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STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Quotes - Sunday 5 December

SEASON INFORMATION
06/12/2021

STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Driver Quotes - Sunday 5 December

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton: I've been racing a long time but that was incredibly tough - I tried to be as sensible and as tough as I could be out there but also sensible with all my race experience over the years, just keeping the car on track and staying clean. It was difficult but we persevered as a Team. We've had all sorts of things thrown at us in the second half of this season so I'm just really proud of everyone. I'm really grateful for the crowd we've had this weekend - it's nice to be here.

We've done an amazing job with what we have this weekend, Valtteri did a great job today to get big points for the Team - this is for all the guys and girls back at the factory. It's been an amazing event! I felt very welcome here, the people have been lovely and the track is phenomenal to drive, very difficult physically and mentally, but you wouldn't want it any other way. So, on to the next one!

Valtteri Bottas: It wasn't an easy day, there were so many obstacles with the red flags and all the incidents, it made it a bit tricky. I just kept pushing, it was tough to overtake today but I finally got to P3 on the final straight - it was such a nice feeling to get the podium that way. Esteban drove great today, he was difficult to pass but I hung in there for an exciting finish. Good for team points today, and great that Lewis and Max are level on points, we have an incredible weekend ahead in Abu Dhabi!

Red Bull

Max Verstappen: "There was definitely a lot of action today, a lot of things happened. I was told to give the position back, so I moved off the racing line and slowed down, Lewis just stayed behind me, I don't understand why he didn't pass. I don't agree with the five-second penalty, but it is what it is and we'll just move on. We didn't have perfect pace in the race today, so that's something to work on looking ahead to Abu Dhabi. We're on equal points now heading into the final race, it's going to be an exciting end to the season."

Sergio Perez: "It wasn't the best weekend for the Team, we lost crucial points in the Constructors' Championship, so we are going to Abu Dhabi now to try and turn things around. We were slightly unlucky with the first red flag but we got away well after the second restart. We got past Gasly and Charles and as I was coming out of turn three there just wasn't enough room for everyone, given how the corner was. I ended up tangling with Charles, he clipped my rear tyre with his front right tyre. It was a bad moment for everyone but just a very unlucky one. It is just a big shame because we needed those points today. I stayed with the car out on track because we were trying to turn the engine back on, we thought we could restart it but it was a bit on the hot side so we had to retire. It was a very important race for the Team today so this one hurts a lot but there is hope for Abu Dhabi. There is still optimism and something to fight for and we will give the final race of the season everything so let's look forward."

McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo: "That felt like the longest race ever. The race start was so late, so it already felt like a long day, and then with all the restarts it felt even longer. The starts were good, I always made up positions until the last one where I stayed fourth.

"I used the Hard tyre for the race start, so we couldn't really use it for the restart and were forced to go on the Medium, and I think the Hard was the better tyre. So, I couldn't quite get Esteban [Ocon], and I tried to hold off Valtteri [Bottas] as long as I could. I was surprised how long I held him off, but I think once he let his tyres reset, it was quite hard to keep him behind. I defended him one lap, re-passed him and then he got me. I struggled a bit at the end with the tyres, so I'm happy to have held on to a top five. It certainly makes up for yesterday."

Lando Norris "A very unlucky day. I think we deserved much more today. The team did a good job and I thought I drove a good race, but the red flag changed everything and ruined any chance of a stronger result, just by being unlucky. It was a long race after that. So, I'm disappointed. On the positive side, we scored one point again - but I feel we deserved a lot more."

Aston Martin

Lance Stroll: "It was a shame not to get points, especially because we came so close in the end in P11. The first red flag went against us because we had pitted earlier, but we were able to make a couple of very good restarts following the stoppages to climb to P10. We initially pulled a good gap to [Lando] Norris behind, but overtaking proved easier than expected and we just lacked a little bit of pace on the straights, so we could not hold onto P10. I was optimistic because the balance of the car felt good, but P11 was probably the maximum in the end."

Sebastian Vettel: "A tough way to end the race [with significant floor damage] and a shame we lost the chance to fight for points properly. Things were going our way in the early part of the race. Having started in P17, we were up inside the points after the restarts. I was running ahead of the Ferraris, but we did not have the strongest pace today and we were under pressure. Yuki [Tsunoda] hit me in the first chicane, which dropped me down the pack. Then there was the incident with Kimi [Raikkonen], which completely destroyed my race [with the damage caused]. I had the track position and there is not enough room for two cars in that corner so I think Kimi needed to back out."

Alpine

Fernando Alonso: "It was a crazy race tonight. I think when the first red flag was waved the race was over for us. We opted to stop and were in a very good position, and realistically we could have been fifth or sixth had it all fallen into place. They stopped the race and we were very unlucky there. Every time there seems to be a red flag or a situation like that we are on the wrong side of things. I think it was a bit dangerous racing amongst all the debris today and to not have a full Safety Car. Nothing happened in the end which was good. We scored good points with Esteban today, but we need to make sure our pace is back for Abu Dhabi and we end the season on a positive."

