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Team Quotes - Sunday 21 April

SEASON INFORMATION
13/01/2018

2013 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix

Team Quotes - Sunday 21 April

Red Bull
Christian Horner, Team Principal: "An absolutely impeccable drive from Sebastian today. He executed two brilliant overtakes, one on Fernando and the other on Nico Rosberg. After that he dominated the race until the finish and managed his tyres brilliantly. The strategy worked perfectly with the tyres that we conserved in qualifying, which ended with a dominant win on a three-stop strategy. For Mark, after racing very well in the first stint and making progress through the first round of pit stops, in the second stint he pushed very hard on the first few laps which effectively elevated him into second position. Unfortunately he couldn't achieve the longevity in that stint, which put him under pressure for the final two. His last stop put him in the range of those on two-stops, and then it was a matter of making it to the end. Despite fighting fantastically well and racing very hard with Lewis, he ran out of rear tyres before the end of the race, but still got some valuable points."

Thierry Salvi, Renault: "Today Seb and the team called a perfect race. All the same it wasn't easy; racing here is tough, with a lack of grip, high temperatures and the humidity was more than expected. Delivering the right engine settings for these conditions and fuel consumption rate while maintaining stability is a careful balance but everything seemed to work well today, although it was a shame Mark lost a couple of positions on the last lap. It's the 36th win for the Red Bull Racing-Renault partnership, and the 154th for a Renault engine, plus a clean sweep of the podium for the RS27, so there is a lot to be happy about today.

Ferrari
Stefano Domenicali: This is definitely not the outcome we expected after showing all weekend long that we were capable of fighting for the top places. Today's result needs to be put behind us in a hurry, although there is a feeling of great disappointment that we were unable to bring home the hoped for result. Despite his problem with the DRS, Fernando produced a blistering drive, pulling off overtaking moves and setting lap times that were absolutely incredible. Felipe's race was also very complicated: first of all he was involved in a collision at the start of the race, which damaged the front wing on his F138, then he had tyre problems which compromised his race still further. An initial analysis after the first four races indicates that we did not pick up as many points as we should have done. In just over three weeks, we will be back on track in Europe and it will be important to turn this trend around immediately. Until then, we will knuckle down and continue with the development of a car that still has plenty of potential to offer.

Pat Fry: This was a very complicated Sunday for both drivers. On lap 6, a problem occurred with the DRS on Fernando's car which forced us to bring forward his first stop to try and fix the rear wing which literally turned upside down. The first attempt from the mechanics was not enough to fix the problem and a second stop to try and fix it further cost valuable time. It's a real shame because even with a damaged car, his race pace was among the best and it should have been enough to see us finish second or even fight for the win. Massa didn't have an easy time either and after the collision immediately after the start came problems with his tyres: it's not yet clear what provoked the first incident, while the second was almost certainly a puncture. It's very probable that in part, this can be attributed to debris on the track. Even though we missed out on a good result we leave Bahrain in the knowledge that we can fight at the front and so we are even more motivated to keep improving.

McLaren
Martin Whitmarsh, Team Principal: "The 2013 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix was a fantastic motor race, and I'm sure it was hugely entertaining for the tens of millions of viewers who watched it at home as well as for those lucky enough to be here at Sakhir to see it for real.

"Checo drove his best race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes so far, passing both Fernando [Alonso] and Mark [Webber] in the closing stages, to finish a fighting sixth at the flag.

"It was a very good drive, especially when you consider that he was able to maintain such strong race pace despite having sustained damage to his rear wing and one of his front-wing endplates.

"Jenson would have finished right up there, too, had he not had to make an extra tyre stop with just 10 laps to go. Nonetheless, he, too, finished in a solid points-scoring position.

"The two of them spent much of the afternoon in close proximity to each other - sometimes in nail-bitingly close proximity actually - but that's motor racing. Both Jenson and Checo are fast, forceful and hungry for success - and that's exactly how it should be. It's called racing, and we at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes always allow our drivers to race. It's what this sport is all about. Having said that, it's probably fair to say that Checo was a little too combative with Jenson this afternoon, and I think he knows that.

"From here we travel back to Woking [Surrey, UK], where we'll work hard on our upgrade package for Spain, where in three weeks' time we hope to continue the process of demonstrating the fruits of our steady development of MP4-28 into the competitive machine we need it to be."

Lotus F1
Kimi Raikkonen took his third podium finish of the season and Romain Grosjean his first after a superb second and third place result in today's Bahrain Grand Prix. After emulating the 2-3 result of the same result as last year, Lotus F1 Team returns to second position in the Constructors' Championship with Kimi leading the chase of leader Sebastian Vettel from second in the Drivers' standings.

