Below are a selection of quotes from the various people at the Spanish Grand Prix. Felipe Massa was obviously elated at his victory, while Flavio Briatore apologised to his drivers for letting them down – Renault’s fuel rig played up and destroyed the drivers chances of scoring more points. Also showing signs of happiness was David Coulthard, who was pleased to have finally finished a race, although his new seamless shift gear box will need further testing and development if the Scot is to avoid the almost race-ending problems that it suffered today. Kimi Raikkonen left the circuit early to avoid the congestion, and thus his witty remarks are absent, but Rosberg was jubilant response to reporters questions made up for that no end.
Today, the team has to say sorry to the drivers for the problems we had. The car was better than at the first three races; Heikki had a very consistent weekend that showed what he can do, and Fisico battled all the way in spite of some difficult circumstances. To salvage two points from such a challenging afternoon is a bonus, but at the same time, we are all extremely disappointed. Flavio Briatore.
This is my best finish so far in Formula One, which is something positive for me on a personal level, but within the team, we know that I was quick enough to finish in fifth position today. I am still pleased though, firstly because I got everything out of the car today throughout the whole race, and secondly because the car handling felt much better all the way through the race. The car is getting faster, and although there is still a long way to go, we are confident that we will get back to our true position. Heikki Kovalainen.
Fernando was trying to push me to the inside and we just touched each other. It was a very small contact but I was afraid about my car afterwards, but fortunately nothing happened. It was quite a risk for both of us, but the first corner is important. I just didn’t want to lose like I lost in Malaysia. Felipe Massa.
I think the start was very similar between the two cars but then obviously I put myself behind Felipe and thanks to the slipstream I was a little bit quicker. I went on the outside, I braked later and I think I was much in front of him in the first corner, but unfortunately he didn’t think so and we touched each other. We were lucky to both finish the race because in 99 percent of these type of incidents, both cars will finish at the first corner. Sometimes I think this type of thing is very dangerous. Fernando Alonso.
I keep saying I’m living my dream and it really is true. I’ve been working so hard for this, and to come out of only my fourth grand prix leading the world championship – when I’m driving with the top drivers in the world – is just incredible. Going into the race we knew we had a very good strategy, and at this track you can’t really overtake so the key is to try and get the best position in the first corner. Fortunately I got past Kimi, Fernando and Felipe touched and I was able to get past Fernando. Lewis Hamilton.
I thought I was going to have to park the car when I broke third gear, because that’s certainly what happened in testing, but I was able to drive around it just by avoiding the gear. Obviously we lost some lap time but we had a big enough gap. I think that was a genuine race pace that we had today, so it was worth all the hard work that the guys have put in. It’s like Bahrain, I felt entirely under control there. When the car feels good under me, I can perform. So I think I’m going to build on that, and you’re definitely going to see more performances from Red Bull this year. David Coulthard.
The lollipop man gave me the sign, but then I stopped because I saw the wheel was loose. Nobody reacted for a long time, and after that the race was over. Unfortunately this definitely is one of those things that can happen, but it simply shouldn’t happen. For the first 24 laps until this stop it looked superb for me. I drove a long first stint and my second stint would also have been a long one. On top of this Alonso was not very quick on the harder tyres in his second stint. I believe I had the chance to finish on the podium today. Nick Heidfeld.
I am very satisfied because this is my first race this season without any problems, and you can see the result,I am very satisfied because this is my first race this season without any problems, and you can see the result. Today everything came together for me. I had quite a good, consistent race, although I had some problems with tyre degradation in the second stint when I was behind Alonso and Coulthard was closing the gap, but everything was under control. Robert Kubica.
I had a good start, overtook a few guys, and was lined up behind Ralf. It was very close racing and I think he had to lift to avoid the guy in front of him. For me it happened too quick, I had zero chance to react and I ended up hitting him from behind, so it’s a short end to my race. Alex Wurz.
It was a good race and there’s no doubt we got the balance right, especially in the middle stint, when I was really able to push on fresh tyres. Thanks to the team for the strategy and the perfectly timed pit stops. My only problem was that my drinks bottle didn’t work and I couldn’t take in any fluids during the race at all so it was really tough, not just because I was thirsty, but in terms of concentration, especially towards the end. This is the best result I’ve had in F1 so far, and that’s a great feeling. Trying to catch up with Coulthard at the end of the race was exciting, but I really needed a couple more laps to get him. Three points are great and I am happy that everything came together for us today. Nico Rosberg.
I’d stopped about four laps later than him and it seemed to be working for me. I wasn’t given a lot of room at turn one and I ended up on the kerb at the apex, which sort of threw me out, and I tapped his rear wheel with my front wing, so that was it. At the end I was hanging on to Kovalainen and Rosberg, so there was a chance of a point, but we didn’t make it happen. It’s nowhere near quick enough to be challenging for points if everyone stays in the race, but in a situation like this, it’s a possibility. Jenson Button.
I had left Jenson enough room at turn one. It’s a shame, but just one of those racing incidents. Rubens Barrichello.
I must admit I thought Jenson was a bit cheeky to blame Rubens for their incident – it certainly looked like there was enough room to get both cars around the corner in one piece.
Just glad their wasn’t a more serious race-ending crash for the two team-mates, not sure that would have gone down too well – especially in a race where they looked like they had a slight chance of a car getting into the points for a change.
Well that was a race of thrills and spills! I agree with craigblog about Jenson being at fault in the intra-team collision, but what surprised me was that Flavio Briatore actually apologised for something. I don’t think he’s done that for absolutely ages…
From my view, it seemed Jenson took too much kerb in the right hander, slid off and careened past the back of Rubens, tagging his backside in the process. Completely Jenson’s fault in my mind, particularly as it was his team mate he was attacking – a big ‘no no’ in most books.
Yeah, “Flavio” and “Mi dispiace”* generally don’t go together, (aside from from making claims of race fixing) but this time they did. Although it was pretty clear that Renault had issues with their refueling rig, as did Ferrari and BMW were just hopeless. ‘Twas a race of failed pit stops, I thinks.
*Or “Sono spiacente”. I always use the phrase in the post, but various online translators insist on Sono (which makes sense) spiacente.