Read what the teams and drivers had to say after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
CaterhamHeikki Kovalainen - 13th
"I had a good race today. In India the balance had felt good in the race and if I hadn't had the KERS problem I'm sure I'd have had a better afternoon there. Here it was the same - the car felt good and with more performance we'd be up there in the fight. We need to keep working on the new parts we brought here to get the most out of them and we have three more days on track here to help us do that so we have several reasons to be positive about the remaining two races.
"Today I had an ok start and my pace was pretty good. After the quicker cars passed me I was really on my own for most of the race. When the safety cars came out obviously everything bunched up again but after each restart I was able to pull away easily and finished the race after probably getting as much as I could out of the car today."
Vitaly Petrov - 16th
"I made quite a good start and was side by side with Heikki. If we'd both braked at the same point we'd have probably hit so I braked a bit early and from that point I was struggling for grip. I'm not sure what the reason was but on both stints I just didn't have the pace to attack the cars ahead. I had understeer for most of the race and that really held me up. It's obviously a bit of a disappointing race, especially when you see that Heikki had good pace today, but sometimes it's like that. The car felt good on Friday afternoon but yesterday and today the grip just wasn't there. We have a bit of time now to analyse why and then make sure we get back to the pace we know we can find at the next race in Austin."
Fernando Alonso - 2nd
"I'm happy with the way this weekend turned out. It's true that with Sebastian last, there was an opportunity to reduce the gap more significantly but it's equally true that our performance and our grid position could have seen us lose points in this Grand Prix. I repeat, they have the quicker car, we have the better team. Everyone fights with the weapons they have at their disposal: we will not manage to turn our car into the quickest of the pack with a wave of a magic wand, but we will counter their performance with the perfection of our team. The simulation put us somewhere between fourth and sixth and we finished second, therefore once again this was a more than perfect race, running at the maximum from start to finish. Sure, there were a number of unexpected retirements and two neutralisation periods that did not really come at the right time or suit us, but these are things beyond our control. We just had to stay focused on our race and that's what we did. Now we go to Austin, a new circuit for everyone: we have just had a taste of it on the simulator, but the track is something else. Let's hope we can get a good result and put on a good show in an important country like the United States. Tonight I will go to sleep thinking the glass is half full rather than half empty. We must be proud of what we have done, the work of the mechanics at the track and the engineers who tried to fine tune the car. I fought from start to finish: first with Maldonado, then Jenson and, in the end I tried to go and catch Kimi. I could not relax for a single lap. The best race of the year? It's still to come..."
Felipe Massa - 7th
"It was a difficult race for me. In particular, I suffered on the Softs because of more degradation than we had expected. On Friday, the long run seemed much better: we must understand what changed compared to two days ago. I had problems with the balance: understeer in the fast corners and oversteer in the slow ones. The duel with Webber was the vital moment, as it meant I lost a lot of places at a crucial point in the race. He tried to go round the outside of me and we touched. Then he cut the chicane and came back across the track, forcing me to spin to avoid hitting him. A shame, because I could at least have finished ahead of Kobayashi. In any case, I managed to bring home some points which are important for the Constructors' championship, as we have increased our lead over McLaren. At the next race, I too will have the technical updates that Fernando had here and we hope there will also be other ones to improve the car's performance. However, it's true that the track characteristics can alter the balance of power: here we saw that McLaren and Lotus were very strong, apart from Red Bull of course, but it's not certain that elsewhere it will be the same."
"Yet another great race from Fernando in what is an amazing season for him. Today's second place came about mainly because of his ability to get the most and maybe even a bit more than that out of what we gave him to work with. The gap to the leader in the classification has come down to ten points and everything is still up for grabs. Of course, we must do something extra and better than what we have done to date to give him a more competitive car. If we had been offered this gap on leaving Abu Dhabi, immediately after qualifying yesterday evening, maybe we would have taken it, but it's also true that this afternoon, before the start, our prospects had changed. Definitely, the way the race played out and the incidents that occured, did not do us any favours in light of the championship, but these are circumstances over which we have no control. The important thing is we have reduced the gap in the Drivers' classification in a Grand Prix that was particularly difficult because, not only did our performance level not match that of our closest rivals, but it was actually worse than that of other teams. On top of that, we have increased our lead over our closest rival in the Constructors' championship, which is a good thing. Ten points is a lot but it can also be seen as very few. We have a duty to try right to the very last metre of the final Grand Prix and that's what we will do, you can be sure of it."
