2010 Spanish GP, race: Team quotes 

Written by David on May 09th, 2010 at 6:36 pmLast Update: May 09th, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Sam Michael: “That was a good recovery after yesterday’s qualifying. Both cars had great starts and Rubens put in an awesome first lap to make up more places. Rubens’ race pace was strong up until the final few laps for which we had to slow him down to ensure we didn’t have a problem with the tyres. We’ll be looking into that for the next race. Nico drove a good first stint, but unfortunately damaged the car after his pitstop which caused a loss of downforce. Our focus now moves on to Monaco.”

Vijay Mallya: “It’s been a positive race for Force India as we’ve added to our total and made it points from four out of five races so far this year. This was one of our aims; to be consistent and score in as many races as possible. Adrian had a faultless race and kept calm under a lot of pressure from our closest rivals, Renault, and he thoroughly deserved those points. For Tonio the weekend has been difficult from the start, but he did as much as he could from his starting position. He’ll move onto Monaco, where he has a great record, hungry to get back into the points. There’s only a week to go now and everything to look forward to.”

Franz Tost: “I am glad that, on their F1 debut with our team, we were able to give our new sponsor, Money Service Group their first point in the sport, although clearly, in the early stages we looked like bringing home more than that. Once again, Jaime did a fantastic job, moving up to ninth after the start. Unfortunately, there was an error at his pit stop when the front left wheel nut got stuck. This meant he dropped a couple of places. Then he was given a drive-through penalty after he collided with Chandok as he was lapping the Hispania car. He put in some really good lap times and was one of the fastest in the closing stages and it was good to get another point. As for Sebastien, once again he was involved in a collision, this time with De La Rosa. He had to come in for a nose change and later, he too got a drive-through penalty for dangerous driving out of the pit and finally he had to retire with a hydraulic problem, which we must now investigate. However, I am convinced he will get a good race result soon.”

Mike Gascoyne: “It was a bit of a disappointing afternoon because we had a difficult race where we weren’t really able to show our true pace. We had a gearbox problem on the grid with Heikki, which was caused by a procedural issue, not a reliability problem. That’s frustrating as I think he would have had a strong race. Jarno made a great start, he had some contact going down into the first corner and throughout the race was struggling with the rear of the car. It was difficult for him in traffic, but he did a good job to bring the car home and get his first real race finish. Now we’ll just have to go to Monaco next week and show what we know we can do.”

Tony Fernandes: “It was a good day at the office today – disappointing for Heikki but on the positive side the reliability looks good and we had no hydraulic issues at all. We continue to have at least one car finish ahead of all the other new teams which has always been one of the goals and we learnt a lot again today. It’s a shame Heikki wasn’t there as it makes a big difference when we only have one car on track – both of them can help push us further ahead. We’re all now looking forward to Monte Carlo and Turkey where we’ll have all our upgrades together on both cars and build on the performance we put in during qualifying here.”

Peter Sauber: “Looking back to the race weekend, it was positive we improved the performance of the car which enabled Kamui to make it to the top ten in qualifying. And finally he was able to finish his first race this season. Unfortunately it was compromised on lap one when he was hit from behind. The same applies to Pedro, who was touched also from behind by another competitor, destroying not only the tyre but, as a result, also the floor of the car and this forced him to retire.”

