn’t feel anything, so I wasn’t sure what happened. After the first turn, something was strange and I saw the rear-right puncture. Unfortunately after I got it, I got a bit of damage to the car which lost me some performance, but I was able to recover and score some points, which was important. For the first 30 laps, I didn’t have much to do except going around trying to catch up, but after the safety car I had some people to fight and that was good fun, I was racing people like Felipe (Massa) and Michael (Schumacher) – it’s great as whenever you try something and you see a gap you know that they are smart enough to see it, so it was good fun for the last 20 laps. It’s always a good race here with a great atmosphere.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal: “It’s fantastic to win in front of all the team members today. Mark drove an excellent race, he made a very good start and the team was fantastic in the pit stops – it was a flawless performance from him. Sebastian was unlucky at the first corner, I’m not sure if contact was made with Hamilton at the start, but thereafter he made an excellent recovery drive to score some important points for the team. It was unlucky to have got the puncture, but it was a good recovery thereafter. The most important thing today is winning this race in front of all the people that work so hard to make the team what it is.”
Fabrice Lom, Renault’s principal track support engineer to Red Bull: “A superb victory from Mark from an eventful race which included a lot of action and close racing. Sebastian suffered from this in the first corner, but made a very strong recovery to move from last to seventh; it was a huge drive from him today. It was a good result for our engines, as this is a hard track for them here in Silverstone. We came hoping for a one-two, we got a victory and we have to be happy with that. We gained one point over McLaren; we still have a gap to make up but we won’t give up.”
Lewis Hamilton (2nd): “It’s been a phenomenal weekend – and this result is a near-perfect way to finish it. I’m so happy: considering how far behind we were in practice, we really didn’t expect to be this far up today. I’m very proud of the team and the effort they put in, as always. At the start, I was able to jump Fernando [Alonso] and take a step forward. After that I chased Mark [Webber] for the whole race, but the Red Bull was about four or five tenths a lap faster than our car, so it was very difficult to stay close to him. Still, the most important thing is that we scored a lot of world championship points once again, so this is another great race result for us. It’s been the biggest turnout I’ve ever seen here. And the support from all the fans has been incredible, I couldn’t ask for more. You can’t hear them cheering their support in the car, but you can feel it; and I carry every single one of them with me in the car. They give me a huge boost of confidence on every lap. We’ve got two weeks to work on our upgrades before the next grand prix. I won the last race at Hockenheim, in 2008, and if we can get the new floor there, we should be looking pretty strong. We’ve just got to keep pushing: this world championship is still all to play for.”
Jenson Button (4th): “That was a great race, and I’m so happy to have made up 10 places. But it’s hard to overtake around here, so I knew I had to make up a lot of places off the start-line. In the event I made up six places, but I then had to push really hard on the Option tyre in the first stint. That strategy worked for us and I came out behind Fernando, who had a drive-through, so I picked up fourth. It’s a pity I couldn’t have overtaken Nico (Rosberg), but this is still a fantastic result for me. It’s a pity I couldn’t get onto the podium in front of my home crowd, who have been absolutely amazing all weekend. You can never forget the fans around here – I genuinely think they helped Lewis and me to a good result today. And they got to see and cheer Lewis on the podium too, so it’s not been a bad weekend for them overall, I hope. After Friday, to pick up second and fourth today is great. I’m still second in the drivers’ championship, and the only pain is that Lewis has pulled away a bit. But we’ll try and get that back at the next race. I reckon we’ll turn up at Hockenheim with a stronger car, and that therefore we won’t be fighting from the start of the weekend. I hope we’ll have a good race there and can really take the fight to the Red Bulls.”
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal: “Well, what can I say?! Both our drivers drove fantastic races under serious pressure, and the result was 30 valuable points to add to our constructors’ world championship kitty. Lewis made a superb start and thereafter kept the pace up all afternoon. He drove brilliantly – in fact I don’t think you’ll see many better second places than that all season. Jenson, too, drove a masterly race to make up 10 places – from 14th at the start to fourth at the finish – and the team got all the strategy calls right for him. In fact, the team’s efforts over the whole weekend have been exemplary. I’ve said it before, but the team is operating more cohesively than ever before, whether we’ve been working late into the night to prepare the cars, or Gary putting in additional time in the simulator on Friday night to ensure we began Saturday in as competitive a proposition as possible. It’s that effort and dedication that has kept us in the lead of both world championships. So, well done, boys. So, yes, although we didn’t win the 2010 Santander British Grand Prix, today is a good day. We saw an excellent afternoon’s racing on a wonderful racetrack – and we leave Silverstone with our lead in the constructors’ world championship intact, and with Lewis and Jenson still in first and second places in the drivers’ world championship. In the past four grands prix we’ve scored 149 points out of a possible 172 – a stupendous achievement that speaks volumes for the tenacious determination of all at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.”
