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FIA F1 - Post-Race Field Comments Canadian GP

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Race - selected team and driver quotes 10 Jun 2012

Pedro de la Rosa and Narian Karthikeyan on their double DNF for HRT; Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher on the rear wing issue that ended his race prematurely; Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on his one-stop tyre gamble; and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton on securing his first victory of the season and his third win in Canada. All 24 drivers and senior team personnel report back on Sunday...

Red Bull Sebastian Vettel (4th) “It was a difficult race today. We found ourselves in third place, quite far away from Lewis. He decided to box again, but Fernando and I took the decision to stay out. I felt pretty comfortable on the tyres and obviously we were hoping to get the place back, but as it turned out it was the right thing to go for the second stop. We decided a few laps from the end to do a pit stop – a stop here is not so long, about 15 seconds - and in the end it was the right decision. Before the stop we were three four seconds behind Fernando, but we ended up six seconds ahead of him. It was a good call considering what you can lose with only eight laps to go. It’s easy now to analyse and know everything, but I think we learned a lot today and we’ve seen that races can be interesting until the very last lap. All in all it was a good weekend. We had a very smooth run up to qualifying and a very good qualifying - in the race we maybe lost some of that edge, but we were there or thereabouts. We have another winner today also, I think Lewis deserved to win today, no doubt, but we have learned more and will make step forward in Valencia.”

Mark Webber (7th) “I knew it was going to be mixed up today, but not that mixed up. In the first ten laps, we had a small issue with the engine which we had to manage, but then I settled into the pace. We pitted and came out behind the one stoppers. It’s hard to get it right here - if you push to try and pass you kill the tyres but if you wait, then you find you’re on the same strategy and finish behind them anyway. I think ultimately we were quick at times today and it’s good that we finished in the points. With hindsight we could have done a different strategy, but it’s easy to say that now and I’ve had worst days than today.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal “A tricky race. Having been in the lead at the start, it was obvious early on that we were a little bit harder on the tyres, which necessitated Sebastian to pit earlier than we wanted. That permitted Hamilton and Alonso to get the jump on us. Then there was a dilemma as to whether we do a one or two stop race. We were going well on the tyres and at that stage it seemed our best option was to do a one stop. But then the tyres really started to go away from us, so we made a late call to go on to the super soft tyres, which enabled us to get back up to fourth position, behind the one-stopping Grosjean and Perez. With Mark, again we were running okay early on. He had an engine hesitation in the first few laps, but then he settled into a good rhythm. Again we were heavy on the tyres towards the end of the stints and it was clearer with Mark to go to a two stop earlier, but unfortunately the one stoppers managed to get ahead. So, a tactical race, a tricky race, but nonetheless we have still managed to salvage respectable points today.”

Fabrice Lom, Renault’s principal track support engineer to Red Bull “It was a shame today, to start on pole and finish fourth and seventh is not the best, but will work to understand it. It’s always easy to see what we could have done with strategy after the event. Engine-wise we did what we could to get the most power and best usage out of the engines for this race, but it was not enough today.”

Mercedes Nico Rosberg (6th) "Sixth place is a decent result today and it's important for both me and the team to keep scoring points for the championship and maintain our consistency. It was a mixed-up race and it was difficult to find a rhythm, particularly at the start, but by the end, the gap to the leading cars was not that big. It could have gone better this weekend, and we just need a little bit more performance to be competing at the front. However we are making good progress and increasing our understanding of the tyres all the time."

Michael Schumacher (DNF) “Unfortunately, our weekend in Montreal didn't turn out trouble-free for me and a hydraulic problem with the DRS forced me to end my race early. At first, I didn't know exactly what the problem was; I overshot the corner, ran through the grass and asked myself what was going on. Then the team told me about the problem and I saw it in the mirrors. Of course it's disappointing for all of us but it's not a question of pointing fingers; stuff like this happens. I know the team are doing their best and that it probably hits them even harder than me. We'll be back on the attack in Valencia."

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal "We had a very quick car today, as Nico's performance in particular showed, but a combination of failing to achieve our potential in qualifying and a messy race cost us positions at the flag. We asked both drivers to be cautious with the super soft tyres in the first five laps to ensure we didn't push them too hard, but when we gave them the go-ahead, it was clear that Nico - who was running in clean air - was extremely quick and one of the fastest cars. Michael was caught in a train of cars in the lower half of the top ten, and although we tried something different by stopping early in order to get him into clean air, it didn't quite work for us. He then suffered a hydraulic issue which left his DRS jammed open and it was not possible to fix it in race conditions. I can only apologise to Michael for a further technical failure. As for Nico, his race was running to plan and he was gaining on the leaders when he ran across Massa, who was running out of tyres and defending vigorously before his final stop. This cost Nico both track position and time that proved crucial in the closing laps. Ultimately, that's part of racing, but the real lesson from today is that achieving our potential in qualifying, and running clean races, is vital for strong results."

Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport "It was a great, exciting race this afternoon, during which Nico was able to lap at the same speed as the leaders after a tricky opening few laps. Nico was 14 seconds behind first place at the end of the race - the same gap as we saw after 10 laps. Our team has taken an important step forward and got the most from the tyres in track temperatures that exceeded 40 degrees, which was demonstrated by Nico several times setting the fastest laps of the race during his stints. We got the tyre management right here, as in Monaco, and we are working hard to push this process further forward. After seven races, Nico is 21 points behind the championship leader - he has scored on average just three points fewer than leader Lewis Hamilton, which is not too big a gap. Michael was running well after his early stop until he was forced to retire with his rear wing flap stuck open. It's clear to everybody in the team that we must achieve the same levels of reliability on his car as we have with Nico, who has completed every racing lap so far this season. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on their victory today - it was the 300th race for McLaren and Mercedes, a milestone which adds extra significance to Lewis' appearance on the top step of the podium."

Force India Paul di Resta (11th) “I think we all feel a bit disappointed to miss out on points today. To qualify eighth and run as high as fifth shows we were well placed and things were running smoothly for the first few laps. Then I seemed to suffer with some high tyre degradation on the super-softs so we pitted quite early, but on the soft tyres we just didn’t have the performance to race the cars around us and we slipped back. It’s a missed opportunity but sometimes you get weekends like this. We need to go away and analyse things, lift our heads high and bounce back harder next time.”

Nico Hulkenberg (12th) “Our result today is a bit disappointing. We thought we could get in the points, but every race is hard to predict this year and we were not able to deliver what we hoped for. Ultimately we didn’t have enough speed today and suffered with high tyre wear compared to the cars around us. We had to do a two-stop strategy while a lot of our rivals were able to stop once and they got a big benefit from that.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal and managing director “A hot afternoon’s work and unfortunately we didn’t come away with the results we wanted. The car has shown strong pace throughout the weekend, but for whatever reason we could not find the sweet spot today. It’s a shame because for the first stint we looked very strong and Paul moved up to fifth place before his first stop. But we were not able to make the super-soft tyres last long enough and we didn’t have enough pace on the soft tyres. So we leave here feeling that we didn’t quite realise our potential, but determined to learn from the lessons of today before we arrive in Valencia.”

Williams Pastor Maldonado (13th) “Today the car felt very consistent and was pretty well balanced, but unfortunately starting so far back after qualifying meant that I could not really have a good run at finishing in a points-paying position. Our one-stop strategy meant that I had to manage the tyres carefully but when I did get to push in the final few laps the car was quick. The car’s performance in long runs is something we can be optimistic about heading into the next race, we just need to focus on improving our qualifying pace so we start from a better position.”

Bruno Senna (17th) “It was a difficult race today because I lost a lot of time on the first stint on the supersoft tyres and from that point on it was just a case of trying to look after the tyres as much as I could during the second stint. We have learnt a lot from this race and I am looking forward to the next one in Valencia, where hopefully we can get the most out of the car’s potential.”

Mark Gillan, Williams chief operations engineer “It was a tough race today for both cars and ultimately we didn't have the pace that we expected to have and which we showed during our long runs on Friday. Both drivers did a good job managing the tyres on their one-stop strategies. We must now learn from the transition in pace throughout the weekend in order to better understand how to optimise the car, and especially the tyres, in changeable track conditions.”

Laurent Debout, Renault track support to Williams “It has been a tough and difficult weekend for us. We had the pace in the car, but unfortunately the lower starting positions compromised the race for both drivers. Pastor could make up some positions but just not enough to get any points today. We’ll move onto Valencia and hope for better.”

Toro Rosso Daniel Ricciardo (14th) “I finished where I started. I got a good launch off the line but there was nowhere really for me to go, so I opted to go down the inside at Turn One, which put me on the outside of Turn Two, where I tried to go around a few of the guys in front of me. But there was not as much grip there as I had expected and this cost me a few places. So from then on, I had some work to do as it put me on the back foot. From mid-race to the end, I could not match the pace of those I was racing against. Our pace is simply not enough to crack the top at the moment, so we must not get downhearted, but keep working hard to try and improve.”

Jean-Eric Vergne (15th) “This has not been a very good weekend for me on my first visit to Canada in terms of how things went at the track, although I enjoyed the circuit and the time I spent here. I qualified 20th yesterday and finished fifteenth today. It’s definitely not an easy circuit with the walls so close and you have to push hard every lap and from that point of view the afternoon was okay, but of course the result is disappointing. Getting a drive through penalty for speeding in the pit lane did not help and it happened because, as I came in for a pit stop, I had some sort of problem with the pit lane speed limiter, which we will have to investigate. The strategy? I don’t think we could have done anything different.”

Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal “We lacked pace this weekend, as was already evident in qualifying and was seen again this afternoon. We started both cars on the Option, with a plan to run them on different strategies: Ricciardo on a two-stop and Vergne on a one stop. However, we changed this after 15 laps, as Jean-Eric came on the radio to say he was losing grip. Therefore we brought him in earlier than planned and from then on, he was on a more conventional strategy. However, his drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding further complicated his race. Daniel had a good start, but lost positions at Turn Two. Therefore, from then on, there was a gap to the Force Indias from which he could never recover. His pace was not bad, as can be seen by the fact he set the fourth fastest race lap. We head back home to prepare for a busy couple of months in Europe and we need to push on with car development, as we are not where we want to be at the moment.”