James Key: “Obviously it is disappointing not to score some points today, because this was clearly possible. Both drivers got away at the start but Pedro’s car was hit from behind which gave him a puncture. He came into the pits and changed his tyres. But out on the track again he reported a lot of oversteer. We looked into the data and decided to call him in, because there was too much damage to the floor. Kamui made a good start, but was also tapped from behind in turn three and lost several positions. From then on it was about recovering as much as possible, but he was held up by the drivers in front of him. It’s difficult to overtake in Barcelona. He drove an excellent race and got a finish for the car which was important for us. The car was very reliable throughout the race. Unfortunately he could have finished higher, as the pace was definitely good enough to be in the top ten.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “For Lewis, it was just one of those days. He drove brilliantly – an impressively disciplined yet excitingly combative performance – and posted the fastest lap of the race, nearly half a second quicker than the next-best lap, on his way to what would have been a richly deserved second place had he not been forced to retire within spitting distance of the chequered flag. We’ll now gather up the parts, take them back to the McLaren Technology Centre, and then analyse them meticulously – so, until we’ve done that, we won’t really be able to make any definitive statements about what we think it was that caused the problem at the left-front corner of his car. Jenson drove a very good race too, but was hampered early on by a dash display failure that prevented him from being able to follow our normal launch procedure during his pitstop. As a result he was slowed by wheelspin which allowed Michael to slip ahead of him. Thereafter he wasn’t quite able to overtake, despite clearly having the potential to lap faster than Michael had he had a clear track in front of him. Naturally enough, all of us at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes feel a little disappointed to have lost 18 world championship points at the 11th hour today, but there are nonetheless a lot of positives we can take from the weekend. We showed strong race pace today, we’re still leading both the drivers’ world championship and the constructors’ world championship, and the next grand prix is at Monaco, which McLaren has won no fewer than 15 times – significantly more than any other team in Formula 1 history. We’ll be racing on the famous streets of the Principality in just a few days’ time, and you can be well sure that we’ll be doing everything in our power to add to our win tally there.”

Ross Brawn: “Well done to Michael and the team for their hard work today. Michael has driven extremely well all weekend to continue the progress that he made over the first three races of the season and achieve his best finish with our team. Nico has had a more difficult time and we will look closely into the reasons why he has struggled this weekend. Although we have made a step forward with the performance of our car, the evidence shows that our competitors have also improved and our step is not enough to enable us to compete where we would like to be. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us and I remain confident that we have the ability and resources to close the gap, but it will be a tough fight.”

Norbert Haug: “Michael’s fourth place is the best result that we could have achieved today. He posted a remarkable drive with very committed overtaking and then keeping the reigning World Champion and current points leader Jenson Button behind him. Our speed was not good enough however to compete at the front in qualifying or the race. Nico was compromised on lap one by the manoeuvres of a competitor which lost him four places. We will work hard to improve our speed and I am sure that we will achieve this step-by-step but certainly not overnight. I am happy for Michael and the team today and in five races, our best results per race have been P5, P5, P3, P3 and now P4. These results have been more or less the maximum we could have achieved which is pleasing but we are aware that winning is our target and not bringing home respectable places.”

Eric Boullier: “It was a tough afternoon for us and today’s race shows us once again that the key this year is to qualify well and have a good start: if you don’t, it’s very difficult to score points. Robert delivered another strong performance, although he was unlucky to touch Kobayashi on the opening lap. Without that, we think he could have gained a couple of positions compared to qualifying. As for Vitaly, I’m pleased that he has finished his first race in the dry and he now has some more valuable experience. He showed good pace which is encouraging for the future. He finished the day as the strongest rookie, but he’s aiming much higher than that. We know that if he can qualify strongly, he will do a very good job.”

Alan Permane: “We have come away with four points, but today’s result is still disappointing. Robert lost three places on the opening lap and, although we managed to get one back at the pit stop, he spent the rest of the race stuck in traffic. However he pushed hard all afternoon and the car showed good pace. Vitaly also had a solid race and did a strong job to finish 11th after starting 19th. It’s some more valuable experience for him in dry conditions, but it was always going to be difficult to finish in the points at a track where overtaking is so difficult.”

Stefano Domenicali: “Our aim today was to make the most of the package we had and we can claim to have succeeded in that. Fernando drove an amazing race, managing the car and tyres in the best way possible and this second place is just reward for all the hard work he has done, along with the team. Felipe got a great start and was always in a battle with Button and Schumacher, in a race that was always difficult for him: we have to work out how to make his car work the tyres better. Overall, we can be pleased with this result, given the situation in terms of different performance levels when compared to some of our rivals. However, as we are well aware, the races are long and difficult and only end at the chequered flag. We must continue to work on our performance because we have a significant gap to make up. We must continue to work on performance, because some of our rivals have shown they have made a bigger step forward than us.”

