Canadian GP: Sunday Quotes
Felipe Massa (5th): "It's hard to express my feelings after a race like this. On the one hand, I am disappointed because, without my refueling problem, I could have been fighting for a place on the podium. On the one hand, I am happy to have brought home four points at the end of a very difficult race run on a track surface that was in really poor condition. Once I found myself at the back, I tried to climb back up again, but in the end, when I was behind Glock, I could not get past him and also I didn't want to run the risk of ending up off the track after all the trouble I'd been to get that far. I would like to congratulate Kubica and BMW: they worked really well and deserved this success. They are very strong, but I think we are working in the right direction, as could be seen from our performance level every day here."
Kimi Raikkonen (DNF, Accident): "There's not much I can say. My race was ruined by Hamilton's mistake. Obviously, anyone can make mistakes, as I did two weeks ago in Monaco, but it's one thing to make a mistake at two hundred per hour but another to hit a car stopped at a red light. I am not angry because that doesn't achieve anything and does not change my result! I am unhappy, because I had a great chance of winning. Once the graining had gone from the tires, the car was going very well. I have failed to score in these last two races and now it's time to start winning again. There is still a long way to go in the championship and it is still very close and we have everything we need to regain the ground we have lost."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "There is much for us to regret about the outcome of this race. We saw one of our drivers retire because he was hit when stopped at the exit of the pit lane in front of the red light. It was a serious mistake from Hamilton and I think the penalty imposed by the FIA is in line with it, even if it does not restore what was a lost opportunity for us. In fact, Kimi was in an excellent position to fight for the win, partly thanks to a car which showed it was running at a great pace. Felipe drove an exceptional race. Unfortunately, we had a problem with the refueling rig when he made a pit stop during the safety car period - a joint in the fuel line broke and no fuel went in - and we had to call him in next time round for a further stop that dropped him to the back of the field. Felipe did not lose heart and produced a great climb up the order which ended up with him finishing fifth. These are very important points which today allow us to maintain our lead in the Constructors' Championship. I spoke earlier of regret, but I would add that it is today's disappointment that actually strengthens our desire to fight back. We know there is still a long season ahead of us up against very strong opponents and so we say congratulations to BMW and Kubica for their first victory, but we are also aware of our own strengths that are a match for anyone."
Luca Baldisserri, Head of Trackside Operations: "I don't want to comment on the collision that involved Kimi: I would just say that, through no fault of our own, we lost a great chance of winning. I would prefer to pay a great compliment to Felipe, who drove a fantastic race after the problem we had at his first refueling stop. Dropped to the back of the pack, he managed to climb his way up the order to finish fifth, pulling off some very nice passing moves and showing what he is made of and what the F2008 can do. Kimi also, after an early waiting phase brought on by a bit of graining on his tires, had begun to lap at a great pace, which saw him set the fastest race lap. Compared to how these last two races went last year, we have definitely made a real step forward in performance terms, but for various reasons, we have not picked up the results that were within our grasp. Now we must immediately turn this bad sequence around and get back to our usual standards."
Robert Kubica (1st): "I'm very happy at having won the first race for the BMW Sauber F1 Team. I'm also happy for Poland and all my fans. It was a very difficult race for me. I started on the dirty side of the track and Kimi Raikkonen was nearly able to pass me, but I just managed to keep him behind. The timing of the Safety Car was unlucky for me, because I wanted to pit, but then the yellow light went on just about three seconds too early, so I had to continue. When the pitlane was open, almost everybody pitted together. I stopped at the exit because the light was still red. Kimi stopped beside me, and then I heard the noise when Hamilton crashed into his car. I have to be grateful to Lewis as he chose Kimi and not myself. After this pit stop I was stuck behind the one-stoppers and lost a lot of time. Timo Glock was the last one of them to stop, and only then could I push. I had just eight laps to increase the gap to 21 seconds, which was a huge challenge. I finally managed to get a 24 second lead, which meant I was able to stay ahead of Nick. From this moment on I took it a bit easier, but even then it's very easy to make a mistake, particularly because of the tarmac that was destroyed in some places. But it all worked out and I'm just happy!"
