Formula 1 News

Malaysian GP Driver's comments Round-up

Heidfeld: ""I had a great start just like in Australia, and did not expect to make up so many positions."
Monday, April 11, 2011

Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel
“The start was crucial. I thought it was a very good start, but then I saw Lewis lining up behind me. I was surprised going into Turn one, as all of a sudden I saw something black in my mirrors - I knew it was a Lotus. For the first stint it was a good thing to happen, as I could pull away lap by lap. The entire race was quite different to what we saw two weeks ago it was a lot closer and there were more pit stops due to the tyres. With the stops, you don’t want to be first in, as you want to do as few stops as possible, but also you don’t want someone else to go in, get an advantage with new tyres and undercut you. It wasn’t an easy race, but in the last section Lewis had a problem and was then behind Jenson. I’m very pleased with today’s result. I love what I do and don’t think I could be happier at this stage.

It’s been close here, so we need to keep cool and keep pushing, but the guys know this is the way forward, so I’m not worried. But for today we will enjoy it and be very proud.”

Mark Webber
“It was a tough race today. It wasn’t a good start out of the box and we had a failure with theKERS, so I was out of position on the first lap. For the first three or four laps, I was trying to pass people, but they were coming back at me on the straights; it was tough to clear people when I didn’t have KERS. Anyway, I fought back with a good strategy and got some good points at least. It wasn’t our day today and I was disappointed not to get on the podium. It was close, but not close enough, But, it will come and now we go to Shanghai.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Jenson Button
“This has been an extremely encouraging weekend for us. It’s very satisfying to come away with a good lot of world championship points - everyone in the team has done an amazing job and we should feel very proud of ourselves. Today’s race was all about looking after the tyres. On the way to the grid, I purposely took a lot of front wing out of the car, which was a mistake because I had massive understeer for the first stint, which also hurt the rear tyres. I just got the balance wrong. So at each pitstop, I dialled in more front wing and my pace kept getting better and better. At the end, the Prime tyre was really working for me. I knew Lewis had a problem in one of his pitstops and that I would be able to come out in front of him, but my pace was very good anyway. It was a great afternoon. In the closing laps, the team told
me to take it easy on the tyres, but I chased down Sebastian [Vettel] as much as I could all the same still, it wasn’t quite enough. We should all feel very encouraged that we have a good, strong package. I still don’t think we’re getting the best from it yet - but I hope we will in China, and that Lewis and I will both have great races.”

Lewis Hamilton
“Today was just one of those days. It’s never satisfying to start second and finish seventh, but that’s racing. We just have to take it on the chin and move on from it. At the start, I was on the outside going into the first corner, I got squeezed and it was difficult to defend without risking hitting Jenson or Nick [Heidfeld]. Then, during the race, my tyres kept dropping off; we pitted earlier than was optimal, and ran out of tyres at the end. I’d hoped to make the end of the race on a set of used Primes, but they didn’t last so we had to pit rightat the end of the race. There were a lot of factors that made this afternoon very difficult: the delay at the pitstop, being chased by a couple of cars when I was trying to look after my
tyres, and being hit from behind by Fernando [Alonso]. I think he got a bit too close, and, when he pulled out, he just clipped me with his wing and broke my car’s rear floor. I don’t how much downforce that lost me. Today wasn’t the greatest of days, but I’m going to China aiming to win; I’m only looking forwards.”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso
“I am happy with this race: not with the result but because we were finally competitive, capable of fighting wheel to wheel for a place on the podium. This is further motivation for the forthcoming race in China. We were not lucky: if the moveable rear wing had worked all the time, I could easily have passed Hamilton down the straight, but instead we had to fight
hard. He defended very well and, unfortunately, we touched: that broke my wing and I had to come back into the pits to change it, thus losing any chance of getting to the podium. These things happen: today went badly for me, but another time we will have better luck. Here, the car seemed capable of managing the tyres really well which meant I could fight with the others. With the package we have today, we cannot fight for the win, but I hope that changes soon. In Shanghai, we realise we can expect another difficult weekend. We will have something new, but we don’t know how much progress it will see us make.

