Turkish GP: Sunday Press Conference and Quotes
1 - Sebastian VETTEL (Red Bull Racing)
2 - Mark WEBBER (Red Bull Racing)
3 - Fernando ALONSO (Ferrari)
Q: Sebastian, today most drivers needed to use Plan B but it all seemed to go very much to plan for you today.
Sebastian VETTEL: Yeah, I think we had a smooth race. Obviously a very good start which was crucial and then I was able to pull a gap, right at the first stint, which was important as we could then afford to stay out a lap longer, wait to see what the others are doing in terms of strategy and just react. We always had this three, four to eight-second cushion to the second guy and it makes my life easier, easier to find out which strategy really works. All in all I am very happy. We lacked the Friday. I had an accident on Friday and crashed the car badly and all the guys, not only the guys around my car but Mark's guys, helped a lot and together they fixed the car. It meant some extra hours for them which I am sorry for but I think yesterday and today makes up for it. I am very pleased with the result and big thanks to the team.
Q: Talk us through briefly your own tactics. It seemed you had to be quite fluid today?
Vettel: Yeah, it wasn't easy from the start to know what is going to happen. Of course you have a rough ideas about tires and how long they will last but you really have to wait the first and maybe the second stint to see this is the trend, this is the way we are going. In the end, I think I could have afforded to stay out on my first set of prime, but you have to be in a position for whatever comes. I could have made it easily to the checkered flag, which gives us the pit-stop, around 15-20 seconds, but then again, if something happens or an accident elsewhere and a safety car comes out and obviously you are on a used tire. I think it was the right thing to come in another time, even though it was just a very short fourth stint after the third stop. It was very much in control. I am very happy with how we communicated during the race and how we reacted so very, very pleased and I think since China we have definitely made a step forward. We have learned our lesson and we have to make sure that we keep this momentum into the next couple of races.
Q: Mark, an eventful race for you. You lost ground at the start and then again to Fernando during the race. How did you make your comeback?
Mark WEBBER: Yeah, it was eventful wasn't it. The start wasn't that easy out of that side of the grid, which we probably expected a little bit. But it is not the end of the world as we have seen the last race starting 18th, it doesn't really matter if you are on the dirty side or whatever, even if you're at the front. I spent a few laps trying to clear Nico (Rosberg), which is obviously not ideal and Seb got a bit of a gap. I was then a little bit on the back foot from there. I cleared Nico and the guys pitted me a bit earlier than I expected, as I knew that the undercuts were coming into play and clearly there was a gap for us to come into. That's the way it went. We made our bed in terms of our strategy from then on. The fight with Fernando in the middle of the race was a little bit unexpected. He drove fantastic today. It was a good fight. Both of us used the DRS to get the moves done, so that was part of it, but the tires play a huge role. In the end I had a fresher set of tires from qualifying and got the job done on Fernando and that was it really. Congratulations to Seb: another victory. He is on a roll obviously but this is the maximum I could get today.
Q: There were a lot of multiple phase overtakes today, passes lasting several corners. What was that like?
Webber: I just think it is the way the circuit is on that last sector there. You try to get into the braking for 12 and then the guys can either run round the outside at 13 and then you have to try and have the rhythm or the line correct even to open the next lap. That is the reason why it is like that around here.
Q: Fernando, you were second for quite a bit of the race. Third at the end but you must be pleased with the pace of Ferrari today?
Fernando ALONSO: Yeah, absolutely. We did a good weekend overall. The car performed a bit better than what we did in the first three races of the championship. Finally we enjoy racing again and we enjoy a race fighting for the podium positions and as you said changing second and third position through the race. Finally we enjoy racing again.
Q: Tell us about the pass on Mark and where he got you back
Alonso: As Mark said we lost a little bit of time behind Rosberg at the beginning of the race, so we forgot anymore the possibility to fight with Sebastian for P1, so we concentrated on P2. I had a little advantage in terms of tire degradation maybe at that part of the race compared to Mark and as Mark said we used the DRS and I was able to overtake him. Then, in the last part of the race, it was more or less the opposite. We had maybe a little bit of a disadvantage with tire degradation and we lost the position again but it was okay. I think fighting with Red Bull in these days is quite difficult and we were close so hopefully next time we will try again.
Q: Sebastian, you're opening up quite a nice lead in the championship now. You have 93 points.
Vettel: It is good to get as many points as you can every single race. But it is a long, long way and we saw how quickly things have changed last year especially with Fernando coming and going and coming and going and in the end it was very, very close. We have to really go step-by-step, see every race on its own and try to maximize our points. But a good start to the season always helps, but it is a long, long way to go. Four out of 19, so you can work out how many points there are still to get so we have to keep focused.
Q: Sebastian, three out of four wins and a second place. It has got to be the best start to the season hasn't it?
Vettel: Yeah, I think statistically you are right. Cannot really complain. A very good race today, very smooth and pretty much in control from the start to finish. It was a bit of a comfortable situation having Nico at the beginning behind me, at least for the first five laps, as I was able to open a gap maybe quicker than if Mark had been behind. Throughout the race I had this cushion and we were able to react rather than act, so very pleased. This one is for the guys, as I wrecked the car on Friday, but they got it back together and everyone played his role. Not only my mechanics, also Mark's mechanics helped a lot to fix the car and get ready for Saturday. I have to say, when I walked in on Saturday morning every little worry was gone immediately, as the mechanics gave me the impression that nothing happened, nothing is wrong and we will continue as usual. This helps a lot. People I see in the paddock, I see them from time-to-time, but people I see in the garage, I am working with them all year long and it means a lot if people that are close to you give you the impression there is nothing to worry about and they make you feel comfortable. It was a very good race and I am obviously very, very happy.