Pat Fry, technical director
"It's been a difficult and intense weekend and coming out of it having improved our situation in both championships compared to the start of it is undoubtedly positive. There's no point brooding over what happened: the Safety Cars did not come at the best times for us, but there was nothing we could do about it. We had to do our utmost and, on that front, we've got nothing to reproach ourselves for. Once again, Fernando delivered an amazing performance, getting everything he could out of the car, both in qualifying and in the race. When strategy does not allow for many variables it's always difficult to make up places but this evening and eight days ago in India, he showed what he's made of. These two second places are worth much more than the 36 points they have brought him. Felipe had a more difficult race than his team-mate, losing precious time because of the spin, as it left him in a lot of traffic. However, his six points are valuable for the Constructors' classification. Once again in this Grand Prix, our race pace was better than in qualifying: we have to make a step forward in this area to try and be in with a chance in the last two Grands Prix of the season. We had various updates at this race which, to some extent, did not work as we had expected. We must understand why and do something quickly because we no longer have much time. Furthermore, these ten days prior to the final double header will be crucial to prepare for a Grand Prix that takes place on a track that is new for everyone. Whoever is quickest at adapting their car to it could have an advantage. None of us wants to give up and everything is still possible."
Force IndiaPaul di Resta - 9th
"Quite a hectic race for me but I'm happy to come away with some points considering the way the race unfolded. I'm not sure what happened going into turn one because I had a great launch and moved ahead of Nico, but on the exit of the corner I realised immediately that I had a puncture. That cost me a lot of ground, but the first safety car brought me back into play. We were going to try and run to the finish without stopping again and I was up to fifth place, but when the safety car came out for a second time the team called me in for fresh tyres. In the final stages our pace was strong and I moved ahead of the Toro Rossos, but I just could not get ahead of Senna. He was in the DRS zone of Massa and I just could not make the move so I had to settle for ninth."
Nico Hulkenberg - DNF
"I made quite a bad start and had a poor run going into the first corner. Then I just got sandwiched by the cars around me go. I think there was my teammate, a Sauber and a Williams around me, and there was not enough space. I tried to back out of it, but it was too late. There was contact between the cars and that was my race over."
Robert Fernley, deputy team principal
"A dramatic Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that served up plenty of incidents. Nico was out of luck at the start and it looked like a typical opening lap incident with too many cars and not enough space. Paul was also caught up in that and picked up a right rear puncture, dropping him to the back of the field. From there it was a case of damage limitation and Paul delivered the perfect recovery drive to pick up a couple of points. He battled hard and was unlucky not to finish higher up the order. In terms of our fight in the constructors' championship, our two main rivals, Sauber and Williams, both scored well today. Sauber are 29 ahead and we have 22 points advantage over Williams. It's clear the battle will go down to the wire but we will continue fighting until the last lap in Brazil."
HRTPedro de la Rosa - 17th
"I'm happy to have finished the race and because I gave it everything. But today we were unable to stay on the same level as our rivals. We had a problem at the start when a thread on one of the blankets for the rear tyres got tangled up and I had to start from the pit lane with very cold tyres. But during the race the car went well, the tyres held out perfectly on one stop and we controlled the temperature of the brakes and engine. But we need a couple of tenths to be up there and I hope we can take that step in the upcoming races. It won't be through a lack of effort or work."
Narain Karthikeyan - DNF
"Today we didn't have enough pace so I focused on setting consistent lap times and trying to get the most out of the car. But on lap 9 we had a problem with the hydraulic pressure and steering of the car went rock solid, so I had to lift my foot off the accelerator. Unfortunately, Rosberg was coming from behind and couldn't avoid me. It was tremendously unlucky but we have to leave it in the past and think about the United States Grand Prix in two weeks."
Luis Pérez-Sala, team principal
"I would have liked for both cars to finish but an unfortunate mechanical failure meant that Narain lost his steering in the worst moment and he suffered an accident with Rosberg. Luckily both of them are well and we didn't have to regret anything greater. Pedro completed a good race and was able to finish after not doing so in two consecutive races. Now we have to look ahead and be ready to take on the last two races to finish in the best way possible."
