2011 German GP, Race: Team quotes 

Written by David on July 24th, 2011 at 7:01 pmLast Update: July 24th, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Ross Brawn: “Things looked pretty good for us in the early stages of the race, with Nico running strongly in the top six, and he seemed set for a top six finish. However, the pace was not there in the third stint, which cost him a position. As for Michael, we believe that he braked on a damp patch on the way into turn 10, which caused him to spin. After that, he drove a strong recovery to finish less than ten seconds behind Nico. We saw some good racing all through the field today, with our drivers involved in plenty of it, and scored a few more important points for our Championship position.”

Norbert Haug: “At least we scored points today with seventh and eighth positions for Nico and Michael. Our race speed was somewhat compromised as both Nico and Michael needed to save fuel for quite a long period of time. At the beginning of the race, our speed looked better relative to the pace of the top three teams than it did from one-third distance onwards.”

Thierry Salvi: “From the engine perspective I think we are pretty pleased. The feedback we have had from the drivers has been good – we wanted to maximise the driveability of the engine, especially in the wet conditions, and according to the data we amassed we managed to achieve that. Karun did a good job in very tough conditions – it is not easy to jump straight into the car and be able to extract maximum performance, but he adapted well to the strategies we gave him and has definitely taken a lot on board.”

Mike Gascoyne: “Good to get both cars home over the line. Heikki had good pace, particularly on the options and he was able to keep up with the cars ahead throughout most of the race. Karun acquitted himself pretty well, despite having a couple of moments he got on with the job and has definitely learnt a lot from his time in the car here this weekend. The whole team has worked very hard to make sure we could have a two car finish, so well done to them and now we can move straight on to Hungary where the aim will be the same – progress little by little and keep moving forward.”

Tony Fernandes: “The main aim today was to bring two cars home and to make sure Karun could learn as much as possible over a full race distance. It is good that he finished the full 60 laps and showed some reasonable pace and I am very pleased with Heikki’s speed on the options – we obviously have a lot of work to do but this is another platform to build on, so overall I am pretty happy.”

Franz Tost: “The Nurburgring does not seem to be a Toro Rosso track. Yesterday, we had a problem with Sebastien, when his post-qualifying fuel sample did not match the one supplied to the FIA, as it got contaminated when we changed the fuel pressure system after it caused problems on Friday. This meant he had to start from the back of the grid. However, he made a good start, moving up six places on the opening lap to be eighteenth. Then he had an incident with Heidfeld, which punctured his right rear tyre, so he had to pit, which forced us to change his strategy. From then on, he was always running around position 15 where he eventually finished the race. Adding to his difficulties, his car had been set up yesterday in anticipation of a wet race, but unfortunately for him it stayed dry. Jaime drove a good race, with a reasonable start, making up two places in the opening moments to lie fourteenth. He defended well, producing good lap times, even on the Prime tyre, moving up to twelfth at the flag, which was the best we could hope for.”

Colin Kolles: “Of course I would have preferred a two car finish. Tonio had a good race despite brake problems at the start, but was able to maintain a good distance to Heikki Kovalainen. He retired just before two-thirds distance because of an electrical failure. It was a real pity because the team had taken all precautions during the weekend and had a good pace in the race. The pit stops went smoothly. On a positive note, Daniel has completed his second solid race in a row. He is making good progress”.

Peter Sauber: “Looking at where we started from, we can be pleased with this result. Both drivers put in strong races, and the team was rewarded with two championship points.”

James Key: “It hasn’t really been our weekend, but it’s great to salvage some points from the race. Kamui drove an excellent race, made the most of his tyres and quite tricky track conditions at the start, controlled it well and was able to defend his position against Vitaly Petrov. I think P9 was good. Sergio was pretty competitive as well. Unfortunately he had a spin in the opening laps of the race which put him behind. He did a lot of laps on the soft tyres and made them count, so he finished 11th just outside the points. Overall it’s good to salvage something, but we have a bit of work to do for the next events just to get back on top of our performance again.”

Vijay Mallya: “Today has been a wonderful team performance and I’m delighted to see Adrian finish in sixth place – a result that everybody has been working hard to achieve. We have been a bit unlucky in the last few races, but today we demonstrated the true pace of the car and delivered the result to match it. The only frustration is that Paul was the unfortunate victim of a first lap accident with Heidfeld. Without this, I’m sure we could have had both Force Indias finish in the points. Even so, we welcome the eight points scored today – points that are important for our championship position and move us ahead of Toro Rosso.”

John Booth: “This is a great way to end Timo’s home race weekend. After announcing a new long-term contract with him this morning, the day ended in a positive way as we achieved another double finish. We knew that the Option tyres would work better, which is why we completed most of the race with them and waited until the very end to use the Primes. Jerome struggled at the start of the race but after the first pit-stop found his way when the fuel load lightened and came back at Ricciardo, overtaking him in the second stint. We had a small issue with Timo’s braking system towards the end of the race and this slowed his pace. Overall, a pleasing result with the team working well under pressure. We now complete a quick turnaround and travel over to Hungary for what we hope will be another good weekend.”

Eric Boullier: “Obviously this is a disappointing day for us. We had a reasonable qualifying yesterday, which was definitely a step forward from Silverstone, and we were looking to launch a strong assault on the points today from P9 and P11. Firstly, Nick was unlucky; after falling back to 22nd position he was ploughing his way through the field and, by the time he moved into 16th place, he was trying to overtake Sebastien (Buemi) but ran out of room and went off-track which cut his race short. Vitaly also had a tough race but stuck it out with a determined drive to come home in P10. We are looking to finish much stronger than we did today but, having said that, one point is better than none and we must now look at how we improve in time for Budapest.”