Q: It looked a comfortable race as well. It didn't look as though you had any dramas throughout. Was the car perfect as well?
Vettel: Especially the first two stints you have to really see where you are. The tires are tricky to handle. We saw today again different strategies with different people. It is never perfect as naturally the tires go away from you at some stage and you have to deal with that. I think there was nobody today with no tire wear. I think we expected this circuit to be extremely challenging, especially around turn eight it was very difficult to handle. But being in the lead and having this extra cushion plus we also had the pace in case we had to react. We never had someone really close behind which might be a completely different situation. The pace was good today and the car I was very happy with, even with the lack of practice on Friday. Starting the race it is a bit uncertain, you have to find your reference points, braking points as with higher fuel you do not know where they are. If I think about braking where I did yesterday in qualifying then I think I did that once. But that was not the target. A very good race and as I said straight after very much in control.
Q: Mark, tell us about the start, were your worst fears realized?
Webber: Yeah, it was, but no panic these days. It's a long race, last year's regulations and years before, when passing was very very difficult - yeah, you might be panicking a bit more but no huge panic. Good start from Nico and yeah, he was struggling in the first few laps. Obviously then Seb got the nice cushion and the gap and it's a bit like in tennis or squash, when you have the ball in control of what you want to do, Seb drove a great race and then when you're in control of the manipulation round the stops it's an accumulation of making life easier, so it worked out well for him today. I got the maximum I could, really. I would have not liked to have had the fight with Fernando earlier in the race, middle part but again, he drove a very good race and we had a little bit on there with Fernando using the DRS eventually to execute a move coming close to me. That was good and then at the end of the race I could come back. Obviously I had a slightly better set of tires than Fernando did which is very important these days. We know the tires are virtually everything and I arrived back on him and thankfully returned the favor. I was saying to myself 'I can't finish third having started eighteenth on the grid and then finished third having started on the front row.' So I needed to finish second, so thank God we did that. The guys did a great job all weekend, maximum result for the team, so we can't do much more than that as a team. Yeah, wasn't a bad car race, I think. I'll have a look at it on telly, see what it's like.
Q: Do you think you could have fought for the win if it hadn't have been for the gap at the start?
Webber: Would have been difficult to beat Seb today. It would have made it easier, of course. When you get that four or five second buffer, probably four seconds, Nico was doing his race and that's fair enough. Could have made a cleaner move initially then Nico got me back so in the end, the result is as it deserves to be, I think.
Q: Fernando, as James was saying in the unilateral, third place must feel good, after the previous races.
Alonso: Yeah, it feels good. Obviously we capitalized on the opportunity. I think we were in condition to be second, maybe, in Malaysia. I touched with Hamilton when I was passing him for third and then we had the opportunity to catch Button as well for second so we missed that opportunity and today we had another one and finally we did it. It was a good race from us, I think, a good weekend overall. Friday we had some issues but Saturday and Sunday were perfect for the team, for the strategy, for everything. So yeah, very, very happy with the result but this is only the first step. We want to win races and first we need to be on the podium as we were today and now we need to keep moving forward.
Q: Obviously you had two battles with Mark, one went your way, the next one didn't. Was it down to tire-wear that it didn't go your way right at the end?
Alonso: Yeah, I think that these days tires make a huge difference. Even with three or four laps on the tires you can feel the drop in performance so I think in the middle part of the race, when I overtook Mark, maybe my tires were in better condition, because I was comfortable at that part of the race. In the last part, I think Mark had a new set of prime tires and I didn't, and maybe that was enough to make a difference. We also saw cars performing a little bit better with hard tires, cars performing better with soft tires as well, so we need to see, try to analyze and anyway, fighting with Red Bull is not easy.
Q: Next race is in Spain, an important one obviously for your fans, what are your thoughts about that?
Alonso: Well, I think we need to keep working, keep understanding better this car, these tires, the problems that we may have in the factory. I think we need to keep in this direction for Barcelona, this improving course that it seems that we start here and this has to be only the first step of our recovery and in Barcelona there is much more to come from us, I'm sure.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Livio Oricchio - O Estado do S. Paulo) To both Red Bull drivers: what about the KERS performance in your car?
Vettel: I had no problems today. I think big compliments... for you maybe three weeks is a lot, for us, the drivers, it's maybe some time off, but for the team, they are working hard and today I had no problems from start to finish, so very, very happy.
Webber: Yeah, same for me with the exception of the last part of the race. I drove past Fernando, we had a little bit of an issue which we had to manage, but the KERS was very good today, the guys have done a great job.
Q: (Frederic Ferret - L'Equipe) Sebastian, do you feel you have any weakness now in your driving, in your team, in your car, and the same question for Mark, do you feel that there is somewhere that you can beat him?
