2014 British Grand Prix - Driver reaction
The 22 drivers have their say on the action at Silverstone
By William Esler
Last Updated: 06/07/14 7:30pm
The 22 drivers have their say on the action at Silverstone where Nico Rosberg retired and Lewis Hamilton took victory.
Daniel Ricciardo: “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!”
Sebastian Vettel: “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.”
Lewis Hamilton: “Winning in front of your home crowd is just the best feeling. We really do have the greatest fans here and thank you so much to everyone for your patience after yesterday. To see the support all around the track is just amazing.
“I said before that I'd never give up but it was a tough qualifying and I really needed to dig deep and come back positive this morning. A huge thank you to my family and all of the fans for pushing me on - I couldn't have done it without them. Nico had a pretty big gap at the beginning of the race but I kept pushing and was happy with my pace. 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: “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.
Fernando Alonso: “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 duels 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.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “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.”
Romain Grosjean: “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: “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.”
Jenson Button: “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.”
Kevin Magnussen: “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.”
Nico Hulkenberg: “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: “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.”
Esteban Gutierrez: “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: “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.”
Daniil Kvyat: “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.”
Jean-Eric Vergne: “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."
Valtteri Bottas: “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: “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.”
Jules Bianchi: “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.”
Max Chilton: “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.”
Kamui Kobayashi: “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: “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.”