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Team Quotes - Sunday 26 May

SEASON INFORMATION
26/05/2019

Grand Prix de Monaco 2019

Team Quotes - Sunday 26 May

Mercedes GP

Lewis took his 77th career victory today - his fourth of the 2019 season and his third at the Monaco Grand Prix. Valtteri finished the race in P3, his first-ever podium finish in Monte Carlo.

Lewis (137 points) leads the Drivers' Championship by 17 points from Valtteri (120 points). Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (257 points) lead Ferrari (139 points) by 118 points in the Constructors' Championship. Ron Meadows, Sporting Director, accepted the Constructors' trophy on behalf of the team.

Toto Wolff: That result means a lot. It was a World Champions' drive for a World Champion that isn't among us anymore. It couldn't have been a more dramatic race, so I am relieved it is over. Lewis did an incredible job out there, it was a really hard-fought race with Max. We know the tyre choice, in hindsight, was wrong with Lewis and we should've taken the Hard tyre at his stop. But, these things happen and at the time we thought the Medium was the right call. It was the driver who made the difference and managed the race. Valtteri had a tougher time, losing ground with the pit stops and the clash with Verstappen in the pit lane, but he did a great job and will be determined to fight back. This one was a really hard-fought victory and now we have a couple of days that are going to be difficult with Niki's funeral in Vienna before we set sail for Canada.

Andrew Shovlin: We wanted to win this race for Niki but winning in Monaco is always much easier said than done. There was a bit of a risk of rain early in the race and while it didn't really turn into much, it meant that we were pushing a bit harder than we'd planned to build a bit of a gap to the midfield. The Safety Car was earlier than we would have liked and with hindsight, we should have fitted the Hard tyre, but we were concerned about the warm-up on the restart, which was why we took the medium. That obviously made life difficult for Lewis and we'll review our decision making and the information that we had at the time. We're grateful that Lewis was able to manage it so well to the end as he really had to work for the victory today. Valtteri's race was also compromised at the Safety Car. We felt the release from Red Bull was ok, but Max had room on the left to give Valtteri more space rather than putting him into the wall. That broke the front right wheel rim and caused a puncture, so we had to pit for a new set. From there his opportunities were rather limited. The car had good pace, but you simply can't pass here and Valtteri had a frustrating race stuck behind Vettel. It was some consolation that Valtteri was able to get back on the podium after Max had the time penalty applied. Well done to Lewis, we made life more difficult than we needed to for him today, but our thoughts are now with Niki and his family. He has been such a big part of this team over the last few years, we have benefited so much from his wisdom and straight talking, and he is simply someone who cannot ever be replaced. All he would have asked of us is to give it 100% and race hard and that's what we will do.

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel finished second in the 66th Monaco Grand Prix, less than three seconds behind Lewis Hamilton, after driving a solid race during which he was always a front runner. This was Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow's fourth podium of the season. Charles Leclerc had an unlucky race, forced to retire after 16 laps, following a collision with Nico Hulkenberg.

At the start, Sebastian got away cleanly, running behind Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, maintaining fourth place. Charles had a strong start from 15th, immediately making up one place, setting off on his bid to move up the order. On the second lap at the hairpin, the Monegasque driver passed Lando Norris and closed on Romain Grosjean. Five laps later, he got alongside the Frenchman at Rascasse and then passed him. At this point, Nico Hulkenberg was ahead of him. On lap 9, Charles tried a repeat of his Rascasse move but he hit the barrier and collided with the German, picking up a right rear tyre puncture. He had to complete a whole lap with the wheel dragging on the ground, thus damaging his floor. He pitted for fresh tyres and got away again, but shortly afterwards he was called back in for one final attempt on Soft tyres and major set up changes to the front wing to try and balance the car that was lacking downforce following the incident. It was in vain, as the car was too badly damaged and it was deemed too dangerous to continue.

The lap he drove with the puncture left debris on the track and that brought out the Safety Car. The four leaders pitted and Sebastian took on Hard tyres, as did Bottas and Verstappen, these last two colliding in pit lane as they drove out. The Finn picked up a puncture because of this and had to pit again. The Stewards declared that Verstappen had to take a five second penalty added to his final race time, for the unsafe release.

