|Mark Webber – Right tires at right time|
It finally stopped raining at Silverstone and under partly sunny skies Mark Webber won the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in his Red Bull-Renault, passing pole sitter Fernando Alonso in the closing laps, the Ferrari driver finishing second. 3.0 seconds behind. Webber started on option tires and was on hards at the end while Alonso was on the softer but deteriorating tires, enabling Webber to get him. World champion Sebastian Vettel finished in third place in his Red Bull, 4.8 seconds behind the winner.
Alonso maintains his lead in the drivers' championship over Webber.
Felipe Massa had a strong run in the Ferrari to finish in fourth place, followed by Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus-Renault in fifth, his teammate Romain Grosjean in sixth, Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes GP was seventh, Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren-Mercedes was eighth, Bruno Senna in the Williams-Renault was ninth and Jenson Button in the McLaren finished in the final points paying position.
Webber took a seven-point bite out of Fernando Alonso's title lead on Sunday by winning.
Red Bull's speed over the rest of the field was not as stark as two weeks ago at Valencia, but in the closing laps Spaniard Alonso could not hold his lead of the race to the charging Australian.
Ferrari driver Alonso's 20-point lead over Webber was therefore cut to thirteen in Britain, at the mid-point of the thrilling 2012 season.
"We lost some points to Mark but we gained some points to the rest of the field," said Alonso.
Told on the podium by Sir Jackie Stewart that at least he still has the championship lead, the two-time title winner agreed: "Yes, that's the main target."
Ferrari's improvement since Australia has been staggering, but team boss Stefano Domenicali insisted there will be no resting on these laurels.
"We are at the crucial part of the season," he told BBC television, "and we need to keep the pace and keep working because the others are very strong."
Race winner Webber not only took a bite out of the championship lead on Sunday, he might also have sealed the lid on his 2013 contract.
"Mark is doing a great job for us," agreed team boss Christian Horner after Sunday's race, "we love having him in the team.
"We have agreed to sit down (for talks) in the next couple of weeks."
Alonso claimed to be ‘happy’ after finishing second, but admits that his optimism is likely to be higher an hour after the race. The Spaniard, who was passed in the closing stages after controlling things from pole position, had led for most of the race.
Running a different strategy to Webber, the Ferrari driver was overtaken while using the less durable Soft compound tires in the latter laps of the event.
“I’m happy with second, but ten minutes after the race there is a bit of a strange feeling because I did lose the victory," Alonso described.
“I’m sure I will be much happier an hour from now. We still need to close that last step to Red Bull. Having that that, we did lose seven points to Mark today but at the same time we pulled further away from the other guys, so it was a good Sunday for the championship."
Unlikely to be sitting down for a civil chat, however, are Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado, the Mexican slamming his Venezuelan rival as a "stupid driver" after their clash.
Sergio Perez was furious after his collision with Pastor Maldonado in Sunday’s British Grand Prix. Having both left the pit lane, the two cars came into contact at Brooklands corner, with Perez dropping out of the race and Maldonado falling down the field.
The Sauber swept in on the outside line, with Maldonado appearing to drift into the middle of the circuit where the touch was duly made. The incident marked the duo’s second collision this season, having also come to blows in a Monte Carlo practice session, and follows Maldonado’s shunt with Lewis Hamilton on the penultimate lap of the European Grand Prix.
“Pastor…he’s a driver who doesn’t respect other drivers," a straight-talking Perez told BBC Sport. “It’s just a manner of fact. I was already in front and he should have given enough space not to crash. I don’t understand the way he is driving.
“I hope the stewards do something because he has done something to someone at the last three races. He’s a very dangerous driver and he can hurt someone. Everybody is concerned about him. He’s a driver who doesn’t respect, doesn’t know we are risking our lives and has no respect at all. I really think the stewards need to do something by now because I’m not the only one he has affected."