Esteban Ocon: "I gave it my all today. The competitor inside of me is disappointed to miss out on the podium by such a short distance, but I'm very proud of the whole team today. What we achieved is outstanding and to take fourth place and add 12 more points in the bag in the championship is what counts. We took the right decisions in the race; we did everything we could on track and on strategy at the right moments, which put us in the best possible position to take big points. It was quite fun to start on pole position too - I've not done that since 2015 in GP3 - but I knew my race was not with Lewis and Max in front. That said, the opportunity was there today and we can leave here with our heads high and feeling very proud. We move onto Abu Dhabi ready to finish the season on a high and take any opportunity that might come up."

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc: We're happy with the way we recovered after Friday's crash, so it is a shame to only finish seventh, because we had the potential to do better. The first part of the race was really good and our pace was strong. When the Safety Car came out after the start, we thought some luck had come our way and we would benefit from stopping when we did. Three laps later came the red flag and it cost us three positions.

We avoided taking too many risks at the restart, but then came the contact with Checo and we lost more positions. What compromised our race the most was the flatspot that I picked up at that point. This made it really tough to get the Hards to work after the next restart and it also caused some front locking. The pace came back towards the end, but today was one of the days when various factors prevented us getting a better result.

Carlos Sainz: This was a fun race to drive and we cannot be too disappointed starting from fifteenth and finishing in eighth place. I had a good start and I was able to attack, immediately making up some places on the Hard tyre, which was working really well. Unfortunately the first Safety Car and red flag came out too early for my interests. We had no choice but to fit the Mediums, even though we knew we had to make them last 36 laps.

We had a very strong pace at the beginning of the second stint, making it up to seventh and catching Gasly ahead, but towards the end my tyres were completely finished and in the final laps we couldn't do anything to defend from Charles, who was on the Hard compound.

It's a shame about yesterday's qualifying, as I'm convinced we could have finished higher up, but I'm happy to have been able to score points again. Now we look forward to Abu Dhabi to end the season on a high!

AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda: "It's been a tough afternoon. I struggled at the beginning of the race, but I think the final restart went well and I managed to gain back some places. Unfortunately, I pushed a bit too hard and I had the collision with Vettel. The pace in the car was looking quite good at that point in the race, so I should've held off and waited for another opportunity to overtake, it was my mistake and I've apologised to him. It's frustrating as I feel like points were on offer today."

Pierre Gasly: "I'm very pleased with today, finishing in the top six in front of Ferrari, I'm really happy with that result and we're taking home a lot of points again. We knew it was going to be tricky coming to a new track, but we've performed well throughout the weekend and had a strong starting position today. It was a difficult race, with lots of things happening and it was very long, which meant it required a lot of focus. We know how complicated it is into the first corner here, so having three starts was intense, but we tried to take every opportunity we could and in the end I think we did a good job."

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen: "It was a hectic race, especially with all the restarts and the first laps. Our pace was not too bad and we could have fought for the points, but once I picked up damage in the contact with Vettel, it was really difficult. There wasn't much in it, we were going side by side, I tried to make the corner but we touched. That ruined my race completely, there was no way back from there."

Antonio Giovinazzi: "I am really happy with tonight's race - not just the result, but the performance as a whole. We were strong in qualifying yesterday already, and today we managed to keep out of trouble in the chaos: we always made some gain in the starts and we had the pace to keep in the top ten, even though at the end the two Ferraris were just too quick for us. It was a tough race, very physical - it reminded me of Singapore at times, with the heat and humidity - but in the end we have a good reward to show for it. We finished so many times just outside the points, in P11, so to have a ninth place feels really deserved. I am looking forward to Abu Dhabi and to fight for another good result to close the season well."

Haas

Nikita Mazepin: "It was quite an impact unfortunately. We benefitted from a position of not stopping and I was fighting with Stroll coming out of T2. The next is always easy flat and it was meant to be for both cars but all of a sudden, the car in front - which was Russell - he braked. I also tried to brake but there was nowhere to stop from 200 to zero, so I collected him and looking at the replay there was a car on the inside that he was trying to avoid himself."

Mick Schumacher: "Unfortunately, it seems like I was pushing a bit too much trying to get back into the DRS window of Russell and lost it going into T23. The pace seemed to be there, we were comfortably keeping up with the Williams and I think that was what we really weren't anticipating, therefore being highly motivated but maybe a bit too much in that case. That one point is still the target, so hopefully we'll manage to get it there."

WilliamsF1

George Russell: I came through the small kink of turn three and there were cars everywhere. I hit the brakes to slow down and unfortunately, I got hit from behind, was up in the air and that was our day over. It's a shame but with such a narrow track that is so fast, and with the size of these cars, an accident is almost inevitable.

Heading to Abu Dhabi, we need to find a bit more speed from the car so we can be battling a little higher up the field. It's my last race with Williams next week and I want to finish on a high.

Nicholas Latifi: Today was a very tough race, both physically and mentally. Trying to keep the rhythm and the tyre temperature through the many restarts and safety cars is always challenging, but I gave it everything I had and I was fortunate not to get caught in the collision ahead of me during the second start. It was a good race to learn from as we head into our final event of the season in Abu Dhabi next week.

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