|A happy Jenson Button|
Jenson Button, on fresher tires, won an epic Canadian F1 Grand Prix with a last lap pass of race leader Sebastian Vettel who got sideways when his super soft tires gave up the ghost with half a lap to go. Button lead only a single lap, the one that counts, the last lap.
Behind them Mark Webber used his DRS and KERS to pass Michael Schumacher on the next to last lap to claim the final podium position.
Schumacher was close behind in 4th and Vitaly Petrov 5th.
Felipe Massa passed Kobayashi right at the line for 6th.
Sebastian Vettel (2nd): "Of course I'm disappointed. I think it was a very difficult race from start to finish and we led every single lap, apart from the last one, or part of the last one. I think I was probably too conservative when I was in the lead after the last safety car; I didn't open the gap enough and was trying to hold the gap to the cars behind. Then I saw Jenson coming through, I was pushing and thought it would be enough to the end, but obviously it wasn't, as I made a mistake. It's down to me, I locked up the rear a little bit and what you have to do then is open up the car and go a bit straighter, there's only one line and I ended up in the wet, so it was quite easy for him to pass. But, surely I think it was a good day today, it's easy to make mistakes and there were a lot of cars not finishing, so it's good to get the points. That said, at the moment – when you have it in your hands and you give it away – then it's not the sweetest feeling. But, I think all in all, it was a good race for us today."
Mark Webber (3rd): "It was an eventful race! I had a few people to pass after the break; it wasn't too hard until the dry line appeared on the racing line and it was slippery off line. It was then very hard to clear some of the guys, as it meant there was such a narrow window to get down the inside of people. When you have experienced guys like Michael (Schumacher) and Nick (Heidfeld) to pass, well those guys know what they're doing, so it becomes even trickier. I decided to roll the dice and go onto the slicks. I was happy to see that not everyone followed immediately, so I had two laps which was enough to bring me back in the game for the podium. Then it was a pretty good fight with Michael, we both wanted the same bit of track when we were braking for the chicane, but when JB arrived, he was absolutely flying. Today's result means plenty of points for the team and it's a good result, so I'm pretty happy with that."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "After a long afternoon and to have pretty much led every lap of the race, it was obviously frustrating to lose the Grand Prix almost in sight of the checkered flag. Jenson was very quick in the closing stages of the race and Sebastian was fighting very hard to keep him out of the DRS zone, as we could see how powerful that was. Unfortunately Sebastian made a rare mistake on a day when a lot of drivers made a lot of mistakes. He paid a price, but second is still a very good result and far from disastrous. We got a lot of points and Sebastian's only 14 points off a maximum score after seven races, which is an achievement in itself. I think Formula One provided tremendous entertainment this afternoon. Mark battled his way back through the field and had a great duel with Michael; he put in an excellent drive to join Sebastian on the podium, so from a team point of view to get a second and third on a day when neither Fernando nor Lewis scored, is still a very good afternoon's work. Hats off to the guys who stood in the rain for an hour and a half today waiting for the re-start, hopefully there won't be too many with colds in the morning."
Cyril Dumont, Renault: "I have mixed feelings today. It was a good recovery from Mark, who was 14th after the second corner incident with Lewis, so a great recovery from him. For Sebastian, it was a more straightforward race, but unfortunately he made a small mistake at the end. But, in the Championship, it's still a very good result for him, he started the race 58 points ahead of Hamilton and now he's 60 points ahead of Button, so it's good for him. For the team it's also a good result, as we got more points than all the others."
Jenson Button (1st): "That was the best victory of my career, and today is therefore a very special day for me. I fought my way from last to first to win the race, and I overtook the cars in front of me on the track. To win a grand prix by getting one over on your rivals with a series of strong overtaking moves makes it even better. Races in changing conditions are always very tricky – but I love it when you've got to search for grip on the track rather than knowing in advance where it is. It was an amazing victory – I don't think it could have been any better, especially after Monte-Carlo where we thought we had a win in the bag but were then disappointed at the very end. I was a little bit fortunate today when Sebastian [Vettel] made a mistake on the last lap, but I think we deserved that bit of luck! As far as the incident with Lewis is concerned, I couldn't see a thing behind me except a blur of Vodafone rocket-red, but that could have been my rear wing: obviously, it's the same color as Lewis's car. I moved to the left, which is the racing line, then I felt a bang, and I feared it was game over for both of us. Lewis knows that I didn't do it on purpose, and I know that he didn't do it on purpose either. I spoke to him before the race restarted, and it's all good. I want to offer big congrats to Dave [Robson], my race engineer. We haven't won together before, so this is a very special result for him as well as for me. Now, I just want to enjoy this moment; it's been a long time coming and it couldn't have been much sweeter. I can't stop smiling now!"