When asked for his version of events, Maldonado explained:
“That was just a racing incident. I was on cold tires after leaving the pits and tried to defend, but he came across so we were very close…then I slid at the rear, we made contact and it spoiled the race for the pair of us. This is part of the season to forget."
The incident is currently being investigated by FIA stewards, one of whom is 1992 World Champion and three-time Silverstone winner Nigel Mansell.
Mark Webber (1st): "It's taking a while to sink in this one. I think it was the circumstances of the race – for most of it I was marking off second place. Fernando was not quite out of touch and after the last stop, my engineer Ciaron came on the radio saying that Fernando was not doing much on the option tires. But I know Fernando is a wily old fox, I thought he was looking after the tires and just waiting to pull the pin and go a little bit. But when I got within two seconds I thought maybe he's in a little bit of trouble and it was real. It was completely game on when I knew the DRS was available, I made the move stick and our hard work paid off for the win. It was a cracking grand prix today; the spectators got to see a good race and I'm pleased for them."
Sebastian Vettel (3rd): "It was a tough day today. The start was not so good. I lost a little bit and then got stuck behind Michael, but had a good strategy to come back. We decided to pit early and we came out ahead, so that was a good call. I would be a bit happier if we had won today, but it was a great result for the team, I am happy. We're just down the road, so it's our local race. It's good it didn't rain, I saw some clouds coming and it might have helped my race, but I was very happy for the people in the grandstands. I think they appreciated it staying dry. It's been a tough weekend for them with rain, a lot of traffic and not so much driving from our side due to too much water – but I think we made up for that today."
Christian Horner, Sporting Director: "An unbelievable day for the team. Starting the race, our strategy was slightly different to Ferrari with Fernando opting to start with the harder tire, but we knew we could make our strategy work if we stuck to our plan. That was made slightly complicated by Felipe getting ahead of Sebastian at the start but then we were aggressive with the first stop and got Seb into clear air, which elevated him up the order. We then pushed as far as we could go on the option tire with Mark, knowing that our time would come later in the race. After very strong middle stints from both drivers, we knew going into that final stint that we had a great chance and Mark started to catch Fernando, sometimes as much as a second per lap. He then made a fantastic maneuver around the outside which got him into the lead with four laps to go and he closed it out in style. Sebastian unfortunately ran out of laps. He was catching Fernando very quickly, but to have both driers up on the podium just up the road from the factory with so many members of the team here is great. We also had 25,000 pictures on each car supporting Wings for Life this weekend, which has raised a million Euros for the charity. So, after a tough start to the weekend, the sun finally shone for the fans and the team and it was a fantastic team result."
Cyril Dumont, Renault: "It was a close to perfect weekend. I'm pleased for Red Bull to win this race. Mark did a perfect race, I think he never stopped pushing. Seb almost got the one two today, but we got a double podium. Engine wise I'm pretty pleased that we didn't suffer any of the issues we saw in Valencia and everything was under control today."
Lewis Hamilton (8th): "It wasn't a great race for me – I just wish we could have done more for the fans today. We tried as hard as we could, but we simply didn't have the pace this afternoon. My tires were still good at the end of my first stint, and I was able to hang on to Fernando [Alonso]. So it's hard to understand how we could be leading the race at one point and then fall back to eighth place, especially as our car doesn't feel bad overall. I raced my heart out and was flat-out right to the end. We're still in the hunt for the world championship – and, if we can find a bit of lap-time, we can stay in the hunt, too. I gave the fans a little donut on the slow-down lap – simply because I wanted to say thank-you to everyone who came out to watch us here today. I'd love to have done better in my home Grand Prix, but, regardless, the fans were fantastic throughout the weekend."
Jenson Button (10th): "It was good to get a point in my Grand Prix, but of course that's not what we ought to be doing: we're a front-running team and we've got a bit of work to do to start running at the front again. I don't think we made any mistakes with our strategy today; we're just not quite quick enough at the moment, that's all. Most important of all, though, I'm a bit sorry for the Silverstone fans, because they've been truly amazing this weekend. Like them, we wanted a lot more from today's result. So we're sorry, guys; we weren't able to fight at the front today, but hopefully we'll be back there soon."
