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Team Quotes - Sunday 13 September

SEASON INFORMATION
13/09/2020

Pirelli Gran Premio della Toscana Ferrari 1000

Team Quotes - Sunday 13 September

Mercedes

Lewis secured the 90th victory of his career, his sixth of the 2020 season and first at the Tuscan Grand Prix.. Valtteri crossed the finish line in P2 - completing a 1-2 finish for the team.

This result marks the 100th F1 win of the modern era for Mercedes. Lewis has now scored 222 points finishes, which is a new F1 record.

The result caps off a successful day for the team and our partners, after our junior driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli clinched the FIA Karting European Championship and Petronas Yamaha SRT took victory in MotoGP's race at Misano.

Lewis (190 points) leads the Drivers' Championship by 55 points from Valtteri (135 points). The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (325 points) leads Red Bull Racing (173 points) by 152 points in the Constructors' Championship.

Toto Wolff: What an unbelievable race today with so many red flags and restarts. There was so much going on and it proved to be quite a tough day for all the teams. First of all, I'm glad to see that everybody is safe and okay after the incidents during today's race. The crash on the main straight looked very scary, as did Lance's off. For us, it was a great race and a fantastic result for the team with a 1-2 finish at Mugello. Both of our drivers put in very strong performances and it's just what we'd hoped for. Well done to everyone in the team. To extend the lead in the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships feels good and now we have one weekend off, before we go again in Russia.

Andrew Shovlin: That's the 100th win since Mercedes returned to F1 as a manufacturer in 2010 and a really proud milestone for everyone in Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart. What a race though! Plenty of starts kept it pretty exciting. Lewis lost out at the first one with a bit of wheelspin off the line. Valtteri also had a tough time with marbles on the left-hand side of the grid for the final restart and lost a place to Riccardo. The Safety Car restart was probably more challenging than the race start itself. We'd spent a long time this morning talking it through, we knew that the Safety Car lights would go out really late which meant the lead driver can't go early as everyone will sit in their tow and pass. Valtteri was controlling the pace at that stage and timed it well, but behind him it looked like a few cars had gone slightly too early and it caused a bit of chaos which brought out the red flag. It was one of those races where it's normally hard to stay in front, as it's so hard to guess what's going to happen next. But the team and drivers did a fantastic job and it's a really nice way to finish this triple header.

Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari's thousandth Formula 1 race, the Toscana – Ferrari 1000 GP will be remembered for many reasons. The difficulties and spectacular nature of the Mugello circuit, the track owned by Ferrari and making its debut on the Formula 1 calendar, will be recalled for the return of spectators to the grandstands, for the Italian national anthem sung by Andrea Bocelli and the excitement before the race start of seeing Mick Schumacher doing five laps in the F2004, the Scuderia's most successful car as raced by his father Michael. However, it won't be remembered for the race result with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel finishing eighth and tenth. This was at the end of a chaotic race, red flagged twice, thus featuring three starts off the grid.

When the lights went out, Charles got the perfect getaway, going from fifth to third, even getting alongside Lewis Hamilton in second. But at turn 2, there was a collision between Carlos Sainz's McLaren and Lance Stroll's Racing Point. At this point, Seb arrived to find the McLaren across his path sideway and was unable to avoid it, damaging the front wing. A bit further back, Kimi Räikkönen, Romain Grosjean, Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen collided, with the AlphaTauri and Red Bull finishing up in the gravel, bringing out the Safety Car. The race resumed eight laps later, Charles was third while Seb was thirteenth and last. There was barely time for the race to get going before it was red flagged once more after a big collision on the start line.

The second start saw Charles again get away well to stay third, while Seb immediately got ahead of Grosjean in the Haas to go 12th. Soon Leclerc was struggling to run at a good pace and was overtaken by several cars, so the decision was taken to pit at the end of lap 22 to go for a change of strategy and a set of Hards. The same tactic was tried with Vettel on lap 29. On lap 38, the team called Charles in again fitting Mediums to his SF1000. Shortly after, Lance Stroll crashed at Arrabbiata 2, bringing out the Safety Car yet again and once more that was soon changed to a red flag. There hadn't been anything similar happen since Brazil in 2016. Before the stop, Seb pitted for a set of Softs.

Third time off the grid, with 13 laps to go, Charles was eighth on the grid with Seb tenth. The Ferraris did not get the best of starts this time, Charles losing two places and Seb dropping down to eleventh. Leclerc soon passed Grosjean and set off after Räikkönen, who had been given a five second penalty for crossing the white line at the pit lane entry. Vettel also got past the Frenchman and crossed the line tenth, behind his team-mate who was classified ahead of Raikkonen, once the penalty was applied.