Vettel: It is a long way to go and surely we've had a good start but I think that the day you start to think that you are unbeatable is the day you get beaten, for sure. We all try to win, obviously, and all try to be better than the other guys but I think there's always someone at some point who will teach you a lesson and will give you a very hard time and beat you. We are racing at the highest level. Of course, I am very happy with today and the start of the season, very happy with how we work together as a team and pull together in one direction but I think there's never any time to really rest and think that really everything is under control. You have a lot of guys, Mark and Fernando here, Lewis and Jenson, Nico was very quick yesterday. Obviously they lacked a little bit of pace today in the race, but surely I think you can see that we've had four races now but every single team has had their highs and lows, so I'm very happy, as I said, because we have been very competitive in all four races and very quick, but sometimes it was quite comfortable, like in Australia, in hindsight, but other times it was very, very close. I just want to remind you of Saturday in Malaysia where for us it was not clear to beat McLaren in qualifying. Yesterday Mercedes were very quick. Next race, I heard some rumors - I don't know if it's true - but many teams are bringing a lot of updates and that will be the story of the next couple of races. Everyone keeps pushing and you have to take everything you can at the time.
Webber: Yeah, Seb is on top of his game, he's had a good start to the season, no question about it, nearly the maximum so that's ideal for the rest of us, but it's up to us to do the best we can to try and bring this to a stop sooner rather than later. Every driver on the grid has weaknesses, some more than others but it's up to you to try and interrogate those sometimes when you can and that's what being in sport is all about. Seb's off to a great start, the team has done a good job.
Q: (Jaime Rodriguez - El Mundo) Fernando, do you feel that the car really has improved in comparison to other races, and what has been the main difference?
Alonso: Yeah, the car definitely feels much better now. We were more competitive yesterday in qualifying and more competitive today in the race than previous races. As I said yesterday, being in front of Button was a surprise for us, to have one McLaren behind and to be half a minute in front of them today is another surprise, so the car is definitely doing something better than what it did in the first three races. From the driver's points of view, difficult to feel this improvement, you just feel that the car is quicker, more grip overall, but as I said before, this is not enough, we cannot be happy with fifth in qualifying and third in the race, so we are going in the right direction but this is only the first step.
Q: (Paolo Ianieri - La Gazzetta dello Sport) Question to all three of you: do you think that the tires are having too great an influence? Today almost everybody had four pit stops. Is it not just too much, too confusing, also making it too easy to overtake?
Alonso: I think it's what people asked for last year. I think we saw two stops in Canada, people enjoyed that race. People, fans, journalists: everyone was asking for more of a show, for more pit stops, more fun and now we have all of that, so now if people are still not happy, we need to see what they want.
Vettel: The only thing which I think is a bit tricky - obviously every race is different and it's difficult to produce a tire that is a two stopper everywhere, because tracks are different but I think the real hard time is really for the spectators in the grandstand. Sure, if they have a video wall in front of them it's possible for them to follow (the race) but after the first stint, especially when you have pit stops every ten to 15 laps, I think it makes it really difficult for the people coming here to visit and to watch, to follow. Sure, you maybe understand the first five, first ten, but then not everyone is following the leader or the guy in P2, P3. There's also guys from ten to twenty-four so it doesn't make it easy for the spectators. It's obviously very early to judge, still, because we've only had four races and one race it was possible to one-stop, here it was possible to four-stop so we need to see as we go and wait a couple of races.
Q: (Heikki Kulta - Turun Sanomat) Mark, for a driver, which way of reaching the podium is more enjoyable: your Chinese style or this Turkish style?
Webber: Hmm. A lot more people probably enjoyed my China drive than I did, to be honest. I think that when you come up against drivers like Fernando and Jenson and Felipe, Nico, these guys, and you catch them at 2.5s a lap, it's nice but it's not very rewarding in terms of how you pass them. These guys have absolutely nothing to fight back with, so it was a podium which of course I took. Of course I had to drive well, consistently on the limit, blah, blah, blah as all the other guys were, but that was the tires they had. Today was a different type of race. Of course, I was at the front - in the top few - the whole race and it was again, it was just fighting with Fernando, with just one guy. The race in China was fighting with lots of different guys. I had a new guy on the pit board for the Chinese Grand Prix and it was a very tough race for him to start at, so I think he made a much easier job today. Also referring back to the previous question about how the racing is, it's best I stop there.
Q: (Sarah Holt - BBC Sport) Fernando, could you have fought Vettel for the victory if it wasn't for Rosberg, or is this podium still completely unexpected?
Alonso: Well, the podium is a nice surprise and we have nothing really to say. We just need to be extremely happy, but I think for Mark and for me, it was difficult to fight for victory, nothing to say, I think Sebastian was 99 per cent favorite, but this one per cent chance that we had we lost in the first five laps behind Nico, because the more or less five, seven second distance to Sebastian was consistent all through the race. Without those five seconds, maybe we can't risk stopping two or three laps early and to force something or to push the Red Bull cars to the limit which we haven't been able to do at the moment.
Q: (Carlos Miquel - La Gaceta) Fernando, you really think it was possible to make one stop less, against Mark?
Alonso: No, I don't think so. I think that when we stopped... it's strange to stop ten or eleven laps to go but really from 14 laps to ten laps to go, the car was already difficult to drive in these last four laps, moving a lot and risking a lot. I imagine that another ten or eleven laps like this with that progression of degradation maybe you don't even finish the race.
Q: (Michael Schmidt - Auto, Motor und Sport) Fernando, when you were fighting against Mark at the end, were you on the soft or hard, used, new? And in China you were struggling on the harder tire; how was it here?
Alonso: Here was OK. I think I was with used hard.