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "A dry race wasn't what we were expecting – and, undoubtedly, had it been a wet race, as was predicted, our competitiveness relative to that of our opposition would have been significantly enhanced. Lewis drove an excellent stint on his initial set of Prime tires, making consistent progress throughout the first third of the race. Thereafter, with hindsight, perhaps we should have given him more laps on his Options, because, from the very beginning of his third stint, he was never happy with his second set of Primes. For Jenson, the 2012 Santander British Grand Prix was always going to be a bit of a struggle, starting it as he did from 16th place on the grid. Again, as with Lewis, had it rained earlier this afternoon [rather than only after the race had ended], as it did yesterday and on Friday, and as it was forecast also to do today, undoubtedly he'd have been able to make up more places, more quickly, than in the event he did. As it was, he earned a single world championship point for his efforts, which was meager reward for a pretty gutsy performance. Next we travel to Germany, and Hockenheim, the home Grand Prix of our engine partners Mercedes-Benz, whose Mercedes AMG HighPerformancePowertrains V8s have served, and continue to serve, us so well. But, before then, we'll go back to Woking [Surrey, UK], to the McLaren Technology Centre, with a determination to work as hard as is humanly possible to develop our car such that we can put on a fine and competitive show in the homeland of the famous three-pointed star."
Fernando Alonso (2nd): "When you do almost the entire race in the lead and you are overtaken just a few laps from the finish, it does leave something of a bitter taste in the mouth, but after reflecting for a moment and looking at the classification, then the outcome of this Grand Prix seems very positive. We have continued working on the right road: four podiums in the last five races and the fifth just missed a few laps from the end, is a nice run of results which has allowed me to lead the Championship. This is an important moment in the season: it's not at this time that you win the championship, but one can start to lose it here and we are pleased to have extended our advantage over the majority of our closest rivals. We must continue like this for the next two races, trying to always make it to the podium. Then, we must work a lot on our top speed, especially in view of circuits like Spa and Monza. We began the race on the tires that were best for us, with the aim of pulling out as big a lead as possible over those behind, to then try and manage the situation in the final stint. We managed it with all but one of our opponents, which was actually rather predictable. In Valencia, we won on a weekend when the Red Bulls seemed uncatchable and here we fought with them right to the end. If you had told me back on Thursday that I'd be going home with 18 points to my name, I would have signed for that right away. However, the championship is still very open: Red Bull is very strong, but we definitely cannot rule out McLaren, because they had a really bad weekend here and on top of that, Lotus are always very fast. There is a lot to do, but as we have said several times, we are on the right road."
Felipe Massa (4th): "It was a good race and I am glad to have finally brought home a good result for me and for the team. Race after race, the situation has been improving and now we are capable of fighting for the podium: it might have happened here, but it could also have been possible in Montreal and Valencia, which means that today's performance is not a fluke. It was not easy to make the right tire choice for the start, because we did not have much data available: Fernando and I went down different routes, but I don't think either one of us has anything to complain about. I got a good start and then there was long and close duel with Michael and I lost some time behind him: Vettel benefited from that, managing to get past me in the run of pit stops. Then, my pace was very similar to the Red Bull, so I could not get close enough to think about attacking. In the final stint, I concentrated mainly on defending my position against Kimi who was coming back at me very quickly: maybe if there had been a few more laps, he would have managed to get by. We must continue to push, as we have done over these past few months and then, I'm sure the results will come. Is it enough to confirm my place at Ferrari? I don't see any reason why that could not happen if, as I said, the results come."