The Mugello race was the last of the third triple-header of the season. Now the championship has a break of two weeks before the circus assembles again at the Sochi Autodrom from 25 to 27 September for the Russian Grand Prix.

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal: "A very disappointing result brings to an end an historic weekend for Scuderia Ferrari at our home track, Mugello, with our one thousandth Formula 1 Grand Prix.

"While yesterday, at least with Charles we managed to get a result in line with our expectations, today we didn't have the pace to allow our drivers to fight with their nearest rivals, suffering especially with tyre degradation.

"Both Charles and Sebastian did the best they could, given the performance level of the car. We are working hard to try and correct its basic faults, but it's not something that can be done in a short space of time, nor with a few updates. That doesn't mean we won't be bringing new solutions between now and the end of the season, but we have to be realistic with ourselves and with our fans."

Red Bull

Christian Horner: "A bittersweet day but it's fantastic to see Alex take his first F1 podium. He's done a great job all weekend and he had to pass some tough competitors to fight his way back through the field after a couple of difficult starts. All credit to him because he hasn't let the negativity or external criticism get him down, he's picked himself up and put in a first class performance. I think this podium will give him a boost of confidence and self-belief and I'm sure he will only get stronger from here. Unfortunately, Max was unable to show us what he had today after such a promising qualifying and positive feeling ahead of the race. He did the hard bit with a great initial launch and was alongside Lewis, but then he experienced a loss of power which caused him to drop into the middle of the pack where he was hit from behind, ending his race in the gravel. It is enormously disappointing for him because he was really up for it today and you could see we had a good overall package. The issue is being looked into by Honda and the Team in order to ensure this does not happen again."

McLaren

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "First, the most important thing today is that Carlos and all the guys involved in crashes are okay. After that, wow - a race of three... halves! After a great start, Carlos was unfortunate to spin in traffic and then was the victim of chaos at the Safety Car restart. A frustrating day for him. Lando had a good day: he kept cool all the way through a long and challenging afternoon. He and the team performed very well throughout. "We really struggled with performance this weekend, when compared to our main rivals in the Constructors' Championship, but we're very happy with the final outcome of today's race, bringing home eight important points. Nine races in 11 weeks has been the most intense schedule F1 has ever organised, and our team - both here at the track and everyone back home in the factory - has risen to the challenge magnificently. We'll travel home now and try to give everyone a bit of rest before looking forward to a more normal schedule in the next few weeks."

Renault

Renault DP World F1 Team's Daniel Ricciardo finished just shy of the podium after a thrilling, incident-filled Pirelli Tuscan Grand Prix, which featured multiple safety cars and two red flag stoppages. Esteban Ocon retired from the race with a brake issue.

Daniel took the chequered flag just 2.3seconds away from third place after a pulsating 59-lap race in Italy, which ran just short of two and a half hours with a flurry of incidents meaning the race had to restart twice.

Both drivers had made strong and, importantly, clean starts with Daniel holding sixth and Esteban tenth at the end of the first lap. An initial Safety Car period led to a frantic restart with both drivers again staying free from trouble after a multi-car collision, which subsequently led to the first red flag.

Esteban's car was identified to have a brake issue and was retired prior to the grid format restart with Daniel continuing his way up the order. A smart and well-executed 2.7second pit-stop for Mediums on lap 27 hoisted Daniel into third place as the race headed for an intriguing finale with a handful of cars sniffing for the final podium spot.

But a second Safety Car, which was upgraded to a red flag, meant the field was once again bunched together for the grid restart. Daniel, on Softs, was the quickest car to 200km/h, and that lightning start put him into second place.

Despite a heroic effort, the Australian couldn't hold on, relinquishing second place a lap later and third with nine laps to go, crossing the line in fourth for the third time this season.

Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: "After a rollercoaster of emotions since Friday, it's good to be disappointed with fourth! We have believed in that podium for a while and the team probably deserved it, but Alex Albon had better pace at the last restart with the Red Bull. It was a very eventful race, but I believe we did all the right things. Daniel drove a great race to finish where he did. The only regret is that we had only one car in this brilliant race as Esteban had to retire due to a brake overheating problem; the root cause of which will have to be investigated. The main takeaway from this weekend is that we should never take anything for granted. We came here expecting a very difficult weekend with track characteristics that usually do not suit our car, but we still managed to make it work. It's another indication that we can extract more while the factories develop future improvements. It's also been a fantastic first event at Mugello, a great track for the drivers and their machines!"