James Allison: “A disappointing race with Nick out early after a start which meant a very difficult race in any case and Vitaly scoring a point but achieving less than we thought possible and hoped for. It was not really where we hoped to be at the end of the weekend so we have to keep our noses to the grindstone and make the car quicker as that’s what will bring the points. There are a couple of minor revisions to the R31 for Budapest but we have greater changes for the races which follow.”

Ricardo Penteado: “Getting the right engine settings for the Nürburgring can be tricky on account of the changeable track and ambient conditions. We got a decent balance today and Vitaly drove a good race to score another point, which is very important to keep us in touch with Mercedes in the constructors’ championship. Nick could have scored a good amount of points as well so the accident with Buemi was really unfortunate. We’ve got the Hungaroring in just a week though, which places very different demands on the engine, so we’re going to put all our efforts into this to finish the first part of the season on a high.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “What can I say? Lewis was perfect in qualifying, and perfect in the race, and the result was perfect too. He made a brilliant start from the front row, storming past Mark [Webber] into the lead, and then nailed the first few laps. After that, the team made all the right strategy calls, and the pitcrew executed the pitstops faultlessly, under extreme pressure. It was a gripping race, real edge-of-the-seat stuff, with all three teams involved operating at the top of their form. When that happens, the victory is particularly hard-won – and mighty satisfying too. Believe me, this success will be celebrated loud and long in Nürburgring and Woking tonight – and in Brixworth and Stuttgart too, homes of Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines, whose home Grand Prix this is. As always, their engine was superb today. Jenson had a difficult weekend, however, and his race ended prematurely today as a result of a hydraulic failure. He’ll be disappointed, inevitably, but he’s a magnificent team player, and a fabulous driver, and I’m sure he’ll bounce back in Budapest next weekend. As for Lewis, well, I reckon his 16th Grand Prix victory was one of his very best: a scintillatingly authoritative performance that all too clearly underlines what a fearsomely competitive individual he is.”

Sam Michael: “Unfortunately Rubens was out early with an engine oil leak today; we are still investigating the cause. On Pastor’s car we called an early first pitstop that moved him right up the order, however we then had too much tyre wear during the second stint, so it may have hurt the race outcome later on. Once we had that tyre wear we decided to risk doing a longer final stint on the prime tyre and that went against us today.”

Christian Horner: “A fascinating race – obviously three and four from one and three on the grid isn’t really the result we were looking for, but its still a lot of points for both drivers. We got Mark into the lead at the first pit-stop with the undercut, but unfortunately on the second stop the undercut didn’t prove as powerful as we hoped and he dropped back to third. We looked at going longer on the last stint, but ultimately P3 was as much as we could achieve at the end. Sebastian had a spin early on and flat spotted the tyres quite badly, so we went as far as we dare with him and then he spent a lot of the race looking at Massa’s gearbox. It all came down to a race in the pit lane and our boys did a phenomenal job, nailed a fantastic pit stop and leap-frogged the Ferrari. There was a bit of excitement there and I think, as Sebastian said on the radio, he owns P4 to them today.”

Cyril Dumont: “It was a pretty difficult race – we didn’t have particularly good starts with either car and then Seb made a small mistake. It’s a shame not to finish higher, but we cannot win all the races, so to finish third and fourth, it’s not too bad overall and we still bought home a good haul of points for the Constructors’ Championship. I would like to congratulate all the guys that did the last pit stop, as they did a fantastic job to get the fourth place today.”

Stefano Domenicali: “A positive team result at the end of a great race, which was very exciting and in which both our drivers delivered a very good performance. The weather was the worst it could be for us and to have been in the fight for the win right to the end of the race is significant. We are working in the right direction and we have to continue like this, while realising we have to raise our performance level still further. I am sorry for Felipe, who lost a place at the very last pit stop: these things happen as we have seen so often this year down the length of the pit lane. Now, there are just a few hours to pause for breath before immediately turning our attention to the next round in Budapest, where we would like to confirm all the progress we have seen to date, while remaining well aware that we are up some very strong opposition. It’s not by chance that Fernando has scored more points in the last three races than any other driver and the team has done best in the last two. It means we are pushing as hard as possible and we believe in what we are doing, without ever giving up in our efforts.”

Pat Fry: “I think it was clear to see that even on a track like this one and with the worst possible weather for us, we confirmed the progress first seen in the races immediately preceding this one. We knew that, with the cold, and it definitely was cold today, we struggled a bit more than the others to get our tyres up to temperature, with both the Prime and the Option, as could also be seen yesterday in qualifying. Our race pace was very good, but we must consider that today, even with the DRS, overtaking was very difficult: it’s not by chance that it was actually easier to overtake at the first corner than in the zone where you could use the moveable wing. We must make a further step forward, but it’s a fact that the top three teams are much closer now than at the start of the season. Fernando and Felipe both drove great races. The Brazilian lost time at the start behind a Mercedes, which are very quick in a straight line and then he lost a well deserved fourth place at the final pit stop. A shame, but we know we must work a lot on certain aspects of the car like the wheel nut, which has given us problems this season. In Budapest, we can expect a tough race, but we will tackle it in the same spirit that has marked these last few weekends at the race track: we want to fight for the top places.”

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