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Team Quotes - Sunday 6 September

SEASON INFORMATION
06/09/2020

Gran Premio Heineken d'Italia

Team Quotes - Sunday 6 September

Mercedes

Congratulations to Scuderia Alpha Tauri and Pierre Gasly on an unexpected but well-deserved win.

Valtteri dropped to sixth on the opening lap after a difficult start and multiple contacts; he finished P5 after struggling with the car handling through the race.

Lewis led the early stages but dropped to last place after serving a 10-second stop/go penalty for entering the pit lane when it was closed, eventually fighting his way back to P7.

Lewis set the fastest lap of the race, which is his 50th in F1.

Lewis (164 points) leads the Drivers' Championship by 47 points from Valtteri (117 points). The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (281 points) leads Red Bull Racing (158 points) by 123 points in the Constructors' Championship.

Toto Wolff: This is a loss for Mercedes and the big teams, but it's a victory for the sport. That was great entertainment today and it was fantastic to see the young guys fighting out front. Congratulations to Pierre and Alpha Tauri, they deserved the win. It was obviously a disappointing race for us. With Lewis and the penalty, it was a weird sequence of events. We should have spotted earlier that the pit lane was closed, by the time that we did, the car was entering the pit lane. It's a tough result to take but we must take it on the chin. The recovery drive that Lewis did was very good. It is difficult to overtake in Monza, particularly now with the new Technical Directive on engine modes, so with that in mind, to recover to P7 was very strong. On Valtteri's side, we need to see what happened with the car, as it wasn't turning well into the right-handers and that was making it hard for him to make progress. We were also marginal on cooling, which made things even tougher for him out there. We'll take all the learnings we can from this weekend and come back fighting in Mugello.

Andrew Shovlin: Well done to Pierre on his first win and Alpha Tauri on an amazing result at their home race! The top three finishers and their teams all did a great job celebrating the podium and it's a good reminder to us to never take the wins for granted. We could have handled the race better, with Lewis we got caught with the pitlane closing as we were on the way in. That's something we need to be sharper with in future, as it clearly made his afternoon hugely challenging and he did well to get back to seventh after serving the penalty. Valtteri had a difficult afternoon, he'd lost places off the start and initially thought he had a puncture as the car wasn't turning well to the right. We could see the tyres were holding pressure, so stayed out but throughout the race he was struggling to get close enough to make a pass. Part of that was due to us running a bit hot in traffic, but also the tyres were getting hot with the car sliding and he couldn't make the progress through the field that we hoped for. Overall, this was a day for the others to enjoy and be proud of. We'll go off and look at how we can improve in future, but we're really looking forward to Mugello next week, it's an amazing track and we've got the fastest F1 cars of all time which will be really impressive round there.

Ferrari

Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers had to retire from the 71st Italian Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. Sebastian Vettel had a brake problem while Charles Leclerc crashed at the Parabolica, but emerged unscathed.

When the lights went out, Charles stayed 13th while Sebastian lost a place to George Russell in the Williams, but he got it back on the following lap. However, on lap 6 his SF1000 had a brake problem, which meant he had to retire on the next lap.

On lap 18, Charles pitted to switch from Soft to Hard tyres, rejoining in 17th place. On the next lap, Kevin Magnussen had to park his Haas at the side of the track with a problem, just before the pit lane entrance. This brought out the Safety Car, so that all the other cars took the opportunity to pit. Charles thus found himself sixth. At the restart, Leclerc was on a charge and passed the Alfa Romeos of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi to move up to fourth. Unfortunately, on the next lap Leclerc lost control of his car, crashing heavily into the barriers at the Parabolica corner. It was a frightening accident, but fortunately, Charles was not hurt.

The busy season continues and next weekend, still in Italy, the final race of this third triple header of the year, the Toscana-Ferrari 1000 Grand Prix, the Scuderia's 1000th race, takes place at Mugello.

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal: "Retirement for both cars is the worst possible end to a very difficult weekend. After Belgium, we knew that here too we would struggle a lot and so it turned out. That was clear in yesterday's qualifying but failing to get either car to the chequered flag really hurts. It's even more disappointing that Sebastian's retirement was down to a lack of reliability on the car. Problems like that, in this case with the brake system, should not happen.

"It's a very hard season but it's by facing up to difficulties like these that you get stronger. We must look ahead and there are useful lessons for all of us to take away from this to build for the future. Having said that, we must absolutely not give up and we will be giving our all next weekend at Mugello which is a special event for us, being our one thousandth Formula 1 Grand Prix."

