2010 Belgian GP, race: Team quotes 

Written by David on August 29th, 2010 at 7:01 pmLast Update: August 29th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Mike Gascoyne: “An exciting race and a typically eventful one here in Spa. Neither driver had a great start which meant we lost a few places, and Heikki had a problem when the rain started. We changed him onto intermediates, but were then a little slow in changing him back, but he drove a great race, and was quick at the end in the wet conditions, and he again brought us home best of the new teams. Jarno drove a strong race. He struggled initially with the tyres, but in the middle part of the race his pace was very strong, and it’s just a shame that he had a spin in the difficult wet conditions as it would have been nice to have had both cars finish ahead of the other new guys. But despite that, both cars finished and overall this has been a good weekend for the whole team.”

Riad Asmat: “I feel great. I think we achieved what we wanted to do – we got both cars home and we’re still ahead of the other new teams. It’s a bit unfortunate that Jarno spun out, but it’s all part of racing. He recovered well and I think we’ll all move on from this point and feel confident we can put in a good performance in Monza, and the remaining races. I think the team did great today and there was maximum effort involved, so well done to everyone. The rain of course threw everything out of sync, but we survived it today and we’re really happy.”

Franz Tost: “A fantastic Formula 1 race from start to finish, with some great battles throughout the field and then, as usual in Spa, the rain played its part, coming and going, causing some interesting scenarios. Both our drivers made a good start, but unfortunately, Buemi was hit by someone which damaged his left rear tyre and he had to pit and then he lost more time coming in for the intermediate tyres. We assume that the collision also damaged his floor, which compromised his performance for the rest of the race. Jaime drove a good race, however his first stop for intermediates was unnecessary, but everyone can be clever with hindsight. Without this extra visit to the pits, he could have finished higher up the order, securing a really good result, because his pace was fantastic, with good lap times. In the closing stages, he also did a very good job of defending his position against Liuzzi, who had the advantage of being on extreme rain tyres, while Jaime was on the intermediates. It’s nice to pick up a point, generally our performance level was not bad, so now let’s see what we can do at our home race in Monza.”

Sam Michael: “Today was not a good day with Rubens out on the first lap and Nico had a control system problem that compromised the driveability and caused the engine to cut in his pitstop. So looking forward, our pace is improving and we will perform better in the forthcoming races.”

Eric Boullier: “Robert’s third podium of the season is a great result for the team. Also, it was a strong performance from Vitaly to recover from the back of the grid to score points. Overall I think we can be very satisfied with this weekend, especially because we brought our latest updates, including the f-duct, and managed to get it working properly straight away. This weekend has shown us that we have taken a good step forward, which is very promising for the rest of the season.”

Alan Permane: “A fantastic result for the team. Both drivers did an excellent job and it’s great to see Robert finish on the podium, which was our target. And it was nice to have the pace to race with the Red Bulls and beat Ferrari, although unfortunately Hamilton was just a bit too quick for us today. Vitaly also drove really well and did well to score some points having started from the back of the grid. So it’s a very good day all-round.”

Remi Taffin: “Both drivers had great races today and Robert’s podium is a good reward for the whole team. Vitaly also drove very well and did a nice job to recover from his disappointing qualifying performance yesterday to score points. This was the last race for these particular V8s and all went well. They didn’t miss a beat and the wet conditions this weekend made their life a little bit easier than it might otherwise have been.”

Otmar Szafnauer: “We’re obviously very pleased to be back in the points again today. Both drivers demonstrated a strong race pace and we worked well as a team monitoring the changeable weather conditions. Tonio was unlucky to miss out on the points due to losing his front wing when Vettel ran into him. The points are crucial for the championship at the moment and the pace also bodes well for Monza in a couple of weeks’ time.”

Peter Sauber: “It was another strong and mature performance by Kamui in very difficult conditions after starting from way down the grid. Also compliments to the team for choosing the right tyre strategy and executing it very well during the pit stops.”

James Key: “I’m very pleased we scored some points today after a very difficult day yesterday. It was a race with a lot of changing weather conditions, and the right calls had to be made at the right time. We had three spells of rain all together. The team made the right decisions, and Kamui did an excellent job by controlling the car in these difficult conditions and bringing it home in eighth. He came from a long way behind and made up a lot of positions. With Pedro we tried a slightly different strategy at the end of the race with full wet tyres, because there was a chance of heavier rain. This seemed to work initially, but it looks as if the tyres went off quite quickly, and Pedro couldn’t hold on to tenth. All in all a reasonable recovery given the situation we faced yesterday.”

Ross Brawn: “We are obviously very pleased with the result today, and particularly with our strategy, which enabled us to achieve a strong points finish which looked difficult after qualifying. Nico and Michael both drove extremely well in testing conditions and kept us entertained on the pit wall although sometimes a little too entertained! But it was all done in good spirit and both drivers brought their cars home to give us as good a weekend as we could have hoped for. The result is very pleasing considering the relative performance of the car at the moment and a morale boost for the team.”

Norbert Haug: “Nico, Michael and the team all did a good job today. Starting from 14th position like Nico and coming home in sixth place is very impressive and even more impressive when you start in 21st place like Michael and are in seventh position at the finish line. We adapted to the typical Spa weather circumstances as best we could which was the baseline for scoring points with both cars from very difficult grid positions. It is obvious that we are still lacking speed but this was a much better result than in the previous two races where we didn’t perform as well as we did with Nico’s podium finish at Silverstone. We are now looking forward to Monza which will be a very special race due to the unique high-speed nature of this circuit. Thank you to everybody in the team for the recovery after qualifying yesterday. These points show that never giving up and being measured and focused are always the right things to do.”