Lewis Hamilton (DNF, Accident): "First of all, I have to offer my heartfelt congratulations to Jenson – he drove an absolutely incredible race and thoroughly deserved this victory. It was an utterly fantastic performance, from a truly great driver. I'm also sorry for the team; they've worked really hard this week and we could have done with the points that a two-car finish would have earned us today. Although the conditions were very tricky from the start, I had pretty good grip and I was doing the best I could to keep the car on the track; I think I had pretty good race pace, and I didn't have any particular problems. I touched Mark's [Webber] car after he braked a bit early into the first corner. He left me enough room, but I touched the inside curb and understeered into him. Then I started fighting back. After I fell back behind Jenson, he outbraked himself into the final chicane and got a poor exit, so I was able to get a good run on him. It felt to me like I was halfway alongside him down the pits straight – but, as he probably hadn't spotted me, he continued moving across on the racing line. There was no room for me, so I hit the wall. Of course, I don't think it was intentional: I know Jenson well enough and I know he wouldn't do that. He's a good guy. So, now, I'll just focus on the next race and the rest of the season. It would be great if we could qualify a little higher up the grid in order to stay out of trouble in Valencia; but our race pace is good and I really want to do well there."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "The 2011 Canadian Grand Prix may well be remembered as one of the most eventful, exciting and suspenseful races in Formula 1 history. After a spell of torrential rain that made the circuit undriveable and triggered a lengthy red flag period, the race restarted with Jenson in 21st place. It soon became apparent that his car was in good shape, but what followed almost defied credence. In fact I think I've heard the word 'unbelievable' shouted at me by joyful colleagues about a hundred times this afternoon, and in truth Jenson's drive was exactly that: absolutely unbelievable. Other adjectives that spring to mind are 'heroic', 'majestic', 'magnificent' and 'superb'! The boys did a great job too – they performed six pitstops for Jenson alone, in difficult conditions, under enormous pressure – and this dramatic win underlines the extraordinary team spirit that exists within Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Our car's race pace has been consistently strong in Montreal today, in Monte-Carlo two weeks ago, and in Barcelona a week before that; next we'll go on to Valencia, where we'll be hoping to build on this victory and that consistent baseline of competitive speed. Lewis had a frustratingly short race, which ended when he and Jenson made contact at the beginning of the start-finish straight. We took the decision to ask him to stop his car on the track, and our post-race inspection revealed that that was the correct choice: his suspension was damaged to such an extent that it would have been impossible to continue. In our view it was just a racing incident, and both Lewis and Jenson share that view. So did the FIA stewards, who did an excellent job in tricky conditions today. Sometimes an accident is no-one's fault, and this was one of those occasions. Like Jenson, Lewis is already looking forward to Valencia, where I hope and expect that MP4-26, and both its drivers, will be capable of scoring another win. Bring it on!"
Felipe Massa (6th): "I can't draw much satisfaction from this sixth place, given the potential we had here. My chances of finishing on the podium and also of fighting for the win given how things went, just evaporated when I was passing Karthikeyan. He was going very slowly on the dry line but then, as I was passing him on the wet, he accelerated and I lost control of the car ending up in the wall. Thanks to the next Safety Car, I was able to catch up to the pack and then, in the end, I passed a few cars to get as high as sixth. I am angry, there is no point denying it. We qualified well and we were in the top three up until the red flag. Then what happened happened and it was all over. I am pleased with how the car performed, both on the extreme wets and on the slicks, but with the intermediates, I was struggling a bit. Now we go to Valencia, a track where we can be competitive, given its characteristics are fairly similar to here. We will have the medium tires, that we tested here on Friday: we will see what sort of grip levels they give us."