Everyone knows that, at the moment, we just have to grit our teeth and that’s what we will do. There is
still a long way to go in the championship and we must leave nothing to chance.”

Felipe Massa
“We definitely have to improve the car, but it’s equally true that our race pace is very different to our performance in qualifying. That’s a positive, but we know that grid position is nevertheless very important, so we have to move forward on this front. As for my race, it was a shame to have lost valuable seconds at my first pit stop: but for that problem, I could have fought my way to a podium place. With the soft tyres my pace was very good, less so on the hards, to such an extent that Webber, who in addition had made one more stop, managed to pass me.”

Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One Team

Michael Schumacher
“I had a straightforward race today which was even a bit exciting towards the end but really full of ups and downs before. The start was quite good and then it was mainly about managing the tyres. We probably couldn't have expected to take more than two points today and we certainly have to work on our race pace which is not yet where we want it to be. We are all aware of that and we are more than ready to keep working hard to make the necessary steps forward. Over one lap, we can already be at a good level when the car is working well, but we need to continue to work on our race

Nico Rosberg
"It was not my race today and it's been a tough weekend. I had a poor start and lost positions which made it very difficult to try and get into the points. Our race pace was not good enough, and it was very difficult to push, so unfortunately we could not perform at the level that we wanted to here. Looking at my qualifying laps, we can take heart from a small
step forward from Melbourne so we will keep the hard work up to make further improvements."

Lotus Renault GP

Nick Heidfeld
"I had a great start just like in Australia, and did not expect to make up so many positions. I moved up to P2, making up four places. After that I did my best to follow Sebastian (Vettel) but he was much quicker. Then, I noticed some drops of rain and my tyres were going off but I stayed out. I lost a couple of places at my first pit stop, but it’s clear we had really good pace and we were able to fight with the cars ahead. I got lucky with Fernando (Alonso) having a problem, but it was great fun fighting and getting ahead of Lewis (Hamilton). In the final few laps Mark (Webber) was close behind me but we had the pace to stay ahead. It’s another great result for Lotus Renault GP and it’s clear the team has taken a big step forward this year."

Vitaly Petrov
"First of all I am happy for the team as we got another podium, so we can consider this a great start to the season for us. It was a strong performance by the team in an unusual race. I made a small mistake which shouldn’t have had the consequences it had. I went wide and the car took off on the curb, landing hard. Both cars should have been in the points today, but the good news is that we clearly have the pace needed to compete this season."

AT&T Williams

Rubens Barrichello
“A hydraulic problem forced us out of the race today. The team are still trying to identify exactly what the issue was. I was running at the back anyway when we had to retire because of an early stop to change a punctured tyre picked up after a collision. This wasn’t the start of the season I was hoping for and we need to improve. Right now we don’t have a reliable car and we’re playing catch up, but the team back home are pushing hard to get things resolved and bring performance to the car. I believe they will be there soon.”

Pastor Maldonado
“We had a misfire problem on my car from the third lap. I tried to stay out, but we had to bring the car in. I am now looking ahead to China where I will be pushing to complete a full race distance and get a better result.”

Force India Formula One Team

Adrian Sutil
“The first few laps were not brilliant as I lost my front wing touching Barrichello's rear tyre. Then we had a two-stop strategy, I went into the pits for the soft tyres, then another set of hard and another set of soft, and made them last well, which is positive. We could have been in for a much better finishing position, which is a shame. Overall it was a disappointing weekend for me, but the team did a great job with the pitstops so I'd like to thank them for

Paul Di Resta
“I am quite happy I must say. The team did a good job with the strategy. I just could not hold off Michael at the end, he had fresher tyres and we had to stop a bit earlier for my third stop than predicted. But I also did not want to risk the championship point as well. I think the DRS showed some good racing today, so maybe we can be confident that in China our race pace may even be a little bit better. We were battling with cars that were a little bit quicker than us
today, so overall I think we had a great race.”

Sauber F1 Team

Sergio Pérez
“Something came off Sébastien Buemi’s car, which was just in front of me, and hit the floor of my car. The fire extinguisher went off and the electrics cut out. It was a shame I couldn’t finish the race as the car felt good. However, we could have pitted a bit earlier for fresh tyres, but we thought we were going to have some heavy rain.”

