2010 European GP, race: Driver quotes 

Written by David on June 27th, 2010 at 7:07 pmLast Update: June 27th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Jarno Trulli: “I don’t know exactly what happened at the beginning as I managed to get away from the mess at the front but I was hit from the back and at the same time lost my front wing. It all happened during the first lap, so I thought it was the end of the race for me, but I managed to get back to the pits, and the mechanics did a great job to fix the car. I went out but had a gearbox problem, so more good work from the boys got me back out and I was then able to run to the end. I did the whole race with one set of tyres, and I felt that the pace throughout was very good. The handling was great, so I’m happy about the performance and when I pushed I was able to put in some really good lap times.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “First of all it’s good news that both of us are ok. Mark had a hardcore flight, and it could have ended up much worse, so it’s good we’re both fine. It’s such a shame the race ended that early – I was going really well, pulling away from the guys behind by about half a second a lap, and with Mark we were racing for position so I was always going to defend. I didn’t do anything wrong and he just ran into me. I think he missed his braking point and he ran into me at a very bad angle – his front tyre hit my right rear and he took off. I had to make a mandatory visit to the medical centre, and shook hands with Mark there, but I’m absolutely fine, and glad Mark is too.”

Sebastien Buemi: “This was not a very good race as I could have finished sixth, but I made two mistakes, which have cost us four points. I am happy to be in the points, but disappointed to have missed out on the opportunity to do better. As for losing seventh place, I knew Kobayashi was closing very quickly on new tyres, and on the penultimate lap I was blocking my front tyres a lot. But at the final corner, I did not think he could brake that late and so I am unhappy that I made the mistake and let him pass. The team did a good job of the pit stop, at just the right moment during the Safety Car period. But we are under investigation along with many other cars about this point of the race. I found it very hard to slow down, as required by the rules, because the Safety Car arrived very late as we approached the start finish line. Let’s wait and see what the stewards will say.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “To be honest, I am not really disappointed, because at least the team got points again with Sebastien, so congratulations to him. This weekend I never had a hundred percent control of the car, never having quite the right feeling with the brakes and that was my main issue. The situation improved slightly during the race, but I never felt the car was mine to do as I wanted. I have to tell myself that better times will come, just like I had earlier in the season. There are still a lot of races to go and once I get back the feeling for the car and its handling, I am sure I can score points again.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “Before the race we had decided to use separate tyre strategies for Pedro and me. I started on the harder ones and didn’t pit when everybody else did. It was great racing there at the front, but it was not easy either because I had Jenson Button close behind me all the time, and also I had to look after my tyres. I was careful not to overdrive them. After my pitstop I had only four laps to make use of my fresh tyres. At this moment I had better grip than anybody else, and I felt I had to make the most out of it. Of course it was a risk to overtake Alonso and Buemi. If it hadn’t worked out and I had crashed I would have been in trouble.”

Pedro de la Rosa: “It was a great race from the team. The strategy paid off and the car was really good under race conditions. For most of the race I was stuck in traffic. The last 12 laps were very difficult for me because I had a big flat spot on my front right tyre, and the vibrations in the car were quite bad. I didn’t say this over the radio to the team, as I wanted to save them from bad news during the race because we have had enough of that. I am very, very happy for the entire team that we scored these points today. It is a great team and they deserve to be happy.”

Lewis Hamilton: “Into Turn One, I was very close to Seb Vettel, I went for the gap, I out-braked him and we went into the corner side-by-side. He gave me room, but we touched and the contact damaged my front wing. When the Safety Car came out, the team did a great job to change the nosebox and tyres. After that my pace was much better and I was able to push Seb, but it’s impossible to pass around here when the cars are so closely matched. Whenever a Safety Car comes out, it’s difficult to compute all the information. There are all these beeps in your ear, and lights flashing on your dashboard too. There’s got to be a certain time between the ‘Safety Car 1′ line and the ‘Safety Car 2′ line, and between those two lines you can go fast. So it’s all a bit complicated. So I pushed past the last Safety Car line, and was obviously then trying to close the gap to Seb. But as I came out of the first corner, all of a sudden I saw the Safety Car coming out, so I backed off and went across the line as I did that, so I thought I was okay. When the team told me I had a drive-through penalty, I made time by pushing as hard as I could, and was able to increase the gap a bit to the guys behind. I took my penalty – it’s quite a long time to spend at 60km/h in the pitlane – and I came out second. I don’t see how that’s unfair – it’s racing, and those are the rules, and we all have to accept them.”

