2011 British GP, Race: Team quotes 

Written by David on July 10th, 2011 at 7:35 pmLast Update: July 10th, 2011 at 7:35 pm

John Booth: “A good finish to the team’s home race weekend, not only with both cars finishing but also a clear positive in terms of an improvement in pace. Timo managed the 17th fastest lap in the race and Jerome pulled off a good overtaking move on Liuzzi in Copse, so both drivers are leaving the track on a positive note. The engineers coped well with the decision that had to be taken on the grid with the tyres and determined a good strategy. This was all helped with some good pit-stop work by the mechanics, including some late calls and coping well with both drivers stopping on the same lap. We’ve got a busy week ahead before the next race in Germany, with an aero test at RAF Cottesmore and also further rig tests. We are all looking forward to maintaining our current form at Timo’s home race.”

Franz Tost: “Another exciting race in general and also for Scuderia Toro Rosso in particular, because yet again we finished in the points, the sixth time from nine races this season and the fourth time in a row. It was also another good performance from Jaime. He had a fantastic race, building on a good start. In the final stages he caught up to Schumacher and came close to passing him on the last lap. Unfortunately, Sebastien’s race ended after a collision with Di Resta, which in my opinion was quite clearly the fault of the Force India driver, as he came up the inside and did not stop, destroying Buemi’s left rear tyre, which meant he had to retire at the side of the track. In race conditions, the STR 6 seems to work very well as it produced some excellent lap times. Overall the team did a good job, including the choice of strategies and we were competitive throughout the afternoon. All these positive factors mean we can look forward to the next round at the Nurburgring with confidence.”

Thierry Salvi: “After the excellent result we had in qualifying yesterday we were unfortunately unable translate that into a result today because of the mechanical issues we had on both cars. We were not lucky today and that meant it was a short race for us on both sides of the garage. However, I am sure we will find a solution for the problems and make sure we get both cars across the finish line at the next race.”

Mike Gascoyne: “That is obviously a disappointing end to what had been a very encouraging weekend for the team. It looks like Heikki suffered an electrical problem on his gearbox which caused him to lose fourth gear so we had to pull him in and retire him. It was definitely not a problem with the gearbox itself so we need to take a close look at what went wrong on our side and make sure it does not happen again. On Jarno’s car we instructed him to stop as he had an oil leak and lost pressure so we had to end his race early to ensure we did not damage the engine. Sometimes races end like this but we have been working very hard to minimise these sorts of problems, so we will regroup and come back stronger in Germany at the next race.”

Tony Fernandes: “That is such a shame. This weekend held huge promise for us after we had performed well on Friday, and especially well on Saturday, and in conditions like these we know both our drivers have the talent and experience to take whatever opportunities present themselves. We have worked very hard on improving the reliability of the cars throughout the season but you can never account for everything that might happen and unfortunately this just turned out to be one of those races that we have to move on from. Despite that, the whole weekend has been very encouraging, particularly for me seeing the huge support we have in the stands where there is a growing legion of fans wearing green and yellow, so now we will do our best to give them something to cheer for in Germany and Hungary before we head into the summer break.”

Sam Michael: “Our pace on the intermediate tyre wasn’t good enough today. Compared to some of the guys in the top ten, our lap times on the dry tyre were respectable, but we just lost too much time in the opening laps to be able to make up any ground. We ran different strategies on the two cars to attempt to do something different to recover but it wasn’t meant to be today. Pastor suffered some damage to his front wing and came home 14th, Rubens one place higher in P13.”

Colin Kolles: “The race for us was quite good because we had a good strategy and did good pit stops. Obviously our cars are not as quick as other cars; this is a little bit unfortunate. Otherwise we could show that we would’ve been much more competitive. The target was to finish the race with both cars, which we did, and both drivers could do some good lap times. Daniel was struggling a little bit with the rear tyres towards the end and therefore lost a little bit of ground on Tonio and the others. But, all in all, it was quite positive with no major dramas. Daniel did his laps and finished the race, his quickest lap time was quite a good one and the problem was that he was struggling with the tyres. He has to get used to the tyres obviously, this isn’t too easy when you’ve started just one race with new tyres and the others have already thousands of kilometres under their belts. This circuit was definitely not good for our car, there were difficult weather conditions, then there was the exhaust discussion which was not in our favour because we have a little bit of a different exhaust, so, all in all, this did not help but, in the end, it was positive because the team worked well and that is important.”

Ross Brawn: “This was a solid result for the team and a decent haul of points: after starting ninth and 13th respectively, Nico and Michael made good progress up the field. They had mixed fortunes at the start – Michael gained four positions, while Nico dropped three places as he lost out in the first few corners. Michael’s race was obviously spoiled by his collision and it carried a double penalty, as he did a slow lap to the pits and then had the stop-go penalty. However, after that he drove very well and climbed back from as low as 17th to score two points. Nico’s race was more straightforward, but we set him a real challenge asking him to go the end of the race from lap 30, and he did an extremely solid job to achieve that. This was the first race for this car specification, with new exhaust outlets and aerodynamic developments, and we had only an hour of dry running, mainly with one car, before qualifying. With that in mind, we can be encouraged by our performance today. One of our previous difficulties had been making the tyres last properly, but both drivers managed to run over 115km on a set of options this afternoon, which suggests we have made some good progress in this area.”