Stefano Domenicali, Team Principal: "We have picked up thirty very big points here at Silverstone. Once again, Fernando drove a great race, for the umpteenth time this season and has gained points over the majority of his nearest rivals, but let me tell you that I am particularly happy with the display put on by Felipe, who was in the fight for pole yesterday and for the podium, right down to the last, today. It is a nice result for him, which is particularly important for us in terms of the Constructors' championship, where thanks to the biggest points haul of the year, we have managed to move up to second place. We also did a good job in terms of the team, both when it came to strategy and how we managed the race on track. Obviously, when you lose the lead, just a few laps from the end of a race, there's a hint of regret, at least in the heat of the moment, but then it dawns on you that this is a really important result for both championships. I am glad that the spectators were finally able to enjoy a dry day at the track and were able to witness a great show: here, one can feel that the passion for motor sport is really strong and it is always a pleasure for us to come and race in front of such enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans. We were at the same level as the team everyone reckons is currently the best and be sure, it definitely is. And we also held our own against some very strong competition from other rivals. Certainly, there is much more to do to improve the car, especially in terms of top speed, where we are still suffering. We now come to a pair of back to back races in Hockenheim and Budapest, for which we will try and improve our performance level still further: that will be our primary goal over the next few days."
Pat Fry: "A very close race, from the start to the checkered flag. With Fernando, we were fighting for the win and with Felipe for the podium all the way to the finish, confirming that our package – the team, drivers, car – was competitive at this track. After two days affected by rain, today the skies cleared, but that was not something one could have predicted with absolute certainty the day before the race. We did not have much of a reference point in terms of tire behavior, because we only had FP3 in which to assess performance, especially over a long run. That was partly why we opted to run different strategies with our two drivers and, all in all, we have no regrets, given how things went: clearly, on the Softs both Red Bulls were quicker than Fernando and we need to look at how we can improve our tire performance in similar situations in the future. Fernando and Felipe both drove impeccably throughout the race, and the pit stop guys were faultless whenever the call came. This championship is very close and so it is vital to always bring home as many points as possible. I think today we achieved that goal and it is very significant that we have managed to make up no less than two places in the Constructors' classification. We must continue to push on car development, because we are not yet the quickest: there is still much work to do to achieve this objective."
Michael Schumacher (7th): "We achieved what was possible for us today, and we have to be satisfied with that. We were pretty competitive towards the end of the race, but overall we knew that the characteristics of this circuit wouldn't suit us in normal conditions – we definitely could have done better in the wet. Even so, we managed to score a few points, which can be important for the team. Our attention now turns to Hockenheim, our next home circuit, where things should look better in any case. I can only say to all motorsport fans that we are counting on your support. Like always in Germany, it will be a very special weekend, and we want to celebrate it together with them. So make sure you're there in Hockenheim!"
Nico Rosberg (15th): "The whole weekend just hasn't gone to plan for me which is a bit unexpected and really disappointing. In the race today, I had a poor start and generally we just didn't have the pace. Then a slow second pit stop held me up towards the end; so all in all, it really didn't come together. Now we need to work hard to improve the car for our next home race at Hockenheim in two weeks time. Hockenheim is a completely different circuit to here which should suit our car better, and we will hope to put on a great show for all of our fans there."
Ross Brawn, Team Principal: "We were the fourth best team today and that was reflected in Michael's seventh place finish on the road. Clearly, our pace in the dry didn't match our competitiveness yesterday in the wet, and we will have to take a good look at the data to find out why. Both drivers experienced graining on the option tire this afternoon – Michael in his first stint, Nico in the final one – and that certainly compromised our performance at important parts of the race. Michael drove solidly to seventh place, defending his position against the cars around him, and he was particularly competitive in the final stint – right up to setting his fastest time on the final lap of the race. Nico's race was compromised by a bad start, which left him 15th at the end of the first lap. From then, he was fighting an uphill battle, and it was hard to find clean air for him to run in, which further complicated things. We can take positives from our weekend – including our much-improved wet weather performance – and we will work hard to learn our lessons from today before Hockenheim."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes Motorsport Director: "Not a great result for us today after a good qualifying performance from Michael yesterday. We expected rain this afternoon and Michael's car was not ideally balanced during the first half of the race. Michael's lap times in the second half were much better compared to the fastest cars at the front and he finally finished 7th after 52 laps, 30 seconds behind winner Mark Webber, after overtaking Lewis Hamilton with five laps remaining. Nico started 11th and lost four places during lap one which prevented him from scoring points today. We now are looking forward to our next home race in two weeks at Hockenheim, where we will welcome the spectators with a very special, cost-free program at the Mercedes Grandstand."
