hallo pak el
A dramatic Q3 qualifying session saw Sebastian Vettel snatch pole position from Lewis Hamilton in the dying moments, as the Red Bull driver improved Hamilton’s pacesetting time for McLaren of 1m 48.730s to 1m 48.298s. Mark Webber made it a strong day for the Milton Keynes team with 1m 49.376s for third place.
Felipe Massa sprung a surprise by qualifying his Ferrari fourth on 1m 50.256s, but team mate Fernando Alonso could only manage eighth on 1m 51.251s. That left the Spaniard behind fifth fastest Nico Rosberg on 1m 50.552s, splendidly on-form Jaime Alguersuari who took his best-ever qualifying slot of sixth in the Toro Rosso on 1m 50.773s, and surprise of the meeting Bruno Senna who put his Renault seventh with 1m 51.121s.
Behind Alonso, Sergio Perez was ninth for Sauber on 1m 51.374s, with Vitaly Petrov 10th in the second Renault on 1m 52.303s.
Just after Webber set the pace, having been second to Button in Q1, Sutil went fifth fastest then promptly dropped his Force India at the exit to Eau Rouge, bringing out the red flag with just under seven minutes left as the track was cleared of debris.
When things resumed, there was further drama. Hamilton went fastest right near the end, after passing Williams’ Pastor Maldonado on the exit to the Bus Stop. But then the Venezuelan drove into the McLaren on the exit to La Source, having appeared to veer deliberately to the left. After a stewards’ investigation, Maldonado was handed a five-place grid penalty, whilst Hamilton was given a reprimand.
Just as that incident was happening, Alonso went fastest, the last man to cross the line as condition improved.
There was more bad news for McLaren. Button didn’t get a run right at the end after a misunderstanding with the team, and his 2m 05.150s lap left him only 13th, behind Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi on 2m 04.692s and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi on 2m 04.757s. Behind Button, Rubens Barrichello was 14th for Williams on 2m 07.349s, ahead of Sutil on 2m 07.777s, Maldonado on 2m 08.106s and Lotus’s Heikki Kovalainen on 2m 08.354s.
Everyone had a hurry-up as rain was expected in Q1, but ultimately it just held off. The track was nevertheless very slippery, especially up Kemmel.
There was immediate bad news for Mercedes as Michael Schumacher’s right-rear wheel fell off as he approached Rivage on his out lap. As the MGP W02 crashed, his chances of a lap time disappeared on the 20th anniversary of his sensational debut.
The other unlucky man of the session was Force India’s Paul di Resta, who looked good initially but spun near the end. Just as he seemed likely to squeak through in 17th place he was bumped by Kovalainen. Thus the Scot will start 18th on 2m 07.758s, ahead of Lotus’s Jarno Trulli (2m 08.773s), Virgin team mates Timo Glock (2m 09.566s) and Jerome d’Ambrosio (2m 11.601s), and HRT team mates Tonio Liuzzi (2m 11.616s) and Daniel Ricciardo (2m 13.077s). The last three all failed to beat the 2m 10.339s 107 percent time, but along with Schumacher have been granted permission to race by the stewards. by formula1.com
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda) has yet to finish on the podium in two career starts at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, but his new pole position record of 1’38.850 indicates that may soon be changing. The Australian will start from pole position for the seventh time in the 2011 season.
Ben Spies (Yamaha Factory Racing) who started from pole least year, qualified second behind Stoner with a 1’39.373, while Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) bettered his morning pace with a new bike set up by nearly one second with a best lap of 1’39.629, giving him the final spot on the front row.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa held off Andrea Dovizioso to take the first spot on row two with a time of 1’39.947, the Spaniard’s time was 0.077s faster than that of his Italian team mate though a tenth slower than his earlier practice time. American Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completes the second row after posting a time of 1’40.098.
Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini Team) leads the third row, his time of 1’40.204 was a tenth quicker than the pace he lapped at in the morning practice outing. Nicky Hayden of the Ducati Team upped his pace to qualify eighth on the grid with a time of 1’40.244, nearly a second quicker than he was running in the morning. The final spot on row three went to Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who trailed Hayden’s time by just 0.040s.
Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) was the final rider in the top ten times, while Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) went down at the start of the session, rejoining the field aboard his second bike although the set up was clearly not ideal, as the nine time World Champion finish the qualifying in fourteenth.
Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Randy de Puniet (Pramac Racing) both had run offs into the gravel, the two will start from eleventh and twelfth, respectively, on the grid. by motogp.com
Last year’s Laguna Seca race winner Jorge Lorenzo put in an remarkable run in the second free practice, leading the times with consistent laps from the early part of the session until ending on the top of the field with a time of 1’22.056, one tenth of a second quicker than the 2009 race winner Dani Pedrosa and four tenths faster than his own time set in FP1. Third place in the combined free practice standings was Casey Stoner, who had an upset in turn 3 though saved his RC212V from a crash with his knee. After leading the first practice session, the Australian was 0.175s off the reigning World Champion’s leading time. Andrea Dovizioso was the fourth fastest in the lineup, with a time of 1’22.537, moving him up one spot from his earlier fifth position. The first American in both sessions was Ben Spies on his Yamaha Factory machine kitted out in special anniversary livery, who improved on his time by two tenths of a second with a lap of 1’22.615 to put him in fifth place on his home turf. Bigger time improvements were seen from position six onwards, starting with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) whose time of 1’22.803 was almost a half second improvement for the crowd favorite, and was 0.253s quicker than seventh place lap of Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who also made a half second step up from the earlier session. Next came Randy de Puniet, whose Pramac Racing machine was the first Ducati in the field. The Frenchman jumped from 12th to eighth with a time of 1’23.135, followed by Americans Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and the fastest Factory Ducati in the pack, that of Nicky Hayden, who had both the GP11 and GP11.1 available to him and used the GP11.1 machine for the duration of the session. Valentino Rossi, who has Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess back in the garages after a two race absence, followed his Ducati Team mate in eleventh position, ahead of Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) in twelfth and MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in thirteenth, who ran off at the top of the corkscrew in both practice sessions during his first day at the California circuit, though had no series incidents. Wildcard and MotoGP first timer Ben Bostrom riding the RC212V of the LCR Honda Team, who is doing double duty with MotoGP and AMA Superbike this weekend, knocked over a second off his times from the first session though trails 4 seconds off the leading time.
Last year’s Laguna Seca race winner Jorge Lorenzo put in an remarkable run in the second free practice, leading the times with consistent laps from the early part of the session until ending on the top of the field with a time of 1’22.056, one tenth of a second quicker than the 2009 race winner Dani Pedrosa and four tenths faster than his own time set in FP1.
Third place in the combined free practice standings was Casey Stoner, who had an upset in turn 3 though saved his RC212V from a crash with his knee. After leading the first practice session, the Australian was 0.175s off the reigning World Champion’s leading time.
Andrea Dovizioso was the fourth fastest in the lineup, with a time of 1’22.537, moving him up one spot from his earlier fifth position. The first American in both sessions was Ben Spies on his Yamaha Factory machine kitted out in special anniversary livery, who improved on his time by two tenths of a second with a lap of 1’22.615 to put him in fifth place on his home turf.
Bigger time improvements were seen from position six onwards, starting with Marco Simoncelli (San Carlo Honda Gresini) whose time of 1’22.803 was almost a half second improvement for the crowd favorite, and was 0.253s quicker than seventh place lap of Álvaro Bautista (Rizla Suzuki), who also made a half second step up from the earlier session.
