• British Grand Prix

Who said what after the British GP

ESPN Staff
July 6, 2014

ESPN rounds up all the reaction from up and down the paddock after the British Grand Prix

© Sutton Images
Related Links

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel (5th) "It felt very close with Fernando - maybe a bit too close! It got a bit silly when we both started to complain about the other going off track; I don't think the people care too much if the car is a little bit to the left or the right. I got the message that I should respect the limits and that he was complaining, so I was doing the same thing. I'm not sure who won the list keeping. I think twice it was maybe a bit too harsh into Turn 6, but it was good to get the move at the end. I expected to get third today, the pace was there but the strategy wasn't right. I'm looking forward to my home race in Germany; it's always special to race there."

Daniel Ricciardo (3rd): "I feel good! This is the best third place I've ever got. I'm not normally ecstatic with a third but I really am today, obviously to redeem myself from yesterday and also the fact that I don't think we had an awesome race car today, but we made it work. We used the cards that we had and played the game well, so I was really happy to make a one stop work. For the last two laps, I saw Jenson coming and thought I was probably going to be a bit vulnerable but we held on. "The one stop wasn't planned. We pitted quite early on the Prime because we were quite slow and it wasn't working, so we came in for the Option and, at one point, my engineer pretty much said alright four laps to go on this tyre then let's box. I said the pace seems OK, the tyres aren't getting any worse and let's try and stay out or at least think about keeping me out there and he said OK we'll look at our options. Then, a few laps later he said do you think you can go to the end, there's 15 or 20 laps to go, and I said, at the moment I think we can give it a crack. And so, yeah, we did and it paid off!"

Christian Horner, team principal: "After the initial delay we elected to change both drivers onto the harder tyre for the restart, which we believed would give us more strategic options. We decided to pit relatively early to try and get the undercut on the McLaren cars ahead and, whilst that was successful with both the cars, unfortunately it put us out of the range of a one stop with Sebastian. After we pitted him for the second time, he dropped behind Fernando and then had an enthralling battle with him, finally making a great move to get the pass. However it cost him a great deal of time to be able to catch the cars ahead, so fifth was the maximum we could achieve with Sebastian today. Daniel stopped slightly later for the first stop, which bought the possibility of a one stop into play and he was able to conserve his tyres extremely well to make it work. So it was great for Daniel at our second home race to get a podium today."


Lewis Hamilton (1st):

"After extending my first stint, we switched to the prime tyres and I honestly couldn't believe the pace that I had and was closing up to Nico. Of course, he then had a problem and I saw him pull over. It's a shame for the team and I never want to see a team-mate fall behind - I always want to battle it out - but I'm sure we will get to do it again in the future. It's been a rollercoaster weekend and to come away with the win after a day like yesterday is fantastic, so thank you to everyone in the team for all their hard work. I'm proud to have done it for them here - so close to our factories in Brackley and Brixworth."

Nico Rosberg (DNF): "It's a pity what happened today as I lost a lot of points in the Championship. We are always aiming for 100 % reliability but unfortunately that didn't work out for me today. I had a small issue in the installation lap but the car felt great in the beginning. By lap 20, though, the gearbox started to become a serious problem and from then it got worse. I tried to get it into some safety settings, let Lewis through and just keep going until the end of the race. But there was nothing we could do so I had to stop the car. All I can do is accept that these things happen and work with the team to find out what went wrong. It's a shame for the race in a way, as it could have been a great battle against Lewis, but congratulations to him for the win. Now we are heading to Germany with the quickest car and I'm looking forward to a home Grand Prix for both Mercedes-Benz and myself."

© PA Images

Toto Wolff: "It was a day of two halves for the team - a fantastic result for Lewis at his home race and disappointment for Nico when he had to retire. First, the positive aspect: Lewis drove a faultless race today. He made up positions at the start and in the opening laps after the restart, then it was shaping up to be a big battle until Nico started to suffer the gearbox problems. But what I want to praise most of all is Lewis' approach today. He had a bad qualifying session but he arrived at the circuit this morning in such a positive frame of mind and determined to perform - and he did that for his home fans. It was a great performance that showed his mental strength.