Fernando Alonso (DNF, Accident): "Everything went wrong, right from this morning when we saw it was raining. We had our best qualifying of the year and we found ourselves starting behind the safety car, when I felt that for me, the intermediates were the best tire. When we fitted them, the downpour came, along with the red flag which meant those who had not changed tires could now do it practically for nothing. Finally there was the coming together with Button, which as a final insult left my car beached on a curb and I was unable to get going again. It's a real shame because today we really had a good race pace but we were unlucky: that's not a feeling I have, it's a fact. When you don't score points then you must immediately turn the page and look to the next race. I think that in Valencia we can do well, because it is another circuit which should suit our car well, as was also the case here. The championship is not finished yet, but we must now hope for errors from others to have some hope. Our performance level here was good, especially because of the characteristics of the circuit, but also thanks to the updates we brought here. We must keep our heads up, have confidence in our ability and work hard."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "Regret is the feeling affecting all of us at the end of a chaotic Canadian Grand Prix. Today we had the potential to fight for the win, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong. In the end, Felipe's sixth place is definitely a result that is hard to swallow given how the race ended. Two incidents in particular – the collision between Fernando and Button and the passing move on Karthikeyan that caused Felipe to go of the track – leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Now we must put this Sunday behind us, while retaining the fact that our performance level was a match for the situation, just as we had seen two weeks ago in Monaco. We must do it again starting in Valencia and then improve for those races – I'm thinking above all of Silverstone – where aerodynamic efficiency will count for more and maybe the new interpretation of the regulations concerning the exhausts could change the pecking order in the field."
Pat Fry: "You could say that was a pretty chaotic race, from which we did not come away with what was within our capabilities. Events definitely did not do us any favors, starting with the weather: today, also given what we had seen in qualifying, we could have fought for the win even in dry conditions In the first part of the race, the drivers were getting a different feel from their cars: for Fernando the intermediates were quicker and that is what led to the decision to bring him in to fit them. Then it began raining harder and the red flag followed. It was a lottery and our numbers did not come up, that's for sure. Now we must look ahead and put this race behind us as quickly as possible, without letting it get us down. The team worked well in what were very difficult conditions. From a performance point of view, this weekend we saw that the gap to the quickest seems to have been reduced. Unfortunately, we did not reap the benefits of that on today's results sheet. We must look ahead and try to continue down this route of improving the car: sooner or later the results will come."
Michael Schumacher (4th): "I am leaving this race with one eye laughing and one eye crying, as I am not sure if I should be excited or sad about it. Having been in second place towards the end, I would obviously have loved to finish there and be on the podium again. But even if it did not work out in the very end, we can be happy about the result and the big fight we put in. A good strategy after the red flag made it possible, and I am very happy for our team. I would also like to send a big compliment out to the spectators who stayed with us in those difficult circumstances for so long and even cheered us up. That was impressive, and I am glad that I could play my part in entertaining them."
Nico Rosberg (11th): "It was a very demanding race this afternoon. In general, everything was okay with my car and, at the end, I was up there in the points but I made a mistake at the hairpin on lap 66. I was trying to overtake Kobayashi and was very close behind him in turn 10; he slowed when I didn't expect it, I hit the back of him and damaged my front wing, which then came off on the last lap. The same thing had happened to me, but in reverse, when Sutil hit me. I could perhaps have been a little more aggressive with some of my stops today, pitting a little earlier, but it's always difficult to judge the risk. Although my result was not so good, I'm sure it was an exciting race for the fans in front of the TV. We have some positives to take from this weekend, and we will look to give a strong performance next time in Valencia."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "After our intermediate tire strategy during the first part of the race didn't work out, we were looking a little stranded in 11th and 12th positions when the race was red flagged, but we recovered the situation well. Michael stopped for intermediate tires on lap 34 when the Safety Car came in, which enabled him to gain a number of positions, and Nico did the same two laps later. It was a thrilling race and Michael drove beautifully in the second part; he did a strong job on the intermediates and the option tires, but was unable to hold off Jenson and Mark's faster cars, particularly when they had the use of DRS. Even so, it was a fantastic drive to climb eight places and finish fourth. Nico had a more difficult time: he got hit by Sutil, but climbed back from that and looked set for a solid points finish until he lost his damaged front wing on the final lap which left him in 11th place. Overall, it was an exciting and extremely challenging but ultimately positive race for our team."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "This wasn't just a Grand Prix – it was like an action movie. First of all, congratulations to Jenson and McLaren Mercedes for coming from last to first position and posting the 75th win with a Mercedes engine since our first victory in the modern era at Melbourne in 1997. Michael drove at his best today; he ran second for a long time and he was the fastest man in the field on intermediates. He ultimately finished fourth, just 0.3s from the podium, which is a very respectable result. The team worked very hard over the weekend and Michael extracted everything possible from the car; our sincere compliments to him for this drive. Nico was hit from behind on the restart after the red flag, and would have brought his slightly damaged car home in the points until, after contact, he lost his front wing on the last lap. Michael's result is a good reward for our team's hard work in the past weeks and we will build on it. His drive contributed a lot to a remarkable race, which gave fantastic entertainment to the spectators here in Montreal who waited so long for the restart, as much as for the television viewers worldwide. This was motor racing at its best."
