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Team Quotes - Sunday 1 August

SEASON INFORMATION
02/08/2021

Rolex Magyar Nagydij

Team Quotes - Sunday 1 August

Mercedes

Lewis completed a remarkable recovery drive to finish on the podium despite finding himself running last on lap five after an action-filled start to the race.

Valtteri suffered wheelspin in the heavy rain at the race start, losing position to the cars around him on entry to the first corner. He locked brakes and collided with Norris, sparking a multi-car accident with several cars suffering damage and a number of retirements, including Valtteri. Lewis was unscathed out-front.

The race was red-flagged and upon the standing restart, the Team chose to keep Lewis out on the Intermediate tyre and start from the grid, while the remainder of the field behind opted to pit for slick tyres and start from the pit lane.

On a rapidly drying track, Lewis was forced to pit just one lap later to fall in line with the other cars and found himself emerging from the pits 14th and last, with a mountain to climb.

Lewis carved his way through the field with a number of impressive overtakes to climb to fifth with a little over 10 laps to go, before encountering a stubborn Alonso who defended strongly and cost Lewis precious time.

Eventually, Lewis made the pass on Alonso and quickly dispatched SAI thereafter but ran out of laps and was forced to settle for a heroic P3, joining debut-winner Ocon on the podium alongside Vettel in P2.

Lewis Hamilton (192 points) leads the Drivers' Championship by 6 points from Max Verstappen (186) and Lando Norris in P3 (113), with Valtteri (108) in P4. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (300 points) lead Red Bull by 10 points in the Constructors' Championship.

Toto Wolff: A difficult start for Valtteri, he suffered wheelspin off the line and found himself sandwiched into the first corner and missed the braking point. A small mistake with large consequences and damage to several cars, and I'm sorry to McLaren and Red Bull - to lose out in an accident like that at the start of the race is tough to take.

We then had a decision to make with Lewis on the race restart and I stand absolutely behind our decision, keeping him out was absolutely the right call for us, even if it was a little lonely for him out there. It would have been a gamble to pit from the lead, the track tried unbelievably quickly in the sun and it could have easily gone the other way, and then we would have looked foolish for bringing him in. It was a courageous drive from Lewis to carve his way back through the field and the win was possible at the end, but Fernando defended strongly and perhaps it wasn't our day to win.

Andrew Shovlin: Congratulations to Esteban and Alpine on the win. For us it wasn't a very tidy day - Valtteri had a very poor start and then his mistake at turn 1 obviously ruined the day for Max, Sergio and Lando; we can only apologise for that, although it's not much by way of consolation. Given the position we were in at the restart, we didn't particularly want to gamble on slicks but we were surprised when the entire grid left on intermediates. It was even more surprising to see them all pit on the formation lap. That is obviously one of the key moments of the race for us, although we wouldn't have been leading on the restart as having the first garage means the field coming in behind us prevents us from leaving our pit box. Recovering from last position was clearly then an enormous challenge for Lewis and to get to third took everything he had.

It's such a difficult track to overtake on and we had to convert to the two-stop to get through but unfortunately we spent too many laps behind Fernando and that meant Lewis was only catching the leaders on the last lap. It's frustrating to have given away a chance to win here but encouraging that the car was really good - we weren't expecting to be so strong. We've got a week before the summer shutdown and there's lots to do in the next few days to prepare for a triple header on our return but it's going to be nice to have some time off as it's been non-stop since testing back in February.

Red Bull

Christian Horner: "It is obviously an enormously frustrating way to end the weekend but we are within 10 points of first place in the championship going into the summer break which means it's all to play for. Unfortunately, Bottas braking late into Turn 1 eliminated both of our cars, Checo was immediately forced to retire and the substantial amount of damage to the right hand side of Max's car meant he had no chance of fighting at the front.

"Full credit once again has to go to our mechanics who worked wonders to get Max's car back out for the race. The temperatures were off the scale and they had to straighten pipes and fix the right side as much as possible in very limited time, before nailing the fastest pit stop once again, which is quite remarkable. It is also disappointing not to have seen what Checo had in store today as his start was impressive and he felt very confident in the car and his race pace. Max fought hard, despite the extensive damage and downforce losses, securing one point which could prove vital at the end of the year.

"There is no doubt that this has cost us a lot today, financially in a cost cap world, points wise and for Honda who now need to understand whether Checo's engine is salvageable, but there are many positives to take into the summer break. We have achieved six victories with the most competitive chassis and power unit package we have had for years and the whole team is fully motivated.

"We will take a few weeks off, recharge and come out fighting for the second half of this championship. We have experienced close title battles like this before and we are not giving up anything. The points difference between the top two in both championships is still very small, it will be an epic second half to this year and we are ready for it."

