Belgian GP: Vettel wins again
With the F1 title now all but assured, Vettel looks certain to be the first back-to-back German world champion since Michael Schumacher.
Jenson Button came from 14th to take third for McLaren ahead of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari in fourth. Alonso had a chance at victory but he was too slow in his final stint on hard tires.
After starting dead last, Michael Schumacher got the best of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to finish fifth in a fantastic drive on this his 20th anniversary in F1, making those who said he should quit again eat their words. Rosberg was sixth.
"A wonderful ending to a wonderful weekend here in Spa," said Schumacher.
"I think more than fifth place would not have been possible today but making up 19 places was a good feeling. With all my family, friends and fans here, it was an extra motivation, and I would like to thank all of them for their support. They saw an exciting race with a great strategy from our team. So all in all, for me, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of overtaking today. At the beginning I was a bit afraid that some of the flying parts might hit and damage my car, but I was lucky that nothing happened. After that, I had big fun hunting and making my way forward."
Championship contender Lewis Hamilton crashed out on lap 13 when be touched wheels with Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber on the run into Les Combes spinning the McLaren violently into the barriers.
With very little dry running during the weekend there were concerns before the start about the condition of the tires blistering on the top ten runners, and there was, but there were no major accidents as teams changed the tires before they disintegrated, which made for an interesting race as drivers and team strategized between changing tires and saving them by letting up on the track.
Vettel was sporting an angry face before the Spa-Francorchamps race, after rival teams refused to allow the Red Bulls to change their qualifying tires due to blistering.
Pirelli had reacted to the situation by rushing spare tires to the fabled circuit, but ultimately the likes of McLaren and Ferrari - and FIA chief Charlie Whiting - made Vettel and the sister RB7 start on their damaged tires.
"We had a lot of concerns," Vettel said after extending his points lead to 92 points over his teammate Mark Webber. "We didn't feel too comfortable and we both had to stop pretty early."
"No wonder Ferrari and McLaren objected to them wanting to change them (the tires) before the race," said BBC commentator Martin Brundle.
Jenson Button said the front wing that detached itself from Bruno Sennaâ€™s car flew straight into his path on Lap 1, with the McLaren driver lucky to escape with damage to his front wing and the loss of a wing mirror. The 2009 Champion went on to recover to third, completing the podium behind Red Bull rivals Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
"If Iâ€™d stayed in 13th after the start it would have been a lot easier to challenge these guys (Vettel and Webber), but it was mayhem," Button explained during the post-race press conference. "I think Turn 1 was caused by the cars at the front getting a poor start. Di Resta hit my rear wing, or we made contact and it damaged the rear wing.
"Half of the rear endplate was gone, then driving to Eau Rouge somebodyâ€™s front wing flew off and went through my front wing and took the wing mirror off. That was a bit scary, and then I was really struggling for grip, I said â€˜Guys the front wing is damaged.â€™ But they said to keep going until Lap 5, which we did and changed the front wing.
"We put the Option tires on and did the rest of the race on the Option. It was a fun race, lots of good overtaking, I really enjoyed it out there today, but youâ€™re always going to say â€˜What could have been?â€™ All in all a good finish to get on the podium, itâ€™s good to finish here after Seb drove into me last year and we didnâ€™t finish!"
Sebastian Vettel (1st): "I'm very happy; today was a very good race for us, although it was not easy with the tires. The beginning of the race was more research and science than racing and we sacrificed a lot by stopping very early. We had a good feeling though and I came in again when the safety car came out, just to see how they were. I can judge a bit from looking at the inside, but when you're doing 300kph or more and the tires are always spinning rather than stopped, you can't really take the time to see, so it was crucial to come in and have a closer look. I'm very happy with the result. It's a big relief after all the discussions we had going into the race. This morning disturbed our normal rhythm, as normally you know what you do when you arrive on Sunday morning, but today we had a lot of discussions which doesn't make it easy to keep focused. Before the race, we decided the priority was simply to finish the race today and not think too much about where, so that's why I am so happy with the result. It couldn't have been any better. The car felt fantastic and with each lap we learned more and more about the tires, which made us more confident to push when necessary."
