German GP - Sunday quotes
An action packed German Grand Prix saw Mark Webber record his first victory as he took the chequered flag ahead of Red Bull Renault team-mate Sebastian Vettel. While Webber is naturally thrilled with is win, others were less happy as the teams pack
up in at the Nurburgring. Here’s what the 20 racers had to say.
1 . M. Webber - Red Bull Renault RB5
A flawless drive after a harsh drive through penalty to take a dominant first Grand Prix win.
“It’s an incredible day. I wanted to win so badly after Silverstone, as I thought I had a good chance there, then after yesterday’s pole I knew I was in a good position to try and win the race today. The only thing that I thought was going to test me was the rain, but even that held off. It was testing to get the victory today, I lost Rubens completely at the start; I thought he was gone a little bit to the left so I went to the right and banged into him. That’s not normally my style and I got a drive-through penalty for that, so had to recover."
"My engineer kept me calm and I pushed as hard as I could when I needed to, so it’s a great day. It was a difficult winter, Sebastian showed in winter testing what the car could do, so that kept my motivation very high when I was hurting a lot with all the rehab. I had great people around me to recover from all the injuries I had and the team have been incredibly patient with me as well. I want to thank Dietrich Mateschitz, Red Bull and everyone at Red Bull Racing for what they did for me over the winter, everyone in Australia who has supported me on the way through my career – and there are a few people that doubted me too, so hello to them as well. It’s just an incredible day for all the people who have helped me get to where I am today.”
2 . S. Vettel - Red Bull Renault RB5
Recovered from a poor start to finish second, but no match for Webber this weekend.
“Congratulations to Mark, he was unbeatable today – he was quicker than all of us, so he totally deserved to win. I’m very happy with the result and in the end it was a good recovery. It was quite a bad start and I had all the KERS cars around me – I got passed by both the McLarens and even Felipe. It was quite difficult to start fourth and go into the first corner in eighth or something. I then struggled a lot with the soft tyre in the first stint and was in a lot of traffic. I could have gone quicker, but there was no way to pass Felipe, as he always used the special button when I was quite close. Therefore I was lucky to have the right strategy, as that pulled us back to second position but Felipe didn’t stop pushing, so it was hard until the end of the race. We had to fight, but it’s another one-two finish for the team and I’m happy. I’d be lying if I said I’m very pleased with second, as of course I wanted to win, but yesterday Mark did a better job and that’s why today he totally deserves the win – it’s a good fight between us, so I’m looking forward to the next races.”
3 . F. Massa - Ferrari F60
Used a long first stint to gain position in what was another canny drive from the Brazilian.
“It’s been such a long time since I made it to the podium! I really wanted it after a very difficult first half of the season. Little bit little, we are improving and we will do all we can to get back to winning ways this season: I want to start hearing the Italian and Brazilian national anthems as soon as possible! A great start and the strategy were the keys to this result. In the first fifteen laps I was struggling to keep Vettel behind me, but than I think he too was also struggling a bit with the tyres. Maybe I could have managed to get one place higher, if we had brought the pit stop forward a bit, because I too was struggling with my tyres, but it's easy to say these things with hindsight. Before the race however, I didn’t think I’d end up on the podium as a place in the top five already seemed a lot to ask. But then we saw that cars that in theory are quicker than us ended up behind us and so we realized we had a good chance. We have to continue in this direction.”
4 . N. Rosberg - Williams Toyota FW31
A fast start and a solid performance after a troubled qualifying session on home soil.
"It was a fantastic result for us today. As I started 15th, I honestly wasn’t expecting too much but I took a few chances on the opening lap and finished it in 9th place! Although I had more fuel than anyone else, I kept pushing hard and that, together with a little luck that Heikki Kovalainen had created a bit of traffic jam behind him, helped for sure. I was also carrying a problem with the fuel system, so it was quite eventful and makes the race outcome even better. We are continually progressing with our car, our development is looking good and because of this our pace is right up there. I am looking forward to Hungary now, because I think it will be another race where we can have a good result."
5 . J. Button - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
Struggled with tyres all weekend long and race day was no exception.
"All points are valuable but my race started badly and didn't get much better today. I had a poor start to drop back to fifth after the first turn and was able to get ahead of Massa at the start of the second lap but just couldn't get past Kovalainen. His pace was way off what we could have achieved at that point of the race but there was just no way through. We struggled with graining and tyre degradation throughout with both tyres not working well for us. The problem with the fuel rig at Rubens' second stop also affected my race as we were so close on the track and he was struggling with the prime tyre. So overall it has been a tough and disappointing day for the team. Congratulations to Mark on his first win and I'm really pleased for him as I know how good that feels. I just can't wait to get to Hungary in two weeks where we will have new parts and hopefully warmer weather to take the fight to the Red Bulls."
