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Sun, 24 June, 2012Europe: Team personnel race quotes

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari (Team Principal):
“We are very pleased with this victory, but we won't let it go to our heads. Yesterday, we had said that the result of qualifying did not reflect our potential and I think today's performance proves we were right. A shame for Felipe, who really got hit with one misfortune after another, first with debris ruining the balance of his car, then with the fact the Safety Car period came immediately after he had pitted and finally, the collision with Kobayashi: he had started in fine style and had everything in hand to get a really good result. Fernando was spectacular, in terms of showing aggression and in the way he managed the car and tyres. We could tell that this weekend felt very special to him and the win was really emotional for him and the whole team. Today, some of our competitors had reliability problems and that serves as a reminder that this aspect is crucial for success: in such a closely matched season, a no-score carries a high price in the classification. We said it at the beginning: these twenty five points will definitely not go to our heads. We are well aware how things can change in the blink of an eye and we must continue to work on improving the car's performance, because it is still not at the level we want.”

Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari (President):
“This is Ferrari at its very best, the one everyone wants to see! Fernando was extraordinary and it's hard to find the words to describe his race. I am very sorry for Felipe, who was really unlucky: he was going very well and I'm sure he could have brought home a good result if not for all the problems he had. Today has shown the spirit of a team that never gives up and it also reflects the spirit of our homeland in Emilia Romagna, where so many people are going through a particularly difficult time after the earthquake a few weeks back: let's hope this victory will at least have put a smile on their faces!”

Pat Fry, Ferrari (Technical Director):
“While yesterday we were maybe too sure of ourselves in Q2 and not particularly lucky, today we did everything to perfection with Fernando, while Felipe was really incredibly unlucky. The fact that this morning, we could never have expected this win makes it all the more sweet. We profited from the reliability problems of others but that's part of the game and it's a reminder of how important it is to ensure that the cars are sufficiently robust and not just fast. Fernando was fantastic, aggressive when he had to attack in the opening moments and very clever in managing every stage of the race. We must improve our performance because this weekend, the Red Bull showed it had made quite a step forward again and we aren't where we want to be, meaning ahead of everyone. We have more developments coming, but we are perfectly aware that our competitors won't be twiddling their thumbs. Now we can enjoy this fantastic win for an evening, a win which is down to everyone working here at the track and, above all, in Maranello. But then we must get down to work again to be as well prepared as possible for the Silverstone round. We are facing three races in four weeks and we must not relax, not even for a second.”

Eric Boullier, Lotus-Renault (Team Principal):
“It's a good result for the team and for Kimi. Second brings a lot of points, and we also didn't lose ground on the teams ahead of us in the championship standings. On the other side of the coin, it's been a disappointing day for Romain as he was in such a good position for at least a podium finish. This is racing, and we will work closely with our partners to ensure we don't see a failure like this again in the future. Both drivers and the team worked very well this weekend and we have shown that if we achieve a good qualifying position we can fight for the win.”

Alan Permane, Lotus-Renault (Trackside Operations Director):
“I'm very happy for the team to be on the podium again with a strong second position from Kimi. I'm sorry for Romain as he was in a good position before what we believe was an alternator failure resulted in a lack of fuel pressure, causing his car to stop. He was right in the fight to be on the podium again so that was unfortunate. Our tyres held up well against the opposition and we did see overtaking once the tyres of other cars dropped away. It was quite a straight-forward call for the final pit stop under the safety car, and we could see that there was enough space between both cars to double stop them. Both drivers did very good jobs today. We know we need to look at getting heat into the tyres quicker after a safety car, but otherwise a very strong weekend.”