Mark Webber (2nd): "The lights went out and I got anti-stall at the start - I don't know whether it was due to the start being uphill or not. We were worried about the tires going into the race and had a lot of meetings this morning. In the end, the right decisions were made and the team reacted incredibly well and did some good research overnight to work out how we could best get through the race. We did a lot of damage to the tires in qualifying and had to stop pretty early to protect ourselves from any issues from the tire which put us out of position. We picked some people off, but in terms of the result I was after I was frustrated at that point. Then the safety car came out. The team wanted me to pit, but when I got the instructions of what to do in the pit lane I was the wrong side of the pit wall - I never heard the call to come in. I was worried, but we kept going and the car behaved well. I drove well from then on and we got a good result in what was one of the team's best ever one-two finishes. It was a great weekend for the team and they deserve this result."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A fantastic team result - a one-two in Spa and our first ever victory here, it's phenomenal for the team. Sebastian made a good start, but Mark looked like he got the anti-stall and dropped down the order. Having damaged our tires in qualifying, we had some concerns about them going into the race based on a lack of knowledge after all the wet running this weekend. So, we were conservative with the strategy opting to stop Mark on lap three and Sebastian a lap or so later. More than anything we wanted to see how the tires were behaving. We put Mark onto the prime tire at that point and we could see, fairly early on, that it was performing well. At the safety car we pitted Sebastian for another set of options, which worked out well for him. After a radio issue, Mark stayed out on the prime, which was still looking very strong at that point. Sebastian then got his head down and conserved the tires when he needed to, pushed when he needed to and closed out a very satisfying victory - which was backed up by Mark who hunted down Fernando in the closing laps and passed him. It rounded off a great weekend for the team; it's a lot of points in both Championships and we have extended our lead in both the Drivers' and Constructors' at a circuit which we have not previously won at - so it's a fantastic day for Red Bull."
Cyril Dumont, Renault: "I'm very pleased to get this result after returning from the summer break. It's good for the team and also for Renault. I think some people were saying this circuit would not suit our car, but we demonstrated that it was not the case, so that's very satisfying. Mark did a really good job to recover from the start which was not too good, and it's great to see both drivers at the top today - it was good haul of points in the Team Championship."
Jenson Button (3rd): "It wasn't as simple as just going from 13th to third today. At the start, somebody hit me at the rear and damaged a rear-wing endplate. At the exit of Turn One, there was debris everywhere, and somebody else's front wing went through my front wing and sliced my right-side mirror off. I also had to make an early pitstop, so it was hardly perfect! The team had a look at the data and saw that the damage was manageable, so I held on for a few more laps in order to make the strategy work. Then, after that, I drove flat-out to the end of the race. I think everybody had an issue with the front-left tire, so it was tricky to know when to push. But my pace was pretty good considering the damage we had, and I really enjoyed attacking and passing people. Our car is the best it's been all year, and I feel better than I ever have in Formula 1. We just need to stop the little mistakes from happening so that we can win even more races. Hopefully, we can go out and fight for the win in Monza."
Lewis Hamilton (DNF, Accident): "I was in a good position and I'd already got past one of the Ferraris, but then I was hit by Kamui [Kobayashi]. I don't really know what happened, but I hit the wall pretty hard and my race was immediately over. I was ahead, so I don't know why I got hit. There have been quite a few races this year where we've not finished, and this is another - but that's motor racing. At least our pace was reasonably good this weekend, so let's hope we can win more races in the remainder of the season."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "Jenson drove a dazzlingly impressive race today - in fact I'd say without any doubt whatsoever that he was the man of the match. To start from P13, then to lose a front wing and drop back to P19, and then fight all the way back to P3 at the checkered flag, on the most challenging circuit in modern-day Formula 1... well, all I can say is that it was the kind of performance that marks out a true champion. In particular, to hunt down and pass Fernando [Alonso] like that... again, I thought that was very, very, very impressive. But for our unfortunate misunderstanding in qualifying yesterday [which resulted in a P13 grid slot], I feel sure that he would have been able to mount a truly formidable challenge for outright victory here this afternoon. As for Lewis, I thought he was extremely unlucky to be tapped from behind by Kamui - and, as we all saw all too clearly, the result was a pretty nasty shunt. Thankfully he climbed out unhurt, which is the main thing. It was hugely frustrating for us - of course it was - but that's motor racing and all we can do now is draw a line under it and move on. Looking forward to the Santander Italian Grand Prix in two weeks' time, then, we're focusing on the positives. Our car and our drivers showed strong pace throughout this weekend, and we'll be aiming to convert that speed into victory at Monza. As for the world championship(s), all we can do is focus all our efforts on trying to win as many of the remaining seven grands prix as we possibly can. As I often say, it's still mathematically possible, which means it's still possible."
