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Team Quotes - Sunday 8 July


2007 British GP

Team Quotes - Sunday 8 July

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso finished second in the 60-lap Santander British Grand Prix in Silverstone with his team mate Lewis Hamilton coming home in third place. After 59 laps, Fernando ended up 2.5 seconds behind winner Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari). Both drivers were on two-stop strategies; Fernando came in on laps 20 (6.3 seconds) and 37 (8.2 seconds) whilst Lewis pitted on laps 16 (8.2 seconds) and 38 (8.1 seconds). Lewis took his ninth podium finish in as many Formula 1 races and maintained the lead in the Drivers' Championship with 70 points followed by Fernando in second position with 58 points. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes heads the Constructors' table with 128 points ahead of Ferrari on 103.

Ron Dennis: Fernando did a tremendous job making every effort to turn our short fuel middle stint into a race win. Ultimately both he and Lewis were asked to turn their engines down in order to ensure that we had the best ability to attack again in Germany. It's of course clear that we didn't quite have the pace, but both drivers did a great job, and we still went away with valuable points and an even greater motivation to do better at the next event.

Norbert Haug: Despite not winning here today we have to be positive about the first half of the season. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is leading the Constructors' World Championship by a margin of 25 points and Lewis and Fernando are at the top of the list in the Drivers' World Championship with 18 and six points ahead of Kimi respectively. Congratulations to him on his win today. All the team in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart did a great job in the first nine of 17, races and I like to thank everybody for their efforts. Now we need to find even more speed and are looking forward to Mercedes-Benz' home race at the Nürburgring, where we expect a lot of supporters on the grandstands again. It was a great weekend in Silverstone, and we are sorry that we couldn't deliver a win for Lewis, as most of the spectators had wished for, but everybody should be pleased by the fact that he is leading the Drivers' Championship.

The ING Renault F1 Team reached the halfway point of the 2007 season with a double points finish for Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella, in seventh and eighth positions respectively. The drivers started from the same positions, and ran aggressive two-stop strategies. However, Heikki and Giancarlo struggled with tyre performance at different points of the race, costing them time relative to the team's rivals in the constructors' championship, BMW. However, this was just the second time in the 2007 season that both Renault drivers had finished in the points, and the basic pace of the R27 confirmed the improvements that have been made to the car in recent weeks. With further developments due to come on-stream at the forthcoming races, the team is optimistic that it will be able to close the gap to BMW in terms of race pace – and begin reducing the 25 point gap that now separates the two teams in the championship.

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: This is where we are at the moment. The championship shows we are in fourth position and today, on a circuit that really tests the cars, we were fourth quickest team. Now we have to get back to work in the factory, and on the test track, to make another step forward. The team has shown the ability to overcome its problems, and stay motivated during that difficult time. The second half of the season will be the time for us to accelerate our development, to try and catch up our rivals.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: We cannot be satisfied with the results of this race. The last two weekends have shown that if we are to fight with BMW, we need a significant improvement in our race pace. It appeared today that our relative performance varied according to the type of tyre we fitted, although not in the same way on both cars. In spite of this, we continue to show progress in our performance. Silverstone is an extremely demanding circuit for the cars from an aerodynamic perspective, and there is no doubt that only a few weeks ago, it would have been hard to get in the points. Now, it is time for us to take another step forward.

Fifth win of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the third for Kimi Raikkonen. This was Kimi's twelfth win from 114 Grand Prix starts, handing Ferrari its 197th victory in 750 races and its fifteenth in the British Grand Prix.

Jean Todt: Kimi was simply majestic, from the first to the last lap, to produce our fifth win of the season, his second in a row and his third with Ferrari. Felipe drove an extraordinary race but was penalized with a technical problem at the start, which meant he had to start the race from the pit lane. Considering this handicap, finishing fifth is really impressive. On the one hand we are happy with the win, obtained on what is the home track for our main rivals, but on the other hand we have had yet another confirmation that in this season, our Achilles heel is reliability. Once again today we lost precious points, which has prevented us from making up ground in the Constructors' classification even if we have the best package on track. We have to work on pushing hard with our performance development so as to regain the maximum level of reliability. In order to succeed, we need the support of all our technical partners, starting with Shell, who are doing an excellent job. We will leave nothing to chance in our bid to continue this winning streak.

Luca Baldisserri: A great race, great drivers, a great car! Even if unfortunately we suffered a problem with Felipe's car, the cause of which we have yet to find, that stopped us from repeating our Magny-Cours result. The strategy chosen for Kimi worked perfectly, putting him where he had to be to win the race. We must continue to work with the same intensity both to increase our performance level as well as improving our reliability. Already, as from the day after tomorrow, we will be back on track in a test session at the Spa Francorchamps circuit. We will have new parts to try because if we want to reach our goals we must leave nothing to chance.

The Honda Racing F1 Team enjoyed a positive result in its home grand prix today after Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button converted 14th and 18th place grid slots into two top ten finishes. They finished just outside the points in 9th and 10th respectively and were the most improved drivers of the 59 lap race, making up five and eight places respectively.

