Formula 1 News

Drivers' Quotes after the Monaco GP

Button: "it was fun to watch because they were either going to crash or there was going to be an opportunity for me to try and get through as they battled each other."
Monday, May 30, 2011

Red Bull Racing

Sebastian Vettel
“It’s difficult to describe today; it’s a great feeling. I’ve seen what it takes to win here. Today it was a crazy race. It’s difficult to imagine you can one-stop at this race, but that’s more or less what we did. Our first pit stop was not spot on and we lost the position to Jenson. I was surprised when Jenson came in and we had to react, he was pulling away on the soft tyres while I was on the hard tyres. I thought ‘don’t give up’ and kept pushing to close the gap. The safety car helped us, but it was no walk in the park to do roughly 60 laps on the same set of tyres our estimation was not allowing that!

We took a lot of risks, but that made today’s win even sweeter. Towards the end of the race the tyres I had were nowhere close to fresh - but I saw the only way to win the race was to stay out. I had 20 laps where I was under pressure from Fernando and Jenson, it would have been a difficult final six laps, but there was another safety car and a suspended race, so we were able to change the tyres. I’m extremely happy. At some stage I was in P2 and 15 seconds behind Jenson, so victory seemed far away, but it’s a crazy place here. I think the roulette was spun last night and kept on spinning during this race. I’m really, really happy. A fantastic result and a huge honour to put my name on the list of Monaco race winners. We fully deserved this win, we took the risk and we got the reward.”

Mark Webber
“We didn’t really go long enough on the first stint, which is normal for me on these tyres, so that compromised me. When I arrived in the pits we didn’t have any tyres out, I arrived and sat there, but the boys were still getting them ready. There was a radio communication problem within the team and so they weren’t properly prepared. When you wait here, you
lose track position and you have to wait behind people, so it was not bad to get fourth from there. I don’t know why we restarted the race when there were only five laps left - but that was the decision and it turned out okay. I hope Vitaly (Petrov) is okay.”

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Jenson Button
“First of all, I’m pleased to hear that Vitaly [Petrov] is okay after we saw another big shunt this weekend. As for my race, I didn’t put a foot wrong out there, pulled away into a good lead… but came away with ‘only’ 15 points in the end. But that’s Monte-Carlo. We jumped Sebastian [Vettel] at the first stop and I then pushed like crazy on the Super-Soft, even tapping the wall a couple of times.

The car was good and I pulled out a big lead, about 15 seconds, so it was all looking great at that point. Then we made another tyre stop - just moments before the Safety Car was deployed. By that stage, we still hadn’t run the Prime, which meant we still had to fit another set of tyres to finish the race. With 10 laps to go, it was looking like either myself, Sebastian or Fernando [Alonso] could win the race: Sebastian’s tyres were going off and Fernando was pushing him really hard. I could tell that Fernando was getting ready to have a go into Turn One it was fun to watch because they were either going to crash or there was going to be an opportunity for me to try and get through as they battled each other.

Any of us could have won at that point. But after the red flag for Vitaly’s big accident, all the teams were able to fit fresh tyres which meant we couldn’t do anything because the three of us were all on the same pace and I’d lost myadvantage. The team did a great job this weekend and I’m very happy. We really went for it and had to try something different in order to beat Sebastian here. It was looking good, but it didn’t work out in the end.”

Lewis Hamilton
“It’s been a disappointing weekend, really. This afternoon, in the race itself, I made some strong moves on three drivers Michael [Schumacher], Felipe [Massa] and Pastor [Maldonado] and I got penalised for two of them. With Felipe, I went up the inside at the hairpin, he turned in early and we touched. With Pastor, again, he turned in and I was pushed over the kerb. The penalties were frustrating: it’s really tough to overtake around here, and you rarely get an opportunity to do so. I was racing my heart out and just wanted to put on a good show for everyone.”

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Fernando Alonso
“This is my best result of the year and I think it is very important, especially for the team. A podium was needed, we needed to be fighting to the end for the win. Sure, this is not a typical circuit and we should not draw conclusions from a race that always produces its own story. We must close down the distance that separates us from the best: in Canada, we will have some updates on the car and we hope they will prove useful.

I got a good start: if there had been a bit more room, maybe I could have done the same as in Spain. Then I tried to look after the tyres, before attacking Vettel at the very end, but then came the red flag and that meant it was over, because on new tyres, he was impossible to beat. Unfortunately, these sort of things can always happen here and they are part of the character of this Grand Prix. We must be pleased with this result and look to Montreal and Valencia, two races where we went well last year, with confidence. The gap in the championship is very big, but there is still a long way to go.”