Vitaly Petrov (5th): "Today, the conditions became very difficult after a few laps and stopping the race was the right decision. There was absolutely no grip and the car was aquaplaning everywhere. When it restarted, we tried to make the most of our position : I was fourth because I decided not to change my tires before the red flag. From then on, I was fighting for a good position. On one hand, finishing fifth after starting 10th is a good result but, on the other hand, I really feel we could have finished on the podium today. That said, I welcome these extra points, and I think we're back on track after a couple of difficult races. A big thank you to the team for the work this weekend."
Nick Heidfeld (DNF, Accident): "Naturally, the main disappointment for me is that I didn't finish the race. I was behind Kamui (Kobayashi) and then something happened. He slowed down suddenly and I hit the back of him, which resulted in my front wing coming off and me going off the track. I was on track for fifth and some good points, so it's frustrating that more did not come from today after a decent qualifying session yesterday. Today was one of those unpredictable races and I just had to drive as well as I could in the circumstance. We will now look forward to Valencia where I hope to get some more points for the team."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Once again, the team scored points today, which means we've finished in the top 10 with at least one car at every race since the start of the season. We've also understood some of our recent problems, and the solutions we brought with us to Montreal were promising because our pace has clearly improved. This said, despite all these positives, we leave Montreal with mixed feelings. Firstly, we could have scored points with both cars today. Unfortunately, Nick was caught out by Kamui Kobayashi, who was unusually slow on exit. Until then, his race had been perfect. With a bit more luck, Vitaly could have finished a bit higher too."
Alan Permane, Chief Race Engineer: "A very eventful afternoon. We felt we were a little bit unfortunate to only come away with fifth place to be honest. We judged it right in the first part of the race when other teams were stopping for intermediate tires, but we could see there was a lot of rain coming so we stayed out on our extreme wets. Unfortunately Nick had a tussle with Kamui (Kobayashi), lost his front wing which put him out of the race and then Vitaly drove a solid race to come home fifth. We were definitely looking to get two cars into the points so could have been better from that point of view."
Riccardo Penteado, Engine Support Leader: "A really busy race for everyone and almost impossible to sum up in just a few words. A good result for Vitaly to secure fifth position and some more points, which will be very important for the constructors' championship as Mercedes got a strong finish here. We went very aggressive with his fuel strategy, counting on the rain to throw up a lot of different possibilities, and we were very, very tight at the end. After a precautionary engine change for Nick last night, it was looking good in the race and a shame he could not get the points he deserved. All the same, both cars were very competitive throughout the whole race and it will give us confidence going back to Europe for the next event."
Rubens Barrichello (9th): "Starting from 16th, I am happy that I managed to score more points for the team. Unfortunately, it should have been more but I lost a potential 6th or 7th place when I went offline to avoid Kobayashi after the last safety car went in. He ran wide while overtaking a backmarker and rejoined the track without seeing that I was there. I was then forced offline and lost a lot of positions. That was unfortunate but it was still a good reward to score a couple of points again."
Pastor Maldonado (DNF, Accident): "It was a difficult race for me. I had quite a bit of oversteer at the beginning so the car was difficult to manage. When the race was re-started, the car felt better on inters and then even better on the dry tires. We then had another safety car. When that went in, Kobayashi made a mistake at the first corner, Rosberg braked in front of me in response and I collided with him. That broke my front wing so I had to make a stop. After that, I just spun out on the wet."
Sam Michael, Technical Director: "After an incident-packed race it was good to score a couple of points. The first safety car deployment hurt our decision to put both cars on intermediate tires that were working out really well. After the long race suspension, the calls to switch to intermediates and then dry tires were spot on to put both cars into the points. We then had some issues on the re-start that meant we dropped back in the order."
