2008 Italian Grand Prix, race: Team quotes 

Written by Nick on September 14th, 2008 at 8:01 pmLast Update: September 14th, 2008 at 8:01 pm

2008 Italian Grand PrixRoss Brawn: “From where we started the race and in view of the lack of attrition today, it was necessary for us to take some chances. We switched from the extreme wet tyres to the normal wets earlier than everyone else and I believe that was a reasonable call. Later in the race, at Rubens’ second pitstop, we knew it wasn’t really the right window for dry tyres but we thought it might be worth a chance. Jenson had a good race and we made the right tyre calls at the right time. He was looking pretty quick at the end but obviously starting as far back as he did, he didn’t have much opportunity for points today. On a positive note the car looked a little more respectable in the race than it has through the weekend. Finally, congratulations to the Toro Rosso team on their win today. I have a lot of very good friends there and they did a fantastic job this weekend. There will be very few technical changes to the cars but the downforce levels will be quite different. Singapore is a high downforce track and there will be a range of downforce levels for the remaining tracks thereafter. We are testing in Jerez next week for four days but the focus there will be on projects for the 2009 car and in particular the KERS system.”

Pat Symonds: “Once again, wet conditions gave us an exciting race and the long stint strategy worked perfectly for us, allowing us to have the best tyres at the best times. Both drivers drove extremely well in these difficult conditions, but today really belongs to Sebastian Vettel, congratulations to him!”

Vijay Mallya: “Ultimately we would have liked to convert the strong qualifying into something more, but as with all other teams in the field, the tricky conditions were difficult to read and we could not move up. What we have learnt however is that we are competitive in full wet conditions, which could be very useful in the next race in Singapore, which we need to focus on now. I must also extend my congratulations to Toro Rosso and Sebastian Vettel for a marvellous first victory, and to our engine partner Ferrari for their first win with a customer engine. It is very satisfying to see an independent team winning and this is a source of inspiration for us.”

Tadashi Yamashina: “Everybody did their best today but the weather did not help us. We qualified well and we went for a one-stop strategy. Unfortunately we were in exactly the wrong window because the teams who did two stops and the teams on a longer one-stop strategy could both time their stops better. We were caught in the middle, just like Nico Rosberg’s Williams. Still, we were very quick in the first stint with the extreme wet tyres, the drivers did well and the car’s performance was good. But there was not much more we could do today. Congratulations to Toro Rosso for their first win in Formula 1. Now we must look for a better return from the remaining races this year.”

Christian Horner: “First of all congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso on a fantastic result for Red Bull. Sebastian drove a fantastic race and totally destroyed the opposition. Red Bull Technology can be very proud of the car that they have provided. Mark’s first stint in the race was good, unfortunately he dropped out in traffic and then a spin on his out lap on inters cost him places to Massa. However, he was very quick at the end of the race, but unfortunately, having dropped places on his out lap he couldn’t re-gain them, so a frustrating result for Mark when the potential was there to do better. For David we gambled on running an inter on his one stop with nothing to lose and unfortunately, towards the end of the race he started dropping back and then an accident with Nakajima finished his afternoon.”

Luca Baldisserri: “Our race was conditioned in a very obvious way by the performance of the tyres. At the start, when it was still raining, we could not get them to the right operating temperature and we were too slow compared to our rivals. Then, all it took was for the track to dry a bit for the car to be pretty much transformed, as can be seen from Kimi’s lap times in the final stages of the race. We must put some more effort into understanding how to improve our performance in these conditions, which could reoccur in the final stage of the championship. Felipe drove a good race and was slowed by traffic at a few key moments, otherwise he could have finished further up the order. Kimi suffered even more than his team-mate with the deficiency in tyre performance, especially in the early stages and then, when he did have the possibility, he showed the potential at his disposal.”

Fabrice Lom: “A difficult race for us. We were third on the gird, but in these conditions Mark nearly went off. We finished eighth with one point, so it’s better than nothing but honestly very, very frustrating. In the end the pace was there – we were very quick. But well done to Sebastian and to Toro Rosso. First pole, first victory the same weekend it’s magic.”

Ron Dennis: “Heikki drove well to finish second and bag eight valuable world championship points. The visibility in the rain early on was dreadful, and it was sensible of him to drop back a little from Sebastian in the first few laps. As the race unfolded we thought he might be able to catch Sebastian, but he was prevented from doing so when his tyres began to lose grip as the rain abated. Lewis made excellent progress in the wet conditions early on, moving swiftly from 15th on the grid to a potential points-scoring position, and he could well have been able to record a podium finish had the rain persisted and had he therefore been able to maintain his one-stop strategy. As it was, he was forced to make an unscheduled stop in order to exchange his extreme-wet tyres for wet-weather tyres, which dropped him back down the field. At first his wet-weather tyres performed well, and he began to catch up impressively; but then, along with various other drivers, his performance deteriorated as his wet-weather tyres began to overheat and lose grip on the drying track. Yesterday I congratulated Sebastian and his team boss, Gerhard Berger, on their first pole position; today I commend them on the occasion of their maiden win. It was good to see, and I want to say ‘Well done!’ to the entire Toro Rosso team for doing a fantastic job.”

