2010 Italian GP, race: Driver quotes 

Written by David on September 12th, 2010 at 6:47 pmLast Update: September 12th, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Nico Rosberg: “Fifth place was an ok result today except for losing the place to Sebastian at the end there. It was a tough fight and I was pushing to the maximum throughout the race, firstly with Robert at the start and then with Sebastian towards the end. We got the most out of the car this weekend and another double-points finish is good for the team plus it is nice to be ahead of Robert again in the Drivers’ Championship.”

Michael Schumacher: “I had a quite clean race and I am pretty happy about my start. It was tight with lots of action so lots of nice fighting. Unfortunately I had to give away two positions to Sebastian and Mark as I just could not keep them behind me. From there onwards, the race was pretty lonely really. However we got the maximum out of it considering where we started from and together with Nico, we scored some important points for the team, so I would say it was a decent race.”

Fernando Alonso: “Winning at Monza at the wheel of a Ferrari is something special, which can only stand comparison to when I won in front of my home crowd in Barcelona in 2006. Being on the podium was an incredible feeling: what a sea of people, so many flags! I was stunned by the emotion from the fans, right from the first moment they got here on Thursday. I wish to dedicate this victory to them and to the passion that characterises all Ferrari fans. I got a reasonably good start, but Jenson’s was definitely better and more effective. I tried to attack him at the first corner but I did not manage it and there were some very exciting moments, when I collided with him and with Felipe. I was worried there might be some damage, but fortunately everything was fine. I could always keep up with Jenson: we were working out what might be the best strategy, then he pitted and it was obvious then that I should do one more lap. The pit stop was super: we gained the tenths that made the difference. Today, it was the mechanics who won the race and they produced a real miracle. The whole team was fantastic as was the car. Now we have updates coming for Singapore, but it will not be easy to continue to improve, because we also need to start thinking about 2011. We have to stay focussed and do our best. We cannot allow ourselves the slightest mistake, because we are still behind, but we have definitely taken a good step forward today.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a great day for the team, with a super result in our home race. I got a good start and maybe I might have made up a place, but I did not have good traction coming out of the second corner. Then I felt a knock and it was Hamilton who had hit into the side of my car: fortunately no damage was done. All race long the car worked very well and I was always competitive. The pit stop was not perfect and maybe the time lost there cost me second place. All the same, it was really nice to be on the podium: seeing all the people underneath it was incredible, with the whole straight packed with fans. It was a special feeling, especially as I feel I am part Italian. I am happy for the team and for our home crowd. Now there is much work ahead of us to prepare for the coming races, starting with Singapore. It won’t be easy, but we are up for it. Personally, I will continue to fight for the wins and for the good of the team.”

Sebastien Buemi: “It was a positive performance, but a bit frustrating to miss out on the points. I lost some time around the pit stop, maybe we did it a bit early and I came out behind Barrichello. That was partly because the Lotus and Virgin I caught before the pit stop did not move over very quickly and I lost more time there. I was much faster than him from then on with the hard tyres, but it is very difficult to overtake and I could not find a way past. But all in all, I am pleased with the performance of the car over the weekend, which was a definite improvement over the last few races and I am looking forward to more developments and getting the F-duct working so that maybe we can have it on the car for Singapore. If we continue like this I hope to be able to fight fair and square with the Williams and Mercedes in the final races.”

Jaime Alguersuari: “I am pleased with my actual performance in terms of lap times and race pace and the fact I made no mistakes. However, at the moment, I really don’t understand why I got the drive-through penalty. It’s the second time in two races that I have got one of these! As far as I am concerned, although I did cut the chicane, I did not gain any advantage, catch the drivers ahead of me or pull away from those behind. The actual penalty did not make much difference to my race, but it was annoying all the same.”