LotusKimi Raikkonen - 1st
"I'm very happy for the team, and for myself also. You never know what's going to happen during the race; the safety cars made it quite tricky, but I've had similar races many, many times this year. Today we had a clear circuit to be able to use our speed. Perhaps we were not the fastest at the end, but we were quick enough and consistent enough to win so it's great for the team. We've had some difficult races in the second half of the season so it's fantastic to come back with a win."
Romain Grosjean - DNF
"I am very happy for Kimi as it's the win we were waiting for and it's an unbelievable result for the whole team. For myself I'm disappointed as I was running pretty well. It was a tight battle with three of us in a row at turn eleven, then Sergio [Perez] went off track at turn thirteen and came back on the inside at turn fourteen leaving me with no room to go anywhere else. Mark [Webber] then came from behind and we touched; it was a big shame. A great day for the team, but an unlucky one for me."
Eric Boullier, team principal
"I have one word first of all: Great. Then there are many words such as 'relief' and 'deserved'. It's obviously a very well deserved result for the team. I'm pleased for Kimi and he did a very good job. We've been pushing very hard all season and we've nearly had it before. There's a little frustration not to have had a win sooner, and we have been waiting for it, but it's a fantastic feeling to finally take that victory and a superb reward for the team. It's great for Formula 1, it's great for Kimi and it's great for our team."
James Allison, technical director
"When you are as happy as this it is hard to avoid lapsing into cliché. Despite being tantalisingly close several times this year, we have waited a long time to return to the top step of the podium. It is a massive tribute both to a flawless drive from Kimi and to the tenacity of the entire Enstone team for never having taken their eye off the prize all year. With two races left in the season we go on to Austin with a spring in our step, invigorated to do it all over again and see what we can achieve."
MarussiaTimo Glock - 14th
"After a difficult qualifying yesterday, today went much better for us and we had good pace in the race. Unfortunately on the first lap I was behind Charles and clipped the back of his car, which lost me a bit of aero performance in the opening stint. I tried to stay with Heikki but he was a bit quicker in S1 because of the understeer I was suffering with, but at least I could open up the gap to Petrov behind me and keep him there for the whole race. We had a mega pitstop and very good top speed compared to the others; we had some of the midfield guys behind for a while and although they were able to get past, we were able to have a brief race with them. A nice fight at the end with Sergio Perez on the last lap and even with the DRS they couldn't get by. A good end to the weekend and we look forward to the next two races now."
Charles Pic - DNF
"It was a very tough but exciting race today. The opening lap was very challenging as I was fighting with Timo and the Caterhams, so there was a lot going on in the first few corners. Unfortunately I ended up going wide and dropping back behind them. From that point onwards though, I was in a good battle with Vitaly and I came close to overtaking him on several occasions. Unfortunately we couldn't quite meet the challenge of his KERS advantage. Our pitstop was not quite perfect, which is a shame as a slick stop could have helped us to jump him. Overall I am pleased that I could enjoy a good battle with one of the Caterhams; it's just unfortunate that we had to retire because of the engine problem. Generally I have to say it has been a very positive weekend, so we focus on that and look forward to the next two races at two brand new tracks for me - the next one new for everyone of course, which will be very exciting I think."
John Booth, team principal
"A nail-biting race pretty much from start to finish, although it was in the final 10 laps that we really felt the pressure. We could do little about the retirements ahead of us, so we had to simply concentrate on our own very hard-fought race with Caterham. To see Timo pulling away from Petrov, and Charles pushing him hard, gives us further encouragement for the remaining two races. It was disappointing that Timo lost his left-hand front wing end-plate on the opening lap, as I really feel we could have been much closer to Heikki had this not been the case. Our S1 performance has been good all weekend and clearly the loss of this part hurt us there and allowed Heikki to build the gap. The engineers were in quite a dilemma as to whether to change the wing, but ultimately the loss of track position that the longer pitstop would have brought meant that we just had to rely on Timo to manage the problem, which of course he did beautifully. For Charles, again an unfortunate retirement due to an engine air system problem. We are sorry he has borne the brunt of these failures this year, however the engine we will fit for the remaining two races has not shown any signs of these problems. Today has reminded us that P10 is far from 'a given' - we have to keep fighting to keep it. However, all the way through the weekend we have shown just how hard we are fighting and given the very small pace difference that exists between us and Caterham now, I'm sure we can enjoy some great racing right up until the end of the season."