As the only team to adopt a one-stop strategy, both cars were running heavy at the start. Losing places in the opening laps was likely, although Jenson actually gained a place overtaking Anthony Davidson on the first lap. Despite their fuel load they maintained good pace to elevate them to stronger positions as the rest of the field embarked on the first of their two-stop strategies.

By the time Rubens stopped on lap 31, he had climbed up to ninth position. He was stationary for just 8.3s and rejoined the race in 10th place, just ahead of Nico Rosberg. Jenson stopped two laps later and re-joined in 13th place, behind Alex Wurz. He fought off the attentions of Coulthard in the latter stages of the race, driving faultlessly to finish 0.6s ahead and just 6.4s behind Rubens.

Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director: As was the case last week in Magny-Cours, our race pace was better than our qualifying position. Both drivers lost some positions at the start, but they drove an excellent race and we maximised the performance of the car with a good strategy and excellent pit-stop work. The eight cars who finished ahead of us were the current top four teams in the championship. Our attention now turns to taking another step forward and this will be our objective for the test in Spa next week.

BMW Sauber
The BMW Sauber F1 Team successfully completed the European double header which was the French and British Grands Prix. Robert Kubica was fourth again in Silverstone, while his team-mate, Nick Heidfeld, who started from ninth, finished sixth.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): This time we really had to fight hard for our 'reserved' fourth place. At the end Robert felt the heat from Felipe Massa for the last 13 laps, but he defended his position very strongly. After starting from ninth, for Nick his sixth position was also very good. Having collected nine points a week ago in Magny-Cours, again we scored eight important championship points and strengthened our third place in the constructors' battle. The pit stops, which were crucial to our race strategy, played an important part in this success. Performing this way we are well prepared for our home race at the Nürburgring in two weeks.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director): This is a fantastic result for our team. Neither car had technical problems, and Nick and Robert were fast and consistent over the entire race distance. In the last part of the race Robert could feel Felipe Massa's breath on his neck, but was good in defending his position. Nick started from ninth, caught both Renaults and, by finishing sixth, also drove a very good race. Compliments to our pit crew, but also to the guys in Hinwil and Munich as these were 17 really important championship points from the European double header.

Panasonic Toyota Racing will leave Britain empty-handed following a desperately disappointing day's work at today's British Grand Prix. On another sunny day at Silverstone, Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli lined up in 6th and 10th places on the grid respectively. Unfortunately both cars made poor getaways from the dirty side of the grid and lost ground on the first lap, with Ralf dropping back to 8th place. He nonetheless pushed hard during the first stint but shortly after his first pit stop on lap 22 he suffered a wheel fixation problem and he was forced to retire. Jarno faced a tough afternoon's work after struggling with balance and grip issues all weekend. He battled as far as lap 43 before the team called him in to investigate the problem. Following this disappointment the team will now regroup at Spa-Francorchamps for this week's test. Then Toyota will look for a better result when it returns to racing action at the Nürburgring for the European Grand Prix in a fortnight.

Tadashi Yamashina – Team Principal: After yesterday's strong qualifying performance we were expecting a better result in today's race. But today the starts were everything. Our starts were simply not good enough so we must investigate again and make our best efforts to increase our pace off the line. After he dropped places Ralf was in traffic but at least his pace was reasonably competitive. Then he was forced to retire with a wheel fixation problem at the front left. Then Jarno ran into balance and grip issues which we will also have to investigate. We tried everything to understand what was going on and we pitted him early for his second stop to check the tyres and change the nose. But in the end it was not possible to change things and we called him in because his car was massively unbalanced with no grip. Of course we must now analyse everything that has gone wrong today and work hard to develop our cars further. But this was just not our race.

Red Bull
Christian Horner: It was disappointing for Mark to retire early on with a suspected differential failure, which consequently caused the hydraulic system to fail. He'd looked reasonably competitive in the opening laps and, as it was clear to see the top ten had all gone very short, we would have had a reasonable race. David had a couple of moments on his second stint, which ultimately didn't permit us to outrun the Hondas, which were on a one stop strategy. It's frustrating to finish in eleventh position today.

Fabrice Lom, Renault Principal Engineer, Track Support: We are disappointed this afternoon as we were once again not able to show our real potential. Mark retired which showed also that our reliability was not strong enough. We are expecting some evolutions and improvements for the next race, we will have now two weeks and a testing session in Spa to get ready for the German Grand Prix where I hope we will be able to make the most of our package and score some points.

In front of a capacity crowd, AT&T Williams had an unremarkable race at Silverstone this afternoon, as neither driver was able to collect points at the team's home Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg delivered another aggressive performance from a challenging 17th on the grid following technical problems yesterday to cross the line in 12th place. Team mate Alex Wurz who, despite a competitive race pace, finished 13th.