Next came Randy de Puniet, whose Pramac Racing machine was the first Ducati in the field. The Frenchman jumped from 12th to eighth with a time of 1’23.135, followed by Americans Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and the fastest Factory Ducati in the pack, that of Nicky Hayden, who had both the GP11 and GP11.1 available to him and used the GP11.1 machine for the duration of the session.
Valentino Rossi, who has Crew Chief Jeremy Burgess back in the garages after a two race absence, followed his Ducati Team mate in eleventh position, ahead of Héctor Barberá (Mapfre Aspar) in twelfth and MotoGP rookie Cal Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in thirteenth, who ran off at the top of the corkscrew in both practice sessions during his first day at the California circuit, though had no series incidents.
Wildcard and MotoGP first timer Ben Bostrom riding the RC212V of the LCR Honda Team, who is doing double duty with MotoGP and AMA Superbike this weekend, knocked over a second off his times from the first session though trails 4 seconds off the leading time.
Mercifully for the neutral fan, Ferrari seemed to have lost none of their Silverstone pace on Friday, as they battled it out with Red Bull for top honours in the two opening practice sessions in Germany. The track was cool and the skies were largely grey, but there was still plenty of action to talk about. The drivers and senior team personnel report on day one at the Nurburgring…
Mark Webber, P1 - 1:32.217, 2nd; P2 - 1:31.711, 1st
“So far so good; the car feels pretty good here. Fernando (Alonso) and Seb (Vettel) are really quick as well and you never know when McLaren might turn up tomorrow too. I haven’t been watching them too much today, we’ve been concentrating on ourselves and trying to improve the car with each run, that’s the most important thing we can do. It’s nice if it stays dry, as it’s a bit easier to manage, but whatever tomorrow throws at us, we should be ready for it. I’m feeling comfortable so far.”
Sebastian Vettel, P1 - 1:32.268, 3rd; P2 - 1:32.084, 3rd
“It was cold out there today! It was good fun, the circuit was quite slippery with the low temperatures, but we did a lot of laps and the car seems okay, although I’m not 100% happy yet. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, but at this stage we’ve got a bit of work to do. Ferrari looks very competitive, McLaren is a bit harder to judge, but we will see. We don’t know the conditions for tomorrow - rain is forecast, but it depends when and if it will come.”
Fernando Alonso, P1 - 1:31.894, 1st; P2 - 1:31.879, 2nd
“A normal sort of Friday just like any other. First impressions from the car are good, which confirms that we are working in the right direction. I’ve said it before, it’s not a case of a miracle having happened at Silverstone, because of the regulations relating to the exhausts. That result was down to the many improvements introduced race after race, as could be seen from the fact that, even from Monaco, we had returned to a good level in terms of being competitive and here too, where we are back to the Valencia rules, we are at the front end of the field. In theory, the cold is not a friend to us: in these conditions, the Red Bull has even more of an edge, but it’s up to us to adapt as well as possible to these conditions. On top of that, the low temperatures can also impact on our strategy for qualifying, given it’s not easy to do a time right from the first timed lap. It if was to rain, the situation would be even more complicated. The incident with Michael (Schumacher)? Nothing happened, maybe he didn’t see me coming and then I had to brake suddenly. And then, on a Friday much like any other, a bit of excitement is quite welcome…”
Felipe Massa, P1 - 1:32.681, 4th; P2 -1:32.354, 4th
“It was a good day: we had so much work to get through and we managed to do it in both sessions, without having any problems. I would say we can be reasonably satisfied with our level of competitiveness, even if it’s too soon to say if we can fight for something important. The pace over a long run is not bad on both types of tyre: there is quite some difference between the Prime and the Option and we will need to keep that in mind when coming up with our race strategy. It’s a bit of a struggle to do a time immediately on the first lap, even with the Soft, but I think it’s the same problem for everyone. I like this circuit: there are climbs and descents and a lot of changes of direction which make it fun to drive. Sure, if on top of that you have a quick car then you can have even more fun!”
Pat Fry, Ferrari chassis director
“We had a very full work programme that we managed to complete without any reliability problems, which is always a good way to start a race weekend. Felipe and Fernando did practically two Grands Prix distances between them, picking up a lot of data that is now being studied by our engineers. There were various elements being assessed, both for this race and for the forthcoming ones: we will now try and put together the best possible package for the rest of the weekend. It’s hard to say where we are compared to the others because of the usual unknowns regarding fuel loads and also because of the different programmes being run. From what we could see, the low temperatures are certainly not helping when it comes to getting the tyres working at their best right from the first lap, especially with the Medium compound. Tomorrow, qualifying could be affected by rain, which means it will be important to do a good job of managing the tyres and the strategy.”
Michael Schumacher, P1 - 1:33.863, 7th; P2 - 1:32.411, 5th
“I’m quite happy with the work that we achieved today and we are going in a good direction. We are continually developing our car and days like today help that process. It’s difficult to see the real picture for the weekend however; we don’t know what fuel loads the other cars were running and we need to have a close look at our data. It was a really nice feeling to drive the corner which bears my name here in a Formula One car; I certainly wouldn’t have imagined that at the time that we inaugurated the corner.”
Nico Rosberg, P1 - 1:33.787, 7th; P2 - 1:32.557, 6th
“It’s amazing to see how many spectators came to the Nurburgring today for the practice sessions. I love the atmosphere at the German Grand Prix and I tried to wave to the fans but there’s not much space for it in the car! In general, I am happy with our work and progress today so far. It seems that the new parts are working quite well in the dry and I think there is a small step forward. However on Fridays, you never know exactly where you are and what the other teams are doing.”
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
“We’ve had a solid day to start our German Grand Prix weekend here at the Nürburgring. It was a particularly useful day to further evaluate our new exhaust system following its introduction at Silverstone and the limited dry running that we were able to achieve there. It was a good effort from everyone in the two sessions today but it would be nice to find a little more lap time before qualifying tomorrow.”
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“A productive first day at our home Grand Prix: surprisingly it stayed dry, but the forecast still predicts rain for race day. We worked through our planned programme and evaluated all three different types of Pirelli tyre available to us today. Our race simulation at the end of P2 showed consistent lap times, which were of course still not quick enough compared to the top three teams. Our positions in the rankings today reflect more or less our current place in the pecking order.”
Lewis Hamilton, P1 - 1:32.996, 5th; P2 - 1:32.724, 7th
“It’s been a productive day. We got through our run-plans well, and my long-run pace is better than it was at Silverstone, which is a good thing.
“We’ve got some updates on the car and they seem to be working, which is also positive. But it’s only Friday, so it’s too soon to draw conclusions - and, besides, and we don’t know what programmes the other teams were running.
“The Ferraris look like they’re up there, and the Red Bulls seem quick too, but anything can happen in the race and we’ll be working hard tonight and tomorrow to maximise our chances.”
Jenson Button, P1 - 1:33.628, 6th; P2 - 1:33.225, 11th
“It’s been a slightly frustrating day for me. I couldn’t get a good balance on the car this morning - and, once we’d found some rear grip in the afternoon session, my KERS Hybrid system was no longer working. That cost me quite a bit of lap-time under braking and on corner exits.
“Then, with 20 minutes of the afternoon session remaining, a problem with an experimental exhaust brought my day to a premature end. It was a test part and failures sometimes happen when you’re trying new things on a Friday.
“Looking to tomorrow, I think it will be difficult for us to beat the Red Bulls in qualifying. But our aim is to race with the front-runners on Sunday afternoon.”