"Nico was doing a great job leading the race today and handled his retirement like the professional he is: he understands that this is part of motor racing and that we still have a long way to go this year. For our team, it's great to win at Silverstone for the second year in a row, so close to our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. And for Mercedes-Benz, it's a special day too - to win on the 60th anniversary of the company's first victory with Juan Manuel Fangio. It's a proud day for all of us.

Paddy Lowe: "It's fantastic to produce a win at our home circuit and I'd like to dedicate this to all our team-mates in Brackley and Brixworth - I know they will have been living through every second with us, so this one is for you all. Our W05 Hybrid car was very strong today: Silverstone is a benchmark circuit not just for engine performance but also for aerodynamic efficiency, and we saw incredible pace from Nico and Lewis in the opening stint. There we had two of the best drivers in the world, right on the limit, fighting tooth and nail - and every sector of every lap counted. It was great to watch. We decided to put the drivers on different tyre strategies, with Nico planning to run option/option/prime - and Lewis offset on the slower option/prime/option strategy, which could have given him a chance to challenge for the lead in the closing laps. It was shaping up that way until Nico's problems.

"It was a real blow to lose Nico's car: there was an early sign of a problem with a strange downshift, then it went away for 10 laps before recurring. We tried to change settings to remedy the situation but ultimately he lost drive and had to retire. But on the positive side, Lewis delivered a fantastic home win for the crowd - and it couldn't have been better at Silverstone's 50th British Grand Prix. It's eight wins in nine races now, which is an amazing statistic, but today also reminded us that we need to keep focusing on every small detail if we want to maintain that level of performance.


Fernando Alonso (6th): ""I think today's race was very spectacular, certainly for us it was extremely hectic, first with Kimi's retirement and then with the penalty for being out of position at the start. Then there were also my duel with Button and Vettel. When Sebastian came up behind me I was saving fuel and battery power and had a problem with the rear wing so I knew that sooner or later he would have overtaken me. I think both Red Bulls deserved to finish ahead of us, because they were quicker. Now we must analyse our performance and try to improve for the next round in Germany: if we want to make up ground in the constructors' championship, we must try and do our utmost at the track, working on strategy, set-up and especially we must try and be more astute than the others, when it comes to grabbing any opportunity to score points."

© Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen (DNF): "Unfortunately, my race today ended on the first lap, after I had managed to get away well, making up enough ground to be fighting for eleventh place. At turn 5, I went off the track and while trying to get back on, I must have hit a kerb. I then lost control of the car and ended in the barriers. It's a real shame because yesterday, the feeling I had on track had improved and I was determined to do my utmost to bring home some points. I am really very disappointed with how things went today, but now I want to put this incident behind me and just concentrate on the next race in Germany."

Marco Mattiacci, team principal: "The most important news right now is that Kimi is alright, even though the impact with the barriers was a heavy one. He has some bruising and will now be resting to be in shape for the next race. Given the outcome of qualifying, we knew we faced an uphill struggle in the race, but we could count on having a race pace that would allow us to try and get back in the points. On this front, Fernando lived up to our expectations, pulling off some memorable overtaking moves. I think that, with fewer problems and without the penalty for his start position, he could have got at least as high as sixth. His great climb up the order was yet more proof of his extremely aggressive mentality, which is exactly what we must demonstrate for the rest of the season."

Pat Fry: "As we were starting from 16th and 18th places, we opted to start on the hard compound and go for a more aggressive strategy. The aim was to have a short first stint before switching to the softer and faster tyre for the rest of the race. Kimi got a great start, making up several places in just a few corners but unfortunately his accident put an end to it all. Fortunately, he is okay, with no serious injuries and that's the most important thing. After the race was stopped, we discussed things with Fernando and decided to fit the mediums to the end of the race, with a one-stop strategy. Despite the difficulties he had to deal with, Fernando once again displayed his great talent, both on the offensive and the defensive. At some points in the race, there was clearly some frustration, which is completely understandable, because the entire team wants to give him and Kimi a more competitive car and for that reason, we will continue trying our hardest."