Red Bull

Christian Horner, Team Principal: "Firstly, I want to congratulate everyone at AlphaTauri, especially Franz, Pierre and Honda who achieved something great today to take victory here at Monza. Our challenging weekend continued into the race with Max initially bogging down at the start and finding himself in a DRS train which is almost impossible to break around this track. Alex suffered damage from contact at Turn 1 which he also incurred an arguably harsh five second time penalty for, putting him to the back of the field before the safety car re-start. At the re-start Max suffered an engine issue which we were unable to overcome, forcing him to retire on lap 30. The damage to Alex's floor from the early race contact was significant and he was losing around a second a lap throughout the race, resulting in him finishing P15. Certainly not our finest weekend but we will re-convene and work hard to ensure that we are back where we belong next weekend in Mugello."

McLaren

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "P2 and P4 at the 'temple of speed'. It's a fantastic result coming at the end of a weekend where we've been competitive from the first laps onwards. Congratulations to every single member of the team, out here at the track and back home in the factory, to our colleagues from Renault and especially our drivers for a sensational effort today. Circumstances were difficult and the special situation of the Safety Car with closed pit entry and the red flag didn't play into our hands. Everyone kept their heads down and focused on executing the race perfectly, resulting in the best finish for the McLaren F1 team since 2014.

"We're leaving Monza with a lot of positives and looking at the second half of the season with confidence. We'll enjoy ourselves this evening after a great race, and tomorrow we'll reset and begin preparation for next weekend. We need to deliver another strong performance in Mugello.

"Finally, congratulations to AlphaTauri and Pierre Gasly for a sensational victory today."

Renault

Renault DP World F1 Team collected 12 points from an unpredictable and incident-filled Italian Grand Prix with Daniel Ricciardo sixth and Esteban Ocon eighth in Monza.

A safety car and red flag were amongst the major incidents in the frenetic 52-lap race, which completely transformed the flow, and the order, of the Grand Prix.

Both drivers made bright starts with Daniel passing Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen on lap 1 to hold fifth, and Esteban up three places from twelfth to ninth.

A bizarre situation, which led to the safety car being deployed but the pit lane closed, completely changed the leaderboard. Both drivers pitted on lap 22 for Mediums, but a red flag laps later meant other cars who had not pitted gained a number of places.

At the restart, Daniel was ninth and Esteban twelfth, with both cars enjoying strong starts from the reformed grid; Esteban gaining two places to tenth. Drive through penalties for cars ahead meant both drivers gained places with Daniel up to sixth towards the closing stages. Esteban progressed to seventh before being passed by Lewis Hamilton on the last lap to finish eighth.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: "After the good showing in Spa, and the planned announcement of the rebranding to Alpine F1 Team starting next year, there certainly was added pressure and expectation on the team this weekend. We also knew coming here, there were two big unknowns: firstly, the effects of the track characteristics on our car, which were clearly not as favourable as in Spa, with more lap-time spent in high speed corners, and secondly, the new technical directive on engine modes. If its impact on qualifying is not very clear yet, today's race shows the field remains more bunched up and more competitive, which will make racing more exciting. After an excellent start from both cars with Daniel overtaking Valtteri Bottas and keeping him behind and Esteban overtaking a number of cars on the opening laps, the various race incidents compromised our track position and meant we eventually had to settle for sixth and eighth. This is frustrating for the entire team, but we should not hide behind things we cannot control. Clearly, this weekend, our car is not as strong as McLaren who were further ahead in similar circumstances. Nevertheless, it's good to see four Renault engines in the top eight positions at a very demanding track like Monza. Overall, we scored decent points and that allows us to take fifth in the championship, while remaining in sight of the teams ahead."

AlphaTauri

Claudio Balestri (Chief Engineer - Vehicle Performance): "What a Race! Pierre won the Grand Prix and Daniil finished P9. It's an amazing result for us, such a fantastic team effort.

"On one side, we were lucky as Pierre pitted before the Safety Car, when Magnussen parked his car before the pitlane and the pit lane entry was closed for all the other cars; on the other side, after the red flag occurred due to Leclerc's crash, we were able to make a good start and to keep all the other cars behind for 27 laps, showing great pace. Daniil's race was different. He was following Pierre in the first stint showing good pace despite being on hard tyres, but unfortunately, the Safety Car and the closed pit entry didn't help his strategy. After the red flag in the second part of the race, he was able to recover positions and get in the points finishing in P9. This is a great day for Scuderia AlphaTauri, and now we will go to Mugello, trying to develop the car further with the clear target to get more points in the bag."