AlphaTauri

Jody Egginton (Technical Director): "An eventful race! Pierre was caught up in the opening lap incident, which unfortunately put him out of the race before it had a chance to get going for him. It's a shame as, although he qualified out of position, he would have likely moved forward in the race, potentially into a points-scoring position. Daniil avoided the fuss at the start and then got his head down and settled into the race, focusing on managing his tyres and pushing when required, keeping himself in position and in contention for points all race. The team and driver navigated the two red flags well and were deservedly rewarded with some good points today."

Franz Tost (Team Principal): "It was a very exciting race with a lot of entertainment, which is what the fans like so they must be happy today. Two red flags are very rare in Formula 1 and, unfortunately, we were involved in the first of the incidents, when Pierre was caught in a sandwich between Grosjean and Raikkonen. Because of this, the car was quite heavily damaged, and he wasn't able to continue. However, Pierre was OK after the crash, and that's the most important thing. Following the victory in Monza, luck wasn't on Pierre's side this weekend in Mugello, neither in qualifying nor the race. We know how good Pierre is, and I'm convinced at the next race in Russia he will start from zero and bounce back. Daniil did a very good job today, he managed to avoid the chaos at the first start and ended the first lap in ninth position before the first red flag. He had another good start and moved up into P7, which is where he finished the race. It was a very good drive from him, showing a fantastic performance. Our original strategy for Daniil was a one-stop starting on the Prime tyre, then moving to the Option but due to the red flags, we decided to change it and sent him out on the Option tyre after each restart, which helped us improve the performance of the car. We added a few more points to our tally and we'll try to continue doing so in Russia."

Force India

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: "A challenging day for the team on many fronts with two race stoppages, including a big accident for Lance caused by what looks like a puncture. It was very bad luck because Lance was fighting for the podium all afternoon. He was running in fourth place and the failure happened just as we asked him to push up and overtake Ricciardo for third. Fortunately, he is ok after a significant impact with the tyre barrier at turn nine. As for Checo, he raced well, but we couldn't quite match the race pace of Albon and Ricciardo in the end. So we leave Mugello with ten more points and having closed slightly on third place in the Constructors' Championship. A day of mixed fortunes in every sense as we cross the mid-way point in the season. After three triple-headers in a row, I have to say a huge well done to the team for their efforts in such a condensed period. We will aim to be even more competitive in the second half of the season and there were promising signs from the upgrade package, so we're looking forward to the rest of the campaign."

Alfa Romeo

It looked a bit like a movie you had seen before. A lot of promise taken away in a few, cruel corners, the dream of a positive afternoon shattered in a shower of carbon fibre shards; an absurd crash extinguishing the remaining hopes before you had even got started.

And yet, despite the early setbacks, we persevered. What some circumstances took away, others gave back - a red flag erasing a big gap here, a great restart pushing us back up the rankings after losing so much ground in the opening shenanigans there - and in the end, we reached this afternoon's promised land to celebrate Kimi's first points of the season.

It was a race so eventful it's almost difficult to recall everything that happened. Kimi was an unwilling and innocent part of the opening lap crash that brought out a Safety Car, the resulting damage inflicting a lot of pain to his C39's performance. At the restart, Antonio collided with Magnussen as the field expanded and bunched up like a concertina on Mugello's long finish straight, the crash suspending the race - the second red flag in as many weeks.

The crew worked on Kimi's car in the break, trying to rebalance it to account for the missing chunks: it did a measure of good, but it still remained a handful for the rest of the race and it took all of Kimi's talent to keep churning out good laps. When a good result was on the cards, a technical issue during the pit stop pushed the remaining Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN back to the bottom of the pile, a yawning gap that was thankfully erased by the second red flag of the day.

In the remaining 13 laps, with a five-second penalty hanging on Kimi's head like a sword of Damocles, the Finn had to deliver an excellent start, jumping three places into P8, and a series of flawless laps to open up a gap big enough not to fall out of the points. He did it - in style, crossing the line ahead of both Ferraris on the road and still bringing home two golden points after the extra time was added.

It wasn't an easy weekend, but the reward is there to see. It wasn't an easy weekend, but the ones ending with a good result seldom are.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "A very good result to get back in the points, although there still is the feeling we could have achieved more with a cleaner race. It was a very tough afternoon in which many things didn't go in our favour, and to bring home a top ten finish shows the strength and resilience of this team. To see a big chunk of floor and a front wing come off Kimi's car before the first lap was over and to lose Antonio from the race at the restart were big blows, but we dug deep and did all we could to turn the weekend around. The very eventful race, and the fact that Kimi was forced to drive a damaged car for the whole race, mean our progress was somewhat masked, but to be able to open a gap to our rivals big enough to almost nullify the penalty we suffered in the closing stages shows how much of a step forward we have made. We are definitely going in the right direction and we can take a lot of motivation from today's result."