Kimi Raikkonen (5th): "I had a pretty okay first few corners but I had to avoid the cars in front and drove over the curb on the inside of the turn, then I lost a place and was pushed wide. If I had stayed in front of Mark [Webber] at the start it would have been pretty good seeing where he finished, but after that Lewis [Hamilton] also got past me. I fought back and our car was strong, especially on the harder tires. If I'd had a better start I could have finished much better; but that's racing and sometimes you pay a bigger price than you expect from the first lap."
Romain Grosjean (6th): "I'm happy with my race today. Unfortunately I had an incident on the first corner at the start of the race where I was on outside of Lewis [Hamilton] and had a Force India that hit me and broke my front wing. That's when I thought that our race was going to be seriously compromised, which it would have been if the rain had come. The team did a fantastic job in giving me a great race strategy and we believed in ourselves to go for long stints with both sets of hard tires. I was still battling hard with the cars around me, but trying to save the tires at the same time. It became harder towards the end of the race but I hung on to my sixth place. Kimi was too far in front of me to catch him at the end of the race. We both scored good points for the team, so it's been a good day."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "It was a difficult weekend where weather conditions made for something of a lottery in qualifying, but once again we have had a good race. If we want to do better, we have to improve our starting positions. Romain had a battle to come back from an early stop to replace his front wing; he was very fast and very strong from then on. Kimi had a very good race too. As a team, we had good strategies, our car was fast and consistent and fifth and sixth position yield good points. Once again our car was strong on a different circuit and in a variety of conditions. We're still missing something to get the final piece of the jigsaw, but it's a nice frustration to have."
James Allison, Technical Director: "We saw really strong drives from both Kimi and Romain. We didn't have the best grid positions but both drivers made up places in the race. The E20 delivered performance that was the equal of any car today, and it's encouraging that even with our less than promising starting positions, we've held on to third position in the Constructors' Championship. I think we'll only be stronger in the second half of the season and when everything falls into place in qualifying and the race we'll truly be a force to be reckoned with."
Riccardo Penteado, Engine Support Leader: "We introduced new engines here as Silverstone is a power sensitive circuit where extra horsepower can make a big difference. Fifth and sixth positions are relatively good results to take away. It was a shame that Romain had to make an early stop after the incident as his pace was very strong; to go from last to sixth at the end demonstrates this. Kimi could also have gained one position had he not been held up by Schumacher, but most importantly we retain third in the championship."
Nico Hulkenberg (12th): "It was a tough race today, especially because my car was set up to favor wet conditions. That helped us yesterday, but hurt my top speed this afternoon. There were always cars around me in the race, especially in the final few laps when I had to defend from Bruno and Jenson, and I could not afford to make any mistakes. Unfortunately I locked up the rears going into turn three with two laps to go and that gave Bruno the chance to get ahead of me in the DRS zone. It's frustrating to lose points so close to the finish but my tires were running out of performance and the car was not easy to drive in the final stint."
Paul di Resta (DNF, Suspension): "I'm not really sure what happened. I just turned into turn four and there was no pressure in the right rear tire so it was clearly punctured and coming off the rim. All I could do was bring the car back to the pits, but there was quite a lot of damage to the floor. I took some fresh tires and went back out, but I was missing a lot of downforce and I went off the track at Becketts. So the team made the call to retire the car. I'm very disappointed because we took a gamble yesterday by running a dry set-up and the conditions today would have been ideal for us. On a positive note I want to say a big 'thank you' to the fans who have put up with the weather and shown amazing support all week."