Fernando Alonso (4th): "It would have been difficult to do better than this fourth place today, especially given how much we suffered on the Medium tires: in these conditions, we are a second and a half slower than the best. Honestly, I didn't think I had a real chance of winning, but a podium was within our grasp. The strategy saw me lead in the early stages, but then, we knew that in the final part, we would have struggled more. I had fun in the first stint: the start was good and then I had some nice duels. A shame about the podium: it was our target and was possible, despite qualifying eighth yesterday. Compared to the gap we saw yesterday in qualifying, the situation was very different today, but we are well aware that, with temperatures which were definitely not very hot for summer time, we paid too high a price. At the moment, we must congratulate our opponents, who are doing a fantastic job, but we will not give up, at least until the mathematics tell us otherwise: we will always try and win, giving it our best shot, starting in Monza, a very special event for Ferrari and for all its fans, and then in all the other remaining races this season."
Felipe Massa (8th): "It was rather a strange race for me. In the opening phase I was absolutely in the fight for the top places, but then I started to have tire problems and the car seemed to no longer be so well balanced. With the Mediums, the situation improved, maybe also down to an adjustment to the front wing which we made at the pit stop, but we were not quick enough, as was clearly evident and by then it was too late. On top of that, I also had a puncture on the left rear tire which meant I had to make another stop. When I found myself behind Rosberg, I could not pass him, despite the DRS, because their top speed is very good. Furthermore, I was struggling especially in the slowest corners - the final chicane and La Source - and that stopped me from getting as good a tow as possible. The next event is the home race for the team, but it is also very important for me and I really want to get a good result there."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "We definitely cannot claim to be happy with this result, but we must evaluate it objectively, without letting emotion get the better of us. We saw our car perform in two different ways, depending on what tires it was running: very good on the Soft, especially with Fernando, but definitely lacking with the Medium. This explains how Fernando, who delivered an extraordinary performance, taking the lead and fighting for the win in the first stint, then gradually saw what would have been a very well deserved podium place slip from his grasp. Felipe began his race in a very aggressive fashion, but then he paid an even heavier price for our chronic difficulties on the harder tire. The Safety Car definitely did not help, coming out just as our main rivals were struggling the most, which meant they could make up for their initial handicap. We know what is our Achilles Heel and we have to continue to work on it: we have made up ground in some areas, but on this one - I refer to the ideal window of operation for the tires - we are still lagging behind. Now we go to Monza, our home race: our objective is unchanged, which means trying to win. I am convinced we can be on the pace, while aware of the fact we are up against very strong opponents."
Pat Fry: "We are not happy and how could we be at the end of a race in which we were fighting for a podium finish right up to the final stages. Unfortunately, we are still seeing a drop in performance on the hard compound tires, which is too much when up against our main rivals. It's a problem we have still not managed to fix and which is even more accentuated once the temperature is rather low. It's disappointing for our drivers, as we have not been able to put them in a position to fight at their best in every type of condition. From a strategic point of view, certainly the arrival on track of the Safety Car did not work in our favor and I don't think that we could have made any different choices compared to the ones we went with. If Fernando had copied Vettel, he would have come back out on track in traffic and would have lost the chance to attack for the top spot. After that, there was no point splitting the second part of Fernando's race in two, thus using a third and final set of Softs, because we would definitely have finished fourth with no hope of fighting for something better. Now we must prepare as well as possible for Monza, the Scuderia's home race."
Michael Schumacher (5th): "A wonderful ending to a wonderful weekend here in Spa. I think more than fifth place would not have been possible today but making up 19 places was a good feeling. With all my family, friends and fans here, it was an extra motivation, and I would like to thank all of them for their support. They saw an exciting race with a great strategy from our team. So all in all, for me, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of overtaking today. At the beginning I was a bit afraid that some of the flying parts might hit and damage my car, but I was lucky that nothing happened. After that, I had big fun hunting and making my way forward."