At the restart, Hamilton led from Verstappen and Sebastian, who was now a virtual second. The German thus played a waiting game, matching the pace of the two drivers in front of him, ready to make the most of any collision or mistake. But the positions remained the same to the flag, so that Sebastian made it to the second step of the podium.

Mattia Binotto Team Principal: "Given that he started fourth, Seb's second place is definitely a good result on a track where it's well known that overtaking is very difficult. He ran at a good pace throughout the race and did an excellent job of managing the tyres, which wasn't an easy task today."

Charles had a strong start, knowing that he'd have to fight his way up the order after his race was compromised by what happened in yesterday's qualifying. It was a good getaway, but being aggressive always carries a risk. He pulled off some nice passing moves, but on his last one, maybe he tried just a bit too hard. But that's the right attitude. He proved that he is not the sort to ever give up or surrender. So it was a race of mixed fortunes and now we are already preparing for Canada."

Red Bull

Christian Horner: "Max drove the wheels off the car today. He got away in grid position and had a look at passing Bottas into turn one but wasn't quite far enough alongside. The mechanics did a great job with the pit stop and Max left the box before Bottas which, as per the rules, is fine. Unfortunately, it all got a bit too tight resulting in the Mercedes making contact with the barrier and the stewards issuing Max a five second penalty. Max drove like a lion for the rest of the race and tried everything he could to pass Lewis. We had a better tyre strategy and there was only really one lap where he got close to making a move into the chicane. Finishing second on the road, but with the top four so close, he was denied a podium. Finishing fourth is tough for Max today after a drive like that but as always, he didn't give up until the checkered flag. Pierre really made a great recovery having got the penalty yesterday and starting in P8. He kept his head, was quick when he had clear track and managed to move up the order. With the benefit of the second pit stop, he smashed the fastest lap for that extra point which is important for the Team and was able to progress up to P5. A great job by him and the Team and also congratulations to Honda for having four Honda powered cars in the top eight."

Renault

Renault F1 Team secured ninth place and two points in a tense Monaco Grand Prix today.

Daniel Ricciardo had started from sixth on the grid, however an early pit stop strategy did not play out and the Australian finished in tenth, which was converted to ninth following the application of post-race penalties.

Daniel made an excellent start and had gained a place to fifth. He pitted under an early safety car but came out in traffic. Backed up behind a slow-moving McLaren he lost valuable time, but once in clean air he closed on the ninth-placed Haas by around a second a lap. The strong pace was just enough to be moved into ninth once Romain Grosjean's penalty had been added to his overall race time.

Nico passed the flag in P14 after an early incident involving Charles Leclerc. The Ferrari driver was racing from the back of grid but an ambitious move on Nico round the Rascasse clipped the back of the Renault and caused a right rear puncture. He pitted, but got stuck behind a road block provoked by a spinning Williams and Alfa Romeo and then slower cars and was unable to make significant progress.

Daniel started from sixth on used Pirelli's Soft (red) tyres, pitting on lap 11 for new Medium (yellow) tyres. Nico started on new Medium (yellow) tyres, pitting on lap 9 for new Hards (white).

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: "After the good qualifying yesterday, we thought a big part of the job had been done. Unfortunately, the single most important decision of the day was to stop Daniel under the safety car. It turned out to be the wrong one, on the basis that it gave McLaren the opportunity to execute a smart team strategy with Norris and Sainz. A small positive is that we return into the points, but the bigger positive is that the car has demonstrated its potential, not just on the short runs yesterday, but on the longer runs today. It's clearly a missed opportunity that does not reward the hard work of the team and the drivers to improve the competitiveness of the package."

Haas

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean earned a second consecutive 10th-place result of 2019 while teammate Kevin Magnussen was placed 14th after a five-second penalty Sunday in the Monaco Grand Prix, the sixth round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship at Circuit de Monaco.