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“Jenson had a KERS Hybrid problem today, and consequently had to do a bit of running without the lap-time benefits that KERS Hybrid confers.
“The experimental exhausts that he was testing also failed, which cut short his track time - but that’s an inevitable result of our having to use Fridays for testing.
“Lewis had a more trouble-free day and completed a competitive long run, which was encouraging.
“But today was basically a data-gathering exercise, and we’ll now analyse that data overnight in preparation for qualifying tomorrow.”
Nick Heidfeld, P1 - 1:35.444, 15th; P2 - 1:33.098, 8th
“These were two important sessions for us as we were able to try the new exhaust and diffuser. We had no technical issues which enabled us to work through a lot of our planned programme so we can now make a decision of where to go next with it. As I was evaluating the new parts I did a lot less balance work than I would have down otherwise. We also didn’t do a high-fuel long run which we would normally as we focused on learning as much as we could with the new exhaust and floor. Even though it’s quite cool the soft Pirellis are heating up pretty well so there were no problems in that regards and there was the usual difference between the two compounds. There’s now a lot of work to see what we do with the floor and what happens with the weather. It was good that it was dry today but the forecast doesn’t look as good for the next two days.”
Vitaly Petrov, P1 - 1:34.094, 11th; P2 - 1:33.138, 9th
“I was pleased with today. We did a lot of aero testing and worked on a number of set-ups. It was my first time on this circuit so I needed some time to get know it and understand how to drive here. Set-up wise, we are not far away from a good car, even after our running was interrupted by a radiator leak which cost us a little bit of time in second practice. The soft tyres had more grip than we experienced with them previously. All in all, we were pleased with progress.”
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer
“Nick ran a rearward exiting exhaust for the first time on the R31 and a complementary rear floor. Vitaly ran a new front floor and front wing. Vitaly suffered from a water leak in FP2 necessitating a change of radiator. We ran with both the soft and the medium Pirelli tyres. Due to Vitaly’s water leak and Nick’s exhaust evaluation we did not run a high-fuel long run.
“We are on a steep learning curve with the rearward facing exhaust and made strong progress through the two sessions. There were no issues with balance and we have a good baseline set-up here with both car configurations. We have a lot of data to digest for determining which exhaust configuration we will use for qualifying and the race. We had good running time with the soft Pirelli and are happy with the performance we saw.”
Adrian Sutil, P1 - 1:33.832, 8th; P2 - 1:33.211, 10th
“I struggled with some understeer in the car today through both sessions so we worked hard on trying to resolve those issues. We played around with a few things, changed the ride heights and found some improvements. The morning programme focussed on running with our new floor and everything looks quite positive with that. The afternoon was more preparation work for the race and getting the usual data for the tyres with some longer runs.”
Paul di Resta, P2 - 1:33.299, 12th
“It was my first time on the full Grand Prix circuit here at the Nurburging so part of today was about getting up to speed and confident on the track. From the start of the session the balance of the car felt quite stable, especially through the higher speed corners. We tried to improve the performance of the car in the low speed corners and worked on braking stability to avoid rear locking. Overall the car has been working well today and it gives us a good basis to build on overnight.”
Nico Hulkenberg, P1 - 1:33.858, 9th
“I enjoyed the session and it was fun to drive the Nurburgring for the first time with a Formula One car. But it was a tricky start because I lost the KERS for my first run, which changed the car behaviour quite a bit. Fortunately we got the KERS back for the rest of my runs. One of the objectives of the day was doing a comparison of the new floor on Adrian’s car this morning while I ran with the older version. That gave us some useful data. Then I did my final run on the new soft development tyre, which felt pretty good.”
Dominic Harlow, Force India chief race engineer
“It has been quite cold here today and we were fortunate to get away without any rain showers. The team worked very hard to deliver a broad programme, with the time both in and out of the sessions used very productively, which should be a good basis for our weekend. Although we haven’t been here for a couple of years, the car balance was quite understeery as usual and we have some work to do to adapt to the long cambered corners on this track. Overall it seems we are heading in the right direction.”
Sergio Perez, P1 - 1:36.371, 16th; P2 - 1:34.113, 13th
“Today was very busy. In the first session we did some aero tests, and only in the second session worked with the different tyres. We are not as competitive yet as we thought we would be here, but we did a reasonable job today and hopefully in qualifying we can aim for higher positions.”
Kamui Kobayashi, P1 - 1:36.882, 19th; P2 - 1:34.491, 16th
“It was not so easy today. We went through our programme with no problems, but overall we are struggling with grip and don’t understand why yet. We are not yet as good as we expected we would be, and have to improve for tomorrow.”
James Key, Sauber technical director
“In the morning session both cars did a round testing aero items. We were looking at various new parts and did no real set up work in that session. In the afternoon we concentrated on the tyres available. We ran the test tyre Pirelli provided, which was a soft compound, and it looked okay. We also ran the standard soft tyre for here, and did some race runs towards the end of the session. Generally it was a very productive day. Mainly we now need to work a little on getting the tyres to work in the colder temperatures.”
Rubens Barrichello, P1 - 1:35.389, 14th; P2 - 1:34.344, 14th
“We weren’t as competitive as we should have been today but if the weather changes it could be interesting. I really like the track so I’m looking forward to a better weekend.”
Pastor Maldonado, P1 - 1:36.842, 18th; P2 - 1:34.996, 17th
“We had a few problems today and I didn’t have a great feeling in the car. I think it will be a tough weekend for us but we are working hard and hoping to improve for tomorrow.”
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
“Today we spent the morning evaluating a new rear wing, front wing and suspension design. We still have some work to do on all of those items, so we haven’t decided which options to race here in the Grand Prix. With the high altitude here, we have to set-up the car differently and today was about optimising the set-up around that.”
Jaime Alguersuari, P1 - 1:35.115, 12th; P2 - 1:34.487, 15th
“This was a good test day for us and I completed a lot of laps. We had a busy programme, trying some things for the future and also various different set-up scenarios. I did a long run on the Option tyre this afternoon and we are still looking better in race trim than in the qualifying simulation. Based on this, I would say we have the possibility to score some more points on Sunday, although the weather is looking uncertain. Tomorrow morning we can look to improve the car a bit more for the race and in the afternoon, qualifying will again be the limiting factor for us, because it will be very difficult to get ahead of our closest opponents, but I am very motivated for the race.”
Sebastien Buemi, P1 - 1:35.371, 13th; P2 - no time, 24th
“I had a misfire from early on in the morning session, but we continued to run anyway. Then in the afternoon it got worse and the mechanics had to strip down the car to trace the cause of it, so I could not run in FP2. In the morning session, I was able to evaluate the experimental Soft compound tyres that Pirelli supplied us here. However, despite the lack of laps, I still believe we can move forward tomorrow, when there is also a chance the weather could be different with the threat of rain. So, overnight we have to fix the car then decide on what set-up to run if it is wet and despite today’s difficulties, I still believe we can have a competitive weekend.”
Laurent Mekies, Toro Rosso chief engineer
“We ran a good programme with Jaime today, doing some important testing in terms of set-up work in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, we concentrated on race set-up and he did a very long run on the Option tyre, which will provide useful data for the rest of the weekend. Unfortunately, Sebastien’s day did not go smoothly, as we had an issue on the car which prevented him from running in FP2. Now all our efforts are focussed on finding and fixing the problem before tomorrow. Hopefully, we can take elements of what we learned from Jaime’s data today and transpose it onto Sebastien’s car for tomorrow.”