Kamui Kobayashi
“I had a good car, the team did a great job, and I’m particularly happy we were able to score our first points here. The strategy with only two stops was a little bit risky, but I think it worked out quite well. The difficulty about unusual strategies is in the race you find yourself always on a different pace to the competition. I had some nice and fair battles with Mark
Webber and Michael Schumacher, which I enjoyed.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari
“I need to analyse this race with the engineers, because to be honest, I don’t really understand what happened: we were slow and the tyre degradation was very high, higher than on Friday. I struggled to clean the graining off the front tyres and was losing performance with every passing lap. On the positive side, I made a good start, gaining a few places. But soon I found I could not keep up with the guys in front. Given the difficulties I had, I feel that finishing the race was in itself an achievement and the best I could do today.”

Sebastien Buemi
“I made a good start, passing Rosberg and was running well, closing up on Kobayashi and Schumacher, but at my first pit stop, I had the impression that the Pit Lane Speed Limiter had not been engaged. I immediately pressed it again, which deactivated it, so I speeded in the pit lane and picked up a ten second stop-go penalty, which I felt was a bit severe, as usually you get a drive-through penalty which loses you less time. After that I gave it my best shot but it was not enough to get a reward for the work, as I felt we could have got the Force Indias and at least finished ninth. I only changed tyres twice and it’s true that the last few laps were very difficult because of the degradation.”

Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen
"That was a pretty good race all round. The balance was good on both sets of tyres and I think the strategy worked well for us - we pitted at the right times and we didn't have any problems all afternoon. I think we can be pleased that after a difficult Friday we showed the sort of performance that the winter tests had given us hope we could do so now it's about
continuing development of the car and keeping up the pressure on the guys ahead. China will be a good test of how the car behaves in cooler conditions so the goal will be to repeat this kind of performance there and keep on pushing."

Jarno Trulli
"Unfortunately a clutch problem brought my race to an early end which is pretty bad luck as we were looking ok at our home grand prix. I had a tricky start with the anti-stall kicking in but I recovered and then after the first pitstop I locked a front wheel coming out and had to make up ground again. I got past Timo but then the clutch gave up, which is a shame as we looked like we have started to show what the car is really made of."

Hispania Racing F1 Team

Narain Karthikeyan
“I would have definitely liked to have finished the race and done more miles but this was not the case. There were some problems with the water temperatures so we had to abandon in order to not damage the engine. The car balance was not the best but we have some information from Tonio because he almost completed the race. It’s a shame because I was just settling in when I was forced to abandon but anyways, now I’m focused on China where I will be looking to finish the race.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi
“It’s a shame we didn’t finish by 8 laps because our target was to reach the checkered flag. We had a small issue with the rear wing and were forced to stop. It’s a shame because we had a really good start where I was able to pass a few cars. It was an interesting first lap but then our pace wasn’t too competitive and those cars were able to overtake me. After that, it was a really complicated race because the car was struggling with the rear end, it was drifting a lot during the three stints we did. We have to work a lot on the balance and the set up for the future. We knew we weren’t exactly where we wanted to be but today it was important to achieve mileage and get some information on the car. So now we have some data to work with for the future”.

Marussia Virgin Racing

Timo Glock
“I got a good start and got ahead of Trulli in the Lotus into turn one and everything was going well, but I was only able to defend the position for so long before he was able to get past. The car was working well and we were able to look after the tyres, so we were able to stick to a two-stop strategy. My engineer did a great job to get me through the traffic and it
was a very straightforward race for me. Great job by the pit stop crew as a very smooth stop helped me to get back out ahead of Trulli. Apart from the steps we still need to make in performance terms, everything is working well, so we are looking forward to what our development package can bring after China in time for Europe.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio
“I'm quite happy with this weekend. I won't be remembering the fact that I stopped with less than 15 laps to go but my goal was to improve on Melbourne on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was definitely much better - and the race as well. I was able to keep up a good pace, especially in the second and third stints, so I must say I'm pretty happy about
that. But this is just the beginning and I have to keep on working and improving all the time. I've made a step in the right direction so that's good. 

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