Ricardo Penteado, Lotus-Renault (Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader):
“Second position for Kimi shows the strength of the car in race conditions. We have to apologise to Romain however, who could also have got a very decent result here as well. The alternator failed at about two thirds distance and the car stopped due to no electrical power. We will look into this thoroughly and see what happened in this instance.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Congratulations to Michael and the team on a fantastic and well-deserved podium finish. Michael demonstrated today that if we can give him the opportunities, he will get a great result. And well done to Nico as well. He was in quite a difficult position at one stage but came back and gave the team a really strong points score today. The early part of the race was quite difficult for us, and our early strategy did not come together as the tyres behaved differently to our pre-race predictions. So we had to react, and we did so extremely well, leaving our stops as late as possible to give our guys fresh rubber at the end. It was such an exciting end to the race, and I am very proud of both of our drivers, everyone here in Valencia, and back at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth today.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“A marvellous race from Michael with the right speed and the right strategy. Coming from 12th on the grid to third on the podium is a good achievement, which Michael truly deserves and he achieved that with a great drive. Nico started sixth and lost five places during the first lap, which was a big handicap - so to climb back to sixth place was a good recovery. Since his win in China, Nico has scored one point less than Fernando Alonso, who brought home the most points in the last six races. As for the rumour spread by another team that Michael used his DRS flap where he should not have done, I can confirm that this was not the case, as our data proved and the stewards of the meeting confirmed. I am really pleased for Michael and the team. We always believed in each other and today was the first of hopefully more podiums to follow.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull-Renault (Team Principal):
“It was a bitterly disappointing race for Sebastian who had done everything right. He looked to be in comfortable control of the race until unfortunately during the safety car period we had a suspected issue with the alternator, which caused him to retire. We need to get the car back to fully understand the failure which we will work through with Renault, as it looked similar to the one that Grosjean had today. Mark drove a tremendous race and the strategy worked well. He started on the hard tyres then went onto the softer tyres, picking off cars getting into tyre trouble at the end, so it was a great recovery from Mark who drove well. Others had their bad luck today too. In addition to Mark's drive, another positive is that we leave Valencia knowing we have a fast car. We've extended our lead in the Constructors' and Mark's recovery was very strong.”

Cyril Dumont, Red Bull-Renault (Renault Engineer):
“Today was a real disappointment as Sebastian was well ahead and seemed to have the race in his pocket. Then the alternator overheated, stopped supplying electrical power and the engine shut down. We're not sure exactly why – it could be a number of things – but it's definitely something we'll look at when we get back to Viry. Congratulations to Mark though, from almost the back to fourth is a fantastic result.”

Vijay Mallya, Force India-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“A thoroughly enjoyable race today and I'm delighted to see our cars come home in fifth and seventh places, our strongest result of the season and Nico's best finish in Formula One. It was a rollercoaster race with many twists and turns, but I feel we have come away with the points we deserved given our performance level this weekend. Both drivers pushed hard, kept out of trouble and made their different strategies work. Paul recovered the ground he lost under the safety car and Nico had to drive most of the race without KERS, so it was an excellent performance by him. The result today sets us up perfectly for Silverstone in two weeks' time where we will be determined to build on this momentum in our local race.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“I suppose you'd have to describe the 2012 European Grand Prix as an exciting race for spectators, but a frustrating race for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. Clearly, we'd like to have scored more points than we did today. But, as I've said before and I'm quite sure I'll have cause to say again, the comparative performance of Formula 1 cars is extremely close this year – probably closer than ever before – and this year's races are consequently very unpredictable. Having said all that, it goes without saying that everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is looking forward immensely to our home race, the Santander British Grand Prix at Silverstone, on whose famous Tarmac we hope to put on a fantastic show, and record an excellent result, in front of the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable motorsport fans in the world.”

