Driver Reaction - German GP
The drivers have their say on a thrilling German Grand Prix
By William Esler. Last Updated: July 22, 2012 6:23pm
Michael Schumacher: Hoped for a better result
Vettel confident in last minute overtake
Sebastian Vettel: "We had a decent race today although there wasn't enough pace when we got close to Fernando and we also lost a position to Jenson who had a good pit stop and came in earlier. A couple of laps before that, I lost some time with Lewis as he un-lapped himself. At the end of the race, Jenson's tyres were gone and we were able to close the gap again. It was then a question of when, rather than where, and I tried to outbreak him.
"He opened the break again and then was up the inside; I wasn't sure where he was, I couldn't see him in that moment, so decided to give enough space and went off line on the slippery paint and I was able to stay ahead and get past him. The only intention was not to crash and to give him enough room. I have respect for him and I didn't want to squeeze him. It was good to be on the podium at the home race, but I have to respect the steward's decision."
Mark Webber: "I had no pace today and wasn't quick. I couldn't stay with people that I normally can, so we'll look into it and come back in Budapest. I'm disappointed, as I expected to get more out of today's race. Normally Sundays have been ok for me, but not today. After the first lap it wasn't too bad, I got Lewis, but after that I was just hanging on. This is a completely different track (to Silverstone), but we have to be quick in all conditions and today we weren't for whatever reason."
Button tight-lipped on Vettel pass
Jenson Button: "I had a really good race and really enjoyed myself out there. I made a good start, pulled off some good moves on both Nico (Hukenberg) and Michael (Schumacher) and had strong pace all afternoon.
"Sebastian (Vettel)'s pass was a pretty straightforward matter: the rules state that you can't go off the track to gain an advantage. The thing is, there would have been more opportunities for him before the end of the race as my rear tyres were damaged. That's because I had to push hard to try and catch Fernando (Alonso), which meant I had nothing left for the end of the race. We pretty much ran out of rubber two laps before the chequer.
"There are two strong positives to take away from today: firstly, although it proved very difficult to overtake, we're right up there with Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of speed. Our upgrade package is working well: if we can sort out qualifying, we're in the mix, and we'll have a really good chance of winning races this season.
"Secondly, although there's previously been some negative talk about our pitstops, the boys did an unbelievable job today. My fastest stop was a 2.31s - the blink of an eye, and, I'm told, the fastest pitstop in history. They were phenomenal and gave it absolutely everything today - all our effort is really paying off now.
"I'm already looking forward to Hungary - it's a special place for me, and I feel really encouraged that we can have another great race next weekend."
Hamilton's 100th GP not something to celebrate
Lewis Hamilton: "My second-lap puncture was incredibly unfortunate: there was debris scattered across the full width of the track and I didn't have any option other than to drive straight through it. What's more frustrating is that, at the time, I was the eighth car through - so to be the one to get the puncture is just cruel luck.
"It was immediately clear that my car didn't feel the same after the puncture. However, after a few laps, I was able to adapt my driving style, and the car had good pace during the middle stint. However, with the damage to the rear, I think we were lucky to get that far, to be honest.
"At least I was able to have some fun out on track - my pace was good enough to be able to match the leaders during the middle stint. And that's encouraging for me, because we know our car's been genuinely quick this weekend. A big thank-you to everyone back at the factory for all their efforts to get a lot of new parts onto the car this weekend - every little bit helps, and we know there's even more in the pipeline.
"We'll put that pace in our pockets and take it to Hungary next weekend. I'm back in the car in five days' time - and that's the best possible news for me after a day like today."
Michael Schumacher: "There are nicer ways to finish a home race than falling back from third to seventh place. I squeezed everything I could out of the car but, unfortunately, that's everything we could manage today. It's a pity because I would have loved to have given something more to all our Mercedes-Benz colleagues who were supporting us today.
"Before this weekend, we expected to be racing between P5 and P7, and of course fifth place would have been the better option, but seventh was our maximum in these circumstances. I got a decent start and the short battle with Sebastian was fun. After that, unfortunately, there weren't too many highlights, apart from setting the fastest lap, perhaps. However, we couldn't maintain that pace for very long. Now we have to look forwards and do our maximum at the next race."