Nico Rosberg (6th): "I had a great start today and it was a special feeling to be leading the race in a Silver Arrow at this amazing circuit. It was great to see the traffic jam behind me with the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari cars, but it was hard to realize that we just don't have the pace to stay at the top. However we have made progress this weekend and today was a good result for the team. I had to push quite hard at the start and in the middle which cost me a little towards the end, which combined with Michael being on the faster soft tires, meant that I wasn't able to keep him behind me. Now I'm looking forward to Monza and I'm confident that we can improve further."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "It was a very exciting race for us and nice to remember what it's like to be at the front again, after Nico's excellent start and early laps in the lead. Both drivers did a great job this afternoon on quite different strategies. Michael began the race on the medium tire and got that stint of his race out of the way quickly by stopping on lap four and changing to the soft compound. The Safety Car then worked in his favor by allowing him to catch up to the cars in front, and he was obviously on the better tire in the final laps when he was catching Nico. It's a very nice result for him on this anniversary weekend, and especially after starting from dead last. Nico ran a two-stop strategy and, although it was a little marginal with tire performance at times, he drove an excellent race to sixth place. Towards the end, we told him to trim his fuel: although we had a Safety Car period, one doesn't use this to save fuel under the current rules because any fuel saved is simply extra weight carried through the rest of the race, and at that point his fuel consumption was on target. In any case, it didn't cost him a significant amount of lap time, and the decisive factor was that Michael was on the soft tire at the end while Nico was on the medium, which was around a second a lap slower. Overall, it was a very good team result and our best points score of the season so far."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A great race from Michael at his 20th anniversary here in Spa. Coming from last to fifth place is excellent and well deserved. Michael drove impeccably and the team had a great strategy in starting with the slower medium tires to get them out of the way at an early stage. Being in a position to use the softs during his last stint, whilst Nico was on mediums, was crucial for the outcome of their races. Nico had a great start and was leading for a couple of laps but of course the speed of our current package is still not good enough to stay at the top of the field. A satisfying result for the team after the summer break; well done guys. We will try very hard in a fortnight in Monza."
Vitaly Petrov (9th): "I think we've made a big step forward with the car, and you can see that I was in top ten contention for all of the race - and close to the Mercedes - so we need to keep working in this direction. Our strategy was good, however we lost out on our top speed which meant I found it very difficult to overtake. The car was very strong on the corners, and we were very good on the brakes until I had issues at the end. For the final laps I was driving differently to compensate for the brake concerns, but unfortunately I spun right at the end as I had totally lost my front brakes. Looking at the performance of the weekend, overall I'm quite happy."
Bruno Senna (13th): "Unfortunately I made a mistake in the first corner, which cost me the chance of really causing a stir at the top end for the remainder of the race. So, firstly I would like to say sorry to Jaime (Alguersuari) for that. I made a mistake in the braking area, so that meant I slipped back and couldn't compete where I wanted to; this left me quite lonely at the back for a while! However, once I'd paid the price with the drive through penalty I was able to start making some progress and my race pace was actually quite strong, so I kept pushing and was pleased with how I drove from then on. Obviously I would like to have finished higher, considering my grid position, but I've now got a good pace to build on and take me through to Monza, which is another of my favorite tracks. We'll sit down and learn where we can improve but the foundations are there."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "I take mixed feelings from today because we suffered from a difficult first corner, which prevented us from scoring more points. Having said that, both Vitaly and Bruno drove a respectable race from this point on, and ensured we would take something away from this weekend. Importantly, we have at least returned to the points with Vitaly's ninth position. It's good to see that we've improved our pace, and there are clear indications that some of our vigor has re-emerged following some tricky races recently. This weekend has acted as a real building block for Monza, and I'm glad to say that spirits are higher than they have been for a while."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "It was good for us to get back in the points again, but it was a disappointing afternoon as I felt we had the pace to achieve better than we did. Bruno slipped up on his first corner, and this damaged his first set of tires which set the scene for the rest of his race. Looking over his weekend, he did a fantastic job yesterday and it was always going to be a very difficult indoctrination racing on these tires in dry conditions for the first time at this circuit. Vitaly had good pace but unfortunately there wasn't the straight-line speed, even with the DRS, to overtake even if we were clearly faster than the Force India at the end of the race. We had a problem with Vitaly's brakes at the end - possibly one of the front discs - causing a big vibration and unfortunately on the last corner of the last lap he spun. On a positive note it's very clear that we've improved the car with new parts and the updates have shown clear improvements."