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal: "We should have scored points today so we leave our local race feeling disappointed. Nico drove a strong race and looked set for ninth, but we lost out to Senna with a couple of laps to go. Unfortunately in his eagerness to regain the spot Nico ran wide at Copse corner and dropped out of the points, which is frustrating. I'm also disappointed for Paul who retired after just a couple of laps. His car would have been well suited to the dry conditions today and we never got a chance to see what he could do in front of his home crowd. It's still unclear what caused the puncture, but we suspect contact in the first couple of corners."
Kamui Kobayashi (11th): "First of all the accident at the pit stop was my fault and I want to apologize to the team. Of course I had to push hard for points, but without doubt I braked too late in the pit lane. The front wheels locked, I couldn't control the car, and this is how I overshot the pit box. I am terribly sorry this happened, and I hope the three mechanics I hit get well soon. Up to this happening my race was good. I had improved from 17th on the grid to a top ten position, and was hoping for points."
Sergio Perez (DNF, Damage): "I am very upset as my weekend has been ruined. I braked later than Pastor Maldonado, he didn't give me any room at all and just came into me. In my view it was not a racing incident. We all fight very hard, but give each other room. It is a shame because my car was really going very well. I had moved up from 15th to seventh before my pit stop and so was confident of scoring points."
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "I am obviously hoping our three mechanics make a speedy recovery from their injuries and are fully fit again very soon. Up until Kamui's second pit stop, during which he lost 15 seconds, he had a very good chance of scoring points. Sergio had improved from 15th on the grid to make it into the points, and it is not for the first time we have seen him do this. We were looking forward to an exciting race, with good results possible for us. The accident between Sergio and Pastor Maldonado will be investigated by the FIA, but whatever happens it was the end of Sergio's race."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "Our race pace was good, our strategy was going quite well and both drivers recovered some positions at the beginning. Sergio was planning on a shorter stint on the soft tires and longer stints on the hard. We timed the pit stop quite nicely and were able to get up to Maldonado, who was running in front of us, but then there was an accident. For Kamui we were actually targeting a longer run on the hard tires and were being quite patient in the beginning, but then with a stronger pace by the end on the soft. All in all it was working, but the incident during the pit stop cost us too much time. Part of the race was definitely lost yesterday and the two incidents today completed a bad weekend."
Daniel Ricciardo (13th): "The race went by very quickly. The start was very poor and off the line, the car just sat there with the wheels spinning, even though it had worked well on the formation lap. It meant I lost several positions off the line. My first lap was a bit of a mess, as another car ran a bit wide going into Turn 7 and I was pushed even further to the outside. I pushed and tried to do my best and after getting ahead of my team-mate, I began to run at a better pace. The other stints were similar: after the pit stops we didn't seem to have good speed, but as the laps went by, I could push harder. My lap times were the maximum I could do as I was wringing the neck out of the car."
Jean-Eric Vergne (14th): "I think I drove a good race, without making any mistakes. I did what I could, making up as many places as possible, getting the most out of the package we have at the moment. The best thing about this weekend is that I feel I learned a lot, but it's not the sort of result that makes you particularly happy. We need to improve the performance of our car as quickly as possible and I know the team is working hard to achieve that. We will have to hope that the next upgrades, when they come, allow us to improve our performance and positions."
Franz Tost, Team Principal: "While the tenacious British fans finally enjoyed a sunny day's racing and no doubt enjoyed watching our friends from Red Bull, who are based just a few miles away from the circuit, take a well deserved win, we would have preferred to see some more rain today. It was clear right from the start of the weekend that we were more competitive in the wet, however we did not get it quite right in qualifying and with Jean-Eric Vergne, we also had to contend with his ten place grid penalty. In the race, he made a great start, moving up seven places on the opening lap. Daniel Ricciardo on the other hand, did not get off the line well and so our two drivers found themselves fighting each other for most of the race, eventually ending up 13th and 14th with Daniel and Jean-Eric respectively."