Norbert Haug: “The start of the race in partly damp conditions did not quite develop according to plan. Nico lost three places on lap one whereas Michael gained four. Taking into consideration that Nico completed the first lap in 12th, sixth place is a respectable result. We showed today that we could handle the tyres during a two-stop strategy, when most of the top ten finishers chose three stops. Michael had an eventful race, touching Kobayashi’s Sauber in the early stages, which forced him into the pits early for a nose change, and some laps later, a stop-go penalty. He then dropped back to 17th, so his recovery to ninth place was impressive. Well done to our team at one of our home races. We all will work very hard to further improve our package for our next home race at the Nürburgring in a fortnight.”

John Booth: “A good finish to the team’s home race weekend, not only with both cars finishing but also a clear positive in terms of an improvement in pace. Timo managed the 17th fastest lap in the race and Jerome pulled off a good overtaking move on Liuzzi in Copse, so both drivers are leaving the track on a positive note. The engineers coped well with the decision that had to be taken on the grid with the tyres and determined a good strategy. This was all helped with some good pit-stop work by the mechanics, including some late calls and coping well with both drivers stopping on the same lap. We’ve got a busy week ahead before the next race in Germany, with an aero test at RAF Cottesmore and also further rig tests. We are all looking forward to maintaining our current form at Timo’s home race.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “Our race pace was good today – but, even so, it was a difficult afternoon for us and ultimately therefore a disappointing result for the team and for all British race fans. Jenson drove an excellent race – combative yet disciplined – and I think he could well have bagged a podium finish had it not been for the pitstop mix-up that prematurely ended his race. Our pitcrew has done a fantastic job all year – but on this occasion they released Jenson before his right-front wheel had been properly attached. It was a case of human error in the heat of the moment – but, as I say, and as I want to stress the point, our pitcrew has completed dozens of faultless pitstops under extreme pressure this season and today’s error was therefore totally atypical. Lewis, too, delivered a very strong performance. We’d expected him to encounter more traffic in the first part of the race than he actually did – and, as a result, he used more fuel early on than we’d anticipated he would. That being the case, we had to ask him to drive with fuel conservation in mind in the final laps – which meant that he was forced to slow his pace and thereby allow Mark to pass and let Felipe catch up. The last lap of the race must have made for wonderful viewing for trackside spectators and TV audiences alike – and the fact that Lewis was able to cling on to fourth place ahead of Felipe, and score 12 valuable world championship points as a result, is I think a testament to his indefatigable competitiveness. The Santander British Grand Prix was a superb event – the grandstands were jam-packed and I’m glad to say that a large proportion of the fans who filled them were wearing rocket-red Vodafone McLaren Mercedes caps – but now we must turn our attention to another historic motorsport venue, the Nürburgring, which will this year host the German Grand Prix, the home race of our engine partner Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines. As ever, Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines has done a fantastic job this year – and, together, we intend to be fully competitive in Germany in two weeks’ time.”

Eric Boullier: “Firstly, it was good for Nick to recover from 16th on the grid to 8th position when he crossed the line, so the general feeling with his drive was quite positive because we had the right strategy with him. There is, however, a general sense of disappointment from this weekend because we did not have a good qualifying; we had our worst qualifying of the season here. This weekend we have not been able to reverse a poor period we are currently going through and we will continue to work hard to rectify this. We have some good developments coming, which unfortunately were not available for Silverstone but will be ready when we reach Nürburgring. These will take our performance forward, of that I am convinced.”

James Allison: We’ll accept eighth place having started from 16th, however, it’s not where we want to finish. Nick drove a strong race to get this result with a car that is clearly off the pace at the moment. It was also a good drive from Vitaly to finish 12th. We were in trouble on the intermediate tyres and everyone could see it. Once we were on slicks we made inroads into the other cars and although the pace was poor, it was better relative to the opposition than it had been in qualifying. We scored four points after what has been a disappointing weekend. We can now put this performance behind us, having not lost too much ground to the teams around us. Our focus is now on the succession of upgrades that will be implemented to the car from Nürburgring onwards. This should bring us back up where we ought to be.

Ricardo Penteado: “Not a bad race considering our starting positions. Nick made a great start from 16th, which really put him back in the race. The conditions were also pretty difficult and keeping track of the changing levels of grip was tricky, so 8th at the end is a good result. Vitaly only finished 1.5 seconds away from the points after a very strong start. Unfortunately he didn’t manage to keep his position after his first lap battle. It’s been a hard weekend but from the engine side everything worked very well and we now need to look to the Nürburgring where hopefully we can put a strong weekend performance together.”