Riccardo Penteado, Engine Support Leader: "Spa is one of the hardest tracks for the engine, with over 70% of the lap spent at full throttle. It put the engines under extreme pressure, which is why we put new units in for maximum power. Engine-wise it's been a very good weekend with high top speed down the long straights and a return to the top 10 in qualifying for both cars. The race was looking promising after the performance yesterday but Bruno unfortunately had the accident at the start and had to convert his race to a learning experience. Vitaly was unfortunate to lose eighth at the end with a brake problem but it's still two valuable points to open the second half of the year."
Pastor Maldonado (10th): "I'm really happy to score a point for both myself and for the team. It is a big improvement. During the race our pace was very consistent so I'm happy for that and I'm also pleased for my country. Finally we have some points and it's even better to get them here at such a special track. It was a hard race starting from the back, but I was pushing every single lap."
Rubens Barrichello (16th): "We ended up being more competitive than we thought which is a great thing. I lost time fighting with Rosberg during the in lap for my second pit stop which was unfortunate as it lost me time and points which I think I could have scored. I am very happy for Pastor that he has got his first points though. Either of us could have scored today which is encouraging as the team is making progress."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "It was a good race into the top ten for Pastor today and well done to him on scoring points. Both cars were consistent and strong in the critical sectors of this demanding race track. Pastor and Rubens managed their tires blistering during the race using Pirelli recommendations. We damaged the front wing on both cars during the race, which hurt the performance of the car, but our pace was still consistent."
Adrian Sutil (7th): "After starting P15 we have to be very happy with our seventh place today. It was an exciting race with lots of action, but we had a good strategy and made the right calls at the right time. When the safety car came out I pitted straight away, which helped me because I made up a couple of places. I came out in sixth and after that I only lost one position to Schumacher, who was on the soft tire and faster than me. Overall I think that this result is a fair reflection of the pace we have had this weekend and it's nice to have recovered from the problems we had yesterday to leave here with these important points."
Paul di Resta (11th): "I got off the line very well and everything seemed to be going quite smoothly. But there was an incident ahead of me and I thought I had managed to get through the corner when I got hit hard by Timo [Glock]. That put a big hole in the floor, damaged my front wing and gave me a lot of understeer. Other than that the pace of the car was quite strong, but I was a bit unlucky with the safety car because the priority had to go to the leading car [Adrian] and I dropped behind the Williams. Without that I could have probably been ahead of Maldonado. It's good that Adrian was able to score some points and we've demonstrated the pace of the car once again."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "Considering the problems we had yesterday, I am very happy that we have managed to come away from Spa with six points to strengthen our position in the constructors' championship. It was a typical Spa race; very exciting and Adrian drove well to come through the pack and finish seventh. It was a great team performance and the strategy was spot on. I feel sorry that Paul was unable to join him in the points because he was unlucky today. The damage he picked up on the opening lap affected the balance of the car and then he lost out with the timing of the safety car. Even so, we leave here in high spirits and I'm confident we can continue this form in Monza in a couple of weeks' time."
Kamui Kobayashi (12th): "Of course I expected to score some points today. My start was good and I had a couple of nice fights. On the straights I was actually slower than expected, but I don't know yet why this was. It was also hard to survive with the soft tires and I was under pressure from Vitaly Petrov. Regarding the accident with Lewis Hamilton, which happened when I was running in fourth, I knew perfectly well he was faster than me so had no reason to fight with him. After he overtook me it was not my intention to get my position back, so I stayed on my line and didn't expect him to move over. When I pitted on the second lap behind the Safety Car I lost an awful lot of positions. Anyway, the long stint on the medium tires in the end worked well, but then I was too far away from the points."
Sergio Perez (DNF, Damage): "I am very disappointed. I had a good start and beginning to the race. The car was very good and we should have scored points. On lap five I was in seventh when Sebastien Buemi changed his line in front of me under braking, I tried to avoid hitting him but couldn't as I had lost downforce. I later got a drive through penalty which I did on lap 22. After that I also made my second pit stop. I had dropped way behind and tried to recover from there. I had just overtaken Bruno Senna when I felt there was something seriously wrong at the back of the car, so I drove it carefully back to the pits and that was it for today."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "For us it was a race of missed opportunities. After a good qualifying I was very much looking forward to the race, but, except for the weather, everything was against us."