Franz Tost (Team Principal): "Twelve years after the great victory in Monza in 2008 with Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia AlphaTauri was able to repeat itself, again in Monza with Pierre Gasly. Strategy-wise, the team did a fantastic job in deciding to bring him in one lap before the safety car was deployed. Of course, we didn't know this at that time, but at the end this was exactly the right call because at the restart of the race he was in P3 and was able to overtake Stroll into Turn 1. Hamilton had a stop and go penalty which elevated Pierre to the lead, and once he was in this position he was able to defend it until the end of the race, keeping Sainz under control. I must say Pierre drove a fantastic race. Daniil also drove a very strong race, he finished in the points although, was a bit unlucky with the tyre change. Normally, we would have liked to have called him in later, but in the end, he still finished in the top 10. This was the best possible result and we're extremely happy. Last but not least, a big thanks to Honda for their very powerful engine and their fantastic cooperation. Now we are switching our attention to Mugello, where we're looking to have another strong race."

Toyoharu Tanabe (Honda F1 Technical Director): "A fantastic win today for Pierre Gasly and Scuderia AlphaTauri and it's particularly special that we can celebrate this moment together after what was the 50th race in our partnership. It was an extra bonus to get the win at AlphaTauri's home race. Pierre's drive was fast and consistent and the team strategy worked perfectly, as did our PU. Combined with everyone's efforts this delivered a great result. Congratulations to Pierre especially for his first ever F1 win, but also to everyone in the team. Honda is proud of our partnership which has got stronger step by step over the two and a half years we have been together. We hope our fans around the world enjoyed this afternoon as much as we did it and we thank them for their constant support. This was also the first race with the new PU mode restrictions and we have learned a lot over the three days at the track. Now we have plenty of data to prepare for the race in Mugello next week. Even though we won, it has been a tough weekend, especially as we had a PU issue in the race on Max's car. We will look into the cause immediately and hope that we can have another strong race next week with all four cars."

Force India

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: "Congratulations to Lance and the whole team for today's podium - the first of the Racing Point era. It was a day all about taking opportunities and I'm very proud of the whole team. Lance battled hard today - making some excellent overtaking moves - and he really deserves this result. On the other hand, the luck didn't go Sergio's way today and his chances of scoring good points ended when the safety car came out. All in all though, it's a day of celebration for everybody at Racing Point. It's great to taste the champagne again and today's silverware is a fitting reward for the efforts back at base and trackside this year."

Alfa Romeo

Excitement. Disappointment. Hope. Heartbreak. If this reads like a list of very contrasting emotions, it's because it is: the Italian Grand Prix was a rollercoaster, pitching great highs and deep troughs that left us clutching the armrests of our chairs and slumping in despair in alternating fashion.

The race had started really well for the team, another good launch promoting Kimi and Antonio to the low teen positions, fighting ahead of the Ferraris and chasing the top ten closely. It had had a sudden twist just as the pit stop window was opening, a Safety Car caused by Magnussen's stricken car shuffling the pack and bringing our cars to new heights, P4 and P5. It was a feat helped by some sterling work by the pit crew, which produced the fastest pit stop of the race, a 2.43s flash on Antonio's car, and the fifth fastest overall, 2.83, on Kimi's. But what the Gods of F1 give, they can also take away. A red flag, caused by Leclerc's (thankfully consequence-free) crash, brought the pack back to the pits. It gifted a free pit stop to the whole field - one that, sadly, would change the complexion of the race.

With no fresh medium rubber left, having started the race with both cars on the yellow-banded compound, the team opted to go soft - the only tyres that would allow us to fight at the standing start. It was a choice that kept Kimi, now up in P2, in that position in the opening stages of the final 20-lap sprint then unfolding. It was a choice, however, that left us exposed as the other teams, able to mount new, longer-lasting medium tyres, made their way through the field. Antonio had fallen victim of a penalty, relegating him to last; Kimi fought valiantly, but had no tyres left to stop sliding down to 13th at the chequered flag.

It was a crazy Sunday, one that sadly ended with no reward for us. Emotions ran high all over the pitlane, ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other in a race that will be one day seen as a classic. It wasn't to be for us - but we'll be looking to the next chance to do well, next week in Mugello.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "It was a very bizarre race, one that has given us the full spectrum of emotions. We made a good start and our race pace was good in the first stint. The Safety car shuffled the pack and we found ourselves towards the front of the field, but unfortunately we picked up a penalty for Antonio at his pit stop, which compromised his race. Under the red flag we had to choose between the only tyres we had left available, the used hard tyres we had on or new softs, as we had no more mediums left. We went for the softs: they helped us at the restart, with Kimi running up to P2, but unfortunately our rivals' tyre advantage in the long run meant we ended up losing ground as the race progressed. We were close to a good result but it is what it is: we made progress both in terms of qualifying and race pace and we need to keep pushing to improve."

Haas

Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean was classified 12th while Kevin Magnussen was forced into retirement at the Italian Grand Prix, held at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on Sunday.