Heikki Kovalainen, P2 - 1:36.392, 17th, P1 - 1:35.753, 18th
“I’m pleased with today’s performance - that was one of the good Fridays. We completed more laps than anyone else out there and the car has felt good all day. I can feel that we have made a decent improvement to the back of the car which helped us find a good balance pretty early on and it was working well on both tyre compounds, so this goes down as a good days work.”
Karun Chandhok, P1 - 1:38.765, 21st; P2 - 1:37.248, 20th
“That was good day of learning. The main area I’ve been looking at is the brakes - we use a different material here to my previous team so I think that’s why I’ve maybe ended up with quite a lot of square tyres today! I had a few moments under braking, and a couple of lock-ups, but that’s what today was about - getting used to the tyres and the brakes and easing myself into a place where I can start to push. Over the day I improved my time from this morning by over 1.5 seconds, so I’m pleased with that, and now I’ll work with the engineers to find more time and keep pushing forwards tomorrow.”
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
“A pretty useful first day where we were able to complete the programmes on both cars and make sure Karun completed a decent number of laps. He was obviously on a steep learning curve so we wanted to give him a chance to work on the tyres, both over a single lap and on long runs and he acquitted himself very well in both sessions. He and Heikki were struggling to warm up the front tyres, especially on the harder compound, but we can work on that and look forward to tomorrow.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 support leader for Lotus
“The main challenge here is to work on the driveability of the engines. We need to find a good top speed for the long straight and couple that with strong traction out of the slow and medium speed corners, and after having completed so many laps we have a very decent amount of data to work on to give the drivers the best package we can. We also wanted to make sure Karun could run as much as possible on different fuel loads and get used to the different engine maps, so the fact he completed so much mileage means this has been a good day all round.”
Riad Asmat, Lotus chief executive officer
“I am delighted with how today has gone, both in terms of the mileage we completed and the fact that both Karun and Heikki have performed so well. Karun has done exactly what we needed him to do - learn as much as possible, avoid any mistakes and ease himself into his race weekend. There is definitely more to come from him in pace and he can be pleased with how well he has grabbed the opportunity he has here in Germany. It is also good to see that the work that has been going on at the factory to resolve the reliability issues that befell us at the last race appear to have eradicated those problems, so now we have to make sure we have another strong Saturday and look forward to seeing both cars cross the line on Sunday.”
Vitantonio Liuzzi, P2 - 1:38.145, 22nd
“Overall, the afternoon was a good session. I focused a bit on everything. It’s important to understand the tyres and how they react for the long distance race. It is also important to improve our speed and the balance in terms of set-up and aerodynamics so we had one and a half hours to work on both and I think we covered both areas. It was a good Friday.”
Daniel Ricciardo, P1 - 1:39.279, 22nd; P2 - 1:40.737, 23rd
“I had an easy start to get used to the car. We worked on the balance of the car and the tyres. A good first session to start my second ever F1 race weekend. Unfortunately we had a small problem with the car in the second session and could not take full advantage of all the track time.”
Narain Karthikeyan, P1 - 1:38.504, 20th
“It’s good to be back in the car. We had a good set-up and a proper session and enough running time to test mechanical parts. Some changes that we made to the car had the effect I was hoping for. I am proud to have kept the 20th position in the classification even if I did not get the lap together. I could have gone quicker.”
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
“It’s Friday practice as usual, and we made good progress despite a second session problem. Narain had a good session in the morning and was still the fastest Indian on four wheels in the World. Unfortunately Daniel’s car encountered an engine problem. However, we seem quite competitive on long runs and the balance of the car was good right from the start of the day. We will have a lot of work to do tomorrow - assuming it is dry to prepare our race strategy.”
Timo Glock, P1 - 1:40.109, 23rd; P2 - 1:36.940, 19th
“This morning we wanted to focus on our aero program and therefore we didn’t do any real set-up work, so we only used the Prime tyres, which are slower than the two soft options. I think the second session was reasonable for us. I’m not 100% happy but I think it was a good start to the weekend. I felt comfortable in the car and I’m very happy to be in Germany and racing at home in front of the fantastic German fans.”
Jerome d’Ambrosio, P1 - 1:40.428, 24th; P2 - 1:37.313, 21st
“It was a smooth Friday, certainly in comparison to Silverstone where we were disturbed by the weather. We got some good testing done and I’m quite confident for tomorrow. I still need to fine-tune my driving to the track but I’m definitely pretty happy about today.”
John Booth, Virgin team principal
“The morning session was spent in part going over some old ground, confirming the engine mapping direction to ensure we were getting maximum aero performance. We also experimented with some set-ups which we arrived at from the data we collected at the straight line test. There is certainly quite a significant difference between the Prime and Option tyres, particularly at the start of the run, and in fact with Timo we opted not to run the Prime tyres in the second session to get more useful set-up work. At the end of the session we’ve acquired even more data than we would normally achieve on a Friday to go through, which we are hopeful will yield some improvements that we can apply overnight.”
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
“We’ve been pleased with what we can see so far of the performance from our experimental P Zero Yellow tyres, although we will have to wait to hear the detailed feedback from the teams before we draw too many conclusions. However, we’ve seen that the performance from these new tyres is similar to the pace from the current soft tyre, but with added durability. So one option could be to use it as a medium tyre next year. The cool conditions today meant that the rapid warm-up time of the soft tyre was an important factor in performance, and we expect that to remain the case for the rest of the weekend.”
We may have had two DRS zones and enough sun to test Pirelli’s soft and medium compounds to the max, but nothing stopped pole sitter Sebastian Vettel sailing to a dominant win in Valencia on Sunday. With every driver making it past the finishing line behind him, there was much to discuss. All 24 - and senior team personnel - review their European weekends…
Sebastian Vettel (1st)
“From the outside, I’m not sure if it seemed that much was happening in the race, but I enjoy it so much when it’s between you and the car on every single lap. Of course, I had pressure from behind, especially as the strategy was a little bit different with Mark and Fernando - sometimes they were pitting earlier and sometimes later. I had a gap before the first pit-stop, but I came out very close to them, so again I had to push hard while judging the tyres and trying to imagine what the end of the stint might be like. You are trying to foresee the strategy, so every single lap it’s between you and the car. I enjoy this track a lot, last year I had a very smooth weekend here and again this year too. It’s fantastic, the team has done a phenomenal job preparing the car. Even though we come here every year and think it may be tricky for us, as there are no real fast corners, we managed to come here and have a faultless weekend. I’m obviously very happy with the result.”
Mark Webber (3rd)
“I think we should have finished second today. It was a good race with Fernando, I think it was my best race of the year to be honest until the last pit stop. It was quite close with all three of us (Fernando, Mark and Seb), obviously we were trying to go as fast as possible and manage the tyres at the same time. I was very happy with how the race was going until the last stop and it was my fault basically. I was worried about Fernando getting the undercut and it was not really known how the medium tyre would behave on the out lap, but it was a risk I decided to take. I lost out to Fernando, he drove a good race. We had a gearbox problem at the end, so we backed right off, but we had a massive gap to McLaren, so we could cruise to the end and look after the gearbox.”
Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal
“A fantastic team performance with first and third and a lot of points today. It was a tight race with Fernando all afternoon, both our drivers had good starts running one and two initially, then Fernando was able to use the DRS to get ahead of Mark. Mark managed to get back past him through pit stop strategy and then stay ahead, as it evolved into a three stop race. Unfortunately at the last round we just didn’t have enough to stay ahead of him with Mark to get the one-two, but a one-three is still fantastic. Sebastian drove another immaculate race and has consolidated his lead in the Drivers’ Championship. It was another great haul of points today for the team and it was great to have Mr. Mateschitz here to see the Red Bull cars both on the podium today.”