Nick Heidfeld (2nd): "Congratulations to Robert for winning this race, which he really deserved! I made a poor start and lost a position to Rubens Barrichello. Fortunately I was able to pass him, and from this moment on I was one of the fastest cars on the track. I stayed out when most of the other cars pitted because I was on a long stint. I was pushing very hard at that stage. We then decided to switch to a one stop strategy, with a very high fuel load and with the soft option tires which was a challenge. However, I was able to keep Fernando Alonso behind me. After his second pit stop Robert stayed ahead so I secured second place. Finishing second after starting from eighth is a great result, especially considering the difficult time I have had recently. Thanks a lot to the guys in Hinwil, who built me a new chassis after the accident I had with Alonso in Monaco!"
Dr. Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "It is fantastic, I am overwhelmed. It is difficult to find the right words. Today just everything worked well. We hoped for another podium here in Montreal, but would not have dreamed to get a one-two victory. Congratulations to Robert and Nick and to the entire team at home in Munich and Hinwil. Today we achieved a milestone. Both drivers worked with no errors and the strategies paid off. I think we will have to celebrate a lot today."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: "What a day! I just can't put my feelings into words after that race. Both drivers and the entire crew did a perfect job today. Robert had lost time when he was stuck behind slower cars after the Safety Car period, but in a fantastic sprint he made up for it and secured himself the race win. For Nick today was ideal. We shouldn't forget he started eighth. At certain times in the race he was the fastest man on track. When we switched him to a one-stop strategy we took pretty much of a risk, especially with regards to the tires because Nick had to drive with the softer option for a very long time. Today everything paid off - decisions on the day as well as all the work done over the last two and half years."
Fernando Alonso (DNF, Spin): "It's truly a missed opportunity today. I am extremely disappointed, as is the team, but our strategy was not the best suited for today. We now have to work hard to be in the position to challenge for big points."
Nelson Piquet (DNF, Brakes): "It's a disappointing end to my weekend, but I still take some positives from the race as the car was good today and our strategy looked really promising. The race was pretty hectic in the early laps, but unfortunately we had a brake problem and so I had to retire the car. It's a shame as we could have challenged for the points today. Now we need to focus on the next race in France."
Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: "Nelson retired due to a problem with the brakes, which caused abnormal wear, but we don't know why yet and we are still investigating exactly what happened. With Fernando we adopted the same strategy as Kubica at the pit stop, but unfortunately we got trapped by Heidfeld, which made our race difficult and ultimately we didn't finish."
Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: "After a good performance in qualifying we had other hopes for the race this afternoon. The arrival of the safety car at the start of the race meant that we had to review our strategy and that penalized us, especially with Fernando. He was then stuck behind the (one stopping) BMW (of Nick Heidfeld) before he retired."
Nico Rosberg (10th): "It was great to begin with and it was going fantastically at the start. I passed Alonso into turn one and I was getting away from him, yet at the same time I wasn’t losing too much to Massa in front. But then there was the incident in the pitlane, which really was unfortunate. Later in the race I tried to pass Vettel as it was really necessary to have a go, but I got off the clean line and went wide and Heikki Kovalainen got past me. I am now looking ahead to the next race in France where naturally we will be hoping to achieve a better result."
Kazuki Nakajima (DNF, Accident): "With all the other incidents in the field, it was going well, but then when I was following Jenson, it seemed as if he got on the marbles in the middle of the hairpin and lost traction, and I couldn’t avoid him. I damaged my front wing and it was coming off. When I came into the pitlane, it detached itself completely and was stuck under the chassis, so I couldn’t make the corner, so that was it for me."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "Obviously it was not a good result for us, although we had good first laps and a good strategy, but Nico then had a crash at the end of the pitlane, that put him back, and then had a puncture and it was difficult to recover from that. Kazuki had a crash later in the race at the hairpin. There were points for the taking as the car has been fast enough to be at the front of the midfield for the 2nd race in a row, but we simply haven’t capitalized on it."