Bruno Senna (9th): "It was a good race for us today, despite starting from further back than we would have liked, and we gained a few positions on the first lap. We then had a tough race fighting against the Force India's and the Sauber's. I'm happy with the result though as things are looking up and if we can qualify a bit higher in the next race, we will be looking to push for more points in the future."
Pastor Maldonado (16th): "Our race was compromised after the incident with Perez. I'm disappointed because the car was looking much more consistent after the pit stop and towards the end of the race. I hope to get my championship back on track in the next few races and put the team up at the top again."
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: "Both Pastor and Bruno had very good starts and were pushing hard in the initial stages of the race. Unfortunately Pastor was involved in a racing incident with Perez on his second stint which lead to a premature pitstop for a damaged rear-right tire which ultimately compromised his race. After the race the stewards issued Pastor with a reprimand which as a team we accept. Bruno ran an excellent race and despite a small spin in the first stint finished in ninth having attacked and then defended his position very well in the closing stages of the race."
Laurent Debout, Renault: "Good for Bruno to get two points here today, particularly with the overtaking move on Hulkenberg at the end of the race, but Pastor's race was obviously compromised early on. Engine-wise we had no issues all weekend, introducing new units at the start of the event and running pretty much to plan."
Heikki Kovalainen (17th): "That was a pretty uneventful race for me. I drove as hard as I could with the car we had today and was pretty much on my own for the whole race. I had a little incident on the first lap but I was able to recover from that quickly and from that point it was just about making sure I didn't make any mistakes so we could take advantage of what happened in front. It's a shame for Vitaly that his race ended so early but I think at the next race we'll be stronger. We'll have had more time to work on the updates we brought here and hopefully we'll be able to keep bringing down the gap to the cars ahead."
Vitaly Petrov (DNS, Engine): "I am obviously disappointed to have had my race end before I had even reached the grid. The car suffered engine failure on my first lap out of the pitlane and I had to pull it to the side just before the entrance to the pitlane. The crew pushed it back to the garage but it was immediately clear that the problem was terminal and that was the end of the race. These things sometimes happen in racing so there is no point looking back at it – Renault Sport F1 will look at the problem and we know they will work hard to make sure we do not see a repeat of it again. Despite the issue today this has been a positive weekend. The car has worked well in each session and I've been really pleased with how the engineers and mechanics have helped us keep making steps forward with the setup. Even though we had very limited running with the updates it was immediately clear that we have put more downforce on the car and with more time on track we will be able to work on fine-tuning the setups that will let us get the most out of the car at the next race."
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: "A weekend of real highs and lows, for me and the whole team. Sunday started with an incredible experience when I took part in the Olympic torch relay in Huntingdon. Our team Premium Partner GE invited me to carry the torch and I was delighted to accept such a generous offer. I was also very proud to see two of the key men at QPR join us as guests on track – defender Clint Hill who was our player of the year last season, and CEO Philip Beard. Seeing them chatting so comfortably with everyone in the F1 team shows how close-knit our motorsport and football families are and that is a very special feeling. On track the race clearly did not start as we had planned with Vitaly suffering an engine failure before he even reached the grid. It was good to see how well he and the team dealt with that disappointment, especially considering how important it is for us to put the new upgrades through as much track time as we can to really get the most out of them. Heikki drove his usual strong race, pushing from the first lap until the last and the boys in the pit crew and on the pitwall worked flat out to give him a chance to fight. Once we have been able to get the most out of the updates I know we will take a significant step forwards and that is very encouraging, for me, the team and partners like GE who all share our dream of one day fighting for the top step of the podium."
Mark Smith, Technical Director: "Vitaly unfortunately suffered an engine failure on his first lap out of the pits on his way to the grid and that was it for his race. On Heikki's side of the garage, once he had passed the slower cars around him he was basically on his own for most of the race. He drove well and did not make any mistakes and that was all we could ask of him today. Now we will go back to the factory and work on all the data we have taken from today and the whole weekend. On Friday we are running the aero test we had to postpone earlier this week because of the weather and that will help us make sure we can optimize the whole package we brought to Silverstone. We know we have progressed but we just were not able to show it today so we will focus on doing so at the last two races before the summer break in Germany and Hungary."