Romain Grosjean (12th): "It was a difficult first start to the race for me. I had a switch problem which meant limited power, but despite that we had a good first lap. I avoided the incident with Kimi, but my visor did get damaged by some debris. The restart went pretty well for me and the car felt alright. Towards the end of the race, on medium tyres, our pace was much better. We came close to the points but we'd started the race from too far down the grid. I understood quite a lot from the car today which should assist us in making progress."

Pastor Maldonado (17th): "My first start felt good but after the restart we struggled for power so I wasn't able to fight with the cars around me. I still pushed as best I could but making progress was difficult. There was contact from Esteban Gutierrez, the result of which I'm told looked spectacular, but in the car it was over very quickly and we kept on racing. We're not sure if this added to the cause of my retirement, certainly the rear wing was moving about more than normal so we don't know yet what other damage there was. Now I look forward to testing here on Tuesday."

Frederico Gastaldi, deputy team principal: "Once more the team demonstrated great teamwork over a challenging weekend. Unfortunately we weren't able to take advantage of what looks to be much more competitive damp weather performance as the weather was much better today. It was an eventful race and we're thankful no-one was hurt in the incident at the start. Our performance was short of where we want it to be, but both drivers gave their all. As our local race, it was fantastic to see so many people from Enstone here and we thank them all for their ongoing hard work."


Kevin Magnussen (7th): "Today has been a good day for the team - we scored 18 points - so we should feel reasonably satisfied, because we're continuing to improve. Also, the engineers and mechanics did a truly great job this weekend.

"Having said that, all the other teams are continuing to improve, too; so our challenge is really about making progress faster than the others do. My race went okay - we struggled a little on the Option [tyre], and we had much better pace on the Prime. It's always frustrating when you slip back through the order a bit - but I made a really good start to be third initially, and after that I struggled to keep the Ferrari and Red Bull behind.

"So, as I say, I think we should be reasonably satisfied with seventh place. But I'm really pleased for Jenson, who was able to score a great fourth place for the team. Last but not least, I want to pay tribute to the Silverstone fans. It's been fantastic racing in front of them all today, especially as so many of them are McLaren fans. I'd love to have finished a bit higher for you guys, but I don't think we had the pace today."

© Getty Images

Jenson Button (4th): "Circuits with high-speed changes of direction aren't really our car's forte, so I think we can go away from Silverstone feeling encouraged by what we achieved this weekend. Specifically, it was great to have such a good fight with Fernando [Alonso], and it was encouraging to be able to pull away from him and Sebastian [Vettel] in the last stint.

"At the end, I crossed the line only 0.9s behind Daniel [Ricciardo]; if there'd been just one more lap, I think I could have made it past. I got so close to a podium finish - and I think it would've been so great for the fans to see Lewis and me up there together. I'm sorry it didn't quite happen, but I want to say a big thank-you to all the fans, and to my family, and last but not least to the entire McLaren team - everyone has been so supportive this weekend.

"Looking to the future, although today has seen us take another step forward, it's apparent that we still have a lot of work to: for example, even though Williams started behind us [on the grid], they still beat us today. Nonetheless, we're certainly not giving up. On the contrary, it's important that we continue to work hard to develop this car, so as to score as many world championship points as we can this year and learn as much as we can for next year."

Eric Boullier, racing director: "We're satisfied that we were able to convert a good qualifying performance yesterday [P3 and P5] into a decent race result today [P4 and P7]. In achieving that outcome, our engineers and mechanics here at Silverstone didn't put a foot wrong, and they deserve great credit for getting the absolute maximum out of the package that they have at their disposal at the moment.

"Obviously, we'd like to have scored more points still, especially as Jenson missed achieving his first ever British Grand Prix podium finish by a whisker. Indeed, once Nico [Rosberg] had retired, we decided to target a third-place result for Jenson, but in the end it wasn't quite possible. Nonetheless, he drove a superb race and richly deserved the 12 world championship points he scored here today.

"Kevin drove very well, too, making a storming start to be third into Turn 1 and ending up a solid seventh at the flag. We hadn't expected to be competitive at this circuit, whose many fast corners we felt wouldn't suit MP4-29's aerodynamic envelope, so we're pleased to have scored 18 points here. More broadly, as I've said before, it's clear that we're making progress, even if that progress is necessarily not as rapid as we'd ideally like it to be, and I'm confident that that progress will continue; we're on-track. Last but not least, on behalf of all at McLaren, I want to say how relieved we all are to hear that our old friend Kimi [Raikkonen] is okay following his hefty lap-one shunt."