Cyril Dumont, Renault track support to Red Bull
“First of all I would say that the rules have changed, but not the results, which is a really good thing for all the team. Everyone here at the circuit and everyone doing the pit stops did a really good job today. I would also like to congratulate and thank everyone working for Renault at the factory. It’s another really great result for the team and we have more points than the others, but we have to keep working. We will see how we go in two weeks’ time, when there are again new rules. “
Fernando Alonso (2nd)
“I was determined to get on the podium. In my trophy collection, the only ones now missing are from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and, naturally, India. I hope I can complete the collection by the end of the year! I was really pleased to taste champagne again, especially in front of this lovely crowd in Valencia, an amazing city where there is a great passion for racing. This result means a lot to me. It’s hard to see the grandstands when you are driving, but I could feel there was great enthusiasm when I passed Webber. This is a positive result for the whole team, as it confirms we are working in the right direction. Today, the first hundred metres were not that great but I knew that starting on the dirty side would cost me something: then I was lucky enough to find there was still a gap on the outside and I managed to make up one place on my grid position. It was important to shake off the McLarens immediately, as they were slower than us today, which meant we concentrated on Webber and reached our objective. Then, when I was sure he was behind me, we tried to think about Vettel: you never know what can happen in Formula 1. The strategy paid off and sticking mainly with the Softs was the right choice. The Red Bulls are still significantly superior, but it was equally significant to stay close and stop them getting a one-two. We must continue like this, race after race. We know that, at Silverstone, it will be very tough because it is one of the tracks which best suits their car.”
Felipe Massa (5th)
“It was a good race spent constantly fighting other drivers. I tried to get the most out of the Option tyres because we reckoned that with the Prime, our pace was not at its best. It was a shame about the problem at my second pit stop, when I lost those four or five seconds which cost me the chance of fighting Hamilton for fourth place. I think that, from what have seen in performance terms, today we should have got both our cars ahead of the McLarens, and we only half succeeded in that. I got a very good start, passing Hamilton and Fernando. Then, I also tried to attack Webber, but he closed the door on me and we almost touched, so Fernando got the chance to go round the outside and pass me back. I had a few problems with my second set of soft tyres, but with the next one, which was even more worn at the beginning, things went much better. In the end, even the Mediums were not so bad and I was able to do competitive times with them. Now we come to the Silverstone weekend. We will see if we will manage to confirm the progress that we have seen in the last three races. Also important will be what tyre choice Pirelli makes: clearly if they go for the Medium/Hard combination, it will be more difficult for us.”
Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari team principal
“Our only target has to be the victory- we are Ferrari after all - but today, all things considered, we can be pleased with this result. It was an exciting and very evenly matched contest: Fernando and Felipe drove great races, fighting right to the end with their main rivals. The Spanish driver, in front of his home fans, managed to end up ahead of a Red Bull to secure a fantastic podium finish. The only negative point came at Felipe’s second pit stop, which might well have cost him the chance of fighting right to the end with Hamilton for fourth place: but he too drove a strong race, especially from the start where he managed to make up two places and attack Webber. Now, we must continue to push on the development of the car in preparation for Silverstone, where we want to confirm the progress we have made at a circuit whose characteristics are less suited to the 150º Italia. There, we will also find out if the technical changes recommended by the FIA regarding the use of the exhausts, which are to be introduced at that race, will change anything or not: everyone will lose a bit in terms of performance, so it’s a case of seeing who pays the highest price.”
Pat Fry, Ferrari chassis director
“Overall, it was a good race for us. Going into it, the aim of our strategy was to reduce to a minimum the number of laps we would do on the Prime, both because we did not know what to expect from them and because, from the little we could tell this weekend, our performance was not up to that of our main rivals. On top of that there was the traffic to consider and the fact we were not so sure that the effect of the DRS would be enough to overtake cars that were significantly slower. That is why we did not try to chase after the others, always pitting early, thus lengthening the final stint on the softs which, even though they were very well worn, were faster than the first laps on the Medium. This decision paid off, allowing Fernando to get ahead of Webber to bring home a great second place. Felipe also drove a good race: it’s a shame about the problem with his left rear wheel nut at his second stop, which cost him precious seconds. As for the rest, the mechanics did a very good job, with stop times that were more than respectable. We are still not a match for the best in terms of outright performance and we must work a lot to catch them, especially at tracks where aerodynamic efficiency makes the difference. We are closing the gap but we have to do even more and everyone at Maranello is absolutely determined to achieve that goal.”
Lewis Hamilton (4th)
“I got a poor start and lost out to both Ferraris. After that, it was a long race - the team asked me to stay out for as long as I could, and I was pushing all the way, but I struggled with oversteer and to be honest didn’t feel totally comfortable with the tyres. To be able to finish fourth is still a good result though - and 12 points is a decent haul after the last two races - so I can’t really complain. However, in terms of performance, we weren’t as quick today as we’ve been in the last three races. But I want to say a big thank-you to the team for some amazing pit stops today - we’ve really made some positive improvements in that area and it’s really appreciated. So, thanks again, guys.”
Jenson Button (6th)
“I got a reasonable start, but the field bunched up into Turn Two and I was stuck on the outside, where I lost out to Nico (Rosberg). I didn’t have enough straight-line speed to be able to overtake him easily, but I braked really late and got him into Turn Two, which I don’t think he was expecting. That was the highlight of the race for me. I had decent race pace after that, and I pushed the Option tyres for as long as I could. Then halfway through the race I lost KERS Hybrid, which hurt me not only on corner exits but also under braking. So it wasn’t a fun race, all told - but, given the way the car felt, it’s a pleasant surprise to finish only eight seconds behind one of the Ferraris. Nevertheless, we’ve got a bit of work to do before Silverstone.”
Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“Some you win, some you don’t. Lewis and Jenson both lost positions at the start, while some of their rivals made excellent getaways. That left our drivers in pretty heavy traffic, and it’s always difficult to look after your tyres when you’re following other cars at close quarters. Having said that, Lewis and Jenson both drove well this afternoon - Jenson hampered by a KERS Hybrid failure - and the result was a useful haul of 20 world championships points. Next, the Formula One circus travels to the UK for the Santander British Grand Prix, which is Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ home race. We had the fastest race car in Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Montreal, but we didn’t have the fastest race car here in Valencia today. However, you can take it as read that we’ll be working flat-out over the next 10 days to do our utmost to ensure that we have as fast a race car as we possibly can for Silverstone.”
Nico Rosberg (7th)
“I’m happy with my seventh place today as that is the maximum that we could have achieved and we got everything out of the car. It was great to overtake Jenson at the start, and we made the right strategy choice to go for three stops. The introduction of DRS was a positive for the race here in Valencia, and we saw some nice overtaking moves. Now we need to keep pushing for our two home races to close the gap to the fastest teams. I’m sure the whole team will work very hard before Silverstone, and I look forward to racing in front of so many people from the team and their families.”
Michael Schumacher (17th)
“Not a very satisfying race for me today. The outcome was decided after lap 15 when I slid into Petrov and lost the points I could perhaps have achieved. Our race pace should have allowed me to finish more or less where I started, but that is only speculation after the incident. I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him. But when I wanted to draw back, I locked the front wheel and slipped into him, which was clearly my mistake. From then onwards, the race was done and I just had to drive the car over the finish line. We will now look ahead to Silverstone which is one of our home races.”