Grosjean and Magnussen started the 78-lap event around the 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn street circuit on Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires - as did most of the rest of the field. At the drop of the green flag, Magnussen dropped a position from fifth to sixth as defending event-winner Daniel Ricciardo of Renault slipped past him in the first corner. Grosjean, meanwhile, picked up a position to 12th when he got by McLaren driver Lando Norris on the opening lap. Grosjean held off Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc over the next seven laps before the determined local favorite finally got by Grosjean on lap eight, dropping the Haas F1 Team driver back to his original starting position of 13th.

Slight mayhem ensued less than two laps later when Leclerc tangled with the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg, bringing out the safety car. Half the field opted to make their first pit stops, including Magnussen from the sixth position for a set of Yellow Medium tires. Grosjean stayed on track and resumed in ninth place when the race went back to green on lap 15 while Magnussen resumed in 14th with eight cars ahead of him that did not pit.

Grosjean did a masterful job of managing his soft tires, enabling him to reach fifth place by lap 40. He finally pitted - the last in the field to do so - on lap 50 when he stopped for a set of medium tires and rejoined the race in ninth with 28 laps to go.

Grosjean held position the rest of the way, but a five-second penalty for crossing the line at the exit of pit lane cost him a position, moving Ricciardo up to ninth and dropping Grosjean to 10th. Magnussen, who crossed the finish line 12th, was assessed his five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage during a midrace battle with Racing Point driver Sergio Perez through the left-right-left combination of turns 10 through 11.

The Rich Energy Haas F1 Team maintained its sixth-place position but tied with Toro Rosso in the constructors' standings with today's results, one-point behind fifth-place Racing Point and two points ahead of eighth-place Renault.

Guenther Steiner: "It was a challenging race for us, almost everything that could go wrong, did go wrong for us. It's Monaco though, I think there were just circumstances that led us to only score one point here. I don't even want to go into all that happened, otherwise you'd have to write a book about it. Obviously, we're not happy about it, but a lot of people would have been happy getting away with one point. We're pretty upset about that. What we're not upset about is the performance of our car, the team and our drivers. Today we got into circumstances we didn't want to be in, but we know the car is faster than it showed. That's a good thing to look forward to, and I'm sure we'll make up for it. Hopefully one day we won't be unlucky, I'm not even demanding to be lucky - just not unlucky."

McLaren

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "Thanks to the entire team for a clean and well-executed race. This result strengthens our fourth place in the Constructors' Championship, which is a good reward for all of the hard work by everyone trackside and back at the factory.

"Carlos gained a position on the first lap and the right call from the strategy team to stay out during the Safety Car period gained him another two places. This, plus the overall fastest pit-lane time of the entire field and Carlos producing a strong drive and managing to stay in front of Kyvat, all combined to earn him a well-deserved sixth place.

"Lando lost two positions in the opening laps. Thereafter he was into a strategy to help him manage his Medium compound tyres and go for a long first stint. While this compromised his own race it in turn helped Carlos' race. Everyone stays ultra-focussed for Canada where our aim is to have both cars in the points after Lando missed out by one place on his Monaco Grand Prix debut."

Racing Point

Otmar Szafnauer: "We raced well today considering our grid positions and got both cars home safely, but points were out of reach. We knew we faced an uphill task after yesterday's qualifying session, but hoped we could make the most of the unpredictability of Monaco. The early safety car allowed us to roll the dice by splitting the strategies - pitting Sergio and leaving Lance out - but as the race unfolded there were few opportunities to jump up the field or use the strategy to our advantage. We couldn't get track position and were caught up in the midfield train at various moments throughout the afternoon. It's not been an easy weekend, but we will take this one on the chin and learn what we can in order to come back stronger in Montreal."

Sauber

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "It was a difficult weekend for us and our race was effectively compromised on Saturday. At some stages, our cars were among the fastest on track, but Monaco being Monaco it meant there was no way to make up any ground. Despite the difference in pace, overtaking here was nearly impossible and even with a different strategy we finished the race close to where we started. Leaving with no points after the promise we had shown in practice is disappointing, but hopefully we can get back to scoring ways next time around in Canada."