Nico Rosberg (3rd): "I had a good start today and was happy to be up to fourth place by the end of the first lap. Robert was holding me up and with Fernando pushing hard behind, it wasn’t easy to maintain the place. Our strategy was really strong today so thanks to the guys on the pit wall for their efforts and keeping me out on the options. I had a great lap and with the quick pit stop, it was enough to get me out ahead of Robert, and that made the podium possible. It’s been a good effort from the team to turn our situation around after Valencia. We have made a step forward and analysed where we went wrong and to come away with a podium today is fantastic. It’s a real turnaround and I am confident that there is more to come from us."
Michael Schumacher (9th): "Again a race which I am not really happy about today. It was OK and seeing Nico on the podium is good for the team but my race was obviously less rewarding. I was in traffic for most of the race and did not really have a clear track. After the pit stop where I had to push really hard to make it in front of Rubens, I unfortunately made a mistake out of a slow corner which put me off the track. That cost me a lot of time plus two positions and that was it for today. We now look towards Hockenheim where we obviously will do everything to perform in the best possible way."
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal: "That was a very good performance from Nico and the team today. Nico had a great race and we got the maximum out of the car with a strong start, good strategy and impressive driving. Nico pushed as hard as he needed to and produced some great laps at the crucial time so his race went perfectly. Michael also had a good start and his position was looking interesting. We made an early pit stop to put him in fresh air, as he told us the guys around him were holding him up, but unfortunately he made a mistake and lost the advantage that we were gaining from the early stop. When the others made their stops, they were out in front of him, and with some damage to the car, that was really his race. Overall we’ve done a respectable job this weekend and now we just have to find some more pace. We’re all looking forward to going back to the factory this evening with the trophy to see our team and their families."
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "A great race from Nico and the team. Starting from fifth position, Nico came home in third place to finish on the podium for the third time in the last eight races. Our performance this weekend looked better than a fortnight ago in Valencia. I am very happy that the team has achieved a podium finish at our home race and this fits perfectly with the BBQ that we have this evening with all our team members in Brackley. Starting from tenth place, Michael drove a committed race and brought home points. I am absolutely sure that we will see similar results to Nico’s podium today sooner rather than later for Michael."
Rubens Barrichello (5th): “It was a good race today. It started well on the opening lap and I managed to claim some positions without too much trouble. Around the stops and the Safety Car, we gained a position from Alonso and lost one to Jenson, but overall we were in a safe position to come home in fifth. It is a great effort from the team to achieve a top five finish two races in a row – not so much in absolute results, but the direction of improvement. The team is still not quite where it belongs, but we are quite happy with our performance today. We will continue to think and work positively and continue our forward progress.”
Nico Hülkenberg (10th): “All in all that was a positive race. It’s a shame I lost places at the start though and going down the Hangar Straight Petrov just managed to overtake me round the outside. That, combined with not being able to get past Michael at the end, meant tenth for me today. A long first stint on the option tyre was the right strategy call and a good effort by the team.”
Sam Michael, Williams technical director: “Both drivers in the points today is another good result for the team. Rubens had a great first lap and embedded himself into a points-paying position. Nico did an excellent job in his first stint, following a different strategy and staying out on his set of options for as long as possible. All of the aero upgrades worked well on both cars, which shows the factory is making good progress. We now need to maintain that progress.”
Kamui Kobayashi (6th): "I’m really happy, but actually I don’t have much to tell. I had a very good start from 12th, the team did a great pit stop and the race pace today was as good as I thought it would be. I was pretty confident before the race because I can really feel how the car is getting better and better now. I had no chance to overtake anybody this time, but I still enjoyed the race. I didn’t find it especially hard, I didn’t even sweat."
Pedro de la Rosa (DNF): "Naturally I’m very disappointed. The car was quite good. I had some understeer, but nothing major. Right after the start I was racing alongside Rubens Barrichello and he pushed me wide in turn one. That was where I lost two places and dropped back to 11th. But I was still racing for points when Adrian Sutil hit me from behind at half distance of the race because not everybody in front of me had stopped by then. Unfortunately the damage proved to be too bad to continue."