Caterham Heikki Kovalainen (18th) “That was an uneventful afternoon for me. I had a good start, passed Senna early on but then struggled a little with the tyres which maybe held me up a bit. Our pace today was not quite what we thought it would be and we were being lapped a little earlier than we had anticipated, but that was really the only issue for me today - other than that it's been a good weekend."

Vitaly Petrov (19th) “For me that was a good race. I battled with my team mate right to the flag and had a couple of good stops that gave me a chance to keep the pace up through the whole race. The tyre deg wasn't too bad, despite the track temperature, and we didn't have any problems with the car, so for where we are right now that's a good afternoon's work. We have some improvements coming in the next few races and the aim is for those to help us get to a point where we can race one or two of the teams ahead - that's another positive sign of progress so we're definitely going in the right direction.”

Riad Asmat, Caterham chief executive officer “This has been a good weekend for the team at a race that everyone looks forward to. On Friday we saw just how well the team in the garage perform under pressure and I was very proud of the work they did to repair Heikki's car and make sure he had track time in FP2. Our qualifying performance saw us close the gap to the midfield again and we keep making small steps forward relative to the opposition which is proof that the efforts being made by the team in the factory are paying off. On Sunday we showed yet again that we are almost within reach of the midfield battle and with the upgrades we have in the pipeline I think we could soon be in a position to maintain the sort of early pace we showed on Sunday for the whole race."

Mark Smith, Caterham technical director “Today we saw good strong races from both drivers and solid work in the pitstops without any issues. The final positions were about where we expected on this type of track at this stage of the season so I am happy that we have had another decent Sunday and continue to have problem free Sundays and keep edging ever closer to the midfield."

Marussia Charles Pic (20th) “First of all, I’m happy to finish the race - my first time here - and although it has been a tough weekend, I think from the perspective of the team, and me personally, it has been a good experience to learn where we need to improve. Our pace here has not been good compared to our closest two competitors, so we have to understand more about why that was. For my side, the start went well and we maintained position, then Timo and I had a good race. From there, it was all about looking after the car and getting to the finish. Next stop is Valencia, a track I’ve raced at before, so I will lose less time to acclimatisation and be able to spend more time preparing the car. I got pole there in GP2 and I have a good feeling for the track - another different type of street circuit – so I think it will suit me and the car much better. Some work in the simulator next week should also help us prepare well.”

Timo Glock (DNF) “Not a great race for me. In general the first stint was quite okay I think until I suddenly lost power for some reason; I think the engine temperature went quite high. After 14 laps I was suffering quite badly with rear tyre degradation and the combination of the two issues was quite difficult to manage. We had to come in quite early for the pit stop and then I came out in blue flags and was unable to use the new tyre effectively. I could at least recover the ground I lost to Charles and close the gap, but at the end I suffered so much with the brakes; they were getting longer and longer on pressure and it was too dangerous to continue, so I had to retire. This was my first DNF and in general Canada has not been that great for us this year, which is a shame because it’s a track I love. Now though I’m looking forward to Valencia and to seeing what we can do to improve there.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal “Our car and the Montreal circuit have been at odds for much of the weekend and it is frustrating that we were unable to improve that situation for the race today. Nonetheless, we’ve learned a great deal about the package and where we need to focus our efforts to get us back where we were versus our immediate competitors. We were pleased to bring Charles home after a difficult period for him, but obviously the luck ran out on Timo’s side, whom we retired with brake issues for precautionary reasons. We now head back home and on to what we hope will be a better second phase of the European season, where we have a couple of ‘home’ races coming up for Timo and the team.”

HRT Pedro de la Rosa (DNF) "It was a shame because we were having our best race of the season. From the first few laps they were telling me through the radio to cool the brakes and I did everything I could but, although we held out a few more laps, the degradation was too high and we weren’t going to make it to the end so we made the right decision which was to retire. Although it might sound surprising, I’ve got a good taste in my mouth because we’ve completed the best weekend of the year and I had a lot of fun ahead of the Marussias and close behind the Caterhams. I take away the most important thing and that is that we’ve improved notably and that is very satisfying.”

Narain Karthikeyan (DNF) "This retirement is disappointing because we’ve performed well since the first day and during the race I was keeping up with Pic. But I started to feel the brakes we’re faltering and, although I tried not to go to the limit, it didn’t help at all. Now we must analyze what happened and work to ensure it doesn’t happen again. It’s a shame that the progress we’ve shown here hasn’t translated into a good result, but we must look ahead and focus on Valencia.”

Luis Perez-Sala, HRT team principal "The truth is I can’t deny I’m disappointed because it’s the first race we haven’t finished with either car. It’s a shame because we were going well, but we had a temperature issue with the brakes on both cars which impeded us from finishing. We knew this would be one of our weak points at this circuit, given the strong braking corners and, unfortunately, we confirmed this. On the other hand, I’m happy for the race Pedro and Narain we’re doing. Now we must resolve the problems we’ve detected and think about Valencia. What better place to turn things around than at home.”