2008 Malaysian Grand Prix: driver quotes 

Written by David on March 24th, 2008 at 12:52 pmLast Update: March 24th, 2008 at 12:55 pm

Malaysian Grand Prix Sepang TowerKimi Raikkonen: “I am very happy with this win, for me and for the team. It’s a shame that Felipe was unable to let us bring home a result that was within our grasp. At the start I came alongside Felipe, but I did not take any risks, knowing I was stopping one lap later than him at the end of the first stint.When that time came, I pushed to the maximum and I managed to come out of my pit stop ahead of him. From then on, with a clear track ahead of me, the car was perfect I was able to control the situation without having to stress the car or the tyres. We are struggling a little bit in qualifying, but in the race we have a very high potential. We have had a very complicated start to the season, but I have certainly not lost faith in the team: we can still do better.”

Felipe Massa: “On lap 30, I clipped the kerb at the exit to Turn 6 and hit it quite hard and then I lost the rear end going into the next corner. We have to check to see if the impact with the kerb damaged the car. It’s a real shame because we could have brought home a one-two finish. Obviously this has been a very difficult start to the season for me, but there is still a very long way to go. We have great potential, as was seen today and so I am still confident. Naturally I hope to make up for this soon, starting with the next race in Bahrain.”



Robert Kubica: “It’s a fantastic day for the team, for Petronas and for me – the second consecutive podium. After Monza 2006 I finally managed to get another podium myself. I want to thank everybody in the team who worked very hard over the last two months to improve the car. I didn’t have a good start because of too much wheel spin, and was fighting with Nick and Jarno Trulli. I took the dirty inside line and almost lost the car, but somehow I managed to get through the corner and overtake them. From this moment on I drove at my own pace. The Ferraris were too quick, but I was able to increase the gap from the cars following me. After the second pit stop I reduced the revs to save the engine and took it easy. I didn’t feel very well all weekend and it was very hot in the car, so the last ten laps were pretty tough. But it all paid off with a brilliant result.”

Nick Heidfeld: “I have mixed emotions about today’s race. Of course I’m happy to have clocked up my first fastest race lap in F1, and 11 points are also the best ever result for our team. The pace of the car was really, really good – about the same level as the McLaren. That’s all very positive and makes it even more disappointing that I only finished sixth. My start was very good and then I tried to overtake right on the outside in the first corner. Robert was on the inside, and Jarno Trulli was between us – I just ran out of room. It was a try, but it didn’t work out. I picked up some dirt and lost two more positions on the first lap. At least I got them back when I overtook David Coulthard and Fernando Alonso on lap four. Again our pit crew did a very good job.”



Heikki Kovalainen: “I am pretty happy with my third place today, considering yesterday’s penalty, and it was probably the best possible result for us in these circumstances. Our strategy worked really well and it meant that I was able to be in clean air for most of the race. The team really did a fantastic job and I am happy to reward them with my first podium for the team. I did have a small issue with graining during my first stint; however, I was able to stay out until lap 20, which helped me to overtake Jarno Trulli during my first pit stop. After my second stop I was able to play it safe and secure my third place, as it was not possible at this stage to go one better.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I got a really good start and was pretty happy as we jumped five positions from ninth to fifth. I was pushing Mark for a very long time, but being behind someone, no matter how quick you are, it is really difficult to get past. We were in a good position for a shot at third place at least, but then I had the problem in my first pit stop which lost me a lot of time. So I did the best job I could. However we take away the fact that the car ran very reliably in these extreme conditions, and I was able to push Jarno right until the last second. I have to say that both Mark and Jarno drove really well today, and it was great to fight them out on track today.”


Panasonic Toyota:

Jarno Trulli: “It’s nice to be back in the points after such a strong race. I’m especially happy for the team both here and in Cologne. This result is mainly down to their work over the winter and I dedicate it to them. I had a difficult first corner when I lost grip, ran wide and touched Nick Heidfeld, losing a bit of ground. But after that I was able to keep up with the McLarens. Then we made it past Mark Webber as the team did a good job at the pit stops. At the end it was a great fight with Lewis Hamilton and we were pushing each other hard. He was obviously slightly quicker than me but I gave 100 percent and thanks to the team’s good job and the trouble-free weekend we took fourth. I just hope we can carry on improving the performance of the car, because as I mentioned at the end of winter testing we are looking strong. With Toyota’s potential we can bounce back to the 2005 level already this year.”

Timo Glock: “Unfortunately that was a short afternoon’s work. The start wasn’t perfect, we had a bit too much wheelspin and I made contact with someone but I could continue okay. Then at turn 14 I was hit from behind by Nico Rosberg. When I looked in the mirror he was further back so I didn’t expect him to try to overtake where he did. Then when I turned in he hit me on the rear right, breaking my rear suspension and putting me out of the race. Again we had qualified well so this is a pity. Now we will just have to hope for better fortunes in Bahrain.”


