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Team Quotes - Sunday 2 May


Heineken Grande Premio De Portugal

Team Quotes - Sunday 2 May


Lewis completed a hunter's drive to record his 97th victory in F1, after dropping to third following a safety car restart. Valtteri finished in P3 and secured the bonus point for fastest lap. An exhaust sensor failure cost the Finn precious power and the opportunity to close in on P2 late in the race.

Today's race marks the 500th Grand Prix start for Mercedes-Benz power in F1.

Lewis (69 points) leads the Drivers' Championship by 8 points from Max Verstappen (61 points) with Lando Norris (37) in P3. Today marks the 122nd Grand Prix at the top of the Drivers' Championship for Lewis, breaking the record he previously shared with Michael Schumacher.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (101 points) leads Red Bull (83 points) by 18 points in the Constructors' Championship.

Kane Hemmant, Electronics Support Engineer, accepted the Constructors' trophy on behalf of the team.

Toto Wolff: Absolutely stunning drive from Lewis and it seemed under control all through the race. You could see, and hear in his voice, how much he was pushing. An incredible drive. Valtteri had some real pace at the beginning and you could see that it was difficult for Lewis to catch up, it was real speed. But then eventually Lewis managed to get past and off he went.

The exhaust sensor issue was unfortunate for Valtteri later in the race because he really caught up well to Max and then it kind of stabilised at 1.5/1.6 seconds, but he had more to come at the end of the race. We couldn't override the faulty sensor so the engine went into protection mode and that cost him 5 seconds. Valtteri probably would have had a shot on Max at the end if we were not to let him down on the power unit. I think we need to give him credit.

When we were behind in testing and in Bahrain, it's a buzz that I have not felt in the Team since 2013 when we had that first sniff that we could be there. The whole place is excited and continues to be excited. I'd like to be happy after Abu Dhabi at the end of the season but for the time being, we'll take it one step at a time.

Andrew Shovlin: A really impressive and well-deserved win from Lewis; two solid overtakes to take the lead and he controlled it from there to the finish. Valtteri did a good job at the start and the restart but seemed to be lacking a bit of pace on the medium which allowed Verstappen to get within undercut range. That, together with a moment at turn 4, allowed Max to pass. Valtteri had strong pace on the hard tyre and we thought he was going to be able to take the position back from Max until an exhaust temperature sensor put an end to our hopes. As a consolation, he was able to pull enough time on Perez to earn a free stop to go for fastest lap. We'll review the timing of our call as we opened the window for Red Bull to also have a go and had it not been for Max's mistake at T14, we'd have lost a valuable point to them.

Overall, we can be pleased with the result this weekend, we've consolidated our lead in both championships and we had good pace on low and high fuel. However, the margins are super fine and it's a reminder that we need to get everything right to beat Red Bull. We've got a difficult race next week in Barcelona; it's a tyre overheating track like Bahrain so we'll be using the next few days to prepare ourselves for that challenge.

Red Bull

Christian Horner, Team Principal: "Looking at today we can see that this championship is going to be a marathon and not a sprint. It's so tight and it's going to be all about marginal gains. Max drove the wheels off the car again today, snatching second from Mercedes and it's super tight between him and Lewis. With Max, it was frustrating to lose the point for Fastest Lap at the end of the race due to track limits which I think we agree need to be consistent throughout the race weekend. Similarly with Sergio, he lost out to a case of track limits when he was overtaken by the McLaren but once he got back past, his race pace was good so he is definitely getting there and the races are coming together for him. In clean air his pace was matching that of the leaders so I'm pleased with the progress he is making. On the whole, second and fourth place means plenty of points and there's only eight separating Max and Lewis in the championship. Barcelona next week will be the benchmark and we'll get our heads down until then when hopefully we get a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses of all the cars."


Andreas Seidl, Team Principal: "Today we saw a great recovery drive. Well done to the entire team here at the track and back home, to both our drivers and to our colleagues from Mercedes HPP for striking back after a disappointing qualifying session yesterday. Lando completed another excellent weekend with a very strong drive to P5. Starting from P16, Daniel managed a very good first stint, making up a lot of positions at the start, delaying his pit-stop to gain further places, and then attacking at the end to finish P9, scoring another two important points for himself and for the team in the Constructors' Championship.

"This result strengthened our hold on third position in the Constructors' Championship, which is obviously very encouraging. It's important we keep developing the car and delivering strong performances over the next few races - starting at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in less than five days' time."