James Key, Sauber technical director: "I am very pleased we brought home points for the second race in a row. We consolidated our performance shown in qualifying. Kamui had an excellent first lap and then he drove a very controlled race – again with no mistakes. The team also got everything right and the pit stop strategy was fine. It is a great shame for Pedro, because he really deserved a good race result. But after the collision the rear wing endplate and diffuser were damaged, and once we have had a first look at it we decided to retire Pedro from the race because we were uncertain about further structural damage."
Adrian Sutil (8th): “It was fun and quite an interesting race. We started on the hard tyre as we wanted to try a long stint at the start but it was not really possible as the tyres didn’t behave well at the beginning. I didn’t have enough grip on the car so we came in to do an early stop and go on the soft tyre, so really the opposite strategy to everyone else. It worked well although the last ten laps were tough. But we managed it and there were some really good fights with Schumacher and then Vettel. It was good racing and I defended my position well against Vettel until the final lap, but then he just seemed to drive into me and I lost the racing line and had to move over. Otherwise I don’t think he would have got past me. All the same eighth position was a good result in the end, it’s more points and it keeps that momentum going. I’m really looking forward to my home Grand Prix in Germany next.”
Vitantonio Liuzzi (11th): “I really enjoyed the second part of the race. We need to understand what happened in the first part of the race as with the hard tyres we had unbelievable understeer. I couldn’t cope with the high speed corners and was really struggling to keep positions and a strong pace. We have to work it out as on the softer tyres we were performing very well and finished just a few hundredths from the points. Definitely without this issue we could have been in the points so we’ll look at it and understand. We also still have an issue with the speed in the race but it was a great race overall and I always pushed 100% as you never know what can happen at the end.”
Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal: “I’m really proud of both drivers here today – both demonstrated great racing acumen to keep positions. It also gave us some great television! In both situations – Adrian with Sebastian and Tonio with Fernando – it would have been very easy for them to buckle, but they really did us proud and so nearly produced another double points finish. The pace of the car is clearly there and with more updates scheduled for the next race we can be very optimistic for the second half of the season. Our next focus now has to be getting the whole weekend together on both cars, but in terms of finishes and results we are where we should be at this point in the season.”
Sébastien Buemi (12th): “It did not go well for me today. In terms of our strategy, after my tyre change, I came out behind Liuzzi who had not pitted, so I spent around ten laps behind him, using my front tyres a lot and when the safety car went in, I had a lot of graining on my front left tyre. By the time that cleared up, I was able to put in some good lap times, but by then it was too late to do much. I am disappointed because I think one point might have been possible today, so we did not do a good job.”
Jaime Alguersuari (DNF): “Of course I am disappointed not to have finished, but I was quite happy with my race up to that point, because the pace was there, I felt comfortable with the car and was getting faster as the race progressed. The team did a perfect job with my pit stop strategy. As usual, I suffer a bit at tracks I have not driven before, having to learn them from Friday to Saturday, but from Hungary onwards, I will have had that experience from last season, which will make life easier.”
Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal: “At the end of the first lap, Sébastien came round in eleventh place, which looked quite encouraging, but then he dropped down the order. We decided to call him in for his pit stop a bit earlier than planned, as his lap times were not so good. After this, he then found himself stuck behind Liuzzi for several laps. The fact that he set the eighth fastest lap time in the race shows the potential of the car. As for Jaime, he drove a good race up until the moment when he had a brake problem with seven laps to go and had to retire. We will now investigate the cause of this failure. It was a shame for him, as, towards the end of the race, he had the pace to close on Hülkenberg. In two weeks time we go to Hockenheim, where we must try and do better.”
Vitaly Petrov (13th): “Today I think it was possible to finish in the points, but I had some bad luck with a puncture after the Safety Car period which cost me a lot of time. My start was not too bad, and I made up three positions on the first lap. After then, though, it was really difficult to overtake because there are no slow corners at this circuit, but I tried my best. It’s good to have finished the race because it gives us lots of data and gives me more experience of the track.”
Robert Kubica (DNF): “I had a dream first lap, gaining a lot of places, but after that our pace was not so good and I was lacking overall grip. Following my pit stop I had a nice fight with Alonso, but he overtook me by cutting turn eight. I was on the inside, he was on the outside and he passed me with all four wheels off the track. The team informed me that he would have to give back the position, but before he could do that we had a driveshaft failure at the rear of the car, so all I could do was bring it back to the pits and retire.”
Eric Boullier, Renault team principal: “Robert had an exceptional start to the race, but unfortunately this was to be the only enjoyable moment of the day. It’s disappointing to see him retire, but the car has been extremely reliable this year and this is his first retirement of the season. As for Vitaly, his race pace was good today, but he picked up a puncture and that ruined his race. We now have to bounce back and find more speed because we struggled for overall pace this weekend. We also saw today how close the fight is with Mercedes and we need to work hard to get back ahead of them.”