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg (8th): "It was quite a tricky afternoon. My start was not great; I lost a couple of places, and after that we didn't seem to have the pace to fight for big points. I was struggling with the balance, which may have been related to the wind because it was very gusty out there. I had some good battles, especially in the early laps, but we were just missing the performance to really fight today. It's good to score points, but starting fourth we were hoping for more. We now need to regroup and come back stronger for my home race in Germany."

Sergio Perez (11th): "We can't really judge what our real pace was because the contact with Vergne at the start compromised our race. We dropped down to last and from down there it was very difficult to salvage something from this race. I struggled with the prime tyre early in the race, which would have been the best time to make up the ground I had lost. The car felt a lot better on the options, after our pit-stop, but our final stint was not enough to get back into the points. It was a real disappointment after the good qualifying position we had yesterday and I feel that we deserved some points from this weekend. We need to focus on the next race in Germany and I believe Hockenheim will be more suited to our car."

Vijay Mallya, team principal: "After such a strong qualifying performance, we were naturally expecting more from today's race. While circumstances played into our hands yesterday, today we were not so fortunate with Checo's race heavily compromised by the contact with the Toro Rosso on lap one. The windy conditions also returned, which appeared to have an impact on our performance. On the positive side we continued our run of points finishes with Nico adding another four points to our tally. It means Nico and the team have scored in every race this season. As we near the halfway point of the season the battle in the championship is closer than ever so it's important that we respond with a stronger showing in Germany in a couple of weeks' time."


© Sutton Images

Esteban Gutiérrez (DNF): "I had a good race start. After the restart I was fighting with Pastor (Maldonado). When I tried to overtake him in turn 16 he braked and did not leave me enough space. I was already beside him and could not avoid a collision with him. I feel very sorry for the team, as this is not the way a race should end. However, we have to look forward to the next races."

Adrian Sutil (13th) "The race was relatively unspectacular for me. It took a few laps to overtake Jules (Bianchi), but afterwards I was able to constantly improve my lap times. We decided to go with a one-stop strategy. After the pit stop I could not get the hard tyres to work and was not fast enough anymore. Unfortunately I was rarely able to attack and had to defend most of the time."

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "The team worked well during the weekend. In qualifying, which took place in changing weather conditions, everything was done right, however, we were not able to exploit our full potential. In the race it was obvious what our problem was. We were not able to make the hard tyres work properly. In the first part of the race our lap times were competitive. We will now have two days of testing in Silverstone this week, and we will work on further improving the competitiveness of the C33."

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, head of track engineering: "Both our drivers made good starts and were able to gain positions. After the re-start we lost time behind a slower car before we were able to overtake. From this moment on the performance was quite good, and it looked as if we were able to match the performance of some of our competitors. But then we lost Esteban's car due to an incident. With Adrian we changed to the hard compound. From this moment on we lost competitiveness, because we were not able to make theses tyres work, which had an immediate influence on our performance and cost us a couple of positions. Overall, we were not fast enough to make it into the points."

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne (10th): "A strong race for the whole team, to have two cars in the points is certainly a good result and we all needed a positive outcome. I'm happy with my race. Starting from the back of the grid after the red flag and overtaking the cars in front of me was actually good fun. I think today I have found again the aggressiveness I knew I had and it's certainly a boost for my self-confidence. I can't wait to be back in the car for the next race."

Daniil Kvyat (9th): "This was a very intense race, especially towards the end when I was pushing to catch Hulkenberg. I was actually quicker than him and I was definitely getting very close, but unfortunately I was not able to pass him in the end. Overall, I am quite happy with this race weekend and I very much enjoyed driving this track with its high speed corners. And after having had a few difficult races, it is great to see that all the hard work has paid off and that we were able to get both cars into the points."

