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Team Quotes - Sunday 26 November


Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Team Quotes - Sunday 26 November

Red Bull

Max Verstappen ended a phenomenal 2023 season just as he started it, with an emphatic win. Beating Ferrari's Charles Leclerc to the flag at the Abu Dhabi Grand, he sealed a record 19th win of the year and to take his points tally to a record-breaking 575. Checo Perez added to the celebrations with a battling driver to fourth place after starting from ninth on the grid. His 12 points mean the Team also sets a new record for most points scored in a season with 860.

Christian Horner: Well that brings the curtain down on a year that can only be described as incredible. This car is going to go down in the history books as a very, very special car. To have won 21 races out of the 22 is an achievement we never thought possible. What a year, not just for those you see week in and week out at track, but more than anything, all the people behind the scenes back in the factory across the whole business. All the support staff made this happen and played their role in making, delivering, and operating this car. I think everybody can take a huge amount of pride in what they've achieved, because this Team really does have an incredible winning spirit and their determination through it all is incredibly strong.

Adding to this, Max and Checo. An extraordinary Team in themselves. Their hard work and commitment delivered our first ever Pl and P2 finish. Throughout the season Max has been as close to faultless as you can get, every week bettering his last performance, turning in his best year yet. Checo by comparison has equally had his best year and his best finish in the Championship. It was not an easy road for him but he turned it up when he needed to and secured second place.

Finally, I would like to thank our partners and fans, who equally played their part in this historic season. Their commitment to the Team has been steadfast throughout the season and we are incredibly grateful for their support.

We are going to hopefully take all of these lessons out of this car and apply it into our 20th car. It will be another special year for us in our 20th year as we continue to build to try and defend these two titles. Preparation has already began, we will enjoy the break while we have it but look forward to seeing what's to come in the 2024 season.


Scuderia Ferrari has ended the 2023 season with its ninth podium of the season. It came courtesy of Charles Leclerc, whose second place finish today at the Yas Marina circuit was never in doubt. Unfortunately, Carlos Sainz had a difficult day and so second place in the Constructors' championship was not to be, although the gap to Mercedes was a mere three points in the end. However, Ferrari has demonstrated clear signs of progress in the second half of the season, establishing itself as the second best team, as can be seen from its tally of 215 points since the summer break, even if there were a few too many no-scores. The Scuderia is also the only team other than the dominant Red Bull to secure a win this year.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was not the most exciting race. Charles tried to pass Max Verstappen at the start, after which he concentrated on managing his tyres and the gap to those behind, at first the two McLarens and then George Russell in the Mercedes, in the hope that an opportunity might arise at some point over the 58 laps. The Monegasque was on a two-stop strategy, starting on the Medium, then twice fitting Hards and he was always one of the quickest cars on track. As for Carlos, he started from 16th on Hard tyres, moving onto a two-stop strategy, running a very long second stint on the hardest compound hoping for an eventual Safety Car, but it never came. The Spaniard pitted again with two laps remaining, taking on a set of Softs, but the team decided to retire the car and he was classified 18th.

Over the last few laps, Charles tried everything to try and secure Ferrari second place in the Constructors' World Championship and he even let Sergio Perez in the Red Bull, who had a five second time penalty, pass him in the hope this would help the Mexican pull out a five second gap and thus finish between him and George Russell, but the move didn't work, so that in the end, Leclerc was still second on the podium, alongside Verstappen and the aforementioned Russell, who had therefore done enough to prevent the Scuderia catching Mercedes in the Constructors' standings.

The 2023 season is now over, but the cars have one more day of track action ahead at Yas Marina. This Tuesday they will tackle a post-season test. Carlos and Charles will both drive one of the cars, while the other will again be entrusted to reserve driver Robert Shwartzman. And there are only 97 days to go to the start of the 2024 season!

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal: We are happy to have finished a far from easy season with a solid performance from Charles. Unfortunately, Carlos' weekend took a turn for the worse starting from Friday and it's a shame he was unable to bring home the three points but it's not today that we lost second place in the Constructors'.