McLarenLewis Hamilton - DNF
"I'm gutted; I'd had really good pace all weekend and I feel certain we could have won today. I had a fuel pressure problem - it was very sudden, I was just entering a corner and the car just died on me. The only mistake I made all weekend was having a brief moment on lap two, when my brakes weren't fully up to temperature and I locked up into Turn Eight. After that, however, everything was going really well. The car was a dream to drive - I was cruising and still pulling away when I had my problem. Nonetheless, we'll have more opportunities in Austin and Sao Paulo. I hope we can get back to the front - I'd love to take a win or two more for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes before the end of the season."
Jenson Button - 4th
"Congratulations to Kimi [Raikkonen] - he's a man of few words, but he's all about racing. He deserved this victory today. For me, it was quite a fun race. I had a few good battles out there - with Mark [Webber], Sebastian [Vettel] and Pastor [Maldonado] - and they were particularly good fun. But, unfortunately, I didn't have the pace in the car to take the fight to the leaders today. The car felt very different from how it had on Friday - I just couldn't find the grip, which was strange. And, at the end, I couldn't have kept Sebastian back - he was on newer Options [tyres], so it was impossible to get the same amount of traction from my older Primes as he was getting from his newer Options. Lewis's retirement meant we dropped more points to Ferrari in the constructors' world championship. That was a great pity, but we have two big races remaining in which to make up the balance."
Martin Whitmarsh, team principal
"From the point of view of sheer pace, Lewis totally dominated the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend - until loss of fuel pressure ended his race when he was serenely managing a comfortable lead. Until that point, he'd had the race in the bag, and it goes without saying that the entire Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team is absolutely gutted that through no fault of his own he wasn't able to win here today. Lewis, too, is understandably disappointed - but he's also as keen as mustard to give it his very best shot to win the season's final two grands prix, at Austin and Sao Paulo.
"Jenson, too, drove a gutsy and spirited race, ending up fourth, having been overtaken at the end by Seb, who was on fresher tyres [than Jenson was] and whose car had been re-geared prior to the race for better top speed.
"To Kimi, who is of course an old friend of ours, having won nine grands prix for McLaren Mercedes during his time with us [2002-2006], I want to say 'Well done'. Today we saw a great drive by a great driver.
"Last, here are two brand-new McLaren-related milestones for all you train-spotters out there. First, until Lewis's race came to an end on lap 20, he'd taken McLaren's aggregate of kilometres spent in the lead of world championship grands prix past the 50,000km mark. And, second, in scoring 12 world championship points for fourth place, Jenson established a new benchmark in Formula 1: 56 points-scoring grands prix on the trot for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, eclipsing the previous record which had been held hitherto by Ferrari. Neither of those stats provides much comfort today for anyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, but they certainly both bear witness to a truly impressive magnum opus of on-track McLaren achievement in Formula 1, going back all the way to 1966, and I salute all the many men and women whose sterling efforts have contributed to that. Next we go to Austin, a new venue for our sport. Lewis won the last United States Grand Prix - at Indianapolis in 2007 - and you may be well sure that he, Jenson and everyone else in our team will be aiming to make it two United States Grand Prix victories on the trot for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes."
MercedesNico Rosberg - DNF
"My car felt competitive today so it's a real shame not to have finished the race and scored some points. Unfortunately that chance was gone after the first lap incident with Romain, after which I had to come into the pits for a new nose. Then there was the accident which put me out of the race. Narain told me that his steering broke and he needed to brake which I didn't expect in that high-speed corner. There was no time for me to react, and I'm very thankful that we are both fine. I went to the medical centre for a precautionary check but everything is good. I will look forward now and hope for a better two races to end the season."