James Key, Technical Director: "This was a disappointing result after a reasonably promising day yesterday, and the pace was not quite as good as it should have been either, so we need to look at why that was. We could and should have scored points today, but for various reasons it didn't work out for us. Sergio did well to try and maintain his position at the start, but he had an incident with one of the Toro Rossos, which we need to look at, and subsequently got a drive through penalty, so that pushed him right down the order. There was some damage to his car and the rear axle, which we now need to investigate this as that was part of our problem, and we had to retire him. Kamui lost several places during the safety car period. We called him into the box but for some reason he came in a lap later, so there was a miscommunication that we need to look into. We have to gather ourselves up and go to the next race."
Sebastien Buemi (DNF, Damage): "I got a great start, moving up from eleventh on the grid to sixth after the first corner, which was fantastic. I was able to follow the pace of Alonso and Hamilton. Then Perez tried to pass me and simply drove into the back of me, which completed destroyed my rear wing and I had no option but to bring the car back to the pits to retire. I really can't understand what he was doing, as I was clearly ahead of him: it was as though he forgot to brake. Next, we come to the team's home race in Monza and, as our car seems to have made progress in performance terms, let's see what we can do there."
Jaime Alguersuari (DNF,Accident): "I don't want to speak badly about any other driver as it's not my style, but I think the situation was quite clear to everyone. Going into the hairpin after the start, I was in the middle with Senna on my inside and Fernando on my outside and Senna completely missed his braking point and hit me which pushed me into the path of the Ferrari. However, there are many positive things we can take out of this weekend, as we clearly had a car capable of scoring many points today, which is a tribute to all the hard work of the team. I feel sorry for the guys, because starting sixth on the grid is not an everyday occurrence for us. Now I am looking forward to the next race in Monza, as I see no reason why we cannot be competitive there and score more points."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Both our drivers had very short races, before being knocked out in incidents that were not their fault, a view supported by the race officials, who penalized Senna and Perez for the collisions with Jaime and Sebastien respectively. Of course, this is very disappointing given our strong showing in qualifying, which meant we were hoping to score a good number of points today. However, on the positive side, both our drivers performed very well throughout the weekend and all the updates introduced on the STR6 appear to have delivered an increase in performance. Given all the hard work completed over the past few weeks prior to the break, in the factory at Faenza and the wind tunnel in Bicester, I think everyone at Scuderia Toro Rosso deserved a better reward than to see both cars go out of the race so early. However, our pace here was encouraging and means we can look forward to trying again in two weeks time, for what is our home race at Monza."
Jarno Trulli (14th): "For me and the whole team that was a really good race. I had a great start, passing a few other cars away from the line but then the accident in T1 meant both Heikki and I suffered damage - him to his nosecone, me to the floor and I had to run the whole race with that damage, so to finish 14th after that is just fantastic. Apart from the start I enjoyed the whole race - I passed a number of cars and when the safety car came out I was able to close the gap to the cars ahead. That gave me the chance to fight with the Renault and I passed him and was then able to keep pace with the other guys ahead. One of the best points of the race was the first stop I made - I came in just behind one of the HRTs and the pit crew did a brilliant job to get me out fast enough to pass him in the pitlane, so I want to thank them and the whole team for a really solid weekend. Racing like this, with no problems and with a car I can fight with all afternoon is very satisfying, so now I can't wait to get back in when we get to Italy and keep up the momentum we've built up here."
Heikki Kovalainen (15th): "That was a good race for us, obviously apart from the start! I got off the line well but it all tightened up at the first corner and I touched Jarno after someone else had hit me - I was caught in a bit of a sandwich but after I'd pitted and had a new nose it all went pretty well from there. The soft tires weren't working quite as well as the mediums, but I was still able to push and the main thing is we had a two car finish in strong positions, so that's a good end to the weekend."