Jenson Button: “The first lap was great – I loved it! I was alongside Robert Kubica for 10 corners, then we both went around Mark Webber in Turn Eight, one on the inside and one on the outside! We continued fighting until Turn 10, but I couldn’t get around the outside of him there – it was just too tight. I was very close to the pit entry when the Safety Car was triggered. I was warned by the team beforehand, who said, ‘There might be a Safety Car, in this lap,’ so I dived into the pits. There was no room to lift off or hit the brakes, so to be honest I can’t really see why I was called to the stewards. Later in the race, when I was behind Kamui [Kobayashi], I knew he’d have to pit again. His pace was reasonable, so I knew he wasn’t going to pit early, but you just can’t overtake around here. I was running pretty low downforce today, which gave me good straightline speed, but I couldn’t get out of the corners quick enough to get really tucked in behind him on the straights. As soon as he went into the pits, though, I had three or four laps when I could push and have some fun with the car. I got the fastest lap at that point, which was nice; the car was feeling very good, and I just wish I’d had more laps to play with!”

Rubens Barrichello: “It was great fun out there today and the car was behaving well throughout the race. We really seem to be heading in the right direction with the development of the car and I hope that this improved performance continues for the rest of the season.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was going really well and points were definitely possible today. I was running in tenth before the safety car came out. It wasn’t good timing for me because I had called in a flat spot on my tyre half a lap earlier and wanted to pit but by then it was too late. Combined with having to stack, I really lost all my places there. When the safety car came in I couldn’t keep Alonso behind me, but after that it was quite a processional race up until something caught fire on my car. That obviously ended it for me.”

Robert Kubica: “I got a pretty good start today and I managed to keep my position, then had a really nice clean fight with Jenson – I think we spent about half a lap side by side. In fact, we both managed to overtake Webber going into turn eight: I was on the inside, Jenson was on the outside and we both squeezed Mark to get past. And then, Jenson and I went through the next two corners side by side as well, so it was a pretty fun first lap and I came out on top of the battle. After that, we got lucky when the Safety Car came out: I was already braking for the last corner when the message came on the steering wheel, so I decided to head straight to the pits. Unfortunately, though, we didn’t manage to take maximum advantage of the opportunity: I was the first car into the pits but the third car to leave. If everything had gone smoothly, we could have finished on the podium this afternoon, but unfortunately we didn’t manage to do so.”

Vitaly Petrov: “I’m disappointed with my result today. When you start the race in tenth, the minimum you expect is to keep your position. My problems began at the start because I got big wheel spin and lost a lot of places. After that I tried to keep up good pace and tried to attack De la Rosa, but he had very good speed on the straight it’s very difficult to overtake here so I couldn’t get by. As a rookie it’s good experience for me to finish the race and we know what we need to do for the coming races.”

Karun Chandhok: “It was a reasonable race for me. The pace early on was reasonably good but then I started to struggle with the option tyres. We decided to pit under the safety car and switch to primes which was a good decision as I was able to then settle into a rhythm and pull away from Bruno. At the end though, having done 47 laps on one set of tyres I didn´t quite have enough pace to fight against Timo and he managed to muscle past on the final lap. All in all, I am quite pleased with the job I did today and it´s good for the team to get two cars to the finish in front of their home supporters.”

Bruno Senna: “It was a frustrating race today. Unfortunately, there was the incident with Timo Glock when my front wing was damaged. This happened during the blue flag we both got for a lapping car. But it is good to finish the race again after not having finished the last three.”

Nico Rosberg: “It wasn’t a great race for me today and not much fun out there. I struggled for grip throughout and had to work really hard to save my brakes which completely took away the ability to challenge and try to make up positions. But we tried to look for the positives and learn something because you can always learn from any situation and use the experiences later. It’s been a poor weekend from us all round and we have to try to resolve our issues and improve from here.”

Michael Schumacher: “What a race. We would like to have clarification about the safety car situation as the red light on the exit from my first pit stop destroyed a race which otherwise would have offered us very good possibilities. Our point of view is that as the safety car had passed the pits without having the cars lined up behind it, there should not have been a red light. There was a green light for a moment and then suddenly it went red again. We believe that this was not correct. Our strategy was right in that context as we took the opportunity which could have given us a finish even close to the podium.”