6 . R. Barrichello - Brawn Mercedes BGP 001
Furious with three stop strategy from the Brawn team, lost out to Button in the final stop. Calmed down for the official quote.
"I had a great start today and was really pleased to have got ahead of Mark down into the first corner despite our collision. After leading on the first lap, it is of course hugely disappointing to have finished in sixth position. It was a combination of things really which are now very clear to me having spoken to the team. We didn't have enough pace compared to the Red Bulls to win but the fuel rig problem at my second stop where we had to switch rigs probably cost me a place on the podium. That dropped me out behind Rosberg and the extra lap which Jenson had at our final stops was enough for him to get ahead of me. We'll put this race behind and work really hard ahead to Hungary to try and catch up to the Red Bulls. Congratulations to Mark for his first win."
7 . F. Alonso - Renault R29
An aggressive drive through the field and the fastest man on the day in the leading Renault.
“It was a difficult race because my start was very poor and we lost quite a few positions before the first corner. After that, the race was tough and we were stuck in traffic, but the car has clearly improved as I set the fastest lap and scored some points. The most important thing I take from the weekend is that we are competitive and we can be optimistic for the races to come.”
8 . H. Kovalainen - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
Little raw pace but defended his position well to claim the final championship point.
“If you’d told me on Friday that I would score points today, I wouldn’t have believed it. This weekend has been difficult – it’s been hard to get the tyres working and to find grip, but we kept pushing throughout every session and things started to turn around. Qualifying went well and our KERS hybrid helped me to move from sixth to third at the start. From that point on, it was all about defending: I pushed the whole time and it was a hard way to earn points but we can be satisfied about it. KERS made my race today, no doubt about it, and I’m now really looking forward to the Hungarian Grand Prix, when I’ll get my hands on the full aero upgrade package for the first time. It’s good for the whole team that we now seem to be moving forwards again.”
9 . T. Glock - Toyota TF109
Started from the pitlane and drove a great one stop strategy race and was very close to the points.
"In general I am reasonably satisfied with my performance today because I started from the pit lane and finished ninth on a track where overtaking is very difficult. We had a good strategy after what happened in qualifying yesterday but unfortunately I had some traffic in the first stint which cost me time. I only had around four laps without traffic all day but when I had a clear track I was quick.
If it wasn't for the traffic I would have had a better chance at scoring points. On the last stint I was quicker than (Heikki) Kovalainen but I just couldn't get past. I pushed really hard and tried to overtake twice but I couldn't manage. But we need to qualify higher so we can fight at the front in the race and we will work on this for the next Grand Prix."
10 . N. Heidfeld - BMW Sauber F1.09
Started 11th and finished one place higher in a difficult home Grand Prix.
"I am very disappointed because today we had the speed to score points, which obviously hasn’t always been the case this year, but several things just went wrong. The start was good for the first few metres and I tried to improve my position, but Adrian Sutil’s defending was very tough. Then the first stint wasn’t easy with the heavy fuel load. But during the middle stint I was able to catch up until I lost some time behind slower cars, including that of Robert. Then I had bad luck at the pit stop, as we were ready to leave the pit, but then a Renault came in and I had to wait. It felt as if it took ages before the lollipop went up."
11 . G. Fisichella - Force India Mercedes VJM02
A strong drive after a poor qualifying run. Showed good race craft to pass Nakajima on the final lap.
"After the qualifying I had yesterday, I thought it would be a difficult race but I really enjoyed it and again got close to the points. I had a good start and overtook a lot of cars in the opening laps. I could catch and pass people quite easily, although I started to get a lot of graining on the softer tyres near the end of the first stint. On the second stint it was again quite good and then right at the end of the race I was really catching the group in front. Perhaps with a few extra laps I could have found a way past a couple more to try and challenge Kovalainen for eighth. I think we can be quite happy with this weekend, even if again we didn't get any points. We've taken a step forward and with some more developments coming through I think we could really have some more great races."
12 . K. Nakajima - Williams Toyota FW31
Unable to make the progress shown by team-mate Nico Rosberg and still chasing first points.
"My race was really defined by my first lap. I was hit by Jarno and almost went off, but in the process I dropped right to the back of the field. It was a shame because my race was ruined from there. However I think our pace was good today, certainly a pace that would have got us close to the points. Our strategy would have worked well too, but all of this is unimportant now."