Clearly, as Ferrari, we're never that interested in finishing second, but it would still have been a reward for everyone who worked hard at the track and those who always gave it everything they had back in Maranello ever since the SF-23 first rolled out onto the Fiorano track.

But the whole group can be pleased with how it reacted and fought back in the second part of the season. After the summer break that followed the Dutch Grand Prix, we made constant progress, to the point that we are the only team apart from Red Bull to have won a race. Charles ended the season with a string of strong performances and Carlos also had some very positive races including that Singapore win of course. The curtain comes down on Tuesday after the test and we are already looking ahead to the next one. We are determined to continue with the progress we have demonstrated over the past ten races.


George Russell finished third and Lewis Hamilton ninth in an incredibly tense final race of the season.

The team opted for a two-stop strategy for both drivers and focused on tyre management in the early stage of the race.

George lost one position at the start, while Lewis managed to gain three positions. On their new tyres, both were showing strong pace.

The battle for P2 in the Constructors' Championship was incredibly close but the team managed to secure P2 ahead of Ferrari in the end.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO: It was a fight for P2 in the Constructor's Championship up until the very end and so close and today feels like we've won. George's driving was exceptional and Charles showed true sportsman-like behaviour, not trying to slow down. Two great teams and brands that fought until the end. The fight for P2 in the Constructor's in a way was so positive for us and a huge reward for the whole team to be vice champion, but it's also a big motivation to do better next year and that's what we will focus on now. We have so much good things in the pipeline, so much new things and with all the learning we had I am really, really in a good place to see what's coming together. We've got to take the momentum now from the third place here, P2 in the championship and then take that into the factories. We're vice champions and that's a good one to take home - we got to reach for the stars and that's going to happen, I promise.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director: Well done to everyone in Brackley and Brixworth for securing P2 in the championship. It's not our ultimate goal but we started this year in a really challenging position with an awful lot of work to do, the team and the drivers have dug in, stuck together and it's some consolation that we have at least come out of it best of the rest. The race was very difficult, we had 58 laps of not knowing which way it was going to go and in the end it was down to the finest of margins. The strategy group did a brilliant job of staying calm, taking some aggressive decisions on the undercuts and making sure that we'd done enough by the chequered flag. We had a one on one pitstop race with McLaren at the first stop and coming out ahead in that was a big part of ending up close enough to Leclerc to score the points needed so that was a really key moment. It's nice to finish the season ahead of Ferrari but we're under no illusion of the gap ahead is large and the whole team is focused on closing down that gap. We will work hard ahead of next season and give it our best to make that happen.


BWT Alpine F1 Team rounded off the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship at the season finale in Abu Dhabi with Esteban Ocon finishing in twelfth and Pierre Gasly thirteenth at Yas Marina Circuit.

The team finishes the season on 120 points in sixth place in the Constructors' Championship with Pierre eleventh in the Drivers' Championship on 62 points and Esteban twelfth on 58 points.

Both drivers looked to end the season on a high note with Pierre starting in tenth and Esteban twelfth. Pierre made a bright start to climb up to eighth place at the end of the opening lap with Esteban in eleventh.

Pierre held onto eighth in the early running before damage sustained after contact with Lewis Hamilton on lap 15, brought significant damage to his A523, and a significant loss of aerodynamic performance.

Esteban pitted for Hards on lap 15 on a one-stop strategy, which he brought home to the end of the race in twelfth place. Pierre converted to a two-stop but could not make inroads towards the points with the Alpine pair crossing the line in twelfth and thirteenth.

The team remains in Abu Dhabi for post-season testing on Tuesday where Esteban will be joined by Jack Doohan, fresh from his Feature Race victory in FIA Formula 2.