McLaren

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "A day to forget for us. Unfortunately, both of our drivers and cars were victims of incidents in Turn One after good race starts, which finished our day.

"We had to retire Lando's car straight away with extensive damage. Daniel's had heavy bodywork damage as well, but the team was still trying to fight for points, which wasn't possible with the loss of aero we'd suffered.

"Thanks to Lando and Daniel, the entire team and our colleagues from HPP for all the hard work everyone has put in here during this weekend, with very hot ambient temperatures. We will finish the first half of the season with P3 in both championships, which is a good platform from which we start the second half of the season. We'll stay in Hungary to complete a Pirelli test here on Tuesday and Wednesday before the entire team goes into a well-deserved summer break for two weeks, to recharge batteries and come back strong again for the second half of the season.

"Congratulations to Esteban and Alpine for a great drive and the win today."

Aston Martin

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: "Formula One is all about tiny increments, and it was a couple of tiny increments that cost Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team our first Grand Prix win today. Had our lap-36 pit-lane time-loss been just a fraction of a second less, Sebastian would have jumped [Esteban] Ocon and would surely have held on to win. Having said that, second place is a great result for us, and Ocon drove mistake-free. Again, Lance was unlucky, for he made a truly sensational start, passing a lot of cars, including Sebastian, and, had he not been involved in a Turn One shunt, we may well have had two drivers on the podium today. However, faced with a tangle of cars in front of him, Lance was left with nowhere to go, and that was that. But his time will come, mark my words. Finally, I want to pay tribute to everyone who has worked so hard to make today's result possible, both here in Hungary and back home in the UK. Next up is the summer break, then Spa!"

Alpine

Alpine F1 Team secured its first win in Formula 1 at the Hungaroring thanks to a stunning drive by Esteban Ocon to grab his maiden victory in the sport. Fernando Alonso finished in fifth after some valiant battles of his own meaning the team heads into the summer break in fifth position in the Constructors' Championship.

In damp weather conditions, Esteban and Fernando got off the line well and managed to avoid several first corner incidents. With their mirrors full, the Frenchman exited Turn 1 in second place with Fernando just behind in seventh. A red flag brought proceedings to a short delay to allow the resulting debris to be cleared. During the 15-minute break in action, the track began to dry leaving drivers and teams with an agonising choice on whether to fit the slicks at the end of the Formation Lap. In the end, only one car (Lewis Hamilton) lined-up on the grid with Intermediate tyres, with Esteban and Fernando opting to switch to the dry compounds along with the rest of the field.

Both cars avoided any contact at the restart and Esteban assumed the lead of the race once Hamilton conceded and pitted for dry tyres. He settled into an early rhythm with the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel keeping him in close company.

Vettel was brought into the pits one lap earlier than Esteban, but a smooth pitstop by the team meant he held position and could avoid an undercut.

Whilst his team-mate was in the lead, Fernando was fighting inside the podium places, battling with Carlos Sainz and a late charging Hamilton. With fresher rubber, Lewis shared a thrilling battle for fourth place with Fernando, whose actions protected Esteban's lead from the seven times World Champion. The Spaniard was eventually forced to cede the place to the Mercedes at Turn 2.

Despite constant pressure from the German driver behind, Esteban delivered a measured and error free drive to hold onto the lead and take the chequered flag. The result means Esteban becomes the first driver to win in a French car with a French engine since Alain Prost's victory for Renault in Austria 1983. It is also the first victory for the Alpine brand, just six months after it made its F1 debut.

His team-mate stayed in fifth place and scored his best result of his Formula 1 comeback with the pair scoring Alpine's best result in the sport to date.

Laurent Rossi, Chief Executive Officer, Alpine: I am incredibly proud and delighted with this result; for Esteban, for Alpine, for Renault Group, for Fernando and for the teams across the UK and France that have worked tirelessly to deliver the first victory for Alpine. Everyone has shown great resilience, dedication and passion to get this result - it was great teamwork all round, especially for Fernando and his incredible fighting spirit. We are humbled by standing on the podium amongst the giants of this amazingly competitive sport. It has been an incredible week; we started with the opening of our Alpine dealership in Hungary, marked Fernando's birthday and now we finish with a double French victory! We can celebrate this now and use as inspiration for further success as we carry on the Alpine journey well into the future.