Paul di Resta (18th): "The weather conditions were very bad today and given the intensity of the rain it was absolutely the right decision to stop the race. There were a lot of rivers running across the track and they were catching people out, even under safety car conditions. After the restart I think things were going well until I lost my front wing against Nick [Heidfeld] at the chicane when he cut across me. That gave me a drive-through penalty, which I was quite surprised to receive because it only really compromised me. After that I was coming back through the field and I was pushing to pass Rubens [Barrichello] in the final few laps. Unfortunately I pushed a bit too hard and clipped the wall, which gave me a puncture. That's why I had to park the car. It's a shame because we had a strong car today and we could have come away with some important points."
Adrian Sutil (DNF, Accident): "At the start of the race the visibility was extremely poor and there was very little grip. I had problems with the full wets so I switched to the intermediates quite early on, which were good for a few laps until the rain got too heavy. At the restart I was doing quite well until I got too close to Rosberg when the safety car was out. All the cars ahead of me slowed down a lot at the hairpin and I just got caught out, which damaged my front wing. But the car still felt okay and I didn't lose too much time. After the drive-through penalty, I decided it was worth the risk of switching to dry tires, but it was maybe a few laps too early. I had quite a big snap on my out lap and touched the wall, which broke the left rear suspension."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "A very long and eventful afternoon of racing where we didn't realize our potential. We had a very quick car and both drivers were competitive, but the circumstances of the race did not go our way. Both drivers picked up damage to their front wings, without which I'm confident we could have come away with a double-points finish because the strategic calls from the pit wall were very good today. We will now go away and analyze our approach to the race so that we can come back stronger in Valencia"
Kamui Kobayashi (7th): "We have scored points and in the end this is most important. We have proved we are good in the wet, but when the track became dry my pace wasn't good enough to defend my position. Originally I qualified 13th so then it is not bad to finish seventh, but on the other hand I started second after the long red flag and looking from there the result is disappointing. I really tried to bring the car home in a better position, but it didn't work out."
Pedro de la Rosa (12th): "First of all I want to thank the FIA. It stopped the race when it became too dangerous and I think every safety car call was right. Before the red flag it became impossible to drive. You could not see anything and I was aquaplaning in every gear. However, I came from 17th and resumed the race in ninth behind the safety car. But just before the restart Jenson (Button) and I touched and I had to pit because of a damaged front wing. This ruined my race, I lost many positions, and I even lost a few more later when I got stuck in first gear. On top of that I lost time due to some backmarkers. I tried to recover from this as well as possible, but points were then out of reach. I must say it could have been a lot better today, but also the team made very good pit calls, so thanks for this. It was an extremely eventful race, especially for somebody who had just stepped into a car at short notice. I will not forget these days here, this is for sure."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "This weekend started really badly for us with Sergio not being able to race for health reasons. However, going into the race from P13 and P17 and scoring six points is quite an achievement we can be proud of. Nevertheless there is also a slight disappointment because after the re-start we hoped for more. But circumstances didn't help us. Congratulations to Kamui for a great race, and a big thank you to Pedro for all his efforts."
James Key, Technical Director: "Overall this has been a pretty tough weekend with mixed fortunes. After some difficult practice sessions we hoped for a better showing in the race, and overall that's what we got. Both drivers did well at the beginning of the race to make progress. It was a good call from the drivers and the team to initially stay out and gain some positions. Kamui held his positions pretty well after the re-start, and all looked fairly reasonable on wet tires. The change to intermediates went pretty well for Kamui, but I think safety cars and the dry conditions in the end put us at a slight disadvantage with some quicker cars coming from behind, and Kamui couldn't really defend against some of them. Sadly we ended up seventh. There was the potential for a better result, but then we can't complain because we started further back. Overall Kamui did a fantastic job keeping it all together under pressure. To get piped by a couple of hundredths at the line in the end was rather unfortunate, but we collected six points. Pedro was looking okay, but then he had some front wing damage which unfortunately dropped him back a bit just outside the points. Otherwise he drove a solid race, and we thank him a lot for getting into the car at short notice and racing well."