Sam Michael, Technical Director: It was disappointing not to get any points today but, from where we started, it wasn't going to be easy. The cars were solid and reliable and both Nico and Alex drove well in the race. Most of the afternoon was spent in traffic, but we still need to improve our qualifying and race performance. We'll work on this at next week's test in Spa and look ahead to scoring points in Germany.

Toro Rosso
Franz Tost: We had a reasonable opening lap, with Scott coming up to twelfth and Tonio in fifteenth. Then they were both overtaking by Rosberg and Massa and after his pit stop, Scott collided with Wurz which put him out of the race. Tonio did not finish because of a gearbox problem. Next week we have a three day test in Spa, where we will have some updates which we hope can help us run at a more competitive pace.

Spyker finished its first-ever 'home' Grand Prix at Silverstone with Christijan Albers in 15th position. In front of a passionate partisan crowd, Christijan completed a solid run to move up seven places on his starting position. Unfortunately Adrian Sutil retired from his first British Grand Prix on lap 17 with an engine failure.

In a mark of the team's improving performance, Adrian and Christijan were able to stay with the pack, with Christijan fighting the Super Aguris throughout the race.

The team now goes to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium for a three-day test from 10 - 12 July in advance of the next round of the FIA Formula One World Championship in Germany.

Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: Of course it's disappointing not to get two cars to the finish but, overall, once again we were a little bit more competitive with the group of cars in front. Unfortunately Adrian had an engine failure, but Christijan had a very steady drive to compete with the Super Aguris for most of the race, although in the end we just lacked a little bit of speed to finish in front of them. A solid performance from Christijan and it's just unfortunate for Adrian that he couldn't make it to the finish. We'll look forward to the new car in Turkey.

Colin Kolles, team principal and managing director: Once again today we showed we are making small steps to close the gap to the midfield. It's disappointing not to get a double finish, but we have a test in Spa next week where we can work as a team on these issues.

Super Aguri It was not the British Grand Prix weekend that Super Aguri was hoping for. Anthony Davidson suffered a mechanical issue which forced the team to retire him on lap 35 of the race. Takuma struggled to find pace in his SA07 from the start, however he took the chequered flag in 14th position today.

Graham Taylor, Sporting Director: I think the fact that we didn't test here prior to this race hurt us all weekend and today confirmed that. It was a tough race for both the drivers. We opted to start Takuma from the pitlane. Anthony seemed to get a run on Jenson in the first lap, but then lost the place back. Ant followed him for a while until he had a problem with the rear of this car and unfortunately we had to retire him. Takuma soldiered long and hard and showed his speed when he was clear of traffic. But that's the only ray of sunshine in a very difficult day.

Scuderia Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has won the British Grand Prix after a thrilling 59 lap race where pit stop strategy, tyre choice and stint length proved key under blue skies at Silverstone.

Raikkonen and McLaren Mercedes team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso all took their turns to lead the race, with all three drivers on the podium using a different tyre strategy to achieve their results. Raikkonen also set the race's fastest lap, a 1min 20.638secs, whilst using the medium compound on lap 17. This time was almost a second faster than last year's fastest of 1min 21.599secs.

Both Ferraris started on the medium compound Potenza, but Felipe Massa stalled on the grid, causing a second formation lap and putting him in the pit lane for the start. The Brazilian drove a masterful race using a medium- medium-hard strategy to power through the field with only a superb defence by Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) preventing Massa from taking fourth.

Hamilton, who started on the hard Bridgestone Potenza, led away from his first home pole, but was under pressure from Raikkonen, on the medium, at the end of his first stint. Hamilton pitted first, staying on the hard tyre, leaving Raikkonen to take the lead, pitting two laps later. Alonso pitted later still, and emerged from his stop ahead of both after changing the hard for the medium compound tyre.

Alonso led until the second stop, where Raikkonen was able to stay out for an extra six laps, emerging from the pits on the hard compound, with a lead he kept to the chequered flag. Alonso crossed the line on the hard compound 2.4 secs behind Raikkonen, with Hamilton finishing a further 36.9 secs down, after driving his final stint on the medium compound.

The Honda Racing duo of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello employed a very different tyre strategy, both starting on the medium compound, making only one pit stop to change to the hard compound. From their grid positions the strategy worked well, with Button making eight places and Barrichello making five through the race.

Bridgestone and all of the Formula One teams now head to Spa in Belgium for a three day test, 10-12 July, where the medium and soft compound Bridgestone Potenzas will be used.

Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations: From my point of view the excitement today was the tyre performance of both compounds of Bridgestone Potenza and the various strategies this allowed. We saw five variations of strategy today. The medium compound performed better than expected, showing less graining than predicted. The hard compound performed very consistently. Most of the fastest lap times of the quickest cars were recorded on the medium compound Bridgestone Potenza, but when you take fuel load into account, our calculations show that the hard compound had the edge. Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari were able to minimise the graining on the medium compound in their first stint, and this ambitious strategy paid off, giving them victory. The next challenge for Bridgestone is the test in Spa. There is new tarmac down, as well as a new layout. We haven't been there since 2005 so I am very much looking forward to this test.


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