Ross Brawn, Mercedes GP team principal
“Nico achieved the current potential of the car today with another very solid, mistake-free drive. We couldn’t have realistically expected any more and he scored valuable points. As for Michael, his collision was frustrating because he was running at a very similar level to Nico in the early stages and could also have finished close to him, in the points. After our concerns earlier in the weekend, the tyres behaved well and we didn’t experience any serious degradation problems, which represents a step forward for us compared to previous races. However, we set our targets very much higher than racing for seventh place: our work in the next weeks will focus on improving the car’s performance in order to race with the teams ahead of us.”
Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“Nico’s seventh place is what we could realistically have hoped for today, finishing behind the three top teams with our current technical package, which is lacking performance. The team is working very hard to bring the planned updates for our cars in order to close the gap to the current top six runners. Michael had an unfortunate clash early in the race and the additional pit stop this required prevented him from scoring points.”
Jaime Alguersuari (8th)
“I am very happy with this result, especially after I only qualified in eighteenth place. It definitely paid off to concentrate on race set-up. This was a fantastic race and I want to thank my mechanics who worked so hard after the problems we had with my car on Friday during Free Practice. So this result is a reward I am happy to give them. Even though I still struggle to get the best out of the tyres in qualifying, I feel I now have a much better understanding of how to use them in the race and that’s definitely the best way round as the points are only given out after the race! We were able to run at a consistent pace all afternoon, which was the key to this result and it’s the first time this season that I have had this feeling from the car and I am happy about that. Apart from working well with the tyres, I think the updates the team brought here were also a contributing factor, as they worked well and that partly explains why my pace was really good.”
Sebastien Buemi (13th)
“First of all, congratulations to Jaime who drove a very good race to bring home some valuable points for the team. I had a very good start, passing quite a few people and running at a strong pace in the early stages. However, as soon as I had degradation from my tyres, my lap times slowed and I was no longer able to pass other cars. Now, immediately after the race, I’m not sure why I was not quick enough, as after the first stint I could no longer match my team-mate’s times, so we will have to look at the data. So, I am a bit disappointed, but we can sort it out and be ready to try again at Silverstone in two weeks’ time.”
Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal
“I think in future we should sit out qualifying and just save the tyres for the race! But seriously, today the team did a fantastic job opting for a two-stop strategy for Alguersuari, making him the only points finisher to do this. Jaime demonstrated he can deliver a strong race drive, getting a good start and then running at a fast pace from the early stages onwards. Particularly impressive was the way he defended his position in the final laps. It was another fantastic performance just two weeks after he also finished eighth in Canada. In general, his performance curve is going upwards so we can expect more races like this from him in the future. As for Buemi, he was on a different strategy, based on three stops. Unfortunately, he was unable to get the most out of his short stints, even though he was doing similar lap times to Alguersuari in the early stages. In terms of the championship, the team has done a good job as we finished ahead of our closest rivals, Force India and Sauber, closing the gap very slightly to the Swiss team. I must also congratulate everyone who has worked so hard back in Faenza and Bicester, because we had many new parts on the car this weekend and this package definitely worked well, which means we can look forward to this busy period of another three races in four weeks with optimism.”
Adrian Sutil (9th)
“To finish ninth feels great and I’m pleased that we’ve managed to get the maximum from the car through the whole weekend. I made a good start: jumping ahead of Heidfeld and was then able to keep up with Schumacher in the first stint. I pushed hard but there was no opportunity to get by him. In the middle of the race I had some clear track, good race pace and we were up to P8. After the final stop, I came out behind Alguersuari, who was doing a two-stop race. I tried all I could to overtake him, but the DRS zone did not make overtaking very easy and I had to settle for P9. The car felt really nice to drive today and I’m really happy for the whole team with this result.”
Paul di Resta (14th)
“I’m not sure that we got the strategy quite right today. There were a couple of laps in the first stint where my tyres had gone off and we didn’t stop early enough. We made up for that during the second stop, when I jumped Heidfeld and Barrichello, but I lost out again at my final stop. It’s tough when the tyres go off because it costs you around two and a half seconds per lap, which is a lot when the fight in the middle of the pack is so close. Even without those issues it would have been tough to score points today because overtaking was more difficult that I thought it would be, even with the DRS zone. So it hasn’t been the best of weekends, but I’ll put that behind me and look forward to my home race at Silverstone.”
Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal
“The two points scored by Adrian are a welcome reward after a very strong weekend for us. The car has worked well from the start of practice and Adrian has not put a foot wrong. The only frustration is that we were unable to contain the Toro Rosso of Alguersuari, who managed to jump ahead of Adrian with a two-stop strategy. Paul once again delivered a fighting drive, but was unlucky with the way the strategy unfolded. It was a reminder that even stopping one lap too late can be very costly in terms of track position. So we leave Valencia pleased to be back in the points and determined to carry our good form into Silverstone, a local circuit for our factory and a race that everybody enjoys.”
Nick Heidfeld (10th)
“What cost us a little bit today was our starts. I lost a position to Adrian (Sutil) and then had to fight hard not to lose more. I finished more or less where I had been for the majority of the race (behind Sutil). I managed to overtake him once but then he used DRS to get past me and unfortunately I was not able to attack any harder to get by him. It’s still another point gained for the team, but I did not expect to finish behind one Force India and one Toro Rosso. Overall this weekend, we pushed hard but it just has not been possible to get the pace out of the car that we wanted at this track. We will remain optimistic, though because Silverstone is a track with a lot of high speed corners, and our car performs well in these conditions. We will also see how the new regulations affect our car, but I think it will have a positive impact for our team.”
Vitaly Petrov (15th)
“Of course I am disappointed with today’s race. I was very surprised that the tyres did not last very well for us, as some of our competitors were able to do a two-stop race whereas we needed three. We know that our car’s pace was not fantastic here and the race has strongly highlighted that we have work to do because we should finishing easily in the top ten. The incident with Schumacher did not cause a puncture. He seemed to exit the pits very quickly and did not seem to be able to stop his car coming into the first corner. Luckily, I saw him in my mirror but there was still some contact. We need to sit down now and carefully analyse where and why we are losing pace so we can have a better race at Silverstone.”
Eric Boullier, Renault team principal
“Given where we qualified, we were looking for a lot more from today’s race. P9 and P11 on the grid is enough to have a really competitive race well into the points. Unfortunately, that did not happen and we were not able to get both cars climbing back up the places enough after a poor start. That said, we did score another point through Nick which keeps us in fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship and ahead of Mercedes GP. We will need to come away from this race understanding why we were not closing down on the cars ahead of us; we know our car is fast and it’s important we look at why we struggled to unlock that pace today.”
Alan Permane, Renault chief race engineer
“It was a poor race from both of our cars and we simply didn’t have sufficient pace to do better. We suffered from enough tyre degradation to necessitate a three-stop strategy and there was no way we could have done only two stops. The extra time in the pits meant we were beaten by a car which made two stops and clearly suffered from less tyre degradation than we did. Nick lost out to Sutil at the second corner and was unable to recover the position. Vitaly lost four places due to an early upshift at the start and this was detrimental to the rest of his race. We have certainly been struggling on circuits with low speed corners, so we hope that the high speed turns of Silverstone will mark an upturn in performance.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault engine support leader, Renault Sport F1
“A long and tough race for us here and I think everyone would have hoped for some more points considering the starting positions and the potential of the car so far this season. Temperatures were high, as expected, but didn’t pose any issues for us. We were pretty aggressive on the fuel consumption rate at the end of the race as we tried to make up positions but unfortunately Nick wasn’t able to catch Sutil for ninth. That point is important though as we stay ahead of Mercedes in the constructors’ championship. We had a water leak with Vitaly towards the end but we managed to keep it under control and get to the end of the race. It’s been a challenging weekend overall, with the maps between qualifying and the race having to remain the same for the first time. On this point we managed to do a good job to get maximum performance in the race without losing out in qualifying, which a great effort from the trackside and factory team.”