Jaime Alguersuari (8th): "I am very happy because to finish eighth having started last from the pit lane is a really good result for us. I am also very pleased that I have scored my first points of the season, even if I know there is still room for improvement on my side and in terms of how we set up the car to suit me, especially in qualifying. Today, the team did a good job and we also made the most of every opportunity that came our way, some of them down to the bad luck of other teams. We ran a perfect strategy in terms of when we decided to stop to change tires. This result will give everyone a lot of motivation to keep working hard. It gives us wings as we head for my second home race in Valencia! And the spectators deserve a mention for sitting in the cold and wet for so long, but I think they saw a good motor race."
Sebastien Buemi (10th): "Of course, I am pleased to have scored a point as that is always important. However, I am a bit disappointed because I think I could have done better myself and I'm not sure if changing to the slicks so early worked for me. But, looking at the overall result, including Jaime's eighth place, I am very happy for the team, who did such a good job. It seems something unusual always happens at this race and today's turned out to be a bit longer than expected, but stopping the race was the only correct decision because the cars were aquaplaning and visibility was very bad. I am sure the whole afternoon was very spectacular for the spectators! Now we must continue to work hard to be in good shape for Valencia."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "Once again, an exciting Formula 1 race: I thought Monaco was the peak, but yet again today we had another fantastic Grand Prix which is important as this sport is supposed to be entertainment. For Scuderia Toro Rosso, this is our best result of the year, as it is the first time we have got both our cars home in the points. I am very happy for Jaime that he finished eighth, getting his first points of the season. It will be good for his self-confidence as he has been struggling slightly in recent races and we can expect better things from him now, in Valencia and the following races. Sebastien also did a good job, coming home tenth. Our strategy worked well, gambling to come in early to change to slicks, which proved to be the correct decision and paid off. In fact, the whole team deserves praise today, as it was not easy managing the situation over such a long time with the break in the middle of the race, but they did an excellent job. We can now look forward to Valencia, where we should have some new parts on the car aimed at improving our performance."
Jarno Trulli (17th): "That was a very eventful race. It started well but I struggled all afternoon with the brakes and even though I was able to get them up to temperature I think they glazed after the first safety car and I couldn't recover them. After the race restarted I had the same issue with the brakes but as the track dried they started coming back and I was able to start pulling away from our direct competitors. Unfortunately after the stop to dry tires I had something moving around in the cockpit so I came back in again for the team to investigate it. They couldn't fix it so I went back out and did as well as I could to bring the car home to the end."
Heikki Kovalainen (DNF, Driveshaft): "Unfortunately my race came to an end with a driveshaft failure. When we restarted I lost drive pretty much immediately and had to retire which is obviously a disappointing end to the weekend. It's just one of those things, nothing I could do about it so hopefully we'll have better luck in Valencia and keep pushing on."
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "Honestly, that was a bit of a disappointing day for us. We had a mix up at the first pit stops and we struggled to improve from there in a race that could have provided some exciting opportunities for us. It is important that we see this as another part of our development and learn from the experience this weekend. However, there are a number of positives to take away from here – our performance in qualifying was excellent and Jarno put in an excellent drive this afternoon, and all weekend, so now we move on to Valencia where I am sure we will put this race behind us and keep moving forward."
Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "After a very strong weekend that was not the sort of race we wanted to have. We lost a number of places after a problem in the first stops and then unfortunately Heikki had a driveshaft failure after the race restarted. Jarno has been strong all weekend and put in a fine drive this afternoon. He was able to pick up all the places he lost after the first pitstop and would have had a strong finish, but when he came in for the second time the front inerter failed and dropped down around his feet in the cockpit . We considered retiring the car but Jarno did an awesome job to not only bring the car to the end but also to catch the cars in front of him. He nearly passed them in the last couple of laps, despite the very large handicap he had, so sincere thanks to him for keeping his foot down in what was a very difficult situation. Despite all that, we did have a strong weekend in terms of the car's performance so while that was not the best race we will ever have, I think we can see it as another stepping stone in the development of the team."
Thierry Salvi, Renault: "It was a pretty difficult day out there. We were maybe not as lucky as we could have been with the strategy and you always need a little luck in these conditions. From our perspective a wet race like this makes it very tricky to get the most out of the engine mapping. The conditions mean we need very good drivability, especially out of the corners because the driver needs a very smooth engine response and I think we have some work to do in that area."