Vijay Mallya: “Today simply was not our day. Despite the promise we showed yesterday, the events of the race compromised our strategies and made it very difficult to score points. To begin with things looked very good. Both Paul and Adrian were running strongly in the points and the car continued to perform well. Unfortunately things started to go wrong when we made a serious error on the pit wall. We called Paul in for his second scheduled stop, but at the same time Adrian came on the radio reporting a puncture. We tried to get Paul to stay out so that we could service Adrian’s car, but it was too late and Paul was already in the pit lane. That led to some confusion over the tyres being ready for Paul when he arrived at the garage and cost him a great deal of time. As for Adrian, he drove well, but lost out to the two-stoppers in the closing laps. It’s clear we need to regroup and come back stronger in Germany so that we can convert the pace of the car into points.”

Peter Sauber: “I am very happy with Sergio’s seventh place, so congratulations to him. It was a difficult race for him, as for almost the whole distance he had to follow Nico Rosberg. He had more speed, but it was not enough to overtake. As for Kamui’s race, the incident with Michael Schumacher was quite annoying. It was an unnecessary collision that cost Kamui his chances of a good finish.”

James Key: “It has been a decent result for us today. I think Sergio did a great job of controlling a race which was tricky in many ways with the adverse conditions to begin with, and then just a single tyre change onto the dry tyres. He was battling with Nico Rosberg for pretty much the whole race, sadly be couldn’t get through. His start wasn’t great, so he dropped back a bit, but he hauled that back with his pace and the strategy, which was a good effort by the whole team. It was a great shame for Kamui, as he was looking competitive, but then he had a coming together with a Mercedes. Then during his stop we had a problem which resulted in him being released later than originally planned and unfortunately there was an unintentional clash with a Williams. That took a huge amount of downforce away from his front wing and he was then unfortunately quite slow. Then he had a ten second drive through penalty and an engine oil issue, possibly due to the impact he had with the Mercedes, so we decided to retire him and not damage the engine. At the end of the day we have come away from a long weekend with points so thank you to the team.”

Stefano Domenicali: “Today is a wonderful day for all of Ferrari. Winning at such a famous circuit as Silverstone, with its rich and fascinating history, in front of an extraordinary crowd, is cause for great satisfaction. This result has been a long time coming but it’s definitely not down to any miracles. We reacted after a very difficult start to the season, working very hard with much determination, all of us, including those who no longer work with us. We were competitive all weekend long and in all conditions: it confirms that everything went the right way. Congratulations to Fernando who delivered an extraordinary performance throughout the weekend and to Felipe, who fought tooth and nail right to the very last lap. The engineers say that if you are quick at this track then you can be competitive at many of the tracks on which we have yet to race. I hope that’s really the case then! We don’t want to do any calculations regarding the championship. We must tackle each race as it comes with this same approach, without letup. This evening we can enjoy the moment, but as from tomorrow morning, we will turn our attention to the German Grand Prix.”

Pat Fry: “It’s very satisfying to get the first win of the season here, on a track that definitely did not suit us that well. Putting to one side the entire saga regarding exhaust gases, I think our performance today was mainly down to seeing the benefit of the improvements we have introduced race after race, especially here, where we had so many updates aimed at increasing performance on tracks that have these characteristics. For that, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard in Maranello over the past weeks to close the gap that was there at the start of the season. We were not particularly quick on the intermediates, but probably Fernando wanted to avoid pushing too hard in the opening laps in order to look after the tyres. We also had a few difficulties when we switched to the dry tyres because, as the track was still damp, they did not get up to temperature immediately, but after that our pace was very good. Again today our pit stops were very good and even this is an area where we introduced improvements that delivered results. Maybe we didn’t get the calls quite right when it came to Felipe’s strategy, leaving him out on track a few laps too long. Now we must continue working this way and turn up in Germany with a car that is even quicker.”

Christian Horner: “After a very interesting race that initially started very well for us on the intermediate tyres, second and third is still a very strong result at this circuit, considering everything that has gone on this weekend. Unfortunately we had a rear jack failure on Sebastian’s second pit stop, which cost him a lot of time in the pits and dropped him behind Fernando. Having said that, Fernando was very fast today, but at least we would have had the track position going into the latter stint. Having run second early on, Mark had an issue at his second pit stop, but he managed to re-pass Hamilton with a brave move into Turn six. In the closing laps and with the two cars going wheel to wheel, from a team point of view it made absolute sense to consolidate a big haul of points today and not risk having both cars in the fence, which nearly happened to Lewis and Felipe on the last corner. From a team point of view it’s been a very strong day – we gained 33 points and both drivers are now first and second in the Drivers’ Championship. On the exhaust issue, hopefully we have now achieved clarity on this and can draw a line under it going forward.”

Cyril Dumont: “All in all, it’s a pretty good result today. I would have loved for us to have finished first and second, but for the Constructors’ Championship, it was a good team result. Unfortunately we had a rear jack failure, which cost Sebastian some time, but I think we are in a good position and we will be ready for the German GP in two weeks time.”

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