Nico Rosberg: "It feels ok to have scored one point today after such a bad qualifying yesterday and starting right at the back. We had a good strategy and I had great fun out there at times overtaking so many people to move from 21st to 10th place. Some of the guys I had to overtake a couple of times and there were some nice manoeuvres.
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"Thanks to our fans here in Hockenheim for their fantastic support, even though the weekend didn't really run to plan. Now I look forward to Budapest in just seven days and hope for a better weekend, and we will keep working very hard towards this."
Kimi Raikkonen: "We did the best we could today from the position we started. My start was okay, but then I think Lewis (Hamilton) had a problem in front of me and I had to slow down to avoid hitting the back of his car. This let Paul (Di Resta) through in the DRS zone and from there we had a big hill to climb as it was tricky to get back past.
"Maybe if we had found a bit more pace in the wet yesterday we could have started higher and pushed the leaders, but it is what it is. For sure we were hoping for a bit better here, but the car worked well all through the race and we still brought home some good points for the team so there are some positives to take to the next race."
Romain Grosjean: "We were on the back foot from the outset after the grid penalty and nothing went right today. It's a shame as I had a good start and took a few places in the first corner. Then on the straight there was contact and that was the race pretty much ruined for me.
"I'm not sure exactly what happened - we'll have to look at the on-board footage to get a better idea - but my car was badly damaged with a broken front wing and a puncture. By the time I managed to get back to the pits the race was as good as over. You never want to have these kind of weekends, but it happens. It will make us enjoy the next good race even more."
Nico Hulkenberg: "We always knew it was going to be tough to hang on to fourth place because we did not look especially strong in the dry conditions on Saturday morning. But when you're in that position you hope for the best and actually the first part of the race was strong for me and I had some good battles.
"In terms of strategy, doing three stops was the way forward because a two-stop race was not possible with the way the tyres were degrading. So it's good to come away with some points but I was certainly hoping for a bit more from my home race."
Di Resta: We struggled
Paul di Resta: "A tough race today and ultimately we didn't have the pace to match teams like Lotus and Sauber. The story of the race was deciding whether to stop two or three times and with hindsight we probably could have been more aggressive. But it was hard to understand the tyres and we seemed to struggle for pace in the middle of each stint.
"I think we have the baseline speed in the car but we just couldn't demonstrate it today and that's why I missed out on points. Hopefully we can find the sweet spot next weekend before the summer break."
Kamui Kobayashi: "I am very happy for the team that we have managed to get a good result again. We have been unlucky in the two most recent races, and also had a bad qualifying yesterday. The performance of our car, especially in the dry, is really strong. If we only had qualified better we could have achieved even more today.
"At the beginning of the race it was a bit difficult on the medium tyres, but our strategy was good. Considering where we came from, 18 points is an excellent result."
Sergio Perez: "I am so pleased for all of us that we have recovered after we had such a bad qualifying. We have shown a strong pace in the race. However, my strategy was a little bit compromised because I had to do my first pit stop a bit earlier than planned.
"I felt something strange on the left hand side of the car - perhaps it was a puncture - but I don't' really know yet what it was. This obviously meant we had to extend the later stint and I ended up with quite old tyres. The team did a great job today and this will give us a good boost for next week's race in Budapest."
Daniel Ricciardo: "I had a normal start and held position on the opening lap, so at least we did not make life more difficult than it needed to be. However, it was clear in the opening laps that I could not patch the pace of those cars around me and I was fighting quite a bit with some understeer. After that, I lost places to the Saubers and Rosberg and could not stick with them. At the first stop, I asked for some more front wing to get rid of the understeer and the second stint was a little bit better.
"I ran the final stint with even more wing and that was the best the car had been all afternoon and I was hoping to catch Di Resta, but with eight laps remaining, I started to lose grip at the rear end and that was it. We tried a bit of everything today, but unfortunately we did not have any answers."
Jean-Eric Vergne: "I am at the same time disappointed and happy at the end of this race: happy because the performance was quite good and disappointed as we were unlucky to have a puncture, which meant I had to make a very early stop which ruined the race. Actually I had a bad start, dropping to 20th but still, I managed to cross the line 13th at the end of the first lap.The car was running well enough to get a better result.