Pedro de la Rosa: “I had a good start and was able to overtake Jaime Alguersuari. From then on I just tried to push as hard as possible and keep contact with the guys in front. But actually I lost that contact to Rubens (Barrichello) and after that I had quite a tough race. We knew we would face a difficult weekend here, and I have struggled with the car since Saturday morning.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “I’m very disappointed. I think I would have easily scored points here because my car was good in race conditions. But already on my first installation lap I realised there was something wrong with the car, and then I had problems with shifting. I went back to the garage and the pit crew tried everything to fix it. I then started from the pit lane. We gave it a try, but it didn’t come as a surprise when I had to stop fairly soon because of the problem. It is a shame, but these things happen. I’m very much looking forward to going to Asia now.”

Robert Kubica “I got a great start and passed Hulkenberg off the line, then the two Red Bulls in the first chicane. After Hamilton went off, I was running fifth at the end of the first lap, and from that point on I was managing the gap to Rosberg in front and Hulkenberg behind. I knew that the pitstops would be crucial, and we took the decision to stop earlier than the cars around us. I think it was the right one, because from my out lap I was at least a second quicker, but unfortunately we had a slow stop and lost a couple of seconds. That meant Hulkenberg came out of the pits level with me, and we were wheel-to-wheel under braking. He took a defensive line through the chicane, which meant Webber also got a run on me through turn three, so I lost two positions. It’s disappointing, but that was our pace this weekend. We’re looking forward to a better performance in Singapore.”

Vitaly Petrov: “I knew it would be a hard race and, although I managed to pick up five positions on the first lap, it wasn’t enough to get me near the points. It’s very difficult to overtake here because the low downforce makes it tricky to get in the slipstream of another car. I think I did the maximum I could have hoped for this afternoon, but it was my first time here in Formula 1 and this weekend was all part of my learning curve. Hopefully, when I come here next year I won’t need to learn anything; I’ll just be able to show my best level of performance.”

Adrian Sutil: “Obviously a very difficult race. The first lap was not good when I was pushed wide into the gravel in one of the early corners and lost a lot of positions. By the end of lap one I was at the end of the field so we decided to come in to change to the harder tyres as a strategic move to make up positions when the others pitted. I did my own race from that point on, which worked really well but we couldn’t get close to the points when I had to come in for the nosecone change. It’s one of those races where you hope to do better but I’m not too disappointed as it’s been a good season so far and there are still five races left.”

Tonio Liuzzi: “It was definitely a nice race to drive but from 19th position it was always going to be difficult to score points, particularly as there weren’t any safety cars. We had some good fights and in the end we finished in 12th position. We had a good car and I think we were quick enough to finish in the points today but when you are behind someone who is not that much slower than you it’s quite difficult to get past. I was pushing hard to pass Buemi and Rubens [Barrichello] but we were more or less at the same pace. Overall though we had a strong pace and it was a shame to just miss out on the points.”

Heikki Kovalainen: “I lost a few positions at the start, managed to get in front of di Grassi but then was stuck behind Timo. I didn’t have the straight line speed to get past him so didn’t have the chance to make a move. It’s a shame because I couldn’t get the true potential out of the car after a good weekend, but that’s life. We haven’t lost anything in terms of the Championship so all in all it’s not too disappointing.”

Jarno Trulli: “It was a very good race until the gearbox problem meant I had to stop. I lost second gear and even though I continued running without second, it gave up completely which ended the race. But I must say that the race had been very satisfying until that point. I was pulling away from Timo and the guys behind and was increasing the lead with every lap, and the car felt great right from the start. But this seems to be the story of the season – we’ll go to Singapore and hope my luck improves there.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a tough day, but a rewarding one. I lost position off the start line, but managed to recover two places in the first chicane. From then on, I seemed to be fighting one or other of the Red Bulls for the whole afternoon, and there wasn’t a moment when there was any let up in the pressure. It was made all the more difficult as I was struggling with the brake pedal, but it was an exciting afternoon of attacking and defending with great work in the pitstop, so I am pleased with the outcome.”

Rubens Barrichello: “I had a good start off the line and was alongside Nico, but coming into the first turn, I took the outside line and we all bunched up behind Vettel who had a bad start – it is so tight there ā€“ and I lost a part of my nose. But perhaps more significantly, I dropped behind Buemi who was running long, and that pretty much dictated my race, but I am glad that I added a point to our championship position.”

