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Team Quotes - Sunday 26 July

SEASON INFORMATION
13/01/2018

2015 Pirelli Magyar Nagydij

Team Quotes - Sunday 26 July

Mercedes GP

Double points finish for the Silver Arrows in dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix. After a poor start, Lewis and Nico dropped from the front row to third and fourth behind the Ferraris. Lewis then dropped back to tenth after running wide while attempting to pass his team-mate. The appearance of the Safety Car on lap 42 brought the field back together, with both Silver Arrows taking the opportunity to pit. Lewis served a drive through penalty on lap 54 after contact with Daniel Ricciardo on lap 49. Further contact with Ricciardo saw Nico suffer a puncture, forcing an extra pit stop on lap 64.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: We had more incidents in today's race than we've had in the entire season so far - it was an afternoon for getting a few more grey hairs! First of all, many congratulations to Ferrari; not only was it a well-deserved win but it has been a difficult week for the entire team, having lost Jules, and I am sure this victory has a very special meaning for everybody in Maranello. On our side, we had two bad starts - and then things went from bad to worse. Lewis ran off track on lap one, then came the incident with Ricciardo, the nose change and the drive-through - and somehow still managed to get back to P6. As for Nico, he didn't have the pace to match the Ferraris in the first stint but was running strongly for a podium finish. When the Virtual Safety Car came out, it was close for him to get into the pits - but he managed it. However, the default set of tyres was the prime, as we still had around 30 laps to go in the race under normal conditions - and that was the only set we were able to fit to the car in time. In hindsight, the option tyre would have been ideal to attack Sebastian, who was forced to run the prime - but hindsight is a wonderful thing. He nevertheless did a great job to salvage P8 and score a few more points today. For us, this was a really frustrating day and it just goes to show that our success so far this year has been the result of fantastic attention to detail and teamwork, getting everything right to deliver the results we have had. Now we need to analyse the race and learn our lessons, then recharge the batteries and come back fighting in Spa.

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): Not a great day, quite obviously. It began with two rather mediocre race starts. With Lewis, we suspect it was an overheating clutch after the second formation lap. And for Nico, it looked like there was just very little grip from his grid position. We apologise to both drivers for not being able to give them the platform for the start they needed. That put both drivers behind the Ferraris and Lewis then lost further position attempting to pass Nico later on the first lap. So, at that point it was already looking like a difficult afternoon with one driver in third and the other back in tenth. We persevered with our race strategy to attempt to get both cars onto the podium and perhaps even the top step - but it soon became clear that Ferrari were very quick here today and we didn't have enough of a pace advantage to make that happen. There were then a number of events including minor collisions and penalties which eventually consigned us to sixth and eighth. A bad day without doubt - but as they say, you can't win them all and it's still points on the board.

Red Bull

Christian Horner, Team Principal: "Today was a great result for the team, with Dany’s P2 finish – his first Formula One podium, and Daniel right there in P3, both drivers taking maximum advantage of this circuit’s characteristics. The strategy with Daniel really came into play after the final safety car, having run both the soft and hard tyre, which meant he had a new set of softs available for that final stint. He put them to really good effect to pass Lewis, which set him up to have a go at Nico. Unfortunately their contact denied Daniel the opportunity of fighting for the race win, but it looked like a racing incident and certainly provided an entertaining drive. Dany had a difficult start, locking the tyres, but he made a very strong recovery to bring it home in second. This is a great way to head into the summer break and also a great day for the Red Bull Junior Programme, from which all of today’s top four drivers have graduated."

Matthieu Dubois, Renault: "First of all, I would like to reiterate that all of our thoughts were with Jules Bianchi this weekend. All we can do is to carry on racing, as I'm sure he would've wanted. I think the team went through the full spectrum of emotions that Formula One has to offer today; from confidence when we arrived at the track this morning, to disappointment after the race start, and determination to push our engines to the limit following the Safety Car period. The entire team did a fantastic job to ensure that we maximised the opportunity and made it to the chequered flag. This result is a great reward for all the hard work from Renault during the challenging first part of the season, and has come at a good time as the championship takes a short break for the summer."

WilliamsF1

Felipe Massa finished 12th and Valtteri Bottas 13th after a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix. Valtteri made a great start running in fourth after the first lap whilst Felipe struggled for pace in tenth. Felipe was given a 5-second penalty for being out of position on the grid and struggled after his first stop on the medium tyre. Valtteri had a solid race but was hit from behind after the safety car restart resulting in a right-rear puncture.

Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: We weren't where we expected to be today following the pace we had on Friday. It was an eventful race all round. Valtteri was unfortunately hit from behind through no fault of his own picking up a puncture, and without that could have been on the podium. Felipe's tyres only worked in the final stint, and we need to investigate why that was as it made for a tough race for him. Results like this make us stronger as a group and we can go away and analyse what went wrong. Williams has been on a constant learning curve over the last 18 months and you have to take days like this with that. We now head into the next few races which will play to our strengths and we'll aim to recuperate the points we lost today.

Ferrari

Maurizio Arrivabene: "A fantastic win! Over the past few weeks, we had had comments from people who said we were in a slump, people who obviously can't or don't want to read the numbers. As a matter of fact, we had anticipated long time ago that there could be ups and down in the course of the season, but that does not mean that we were stepping back. This weekend started with a horrible Friday for us, so we knew we only had P3 on Saturday to properly set the car up. We calmed down and managed to recover, but still we didn't know we could win the race. We were only confident that we could fight at the front. Then both Seb and Kimi had a tremendous start and being able to drive in clean air surely made a difference in terms of tyre management, as we knew the first two sets of Options would perform very well. I am very disappointed, though, that Kimi din not make it to the end, because he was having a great day. Congrats to him. This is Formula One and we must accept the lack of reliability as another challenge for the future. We won today, but still keep our feet on the ground and remain humble and committed."

McLaren

McLaren-Honda recorded its best result of the season today, finishing fifth (Fernando Alonso) and ninth (Jenson Button) - an achievement that earned the team an extremely welcome 12 constructors' world championship points.

Our race started strongly - both drivers got away cleanly, and Fernando ran solidly inside the top 10 after the first round of pit-stops. Then, as the race started to fragment chaotically after the Virtual and actual Safety Car period, our drivers held on more resolutely than most. Having fitted fresh rubber only a handful of laps before the Safety Car had been deployed, the team opted to keep both drivers out. That meant that Jenson faced an uphill struggle to prevent faster cars from passing him in the closing laps. As for Fernando, however, his brake temperatures began to soar after his second pit-stop, and the team made a call to clear debris from his brake ducts (a stray tear-off visor was once again discovered) and - usefully - fit a set of Option tyres.

As a clutch of drivers were issued with penalties for pit-lane speeding, and a handful more conspired to tangle with each other, we found ourselves taking our first double points finish of the year.

Eric Boullier, Racing director: "Yesterday afternoon, despite our cars having qualified only 15th [Fernando] and 16th [Jenson], owing to unreliability problems, I said publicly that much better race performances were within our compass.

"Sure enough, today we saw exactly that come to pass.

"Granted, we benefited from a goodly degree of attrition ahead of us, and clearly our team didn't build its illustrious reputation on fifth places and ninth places, but, nonetheless, the 12 world championship points we scored today represent a buoying fillip as we pack up and head off on holiday for the midsummer shutdown.

"The first half of the 2015 season has been an extremely challenging one for all at McLaren-Honda, but we've supported and sustained one another throughout, and we'll continue to do exactly that as, working as hard as it's humanly possible to do, we gradually claw our way back to the front. And, lest we forget, our drivers have been magnificent both on- and off-track, today and every day.

"It'll take time to get to where we want to be, we know that, but we'll get there; that I guarantee.

"Finally, I want to say five more things.

"First, today we saw a truly great race, which must have been hugely entertaining to watch for spectators here at the Hungaroring as well as for viewers in their homes all over the world. As such, it was a fabulous advertisement for Formula 1, which remains a magnificent sport, despite our occasional tendency to be critical of it.

"Second, I think we can be very proud of the way we all joined together this weekend, almost as a family, remembering and honouring Jules, whose absence many both here and in the wider world feel so acutely.

"Third, I want to send a message of solidarity to our dear friend Aki [Hintsa, McLaren's doctor], who was recently diagnosed with abdominal cancer. Stay strong, mate, and keep fighting the good fight. We're all rooting for you.

"Fourth, I want to say a big thank-you to the entire staff of McLaren and Honda, not only here in Budapest but also in Woking and Sakura, who have worked so tirelessly for so little reward thus far. Have a great break, guys; you really deserve it; success will come, believe me.

