2010 Singapore GP, race: Team quotes 

Written by David on September 26th, 2010 at 7:21 pmLast Update: September 26th, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Peter Sauber: “Everything went against us today. We shall quickly leave that behind us and concentrate on Kamui’s home race in Suzuka, which is important for our team.”

James Key: “It’s ultimately a shame not to finish. Our drivers had a split strategy to make use of the relative positions they were in. So we started Nick on the prime tyres, and Kamui was on the option compound from qualifying. With the very early safety car period we had to decide whether to pit Kamui or leave him out, and, like the guys around us, we decided to leave him out. Kamui got stuck behind Michael Schumacher, who was really slow and that cost Kamui an awful lot of lap time. Once he got passed Michael, Kamui had to push to the limit to get a gap to the cars behind him and to make the strategy work. Unfortunately in pushing he had an off, and that was the end of his race. Nick had a problem with his front wing and a puncture after a first lap incident, so we had to bring him in and give him the option tyres to catch up on. He then came in again during the second safety car period, and we put him on prime tyres, which would have taken him to the end. But then there was a racing incident which unfortunately saw him pushed out when he was the car in front.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Jenson drove an impressively solid race to bag 12 valuable world championship points, and was unlucky to miss out on a podium finish so narrowly. Lewis, too, drove a great race. We reckon he has good reason to consider himself rather unlucky, since he appeared to have pulled off a sound overtaking manoeuvre only to be bumped out of the race by the car he’d passed. But I guess that’s motor racing. He’s disappointed – we’re all disappointed – but we’ll regroup and continue to fight for both the drivers’ world championship and the constructors’ world championship. There are four grands prix left to run – four grands prix left to win in fact – and both our drivers are within a win of the drivers’ world championship lead. So, yes, we’re still within striking distance of taking both the drivers’ world championship and the constructors’ world championship, and that’s what we’re still intending to do our utmost to achieve. That’s what Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is all about, in fact.”

Franz Tost: “Unfortunately, on his laps to the grid, we noticed there was a water leak on Jaime’s car and as we were unable to fix it before the pit lane closed, he had to start from the pits. This was a shame, as it meant he was unable to make the most of his best qualifying performance of the season, which had seen him secure eleventh place on the grid. After that, he drove a good race. As for Sebastien, on the opening lap, he told us he thought he might have a problem with the front wing, after making contact with another car. Therefore, we called him in during the first Safety Car period, changing his tyres and the nose section. Later on, he was unable to get past Petrov, so we decided to bring him in again for fresh tyres, after which he passed his team-mate. He was still unable to catch Petrov and when Kubica, on fresh tyres passed both our cars, we again brought Buemi in for new tyres, in the hope this would give him a performance advantage, but the strategy did not work. Overall, we should have got a better result, as the car had performed well throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, this evening a variety of circumstances kept us out of the points positions.”

Colin Kolles: “It was an unlucky weekend because we did not finish the race. As we knew that a lot of things could have happened on this track, we were in a good position after deciding to have an early pit-stop during the first safety car period. One car crashed in an unfortunate situation, and the other one had a hydraulic failure on the same lap. Now we have to look forward and think of Japan, which I think is one of the best tracks.”

Ross Brawn: “We had a small grid advantage starting from the clean side and Nico was able to make up a place which was good. We then stayed out under the first safety car when almost every car behind us came in which made us a little vulnerable but I was very pleased with our pace which enabled us to control the situation. Nico drove an excellent race today with a competitive performance that saw him pushing the McLaren-Mercedes at various stages. Michael had a more eventful race and whilst it didn’t quite go his way today, he persevered to the end of the race. It was a very good team effort to improve the car over the course of the weekend and another well-deserved points finish.”

