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Heineken Grande Premio De Portugal Driver Quotes - Sunday 2 May

SEASON INFORMATION
02/05/2021

Heineken Grande Premio De Portugal

Driver Quotes - Sunday 2 May

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton: That was such a tough race, physically and mentally, just keeping everything together. It was very windy out there, obviously, so it was easy to put a foot wrong. I didn't quite get as good a start as Valtteri, then lost out on the restart which was not good. I was not happy about that, naturally. But that race was satisfying, when you're in third and have to overtake two amazing drivers - amazing! Having races like that is what I live for.

The gap between us all is so close and every single point is going to count this year. I love the battle, I've loved it since my days in karting and as a team, we can't leave any stone unturned - we've got to continue to push this car, squeeze everything out of it.

Valtteri Bottas: Obviously not what I was aiming for today because when you start from pole, you want to bring home the win. I think ultimately the main issue was the first stint - I was struggling for pace and I still don't understand why. The warm-up with the hard tyre was slow after the pit stop and Max managed to catch me. Then we had an exhaust temperature sensor issue later in the race which cost me speed on the straight so it was difficult to close in on Max and fight for P2. Eventually the power came back and I was able to set the fastest lap which could be an important point.

We need to analyse this weekend over the next two days, learn the lessons and then focus on next weekend - we go again.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen: "Something about this track really does not suit our car and I think in general this was a bit of an off weekend in terms of grip and overall pace. We knew last year that we weren't particularly strong here, so this year has been a bit better and we managed to finish ahead of one Mercedes, but it wasn't quite good enough to get them both. Nevertheless, second is still a pretty good result and we always knew this season would be up and down in terms of the tracks we were strong at and the ones Mercedes were. The race today was pretty decent though and we were all constantly pushing which was nice. I tried to put the pressure on Valtteri in the beginning as he was struggling for grip, but clearly Lewis behind had more pace and he made it past us both. I was then able to undercut Valtteri in the pit stop but you could clearly see on the hard tyres we were just a bit slower, some laps we could match Lewis and others it was just not possible. Towards the end of the race Valtteri was even coming back at me which showed their pace today. It's a shame the Fastest Lap got taken away, stupid track limits [laughs], they should just put gravel back! It is what it is, we always try and I had the gap so we went for it. We scored good points here but I'm looking forward to Barcelona, a track that has more normal grip levels and where I have good memories. I think we will also see a clearer picture of how teams have been progressing. It's a long season ahead so a lot can happen."

Sergio Perez: "Today was a busy race on my side! Lando managed to get past me at Turn 4 but I thought he had all four wheels off the track so I didn't defend thinking he'd have to give the place back due to track limits but that wasn't the case. It was a misjudgment on my side and a mistake but being stuck behind Lando compromised our race and cost us a lot of time. When I got past him my pace was good but I think the damage had already been done. Afterwards we tried to do something different with strategy by going long in the hope of a Safety Car but it didn't work out and fourth was the maximum we could do. We are definitely making good progression with the car and the race pace, I am understanding it more and more with the extra kilometres I am driving. Of course there are still areas I need to get on top of and improve but it's just a process and we'll continue working hard for next week in Barcelona. It's been very close again with Mercedes all weekend and I think this will be the case for the entire season. Some weekends they will be faster and others we will be so we just have to make sure we keep our heads down and continue working hard."

McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo: "Today was certainly a better day. I was able to do what I set out to do and overtake some cars, have some battles and get rid of some anger from yesterday, so that was good. I think there were moments of the race that were really positive and having got another race distance under me, I feel like I've got quite a bit of feedback for the team. I definitely feel some things which are holding me back in terms of what I want to do with the car, and every time I try it, it doesn't quite hold on. So, I think there are some things we can immediately address with the set-up, and then with some updates to come. Overall, I'm pretty optimistic with how the race went, thanks again to the team at track and in Woking for their support and hard work this weekend. I'm already looking forward to Spain in a few days' time.

Lando Norris "Very happy with today. It was a strong race by the whole team, and a well-executed strategy. I got past the people I needed to get ahead of in the early laps at the start, then the restart and the pit-stop. I'm really pleased for everyone in the team and with my performance. We scored some good points and P5 was the best we could achieve today, so I'm very happy. Big thanks to everyone here and back at the factory for their hard work."

Aston Martin

Lance Stroll: "It was not our best day, but I think we were a bit stronger in race conditions than we were yesterday. Ultimately, a challenging Saturday meant that we were on the back foot today. The car felt better balanced in the race though, and we made up several places in the first half, but we just lacked that little bit more to make it into the points. If we had had a slightly better qualifying, points could have been possible. However, we will not dwell on today too much, but we will learn what we can and make improvements ahead of next weekend. We will arrive in Barcelona in a stronger position."

Sebastian Vettel: "That was quite a busy and difficult race with a very long stint on the medium tyres. I do not think we could have done anything different with the strategy, but, overall, we did not have enough pace or consistency to hold onto the group fighting for points. On the positive side, I will have some new parts on my car next week, which we feel are a step in the right direction. But the real priority is to have a clean Saturday, which is the key to a better Sunday."