David Coulthard (3rd): "I'm delighted to get a podium for the team, they've had a lot of work on at the previous races and back at base. You can expect some unusual results here, so we fuelled it long; but we expected the incidents would occur on track, not in the pit lane. But, nonetheless, the strategy worked well and all the credit to the engineers, mechanics and everyone back at Red Bull for all their hard work. The start was pretty hairy with all the cars bunched up round Turn 1 and Turn 2, but my goal was to get to the finish and get points, so to get my 62nd podium is a great result. This adds to the points Mark has already scored this season and helps us build our total in the Championship."
Mark Webber (12th): "I was on a two stop strategy and David was on a one-stop. We were out of position a bit with what happened in qualifying yesterday and it was difficult to recover from there. David's result brings a lot of points for the team though, which is very good."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "A fantastic result for the team today and particularly for David after such a tough start to the year. He kept his head down, had very good pace and the strategy worked out perfectly for a comfortable third place. For Mark, following his accident yesterday the pace car came at exactly the wrong point for him, and he was badly compromised by Barrichello and Nakajima in the first part of the race. He therefore couldn't exploit the pace advantage that he had and spent all afternoon in traffic. But, for the team, a podium result here in Montreal is an excellent result."
Fabrice Lom, Renault: "I'm very, very happy for the team. The relationship we have with Red Bull Racing is so good and this is such a big reward for us. We are so happy for David. He's had a difficult beginning to the season, but now he has a podium result. I hope it isn't the last we get this year! You need a good engine on this track and we've proved that we have that, we're on the podium and the reliability and performance is there."
Timo Glock (4th): "This is a fantastic day, and I'm delighted to take my first points of the year. I lost three places at the start, leaving me behind Jarno. I was quicker but when I got close enough I destroyed my rear tires. So I did my best to preserve them because I knew I was on a longer first stint and I was able to get by at the pit stop. After that it was really tricky to keep the car on the track in these conditions. I made one mistake and caused Jarno to lose a place, which is a pity. But then I tried to stay in front of Massa and not make any mistakes. The result is great for the team, great for my crew, the mechanics and the engineers who have done a perfect job in the last few weeks. I dedicate the points to them."
Jarno Trulli (6th): "This was a very good result for the whole team so I am very happy. We knew this would be a hard race and I just wanted to bring the car home because I wasn't feeling confident. The biggest mistake I made was before qualifying when I changed the set-up and suddenly I found myself qualifying with completely different track conditions. That cost me because I was unable to push as hard as I wanted. Towards the end of the race I had some trouble with the brakes. Then I was unfortunate that Timo made a small mistake late on. When he came back on the track I had to lift off and Massa got past. Still, in the end it's great to score points and I am happy for everyone."
Tadashi Yamashina, Team Principal: "This is a wonderful day for everyone involved with the team - from the race team to the test team to everyone working at the factory. I hope they can all enjoy this kind of moment. Before this race we opted for a very long one-stop strategy because we knew the likelihood of safety cars was very high here. That gave us the opportunity to be flexible when such problems arrived. The drivers and the pit crew all followed that strategy to the letter. With these very challenging track conditions the most important thing was for the two drivers to stay on the road. They both did that and more. On the last lap Timo drove very hard and managed to hold off Massa. That was a very valuable drive and a very valuable performance by him. This is an important haul of points and we are so happy. We will now do our best to keep up this momentum at the next race."