"Fifth, and last, but far from least, I want to pay tribute to our team's many fans all over the world, who are the most loyal and passionate anywhere. Guys, your unwavering steadfastness is massively important to all of us, and we hereby publicly salute you. Truly, you really do #BelieveInMcLarenHonda."

Yasuhisa Arai, Honda R&D senior managing officer - chief officer of motorsport: "The temperature today was significantly lower than for Friday's and Saturday's practice sessions, which changed the condition of the track drastically, so it was a difficult race. Furthermore, there were many incidents that made the race very hard to read, but we were able to bring both cars home in the points thanks to some brilliant driving from Fernando and Jenson.

"The settings on both the cars and the power units were solid, so this race was important for us in order to prove their worth.

"During such an eventful race, our drivers' talent, the excellent pit-work and the quick thinking of the engineers shone through. They kept their heads down and pushed, and I'm thankful and happy for the good result."

Force India

It was a disappointing weekend for Sahara Force India in Budapest with both cars retiring from the Hungarian Grand Prix. The team remains in fifth place in the championship at the half-way point of the season.

Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer: "It has been a difficult day and it's disappointing to come away from Budapest empty-handed. Nico was on course for a good helping of points until he suffered an issue with the front wing on the approach to turn one. We are still looking into what caused the wing to break, but the most important thing is that Nico is perfectly okay. Sergio's afternoon suffered after Maldonado made contact with him after Sergio had passed him going into turn one. That incident cost us a lot of time and resulted in some damage to the right side of Sergio's car. As the race continued, he was suffering with a long brake pedal and we had to retire the car. Sometimes in racing things don't go your way and this was certainly an unlucky weekend. We will regroup ahead of Spa and come back stronger for the second half of the season."

Toro Rosso

Franz Tost (Team Principal): "Budapest showed once again an exciting and very interesting race, which is good for Formula 1. Scuderia Toro Rosso managed to score the best result since years with Max' fourth place in today's race. He drove fantastically and showed a really good performance, managing the tyres well and keeping everything under control. Unfortunately, with Carlos we had a technical failure from our side - because of a broken hose clip - otherwise he could've also finished in the points. We have now closed the gap to our direct competitors and I think we are still in a position to achieve our goal, which is to finish the season in fifth position in the Constructors' Championship. I'd like to congratulate Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel for today's fantastic win, as well as the Red Bull drivers, especially Daniil Kvyat, as a P2 is his best result in his F1 career so far. It was nice to see that the first four to cross the line are present and past Toro Rosso drivers."

Cedrik Staudohar (Renault Sport F1 track support leader): "Max had an absolutely brilliant race today! Everything went smoothly with the car as far as the Power Unit is concerned. It was a shame that he was handed a penalty towards the end of the race, but in the end it was a great result for him and the team. Unfortunately Carlos was forced to retire his car after a technical issue which resulted in a loss of boost pressure. Obviously we're delighted with Max's result, but it is bittersweet because Carlos was on track to score a lot of points as well. However, it's a great way to conclude this first part of the season."

Lotus

Lotus F1 Team experienced an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix with Romain Grosjean fighting back to finish seventh and Pastor Maldonado finishing fourteenth. Both drivers had tardy starts but were able to work back through the order in a race which saw one safety car period as well as numerous incidents and penalties through the field. Both drivers were included in the penalty list, with Romain awarded five seconds stationary in the pit lane and Pastor having two drive-through penalties and a ten second addition to his race time.

Romain started from P10 on the grid on his qualifying soft tyres, changing to new softs on lap 14, new mediums on lap 34 and scrubbed softs on lap 42. He served a five-second stop and go on his second stop for an unsafe release from his first. Pastor started from P14 on the grid on new medium tyres. He changed to new soft tyres on laps 25 and 41. He completed pit lane drive through penalties on laps 24 and 58. Ten seconds were added to his race time.

Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: "Today we saw a great race illustrating the never-give-up attitude from everyone at Enstone. Romain scored a nice tally of points and it's a pity that Pastor was unable to join him in the top ten as he certainly looked set to finish there too. We started the weekend pretty far down the timesheets, but we improved every day. The E23 is a great car which still has further potential to perform strongly. It was a fantastic race to watch too; amazing for the spectacle and it illustrates that Bernie Ecclestone and Tamas Rohonyi can put on a great show at the fabulous Hungaroring."