Vitantonio Liuzzi (13th): "It was a crazy race. The crazier it is the more we like it though. It was a great result for us, for everybody in the team, because we've done everything right since Saturday, when we had a great result in qualifying. In these kinds of situations you always have to gamble, you have to be in the right place at the right time, we made the right decisions and the team worked perfectly during pit stops. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but this is a great starting point for the future. The updates helped but in these sorts of conditions it's more about timing and getting the right tires in the right moments. The pit stops have been good, everything went well. But we're positive because all the updates worked and now we have to keep pushing to get more for the following races. It's a great feeling to overtake other cars, we're always focused on challenging our nearest rivals, but this race was crazy because we were able to overtake much faster cars. All you needed to do was be smooth and under control, it's always a great feeling when you're racing properly. We achieved our best result of the season, which is great for the team. We hope this won't be our best finish of the season; we hope to finish even better in the future and will push for this."
Narain Karthikeyan (14th): "It was a very interesting race for us, we achieved our best position yet. I drove well today in wet and dry conditions. I would've liked to have stayed a little bit longer on the last set of intermediates; I passed Tonio with them so maybe one more lap would've got me a little bit more track position. For whatever reason I didn't get a call saying we were going to go on slicks, so in my mind I thought I was still on intermediates and when I came out of the pits I realized that they were slicks but it was too late because I was on the wet line and the car was sliding a lot and I lost a lot of positions. But apart from that it was an enjoyable race, I overtook a few cars, D'Ambrosio and Glock, and I'm very happy to finish the race."
Colin Kolles, Team Principal: "Today we achieved our best result in the history of Hispania Racing. It was a great race with a positive ending for the team. We made a step forward in terms of performance and in the championship position. The team is working very hard and it is a deserved result. The drivers did a very good job driving more aggressively after the track was drying up. We will have to improve further and target the 10th position in the championship. I am very thankful and happy for all the team members who are working very hard to move the team forward .I want to also thank the suppliers supporting us."
Jerome d'Ambrosio (15th): "It was just an unbelievable race. We were in a racing situation for about four hours. I've never experienced anything like that. It was something quite special. There were quite a lot of ups and downs – before the red flag I stopped twice and then suddenly after the restart I found myself racing with Timo and I thought, what's happening? It was crazy! Then at the last restart I lost a lot of time with the blue flags, having to go offline onto the wet to let them past and at the end I couldn't fight for position because with our wet setup I didn't have the same top speed. But It was a great race and really good experience for me."
Timo Glock (16th): "It was an unusual and difficult race. I think it's one of the longest races I've ever raced in! It was a bit of a shame in the last part of the race as I had quite a good pace and I managed to catch and pass Trulli. But then I had a massive lock-up on both front tires which cost me badly at the end. I couldn't go flat any more on the straights because of all the vibrations, so when Karthikeyan came up behind me I tried to stay in front but he made a move into the last corner and pushed me off the track. He shortcut the chicane when he overtook me and Jerome got by in that incident too. On the last lap there was nothing I could do as the tires were completely destroyed."
John Booth, Team Principal: "An eventful race to say the least and one that initially looked to be playing in our favor given the level of downforce we had chosen to run. With Timo we held our nerve during the first part of the race, waiting for the rain that was obviously coming on the radar as we felt that a stop for intermediate tires would have been costly. This proved to be the case with Timo being 15th at the restart. The second part of Timo's race initially didn't go well, with him losing places when we stopped for intermediates, however with the stops for slicks he managed to get back past Trulli. Unfortunately, during the final safety car period, we noticed in the data a flat-spotted tire and we advised Timo but given his position we needed to try to race to the end as a pitstop would have dropped us to last. Jerome had quite an eventful race – starting last and finishing 14th. He did a good job considering the events of the weekend. We used him at times to try out strategies with intermediates and even with this he managed to achieve a good result. All credit to him."
|12.||de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||+1:03.600|
|18.||Di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||+3 laps|
|19.||Maldonado||Williams-Cosworth||DNF Lap 62|
|20.||Heidfeld||Renault||DNF Lap 57|
|21.||Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||DNF Lap 50|
|22.||Alonso||Ferrari||DNF Lap 44|
|23.||Kovalainen||Lotus-Renault||DNF Lap 36|
|24.||Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||DNF Lap 8|
Fastest lap: Button, 1:16.956