Michael Schumacher - 11th
"Unfortunately we have to say that again we suffered bad luck today. Due to the puncture I had to do another pit stop very late in the race which lost me a points scoring position. Of course this is part of the game and you cannot do anything about it but it was a real pity as we had reasonable pace and could have taken some points. Towards the end of the race I was hoping to close the gap to the top ten, and we were making good progress, but it just didn't work out."
Ross Brawn, team principal
"We had a reasonable car today so it's disappointing not to have picked up any points. Nico's front wing was damaged on the first lap which meant an early stop but he was going well after that. His accident on lap seven was fairly dramatic and we obviously need to have a look at what happened. Karthikeyan reported a problem with his car and certainly it looked very unusual. Thankfully both drivers were fine afterwards. Michael drove a strong race and we had a good strategy but unfortunately he picked up a puncture in the debris left from the various accidents which made the end of his race very difficult. The dice just aren't falling for us at the moment but the positive is that the car was better this weekend so we just need to keep working hard."
Norbert Haug, Mercedes head of motorsport
"Nico's race lasted only seven laps today, and thankfully his accident ended without any serious consequences. Before that, his front wing change on the first lap after a collision with another car put him back to the back of the field. Michael was in seventh position when he picked up debris, and subsequently a puncture, during the safety car period which dropped him back to 11th place after his additional pit stop which is where he finished."
Red BullSebastian Vettel - 3rd
"It was a good race for us today, a big chance for Ferrari and Fernando, but we didn't allow it. I enjoyed it a lot today, more than anything. I damaged the front wing pretty early with Bruno, which was not ideal, but we were able to carry on and not lose too much. Then, during the safety car, maybe I didn't pay enough attention. Daniel was slowing down, just as I was warming the tyres and I got surprised. I had to move to the right and hit the DRS board, which damaged the front wing. It was the worst time to have to pit from P13 and start again at the back of the field, then I had to do it all over again, passing everyone from the back. In the end, to finish third on the podium is just fantastic."
Mark Webber - DNF
"Nothing really worked out for us today. I think we were strong, but we never got free air and it's difficult here with traffic; we saw quite a few incidents where people were trying to pass. Ultimately, in the incident that ended my race, I tried to go down the inside when the cars ahead made contact, I thought there was an opportunity, but then Grosjean made contact with my car and that was the end for us. Whatever we tried today, it just wasn't working out."
Christian Horner, team principal
"After the problems of yesterday, it was a remarkable comeback from Sebastian to finish on the podium. We elected to start from the pit lane, so we could make some set up changes to the car. After a promising start, despite picking up some damage to the front wing after an incident with Bruno Senna, Sebastian had another incident under the first safety car when Daniel Ricciardo caught him unawares and he finished off the front wing on the DRS marker. That necessitated a nose change and a change to our strategy. Seb was at the back of the field and once again had to work his way through. He drove an unbelievable race today and his final move on Jenson was quite exceptional. To go from pit lane to podium was something we could only dream of before the race. For Mark, unfortunately after not a great start, he got involved in an incident with Maldonado that spun him around and cost him time, just as he was looking to come back at Fernando Alonso. He recovered well and we made our stop, which was the fastest of the day and got him ahead of Maldonado who he was racing at that stage. Then, as he was closing down on the cars ahead, an incident with Perez, Grosjean and Di Resta left him with no where to go and unfortunately he was a victim of their actions. Nonetheless we leave with important points for the Constructors' and Drivers' titles today and everything still to play for in two weeks time."
SauberSergio Pérez - 15th
"We were looking really good in the race, and I had the feeling even a podium would have been possible. But then after my pit stop I got stuck behind Romain Grosjean and Paul di Resta, and could not get by them because I didn't have enough straight-line speed. I had to risk a lot to get by, but then unfortunately collided with the Lotus and my race was over. It is a real shame because our race pace was very good."
Kamui Kobayashi - 6th
"It was a very tough race and I am really happy I was able to get those eight points for the team. To fight for fifth place in the constructors' championship in the remaining two races will be very exciting. Unfortunately today I could not use the full performance of the car. There was a problem with downshifting, which meant I could not recharge the KERS properly and didn't have full boost. Otherwise my race went well. I had a good start, while the team did a great job in terms of timing, strategy and the pit stop."