Sebastian Vettel (8th): "First of all I have to thank the mechanics who did a great job to rebuild the car after my mistake on Saturday morning. They did an unbelievable job, working through the night to get the work done. It's thank to them I raced today. Starting from pit lane wasn't easy but straight away I was able to catch the field, with a very good pace in the race and the car felt quite good. I was able to make up a couple places and then after the safety car came out, which for sure helped us, we ran a one stop strategy. I do not know exactly what happened during the pit stop, I would say a problem with the refueling rig, but it cost us a lot of time maybe two positions in the ranking but nevertheless it was a great day and finishing P8 was fantastic. The race conditions were really bad with the asphalt still falling apart you couldn't afford to go off line or you would lose at least a second. The last 10 laps didn't make my life easy and I was in one of the most difficult position as the cars I had behind were quite strong. I wanted the point and I resisted various attacks, I was held up by Barrichello and I think he had a problem. It was a great race, I had a great fun - a fantastic race for me and the team."
Sebastien Bourdais (13th): "It's just been a bad weekend all round. The race went much as I expected it, because of the really bad track conditions from the mid point on or even earlier. In these conditions, some guys did really well, like Sebastian, but I could not do anything with the car. I went slightly off the line and got the gravel. If this happens once or twice you are concerned it can happen again which is not good especially when you're running last. It was a complete disaster for me so I just forgot about the possibility of trying to drive fast, just trying to bring the car home... and even doing this was a challenge. This was the worst race ever for me, the worst weekend of my entire career. I have never experienced anything like it. I'm looking forward now to the next race, my home race and at a circuit where the track doesn't break up!"
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Vettel did a really fantastic job to start from the pit lane and pick up a point for eighth place, his second consecutive points finish. He might have finished higher if it wasn't for a problem with the refueling rig during his pit stop. He drove a very mature race, at one point managing to fight off Kubica and Alonso who were behind him and later, also keeping Kovalainen in a much faster car at bay. It was a very good well judged drive. Well done also to the team who worked brilliantly to build up a car with a new monocoque after Sebastian's crash yesterday. As for Bourdais, he struggled all the weekend. Let's just say this was not his weekend."
Rubens Barrichello (7th): "I'm pleased with the two points today, particularly as we thought our chances of a points finish were slim when we started the weekend. It was a very tough race and I have not been feeling well since yesterday due to a cold, which made it an even tougher physical challenge. We were running well on the prime tire for the first part of the race and the safety car certainly helped to improve our track position. Unfortunately when we switched to the option tire after my one and only stop and with a heavy fuel load, I was really struggling with a lack of grip. I went off the track on the marbles and lost a couple of positions at turns three and four, which is a shame. Yesterday I didn't know if I was going to be well enough to race, so all things considered we did a good job today and I'm pleased to keep up the points-scoring momentum from Monaco."
Jenson Button (11th): "It was a very tough and ultimately disappointing race today. It's always difficult starting from the back of the grid and we were using a set-up that we hadn't run previously this weekend. Things didn't quite go our way with the strategy and safety car which meant I was unable to make any progress up the field by the end of the race. We need to get our heads down now and work hard to make improvements before France to ensure that we are more competitive there."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "Rubens was fuelled long on a fairly typical strategy. The early safety car was deployed at the ideal moment for him, forcing the two stopping cars in front of him to pit. The incident in the pit lane also served to take out three of the faster cars and open up the points paying positions further. At the restart Rubens was able to pull out a little gap, although losing a place to Coulthard was inevitable. Rubens had done a great job in qualifying and we knew the race would be defensive, especially fuelled heavily on the option tire in the second half of the race. Sadly his one small mistake, due to a lack of grip, cost him two positions. He then had to succumb to the advancing Massa and he dropped to seventh. With Jenson, we swapped the tires in the safety car period, so he did not need to run on the weaker option later. For him the safety car just did not open the race enough to enable him to get into the points. We always knew this was going to be a tough race for us but we made the best of the opportunities and came away with more points. That is the approach we need to maintain. We are heading to Barcelona next week ahead of the French Grand Prix in Magny Cours, where the higher downforce characteristics of this track and potentially high temperatures will suit our car better."
Giancarlo Fisichella (DNF, Spin): "It was a difficult race and the grip level was poor as the track was breaking down and at the end it was like being in a four wheel drive car. I think our pace was there, particularly in the second stint, but during the first pit stop I had a problem with the stall and dropped right back. We thought there would be a safety car just before my second stop, but it never came, but at the end I had some problems and had to stop anyway. It's quite disappointing."