Chris Dyer: “A fantastic result for Fernando, while Felipe also drove a good race, after getting a great start. The team worked very well: perfect pit stops, no technical problems on either car. We knew it would be a very tough race for us, given the difference in performance to the Red Bulls that we had seen in qualifying. In the race we did not make any mistakes and in the end, we managed to profit from the problems of other drivers, which in fact illustrates that reliability remains the crucial factor if you want to reach your goals. Now we most concentrate on the next round in Monaco, a Grand Prix that is very special in every way.”

Remi Taffin: “It was a straightforward race without any problems, but unfortunately both Robert and Vitaly suffered at the start and were stuck behind slower drivers today. That made their races difficult because it’s almost impossible to overtake on this circuit. Overall we were quite pleased with our race pace, which was better than Mercedes, even though we finished behind one of them. It’s now up to us to make sure we perform well at the start of the race and in the opening laps.”

John Booth: “We were all really pleased to see both cars take the chequered flag today at the end of a long, hard road for us. We always knew that we would get past this milestone and although the past few weeks in particular have presented a difficult challenge, everyone in the team has worked tirelessly and kept the faith. We have two fantastic drivers and a great team around them and I would like to dedicate this important milestone to all of them.”

Nick Wirth: “To finally achieve our first two-car finish is a great reward for everyone involved with Virgin Racing. Firstly I would like to thank the race team for their incredible work this weekend. I must also recognise the considerable efforts of everyone back at Wirth Research and our suppliers, who have been working relentlessly since Shanghai to fix our transmission and hydraulic problems. It was a very encouraging debut for our new VR-01 and we are all looking forward to bringing more performance to the car in the forthcoming races. I should also pay due credit to our drivers Timo and Lucas, not only for solid determined drives in today’s race, but for their patience and crucial contribution over the past few weeks in particular.”

Colin Kolles: “I am disappointed that we didn’t finish our home race. It’s a real pity because both drivers had good starts. Bruno Senna had to stop on the opening lap despite a very strong start which moved him up to 17th from 21st on the grid. Karun Chandhok was similarly strong and had a very good pace but retired mid-race after contact with Alguersuari. At least, the performance was much better than in Qualifying yesterday. Now, we look ahead to next weekend and are determined to have a good result in Monaco.”

Christian Horner: “It was a fantastic race from Mark and a very commanding performance from him today. He has been sensationally quick all weekend and this was a fitting result. Sebastian had a much more eventful race. We had a right front wheel issue at the first stop that cost him a bit of time and unfortunately allowed Lewis to sneak past. Thereafter he was comfortable, but stuck in dirty air until a brake issue appeared with about fifteen laps to go. We made a pit stop for a precautionary look at the brake disc – we could see it was still there, but it was a bit damaged and then it was a question of managing the pace of the car until the end of the race. Sebastian did a good job of building in a big enough safety margin in the braking areas for it not to be an issue. Ultimately first and third is a great team result – one place off a maximum score. We’ve enjoyed a good step forward in our performance this weekend, which is credit to the effort put in by the whole team.”

Fabrice Lom: “A perfect weekend for Mark – he got pole position, was first to the first corner and then kept the lead, it was a very, very good race for him. He had no engine problems during the weekend, so we are proud of our achievement. It was a perfect weekend on his side of the garage. For Sebastian it was a bit more difficult, he lost out to Hamilton at the first pit stop, but was able to stay with him. Then unfortunately at one point he had a problem, but we managed it well and deserve the double podium. In terms of the Championship it is a very good result today. We’re happy and are ready to attack in Monaco, which starts in two days time.”

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