Felipe Massa
“I am very disappointed with the way my race ended. After Hamilton had tried to pass me at Loews, which is an impossible place to do it, hitting me and pushing me into Webber, the car was no longer right and I could not drive it properly, which is why he got on the inside of me inside the tunnel. That put me on the dirt and then I ended up in the barrier.

At the start, I got away well, but at the first corner I found Webber and Fernando in front of me: I was on the outside and Rosberg managed to get inside me. That meant I missed out on the train that would have kept me up with the leaders, as I spent too much time behind the German’s Mercedes. Today, we were competitive and, given how things went, I could have finished fourth. Now, we head for Canada, where we hope to have a car capable of fighting, as was the case here. The fact we will have the same two types of tyre, the soft and supersoft, is definitely positive for us.”

Mercedes GP Petronas 

Michael Schumacher
“Unfortunately, there are not a lot of positives we will be able to take away from this race. At the end, there was a fire inside the airbox and the car simply stopped, but the beginning of the race was not satisfying either. At the start, the anti-stall system suddenly kicked in which meant I had to re-do the whole starting procedure. Then I had a rendezvous with Lewis at turn one which left my front wing not working properly, so I lost downforce which also handicapped my tyres.

That meant we had to stop much earlier than we had planned and, from then onwards, the race was obviously
compromised. All in all though, the race was quite exciting, and I am happy that Vitaly Petrov seems to be well.”

Nico Rosberg
“I had a good start today, and that's the one positive thing that we can take from the race. After that, I thought that I would be able to push but unfortunately the rear tyres went off in the first stint which really cost me performance. It was a difficult weekend for us with the car not at its best, and I was not at my best either, so it didn't really come together. That happens
sometimes but we will push and be better in Montreal. We will learn from what happened today and we know that the result is not where we belong. I'm sure we can improve and look forward to seeing that in a fortnight.”

Lotus Renault GP

Nick Heidfeld
"Firstly, I am glad that Vitaly is doing ok. Hearing that he has not broken or fractured anything is good news. He was in a strong position and was very unlucky to have the incident. For me, the start of the race was ok, I almost got one of the Force Indias but I did not manage to make up a place unfortunately. When the safety car came out, I got a very late call into the pits but I made it, which definitely helped me. It was a difficult weekend for us here but to take four points for the team is ok given my qualifying position."

Vitaly Petrov
"First of all, I would like to thank all my fans for all their well wishes, the medical teams at the circuit, the hospital for their efficient and friendly assistance, and the team for their concern. It was quite a big impact and I could not feel my legs very well after the crash. I thought it was best for the medical team to assist with removing me from the car as it was difficult for me to move and my legs were trapped in the cockpit. I did not lose consciousness but I was in quite a lot of pain when I was inside the car. It is a shame as I made a good start, gaining two places straight away.

After my pitstop, I was stuck behind Kamui Kobayashi - who was very slow- and Adrian Sutil -who was defending his position really too agressively- but I was being cautious as it is very difficult to pass on this track. Then I got caught in the incident. It is a shame, as we could have got quite a few points this weekend. I’m now looking forward to Montreal. We need to sort out our problems in qualifying and we will get some good results, as our race pace is usually very good."

AT&T Williams

Rubens Barrichello
“With six laps to go, I thought tenth was the best result we were going to achieve today. I ended up ninth, but not in the way I would have liked to as it was at the expense of my teammate. We lost some really good points for the team so that is disappointing. I’m happy that I’ve broken my run of bad luck though. The safety car didn’t help us as our one-stop
strategy would have worked well had I not just done my pitstop before it was deployed.There are positives and negatives to take from today, the positive being we scored some points.”

Pastor Maldonado
“The final result was not what we wanted but the rest of the race was good. My pace was strong but after the re-start Hamilton tried a very ambitious manoeuvre at the first corner and that was the end of my race. I’m really disappointed not to come away with any points today.”

Force India 

Adrian Sutil
“I started the race on the prime tyres and our plan was to do a one-stop strategy. When the first safety car came out I pitted to take the option tyres and I knew I would be on them for a very long time. I tried to make them last, although they dropped off with about 15 laps to go and that’s when I had a big train of cars behind me. It was then that I ran wide on the
marbles at turn 12, which gave me a right rear puncture. But that’s when the safety car came out and I pitted to change tyres so I didn’t lose too much ground. So I was in eighth when the race restarted and ended the race in seventh. It’s a great result for the team and we’re all very happy because we’ve been waiting a while for this. I have a lot of great memories here in Monaco and this is another special moment to savour.”

