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VTB Russian Grand Prix Driver Quotes - Sunday 29 September

SEASON INFORMATION
29/09/2019

VTB Russian Grand Prix

Driver Quotes - Sunday 29 September

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton: This win feels like it has been a long time coming and it was just an incredible job from the whole team: never giving up, pushing forward, always trying to be innovative. It's incredibly inspiring to be part of that and amazing to have this result today considering how quick the Ferraris were in that opening stint. It was a really hard task to keep up with them, especially on the offset tyre, but we kept pushing and the car felt really good today. We thought that their soft tyres would drop off during that opening stint, but they had such good pace that I was struggling to keep up with them - and that's probably a little warning for us, because it looked like they got their calculations right in that regard. I managed to stay within shooting distance, though, and started closing down the gap as their tyres started to drop. Charles pitted, then I started catching Seb, and we were in a good position to offset and go long - even had the Safety Car not come out, it would have been a really good race. Then everything fell our way, and after that it was a question of building the gap, saving the tyres but also getting to the finish as smoothly as possible. Looking ahead, of course the races are counting down but we are just trying to take things one race at a time, put one foot in front of the other and not stumble. When you have a battle like this, you're working flat out, turning over every stone and questioning every little thing you can do better. We love that challenge and I'm really excited for the next races.

Valtteri Bottas: It's been a while since we last had a 1-2 and it feels really good to stand up there on the podium together again. It's really encouraging and motivating for the entire team. We knew a 1-2 would be tricky to achieve, but possible, so we spoke about all the different strategies that would give us a chance this morning. and I think we did a really good job as a team today. It's a really good result if you think about how much we were struggling yesterday. Ferrari had a quick car all weekend long, I think they were quicker as well today, so to walk away with a 1-2 means that we did a great job as a team in all other areas. I lost quite a bit of time when I was stuck behind Sainz in the beginning and I was also struggling to match the times on the Medium tyres, but it was a lot better in the second stint on the Soft tyres. I was under a bit of pressure after the Safety Car restart, but it was all under control. Ferrari has made some good improvements in the past few weeks, so we know that we need to keep pushing for Japan, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel: "Today, we are very disheartened. We wanted to finish first and second, but all we got was a third place. It's not the result we were hoping for. I got a good start and the first stint was pretty quick which allowed me to open up quite a gap.

"After the pit stop, I rejoined in second place but shortly afterwards the team asked me to stop the car because there was a problem with a hybrid component on my Power Unit. I hope the engine will be okay for the coming races.

"It has definitely been not our day today."

Charles Leclerc: "It was a tricky race. I think that we had a good strategy to give us the best result as a team. At the start of the race, I gave Sebastian a tow so that we could race at the front and get ahead of our competitors together.

"Then, after the safety car, things became a bit more complicated and we aimed to find the right timing to swap positions, which we did when Seb pitted. Unfortunately, there was an issue on Seb's car and he had to end the race early. From that point on it just didn't go our way anymore and it was not possible for me to overtake the two cars in front.

"After we had such a strong weekend, ending the race with one car in P3 and the other retired is not the best feeling. But we are confident of our potential and will head into the next races with determination and give our all to bring home the best possible results."

Red Bull

Max Verstappen: "I think P4 was the best possible result today and we had a little bit of luck with Seb retiring, but I'm satisfied with the points we scored considering the penalties and pace of Ferrari and Mercedes. There wasn't too much going on for me once I cleared the mid-field traffic and from there I had a bit of a lonely race until the Safety Car closed us all up. We were clearly a bit slower than the top three today but at the end of the race it was also more difficult being on the medium compound tyre when the others were on the soft. For sure we maximised the result but of course we want to be scoring more podiums and victories so we still have work to do as the others are very strong. Now I'm looking forward to Suzuka and we want to do the best we can for all the Japanese fans at Honda's home race."

Alexander Albon: "It was a good race and I think P5 is the best we could have done. I wanted to bounce back and get a good result after yesterday's crash so I'm really happy with how the race went, although we probably got a bit lucky with the Safety Car. Morale was obviously a little bit low on Saturday night and it was a lot of work for the Team so this result is for them. Starting from the pit lane was never going to be easy but the pace was quite strong on the softs and it was a good haul of points. I started out of position and had some fun coming back through the field, but I don't want all of my races to be like that. I like boring races too so I'm hoping for a cleaner and smoother weekend in Japan. In the first stint I was struggling to get past Daniil and Pierre and it took me a long time. The downforce loss is immense when you're following in a train of cars which I think is because the track is designed a bit like a street circuit. Up to the race it had been a tough weekend but I'm getting more comfortable. I just need to get up to speed and in a rhythm earlier on in the weekend, but that will come with more laps and time in the car. With the exception of Abu Dhabi, all of the remaining tracks will be new for me so Suzuka will be difficult, but I like new tracks."

Renault

Daniel Ricciardo: "Unfortunately, our race was pretty much over from the start. I had too much damage on the car to carry on, which is a shame. It was a bit chaotic through Turn 2 and I had the inside line for Turn 4 where I thought I was safe. I got hit and had a puncture and damage to the floor. I'll look at it with the perspective that if I qualify higher up the grid then I'm less likely to be in the bad stuff. I'll take responsibility for that, but in terms of the accident, I was just a passenger."