Kimi suffered from an allergic reaction before he started the race. Kimi started from P8 with used medium tyres, changing to new hard tyres on laps 16 and 34. Romain started from P11 on new hard tyres, changing to new hard tyres on lap 8, then new mediums on laps 27 and 42. Romain's first pit stop was earlier than anticipated due to track debris in the form of a McLaren front wing end-plate being scooped up by his right-hand-side radiator intake.

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Here we are again, just like in 2012! This time around though it was much more difficult - especially after a qualifying performance which fell below our expectations - but we've shown flashes of pace throughout the weekend and confirmed that speed when it mattered today. The win was not quite within our reach after the start we made, but to come away with a double podium when the top six would maybe have been a more realistic pre-race target was a great performance from everybody involved. I'm delighted for the whole team here in Bahrain and back at Enstone; it's a well-deserved result."

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "Both drivers did a fantastic job today. We know our car is kind on tyres so we were able to play to those strengths and rectify the disappointment of qualifying yesterday. We chose an aggressive strategy with Romain, opting for a three-stop race from eleventh on the grid, and it worked perfectly. He was able to drive aggressively when asked and conserve his tyres when needed, so we are very happy as he delivered everything we wanted from him. With Kimi we used a two-stop strategy and relied on our long run pace. Considering he was suffering from an allergic reaction before he started the race it's a very impressive performance indeed."

Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader: "A great result today for the Enstone-Viry partnership, with a double podium consolidating the potential shown at the start of the season. Kimi again drove an impeccable race, while Romain's podium was even more impressive considering that the collision with Perez near the start blocked one of the cooling ducts, sending the oil temperatures some 20C higher than average! For the second year in a row Renault engines have locked out the podium in Bahrain, which gives a lot of positive energy for the start of the European season."

Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finished the Bahrain Grand Prix in fifth and ninth places today after battling drives, however both cars struggled badly when temperatures were at their highest in the early stages of the race.

Lewis completed a three-stop strategy to finish in fifth place after starting ninth. He stopped on laps 10, 22 and 38, running option/option/prime/prime. After starting from pole, Nico was forced to convert to a four-stop strategy at the end of his third stint. He stopped on laps 9, 20, 33 and 44, running option/prime/prime/option/option.

Ross Brawn: We struggled badly in the early part of the race when the track temperatures were at their highest. This is an issue we have to address and we will continue working on solutions to improve our performance in this area. In the second half of the race, as the track temperatures cooled somewhat, our pace was not bad - particularly with Lewis. We got two cars home in the points, both drivers enjoyed some exciting wheel-to-wheel racing and the pit crew delivered some great stops. Lewis and Nico did as good a job as possible with the car we had this afternoon but it was a case of damage limitation for both of them. However we must make it a priority to cope better with elevated temperatures: the tyres are the same for everybody and we are not performing as well as our competitors in these conditions.

Toto Wolff: We knew it would be a tough day and the high track temperatures were clearly not good for us. That's not an excuse but a priority area to improve. We need to analyse carefully why we suffered so much, particularly in the early stages, and why we were not on the pace. Both drivers were tough but fair in defending their positions and delivered some good racing, particularly Lewis in the closing stages. But from a team perspective we must see this as a disappointing result. We learned a lot this afternoon but it is clear that we still have a lot to learn.

Sauber
It was a disappointing Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix for the Sauber F1 Team. In a race that had plenty of pit stop action and exciting duels, Nico Hulkenberg finished 12th and Esteban Gutierrez, who started last, finished in 18th. After just one lap, the Mexican had to pit because of a broken front wing. The find of the weekend was that the car is simply not competitive on this track and an improvement is expected in Barcelona.

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "We can't be satisfied with this race. We knew this track would be difficult for our car, but this cannot be an excuse. It's important that we gathered a lot of information over the last two races, which we will use as a basis for the development of the car. Nico drove a good race, so it is now our job to provide him with a quicker car. This race was a good example of how exciting Formula One can be."

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: "It was clear it would be difficult for Esteban starting at the back of the grid. Unfortunately, we had to change the front wing after the first lap. It was then impossible for him to recover from there. Nico's race went as planned, but we were just not quick enough to score points, so we have to have a good look at our data, regroup and prepare for Barcelona."

Force India
It was a successful day for Sahara Force India in Bahrain as Paul Di Resta raced to a strong fourth place. Teammate Adrian Sutil's hopes of points ended with a first lap puncture.

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: "A tremendous job by the team and a wonderful drive by Paul saw us come within a whisker of the podium today. Although we missed out on third, the twelve points scored keep us up in fifth place in the Championship and give us every reason to be optimistic for the coming races. Of course, we could have achieved so much more had Adrian not picked up a puncture on lap one. The contact with Massa proved very costly because Adrian's race pace was on a par with Paul's and we should have brought both cars home in the points. We will focus on the positives and enjoy this fourth place, which has confirmed the pace of the car and shown once again that we can race up at the front and beat some of the top teams."