Bruno Famin, Interim Team Principal: "This is the conclusion of the 2023 season, a year in which we've had some very good moments, but also too many low ones. Ultimately, we did not achieve what we had set out. Today was a tough race for both cars and we have much to review to see what we could have done better even if it had no bearing on our championship outcome. I have been pleased with what I have seen in the second part of the season. Right now, as a team, we will take some time over the off-season to reflect and review everything and implement the necessary changes and game plan ahead of 2024. I would like to thank the entire team and the drivers for their hard work, dedication and ambition throughout a challenging campaign and we will undoubtedly come back in 2024 with even more hunger to achieve our goals."


Andrea Stella - Team Principal: "We would have liked to finish on the podium for the final race of the season, but today we simply didn't have enough pace. This doesn't detract from this having been an incredible season. It has been an amazing turnaround which was made possible by everybody's hard work. To finish fourth in the Championship with nine podiums, achieve a victory in the Sprint race, three more podiums in the Sprint race, two pole positions in the Sprint Shootout, and deliver the fastest pit stop in history is a great achievement for the team. All of this was made possible by the work, commitment, effort and the talent of the men and women at McLaren and our colleagues at HPP. I am so proud and so thankful to all team members.

"This is a strong foundation for the future, and we can't wait to confirm this next season. Thanks to our fans, sponsors and partners that have been so supportive and enthusiastic. We are on this journey together and we look forward to the next phase."

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake brought the 2023 season to an end under the floodlights of Yas Marina, but there was no fairytale ending for our campaign as Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas finished 17th and 19th in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Tonight's result confirms the final Constructors' Standings, as Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake claims ninth place in the championship. The 2023 season that comes to an end has been a long and challenging one but, following next week's test in Yas Marina, preparations will begin already for a new campaign.

Tonight's race also marked the final chapter of our partnership with Alfa Romeo. After six fruitful years that brought benefit to both brands, on and off the track, our paths divide: we will keep the memories of this relationship, of the highs and lows, as we see them off on their new way, wishing them the best for the future.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: "The most important thing to say today, after such a long and tough season, is to thank Alfa Romeo for six successful seasons together. Of course, we didn't reach all the targets we had set for ourselves, but today we want to pay tribute to a partner that has been instrumental to the growth of our team, that joined us in 2017 when few would have any trust in our future. Now, if we can look to the future with confidence and with a strong foundation is also thank to Alfa Romeo and to the people within their company who helped us as a team. The first thought is for Sergio Marchionne and, today, for Jean Philippe Imparato and all his team. Tonight's race reflected our season in full: in the end, the constructors' championship position corresponds to the pace we were able to show. We need to keep our heads down, knowing we need to work hard and make use of the lessons we learnt to improve. The biggest one is that we need to work as a team each day, having confidence in our people and in our work, but knowing that nobody will give us anything for free. This is important: it's the end of a season tonight, but the start of a new one tomorrow. In next week's test, we will need to collect as much data as we can to fix our issues. I want to thank all the people working both here and in Hinwil for their hard work this season, and our partners at Ferrari for their support throughout the year: also, even though I never spoke about myself, I want to thank everyone for letting me represent them, hoping I did so in the best possible way - in the good days and in the bad. The race has been very tough. We saw the pace was not enough to compete for the points: it's how it went, but as we say goodbye to our fans, we want to let them know we will be working really hard to come back stronger."

Aston Martin

Mike Krack, Team Principal: "I am pleased we could end this successful season with both cars inside the points. There were not too many opportunities in a race with no retirements and things pretty much played out in pace order. We did what we could, jumping [Yuki] Tsunoda with Fernando to finish seventh, and Lance made up three places to score the final point. As I reflect on the season, I see only the positives and the huge progress we made compared to last year. We have enjoyed some special days, especially in the early part of the season, and we came back strong in the recent races.

"Full credit to Red Bull Racing and Max [Verstappen] for the high standards and new records they have set. To win 21 races in a season is a remarkable achievement and can only act as motivation for us to close the gap ahead of 2024.

"It has been our best season to date as a team - scoring 280 v 55 last season. I would like to thank everyone trackside and at the AMRTC for all the hard work. Also to our fans and all our partners - without their support we could not have achieved this progress."