Paul Di Resta
“I think it was all running quite smoothly to begin with and our strategy seemed to be going well. After my first pit stop the team told me that to make the strategy work I needed to pass Alguersuari so I tried to overtake him at the hairpin. That’s when I made contact and damaged my front wing, which is why I had to make an early second stop. I have to hold my
hands up for this accident because I was probably a bit too ambitious. It’s a shame because the car was working well and without this incident I think I could have scored some points.”

Sauber F1 Team

Kamui Kobayashi
“I am very happy. I was struggling a lot in qualifying, but the team did a great job with the pit stop strategy today. The call for the tyre change came at a perfect time. It was no problem to go for such a long stint with the super soft tyres, and I think they would have lasted even longer. After the start I had problems with traffic, but then one after the other they stopped and it became better for me. After my one and only pit stop I was stuck behind Adrian Sutil, and at the same time I had to defend against Mark Webber. In this situation it was a bit difficult to manage the tyres. Without the restart I obviously could have finished fourth. But when Mark was so close behind me on the final laps there was nothing I could do to defend that place. However, I think fifth is a great achievement at the end of what was a difficult weekend.”

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari
“I seemed to be in traffic all the time, which is normal here, so I was unable to exploit the full potential of the tyres. It was very difficult, or nearly impossible to overtake so there was not much I could do, having started so far back on the grid. As for the accident towards the end, I was overtaking Heidfeld at the time. I think Sutil had a problem with his rear tyre, so
Hamilton braked very hard in front of me and, although I also braked as hard as I could, it was too late, I could not stop and went into him. Of course it’s disappointing, but our race pace is encouraging so I hope we can make use of that in Montreal in two weeks time.”

Sebastien Buemi
“I started sixteenth and finished tenth after a very difficult Grand Prix, because by the end of it, I have to admit I was not too sure where we were in terms of strategy and tyres, with the situation made more complicated by the Safety Car and the red flag. I think we can be happy with our race pace as my lap times were quite good. To come away from the toughest race of the year with a point is pleasing, especially when you consider our qualifying did not go so well. Now I am looking forward to Canada, where I had a good race last year, finishing eighth.”

Team Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen
“Finishing 13th and 14th is a very good team result, but that was a bit of an average race for me. I lost a position at the start and that was pretty much the end of my race. The first stint was pretty difficult and on the second stint I couldn’t really find a rhythm as I kept having to let cars past. After the second stop I was able to start pushing but by then I couldn’t really domuch. Having said that, it’s been a good weekend overall and we’ll keep fighting in two weeks time in Montreal.

Jarno Trulli
"That was a great result for the team, the best of the season so we’re all pleased with that. I had another great start I wish I had made starts like that in previous seasons as I think I would have won several races with starts like that. After that I was holding position and keeping up with the cars ahead but the safety car hit our race strategy hard. The gap we had
was wasted behind slower cars and even though I passed D’Ambrosio the second safety car pretty much defined the rest of the race."

Hispania Racing

Narain Karthikeyan
“I made a good start as I managed to keep the car together. The car went well in the first stint. I was ahead of Tonio when I came in for a pit stop and then the safety car came out twice which was unlucky and meant that I lost a lap. But I completed the race in Monaco which is a track where you don’t get to drive much so it’s very positive to have been able to get through every lap. We will come away from this race with positives and the sense that we’re moving forward.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi
“It was a good race. I had a problem since the first lap with the power steering so it was a very tough race. Fortunately, we made it to the checkered flag. 16th is a good result and puts the team in a better position. This result is good for motivating the team for the upcoming races, it was hugely important to finish the race after the issues we’ve had this week. We overcame our difficulties and made it to the end which is a positive step.”

Marussia Virgin Racing

Timo Glock
“I was having a good race until the problem with the rear suspension. Even though the cars in front were slightly quicker, we were keeping up with them and we could have a bit of a fight. But unfortunately the right rear push-rod was damaged and collapsed in the chicane in the harbour - lucky it happened at a slow part of the track. So it’s a bit disappointing after
what has been a good weekend for us. We had a good qualifying yesterday and today we had a good possibility to finish the race. Unfortunately this was not the case. I want to thank the team for a good weekend after two very busy weeks for all of us.”

Jérôme D’Ambrosio
“It was a pretty good race for me, which was all about keeping the tyres alive. After starting on the Soft Prime tyre, the car wasn't as quick, but we decided during the race that we could make a one-stop work. Then the Safety Car came out a few laps earlier than we would have chosen to stop and so we had to switch to the Super Softs at that point. It went okay for 30 laps but then when Heidfeld passed I got some pick-up from the marbles and I couldn't clean the tyres again. I just lost grip and the Lotuses were able to pass me, and that was it. Still, a great first Monaco Grand Prix and I look forward to many more. It’s a real privilege to race a Formula One car here.” 

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