13 . N. Piquet - Renault R29
Lost ground at the start after a good qualifying run and unable to make up lost ground.
“It wasn’t an easy race for me today and I’m disappointed not to get a better result. I lost ground at the start as I had some problems warming up the tyres. After that I got held up in traffic, which made it very difficult to make any progress in the second half of the race. I pushed really hard all afternoon, but I just couldn’t match the pace of Fernando who had the new updates on his car.”
14 . R. Kubica - BMW Sauber F1.09
Shown the way this weekend by team-mate Nick Heidfeld
. Chased Piquet across the line.
"I had a very good start and gained a lot of positions on the first lap. Although I had a lot of tyre degradation, the first stint was quite good. Nico Rosberg was on primes in front of me and he was really quick. I changed to primes for the second stint and after a couple of laps I noticed that the tyre pressures were not right. Unfortunately this cost me a lot of lap time and I still had around 20 laps to go. Everybody in the team is working very hard and we are getting slightly better each weekend, but there is still a big gap to the front runners."
15 . A. Sutil - Force India Mercedes VJM02
Ran as high as second but lost his front wing battling with Raikkonen for sixth. Deserved better.
"We shouldn't be that disappointed with this result as we have had a good weekend and the next one will come very soon. All our development shows we are on the right track and that we are much more competitive. It was a good race for me: the start was a bit difficult but I lost just one position. In the first stint I did really well and it was looking very promising as I was up to second by my first stop. When I went out of the pit lane I saw Kimi coming on the outside of the corner and I just tried to hold my line but he went to the outside and I touched him and lost part of my front wing. That's really when I thought the race was over for the points as I had to come back in. I kept pushing hard though as you never know what will happen. Overall I think we've learnt a lot; it's the first time starting in the top 10 and it's a different race up there! It's been a good push for everyone in the team to get some more development so we can finally get some points."
16 . S. Buemi - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
Off the pace this weekend along with the team and a distant 16th.
“It was a difficult race, although I had a good start and the opening laps went well. When we put on the soft tyres at the pit stop, I suffered with a loss of grip and kept sliding as I struggled to get them up to temperature. In the final stint it was the same story. It was not a positive outcome, but we will have new updates at the next race and we should be more competitive.”
17 . J. Trulli - Toyota TF109
Pitted on lap one for a front wing and could never recover the time lost.
"The race was over for me at the first corner. There were several cars fighting for position but I suddenly saw another car go past me and jump over my front wing because there was no space. I couldn't see that part of my wing but I could feel there was something wrong so I came in and the team changed it. After that the car felt good but unfortunately as soon as I caught up with the field I was always stuck in traffic and couldn't do anything. When I had a clear track ahead of me later in the race I put in some quick laps and was second fastest overall but it was too late."
18 . L. Hamilton - McLaren Mercedes MP4-24
Overly aggressive into turn one but unfortunate to pick up a puncture that ruined his race.
“My race was effectively over at Turn One. I had quite a good launch down to Turn One, and I was braking when I felt a tap from the rear and went straight on. I think the flat tyre had damaged the rear floor and it felt like I was out there driving on ice. I suggested to the team that we save the engine and gearbox for the future because there’s a lot more potential ahead of us than we’d anticipated before this weekend. But that’s racing and we’ll move on. The best thing about this weekend was that our updates were successful. The team has done a fantastic job over the last few weeks and I’m already looking forward to the next race.”
19 . K. Raikkonen - Ferrari F60
Looked set for a lower points finish before mechanical problems intervened.
“Germany definitely doesn’t seem to bring me luck. I don’t know how many times a problem beyond my control has forced me to retire and this time it was down to debris. A shame, as I think I could have got a good result. The car was a bit difficult to drive at the start, but I think it was the same for everyone. Around lap 14, we began to see that something wasn’t right and we tried to manage the situation. Then I started to lose a lot of power and the team asked me to pit because there was nothing that could be done anymore. The incident with Sutil? These things happen in racing, we spoke to one another and I think that he also sees it that way, as indeed did the Stewards.”
20 . S. Bourdais - Toro Rosso Ferrari STR4
Retired from 18th position early in the race after another tough weekend.
“On the warm up laps we weren’t so happy with the option tyre so we decided to start on the prime, which I think was a good call. But then I began to lose hydraulic pressure and so I lost the power steering, clutch and eventually everything else and so I had to pull in. It’s a shame of course, because although we were at the back at the time, I think we had a good strategy, with a heavy fuel load and, even running on primes we could manage the gap to those ahead of us, staying in touch with them.”