Flavio Briatore: “We could have finished on the podium today, but we still had a great race and have gained ground on Toyota, which was our objective. In these difficult conditions, our two drivers performed well and had good drives. For the four races to come, we will now try to build on this to finish in fourth place in the championship.”

Mike Gascoyne: “A disappointing race for us. Giancarlo had a good fight in the first few laps with the quicker cars behind him but unfortunately when Coulthard passed him he lost his front wing on the back straight. It was also a difficult race for Adrian. He had some tyre issues later in the race, so we took a gamble to put him on the slicks, which didn’t pay off. We had had a good performance here in practice and qualifying so it was a very disappointing end to the weekend.”

Willy Rampf: “It was a very exciting race with a lot of overtaking manoeuvres and a great result for us. At the end of the European season we added another ten points to our tally. The good result is clearly due to the drivers who did a great job. Nick was one of the first drivers to change to intermediates, and Robert managed to climb on the podium under these difficult conditions. If you start the race from tenth and 11th on the grid and come home with ten points it is a great achievement. There were no technical problems. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso, who both did an excellent job today.”

Norbert Haug: “At various stages of the race it looked great for Lewis, who drove a first-class race. Unfortunately, the rain we had expected for his one-stop strategy did not persist. However, after yesterday’s grid position it’s okay to score points. A good race from Heikki and another 10 points in the constructors’ world championship. Currently, we’ve scored 28 points more than our closest competitor, Ferrari, in the past six races, since Lewis’s win at Silverstone, and now we will concentrate on continuing this trend. Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Toro Rosso – a sensational and well-deserved victory.”

Sam Michael: “It was a frustrating race to not be able to claim any points from a good starting position. We struggled for pace on Nico’s car in the first stint with a heavy fuel load and then unfortunately at his pit stop window we stayed on extreme wet tyres, but within a couple of laps, it became clear that the track had shifted to inters and we were forced to make another stop, which cost us 25 seconds, and this really hurt us. On Kazuki’s car, we started from the pitlane on a different aero level and this payed off at various stages in the race, but not enough for points.”

Franz Tost: “This was Vettel’s race weekend. From Friday onwards, he controlled the pace and the situation and today, from start to finish, he drove a fantastic race without any mistakes under very difficult circumstances. I think today he showed that he will become a very successful Formula 1 driver. It was unfortunate for Bourdais that he had a problem on the grid, as he too had a good weekend up until today. The team, under the direction of Giorgio Ascanelli also did a fantastically good job in terms of being prepared for the race and in how it executed the strategy and pit stops and we can all be proud of what we have achieved. It was great to get this result here in Monza in our home Grand Prix and I am particularly happy for Gerhard who has waited twenty years to get back on the Monza podium as a winner.”

Mario Theissen: “As expected, it was an action packed race, but not for the man in front. Under these difficult circumstances Toro Rosso had the best car, and Sebastian Vettel managed to score his and the team’s maiden victory with this excellent performance. Hats off to them! For us as well it worked out perfectly today. The decisive part was the race strategy. We were able to pit late with both cars and changed to intermediates during our single pit stop. It was perfect timing, so both drivers were able to move up a lot of positions. Neither Robert nor Nick made a single mistake. Robert claimed the tenth podium finish for our team, Nick came in a strong sixth, and the team leaves Europe with another ten points in its pocket – Monza again was a good place for the BMW Sauber F1 Team.”

Stefano Domenicali: “We’re definitely not satisfied with this result, but considering the circumstances in which the race was run, it could have actually been much worse. Once again today, we had confirmation that, in certain track conditions and temperature range, our car is not quick enough. Then, it only needs a slight change for the performance to return to being very competitive. Clearly we must take countermeasures as quickly as possible because similar conditions could occur in the remaining four races. Having said that, we must not forget that we have taken a small step forward in the Drivers’ classification although our lead in the Constructors’ has reduced substantially. There are four races to go and everything is still possible. Finally I would like to congratulate Scuderia Toro Rosso, which uses our engines and Sebastian Vettel on their first Formula 1 win: they did a perfect job all weekend and they deserve this moment of great joy.”

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a Reply