Monisha Kaltenborn, team principal
"I am very happy because these points are extremely valuable for us in the constructors' championship and they allow us to fight for a better position. Kamui put in a fantastic performance despite his issues. With Sergio it was unfortunate as we were in a very good position to score a lot of points today, but nevertheless we now look forward to the last two races and we shall do all we can to fight."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, head of track engineering
"The race was shaping up to be an easy one, but eventually it wasn't. At the start both drivers got away well and were eighth and ninth at the end of lap one. Also some of our immediate opposition was behind us, so by lap ten we were looking good. Then we had the first safety car, which reset the gaps we had built up. We went for one stop, which was planned, and both drivers did a good job climbing up the field. Then there was Sergio's accident, but the upside was while we lost positions with one car we were able to gain some with the other. We did have some issues with Kamui, which cost a bit of performance, but we were in control. His problem was a downshift issue, which didn't allow the proper recharging of the KERS, so he could not use full boost. It is regrettable we have missed some points but that's racing and, as the pace of our cars was strong, we shall keep fighting."
Daniel Ricciardo - 10th
"I got a good start, although I had to avoid an accident shortly after. My initial pace was quite good and I could stay with Schumacher who was on the Prime, while like most people I was on the Option, but I could not get close enough to pass him. Then, in my second stint, on the Prime, I don't feel we got up to speed quickly enough and I was struggling a bit with braking. When the second Safety Car came out, we pitted again, which was a good call - originally we had considered a one stop - took on new Options and the fresher tyre meant I had a better pace towards the end. I'm pretty happy with tenth as I was not expecting points after the early part of the race, but I never gave up and kept fighting to the end. In the final laps, Schumacher was closing in on me again, but I managed to hold him off. Vettel behind me during the Safety Car? I looked in my mirrors and saw him go through one of the polystyrene boards, but I have no idea what happened."
Jean-Eric Vergne - 12th
"I started the race from one place behind my team-mate on the grid and finished two behind him. I am disappointed with the way this Grand Prix panned out for me. I got a good start and with some help from others having problems, I went up five places from seventeenth when the lights went out to twelfth at the end of the opening lap. The call from the pit wall to make my first tyre change earlier than planned when the first Safety Car came out was the right one. However, the second Safety Car did not play in my favour so that at the end, Daniel on fresher tyres was able to run at a faster pace. It's good for the team that he got another point at the end of what has been a tough weekend for us."
Franz Tost, team principal
"Both our drivers got a good start, making up five places each, relative to their grid positions, partly down to an accident on the opening lap. From then on, both drivers did a good job and the team's strategy choices worked well, making the most of the Safety Car opportunities, bringing Vergne in during the first one and Ricciardo at the second. In the end, we scored a point with Daniel, who managed to get past his team mate, as he was on newer tyres for the closing stages and Jev was not that far behind at the flag. It is good to have picked up another point, as it means we have finished in the top ten in five of the last seven races. It is especially gratifying as this is something of a second home race for us, with many of our major sponsors here to watch us perform well come the end of what has been a tough weekend."
WilliamsPastor Maldonado - 5th
"We missed the opportunity to finish on the podium today after we lost the use of KERS following the first safety car period. For sure there was more in the car. The pace was good and at the beginning I was closing the gap to Kimi but we still collected some good points today and it was a great race. I feel very motivated within the team. We now need to keep the car at the top and I am looking forward to the last two races."
Bruno Senna - 8th
"It was a very tough weekend but it had a sweet taste in the end. I had a good start getting myself into a good position for Turn 1 but then a few cars tangled ahead and hit me. I had to start from zero again but I kept my cool. There was a lot going on but we had good pace when we needed it and scored some solid points for the team. It is what we are here for and we never give up. There is a good energy and feeling now going into the final two races in Austin and Brazil."
Mark Gillan, chief operations engineer
"Whilst we are very pleased to have brought both cars home in the points we know we could have had an even better result. Pastor lost KERS in the race which left him open to attack from the chasing pack. He kept focused and pushed hard to keep the gap from Kobayashi finishing in a hard earned fifth. Bruno also did well, following heavy contact from Hulkenberg. He also fought his way through the pack to end in eighth, with both drivers collecting a total of 14 valuable points for the team. We now go to Austin looking to capitalise on our continuing improved performance."