Toro Rosso

Jody Egginton (Technical Director): "Following a positive Saturday with both cars qualifying inside the top ten, we have been able to finish the job today and secure points with both drivers finishing P7 and P8 today, which is fantastic. With the threat of rain looming in the background, we have decided to manage the first stint tyres to keep open as many strategy options as possible. There was a risk of rain, which did not arrive, but we were ready and everything worked out, with the drivers doing a fantastic job to manage the tyres and then push when requested. On the operational side the team did a good job today, with solid pit stops and good pitwall communication - we have been rewarded with the points we deserved. The season is long but the STR14 is responding well to development, so we are confident we can make further gains."

Franz Tost (Team Principal): "From the beginning of the weekend onwards, Toro Rosso showed a strong performance here in Monaco. We qualified in P8 and P10 and ended the race in seventh and eighth position. I must say we are very satisfied to finish such an important and difficult race inside the top 10. The start of the race was ok, the drivers had a good first lap. After that, the main goal was to save the tyres, not to overshoot and suffer from graining. Both Dany and Alex managed to do this in a very professional way. The strategy was good, first because we stayed out when the SC was deployed, then to call both drivers in at the perfect time and keep Grosjean behind us. These are 10 important points for us, so congratulations to the drivers and to the team for a good and competitive weekend, I am really satisfied to see four Honda-powered cars within the first eight at the end of the race. Now let's get ready for Canada, where we hope to continue scoring points."

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): "A strong performance resulting in all four cars finishing in the points, in the top eight. Both teams performed strongly all weekend and managed the race strategy very well. Now, we take a break from Europe and head to Montreal. The track there is very different to this one, so we will be working hard on our PU development before going to Canada."

WilliamsF1

George Russell finished 15th and Robert Kubica 18th in the Monaco Grand Prix. The Brit started 19th on the medium Pirelli tyre, and Robert 20th on the grid on the medium. Both drivers ran a one-stop race, with George pitting on lap 10 and Robert on 21, both for the hard Pirelli tyres.

Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: We had a busy race today, but it made for some enjoyable racing as we were able to compete genuinely with both Alfa Romeo and Racing Point. It was a rare Monaco Grand Prix with little incident or retirement and we were unable to score any points. However, both drivers were very good and produced measured and controlled races to make the one-stop strategy work. The tyres were a challenge, especially as the light rain fell, but Robert and George were able to keep the tyres in a sensible window. Once again, the team in Monaco and Grove worked well together and delivered two strong strategies in difficult circumstances. It was a shame that Robert's race was spoilt by the contact with Giovinazzi but unfortunately that is the nature of racing on the streets of Monte Carlo.

Pirelli

In his own words, Lewis Hamilton claimed "the hardest race I think I've had," with a one-stop strategy from soft to medium under an early safety car on lap 11. The Mercedes driver then had to control his pace on the yellow compound, faced with close pursuers on the more durable hard compound behind him, all the way to the finish of the 78-lap grand prix.

The safety car was triggered on lap 11 by debris left by the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, which made contact with another competitor after trying to fight up from the back. Most of the frontrunners used this safety car to make a pit stop.

Hamilton, from the lead, pitted for the medium tyre. Following this round of pit stops, Red Bull's Max Verstappen - who gained second place after pitting for the hard tyre - was handed a five-second penalty, to be applied retrospectively: giving a new impetus and focus for his race.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who finished third at the flag, was forced into a second stop under the safety car, after wheel damage following the Verstappen incident.

Hamilton managed his pace throughout the remainder of the race to maximise the life of his medium tyres, closely followed by Verstappen on the road.

Red Bull's Pierre Gasly made a late stop for the soft tyres and kept fifth place: gaining the extra point for fastest lap of the race in the process.

Mario Isola: "We saw a thrilling grand prix in uncertain weather conditions with a great duel between Hamilton and Verstappen throughout most of it: so close that there was even some contact between them just a few laps from the finish. Hamilton very effectively managed a softer tyre compound than his rivals, completing 66 laps on the medium after making his only stop under the safety car, which proved to be a pivotal moment in the race. The decision from Ferrari to fit the hard tyre to Vettel ensured their podium, while Hamilton's ability to look after his tyres led to a victory that Niki Lauda would have been proud of."

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