Christian Horner: “A great drive by Mark today, it was a very mature drive after a bad start. He recovered fantastically well and drove with great maturity at a track that we always knew would suit the McLarens. To come away with second place was a great result for him today – and it was great pit-work by the guys to get Mark out ahead of Kubica. For Sebastian, unfortunately everything that could happen today did happen. He got pushed on to the grass on the first lap and then when he was coming back through the field was racing with Jenson. I think Jenson took him by surprise with how early he braked for the bus-stop and trying to avoid him Sebastian got into a bit of a moment and collected Jenson. He was then unlucky with Liuzzi, so not a great weekend for Sebastian.”

Fabrice Lom: “What a hectic race with a lot of action in mixed conditions. It was a solid race for Mark, who took no extra risks and did whatever he could to bring the car home for a well deserved second place. Hamilton was too strong for us today and I think second was the best we could achieve. Sebastian had an accident and I think his race was over after that. Congratulations to Kubica, I think to have two Renaults on the podium at this circuit is a great result for us.”

Colin Kolles: “It was a turbulent and difficult race today with changing conditions. We started on dry tyres and Sakon Yamamoto was in 13th position in the first laps. Bruno Senna got his front wing damaged in the first lap and so we had to change it in his pit stop, when he also went on intermediate tyres. Unfortunately, his rear left suspension failed and he had to retire early in the race. Later, heavy rain was expected and Sakon changed to wet tyres in his second pit stop. I want to thank the mechanics, who did a good job this weekend, especially in the pit stops. Now, we have to focus on the next round in Monza and we hope to show a good performance again.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “There’s no doubt about it: today we saw a truly fantastic race and an utterly brilliant victory. Apart from one heart-stopping excursion, Lewis was in command of things from lights to flag, and drove prodigiously well all afternoon – all weekend, in fact. From the moment he went out on Friday morning, he was palpably excited about being here at Spa, and it was clear that he always felt confident that a win was on the cards. He really is at the top of his game at the moment. He’s back at the head of the drivers’ world championship standings too – and, but for Sebastian, we’d be leading the constructors’ world championship as well. Clearly, had Jenson’s race not been ended by Sebastian’s error, Jenson would have scored a hatful of world championship points – and today is therefore a deeply frustrating day for him. He drove superbly – he’s so good in changeable conditions such as we saw today – but he’s very mature and I know he won’t let this setback get to him. Finally, I want to say a big ‘well done’ to everyone at McLaren Racing in Woking and at Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines in Brixworth, without whose relentless efforts we wouldn’t be back where Vodafone McLaren Mercedes belongs: at the front of the field, on the top step of the podium, in rocket-red victory T-shirts, spraying champagne. Monza? Bring it on!”

John Booth: “I’m very pleased with how the whole team worked over the weekend. We had a massive effort to get Timo’s car ready yesterday, and to have both cars run so strongly to the finish demonstrates how far we have come and that we have earned our right to be on the grid. Both Lucas and Timo drove great races, the pitstops went perfectly and I’m very proud of our teamwork. We leave here in a very positive mood and looking forward to a good result in Monza.”

Nick Wirth: “An exciting and eventful race for us. We had gambled on a high downforce strategy hoping for a very wet race, but ultimately the rain didn’t fall in sufficient quantity for our gamble to fully pay off. Timo was unlucky to lose his front wing and we were forced to pit, but a replacement was not to the same specification because his spare wing was broken in his crash on Friday. Despite this he did a good job catching up with Lucas and Jarno. Unfortunately when the rain came Timo gambled to come in early and fit full wets which just didn’t work out for him. On the other hand Lucas’s race was smooth and it was another great performance for a rookie in very tricky conditions. We’re pleased to get both cars to the finish strongly and let’s hope for better luck in the final European race in Monza.”

Stefano Domenicali: “This weekend definitely did not end well for us, even if Felipe’s fourth place, at the end of an impeccable and error free race in conditions that were far from easy, is an important result. Fernando saw his race compromised right from the first lap, the unwitting victim of an accident and then, despite fighting his way up the order, he ended up off the track in the sort of incident that can easily happen in a rain-affected race. Apart from that, and any other considerations, we must recognise that our performance in this Grand Prix did not match our expectations and interrupted a positive trend that began a few races ago: we have to understand why immediately and take the necessary countermeasures. The situation in both championships is certainly more difficult, but it is still not impossible for us to reach our targets: for those with short memories, I remember that three years ago, we found ourselves in a much worse situation and we all know how it went in the end.”

Chris Dyer: “Felipe had a good race, always keeping out of trouble and he made the right choices, bringing home a good result, given our performance level in this Grand Prix, which definitely did not live up to our expectations. However, on the other side of the garage, the mood is one of great disappointment, because the lack of points seriously complicates Fernando’s chances in the title fight. His race was immediately an uphill struggle, because of the collision with Barrichello, which meant he had to pit immediately. At that point we took the gamble of fitting intermediate tyres, given that we had nothing to lose, but then we had to bring him in again for dry tyres. It was a good climb up the order, but in the end he went off the track in the wet which ended any last chance of scoring points. Clearly there is much work to do in order to tackle the remaining six races of the season in the best way possible.”

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