Norbert Haug: “Nico drove a very clever race and brought home the best result we could have achieved under our existing circumstances. Michael had an action-packed first night race in Singapore but he kept going which speaks for him and his car, posting some competitive lap times after his second stop for a new nose. Thank you to everybody in the team for the hard work that was done here in difficult conditions when working in the garage was like being in a sauna at times. Singapore is one of the very best places to stage a race and on behalf of Mercedes-Benz, I would like to give our compliments to the organisers who have built up a benchmark race in a very short period of time. Our learning process is taking our team in the right direction and I am sure that we will have a better car and results next season. We are looking forward to the last four races and everyone will work very hard so that our team and drivers can compete with the leaders in the seasons to come.”

Vijay Mallya: “We knew Singapore wouldn’t suit us as much as other tracks but we got the best outcome we could today. We got back in the points again – every single one counts at this stage in the championship. Adrian drove a great race, keeping a whole stream of cars behind him on very used tyres, and deserved his eighth position. Unfortunately Tonio retired early on after a racing incident. Given how qualifying went yesterday, to get one points finish is satisfying and we can now move onto the circuits that should work more to our advantage.”

Eric Boullier: “Overall, it’s a disappointing and frustrating result because we scored very few points, while our nearest rivals Mercedes did a better job than us and stretched their lead today. Robert’s puncture forced him to make an extra pit stop, and he drove superbly to fight back to seventh: it was the highlight of the race to see him make up six positions in nine laps. As for Vitaly, his race was compromised by a very ambitious manoeuvre from Hülkenberg, which cost him three places and some valuable points. We now must look forward to Suzuka and hope for a better level of performance across the weekend.”

Alan Permane: “It was a pretty exciting afternoon – but we’d have preferred a more boring race and more points. Our car didn’t have the pace to stay with Rosberg today, and it was hard to do anything creative with the strategy when everybody was making just one stop. Robert was headed for a sixth- place finish before his puncture, and he then did an excellent job to climb back up the order. We stopped Vitaly under the first Safety Car on lap three, and he was in a very good position when he tangled with Hülkenberg. That cost him a guaranteed points finish.”

Remi Taffin: “It was a tough race for both cars. Robert and Vitaly both made very competitive starts and were in good positions in the opening stages, but we ultimately lost ground to our main rival in the championship. For the engines, it was a very easy race: the temperatures were well under control, and we had no problems to push all the way through. It was the second race for both engines and, as per our plan, these units will not be raced again.”

Tony Fernandes: “The race tonight marks a major step forward for us. On the pitwall we were talking about beating Michael and Buemi in a straight fight on track, and we told Heikki to take the fight to them – not to take the conservative approach. If we’d taken the safer option maybe Heikki wouldn’t have hit Buemi, but we’re here to race, and that’s what I mean about a big step forward. This is all part of our learning curve, but coming here and racing the Toro Rossos and Mercedes at the end of a pretty hardcore race is a sign of how far we’ve come. We’ll take all these lessons into next year, and it can only help us be an even more potent force in 2011.”

Mike Gascoyne: “It was a very eventful race and a real shame at the end to see Heikki’s race brought to an end with the fire. Both cars made a great start and got themselves in front of the Virgins which is obviously what we wanted to do. We stopped them both during the first safety car lap, which seemed to be the right call, and the pitcrew did a great job to get them both turned around as quickly as they did. Unfortunately Jarno then picked up a puncture from some debris on track and then a hydraulics problem brought his race to an end. We tried to get him back out, but after having done so the problems started again straight away so he had to come back in. Heikki clearly had a pretty dramatic race. When the fire started he made the decision not to come into the pitlane for safety reasons, and did very well to put the fire out himself. Until that point he was having a fantastic race and we were looking forward to fighting with Michael and Buemi right to the end, but unfortunately the fire put paid to that. The main thing really is to say thanks to him for being brave enough to put it out, and be thankful that he’s fine after what was a pretty spectacular end to his race. After such a good race performance from him and the whole team, we will take some real positives from this weekend, and look forward to the last four races.”