Jenson Button: “It was a very tough race mentally, and it was tricky holding off the challenge from behind. I spent the first half of the race either looking in my mirrors or at the TV screens to see where Fernando Alonso was. I didn’t know until after the race that I’d damaged my diffuser as a result of contact with another car on lap one, and I don’t know whether that affected my pace or not. But, with the downforce level I had, I expected to pull ahead more through the corners. Instead, the car was moving around quite a bit; so I had to drive as smoothly as I could and not make any mistakes. Maybe it was the wrong call to pit when we did, but the team felt the new Prime tyres were faster than the Options. But I couldn’t find any grip on the new tyres, and lost a little bit of time on them. When I saw Fernando emerge just of me, I was very disappointed. Overall, then, we didn’t quite have the pace to win today. But this weekend was definitely a good one – I scored some good points, and this second place is very useful for my world championship hopes. There’s still everything to play for over the next five races.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I made a good start, gained a position, got up to fourth, and, at that moment, perhaps I should have just stayed there for a while. But I put my car up the inside of Felipe Massa into Turn Four, trying to get third, and that was probably a little bit too much. I was trying to position the car in a certain way, I was too close to Felipe, and his left rear clipped my right front. The car was damaged after that, and there was nothing I could do; you try your best, but some things just don’t go your way. Today was a shame, and I want to say sorry to the team. But the championship certainly isn’t over ā€“ although I have to admit that days like today don’t help. The good thing is that Jenson scored a nice lot of points for us. Now, though, I’m already fully focused on Singapore.”

Timo Glock: “I got a very good start and was going well into turn 1. I nearly got in front of both Lotus cars but Jarno was in a better position in the chicane for turn 2 and was able to stay in front of me. The opening laps were strong and I was able to put a lot of pressure on Jarno but I suffered with the rear brakes. In general I had to over-drive the car and just try to stay on line. The boys did a great job in the pit stop and I was able to stay ahead of Heikki Kovalainen. Together with my engineer I was able to manage the blue flags very well to get through the traffic and generally this has been a very good race for us.”

Lucas di Grassi: “Today we had a race with a lot of problems. From the start we lost a few places and in the end I was forced to retire with a mechanical problem with just one lap to go. A race to put behind us and move on to something better in Singapore. I’m looking forward to a stronger weekend there where we have an upgrade to the car.”

Sebastian Vettel: “Our strategy was a risk today – if it works then you’re the king and if it doesn’t you can be the idiot! Fortunately it worked and the team did a great job. I had a bad start and lost a lot of ground. It was difficult to pass from there, as unfortunately we don’t have extra speed on the straights, so we had to fight in the corners as well as we could. Then around lap 20 something happened to the car, I don’t know what it was, maybe there was some friction in the car, but fortunately the problem solved itself. In the meantime though, I lost connection to the group ahead and the tow, so around three to four seconds. I had to come back from there and it was a tough fight. The cars ahead pitted, so I stayed out as we tried to overshoot them. We were watching the lap times throughout and in the end it worked. So, some good points and we achieved our maximum today, which was fourth place.”

Mark Webber: “We could have got more points today, so it’s a bit disappointing, but at least we got some. We lost out on the start and the first lap. I lost a lot of time behind Nico Hulkenberg, he seemed to spend every second lap going through the chicane, but the stewards left him alone which was frustrating. I got him in the end, but I lost a lot of time. I’ve had a better day than Lewis Hamilton and got more points, but Fernando Alonso won the race. It’s good to get some points, but you always want a bit more. It could have been worse for us today.”

Sakon Yamamoto: “The first thing I would say that I was very worried about the incident in the pit-lane. I asked if he was okay and I was told that he was not badly injured. Apart from that, we had a good pace on the first stint to keep up the other competitors. I kept concentrating during the race and I tried to do the best for the team and we were able to finish another race, so this is good.”

Bruno Senna: “It was a bit of a shame to have a mechanical failure in the car, because I had a strong race. But now we just have to keep working as hard as always and Iā€™m already looking forward to the next race in Singapore.”

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