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Aramco Gran Premio De Espana Driver Quotes - Sunday 9 May

SEASON INFORMATION
09/05/2021

Aramco Gran Premio De Espana

Driver Quotes - Sunday 9 May

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton: What a day! It was a remarkable job by the whole team again this weekend and it's so good to see fans back here. I even saw a few British flags in the crowd and I've really missed that! I feel great, like I could do that all over again, all the training is clearly paying off!

It was really close off the start, there was a lot of rubber down on the righthand side of the grid and Max got a really good start. I then went hunting and was so close to Max for so long during the opening stages of the race, and I was worried I wouldn't be able to make the tyres last in the dirty air. It looked like a long way back after the second stop - it was something like 20 seconds off Max - but it was a really bold call by the team. I was really conflicted, it felt like I might have the shot to make the move before Max stopped, but we just have that trust between us in the team and it was a great call.

Valtteri Bottas: Losing that position to Charles at Turn 3 on the first lap compromised the first stint of my race. I was hoping for more today but that made it difficult. My overall pace wasn't too bad - bit of a shame that we couldn't finish higher, but at least I managed to get on the podium. I'm never happy to settle for third, I'm here to win but it was a good day for the team, scoring more solid points. Monaco is going to be a unique challenge in two weeks' time and I'm looking forward to it.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen: "I tried everything I could today and took the lead at Turn 1 but from there we were just lacking a bit of pace to Mercedes. Of course we wanted to win but I cannot feel too disappointed as I did everything I could out there and maximized the opportunities. Even if we had looked at another strategy and done a two stop and pitted before them, we wouldn't have made the time up as they were just faster than us. I know how fast I can go and where the limit of the car is and when they can do a free stop behind it is easy for them to do a different strategy. I pretty much knew that when he pitted for the second time that he would come back at me on the new tyres a bit like Hungary 2019 and although I did everything I could I was a bit of a sitting duck. The pace difference on the tyres made it an easy pass for Lewis and then I was able to at least keep second place and take Fastest Lap. It was just a day where we lacked a bit of pace and second was the best result possible so now we need to look at why they seem to have jumped ahead a bit in terms of race pace."

Sergio Perez: "This isn't an easy track to overtake on which made for a tough race. We had a good first lap and made up some positions but it took me quite a long time to get past Daniel. The McLaren was extremely fast on the straights so it was really hard to try a move but we made it work around the outside of Turn 1. I knew what I had to do, I pushed on and managed to make it work but we didn't have much tyre life left afterwards so it was tough. I'm getting more confident with the car now and every time I get to the end of a weekend, I think, ‘I wish the weekend was just starting now.' Also every circuit is different so what I learn here will be different to what I need in Monaco but the main thing is that I am still adapting and hopefully soon we can be 100%. I am excited for Monaco, especially with this car as historically it's been competitive and I think we have a chance of winning."

McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo: "It was a good weekend. I would say the best weekend so far as a whole and I felt like I got the maximum out of the car today. I was defending the whole time! We jumped a few spots at the start and I think naturally those cars were a little quicker, which left me defending. It meant that the pace was high, and it forced me to push the whole way. I ended up learning even more about the car.

"We're obviously competitive for points, but we just need that little extra step. Ferrari had a bit more than us today and obviously we know the Red Bull is fast. We know we've still got some work to do but all-in-all it was a smooth, well-executed weekend. The team made some good calls for the pit-stops and I think top-six was the best result possible."

Lando Norris "Tough race! It was expected really, just because it's so difficult to overtake. Despite that I think we achieved everything we could. On paper it's not as strong a result as we'd like, but I don't think that really matters today - we had decent pace all day. Given the characteristics of this track we did what we could, and that was P8 and double points, so I'm happy for the team."

Aston Martin

Lance Stroll: "It is a bit frustrating not to get the point at the end. We fought hard with the AlphaTauri, but just did not have enough to get P10. We also raced hard against Fernando [Alonso] and the moment at Turn One was a racing incident: I braked deep into the corner and he was late on the brakes. We made some contact and he pushed me wide. This weekend has helped us continue to learn and improve the car. We will keep pushing to unlock some more speed before Monaco."

Sebastian Vettel: "It was quite a tricky afternoon, and I was running out of tyre life at the end, even though we went for the two-stop strategy. I made quite an early second stop and came out behind Kimi [Räikkönen], which I think hurt my tyres quite a lot. That is what made it difficult to fight for points. With hindsight, it is always easy to say what you would do differently, but it was difficult to fight the cars around me in the closing laps when they had a tyre advantage. But we will keep working hard and we know there is a long season still ahead of us. The new parts we had here helped, and we need to keep taking steps forward each weekend."

Alpine

Fernando Alonso: "It wasn't where we wanted to finish today but I think the weekend in general was positive. We had some good performance from the car, and we are definitely heading in the right direction. In Portugal we were fast, but we didn't know if it was specific to that track, so our progression this weekend shows we are in a good place. We had some fun battles today and I enjoyed the racing, but we just couldn't hang on in the end with the Medium tyres. We had to try something different and it didn't work out. We'll go again in Monaco and have some fun there."