John Booth: “Well done to Lucas who had a solid run to the flag to be the leading finisher for the new teams. He also set the fastest lap of the new teams. We tried a different strategy with Timo, starting on the Prime tyre and staying out during the first safety car. He had a good battle with the midfield cars early on, but was unlucky with the timing of the second safety car. Unfortunately he suffered a hydraulic problem towards the end of the race. Overall though it has been a positive weekend and once again the teamwork has been great.”

Sam Michael: “It was a good points score from both cars today. Rubens start was poor so he lost two positions immediately. Nico had a great start and first lap. Then on the first Safety Car we decided to split the cars on strategy and it worked out for both of them. Nico did well to score points from his grid position. FW32 has been progressively stronger, and we intend to continue the trend in Suzuka.”

Christian Horner: “First of all a fantastic team performance to get a double podium with second and third. Both drivers drove excellent races today. We took a bold decision with Mark early on to stop him behind the pace car, which meant going a long way on the prime tyre. He managed to make it work by making some great passing moves and he had great pace. The incident with Lewis Hamilton was a racing incident. It seemed to be caused by a back-marker who cost Mark a lot of time and enabled Lewis to get a run. He squeezed Mark too much, so Mark didn’t have anywhere to go through the corner and there was contact. Sebastian made a good start and harried Fernando for pretty much two hours. It’s very, very hard to overtake here in Singapore and he gave it his absolute best. We were going for the undercut, but unfortunately Ferrari covered us, which meant we had to overtake on-track. Sebastian continued to push Fernando all the way to the chequered flag. It’s a great team result on one of the hardest circuits on the calendar and we’ve extended our lead in the Constructors’ Championship and Mark has extended his lead in the Drivers’, with Sebastian closing in also. It’s a positive weekend and congratulations to the team who have put in endless hours at the circuit and a lot of hard work at the factory.”

Fabrice Lom: “An excellent result and a very good recovery from yesterday. Our strategists again did a very good job by choosing to stop Mark during the first safety car. It was a big risk, but was rewarded. Due to that and the big performance from Sebastian we got a second and third, which is very good for both Championships. Congratulations to the whole team, we are in very good shape for the last four races of the season.”

Stefano Domenicali: “This is an extraordinary result, which is down to an exceptional performance from Fernando, who once again proved what he is made of, in terms of driving ability and his mental attitude. The first and most important brick in this particular wall was put in place yesterday with pole position: if we had not started from the front, it would most likely have been impossible to overtake the Red Bull which proved to be so strong on track today, especially in the second half of the race. Qualifying was the key, this time in a negative way, to Felipe’s race also: ninth place is definitely not a result that matches his or the car’s potential, but starting last, it would have been hard to do better on a track where overtaking is very difficult. The team matched the performance of the driver, working perfectly in managing all the key moments and a major component of this victory is obviously down to everyone in Maranello, who gave their all to bring the F10 up to this level. As is traditional, I want to thank all our partners: the title sponsor Marlboro, Santander and the technical partners, first and foremost Shell, although I would actually like to name all of them. I am not the sort to feel defeated in difficult moments, but all the same I am delighted when we have happy ones like this. We have picked up two very nice wins in a row on tracks with completely different characteristics, but we are still behind in both championships: we must continue to work like this, if at all possible, multiplying our efforts to try and fight all the way to the finish. The maths will be done only at the end, on 14th November in Abu Dhabi.”

Chris Dyer: “A fantastic result thanks to an incredible performance from Fernando, first yesterday in qualifying and then today in the race. Honestly, I do not think we had an advantage in terms of performance over our rivals, but at least they did not seem to have enough of one to be able to overtake us comfortably. We had to get a clean start, doing quick laps when necessary, choosing the right moment for the pit stop and being ready to manage any eventual Safety Car periods: a lot of elements to put together to get the win and that’s how it turned out, with no mistakes made. All of this is also thanks to a team that worked very well, making the most of the potential of the car. As for Felipe, clearly he had to gamble on a Safety Car, given his grid position. Unfortunately, that did not work out well, because the race was neutralised too early: a few more laps and it would have been another story for him: all the same, a points finish is a good result, given the outlook at the start.”

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