Q: (Sudhir Chandran - Checkered Flag) If everything goes right, India is all set to host its first F1 race. I wanted your thoughts on a) F1coming to India and b) the pressure of driving in front of a billion people?
Vettel: I think we are looking forward to it. We've heard a lot of things, a lot of good things. One thing I heard is that it will be sold out and that there will be a lot of people there, so this will be fantastic. I think this race here has very often been criticized in the past for not having a lot of spectators. Today, I have to say that the atmosphere was quite good, and I really enjoyed the last lap, but surely there were some empty seats and I hope that all the effort that you make to build the circuit in India will be rewarded by a lot of people coming and no empty seats, so that's what I will be looking forward to most.
Alonso: Yeah, same thing. Fantastic news coming from the circuit and we are all really excited to race there for the first time. It's also a country that I want to visit and I will remain for a week there between the races so looking forward to it.
Webber: Yes, obviously India has had some big events over the last few years, with the Commonwealth Games and the cricket World Cup - I don't know which side won the World Cup - yes I do - but I'm looking forward to going out there. Obviously Formula One going there is a big event, it should go smoothly. All of us always love to go to new venues, it's a beautiful country in many areas, so I'm looking forward to going to experience it and have some of the cricket players come and say hello to us guys.
Sebastian Vettel (1st): "It was a great result today - especially after I gave the team so much work on Friday. I hope giving a victory back goes some way to help them forget it. Saturday morning was crucial. When I walked into the garage everyone gave me the impression that nothing is wrong and there was nothing to worry about. The whole team was working so hard to get the car back together and times like these are important. The team are close to me and if they are not happy or unmotivated it reflects on me and the other way round, so after being a bit down on Friday, it picked me back up. In the race we had a very good first stint and got a gap and you can always benefit from that cushion. At the end I did two short stints, which was the right thing to do - it was seamless today. We don't know what happens next, so we have to take it race by race. There will be days when we are beaten for definite, but we need to minimize the loss - but for today, it was a great result for the team."
Mark Webber (2nd): "It was good to get second place - and a relief to finish there and not third. In the end it was a good fight with Fernando, you lose a bit of time when you're into each other like that, but it turned out okay and I got him back in the end. For the first stop, the team pitted me earlier than expected as they were worried about the undercuts coming into play. Ferrari saw the same thing and it was really a race between us two from then onwards. At that point, you make your bet that you will be having a few stops during the day. It was a good victory for Sebastian and Fernando drove well too - it was a great result for the team with a one two. The grip wasn't great at the start, but I will leave Istanbul happy - it was my best result of the year so far."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A fantastic team performance today. It was a very busy race with a four-stop strategy, perfect pit work and a great performance by Sebastian to take what was, in the end, a dominant win. Mark had a bit more on, dropping a place on the dirty side of the grid at the start, but then his recovery was excellent. He worked the tires really hard to get past Nico Rosberg and then came under pressure from Alonso, dropped a place to him, but kept calm. We had a new set of primes for the last stint and Mark really made them work, resulting in a great passing move to achieve our first one-two of the year. All compliments to the team, it certainly exorcises the demons from last year and I would like to thank all our partners for their fantastic support."
Cyril Dumont, Renault: "It's really good to confirm the result from yesterday and it's nice to be one and two again for the first this year. So, congratulations to everyone. For Sebastian it was a pretty smooth race, very solid in terms of performance and for Mark it was really solid in terms of overtaking. It was fun to watch him. Congratulations to everyone and engine-wise it was a very good race."
Lewis Hamilton (4th): "I got a pretty decent start but made a mistake on the opening lap and lost a lot of ground out of Turn Three when I was trying to go around Webber. That was the defining moment of my afternoon: if I hadn't dropped behind Fernando [Alonso] and Jenson, I think I could have got up to third and battled for second in the race. The battle with Jenson was good and fair, as always, but that, and the fact that I had too much front-wing dialed into my car meant I struggled to look after the rear tires; so my tires were finished and that's what kick-started the four-stop strategy. Considering the time I lost at my third stop [when a pair of cross-threading wheel nuts on the right-front caused a delay], I think we recovered reasonably well. I don't think that made a huge difference to our overall finishing position, and I was quite happy with the way the car behaved once we'd taken out some wing. We were definitely able to do better today - but to start fourth and sixth and finish fourth and sixth was a good recovery."
Jenson Button (6th): "It's a pity to finish so far back after everything in the first stint seemed to go so well. Strategy-wise, I don't think we got it right today. My battle with Lewis was great fun and I there was a lot of excitement on the track, but I was disappointed to finish where I did: the car felt very good but we just went the wrong way on strategy. I think most people probably started the race aiming for a three-stopper, but because many of them damaged their tires in the first stint, they changed their approach. We didn't, and I was able to put a couple of laps on everyone and my tires still felt pretty good - but I felt the next two stops were earlier than the tires could have done, which is disappointing. We didn't leave the stops late enough - the tires were still good at the end of every stop, so we should have stayed out longer because it just made the last stint extremely difficult. During the final stint, I was trying to get the best out of the car but it's so hard because the difference in pace between a fresh and used set of tires is so great."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Well, we qualified fourth and sixth, and we finished fourth and sixth. And, although clearly we'd hoped to score considerably more than the 20 points we netted as a result, both our drivers drove hard and well all afternoon - and I'm sure their contribution to a race that included lots of action and no fewer than 80 pitstops was a very significant one in terms of providing entertainment for grandstand spectators and TV viewers alike. At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes we've traditionally never sought to prevent our drivers from racing each other - and they certainly did that today. It was good to see: they get on extremely well off the track, as I think everyone knows, but on the track they're as keen to beat each other as they are to beat any other driver, and that's the way it should be. Although we weren't quite as quick as the Red Bull and the Ferrari this afternoon, Lewis's four-stop race pace was strong; Jenson was the quickest of the three-stoppers, but with hindsight it probably wasn't the optimal strategy and consequently he struggled a bit - through no fault of his own. So, looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix, we'll continue to push extremely hard from a car-development point of view, and we intend to be competitive in Barcelona. We lie second in the constructors' world championship, and Lewis lies second in the drivers' world championship too, but we'll continue to do all we can to convert both those seconds to firsts during the rest of the season. Last but not least, I want to say something about Pete Vale, our chief mechanic, who operates the lollipop during all our pitstops. He acted quickly and level-headedly during Lewis's problematic second pitstop, when two wheel nuts cross-threaded on the right-front, to prevent a potential collision - so well done Pete!"