Aston Martin

Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal: "Lance drove a good race from a less than optimal grid slot, never put a foot wrong, and ended up finishing 14th in a race that contained very little attrition. Towards the end, he was running just behind Sebastian, but on fresher tyres, so we asked Sebastian to let Lance past so that he could have a go at trying to catch and pass the cars ahead, to give us an outside chance of nicking a point. In the end, Lance was not able to do that so, very sportingly, he gave the place back to Sebastian on the final lap. Obviously, we are disappointed not to have been able to score any points today, but the good news is that the Spanish Grand Prix is next weekend, so we have a chance to correct that in just a few days' time."


Alpine F1 Team scored 10 points in today's Heineken Portuguese Grand Prix with Esteban Ocon seventh and Fernando Alonso eighth in an entertaining, overtaking-dominated race at the Algarve International Circuit.

Both drivers enjoyed a string of fine overtakes during the 66-lap race to ensure the team scored a strong haul of points and back-to-back, double top 10 finishes.

Starting from a season-best sixth on the grid, Esteban lost ground at the start after going wheel to wheel with McLarens Lando Norris. Fernando, meanwhile, starting from thirteenth, slipped back to fifteenth.

After an early Safety Car, both drivers settled into the race with Esteban managing his Softs until lap 22 when he pitted for Hards. After initially losing a place to Pierre Gasly, Esteban started to make up ground with the first of two overtakes on the outside of Turn 1. His second daring effort saw him pass Carlos Sainz at the same piece of tarmac for seventh place.

Fernando pitted on lap 40, trading his Mediums for Hards as he started to swoop on the top 10. First, the Spanish driver overtook Gasly at Turn 1, Daniel Ricciardo two laps later and finally Sainz to close in behind Esteban inside the points.

Both cars eased across the line with Esteban seventh and Fernando eighth.

Marcin Budkowski, Executive Director: "It was an entertaining race for us today, with lots of close battles and overtakes for both drivers, rewarded by good points at the finish line. We were fighting with Ferrari and McLaren and this is where we want to be. Formula 1 is more fun when you're racing near the front! Today's race was well managed from start to finish. Our strategy was spot on, both drivers managed their first stint well then were able to push on the Hard tyres in the second, enjoying themselves and making up positions. We're on a good trajectory after this weekend thanks to the hard work by the team at the track, in Enstone and in Viry. There's still pace to be found, though, for the next few races and that all begins next week when we go racing again in Barcelona."


Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow's performance in the Portuguese Grand Prix did not live up to its expectations. After a good qualifying yesterday, only Charles Leclerc got into the points, finishing sixth. The Monegasque delivered a solid performance, crossing the line two places higher than his grid position, posting lap times similar to those of his closest rivals for the entire race. Unfortunately, a top ten result slipped from Carlos Sainz's grasp in the closing stages and he finished eleventh.

The second half of the race was particularly tough for the Spaniard. However, even before then, he had suffered a setback at the restart following the Safety Car brought out on the opening lap. Prior to that, the Spaniard had done a great job of passing Sergio Perez off the line, but he then dropped three places, ending up behind the Mexican, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon. The second key moment came in the first few laps after fitting the Medium tyres on lap 21, in an attempt to undercut Norris who was very close. In this stage, it's likely Carlos pushed a bit too much and his tyre performance therefore dropped off in the closing stages, when he slipped down the order and out of the points.

The Portimao race data will now be analysed in Maranello to understand why the SF21 did not perform as expected, particularly on one of the Pirelli compounds at this race. The next chance to measure up against our rivals starts this coming week, when the World Championship moves on to the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit for the fourth round of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mattia Binotto: Today's result was not what we were expecting. We were unable to capitalise on the potential seen in qualifying and that cost us a lot of points in the Constructors' classification. Charles drove a very solid race, making up some of the ground lost yesterday. Carlos had a difficult race, especially in the second stint.

In just a few days, we are back in action in Spain. On a very demanding track like the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, we will need to be prepared down to the smallest detail to make the most of our potential throughout the weekend.

Alfa Romeo

Another race Sunday, another occasion in which the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN team has looked strong... but points have remained elusive. In Portugal, in a race that once again saw very little attrition, we raced strongly, showing pace and grit but coming home just outside of the top ten.

Antonio and Kimi, starting in P12 and P15 respectively after a solid performance on Saturday, looked set to fight for the points all race: a good start placed the Finn in a good place, but contact with his team-mate brought the Iceman's race to a premature end. Antonio, in the remaining C41, did a very good job in his first stint to keep Alonso's Alpine at bay, before setting off in pursuit of Vettel after the pit-stop.