Marcin Budkowski, Executive Director, Alpine F1 Team: What an incredible result, the first win for Esteban and for Alpine F1 Team. Esteban was unbelievable today, huge congratulations to him for his first Grand Prix victory. It was a stressful race and it felt incredibly long. We put ourselves in a great position at the start, made the right calls during the race, the pit crew executed two perfect pit-stops and then it was about holding all the way to the end. We knew Lewis [Hamilton] would be a threat in the last laps, but we must pay huge credit to Fernando for fighting hard to defend against him, as this helped a lot to protect Esteban's position. We've seen crazy races in the past and it's about being there to capitalise on any opportunity and today we did just that. I'm so proud of this Team today, not only here at the track but also at Enstone and Viry, this is the reward for their hard work over the last few years. Let's savour this win, it will give us the appetite for many more.

Ferrari

Carlos Sainz drove to a strong fourth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix. However, it cannot make up for the disappointment of the points lost, that the Scuderia could have scored, if Charles Leclerc had not been knocked out of the race when another driver got it completely wrong and smacked into the number 16 SF21 at the first corner.

Carlos managed to bring home a good result, going from 15th on the grid to fourth at the flag. However, even the Spaniard was somewhat disappointed after he lost places to several drivers at the time of the pit stop immediately following the restart, as they left their pits in rather a cavalier fashion. Sainz was therefore unable to stick with the two leaders who went on to finish the race in first and second places and that cost him the chance of fighting for the win.

It is now time for the Championship summer break, with racing resuming at Spa-Francorchamps, when the Belgian Grand Prix takes place on 29 August.

Matia Binotto: We were in with the chance of a great result given that the rain before the start created an opportunity to fight for a top place finish. However, even though Charles adopted the right cautious approach to the initial moments after the start in the wet and had managed to move further up the order, he was hit from behind by a driver who had tackled the corner in a less than prudent manner, to say the least. It was a real shame because I think Charles could have done really well today.

Carlos drove a great first part of the opening lap to go from 15th to fourth. At the restart, he came in immediately for slicks and, after a pit stop in under two seconds, we released him back into the pit lane, observing the safety requirements taking into consideration all the traffic at that time. In front of our place in the pits, others seemed to have no such qualms and so we lost several places, which probably cost Carlos the chance to fight with the two drivers who finished first and second. As far as the race went from then on, fourth is a fair reflection of our race performance.

A very intense first half of the championship has now come to an end, during which the team reacted well after a very difficult season last year. We have a couple of young, very strong drivers who are making progress, as are we. Now we can take a short break to pause for breath and recharge the batteries, before tackling the second part of the year with renewed energy.

Finally, I want to congratulate all the Italian athletes taking part in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, especially Marcell Jacobs and Gianmarco Tamberi who have left an indelible mark on Italian sport, taking the gold medals in the 100 metres and the high jump respectively.

AlphaTauri

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN missed out on the points in an agonising manner in a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing in P11 and Antonio Giovinazzi in 14th. Both cars were in good position earlier in the race, but penalties to both drivers meant they had to start their climb again from the back, finishing just outside the top ten.

On the back of the strongest qualifying session of the year, there was optimism going into the race. A shower just minutes before the lights out meant the opening stages of the race were chaotic, with a series of incidents eliminating several competitors and the race red flagged after just two laps. Having had to take evasive action in the melee, both Kimi and Antonio had not capitalised on the confusion as much as hoped, but the restart provided a new chance to make up ground.

On a rapidly drying track surface, both drivers opted to stop for slick tyres after the new formation lap: however, a technical issue with the pit-stop release system meant that Kimi collided with Nikita Mazepin's Haas in the pitlane, suffering no damage but receiving a 10 second penalty for his role in the clash. Antonio was also hit with a setback, a stop & go for speeding in the pitlane. Burdened with those penalties, both had their work cut out.

Antonio ended up closing in to Mick Schumacher but, on the tight and twisty Hungaroring circuit, overtaking proved impossible. Kimi was able to catch up the four-car battle for P9, but after passing Daniel Ricciardo he had to settle for P11.

The result is disappointing, but many races remain to break once again in the top ten. The summer shutdown will now offer an opportunity to recharge the batteries and come back stronger.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "It ended up being a very tough weekend for the team, after a promising start. We came into the race after a good Saturday in which we delivered the best overall qualifying performance of the season but the opening stages were chaos. We got blocked in turn one, trying to avoid the start incidents, and we had to recover from the back of the field on a track where overtaking is very hard. Unfortunately, a collision with Mazepin and a speeding in the pitlane offense meant that both Kimi and Antonio received penalties and we weren't able to turn this chance into points at the end. It's a shame as it was an opportunity to score big points: but we keep working hard, knowing we will have more opportunities in the second part of the season."

Haas

Uralkali Haas F1 Team driver Mick Schumacher classified 13th while Nikita Mazepin was forced to retire at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship – held at the Hungaroring.

Schumacher took the start on Pirelli Cinturato Green intermediate tires following a pre-race shower and rose 10 positions to 10th place following a chaotic first corner in which two separate collisions shook up the order and eliminated five drivers. The race was halted due to the quantity of debris.