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer: “It was a tough afternoon for us and it’s disappointing to come away empty-handed. Robert made a fantastic start, up into third place on lap one, but we didn’t have the pace today to race Mercedes. When we stopped Robert on lap 13 to stay ahead of Fernando, Rosberg was able to put in two or three very quick laps and managed to jump ahead of us. Robert’s race was ended by what appears to have been a failure of the left rear driveshaft, although we are still investigating exactly what happened. Vitaly’s race was looking promising and he had made it up to the top ten until he picked up a puncture, which forced him to pit and dropped him back to P13.”
Remi Taffin, Head of Engine Operations: “This was a disappointing result after all our hard work over the race weekend. We had made another step forward with the car for Silverstone, and we saw a flash of that potential with Robert in qualifying. He made an excellent start, which is something we have worked on as well, and he was running in a good position, ahead of a number of quicker rivals. Although some of them got past, we could still have scored a top-five finish, but Robert’s retirement was a reminder, if one was needed, that you need to be 100 percent reliable if you want to finish in the points. The only possible response is to work even harder, to ensure that there is no repeat – and that we continue to improve at the next race.”
Fernando Alonso (14th): “I made a horrible start – we had some problems with the clutch – and then came the incident with Kubica which further affected my race. I do not wish to comment on the Stewards’ decision. The team acted correctly but the instruction to hand back the position arrived when I had already passed another driver and in the meantime, Kubica was visibly slowing down before retiring. On top of that, the penalty coincided with the Safety Car and so, rather than just losing a couple of positions, I lost around a dozen. Even with my difficult start, I am convinced I could have finished third, but instead I go home with nothing. The championship situation is definitely looking more difficult, but we have only just gone past the halfway point of the season and anything can still happen. The car is better and I was flying when I had a clear track ahead of me: we must continue to work and believe in ourselves.”
Felipe Massa (15th): “I don’t know what to do, but I have to find some way of getting rid of the bad luck that is following me around! In the last few races, everything has happened to me. Today my race was soon over, when I touched with Fernando and got a puncture which dropped me to the back of the pack. The car was going well, but that’s not much use if you cannot get a result. The championship is not over after this race, but clearly my situation is compromised: I would need to win a lot of races while others run into the same difficulties that have come my way in recent races. However, we must not give up: we will keep our heads high and continue to push on the development of the car and then see what results come our way.”
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal: “We seem to be really cursed at the moment, when everything that could go wrong, does. We are not happy, but we must not feel sorry for ourselves. Instead, we have to react calmly, remaining focussed and continuing to work in the way we did over the past few weeks. We go home with no points, but with the knowledge that we have a potential, in terms of the car, the team and the drivers, that is up to the right level to deal with the situation. We must not allow ourselves to give in to frustration: I am sure that the results and the points that have been lacking for so many reasons recently, will come. Clearly, the championship situation is looking complicated but we remain convinced we can still fight for the title. We will continue to push on the development of the F10, confident in our chances to make up the ground we have lost up until today.”
Chris Dyer, Ferrari chief engineer: “We are very, very disappointed at how this race turned out. Our drivers’ chances were practically over on the opening lap, especially in Felipe’s case, as he had to pit with a puncture. Fernando found himself in traffic and we tried to gain him a few places by bringing him in early for his stop, but the plan did not work. Then there was the incident when Alonso overtook Kubica which was a key moment in our driver’s race, because of the Stewards’ decision: his penalty took away any chance he had of finishing in the points, especially as its arrival coincided with the Safety Car period. We are going through a difficult time, but we must not give up. We have shown that the performance of our car has improved at a track that does not suit it that well. We must continue to work in this direction.”
Jarno Trulli (16th): “I finished the Grand Prix and managed to fight with the other teams after a pretty difficult weekend, so I’m very happy. It’s just great for the whole team as they worked really hard with some difficult problems, but the work paid off. My pace felt very good, especially when you consider that I didn’t have a chance to work on any set up changes, and I had to get used to the new section of the track in qualifying and during the first part of the race, so I think we all did a pretty good job!”
Heikki Kovalainen (17th): “I think my pace was good all the way through the race, but there was constant traffic in front of me. I lost my position on the first lap, which was frustrating, as I then got held up quite a bit. I don’t mind being a lap down, but it’s just a shame I couldn’t really push. Overall I’m very pleased that we managed to finish where we did and it has been a good day for the team here at Silverstone.”
Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal: “I’m absolutely delighted. This has been a great day – a two car finish is just what I’ve been wanting for the last few races, so I’m very very happy! Obviously the pit stops didn’t go to plan, but we recovered well and everything played out for us in the end. I think Heikki’s pace was very good and he raced really well, despite the unfortunate pit stop, and we got two cars home which really was the main thing. It was also a real honour for Hazel Chapman to come today and she’s brought us something very special – our motor home is a very welcoming place for everyone in the team, and all our guests, so I’d like to thank her for coming along and instilling a bit of that old-school Team Lotus spirit in our home.”
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer: “Today’s been good – a strong two car finish is a great return on the all the hard work that’s been put in, so well done to the whole team for that, and once again we’re best of the news teams. Apologies to Heikki as we had a problem in his pit stop which dropped him behind the Virgin, but he drove a great race in the second half and managed to regain his place. Jarno had a very solid race to make sure we had a two car finish and keep ourselves best of the new teams. The only negative was the safety car which came at the wrong time for us, because we’d just pitted and it meant we dropped a lap down. But other than that it was a good strong Sunday, so well done to everyone in the team.”
Timo Glock (18th): “I had a bad start again and lost position against Jarno and Heikki. In the race I tried to stay with the Lotus, which pulled away slightly. When Heikki went in to the pits I had two really good laps and came in to the pits. The boys did a really good pit stop which brought me out in front of Heikki. Then I was following Jarno and I tried to keep up with him but I had a really big oversteer moment over a bump and nearly lost the car. Heikki then overtook me and so I finished behind the Lotus. On a positive note the pace was good and I was fairly happy with the car.”
Lucas di Grassi (DNF): “We didn’t have a very good day. The car was good at the start but then we lost hydraulic pressure which ended my race. I am obviously disappointed but on a positive note, the car is showing great progress and I am looking forward to the next race.”
John Booth, Virgin team principal: “I’m really pleased with how the team worked together this weekend. We had a number of challenging issues during Free Practice, when the boys managed to get Timo back on the track with minimal loss of track time and in the Race we had a faultless pit stop, reflecting all the hard work and practice that we’ve been putting in. The new aero package works well with the mechanical upgrade we fitted in Valencia, meaning that we are in a strong position to keep moving forwards at Hockenheim.”
Nick Wirth, Virgin technical director: “A mixed result today. We have clearly made a good step forward in performance and had a race-long battle with the Lotus cars. This was somewhat spoiled when Timo lost ground to Heikki in the yellow-flag section caused by Alguersuari’s off, which allowed Heikki to get in Timo’s slipstream and eventually pass. Lucas has fallen victim to another hydraulic gremlin, just when he was in the thick of the action, and we will address this for Hockenheim. But the progress is clear and our battles, finishing position and fastest race laps show how tight things are now. We know that every bit of performance counts, so we’ll be looking to bring more updates to Hockenheim and the races beyond, with great confidence that they will translate into yet more speed.”
Karun Chandhok (19th): "The race was pretty much as we expected to be honest. We weren’t really in a position to race with others so I pushed early on to open about 15 seconds gap to Sakon. After the pit stop, I ran over some debris which damaged the barge board and the side pod on my car costing downforce. So after the safety car it was all about just managing the damage and the gap to Sakon. Another double finish for the team and that’s about all we can expect at the moment."
Sakon Yamamoto (20th): "I am very happy that the team achieved its target, another two car finish. It was a good experience for me to race in Formula 1 again. I could improve all over the weekend and got a better feeling for the car. I want to thank the team for giving me the chance to race here in Silverstone. I could show that I am prepared to be back in the cockpit and whenever I’ll get the opportunity to race again, I will take it. I also want to thank my fans who always supported me over the years. It was a very special and exciting weekend for me."
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal: "We are very happy with the result as today we could finish with two cars for the fourth time this season. Karun Chandhok and Sakon Yamamoto started on option tyres into the race as we found out that this tyre compound was the best for a long run. Our pit stop was quite late and we changed on prime tyres. Sakon showed a good performance during the race after being back in a Formula 1 car for many years. All in all, we had a trouble free race and I want to thank the team for doing a great job the whole weekend."
Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development:
"Today we saw both compounds working well even at this severe Silverstone circuit. The new layout was an interesting and tough challenge for us and the drivers. There was excitement all over the weekend as everyone learnt the best approach here. The severity of the layout was illustrated by blistering on the front left tyres in the race. We saw punctures from contact which is something in the nature of motor racing. We also saw an additional pit stop because of flat spotted tyres and other strategic reasons. Thank you to Silverstone and the British public for a fantastic day here."
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