Fernando Alonso (3rd): "I am pleased with this result, which is down to three weeks of hard work from the entire team at Maranello and at the track this weekend. We had not started this Grand Prix on the right foot, after having quite a few problems on Friday, but then we moved forward and today it was great to be back fighting for the top places. We had come so close to the podium already in Malaysia and in China and today we managed to jump onto it, but this is only a first step: we must continue in this direction. Given the shape we were in at the start of this season, this is a great finish. The next three or four races will be crucial. At 99% I could not have fought with Vettel, but the remaining 1% went when I was stuck behind Rosberg for too long: maybe I could have put him in difficulty, forcing him to push even more. In the end, Webber passed me because he had the benefit of a new set of tires, while I had none left. I know it seems strange having to stop eleven laps from the finish, but it was getting hard to keep the car on track and there was a risk of ruining everything. There is more overtaking, but I think that has more to do with the different behavior of the tires rather than the moveable rear wing. It's true that the gap in the classification is very wide, but there are still so many points up for grabs: there is certainly no need to give up."
Felipe Massa (11th): "Everything happened to me today and I was not able to get the result that was within my grasp. It's a shame, because the car was competitive and the pace was very good. We did the first stop at the right time, but already at that moment, I lost the place I had just taken off Hamilton. Then I also had problems at the third and fourth pit stops: we have to all work together to improve this element of the race, which is becoming really very important. I was always fighting with other drivers, which meant I was unable to get the most out of the tires, as Fernando was indeed able to do and he definitely had a cleaner race than mine. The positive thing about this weekend is the improvement in performance of the car: we had a bit more aerodynamic downforce and also greater speed on the straights. It's an encouraging sign, but we have to continue moving in this direction, introducing new parts already in Barcelona."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "It's been a very long time since we last saw one of our drivers on the podium and today, finally, we were able to. Fernando drove a very nice race, to crown a great weekend on his part: he did not put a foot wrong and was aggressive when he needed to be and prudent when he had to manage the situation. I am very sorry for Felipe, who had every possibility of also getting a good result. We had already seen in the three previous races that, in the race, the 150o Italia seemed to be the more beautiful sister of the one seen on Saturday afternoon in qualifying, but for one reason or another, in the first three Grands Prix, we never managed to make the most of all its potential. Today we were competitive for long periods and if Fernando had not been stuck behind Rosberg for a few laps after the start, he could have even put Vettel under more pressure. We must definitely not get carried away with this third place: the road is still very long and there is still a very long way to go to where we want to be. At least we have shown that we have started off down the right road."
Pat Fry: "Mixed emotions and feelings at the end of a very intense race, which featured a large number of pit stops. On the one hand there is the satisfaction of having a driver on the podium again and on the other, there is disappointment at not getting the result that was also within our grasp with Felipe, whose race was ruined by a series of problems during the pit stops. From a performance point of view, I would say we were competitive in some parts of the race, especially on the softer tires. In the final duel with Webber, we paid the price for him having a new set of hard tires while we only had ones that had already been used. Felipe was nearly always in traffic and was penalized through losing time in his pit stops: this operation is becoming ever more crucial and everyone involved has to be perfect in order to do it well. We will have to work on it, as well as continuing to push on the development of the car, because the gap to make up is very big, especially in qualifying."
Nico Rosberg (5th): "My start today was fantastic to overtake Mark and be running in second place on the first lap, but from there I was struggling with my tires on the first stint. Our strategy worked out well to bring me back into a decent position so we can be reasonably satisfied, and I'm happy to be in front of Jenson and just a few seconds behind Lewis in the McLarens. There is still a gap to the top but we have continued to improve the car this weekend. We don't know exactly why we are better in qualifying than in the race but we will work on this. Overall I had another good weekend and I'm looking forward to Barcelona."