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "After a poor start we expected a very difficult fight to try to get any points, but in an eventful race Romain was able to salvage a decent points finish. The E23 worked well in today's track conditions, we had a good strategy and we were able to take advantage of the safety car period to change Romain back to the softer tyres. Romain did a great job to defend from the Mercedes to finish between them, and the points scored helps us in our battle for fifth position in the Constructors' Championship. Pastor had the potential to also score well today, but unfortunately too many penalties blunted his charge."

Sauber

The Hungarian Grand Prix was an exciting race in which the Sauber F1 Team finished in tenth (Ericsson) and 11th (Nasr). Looking back to the starting positions of 17th (Ericsson) and 18th (Nasr), both the drivers and the team put in a flawless performance, exploiting every opportunity. In the end, Marcus Ericsson finished the Hungarian Grand Prix in the top ten, scoring one world championship point.

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "An eventful race in which it was important to stay focused and calm. Both drivers have done this and gained one world championship point for the team from grid positions that were further back. We are now glad that this most challenging track lies behind us. After the summer break there are tracks which will suit our car better. In addition, we will go into these races with updates on the engine and chassis side. The data we have for these updates makes us optimistic, and gives us the potential to gain positions in the constructors’ world championship."

Marussia

John Booth, Team Principal: "A very difficult day, at the end of a very difficult week, for our team and the entire F1 community. The build-up to this weekend has been incredibly emotional, but we had one job to do today to honour Jules, and that was to achieve the best possible placings. That's exactly what we did, and I am so proud of the whole team for their tremendous courage and fortitude. It has been both difficult and comforting for them to see Jules' family here at the track today. Difficult, because they too are a part of this team and we have shared so many happy occasions together. And comforting, because if they could find the strength to contend with the incredible outpouring of love and affection for Jules today, then we certainly could. It was not easy for any of the drivers, but well done to Roberto and Will for their focus and composure.

"So we reach the summer break, after what has been a very long first stint of the season, from which we take away many positives from the ten rounds so far. The next few weeks will provide everyone with a much-needed opportunity to reboot in preparation for the nine remaining races."

Pirelli

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel claimed his second win of the season with a thrilling victory, in a race that was characterised by incidents, penalties and a lengthy safety car period, which closed up the field towards the finish and added more variables to the strategy.

Vettel's victory was made possible after he made an excellent start from the second row of the grid to take the lead by the first corner. But he had to fight hard to keep it, after the field was compacted by a safety car, in place to protect the cars from damage caused by debris on the main straight. As a result the cars passed through the pit lane repeatedly - with few drivers taking the opportunity to change tyres.

This safety car period caused strategies to be disrupted. But despite this moving target, Vettel only briefly lost the lead to his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen, before regaining it all the way to the finish - with the Ferrari team executing a perfect strategy over all 70 laps. Vettel started the race on the soft tyre, before completing a second stint on the soft tyre and ending it on the medium: just as we had predicted.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg chose an alternative strategy by completing only one stint on the soft tyre and then finishing the race on the medium tyre - but a certain second-place finish was taken away from him almost within sight of the finish, when he picked up a puncture following contact with the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo eventually finished third, with his team mate Daniel Kvyat claiming his best-ever finish in second (despite a 10-second penalty), confirming the pace of Red Bull seen during free practice and qualifying in Hungary. It was also a career-best result for Toro Rosso's Max Verstappen, who finished fourth.

All the drivers apart from Pastor Maldonado started on the soft tyre - but a very wide variety of strategies were seen afterwards, with the track temperature increasingly gradually during the course of the race after a relatively cool start of 38 degrees centigrade.

Paul Hembery: "Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for winning one of the very few races that had eluded him so far and to Daniil Kvyat for his first F1 podium. Hungary was one of the most dramatic grands prix we have seen for a long time, made even more complicated by the multiplicity of strategy options presented by the safety car running through the pit lane, and the fact that the race started in relatively cool conditions - compared to what we saw previously this weekend - and then got warmer. As a result, we saw a number of very impressive performances, with drivers making the very most of all the opportunities presented to them; helped by the right calls from the pit wall. The fans were treated to a thrilling spectacle that showcased all the drama of this thrilling sport."

Truth-O-Meter

We predicted a two-stopper as the most likely winning scenario for the 70-lap race, and this is exactly what Vettel chose, in line with our expectations. Our prediction said that after starting on soft, it would be quickest to stop for soft again on lap 29 and finally medium on lap 53. Vettel actually stopped on laps 21 and 43.

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