Alpine

Fernando Alonso: "It was a very good weekend in general. The car has performed well, and we've made a big step forwards, fighting with the likes of Ferrari and McLaren in the race, which is different to where we were in Bahrain and Imola. It was the first race weekend where I felt comfortable and could push the car hard. Well done to everyone in the team, I think the progression we've made is very good. I think it could have been even better for us had we started higher on the grid. Performance on Saturday will be the key for the next two races in Barcelona and Monaco, so I need to focus on maximising my one lap speed starting next weekend."

Esteban Ocon: "I'm very happy with the race today, and I think we achieved our maximum. Having both cars in the points shows our progress and also how we've had a strong weekend overall. Everyone in the team has contributed to this progress and, fighting with the Ferraris and McLarens shows we've improved the car and the package. The overtakes today were very enjoyable! We want to keep the momentum going and score more points. We know next week will be different, but we aim to continue the progress, keep the level of speed and I'm looking forward to it."

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc: I can't be satisfied with P6, and overall, I haven't been performing at my best this weekend. That said, looking at my drive in the race, I am happy with the job I did. I had a good start to the first stint, but then Carlos and I both struggled a lot with graining on the medium tyre, which didn't seem to affect the others so much. As a team, we have to understand what happened there.

A fifth may have been possible today, but I don't think we could have done much more.

Carlos Sainz: We didn't have a good day. Even though I got a good start, the race was very tough after the pit stop. During the first stint I was feeling very good on the Soft tyre behind Lando, Then, we tried the undercut by changing quite early onto the Medium and it didn't work. From there on, it was a big struggle to make it to the end with that compound due to the graining.

I'm disappointed, as I feel we had a good opportunity to score good points today. We will analyse the race, learn from the strategy, from the tyres and from the car behaviour. On to Spain.

AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda: "It was really tough today, I had no grip at the beginning of the race and there was just no pace at all for me out there. I've struggled all weekend with the balance of the car, the conditions haven't helped, but everyone has been driving the same track so we just need to analyse the data, to see what didn't work for us here in Portugal, and learn from it ahead of next weekend in Spain."

Pierre Gasly: "Honestly, today was really difficult - it wasn't the race we wanted but, to be honest, it was what we expected. We've really struggled here across the weekend, only just making it through to the top 10 in Qualifying, so I think to come away with a point is positive. I was happy at the start of the race as I was managing to follow Charles, but ultimately we lacked pace - due to having no grip in the low-speed corners - and in the end I think it was great to pass Carlos to get a point for the team. I think the circuit in Barcelona will suit our car more, as it's a much faster track, so I'm hoping that we'll perform better there in a few days' time."

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen: "You never want to have contact with your team-mate, and this time unfortunately it was my mistake. I got caught out by the slipstream and ended up driving into Antonio. I couldn't do much after that, the front wing got stuck under the car and I couldn't steer: all I could do was go straight into the gravel. It's a disappointment as we looked like we had decent pace, I made a really good start and the race could have been positive. The only upside was that at least Antonio didn't get any damage and was able to continue."

Antonio Giovinazzi: "I feel we got all we could from the race today: it wasn't possible to get any closer than this to the top ten. After the contact with Kimi, from which thankfully I didn't get damage, and the Safety Car, nothing really happened in the front which made it really difficult to break into the points: I started 12th and finished there. I still had a fun race, some battles with Alonso and Vettel which kept me busy: I was happy to be able to pass Seb and keep both Aston Martins behind until the race. We will continue working hard to get into the points soon."

Haas

Nikita Mazepin: "I think the race was positive if you look at the lap times. Obviously, we realized we were not fighting for any top positions, we converted to our Plan C, which wasn't the optimum in terms of the overall finishing delta, but it was definitely the optimum for not receiving the blue flags. It allowed us to get those laps in and see how the car behaves and where we should be improving. The first few laps were good but after that I need to improve the way I was driving - that will come with experience. In terms of learning, it was a decent race. There are loads of things that I can improve on my side."

Mick Schumacher: "It was a challenging race and unfortunately overtaking is quite difficult around here. It was tough for us lap after lap having to follow close-by, especially in the midfield where we were quite strong. Being that close - you just burn up your tires and obviously then it gets difficult. Eventually we pushed the Williams into a mistake, then we kind of had a free run and were able to show our pace. If we had cleared Nicholas (Latifi) earlier, I think we could maybe even have had the pace to catch up to and fight with George (Russell). Overall, we wanted a clean race and to see the checkered flag. We managed that and everything went well."

WilliamsF1

George Russell: After yesterday we were all hoping for more, but that was an incredibly challenging race. Our car does not suit these conditions, when the wind picks up it becomes a real struggle. It's a shame but the positives are that we know the strengths and the weaknesses of the car, and so we just have to hope that moving forward we get some slightly calmer conditions which allow us to demonstrate those strengths.

Nicholas Latifi: It was difficult out there today. We always struggle with the opening laps and that was evident with George starting much higher up and then after the first few laps he was back where I was. It feels very on edge and we need to do some analysis to try and find a solution. There is definitely something we are missing at the moment, and we need to try and improve it ahead of Barcelona.

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