Michael Schumacher (12th): "A lot of fighting and action today, and that was probably the positive part of my race. Obviously I am not very happy with my weekend, but I'm responsible myself for the result. The incident with Petrov kind of dictated my race: we were very close and I was surprised that we touched but it was mostly my mistake. After making such an early stop, the way the race played out was given from there. What we can take away from this weekend in Turkey is that we have confirmed our good trend and we still have things to come to help us deliver more of our potential."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "The race balance that we gave Nico wasn't as good as we had hoped and on high fuel, the car was too hard on its tires. That spoiled the first half of the race but in the second half, our pace was more respectable. Nico began climbing back through the field towards where we had hoped to be racing; however we were too far back by then. Fifth place is still a respectable result taking everything into account, but fine-tuning our race set-up will be a particular priority for the next races, especially at circuits where the tires are delicate to manage. Michael got out of phase because of his unplanned stop on lap two and that left him with a difficult task, especially as a number of other events in the race cost him time. Overall, we are moving forward from where we began the season, but we're still not where we want to be. We will keep on pushing hard."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "Of course, everybody was expecting another good result from us today after Nico qualified third yesterday. In reality he was a few thousandths ahead of Lewis yesterday, and today Lewis was quicker. Alonso in the Ferrari had a great drive from fifth whilst the Red Bulls are still clearly in front. To beat one McLaren Mercedes and one Ferrari was the maximum that Nico could achieve after a great drive with our current car. We have made improvements over the last two races, and closed the gap to the best which shows that we are heading in the right direction. Michael had an eventful weekend and was very committed from lap one in the wet practice of Friday. His clash with another car dictated the outcome of his race and cost him the time missing to finish in the points. We now look forward to Barcelona where we will try to improve our position further."
Nick Heidfeld (7th): "It's always good to score points, but I think I could have finished even higher up today, even though I started in P9. I am not totally happy with the race -I was stuck in traffic for quite a while, overtaking was difficult and Vitaly made contact with me- but my pace was good, especially at the end of the race when the car was light on the soft tires. I also think our strategy was the right one. Overall, to finish in P7 and take six points for the team is good, given that I did not qualify in a higher position."
Vitaly Petrov (8th): "It was an interesting race, and strategically it was challenging for all the teams. I think what really affected my position today was the collision with Michael early in the race. He hit my car and then I was stuck behind some slower drivers after the first pit stop. If this had not happened, my race would have been much stronger and I could have pulled away. However, I was pleased to overtake Sebastien (Buemi) at the end, which took me back into eighth. We must be positive, we have both cars in the points and it's another ten points for the team."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Today, going for four pit stops was the right decision. There was no spectacular start from our cars but we pitted at the right time to ensure both drivers finished in the points. We definitely need to work harder on Fridays to understand the tire degradation, which will allow us to know where we stand for the rest of the weekend. From here, we will push even more as the result today was not as strong as it could have been - we will be striving to get back into the top six."
James Allison, Technical Director: "Today we opted for a four stop rather than a three stop race, and the balance of the evidence suggests that was the right choice. In all honesty, I feel satisfied rather than happy with today's performance - satisfied because our finishing places in the race were stronger than our qualifying positions, but not happy because the gap between us and the cars that finished on the podium was too large. We have more improvements planned for the car and we will be aiming for top six finish or better in the coming races at Barcelona and Monaco."
Riccardo Penteado, Engine Support Leader: "Another double points finish for Lotus Renault GP, which after the issues of the last race is a good result. We planned an aggressive strategy to try and catch Jenson (Button) at the end and fuel consumption was very high, even higher than in qualifying, so we were very tight on fuel with both cars. It almost worked and Nick wasn't far away - just over a second. It was a shame that we got caught in the traffic and could not get ahead but the most important thing is that we got another 10 points and consolidated our position in the championship."
Rubens Barrichello (15th): "We struggled quite a bit with straight line speed today and at various points during the race I couldn't use KERS which made it difficult to defend and I also struggled with it locking up under braking when I was charging. We had a better qualifying session but we need to make some changes to the car to ensure the rear tires can get to the end of the race in good shape. So it is up to us to improve our pace."
Pastor Maldonado (17th): "It was difficult from the beginning of the race. It was difficult to maintain a consistent pace in the first two stints because I had a lot of oversteer. We had a much better pace towards the end of the race when on primes but I made a mistake by speeding in the pitlane which cost me a drive-through penalty."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "We brought both cars to the finish again, but we just weren't fast enough today. In the first stint of the race we showed some decent pace against a number of cars that finished in the points. However from the second stint onwards we couldn't match the lap times of those same cars. Small changes in the car balance can have a large effect on tire degradation and wear. There were also some issues with cooling the KERS during the race. Our focus is now on the upgrades that we have for the Barcelona Grand Prix that will give the car a boost in performance."
Adrian Sutil (13th): "My start to the race was not too bad: I kept my position and had some good battles with the cars around me. The three-stop strategy was the right choice today and the soft tires felt like the better race tire so I stayed on them as much as possible. In the final laps I was fighting hard with Perez and that was a lot of fun. Ultimately we didn't have the pace to race with the cars ahead of us and I think we got as much from the race as we could. The team is working hard to introduce a new aero package at the next few races, which will hopefully bring us a bit closer to the front."
Paul di Resta (DNF, Electronics): "It was a tough start to the race, although I managed to hold my position on the first lap. However, as the race unfolded the pace didn't seem quite there and that's why we decided to change our strategy and make a fourth stop. When I was leaving the pits after my final stop, the team came on the radio and instructed me to stop. There was obviously a problem so I pulled up as soon as I could. It was unfortunate because the final part of the race would have been interesting on the fresh tires."