Adrian Sutil (DNF, Gearbox): "Another disappointing day. This time the gearbox was a problem, I couldn't shift into second or third gear and didn't have any speed anymore and I had to stop after 12 laps which was frustrating. The track was not too bad at the start, it looked more difficult than it was but the hairpin was quite OK. It was very dirty at the beginning, but at that stage I think our pace was quite good. I just couldn't find a way to get past the two Toyotas, which was a bit of a problem as they were holding me up, but the pace was there, we just finished too early with this technical problem."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "Sadly another disappointing weekend. Unfortunately we had two mechanical issues that ended both Adrian and Giancarlo's races, but we will analyze why and move on. We have to keep these things in mind but look forward to the next race in France and not let this disappointment get us down. I do think there are however many positives we can take over to France; Giancarlo was very competitive in his last stint and overall we have been very close to the midfield all weekend. After his fine performance in Monaco, Adrian also had a good weekend here in Canada too as he kept pace with Giancarlo throughout. It was just a shame that we could not translate this performance into a result here today."
Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: "A frustrating race for Force India and very disappointing not to get two cars to the flag. From our starting positions of 16th and 17th we had a good race pace. It was a shame that Adrian stopped with a gearbox problem so early on as he was very competitive with the group in front. We've yet to identify the reasons exactly. Giancarlo's pace in the first stint was also very good and we made a call to leave him out during the first safety car period, mainly to get track position. On his pit stop we decided to leave the fronts on and only change the rears, but as he pulled away he had an engine stall, which was very strange as we haven't seen it before, and it compromised his race. The decision on tires turned out to be right though as his pace on the second stint was actually very, very good. We made a call to bring him in again when Alonso spun on lap 44, hoping that a safety car would come out, but it didn't materialize and we couldn't pick up any positions. Sadly a spin then ended his race. We will just have to move onto Magny-Cours now and hope for better there."
Heikki Kovalainen (9th): "Today wasn't a great day for me. At the start of the race I felt we had the potential to record a very good result - but then I started to experience quite a lot of graining on my first set of tires. Changing tires didn't seem to help matters, and I was never therefore able to push hard to the finish. It's always difficult when you come home empty-handed, but this weekend has shown that we have a package that can compete for a win - and I'll keep pushing for exactly that in Magny-Cours."
Lewis Hamilton (DNF, Accident): "Before my pit stop, everything looked on course for the perfect result: we were so quick, we were breezing it in fact. But it wasn't a great pit stop - and, as I exited the box, I saw two cars jostling for position ahead of me in the pit lane. Obviously, I didn't want to get involved in their tussle, and was trying not to do so, and then all of a sudden they stopped. And by the time they'd come to a halt, it was too late for me to avoid them. It's just unfortunate when stuff like this happens, but I have no argument with the stewards. We'd looked so strong for the whole weekend though, so at least we can leave Montreal confident that we have a package that will enable us to fight for the World Championship from here on in."
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: "Obviously, for a team that exists to win, today was a very disappointing day. But the fact is that we had the pace and therefore the capability to win, which is of course encouraging. The collision that eliminated Lewis was just one of those things. No racing driver would deliberately put himself out of a Grand Prix, and the plain fact is that Lewis didn't realize that the cars in front of him were coming to a halt until too late. It's difficult for a driver to decide whether to focus on the lights or on the cars ahead in situations like that. Having said that, we accept the stewards' decision. Heikki had a difficult weekend, too. But, together as a team, we'll build on the disappointment of Canada 2008."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "A race to quickly forget. Lewis held a comfortable lead and controlled the field until the 20th lap and had the best chance of winning, when his accident at the pit lane exit destroyed them. We now concentrate on the next race, Lewis is just four points behind the leader in the World Championship. Congratulations to BMW on their 1-2 victory - well done!"
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