Grosjean took the start from 16th on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires and maintained his position on the opening lap of the race.

A hefty accident for Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on lap 23 of 53 brought out the red flag though fortunately he walked away unscathed. Race Control then opted to take a standing restart for the first time in Formula One history, with everyone again lining up on the grid.

Grosjean took the restart from 13th on the White hard tires and preserved that set of rubber through to the checkered flag, gaining a spot to take 12th.

Magnussen started from 15th on the medium tires but sustained front wing damage on the opening lap and dropped to the rear of the field as he stopped for repairs.

Magnussen re-emerged on hard tires, with a new front-wing, but after completing 17 laps was forced to halt his VF-20 due to a suspected power unit issue.

At the front of the field a wild grand prix was settled in favor of Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly, who registered his maiden Formula One victory, in front of McLaren's Carlos Sainz and Racing Point's Lance Stroll.

Haas F1 Team maintains P9 in the Constructors' Championship with one point.

Guenther Steiner: "In general, I'd say it was quite an exciting race today, and for us - well, we did the best that we could. Unfortunately, we had a power unit issue with Kevin (Magnussen) meaning he couldn't get to the end. He had damage on his front wing on the first lap, so anyway he was already behind. We fought for what we were able to fight for and we leave with what we deserve at the moment."

WilliamsF1

Nicholas Latifi finished 11th and George Russell 14th in an action-packed Italian Grand Prix. George started the race 19th, with Nicholas lining up 20th, both on the medium compound tyre.

Nicholas pitted on lap 16 for the hard Pirelli tyre, with George pitting for the hard compound on lap 22 once the pitlane had reopened following Magnussen's retirement at the pit entrance.

Both drivers took the opportunity to change onto the medium compound during the red flag period after Leclerc's crashed caused substantial damage to the barriers.

After 43 years and 739 Grands Prix, this weekend's Italian Grand Prix marked the final race for the Williams family in Formula One.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: The race was fairly mixed-up following a series of incidents, which, along with some retirements, allowed us to race to a strong result. It is very frustrating to beat all our main rivals with Nicholas, and still finish just short of the points.

Although the drivers both raced well, and the car worked well today, we just lacked the raw pace to trouble the top ten. Following the disappointment of yesterday, it was nice to race hard and the experience we gained today will help us to improve as a race team. Our attention now turns to Mugello and the Tuscan Grand Prix. The circuit will place demands on the car that are quite different to those of Monza and we look forward to taking on the challenge of a new venue for Formula One.

Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal: It has been my greatest privilege and my biggest honour to work with everybody in our incredible team. But more importantly from Frank, myself and everybody in the Williams family I would like to thank all of our team, past and present, for everything they have given to us over the years. They are the true warriors of this team and we wish them all the success in the world for the future. We would also like to thank all of our fans around the world who have supported us through thick and thin for so many years. You have humbled us. Our time in this sport has been a huge privilege, we leave with so many memories, we have been through highs and lows, triumph and adversity and will forever love Formula One.

Pirelli

AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly took his debut win at Monza using all three compounds brought by Pirelli. The red flag on lap 26 meant that all the drivers could change tyres in the pits, so effectively, the Italian Grand Prix boiled down to a 27-lap sprint race, which re-started at 16:20 local time.

Racing Point's Lance Stroll, who finished third, effectively gained a 'free' pit stop, as he was the only driver not to stop before the red flag came out.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton led the race from pole, but was handed a 10 second stop-and-go penalty, which he served immediately after the race re-started. On Yellow medium tyres, he re-started first, emerged at the back after his penalty, and eventually ended up seventh with the White hard.

A number of different tyre strategies were already seen before the red flag, but when the race was re-started, there was an equally wide selection of tyres used: with all three compounds chosen for the re-start. However, the top six at the finish all selected the medium tyre for the second half of the race.

There were no further pit stops following the re-start, even for the drivers who had chosen the Red soft tyre (used by Renault's Esteban Ocon to finish eighth).

Weather conditions remained dry and warm, with 30 degrees ambient and 41 degrees centigrade at the re-start.

Mario Isola: "All our compounds performed well today. The race strategy was obviously dominated and reset by the red flag. This was preceded by a safety car, all of which added up to a highly unusual and entertaining grand prix. Effectively, we had a 27-lap sprint race to the finish, which meant that the drivers had to think about managing their tyres throughout the duration of the second half of the race. Congratulations to Pierre Gasly and AlphaTauri for a very memorable and perfectly-managed victory - as well as to Carlos Sainz with McLaren and Lance Stroll with Racing Point, who finished second and third at this incredible Italian Grand Prix: where the top three all used completely different strategies."

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