Red Bull Racing:

Mark Webber: “The start wasn’t fantastic, but we knew a lot of people would be on soft tyres at that point of the race. I got a really good run through Turns one and two and came out in fourth position. The first stint went okay, but I struggled a bit during the second stint with poor grip, although we kept trying to chip away at the times. I also got stuck behind Sato at a crucial point in the race and lost around two seconds, when we should have stayed in front of Heidfeld. I’m pleased for everyone at Red Bull to get two points, it’s been a tough start to the year for us and it’s great to get the car to the finish today. A big thanks to Renault too.”

David Coulthard: “There was too much graining on my first set of tyres, so I lost nine seconds in the first part of the race, which was frustrating. It was very hot out there, but thankfully it was also a little bit overcast, so that improved things.”


ING Renault:

Fernando Alonso: “I did the best that I could today and I scored the final point. We were able see that in normal race conditions we are a little far away in terms of performance. Our goal for the moment is to try and score points at each race and to work hard in the next tests so that we can perform better.”

Nelson Piquet: “I am happy to have finished the race as this was my first objective after the race in Melbourne. I have learned a lot today and I recognise that the group we are fighting with is very competitive and that you have to drive the perfect race, but I finished close to my teammate and that is encouraging for me. The race was difficult and the car is still not competitive enough, but I am making progress and I hope to continue that at the next race in Bahrain.”


Honda Racing:

Jenson Button: “It was good to finish the full race distance today and we will get a lot of very useful information from this weekend. I’m pretty satisfied with 10th place as that is where the performance of the car is right now. With the majority of cars ahead of us also finishing, it is a good reflection of our overall position. We’re going in the right direction and learning more about the car all the time, so we need to keep up the hard work and continue to develop ahead of the next race in two weeks’ time.”

Rubens Barrichello: “Unfortunately my weekend was compromised when we lost the free practice running on Saturday morning, as I lacked balance in the car for the race today. I had a lot of understeer and was battling with that throughout the race. The drive-through penalty after my second stop was unfortunate, even though I only lost one place, as the markings in the pitlane to indicate where the speed limit ends were not clear enough. We have learnt a great deal from the past two weeks and I have been very encouraged by our reliability. We still have a lot of work to do on the performance but that will come through our development programme over the coming weeks in preparation for Europe. We are quite competitive within the very tight midfield group and it is encouraging to see that both cars made it through a very tough race today. We will learn from our experiences, both positive and negative, and I am confident that we will continue to improve over the next few races.”


Force India F1:

Adrian Sutil: “Very early on in the race I developed a mechanical problem and had to switch the engine off and pull off the track. I am very disappointed with this start to the season, especially after I had to stop so soon into the race in Australia too.”

Giancarlo Fisichella: “I think we honestly did our best here. At the start I had a lot of wheelspin and lost a lot of positions, I don’t know why but we have to look into it. On my first stint I was suffering a lot of understeer with graining on the soft tyres but then in my stop I adjusted the front flap and went onto the harder tyres and stayed on them for both stints. I am happy with the race pace later on though and it is promising for the rest of the season.”


AT&T Williams:

Nico Rosberg
: “I knew that starting from 16th I would have to take some risks to make the race worthwhile and in fact it went well off the line considering I was carrying a lot of fuel. But then I came together with Timo Glock. When he left a gap, I went for it and I got alongside him. I guess he didn’t see me as he turned in and I couldn’t back out, which was unfortunate. The car was better today in the race but despite trying everything I tried, it really wasn’t our weekend. Now I am just looking forward to Bahrain where things should go better.”

Kazuki Nakajima: “From the back of the grid, we decided upon quite an aggressive strategy and I made up quite a few places from the start, but it was difficult to open up a comfortable gap. On the second stint, I had a puncture and had to stop very early, which was not ideal as I had to run two short stints and a long final one. I was struggling a little in the last stint and in a high speed corner I spun off, so after that I just wanted to concentrate on making it home to get two races on the engine.”


Super Aguri:

Takuma Sato: “It was good to finish the race. The first and second stints were good, but then in the second stint, unfortunately, I picked up marbles through the high speed section, ran wide and lost a lot of time there. On almost every lap we had traffic, especially during the last stint, so it was a pity that I couldn’t pick up the pace again until the very end. But it was good to see that the car was reliable and that we have collected a valuable set of data, so it was a tough, but good race for the team.”

Anthony Davidson: “It was a good race for the team, and me, today. It was great to do my first full distance race since Brazil and I think it went well. The boys did an excellent job and the car ran reliably all the way through the race. There were no problems what so ever and the tyres worked well. I felt comfortable in the car and I could push whenever I wanted to improve the lap time. I just stayed out of trouble and brought the car home in a very respectable position for the situation that we are in at the moment.”


Scuderia Toro Rosso:

Sebastian Vettel: “I started to have difficulty shifting gear and with the power steering. And then the back end caught fire as I pulled over to stop, which can sometimes happen when everything is overheating. Up to that point I was having a reasonable race. In the first stint, I had too much understeer and some graining on the tyres. The second stint was much better.”

Sebastien Bourdais: “I made a good start, but then I found myself stuck between two gears. Then I got as far as Turn 4 where I was being passed on the right and then in Turn 5 I found myself on the inside with someone alongside me and by Turn 6 I was back on the outside and when I tried to turn to the right, I ended up on the dirty side and the car snapped away from me and I spun into the gravel. And so my race was over.”

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