Antonio reeled in the four-time world champion before passing him with a decisive manoeuvre on the outside of turn one: he then controlled the two Aston Martins behind him, keeping them there until the chequered flag. With little action happening in front of the Italian, he crossed the line in P12.

No ultimate reward for the team, then, but the consciousness of being able to be there or thereabout when a race produces a few more surprises. It's not yet where we want to be, but it's a world away from where we were last year after three rounds. We keep working.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: "It was a mixed Sunday for us: on the one hand, we lost one car through contact between team-mates, which is one of the worst things that can happen, in a sporting sense, to a team; on the other hand, Antonio did a really good job in the remaining car, keeping behind most of our direct rivals and finishing just outside the points. We keep showing how competitive the car can be in the race, but we still miss something to be in the top ten in normal circumstances: our work doesn't stop and we will keep pushing to get there consistently."


Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin classified 17th and 19th respectively at the Portuguese Grand Prix, Round 3 of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.

Schumacher fitted Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires for the opening stint of the race and stayed out of trouble before pitting mid-distance for White hard tires. Schumacher hunted down Williams rival Nicholas Latifi through the final stint and made a successful overtake through turn three. It gave Schumacher 17th place and his third successive finish in as many Formula 1 starts.

Mazepin also took medium tires for the opening lap and briefly ran ahead of his teammate before settling into a rhythm. Mazepin exchanged his mediums for hards on lap 32 and then came in for a second stop on lap 46, fitting the Red soft tires, in order to gather more experience in free air. Mazepin greeted the checkered flag in 19th position to accumulate more mileage behind the wheel of the VF-21.

Guenther Steiner: "It was a weekend with progress. I know I keep on using the word progress, but that is what we need to make, and we're doing it. The whole weekend was good in my opinion. When you sit there and you can't get by Latifi, frustration sets in - and that's a good thing as it means we could have more. In the end Mick passed him, and that was good, but maybe we missed out on George (Russell) being on the radar if we'd passed Latifi earlier - but we take it step by step. Nikita also made progress, as much as the result may not show it. We put him on a new set of tires just to give him more time to drive the car at the limit. With all the blue flags, there was a risk with his C1 tires that they'd cool down too much - then it would have been no fun to drive. He fell a bit back because of that but he completed the race once again. He's making progress, he's getting faster every weekend as well."


George Russell finished 16th and Nicholas Latifi 18th in the Portuguese Grand Prix. George started 11th and Nicholas 18th, both on the medium Pirelli tyre. Both drivers ran a one-stop strategy, with Nicholas pitting for the hard compound on lap 24 and George following suit on lap 28.

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: Today was very difficult and we simply didn't have the pace. We found it difficult in the conditions today and although we held our position at the start, it was much more difficult on the medium tyre following the early safety car. The car has shown some good traits this weekend, but we are still lacking the stability that we need to be able to race in the pack. With the tyres hard to keep in their working window, once you start losing places, it is very difficult to recover.
We now have a quick turnaround to get the team to Barcelona ready for the next race. It will be interesting to see how the car behaves at a circuit that we know well.


Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Portuguese Grand Prix by half a minute with a one-stop strategy from second on the grid, moving from the P Zero Yellow medium to the P Zero White hard tyre on lap 37.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who finished second and third respectively, intended to run the same strategy but then stopped right at the end to put on the P Zero Red soft tyre and fight for the extra championship point for fastest lap - with Bottas coming out on top after Verstappen's final lap was deleted for a track limits infringement.

Only one other competitor stopped twice: Haas driver Nikita Mazepin, who also used all three compounds.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez, who started and finished fourth, ran an unusual strategy by going from the medium to the P Zero Red soft with just 15 laps to go.

The highest-placed finisher to start on the soft tyre was McLaren's Lando Norris, who finished fifth with a soft-medium strategy after starting seventh on the grid.

Temperatures were warmer than they had been on previous days, peaking at 22 degrees ambient and 40 degrees of track temperature.

Mario Isola: "The warmer weather led to increased wear on the softer compounds compared to previous days, which meant that drivers had to manage their tyres more. This additionally shifted the emphasis towards the hard compound, also because of track evolution providing a bit more grip than before. All three tyres stood out for different reasons. The hard tyre was key here this afternoon in these conditions, which is why it was used by most drivers for the final stint, including Lewis Hamilton, who drove a perfect race. The soft, although used least in the race - and mainly for short opening stints as expected - was also run for nearly 40 laps by Lance Stroll, while Sergio Perez completed a mammoth stint on the mediums for the bulk of the race as part of an unusual yet effective strategy."


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