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: "It was a tough race for us today. We always knew it would be difficult to match the pace of the top five teams, but in race trim the Toro Rosso of Buemi and the Sauber of Kobayashi were a little bit quicker than us. Both our drivers raced hard and Adrian in particular had some good battles, especially with Perez in the closing laps. I think he got the maximum from his race and the strategy was spot on. As for Paul, he had some difficulties with the rear tires and, with the benefit of hindsight, we probably should have switched him to a four-stop strategy a couple of laps earlier. Ultimately his race came to an end when we identified a fault with the car which meant he had to retire. After four races I'm quite upbeat about our start to the season. We were always on damage limitation until the new 2011 aero concept comes on stream in the next few races, but we're just four points behind Sauber and two points behind Toro Rosso. I'm hopeful we can haul them back in over the next few races."
Kamui Kobayashi (10th): "It was a lot of fun today, I really enjoyed this race. I found overtaking here a lot easier than last year in Hungary. Before the race I had promised Peter (Sauber) to score points today. It is just one point now because we lost so much time due to a puncture, which was the result of touching Sebastien Buemi when I overtook him. Otherwise I think I could have finished seventh and score more points. The car was great and also the team had a very good strategy for me, so I want to thank them for this. In the end I had to be a bit careful and save the tires, because the last stint was quite long with 20 laps, but it worked out well."
Sergio Perez (14th): "We had a good pace today and I clearly had a chance to score my first points. It is a real shame what happened on the first lap. Pastor Maldonado was braking quite hard in front of me and I couldn't avoid hitting him. I broke my front wing and had to pit. Apart from that I found it quite difficult to manage the tires - both compounds actually - but the car was really good. I will now continue to work with the team to improve my qualifying performance."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "The Sauber C30 Ferrari was excellent today, as were both our drivers, and the strategy could not have been any better. Kamui overtook countless drivers, and Sergio also passed many competitors. Unfortunately neither driver was able to get the full reward they deserved today. However, Kamui scored one point despite starting from the back of the grid, which was amazing."
James Key, Technical Director: "What an eventful race! A great drive by both our drivers. The car was definitely a lot better than in qualifying, and the drivers extracted the most out of it. It's a real shame we couldn't get them both in the points and finish a bit higher up, because it was possible. Unfortunately, Sergio had front wing damage on lap one, and we had to change his strategy and put him at the back of the pack. Kamui had a puncture towards the end of the second stint, which dropped him back. So it's a real shame, but we can't complain, because we managed to squeeze a point out of it after starting with both drivers in a compromised position. I think it's a tribute to Kamui's race craft to go from P24 to 10. Now we have an updated package for Barcelona, and we hope this will help us to continue to score points on a regular basis."
Sebastien Buemi (9th): "In general I am very happy with my race and I don't think I could have done better. However, it's true that in the final two laps I lost two places and if not for this we could have brought home a seventh place finish. But I could not even hold the steering wheel anymore because there was so much vibration coming through from the tires: it was not due to tire wear, so we will have to analyze carefully what happened as I had not felt this before. All the same, it was a great race and I pulled off plenty of overtaking moves and I fought hard. Scoring points after starting sixteenth is reason to be pleased. We decided to do only three pit stops, although it was clear that here it did not cost that much time to make a pit stop so that was an interesting situation. We are continuing to develop the car and have more parts coming which I hope can keep us fighting for points in the next few races."
Jaime Alguersuari (16th): "As usual, I did my best, pushing hard from the beginning. But I suffered a lot from degradation on the rear tires, especially in the final stint. This meant I had a massive amount of oversteer, which is why I really had to come in for an additional fourth stop for fresh tires towards the end. I don't understand why my team-mate suffered much less than me in this respect, so we need to look at all the data to find out why. The next race is in Barcelona, which is obviously very important for me as it's my home race. I have many good memories from there, including scoring points there last year."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Given our qualifying performance yesterday which put us in sixteenth and seventeenth places on the grid, we are happy to have finished in ninth place with Sebastien Buemi. He delivered his best performance of the season so far, as he was racing around eighth place for most of the race and occasionally even higher. Unfortunately, coming under pressure from the Lotus Renaults, who had much fresher tires, he was unable to defend that position on the final lap. The team deserves praise for running a good strategy and we have picked up a further two points today, which is important in our battle in the Constructors' Championship. In Barcelona, I hope that we can challenge for points."
Jarno Trulli (18th): "That was a reasonably good race, particularly in the early laps. I had another incredibly good start but was blocked in the first corner so couldn't really exploit how well I'd got off the line. Early on I started fighting with the tires so we changed to a three stop strategy which eventually worked out pretty well. However, the result today doesn't really show how we have improved our performance so I think that when we get to Barcelona with the whole new package on the car we'll really be able to fight with the midfield teams."
Heikki Kovalainen (19th): "That was a pretty tough afternoon. I had a couple of mechanical issues, with a small hydraulic leak which affected the DRS and the diff, and I think the strategy didn't work out how we would have liked. Despite that it's been another good weekend for the team and a two car finish was always a major goal here, but now it's about looking forward to Spain and we're all focusing on taking a big step forward there."