Pedro de la Rosa (20th): "The truth is the race went well. We had to gamble a bit with the strategy and try something different because, in our position, if you do the same as everyone else you won't advance. We risked it to one stop to see if we could beat Marussia. But it wasn't to be, although we weren't far off. The degradation of the tires was less than expected so I'm happy. There was no rain in the end and we knew it would be tough, but I think we did well. Lastly, I would like to add that I'm happy to hear that Maria de Villota is evolving favorably, because we're all very worried. We hope she continues in this line and that we can see her soon."
Narain Karthikeyan (21st): "It's been an unpredictable weekend weather-wise, and in the end today's race took place in dry conditions, in stark contrast to yesterday's qualifying. I had a small battle with Pic but my rear tires started to wear out and I couldn't keep up with him so I pitted. In terms of pace we're right up there with Marussia but over a race distance we struggle because of the rear tires. Now we have a week to work on Germany. Like everyone, I'm really shocked by Maria's accident and I would like to wish her a quick recovery."
Luis Perez-Sala, Team Principal: "Overall today has been positive, since we performed better than expected at such a complicated circuit, even fighting with our rivals. Pedro did a one-stop strategy and his tires held out well. On the other hand, with Narain we went for a two-stop strategy which we could have perfected a bit. But we had to risk it. We still have to improve on pit stops but the team is looking looking calmer and more reassured. We're advancing and improving which is the important thing. On another note, it looks like the information we're receiving regarding Maria's state is positive and, although we have to be cautious, we're very happy to hear this and we hope she continues to improve."
Timo Glock (18th): "In general a tough week for us. It was difficult for everyone in the team to get into the weekend, but we had to do our job here, and as professionally as possible, and that is what we have done, so I think everyone can feel very proud of that. The running started out a little chaotic with the weather conditions being so up and down and our qualifying result was disappointing because we could have been in Q2. Then, having prepared for a wet race, it ended up being a completely dry race, so it has been a very changeable and, at times, frustrating weekend. I think we can be pleased with a solid P18 and with two cars home we can learn some important things about our package. It felt good from the first lap, so as we understand it more I hope we can improve it. Next, we will see what we can do in Hockenheim where, it goes without saying, I am hoping we can have a strong race in front of my home crowd to thank them for their unrelenting support."
Charles Pic (19th): "We can be happy to have both cars finish the race and this gives us plenty of information to work with to develop our new package. We lost some time on the first set of tires as we were faster than the HRTs, but we were stuck behind them and couldn't get past. We pitted early for our first stop and this worked well and enabled us to show good pace after this. Thanks to the crew who did a good job with the second stop and this allowed us to jump De La Rosa. I think, all things considered, we have done a solid job here this weekend and can look forward to Germany with a little more optimism."
John Booth, Team Principal: "We came into race day having experienced a fairly frustrating qualifying session when we felt a bit short-changed by our result. We are chipping away at the gap to Caterham and the midfield pack ahead, but we are not yet in a position to get to Q2 on merit and so we need to be quick to seize every opportunity that comes our way. Opportunity knocked yesterday, but at the last minute the weather worked against us. Today, both Timo and Charles drove a very solid race to bring both cars home and the team performed with the highest degree of professionalism. We have finished in our usual position in the pecking order, but the underlying result is that we have clearly moved away from HRT and closer to Caterham. The strategy for Timo worked particularly well and with Charles we worked well to adjust his strategy in order to make it work. The pit crew executed four good pitstops to ensure we could make the engineering calls stick."
|20.||De la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||+2 laps|
|DNF||Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||On Lap 14|
|DNF||Di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||On Lap 3|
|DNF||Petrov||Caterham-Renault||On Lap 1|