Schumacher exchanged his intermediates for mediums due to the drying nature of the track and took the restart from the pit lane, along with all bar Lewis Hamilton. Schumacher held a spot inside the top 10, keeping some established front-runners at bay, before coming in on lap 35 of 70 to take on a set of hard rubber. Schumacher preserved those tires through to the checkered flag, maintaining his 100 percent finishing record in Formula 1, taking 13th.

Mazepin also started on intermediates and gained five spots on the opening lap, despite sustaining a puncture amid the chaos. Mazepin was set to take the restart from 14th position but boxed to take on slicks – where he was ultimately side-swiped by Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane. Mazepin's left-front sustained terminal suspension damage and he was forced into an immediate retirement. Stewards deemed Alfa Romeo culpable and issued a 10-second time penalty for Raikkonen.

Up front Alpine's Esteban Ocon claimed his maiden grand prix, ahead of Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton third.

Uralkali Haas F1 Team will embark on a summer recess, which includes a mandatory 14-day shutdown period, prior to resuming its 2021 campaign at the Belgian Grand Prix. That will be held at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps from August 27 to 29.

Guenther Steiner: "A tough day for us today. It started promising, with all the mayhem that happened, we always had some hope. We were taken out for no reason by an Alfa Romeo which Nikita couldn't do anything about - he just got taken out in a bad way. The good thing was to see Mick fighting for whatever was there and holding Giovinazzi behind, that was pretty good. For sure, it's a good lesson for him next year to fight with somebody - even if the car is faster - he kept him behind. It was still frustrating because other people scored points and we didn't and at some stage it looked like we would as well."

WilliamsF1

Nicholas Latifi finished 8th and George Russell 9th in a chaotic Hungarian Grand Prix. George started the race 17th and Nicholas 18th both on the intermediate Pirelli tyre.

George and Nicholas both made impressive starts, with Nicholas making up 12 places to P6 and George up nine to P8. Following the Red Flag, both drivers changed from the intermediate compound to the medium tyre on the formation lap ahead of the restart. Both Nicholas and George stopped once again for the hard Pirelli tyre, lap 21 for George and lap 23 for Nicholas.

Thank you to the entire team for their continued hard work and securing our first double points finish since the 2018 Italian Grand Prix.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Today, a small amount of rain caused a big swing in fortunes for the field. We obviously benefited, not least from the crashes at the initial race start. However, the Team made the most of the situation and made good decisions throughout the race. Both drivers managed their pace, their cars and their tyres expertly and both were calm and confident throughout. Although we ultimately lost some places to faster cars, we are nonetheless very happy with the result. Finishing on the lead lap and in relatively dry conditions meant that we had to work hard to manage the fuel, but this was done well and in conjunction with the tyre management.

Whilst we were a bit fortunate today, the result is due to a huge amount of work at the track and the factory and the ability to put into practise everything that we have learned as a Team over the last few seasons. We can now begin our preparations for Belgium before taking some time off. When we return, we will attack the second part of the season with renewed confidence.

Pirelli

Alpine driver Esteban Ocon took his first ever Formula 1 win at a dramatic Hungarian Grand Prix, which originally started with all the field (apart from Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi) on Cinturato Green intermediates in wet conditions. A collision at the first corner brought out a red flag, during which teams were allowed to change tyres and repair any damage.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who led the field away for the re-start, was the only competitor to keep the intermediates and start from the grid, while all the other drivers came into the pits for medium tyres. Hamilton then pitted for mediums too at the end of the first racing lap following the re-start, rejoining last but eventually finishing third after an early switch to hard followed by a final run on mediums.

Ocon effectively re-started on the P Zero Yellow medium C3 tyre after the second formation lap and then switched to the P Zero White hard C2 on lap 37, one lap after Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, who finished a close second on an identical strategy.

After record-breaking temperatures on Friday and warm conditions yesterday, the weather completely changed today with rain and 28 degrees ambient, plus 32 degrees of track temperature at the start of the race. The track then warmed up considerably after few laps, peaking at 40 degrees of asphalt temperature.

Mario Isola: "Even before the race start it was hard to make any predictions, so the race began as a complete step into the unknown today, with the drivers having no reference point for the conditions they faced this afternoon. The amount of water meant that the intermediates were the clear choice to originally start the race with, but with the track drying rapidly following the red flag delay, it effectively became a dry race after the re-start. If we just consider this as the 'real' race, some drivers selected a medium-hard one-stopper while others like Hamilton and Verstappen – who were running out of position due to the unusual race circumstances – went for a two-stop 'sprint' strategy. Congratulations to Esteban Ocon and Alpine for their first win."

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