Riad Asmat, Chief Executive Officer: "I want to thank the whole team for today's performance, and the jobs everyone has done all weekend. The main aim was to make sure both cars saw the checkered flag, and we wanted to be in the mix to take advantage of any opportunities that presented themselves and finish as high as we could reasonably expect. 14th and 15th means we achieved that, and everyone played their part in making sure we leave Spa on a high, so this goes down as a very good weekend."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "That is a very good result for the whole team today and goes down as one of our strongest performances since we came into the sport. We had a poor start where both cars were last after making contact in the first corner but we recovered very well, and to have finished in 14th and 15th after that is very pleasing. Both drivers were excellent today, but the pit crew deserve special praise for having taken a massive step forward in their performance. All our stops were exactly what we needed so congratulations to them for a job very well done today."
Thierry Salvi, Renault: "We can be very pleased with the result today. Our race performance was good and we were able to show that the setups we had worked on in the practice sessions were right for today, giving us the chance to fight and manage the tires well all afternoon. We enjoy races like this!"
Vitantonio Liuzzi (19th): "We knew it would be a complicated race, especially in dry conditions, but I made a good start and gained a few positions quickly. We were ahead of our main rivals and, even though we knew beforehand that our pace wasn't the best, we kept on fighting. I think we did a pretty good job, especially in the first stint of the race. We've improved on car set-up and race pace with respect to Friday's practice sessions which were also in dry conditions. But we've still got work to do to prove that we can progress from here until the end of season. The next race in Monza will be special for me because I will be racing at home, so I'm really looking forward to it. We still have to work hard this week though, because it is a very technical circuit."
Daniel Ricciardo (DNF, Vibration): "I can't be fully satisfied because it has been a short race for me but at least the time I was out there was really positive. I made a good start and then benefited from some incidents ahead but also made the right choice which let me pick up a few spots. The pace was quite good, a few of the faster cars ended up coming back through but we let them go without losing much time with our direct rivals. It was looking quite good ahead of the Virgins and Lotus. Unfortunately we had a problem with the rear which made us end the race prematurely. But there is no doubt that there are some positives to take. It would have been nice to finish but we've always got next time. From my side I'm happy with how the race was going and we will try to build on it for the next Grand Prix in Monza."
Colin Kolles, Team Principal: "This was a weekend where we needed thick skin to cope with all the problems that we encountered. We knew that Spa would be difficult. We were aiming at a two car finish, but it was not the case. It is a pity that Daniel was forced in to the first retirement of his F1 career and we must now work very hard to solve the issues. Let's look to Monza which requires a different aerodynamic configuration."
Jerome d'Ambrosio (17th): "I'm pretty happy about my race I have to say and I was very comfortable with the car balance. It was quite difficult at the start as there was a lot of debris and at one point I thought I had a problem but in the end it was a smooth race. It was also a bit tough in the last laps of the race trying to save fuel. It was the first time I ever had to do that so I had to try to adapt. It was something different but that's just more experience for me and it worked out okay. I'm very pleased how things went in my first home Grand Prix. There were quite a few incidents today so I focused on keep it nice and clean and in the end the team has another good two-car result. It's been a great way to start part two of the season."
Timo Glock (18th): "It was a bad start to the race as I made a mistake into Turn 1. I hit the brakes, locked the front tires and had no chance to avoid the crash with Paul Di Resta. Unfortunately I destroyed his car and his race a bit, so I have to say sorry for that - it was my mistake. But I got a penalty for it and had to pit to get a new front wing and check the car as it felt a bit strange after we hit. But in the end I just tried to bring the car back home, closing the gap and overtaking one of the HRTs. I have to say the boys did a great job with the pit stops and overall I'm happy with the result."
John Booth, Team Principal: "Congratulations to Jerome on a very pleasing result and solid result in his home Grand Prix. Whilst he unfortunately lost out to the HRTs at the start, he very quickly found his way past Liuzzi, and with Ricciardo's retirement his real only opposition was his team mate to the end of the race. Timo had a very good start but was perhaps a little ambitious with his braking for the first corner, and his ensuing coming-together with Paul Di Resta meant that he had to stop for a nose change on the first lap. The Safety Car enabled him to get back into the race and, once he had overtaken Liuzzi, his race was really about trying to catch up to Jerome. We're pleased with the reliability of both cars, however we didn't quite get our fuel consumption predictions correct from the Friday data, which meant for the second half of the race both drivers were having to work hard on their fuel saving. Again the pit crew performed well in what was quite an eventful race for them."
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