Sergio Perez (11th)
“In the beginning I had a very difficult time with the harder tyres, but also with the softer ones I had a lack of grip and later in the race I lost a lot of time due to blue flags. It was not an easy Grand Prix for a comeback and I’m happy I was able to race again. I gave a hundred percent, but I’m afraid this was the maximum we could get today. However, we will analyse how we can improve for the future, and I’m sure Silverstone will be better.”
Kamui Kobayashi (16th)
“It was a very tough race for me. I struggled all the time and never had the performance to fight. It was difficult to manage the tyres. I tried to take care of them as well as possible, but they were gone pretty quickly. Then, at those times when I wanted to push, I got stuck in traffic. We have some work to do, this is for sure.”
Peter Sauber, Sauber team principal
“Up to this race we were able to manage tyres better in the race than others, however, today, this wasn’t the case. During the whole weekend we were not strong enough as a team, but we know we can do better.”
James Key, Sauber technical director
“We are disappointed to finish outside the top ten for the first time this year. We took a gamble with both cars with the strategy to try and make something out of our compromised grid positions. Sergio did an excellent job to do a one stop race, which for here was always going to be pretty tough. He made his way to P11 in the end and wasn’t too far from the cars ahead in the points. He got quite badly held up by blue flags, and lost quite a bit of lap time there. That happened just before the last stops, and it dropped him back a bit, so we couldn’t make it there at the end. However, it was a good effort from him to hang on to the tyres. Kamui started on the soft tyres, then went on the medium in the middle stint, and tried to use the new soft tyres in the end as a two stopper. That didn’t quite work out. The medium tyres were too slow, but we didn’t want to run too long on the soft in the end. In hindsight maybe a three stop strategy would have been better. It was always going to be difficult to get a car in the points from where we started, because overtaking is still difficult here. We now have to go to Silverstone, a very different track from the last three, and make sure that we can improve.”
Rubens Barrichello (12th)
“We did not have the car underneath us today. I really pushed myself to the limit though and I’m happy with what I delivered. The team have worked hard to bring lots of upgrades to the car so I’m sorry that we didn’t do better. I do think that we should be pleased that we beat some better cars today.”
Pastor Maldonado (18th)
“We had a slow start so I lost positions off the line. I then couldn’t make the Prime tyre work for me in the first stint so I had to come in early to change them. The early stop forced us onto a three stop strategy. It was too difficult to make it work from where we were in the field though and I couldn’t recover. We’ll now move on to Silverstone where I will keep fighting to get some points.”
Sam Michael, Williams technical director
“We needed a little more performance to get into the points today. Toro Rosso’s two stop and Sauber’s one stop strategies allowed them to jump ahead of us. Rubens drove a consistent race, racing hard with the cars around him. We had a poor start on Pastor’s car and then unusually low tyre pressures on his first set of Prime tyres, but his pace improved considerably on the next set. We have a lot of work to do between now and Silverstone to allow for the rule changes in respect to the exhaust.”
Heikki Kovalainen (19th)
“For me that was a very good race. I’m happy that we seem to have regained the early season form after Monaco and Canada where I wasn’t really feeling too comfortable in the car. Today the conditions were pretty hot out there but I felt good all afternoon - I’ve prepared myself physically for this sort of heat so it wasn’t hard at all to push right to the end. I didn’t have any issues and after we went to the three stop strategy I was able to keep up a good pace after each stop. We know where we have to improve the car to keep taking the fight to the teams ahead, and that will come in time, but this is a long-term plan and we are definitely on the right course. ”
Jarno Trulli (20th)
“That was a good race for me. We tried a couple of different strategies to cover all our options and even though my second set was gone by the end I definitely enjoyed myself out there. This was always going to be a track where we knew we would have to keep pushing to get anything out of it, but it’s satisfying for the team to get both cars to the end and be well clear of the cars behind us.”
Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
“A pretty good day for us. I am happy both cars finished but as we are steadily increasing our competitiveness it would have been good to have finished a bit higher. It is obviously a big challenge for us to find the 0.5 seconds that will propel us towards the midfield teams, but we have the right elements in place to help us do that. We will find more downforce and we will continue to grow, both in experience and in pace, and that is why I see days like today as another step in the right direction.”
Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
“A very solid race from both drivers. We had considered two stops on both cars but when we saw higher degradation levels on Heikki’s car we put him onto three and kept Jarno on two to give both of them a chance to fight. Jarno nearly passed Heikki in the final stops but Heikki’s fresh rubber gave him the chance to edge ahead and the key goal today was to make sure they both finished, so I am pleased we achieved that. This has not been our most competitive type of track but despite that we finished well and that sets us up nicely for Silverstone.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 support leader for Lotus
“Engine-wise that was a good race. Valencia is a track that is hard on both engine temperatures and fuel consumption and we managed both elements well on both cars. The maps we used gave the drivers the right options today which helped when we split the strategies as we did not suffer any drop in performance as a result of the switch.”
Timo Glock (21st)
“Quite a positive weekend for us I think. Everything ran smoothly and I had no real problems during the three days. In the race itself I had a very good opening lap and I overtook both the Lotus cars and a Toro Rosso, although he got right back past me straight away. Once the DRS was enabled I couldn’t keep Heikki and Jarno behind me and after that I just ran my own race. I was quite comfortable being able to run at a good pace although at the end we had a bit of a fuel pick-up problem and I had to save fuel. But in general I’m very happy with the weekend and I’ve retained my lap record here. It’s a bit of a shame to have a good race and still finish 21st where you started, but with nobody having technical issues or first-lap incidents, that’s all you can do.”
Jerome D’Ambrosio (22nd)
“I’m obviously much happier with today’s race than with yesterday’s qualifying result. Even though I lost quite a lot of time in the first stint when I was held up by Liuzzi, I had a good second stint and all this is great experience for me. The main thing for me right now is to improve on my Saturday performance, but overall I’m happy with my weekend and to have finished another race.”
John Booth, Virgin team principal
“Overall a pleasing result with both cars taking the flag and Jérôme improving from his qualifying position yesterday by overtaking Liuzzi on track. This means that the cars finished in the correct pace order compared to our direct rivals. Looking on the positive side, we seem to have moved closer towards our nearest competitor ahead of us on the grid, however with such strong reliability throughout the field it’s a little disappointing to end up 21st and 22nd. We got the strategy about right, although perhaps we should have stopped Jerome slightly earlier in the first stint as he was just falling into the second stage of tyre degradation but unfortunately we were already stopping Timo on that lap. Towards the end of the race with Timo we spotted an issue with fuel dropouts in Turn One, which meant he was having to back off. We now head back to the factory for a longer than usual period, ahead of our home race at Silverstone. We are all very excited about working in the new pits and we’re hoping to keep up our current momentum for the next few races.”