WilliamsF1
Pastor Maldonado finished 11th with Valtteri Bottas 14th in today's Bahrain Grand Prix. The team split strategies once again with both cars running a three-stop race but with Pastor starting on the medium option tyre while Valtteri started on the hard prime tyre. Both drivers had solid races getting the most they could out of the FW35 today.

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: Having seen our pace on Friday, we were expecting a better race performance than what we showed in qualifying, and that is what happened today. We planned three pit stops with both cars and our strategy worked as we had hoped. We nearly got into the points, and although some cars ahead had problems, we were still pushing to the chequered flag. Both cars would likely have been fighting each other again at the end, but Valtteri lost some time due to a problem during his pit stops. We now need to continue improving the car performance for the next races.

Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: Whilst finishing outside the points cannot be an entirely satisfactory result, we can be positive that we are fighting with the midfield to get in the top 10. Pastor drove a controlled race and was just outside the points so we need to keep this momentum going for the coming races. With time we can get back to where we want to, and should be, racing.

Toro Rosso
Franz Tost: "Our race pace with Daniel is currently a mystery, as the car obviously and unexpectedly lacked performance today. Daniel did everything he could and we also tried to make some changes during the pit stops, but that did not work. As soon as we can, we will have a look at the car, because we assume there is some fairly significant problem with it, which will be the obvious cause of our poor performance today. As for Jean-Eric, he was unlucky to be pushed into the path of a Caterham by a Williams. Once we assessed the car was still roadworthy when he came into the pits for repairs, we sent him out again. However, after a while it became clear the damage to the floor and other components was allowing the car to overheat to an unacceptable level. There was no point in him doing further damage, so we took the decision to call him in and retire him in the pits."
Marussia
A challenging weekend in the desert continued into the race for the Marussia F1 Team today, when both Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton suffered a turbulent time with tyre degradation.

Having started the race in P19 and P20, Jules and Max both made excellent starts and were soon up to P18 and P19 respectively, getting ahead of both Caterhams. Both drivers demonstrated good pace in the early part of the opening stints, but the challenge posed by the tyres was so significant that they completed four pit stops apiece, putting them back down the field and placing the emphasis on bringing both cars home.

John Booth, Team Principal: "A difficult weekend continued into the race unfortunately. Our performance today was defined by the fact that this track just hasn't played to the strengths of our car and at the same time as this has hurt us, the cars around us have made their own progress. It was also a busy race in the pits today, given the higher tyre degradation that we experienced. All in all, I believe we got the most out of the car today, but clearly we need a good step for Barcelona to maintain our objective of continuous improvement throughout the year. We head back to the UK now for a busy few weeks in the factory preparing our upgrades for the start of the European season, whilst analysing what we've learned at the last two races. I'm sure that the result of this work will be a much-improved car for the next race and we can get back to competing where we want to be."

Pirelli
Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel used a three-stop strategy to win the Bahrain Grand Prix and extend his drivers' championship lead to 10 points. Vettel started from second on the grid on the P Zero White medium tyre and then completed two stints on the P Zero Orange hard tyre to seal his 28th career win by over nine seconds.

A wide variety of tyre strategies were adopted in the heat of Bahrain, with some cars stopping twice and others stopping four times. Tyre strategy also played a crucial role in the battle for the runner-up spots, with Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen using a two-stop strategy and his team-mate Romain Grosjean coming third with a three-stop strategy. Grosjean passed Force India's Paul di Resta, who was also on a two-stop strategy, in the closing stages to ensure that the 2013 Bahrain podium was identical to the podium line-up last year.

Most drivers started the race on the medium tyre, with the exception of Ferrari's Felipe Massa, Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg, Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and the other Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, who all started on the hard tyre.

Paul Hembery: "It was fantastic to see such brilliantly close racing all the way down the field, from the start to the finish of the grand prix. To some extent this was down to the fact that there was only a small performance gap between the two compounds, meaning that we saw lots of different thinking on strategy. On this occasion, there was no clear advantage in starting on particular compound when it came to overall race time. The high temperatures - the highest we have seen all year so far - made managing thermal degradation a particular challenge, which rewarded the drivers with the best strategy and smoothest driving style. There was a clearly an issue with the tyre on Felipe Massa's Ferrari, which we are investigating at the moment. We've seen one sidewall cut and one at the top of the tread, and we're currently trying to find out what caused those cuts."

Longest stint of the race:

Medium: 21 laps (Massa)
Hard: 24 laps (Sutil)

We predicted that one of the fastest strategies was to start on the medium, change to medium on lap 8, change to another set of mediums on lap 24 and finish with a set of hard tyres on lap 38.

While the winning strategy broadly followed this format, Sebastian Vettel found the perfect strategy today. He started on the medium, changed to the hard on lap 10, then went onto the hard tyre again on lap 25 and a final set of hard tyres on lap 42.

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