Haas

Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished 12th while Kevin Magnussen was forced into retirement at the Tuscan Grand Prix, held on Sunday at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello.

Grosjean started 15th on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires but was caught up in an accident with Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly on the opening lap - causing the deployment of the safety car. Grosjean successfully managed to extricate himself from the gravel trap and pitted for repairs, taking on medium tires once more, and held 16th place at the restart. A multi-car pile-up along the start-finish straight eliminated several competitors and forced the suspension of the race on lap 9, with race direction opting to carry out a standing restart on the grid.

Grosjean took the restart from 13th place on Red soft tires before boxing on lap 30 for the White hard compound. A hefty accident for Lance Stroll caused a second suspension to the race on lap 44 and Grosjean resumed 12th on soft rubber. A strong getaway propelled Grosjean up to ninth but he was unable to keep faster cars at bay and met the checkered flag 12th after 59 laps.

Magnussen started 20th on a set of softs and picked his way through the first-lap chaos to elevate himself into 12th position. As the field began to prepare for the restart the concertina effect caused several drivers to check-up along the pit straight. Magnussen was an unfortunate victim of the situation and his VF-20 sustained terminal damage in an accident that also claimed Carlos Sainz, Antonio Giovinazzi and Nicholas Latifi. Magnussen was able to walk away uninjured from the scene.

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

Guenther Steiner: "It was an exciting race again. I think we create a lot of the excitement, but in the wrong way. We're always part of why it gets exciting - which after a while gets old. We ended up in positions where we shouldn't be ending up. When you're on your back foot it normally takes a long time to get out. It was a challenging weekend. After three race weekends in a row, everybody's happy to be going home. My thanks go to all our guys. We've had a lot of controversy over these three weekends, but they've worked hard and kept their heads high. I want to thank them for that. Now we'll see everyone again in Sochi next."

WilliamsF1

George Russell finished 11th in an action-packed Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello. Nicholas Latifi's race came to an unfortunate end early on with the Canadian caught up in a four-car accident on a safety car restart.

George started the race 18th, with Nicholas lining up 19th, both on the medium compound tyre. George took the opportunity to change onto a new set of the medium compound tyres during the first red flag period. He then pitted on lap 29 for the hard tyre, before making a final stop for the soft compound on lap 43 of the race.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: At the end of an incident packed race we are disappointed not to have finished in the points. We anticipated a complicated race and had prepared accordingly, but we couldn't quite take full advantage.

Both cars started well and made good progress on the opening lap, running 11th and 13th when the first safety car was deployed. At the subsequent restart, Nicholas was very unlucky to get hit by the cars behind as the pack concertinaed approaching the control line. With George, we made good tyre and strategy decisions throughout the race to get him to ninth place at the second safety car, and in a position to race Leclerc for eighth. Frustratingly the subsequent red flag lost us track position and allowed Grosjean and Raikkonen to un-lap themselves. We had a poor final stint, losing places at the restart and then struggling to overtake Vettel.

Overall, we did a good job this weekend and worked very hard to deservedly get ourselves into a strong position in the race. We now need to refine the small details to elevate our race performance from very good to excellent.

Pirelli

An exciting and action-packed Tuscan Grand Prix was characterised by two red flags and multiple safety car periods, meaning that teams had to react very quickly to rapidly changing circumstances, adapting their strategies to unfolding events and the tyres they had available.

Under the red flag regulations, teams are allowed to change tyres and make certain repairs to their cars. Mercedes dominated the race, with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas leading at different points. They followed exactly the same strategy throughout the race, using all three compounds.

Red Bull's Alex Albon scored his debut podium, ahead of Renault's Daniel Ricciardo - who had gained crucial track position by strategically undercutting his key rivals earlier in the race. Ricciardo was voted driver of the day, while Williams driver George Russell claimed his best-ever race finish in 11th.

Only 12 drivers were classified at the finish of the Pirelli-sponsored Tuscan Grand Prix, which celebrated 1000 races for Ferrari.

Mario Isola: "The inaugural Mugello Grand Prix is one that people will remember for a very long time, with three starts in total, the same number of safety cars, all the tyres used, and exciting action from start to finish. On a track that was extremely demanding on tyres, run in hot conditions, Mercedes dominated from start to finish, but the strategies were clearly influenced by the extraordinary turn of events. The high number of accidents also left a lot of carbon fibre debris on the track. Managing the re-starts was crucial, as well as taking care of the tyres throughout a very long afternoon. All drivers did a fantastic job under immense pressure, delivering an unpredictably thrilling spectacle in Italy for the second weekend in a row."

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