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "This has been a good weekend for us and we are all happy that we got two cars to the finish. Heikki had some hydraulic issues and if they had not affected his race I think he would have given Maldonado a much better fight. Looking at the lap times I am very happy that we keep improving every weekend. The whole team is excited about the updates we have for Barcelona, but for now I am very pleased with this weekend. Here in Turkey last year neither car finished so this is another positive development in our growth. We keep making small steps and moving forward and that has always been the plan - grow in a measured, controlled way that gives us the best foundations for future success."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "The key goal today was for both cars to cross the finish line and I am pleased we achieved that and it is pleasing to see that both drivers performed very well all weekend, and the whole team. With Heikki we tried to stick to two stops but the degradation of the tires was higher than we expected so we switched Jarno to a three stop plan. Heikki's car then developed a hydraulic leak and we were concerned that he would not be able to get to the end, and that if his tires went off he would be unable to stop again but we were forced to keep him on two stops and turn off the differential and clutch off which made his car very difficult to handle. Without that, I think we would have been able to beat Maldonado on the track. Jarno drove a good, strong three stop strategy but reported quite high tire degradation so we have to look at why he is suffering more than Heikki. However, overall it is good to get two cars to the finish and we look forward to Barcelona where we will have our big update and I hope that we can take the fight to those in front."
Thierry Salvi, Renault: "That was a good race because both cars finished so for us it was okay reliability-wise. That is the second time we have done that and that is the first job of the team, so that is a good result for us. We struggled a bit with Heikki today but I think it was a bit easier for Jarno and even though we can see that we need some more time to be able to catch the teams ahead I am sure that will come soon."
Narain Karthikeyan (21st): "I think we should be happy with the fact that today we got another finish under the belt. I got more time in the car which is important, I've now finished my second race out of three, so I need to get more comfortable in the car and that will happen with every lap that I do. I couldn't keep the two Virgin cars behind and we will have to analyze why we were slower. But, all in all, I'm reasonably happy, now we must work on the updates for Barcelona and keep on working to improve."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (22nd): "Overall this has been a positive weekend up until qualifying. We've shown an improvement in our performance and had good pace on Friday and Saturday proving that the gap has closed with Virgin. In the race we need to try and understand what we did wrong, we had a problem with both front tires and need to work on this to make sure it doesn't happen again in the next race. Our expectations are much higher for Barcelona, we're pushing for some new upgrades there as it will be important to show our home crowd what we're capable of, I'm sure we will be much more competitive there."
Colin Kolles, Team Principal: "The race was not as we expected because we faced some unpredicted problems with the tires during the pit stop. The wheel gun seems to have not worked properly on Liuzzi's car resulting in the loss of a wheel nut. We had to do more stops also to make sure that it was safe to continue running. All in all without these problems we could have achieved a better result. Narain's lap times were a good sign, showing that our performance has improved. We will have a major update for Barcelona which should put us closer to our competitors. It is our home race and if all the upgrades bring the improvement in lap times that we expect then we will have a better weekend."
Jerome d'Ambrosio (20th): "It was a good race for me I'd say. Obviously I was pretty much on my own during the race as I was faster than the HRTs. I had a good fight at the beginning then I couldn't keep up with the Lotus cars, but it was good for me to manage the tires well and be able to change to a two-stop strategy. Overall I'm happy with my performance this weekend - Qualifying in particular - and the team has worked very well. I'm looking forward to working with them to develop the whole package and I hope we can take a step forward in Spain."
Timo Glock (DNF, Gearbox): "A very short race for me. It was very frustrating to experience a problem with fifth gear just as I was making my way to the grid. I have to say the team did an amazing job to try to get me back on track but in the end it just wasn't possible. Overall I think we have made some progress this weekend but there is still plenty of hard work ahead of us if we are to keep pushing forward. Everyone is very committed to seeing that happen though, so we stay focused and look ahead to Spain when I hope we will have made enough progress to reintroduce the new floor and exhaust which should help us a little more."
John Booth, Team Principal: "When the pit lane opened ready for the start of the race we had no reason to suspect that we would have anything other than a relatively straightforward grid procedure, so it was a surprise to hear Timo report a broken fifth gear on his reconnaissance lap. Back in the garage we attempted to change the gearbox, which is no mean feat in the pre-race window and when Jerome's car was lining up on the grid as normal. With the two car crews split between the two different situations, Timo's crew worked calmly and methodically under extreme pressure to take the rear of the car apart. Despite a Herculean effort, in the end we took the decision not to compromise the car that was still in the race because the way things were panning out with the tires, it looked likely that we would have some last minute calls from the pitwall and we needed the full crew to be on ready alert. We're disappointed for Timo after his efforts and we'll look into the data now to understand why this happened. Having experienced many gearbox issues last year and then to make such made enormous strides with the quality of the preparation this year, it is highly unusual that we should experience this problem. As for Jerome, we predicted that he would have a real 'racer's race' and that is exactly what we saw. He grabbed the opportunity with both hands, using the DRS effectively to steal a march on Karthikeyan the minute the activation period came into play, then after a 3 or 4 lap battle with Liuzzi using the DRS, Jerome's tenacity paid off and he was able to ease away. From that point it was a lonely race for him, however he maximized the opportunity to perfect the strategy and managed the traffic well. In fact this was a race where we encountered the least instances of blue flags in our 23-race tally. On lap 30 we decided to change to a two-stop strategy, which was brave at the time given what everything else that was going on around us. We held our nerve and Jerome drove brilliantly, preserving the Prime tires to allow this strategy to work. Our focus now moves towards an aero test at the Idiada proving ground in Spain next Sunday, where we will continue our evaluation of the new aero package under more controlled conditions in the hope of bringing more to the car in Spain. We are also pleased to be providing one of the drivers from our young driver program - Adrian Quaife-Hobbs from Marussia Manor Racing GP3 - with an exciting first opportunity to drive a Formula One car."
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