James Key, technical director: "We can be satisfied with today's race, finishing with both cars in the points. I have to say both drivers did a really good job in defending positions and overtaking other cars. We planned different strategies, with Daniil two stops and Jev one stop and they paid off, as they saw the chequered flag in ninth and tenth position. The team showed a solid performance and it's encouraging to see that we are working in the right direction. Now we are looking forward to the German Grand Prix, where we hope we'll be able to make further steps."


© Sutton Images

Valtteri Bottas (2nd): "We knew that this race would be good fun. We knew we had a quick car and maybe it surprised us it was so quick. The first stint we went through the field fast and that needed a bit of risk. I am so happy for the team, they have worked on race pace and it shows. We were thinking about points today not the podium, and the strategy guys did a great job. I really felt for Felipe today in his 200th race, and it was so nice of him to come to the podium with the team; I really appreciated that. We are a stronger team than we were in the first few races and it won't be easy to stay near the top but we are doing a great job of it at the moment."

Felipe Massa (DNF): "It has been a really difficult weekend. It was a bad start but after that I could catch up everyone and pass cars in the first few corners. The car felt great. Then there was the accident. Kimi came across the track and I never really had a chance to miss him, and sadly the damage was too much to continue. Luckily I turned as it could have been a worse accident. I hope Kimi is ok but it's a weekend to forget for me personally; not the 200th grand prix I had planned."

Rob Smedley, Head of Vehicle Performance: "It's a slightly mixed weekend. It's a great result for Valtteri and he showed incredible race craft throughout the whole race. You couldn't ask for anything more from the driver; he changed his race around with those overtakes in the first stint. It's really disappointing for Felipe as we clearly have a great car and could have had a double podium, but he will rebuild and has the support to bounce back. Everybody is pushing and everybody is motivated in the team, and as a result we are moving forward and that is the main aim. I am really proud of everything that we have done and a big thank you to everyone at the team here and in Grove for all the hard work."


Max Chilton (16th): "After yesterday's qualifying performance we were hopeful that we could have a good race today and we certainly didn't anticipate the course of events that we did encounter. That was a scary moment when I was hit by the flying tyre. I was very lucky in one respect but massively unlucky given the damage to my car. I came into the pits because I needed a new front wing and for the Team to take a look around the car, but of course by then the race had been red flagged. The Team did a good job to repair the car from the pit lane and from then it was a tough race, with me pushing as hard as I could. I was happy to overtake Kobayashi so that I could then work away at closing the gap to him to unlap myself. I'm pleased we got both cars to the finish at our home race. We were hoping for more but with the circumstances we had it's a good result."

© Sutton Images

Jules Bianchi: (14th) "From 10th place at the restart I had a very enjoyable opening stint after the restart. I knew I wouldn't be able to hold off the faster cars behind me but it was a good test of our pace as to how long I could keep them behind for and this was a fun part of the race for me. After that I just had to push as hard as I could to stay with the pack in case any opportunity arose. What we did see today is that all we need is just a few more tenths a lap to allow us to keep pace with the Lotus and Sauber cars, so we have to focus now on finding that extra time."

John Booth, Team Principal: "A very eventful first lap today and luckily the only damage as far as our team was concerned was damage to Max's car rather than himself, so he was extremely lucky in this respect. We called Max in soon after the incident due to the need to change his front wing and check his front suspension, which the wheel had hit. Later in the lap we received the red flag notification but due to a radio issue we weren't able to get the message through to Max to go straight to the grid. Consequently we incurred a hefty penalty, not just that of the drive through but also going down a lap on the safety car restart. From this point Max did well to stay focused and try to catch the cars in front in order to put himself in a position of being able to take advantage of any safety car, should it enable him to unlap himself. His pace was good and overall, despite the disappointment of his finishing position is, he has been pleased with the performance of the car in the race.

"Jules had a very good opening stint, battling hard with the cars behind. Some were clearly quicker than us but he showed good racecraft in keeping them behind. At the point at which they broke through, as Caterham were so far behind it was more about minimising the gap to the Sauber and Lotus cars in front. Unfortunately we weren't quite quick enough so we turn our attentions now to the test this week. One day is devoted to Pirelli testing but we hope the day we will devote to set-up work will bring us some more performance ahead of Germany."