MoneyGram Haas F1 Team finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Round 23 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, with Nico Hulkenberg 15th, and Kevin Magnussen 20th on Sunday at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Hulkenberg started from eighth place on Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires but unfortunately relinquished ground on the opening lap, slipping to 12th position. The German ran a conventional two-stop strategy, coming in on lap 14 for White hard tires, before making another stop on lap 33 for a new set of the hard compound. Hulkenberg took the checkered flag in 15th.

Magnussen started the evening from 17th place on the grid, also on medium tires, and maintained position through the opening lap. The Dane ran an off-set tire strategy, pitting after just four laps to switch onto hard tires, before coming in again on lap 22 for one more set of hard rubber. Magnussen completed the season finale in 20th place.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team finishes the 2023 season in 10th position in the Constructors' Championship.

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "It's been a tough season for us, which started well but didn't get any better, as everyone else got better. We ended up fighting all season, so now we need to work hard over the winter to get a better car out there as there are a lot of things within this team that are good. We've got a race team which is always ready to race, and a team who wants to do well, we just need to get better with the performance of the car - then we will be okay. It's not an easy task but everyone is rolling their sleeves up and working hard to achieve it."


Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer): "Heading into the race, the objective was to outscore Williams by 8 points for P7 in the Constructors'. To do this, we needed to finish P6 or higher in the race with one car or P7 and P9 with the two cars. It was a big ask given the starting position of Yuki, because he had three fast cars starting behind him. We knew it would be challenging to achieve the result on pace alone, so we tried to make it work with strategy. Tyres were looking good in the first stint, so we went for the one-stop with Yuki. After a suspected tear-off in the brake duct, we converted Daniel to what was an aggressive two-stop. Both drivers did a fantastic job throughout the race, but in the end, we didn't quite have enough pace to score the required points. Whatever strategy we could've chosen wouldn't have been enough to overtake Williams. I know everyone is relieved it's the end of the season, but for our team, it's fair to say we would've loved one more race! It's been a long season, and in the first races, we were one of the slowest cars on the grid. The credit is due to everyone in Bicester and Faenza for never giving up, pushing hard with the development and turning our competitiveness around, so we end the season with the fifth to sixth quickest car. With Yuki in P1 for a few laps, today marked only the second time in history that a Japanese driver has led a Formula 1 race and only the sixth time Franz has seen one of his cars lead a Grand Prix, which is a nice way to say goodbye. It was Franz's last race leading our team, and speaking on behalf of everyone, it has been an absolute pleasure to work for him. I've never met someone with such a love of the race track and as passionate about racing as Franz, and he will be sorely missed. We wish him all the best for the future."

Franz Tost (Team Principal): "We started with Yuki in the sixth position and with Daniel in P15. Both of them had a good start and didn't lose any positions on the first lap. We split our cars on the strategy side, opting for a one-stop with Yuki and a two-stop for Daniel. In the end, it was the wrong decision, because I think with a two-stop strategy we could've finished P6 or at least P7 with Yuki, as he was faster than other competitors that overtook him in the final laps. Therefore, we ended the season in P8 in the Constructors' Championship and of course, it's disappointing because our target was to finish P7. There are still some positives to take on the aerodynamic side, as the new floor worked quite well, which is a good indication for next year's car.

"As this was my last race, I want to take the opportunity to thank all the Formula 1 fans for their support, the FIA, FOM, all the Formula 1 teams, Honda, Pirelli, and everyone with whom we had good cooperation with over the last 18 years, and obviously my team and all the drivers I was lucky enough to work with. I wish them all a successful future."


Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: The race was difficult today, especially after Alex suffered a poor start and lost five places immediately. Fortunately, he was able to recover and complete a strong strategy, showing good pace on the Hard compound. Logan followed a similar strategy and was able to fight with Daniel [Ricciardo] before pitting and finishing strong with a series of good overtakes.

We weren't able to race directly with AlphaTauri today but given that we haven't updated the car since mid-season, the fact that we have kept them at bay over the last eight races is testament to us scoring well when the car was competitive, and we continued to compete during the flyaway events even as they brought upgrades to their car.