Esteban Ocon: "It was a tough race today. We have a few things to review as we weren't as fast as the Ferraris or the McLarens in the race. A positive thing is that last year here, we didn't score points and this year we come away with two. It's not ideal after qualifying, but we'll take it and move on to the next race. We have more work to do on race pace and, as always, some things to discuss to improve ourselves. We'll see how we do around Monaco, it's great that we're going back there, and we go there with some motivation to have a better result."

Ferrari

Charles Leclerc: It was a very good race. I had a good start, then went for the outside in turn 3, which worked out for us. From then on, we had a very competitive race. Our pace was strong, both on the Soft and Medium tyres. Still, P4 was the best we could achieve. I am really happy though, because from the cockpit you can feel when you do a good job and that was the case today.

As a team, we did a really good job, everything went perfectly. We see that we have made a lot of progress compared to last year, and this is credit to everyone working so hard back at our factory in Maranello.

We were quite strong in the third sector, which is very technical. Hopefully, that's a positive sign for Monaco. Since the beginning of the season, we seem to be strong in the slow corners, so I am crossing my fingers that it will stay that way. I am really looking forward to my home race. Seeing fans there in the grandstands will be amazing and I hope to be just as competitive there.

Carlos Sainz: I am not very satisfied with P7 today, to be honest. I had a poor getaway at the start and after the first corner I found myself surrounded and lost a couple of places. From then onwards though, we had a very strong pace.

Today the car was well balanced and it performed quite well with the tyres. We still lack a bit of speed on the straights, which makes us struggle for overtaking. We must work on that and I must keep working on refining some details, because today with a stronger start we could have made it to P5.

The strategy worked well, and the guys put together a couple of fast pit stops. It was a good team effort and we leave Spain with good points for the Championship. We must continue to analyse where we weren't perfect, and push from there!

AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda: "It's been a frustrating race weekend for me, I'm obviously disappointed to not have finished the race as I think my pace at the start was quite good, but it was completely out of my control. We don't currently know what happened to the car, so we'll investigate this after it returns to the garage and then we'll review everything together with the engineers. I just need to look forward to the next race in Monaco now, it'll be my first-time racing there and I'm excited to drive on such an iconic circuit."

Pierre Gasly: "I've got mixed feelings about today, I think in the race I made a good recovery but we're really lacking pace compared to the first two rounds, which is frustrating. I'm upset with myself for making the mistake on the grid, it's a very silly penalty to get and it made my life harder. That being said, I had some good battles in the race and managed to pass a few cars to make it into 10th place. The car definitely has potential, we just haven't made it work consistently in all corners around the lap yet. We're going to work hard now ahead of Monaco and I trust in the team to make some steps forward in the next few races."

Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen: "We did the best we could with a car that actually felt quite nice. I had a decent first lap, making up a few places, and then went for a long first stint. We were always planning for a one-stop and I think the strategy was the best we could choose today. Unfortunately, we went really close to the points once again but didn't get anything out of the race. Only one retirement didn't help us, but we need to keep working to find the little bit that is still missing."

Antonio Giovinazzi: "It was not an easy race, which was effectively compromised by the issue we had during the pit-stop. To lose all this time and a new set of tyres was a blow, especially as I had to follow a delta behind the Safety Car and couldn't catch up with the pack. After that, I tried to make up as much ground as possible, but with not much happening in front of me, 15th was as far as I could go. Our race pace wasn't bad, but it ended up being a frustrating day: hopefully Monaco will be better - I am looking forward to it already."

Haas

Nikita Mazepin: "It was very difficult today - the balance shift was very strange. To be honest, we struggled a lot with mid-corner under rotation in qualifying, and then it went to extreme oversteer on all the sets I used in the race. We need to analyze why the shift was so big - maybe it was the temperatures, maybe it was the wind. It's every rookie's job to keep learning in every race, I remember from the junior categories how much more I knew in year two and year three of being in the same series. There's a lot to be learned. Today was quite a clean race from my side though, no big mistakes, and pretty consistent driving."

Mick Schumacher: "It could have been better, but we knew it was going to be a tough race for us. Nonetheless we can be happy with most of what we achieved. My start itself wasn't that great, but I got a good opening lap - I managed to find a good spot to drive around some people that were maybe blocked by some others. On that side of the race I think we can be quite happy. Unfortunately, we knew after that it was going to be quite difficult. We were struggling quite a bit with the rear tires on the C3. We just had to concentrate on our race and maximize what we had. Every weekend has been a bit different, so I go into Monaco next with an open mind and we'll see how it is there after FP1."

WilliamsF1

George Russell: We have to be satisfied with the job we did today. The car in the race today felt good and I felt really confident, however the result doesn't quite reflect that, as we started P15 and finished P14. We were on the one-stop and the guys around us were on the two-stop. I was battling with Fernando (Alonso) trying to pass him and the guys behind me were on the brand-new soft tyres which were much faster. As soon as I got passed by one, they all came past. The tyres were on the limit, I was on the limit and the car was on the limit. That was the maximum and I am really pleased we opted with that strategy as it gave us half a chance. We were so close to a much better result and hopefully we have more of these race weekends. To be battling there on merit was a great job.

Nicholas Latifi: As we expected, it was a challenging race out there. However, even though the pace isn't where we want it to be, I'm happy that the most important session of the weekend was the one that the car felt best in. With a strong strategy and some good overtakes on track we also managed to get in front of both the Haas cars. I think we're ending the weekend on a high, but we've also got quite a lot of homework to do before Monaco.

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