Peter Sauber, Sauber-Ferrari (Team Principal):
“From my perspective it was a race of missed opportunities. Things went against us today, and in the end we had to be satisfied with getting just the two points Sergio scored. Kamui was unlucky when he was hit by Bruno Senna. He couldn't benefit from his great qualifying performance.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“Kamui made a brilliant start, had a great first lap and moved up to fourth, so things were really looking good for him. But then at the first pit stop we lost time with the front left wheel. As a result, Kimi Räikkönen was able to overtake him in the pits, and Fernando Alonso was also able to pass him. Then he was hit by Bruno Senna and had to pit again. It was at an unlucky moment because the safety car came out just a few laps later, and then he had a racing incident with Felipe Massa so had to stop due to the damage on the car. Sergio started on the medium tyres, and in the beginning he was stuck behind Senna. Therefore we opted for an early pit stop after lap ten to get him out of traffic. However, the second set of tyres, softs now, started to degrade earlier than expected, so we had to pit him again on lap 25. But he was unlucky with the safety car which came out just three laps later. The plan was then to go to the end on the soft tyres, knowing this was ambitious, but in the end with the old tyres he couldn't defend against Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber. All in all it was a very difficult race.”

Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“It was a very eventful race from which we should have secured a decent haul of points, so it is clearly disappointing to come away with a single point. As a team we will thoroughly review the weekend, regroup and aim to come back stronger at Silverstone.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“Our final positions today are just reward for a very good performance right across the whole team today. Without the contact with Vergne and Ricciardo we may have been able to finish a couple of places higher, but we have to be pleased with how we reacted to the incidents on track, and the fact that we have clearly made some gains here. We have more upgrades to come for Silverstone and if we keep up this level of momentum we have a very exciting second half of the season ahead of us.”

Riad Asmat, Caterham-Renault (Chief Executive):
“What a race! That's what makes this the greatest sport on the planet, right throughout the grid. I am very proud of the job the whole team did today. The pitstops were excellent, the strategy calls were spot on and both drivers pushed as hard as they could. The two incidents obviously cost us time on both cars, but it is very good to see that we are so close to the pack ahead - enough to give Heikki and Vitaly a chance to fight and another 13th and 14th place helps us consolidate our place in the Championship, so this has been a good weekend.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“Charles did everything we could have asked of him today after carrying the weight of our expectations on his shoulders. He drove a very determined race to ensure we are back in a more comfortable position between the Caterham and HRT teams. That's not the 'end game' of course, but it's good to know we have turned the corner after Canada and we are heading back in the right direction. It was not an entirely straightforward race as we had the setback of Charles having to pit early for his first stop for a nose change after his front wing end plate was damaged. Nevertheless, we achieved the right outcome and that is the positive we will take away from here and use to motivate us for our home race, the British Grand Prix, in two weeks' time. We now have some work to do with our new aero package for Silverstone, where we look forward to having Timo back to full strength. He will have been bitterly disappointed to miss out on what was a more positive race performance for us today and also a great show across the field; we saw some fantastic racing here in Valencia this year.”

Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“I'm happy because, after what happened in Montreal, we finished the race with both cars and didn't encounter any problems. We fought the entire race and, although in the end we didn't finish out on top, I'm very proud of the team because it's the first time we've battled one-on-one in a race. Both drivers raced very well and we had no trouble with the pitstops either. We're closer every race but we have to keep on working to continue like this. To finish off I would like to congratulate Alonso because he completed an excellent race, winning after starting in 11th position. This proves that nothing is impossible.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“Valencia is meant to be a circuit that is incredibly difficult to overtake on, but that didn't seem to be the case today as there were so many times when you didn't know where to look next! Valencia is an incredibly tough track, as could be seen from the number of retirements this afternoon, and Fernando did an incredible job to win from 11th place. The final run to the flag was particularly interesting with the top three cars on similar strategies until Lewis Hamilton was involved in a crash and Michael Schumacher came through. So it was a fascinating opportunity for us to see how the cars and drivers managed the tyres on a level playing field, particularly when it came to the final laps. Congratulations also to Schumacher and Mercedes: it's fantastic to see a great champion like him back on the podium – in the company of two other great champions, who did an equally impressive job.”

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