"The car definitely seems to be working better than it did in the last few Grands Prix, so that gives us hope that we can improve still further at the next race. We only have a few days to go till Hungary where I have usually gone well in the other formulae, but this is Formula 1, so we will have to wait and see."
Pastor Maldonado: "It was a difficult race today. We started okay but the car lacked pace in the second stint and I didn't have the grip needed to maintain my position due to some damage caused in the early part of the race. The car improved a bit in the final stint on the soft tyres but we need to go away now and understand why we were not as quick as we were earlier in the week in time for the next race in Hungary."
Bruno Senna: "I had a stronger pace in the race than the result suggests so it's disappointing to finish where we did. It was unfortunate because I lost almost a minute on the first lap after I had to pit after making contact which put me right at the back, and from there it's always difficult to make your way through the pack. Nevertheless we do have good pace in the car and if I can qualify higher up the grid next time then we stand a good chance of getting points in Hungary."
Vitaly Petrov: "I am pleased with my performance today. It was a pretty quiet race for me and the car felt good right from the first lap, so I think I got as much out of it as I could today. The last stint was particularly good - I knew Senna was on the softer tyres behind me and I had to make sure I stayed ahead, so I just focused on getting it to the flag without making any mistakes and I'm pleased for the team with where we ended up. It's encouraging that the car did feel better today.
"Our pace in the early laps was good, as it has been all season, and hopefully we can carry that through to Hungary - we certainly have a lot more data to work through now from having both cars finish today so that should help us more next weekend."
Heikki Kovalainen: "The early part of the race was good for me. The car felt better than it has for most of the weekend and I was able to push, but then it felt like we had a problem after the second stop and from that point the front tyres were graining much more than they should have been. We stopped pretty late for a nose change to see if that could sort the problem out and it did as after that the car felt back to normal, but from then I was just focusing on getting the car to the end of the race.
"It's pretty clear that the hotter the temperatures are the better we perform, so hopefully we'll be able to show more speed in Hungary. It's a circuit I like and obviously I had my first win there so let's see what happens next weekend."
Pedro de la Rosa: "I had a lot of fun in today's race. Everything went well, we maintained a good rhythm and the tyres held out without any problems, but above all I'm happy about the fight I put up on the track. I was hunting down Glock's car from start to finish and right at the end, when I saw that his tyres had nothing left in them, I overtook him in a place he didn't expect. I'm very happy because, for the first time, we were able to beat a Marussia and overtake it on the track.
"The race wasn't easy because I started to see blue flags very early on. It's a big let down because once you see the first one you know many come behind. From then on you try to get out of the way, maintain your pace and not get your tyres dirty. And I think we achieved it. I hope we maintain this level and even improve on it in Hungary."
Narain Karthikeyan: "It was a good race for us because we battled with our immediate competition from the first to the last lap. In this sense I think it was our best race of the season so far. I lost too much time with the blue flags in my last stint, but I didn't finish far off Pedro or Glock. Our pace and rhythm was good and the best thing about it is that we achieved this with no upgrades on the car, so we've definitely got good potential."
Charles Pic: "The start did not work well for me, so we have to understand that and learn for the next time. After that the first lap went really well, so I was able to recover well. The pace was good and although we have not changed position, we continue to improve versus the Caterhams and pull away from the HRTs. This is positive, but not sufficient, and we have to keep working away at this to find more.
"I am quite happy with my race and our direction. The boys in the team have had a tough weekend but responded well and I would like to thank them for that. Now on to the Hungaroring. There is not much time but we will use these next days well to study the race today and I hope make some small improvements for next weekend."
Timo Glock: "Not a great weekend for me. Even though it was my home race, quite early on it became one to put behind me and that was quite difficult I have to say. Since lap 10 the balance of the car did not feel right and it became very difficult to drive.
"We struggled for top speed on the straights and then towards the end of the race there was a problem with the differential and the last few laps were so tough. I couldn't do anything with the car and was dropping back quite quickly. A race I won't think about for very long."