It is always difficult to defend a lead and allow yourself to be out developed by rivals, but this was a conscious decision that will reap reward over the coming years. The fact that we were able to hold 7th place in the Constructors' Championship is down to the continued hard work and attention to detail from the whole team, both at the track and throughout the entire Company back in Grove. Today itself was not spectacular but as the culmination of a strong season, it marks a clear upturn in our performance and lays the foundations for the coming years.

We now look forward to the final day of testing on Tuesday. Alex and Logan will share one car with Franco and Zak splitting the day in the other car. The trackside team will then take a well-earned rest before we complete the preparations for the Bahrain test and the launch of FW46.


Max Verstappen produced the best possible finish to what was the best season of any driver in the history of Formula 1. Today, he took his 19th win from 22 races, bringing the triple world champion's total number of victories to 54, which puts him alone in third place on the all-time winners list. Verstappen is also the only driver to have covered more than one thousand laps, 1003 to be precise, in a single season and this year, he is the only driver to have completed every lap of all 22 Grands Prix.

The majority of drivers opted to start on the Medium tyre for the first stint, with only Sainz, Bottas and Stroll, all starting from a long way back, going with the Hard. At his first pit stop, Ferrari's Spanish driver took on another set of the C3, which meant he would be making two stops, although the second one was delayed all the way until lap 57. In the end, only three drivers, Bottas, Ocon and Tsunoda, got to the chequered flag having made just a single stop. The Finn ran two very equal length stints, while the Japanese drivers stopped on lap 22, before putting in no fewer than 36 laps on a set of Hards and the Frenchman brought his first stop forward to lap 15, which meant he went for 43 laps on the C3. The rest of the field all stopped twice.

Yet another award for Max Verstappen in what has been an amazing season for him. The Dutch driver has secured the 2023 Pirelli Pole Position Award of the Year for having been quickest in qualifying at 12 races, more than any other driver. Today, he was presented with the award, a personalised Pirelli P Zero soft tyre, by Kalle Rovanperä, winner of the World Rally Championship drivers' title for the past two years.

Mario Isola: "The race was an accurate reflection of the season as a whole, with Max Verstappen totally dominant, while behind him a close battle raged for every place, with the hierarchy changing, sometimes significantly, from race to race.

"As was generally forecast, the C3 compound was far and away the most popular, while the C5 was only used by Sainz for one lap, which he didn't even complete, at the very end of the race. The difference between the one-stop and two-stop strategies was very small in our pre-race simulations, but in the end, almost everyone opted for the two-stop, mainly for tactical reasons given that degradation was relatively low. In fact, on a track where the undercut is always very effective, it's clear that when a driver started the run of pit stops, any other drivers battling with them had to do the same to avoid being passed by anyone exploiting new tyres and a clear track ahead. This was seen not only amongst the leaders, but also in those further back, while a few drivers tried to go for something different, some going for a one-stop (Ocon, Tsunoda and Bottas), some, like Sainz, hoping for a Safety Car, others going for a longer second stint, trying to make the most of the difference in grip levels between new and used tyres in the closing stages, in particular Perez and Stroll. Verstappen, from his position of superiority, reacted to the moves of his closest rivals in the first stint and then waited for them to pit again, before making his second stop in perfect safety.

"Graining was a factor especially for those who spent a lot of time in traffic, but was far less significant for drivers who were able to run in clean air and this applied to both the Medium and Hard."

All the Formula 1 teams are staying on in Abu Dhabi for a day's testing on Tuesday. Each team can use two cars, one for their race drivers, the other for a rookie. With no new compounds to evaluate, track time will be used to work on optimising tyre management for next season with the help of the additional sensors that they can fit. The data acquired will then be shared with Pirelli. The cars used by the race drivers will have ten sets of tyres available: one C1, one C2, two C5, three C4 and three C3. The young drivers can use a maximum of eight sets: two C4, two C5 and four sets of C4.


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