Vitantonio Liuzzi (23rd)
“It was a really difficult race for us because we were struggling with the rear tyres. We knew since Friday that it would be difficult because we were overheating the rear and this was wearing the tyres out even more and that is why we were forced to do a three stop strategy and, unfortunately, were unable to cope with the Virgins. In the first two stints we were fighting with them but then, because we stopped one more time than them, we were struggling to fight with them. We need to fight hard if we want to keep up with the pace of our competitors, we need to improve and work hard day and night. It’s a shame because we were in front of our crowd, they have been fantastic with us but we need to push for the rest of the season. The weekend was really tough but beautiful because Valencia has been a fantastic city that has welcomed us really well. We had a beautiful week, it’s a shame because we wanted to achieve a better result but now we are fighting for the future.”
Narain Karthikeyan (24th)
“As expected, the car was quite difficult to drive in the race because of the heat; the rear tyres were degrading a lot and we had the same braking problems as the whole weekend. At the beginning I was trying to keep with the pack, with Liuzzi and D’Ambrosio, but after seven laps I locked the front and after that I had a lonely race. I finished the race but there aren’t many positives I can take away from it. Obviously our performance wasn’t the best but the local support has been great and we were hoping for more here.”
Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
“We struggled the whole weekend with the tyres, especially on the rear end of the car. We had to go for a three stop strategy since the wear of the tyres was too high; our main competitors were on two stops. The pace overall was good but due to the additional stop we could not gain positions. We have to work hard, especially in improving the aero and the rear end of the car, in order to reach our targets for the championship.”
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
“This certainly wasn’t a vintage race of the sort that we saw in Canada, Monaco and China this year for example. Again we saw an interesting mix of strategies although it was clear that a three-stopper was the way to go, with the faster cars able to exploit the performance advantage of the PZero Yellow tyres to the maximum in these conditions. Next up is Silverstone, when we get back to a permanent high-speed circuit, which should provide us with plenty of action once more at the front of the field.”
Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull may have won in Valencia, but the ever-improving Ferraris kept them honest throughout, allowing an upbeat Fernando Alonso to pounce when Mark Webber hit trouble and take a well-deserved second place in front of a delighted home crowd. It was a great day too for the other Spaniard on the grid, also Ferrari-powered, Jaime Alguersuari. The Toro Rosso driver made excellent use of an atypical two-stop strategy to clinch his second eighth place in as many races. We take a team-by-team look at how things panned out for all the teams in Spain on Sunday…
Sebastian Vettel, P1
Mark Webber, P3
Vettel had zero problems on his way to a crushing victory in an undramatic race in which he said that he enjoyed every single lap. Webber put his hand up and said that he lost second place with the timing he chose for the final switch from the option Pirellis to the primes on lap 42, but in any case a gearbox problem slowed him so much in the closing stages that he would not have been able to stay ahead of the Ferrari. This was a deeply satisfying victory for the team on a circuit that should not have suited their car, and when rivals hoped the revision to the engine mapping rule might have reduced their performance advantage.
Fernando Alonso, P2
Felipe Massa, P5
Alonso fought tooth and nail with Webber and ultimately prevailed, and said that second place was a very strong result for a team who seem to have found their way again. Massa ran strongly until his second pit stop, when a sticking left rear wheel nut cost him five seconds and his chance to fight with Hamilton over fourth place. Ferrari left Valencia with their tails up after a strong performance that confirmed their recent upward trend.
Lewis Hamilton, P4
Jenson Button, P6
Hamilton made a terrible start and immediately lost ground to both Ferraris, while Button got boxed out and lost a place to Rosberg. Hamilton got by Massa at the first pit stops, while Button used his DRS to pass Rosberg. Thereafter, however, neither of them had the race pace to push after the Alonso/Webber fight for second. Button’s problems were further compounded when his KERS stopped working.
Nico Rosberg, P7
Michael Schumacher, P17
Rosberg could not hold Button back after depriving him of sixth on the opening lap, and had a lonely race to seventh. Schumacher was in the mix for a while, but when he was exiting the pits after his first stop, Petrov swept by and took off part of his front wing. The resultant unscheduled stop for a new nose dropped him way out of contention.
Jaime Alguersuari, P8
Sebastien Buemi, P13
A great two-stop strategy from Toro Rosso gave Alguersuari a wonderful afternoon as he climbed from 18th to eighth place in his home race and really did an excellent job in getting the best out of his tyres. This included a 23-lap stint on his second set of option Pirellis. The Spaniard said he learned a lot about using the rubber in race conditions, which he believes will help him in the future, and that updates to the car helped too. Buemi’s tyres degraded early, and he was never able to feature as strongly as his team mate.
Adrian Sutil, P9
Paul di Resta, P14
Sutil was in good form all weekend and hounded Alguersuari over the closing laps, but was not quite able to muster the extra pace to overtake. He was only 0.4s adrift at the finish. Di Resta was left wondering if Force India got his strategy right, as there were times early on when the tyres had gone over the cliff but he wasn’t called in soon enough to change them. He made up time and places in his second stop, but lost it all again in the third.
Nick Heidfeld P10
Vitaly Petrov, P15
Neither Renault made a good start. Heidfeld lost a place to Sutil, while Petrov got swallowed up. Heidfeld took the final point, but the disappointment here was tangible.
Sergio Perez, P11
Kamui Kobayashi, P16
Last year Sauber sprung a surprise here when Kobayashi did a single-stop race. This time it was Perez’s turn, and he did a superb job to run 25 laps on a new set of medium Pirellis before going the rest of the way on a new set of softs. He said blue flags and general lack of grip didn’t make for a comfortable comeback race, but he really deserved a point after a great effort. Kobayashi said that he struggled all the time and never had the performance to fight as he tried to manage the tyres.
Rubens Barrichello, P12
Pastor Maldonado, P18
Despite all the upgrades, the Williams FW33s did not perform here, leaving both drivers deeply disappointed.
Heikki Kovalainen, P19
Jarno Trulli, P20
Kovalainen said he was very happy to have regained his feel for the Lotus T128 and that he had good pace in between his three pit stops. He and Trulli raced each other hard, and the Italian said he too was happy with the way his race unfolded.
Timo Glock, P21
Jerome D’Ambrosio, P22
Glock said he’d enjoyed a positive weekend with three trouble-free days. He passed the Lotuses and a Toro Rosso on the opening lap, though he was soon repassed. He stayed ahead of D’Ambrosio, who had his own hard duel with Liuzzi in the opening stages until pulling away to cement 22nd place.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, P23
Narain Karthikeyan, P24
Liuzzi gave D’Ambrosio a hard time for the first 21 laps, but ultimately didn’t have the car to keep ahead of the Virgin this time as his HRT began to consume its rear tyres. That forced him to adopt a three-stop strategy. Karthikeyan lost touch with Liuzzi and D’Ambrosio after locking the front wheels on lap seven, and later ran into the same problems that affected his team mate.
McLaren have brought a new front wing to Valencia, based on the one they introduced at the Spanish race back in May. The new version (top drawing) features a different endplate with two vertical, external openings (1). Also visible is a third vertical slot (2) positioned on the inside of the endplate. Another feature to note is the upper flaps (3), which are shaped differently and mounted closer to the nose than before. Both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton used this new front wing in the European race after running a back-to-back test with the old one on Friday. (by www.formula1.com)
The Toro Rosso has undergone a lot of changes ahead of the European round. There are different sidepods, which are taller, and different radiators. There are also new exhausts, which are no longer unique in shape but similar to the ones on the Red Bull, with a long and flat section in front of the rear tyres. (by www.formula1.com)