Nico Hulkenberg: "It was a frustrating race as the car deserved to be better than tenth. Everything that could go wrong seemed to go wrong today: a poor start, a slow pit-stop and an unfortunate VSC timing. It's disappointing as the potential was there for a better result. I felt comfortable in the car all weekend, and it had been fairly solid, so to leave with one point is a little frustrating. The midfield is bunched up and it's going to be like that for the rest of the season. It'll be nip and tuck throughout and we need to ensure we're getting the maximum from races."

Haas

Romain Grosjean: "There's not much to say, the footage is pretty clear. We've been working very hard all weekend, and we had a competitive car - we were going to go for points today. There was a huge amount of pressure on us to get into Q3 in qualifying yesterday, we don't know how often we'll get those chances. Obviously, our race was then ruined by turn four. I had no chance to react. It's a bit of a disappointing afternoon. It's hard to digest as I felt this was the weekend we could score. To be taken out on the first lap is very hard."

Kevin Magnussen: "I think it's been a positive weekend in terms of our pace. In qualifying yesterday, it looked very good. I made a mistake unfortunately in Q2 and didn't go through to Q3, the car had been perfect. Today we had good pace again. I made a good start, gained a few positions, had a good first stint followed by a decent second stint, then I lost a few spots at the end and got a stupid penalty. That's how it is I guess. I had lost the position to Perez, lost a load of time, I had dirt on my tires, I'd already lost enough time. Then I get the penalty. I think though, I can speak for the whole team to say it's been a great relief this weekend to be in contention from the beginning. It's been a great job from the whole team to keep their heads up."

McLaren

Carlos Sainz: "Very good race. A great start and a very solid execution from everyone today. It was great to fight the Mercedes into Turn Two, which was one of my targets today. From then on I could control the race and I had good pace all the way through, even though it was impossible to hold both Red Bulls.

"This was not an easy weekend for us, but we managed to put it together and take another best of the rest finish. Great performance from the whole team and double points again. Congratulations."

Lando Norris "Today has been a positive day for the team with good points. Carlos and I both made good starts and gained positions. My first stint was reasonably good with decent pace, but then the VSC after my pit-stop shook things up.

"Cars came out of the pits from the VSC who were slower, preventing me from pushing as much as I wanted to, and then I was vulnerable to cars behind on fresher tyres. It was tough to keep the Renault and Racing Point behind. But overall a good weekend with more points for the team, a good reward for their hard work."

Force India

Sergio Perez: "It was a very good race for us today. I'm very pleased with how we maximised the result. I think it's been one of my greatest races that I can remember. We had a good start and great management throughout the stints, knowing when to fight and when to hold back, and that made a huge difference. We were unlucky with the timing of the Safety Car, but we recovered and we took every single opportunity. Since the summer break we've been on it and we've been scoring some important points. We worked hard for it today and we couldn't have done any better."

Lance Stroll: "It was a tough race today and to finish just outside the points is really frustrating. I spent a lot of time in traffic and I wasn't really happy with the balance of the car. I struggled to keep the tyres under control throughout and we were sliding the rears a lot - and that cost me at the restart when I got overtaken by Hulkenberg. The car was more competitive this weekend so there are plenty of positives to take away, but we just have to keep it going until the end of the season."

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen: "It was a very difficult race from the start. I jumped the lights and from that point we knew a penalty was coming. We tried our best and closed the gap with the rest of the field thanks to the Safety Car, but in the end we couldn't make up any more places than P13. The last four races have been very difficult for us, so we have to understand what has gone wrong and try to improve on it. We looked really strong in Spa, so the potential is there: we just have to get back to that level."

Antonio Giovinazzi: "It was definitely not the kind of race I was hoping for but it is what it is. I got stuck in the middle between Ricciardo and Grosjean on lap one: I don't know if Daniel knew I had Romain on the outside, but I ended up like in a sandwich. I tried to lift off and avoid contact, but that wasn't enough and we touched. We'll need to check if there was any further damage as it was quite a big hit and the car didn't really feel right afterwards."

Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat: "I had a strong and competitive race today. It was a good effort from the team to start from the back of the grid and finish very close to the points. I had a good start and some enjoyable battles, I was really fighting until the very last lap, so I'm happy with my race. It was a good Sunday in the end, especially considering the problems we had in the previous days. It's just a shame not to get the reward…the team would have deserved it."

Pierre Gasly: "It was a pretty challenging day for us. We didn't have the pace to fight for points today, I tried to do everything I could inside the cockpit but there wasn't much we could do. I had a good fight with Dany as you always have to try to fight for positions. At the time, I was pushing for P12, a position that allows you to think that something can always happen in front of you and you can finish in P10. I tried to do what I could, but we didn't have enough speed, so it was a tricky day. As today we underperformed compared to what we showed earlier this weekend, we now need to analyse and understand why to come back with better pace in Suzuka."

WilliamsF1

George Russell: It was a disappointing Russian Grand Prix. The car was feeling good, and then all of sudden after the pitstop there was an issue and the next thing I knew, I was in the barrier. It was a shame for the race to end like that as we were showing some strong pace.

Robert Kubica: This weekend has been very disappointing. You always have to try your best with what you have, and this is what I was trying to do. After George's DNF, the team decided to stop my car, to take care of the parts that we have on the car. We are not in an easy situation and Japan is around the corner.

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