Kamui Kobayashi (15th): "My start was ok and I was ahead of a couple of cars but then saw the Ferrari impact and had to go way off track to avoid hitting him. I made it through almost without any issues - there was a bit of damage to the nose but nothing else we could see then, so we were fine to restart. The main thing for me was I wanted to make sure Kimi was ok. It was a big crash, and while I was lucky to avoid it, I hope he's ok. The initial reports I've heard are that he's not too bad but I just hope that's the case.

"We started under the safety car and I was just behind my teammate and then saw he retired so pushed on to the group just ahead. The car did feel very different to how it was when I started - the aero balance had changed and it was clear we'd lost some downforce, almost certainly from the rallying I had to do, but I kept going as hard as I could.

"I'd started on mediums and they were holding up ok right until we boxed for the first time on lap 18 to go on to a set of hards. They felt really good but from that point it was pretty much a race on my own - the pack ahead was too far down the road for me to catch and I only had Chilton a long way behind me so I just focused on bringing the car home."

Marcus Ericsson (21st): : "I had a fantastic start, my best of the year so far, and passed several cars on the outside of turn one, so by the time the red flag came out I was up to 16th, five places up from where I'd started.

"I was ahead of the crash that Kamui managed to avoid so my car was fine and after we restarted under the safety car I was ahead of him but then, going into turn six I hit something in the kerbs that smashed my suspension and that was the end of the race. It's a shame that we had a DNF today as, even though quali didn't go to plan, the weekend for me has been ok and I wanted a good race today, but now it's on to Hockenheim, a track I've always liked racing at."

Christijan Albers, Caterham F1 CEO: : "We're obviously not happy with where we finished today, but for my first weekend with the team I have to say it's been good. We're not even a week into this new chapter in the team's life but we've already seen just how hard everyone at the track and at the factory is prepared to work to push us forwards, and how determined we all are to achieve our targets this year. We obviously have a lot of work to do but we're prepared for the challenges ahead and we have another chance in two weeks' time to make progress in Germany, so we'll aim to do just that and, little by little, keep improving."

© Sutton Images

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 Track Support Leader: "It was a tough race for us today but we had no issues with the Power Unit. We delivered the maximum performance from the engine and ERS system: effectively a good recovery after the issues we have had in the last few days. We are now looking forward to the test in Silverstone next week where we have a couple of interesting upgrades to trial, which could be introduced from as early as the next race."


Remi Taffin, head of track operations:"After the problems we had in Austria and a difficult start to this weekend, a podium and four of the ten points' scoring positions is a more acceptable result for us. We can clearly see that the fastest cars are still some way ahead but the competition behind is extremely hard-fought and getting to the podium is not an easy task. Today we were able to work with Red Bull to optimize our current configuration and give them the power to fight and overtake. Naturally we need to achieve more than third each race, but in the current configuration and on such a 'power track' as here, a podium is as much as we could have hoped for.

Congratulations also to Toro Rosso, who leave with a double points' finish. The partnership is blossoming and we need to aim for this every time out. We've got work to do with Lotus and Caterham to try to maximize results in the final races of the first half of the season. Our attention now turns to the test at Silverstone, which starts on Tuesday for two days. We have some interesting tweaks to trial, including the latest wave of software upgrades. If they behave as expected we could use them from Germany onwards, which should put us a bit closer to the front."


Paul Hembery, motorsport director: "The restart at the beginning of the race obviously had an effect on the tyre strategy, with a few drivers taking advantage of the situation to switch from their original strategy. We saw some quite opposite approaches being taken, with most drivers who changed moving to the harder tyre, while Alonso was able to exploit the extra speed of the medium tyre - worth about a second a lap - to gain track position after the re-start. The same story continued throughout the race with a number of different approaches to strategy. Even though Silverstone contains the highest lateral energy loadings of the year, seven drivers in the top 10 proved that it was possible to one-stop, which says a lot about the durability of these tyres. Even Lewis Hamilton, who took a brilliant home win, could probably have stopped just once. Now we look forward to this week's test, during which we will see what an 18-inch tyre looks like on a Formula One car, and it's going to be very interesting to hear what people think about that."