Lucas di Grassi: “I’m thrilled to finish as the lead driver of the new teams for the first time today and for us to get two cars home again is a fantastic result for our team. For me it feels a bit like a victory and it was definitely one of the best races of my career. The car was performing well – exactly as we had expected it to – and we had a great pitstop which was also well-timed to manage the traffic. We are making good progress as a team and with the car. We had good pace here and this has been a positive step forward for us. We have another one coming for Silverstone – which we hope will be a good one – and then we just need to keep them coming because we are moving in the right direction.”

Timo Glock: “I got a bad start to my Race and was sat behind Lucas for a long time. I couldn’t pass him because every time I came close I destroyed the tyres and so I had to just wait for a chance. Then I had a big lock-up and destroyed the front right tyre and had to come into the pits to take the soft tyre. The car was really good on the Option tyre and we were able to do some big lap times but when I overtook Senna I touched his front wing and destroyed the rear tyres in the process so I had to pit again. I was able to do good lap times and I was quite happy with the car at the end. I overtook Chandhok on the last lap and finished in front of the other new teams so it was a good race towards the end. It is also great for the team to secure another strong two-car finish so we head to Virgin Racing’s home Grand Prix at Silverstone feeling positive.”

Sebastian Vettel: “It’s good to be back winning and on a circuit where we didn’t expect to be that strong. But we were quick enough at all times in the race to pull away, find the gap and then guide the car home, but it wasn’t as easy as expected. It’s good to get a lot of Championship points and the guys can be extremely proud, so a good weekend for them. Most important of all today is the fact that Mark had quite a big shunt but he’s fine – it shows that the cars get safer and safer but still there is a lot of risk so it’s good that he’s OK.”

Mark Webber: “I was going a lot faster than Heikki and then a long, long way before the braking point he braked – about 80m before – and at that point I’m a passenger. The car, thank God, was very safe. I am OK, I lost some points, but in the end when you’re up there, you’re not worried about points, I was worried that I was OK and ready for Silverstone. You cannot control where you are going and how hard the hits are going to be. Of course, the hits were pretty hard but it’s good that I am OK. It was my Monte Carlo and Barcelona winning chassis and one which has secured a lot of pole positions, so the chassis has been good to me, and it has been good to me today as it saved me from some injures. I remain incredibly positive, we go on, it’s half way through the Championship. Bloody hell, let’s get on with it.”

Adrian Sutil: “It was an interesting race for me and a very good result in the end: from 13th to sixth, it’s pretty amazing for us, one of the best races so far this season. We made the call to come into the pits at the right time – when the safety car went out I was in the last sector and could go in the pits straight away and then moved up the order when the front guys came in. Then I could pass Buemi on track and in the end it was sixth position. I think we did everything right today and it’s a very positive result for the team to keep the points coming in.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “It was a reasonable race considering we knew it would be difficult to score points because of the starting position and there aren’t many overtaking spots. It was a shame we couldn’t make more of the safety car as Adrian did but basically we came in at the same time and as he was ahead on the road he was stopped in front of me and I had to wait for him to finish and then I got blocked by Petrov in the pitlane. That basically compromised my race. It’s quite disappointing as yesterday we had good pace and we just couldn’t get the most out of it in qualifying. From this perspective we showed points were possible and we can look forward to getting some more in Silverstone.”

Fernando Alonso: “The race was ruined by the Safety Car and everything that followed on from that. I am disappointed most of all for the thousands of spectators who were here today and saw how the situation was handled. I am very bitter about what happened today. I was in third place, a metre behind Hamilton at the moment the Safety Car came out on track and, at the chequered flag, he was second and I was ninth, even though we had made the same choice of strategy. The penalty he was given came when it could no longer have any real influence on his finishing position. From then on, my race was compromised. I was always in traffic and I did not get the performance I had expected from the hard tyres: this also explains the difficulty I had in passing first Sutil and then Buemi. This is definitely a bad result for us, but I still hang onto the idea that we will do the maths at the end, in Abu Dhabi: incidents we have no control over will be made up for. We must continue to work and push on the car development front to try and be the quickest on the track.”

Felipe Massa: “Another horrible race on the back of the one in Canada. We were lying third and fourth with cars capable of getting a great result and instead, everyone has seen how it ended. On the lap when the accident happened, we were coming into the final corner and there was nothing, then suddenly, the Safety Car came out on track and I saw in the mirrors that the cars behind us were pitting: our chance of fighting for the podium went up in smoke at that moment. The difference between us and Hamilton is that he committed an infraction and we did not, but his penalty had no effect on his result. I think that errors were made in the way this situation was managed. From then on, our race was practically one long procession in traffic with no chance of changing anything. A real shame because today we could have done really well.”

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