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Sun, 29 July, 2012Hungary: Team personnel race quotes

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Lewis drove with tremendous composure all afternoon, and the result was a meticulously judged victory, wrought under intense pressure throughout. He made a superb start from pole position, then controlled the race with masterful authority, all the while balancing the necessity to execute rapid laps against the equally pressing requirement to conserve his tyres. The 25 points he annexed today have taken his season-so-far total to 117. Although he's still a little way behind the Drivers' World Championship leader, he's now very well placed to mount an assault on the Drivers' World Championship crown over the remaining nine races of the season. Believe me, it's still all up for grabs. Jenson had a frustrating race but nonetheless managed to score a useful eight points as a result of finishing in sixth place. Like Lewis, he'll come back from the mid-season break ready to attack the second half of the season with energy and enthusiasm. And, again, also like Lewis, he'll be aiming to score plenty of points, at Spa-Francorchamps and Interlagos and everywhere in between. Yesterday Lewis scored the 150th pole position in McLaren's history – and today he notched up our 178th Grand Prix victory. It was his 101st Grand Prix – and it's difficult to imagine a better way for him to have begun his second century of Grand Prix appearances, isn't it? In the Constructors' World Championship, the 33 points that Lewis and Jenson scored today have lifted Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to second place overall. Again, as with the Drivers' World Championship, we're in a good position from which to work as hard as is humanly possible to close the gap on the leaders and wrest the Constructors' laurels by season's end. Talking of hard work, I want to pay tribute to the massively impressive levels of dogged application and sheer graft that everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes in Woking [Surrey, UK] and at Mercedes-Benz AMG HighPerformancePowertrains in Brixworth [Northamptonshire, UK] has brought to bear on the 2012 Formula 1 World Championship campaign so far. And, in fact, I want to say an especially big 'thank you' to our friends from Stuttgart [Germany] as well as from Brixworth, actually, because today's win was the 75th victory of the McLaren/Mercedes-Benz partnership: a pretty impressive stat! We'll now take our holidays, we'll recharge our batteries, and we'll return at Spa-Francorchamps in a month's time, fighting fit and ready to do battle once again. Bring it on!”

Eric Boullier, Lotus-Renault (Team Principal):
“Both cars on the podium end a pretty good weekend for the team. For everyone back at Enstone we must pay credit as they work so hard for results like this, but seldom get to taste the champagne at the track. I'm very happy that Romain came back after a tough weekend in Germany and I'm very happy to see Kimi fighting for the win. Our new approach to qualifying is delivering. We qualified better this weekend and we chased the leader of the race for many laps. On a different track layout which allows overtaking I think we could have won this race.”

James Allison, Lotus-Renault (Technical Director):
“It was an excellent race from both our drivers, from the E20 and from the whole team. We made very strong progress with a good haul of Drivers' and Constructors' points today. We're only just past the halfway mark in the season so it's not fantasy to think that we're still in the hunt in both championships. The general trend is of our car getting stronger and I hope that we can press that home in the coming races.”

Ricardo Penteado, Lotus-Renault (Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader):
“A fantastic double podium today and very important for the championship. We've worked very closely with the chassis team all weekend to deliver the correct engine response into and out of the many corners of the Hungaroring and the package has looked quick all weekend. It's very positive that we are able to score results on all types of tracks, from the high speed circuits such as Hockenheim to the low average speeds of the Hungaroring.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull-Renault (Team Principal):
“In the heat of the afternoon, it was a long and tough race. Seb challenged Grosjean around the outside into Turn 1 and got high on the kerb, which allowed Button to get a run round the outside into Turn 2. Thereafter we lost quite a bit of time behind Jenson in the first and second stint. Mark also made a good start on the hard tyre and going into the race it wasn't clear if it would be a two or three stop strategy. Jenson pitted early and we managed to use track position and good pit work to get Sebastian out ahead of him. Coming back out Sebastian had good pace, but then got caught in traffic behind Grosjean and we decided to go onto a three-stop race. Mark had made good progress, but we felt it was a better option for him to also go onto a three stop once he had cleared Alonso. It was great work today by the pit crew and they managed to get Sebastian in and out again ahead of Alonso; he then chased down the leaders over the last ten laps, but unfortunately there weren't quite enough laps left. With Mark we started to develop signs of a differential issue around lap 45 and although he closed in on Senna, he was unable to find a way past. Nonetheless we go into the Summer break 53 points in the lead in the Constructors' Championship and second and third in the Drivers' Championship with nine races still to go and an awful lot of racing to do. I think everyone deserves a well earned break and will come back in Spa in a month's time fully re-charged.”

Cyril Dumont, Red Bull-Renault (Renault Engineer):
“Of course we would have preferred to have finished higher at this last race of the first half of the season. It was tough today; I think the race win for Seb was more or less over after the first corner when he got stuck behind Button. For Mark he had a mechanical issue and we saw again here that it's pretty difficult to overtake. Now it's time to have a good rest. I would like to thank everyone involved with our engine package and especially my team for the work they have done in the first half of the season. We're leading the Championship and we'll be back full of beans soon.”

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari (Team Principal):
“Definitely a case of the glass being half full! Fifth place for Fernando has allowed him to extend his lead in the classification, which is a very important achievement on a weekend in which we definitely did not have the performance to fight with the best. It was a very hard race, decided for the most part by grid positions and the start, with the only variables concerning tyre degradation and the different strategies adopted. I think that, as far as the latter is concerned, we made the right choices, which resulted in Fernando getting ahead of at least two cars that were quicker than his. In fact, it was the start that had a negative effect for Felipe: the places he lost then could not be made up, despite having a race pace that matched those ahead of him. As I said at the start, the outcome of this weekend is not a negative one, but clearly we need to look closely at the way the weekend went as a whole to discover the reasons why we were not as competitive as in the last few races. Now we still have a week of work before the summer break: there's a lot to do to reduce the performance gap and to be as well prepared as possible for the last two races still to be run in Europe. At Spa and Monza we will race in very different conditions and at very different tracks to Budapest, so anything can happen. It will be important to be ready for every eventuality. We will be able to take a breather for a few days, but I'm sure all our guys have just one thought in mind...”

Pat Fry, Ferrari (Technical Director):
“It was a very difficult weekend, in which we were never able to fight on equal terms with the best. In fact, we know we have definitely not been the quickest in the first half of the season and so it was hard to imagine that we could have been here. At the Hungaroring, grid position and the start have a significant effect on the final outcome, because overtaking, despite the recent introduction of DRS, is still rare and difficult. Although Fernando started on the dirty side of the track, he still managed to make up one place by the end of the opening lap, first by defending at the start and then by attacking at Turn 2. Unfortunately, Felipe did not manage to make the most of being on the clean side of the grid and now we have to work out why that happened. Clearly that meant from then on, the Brazilian's race was an uphill struggle, which was a shame as he still showed he had a good pace over a long stint. Fernando delivered his usual nice race which, partly down to the strategy, allowed him to keep his closest rival in the championship behind him, as well as getting ahead of one of the cars that had started ahead of him on the grid. We had two options – two or three stops – but we saw that degradation was not that bad, which meant that with Fernando, we were able to overtake at least two of the three top cars that had gone for the more aggressive strategy. We still lack performance and we must push even harder on developing the F2012 if we want to fight all the way to the end to reach our goals. We still have a week of work before taking a breather, but the fact we can pack Fernando off on holiday with a forty point lead is no reason to relax, quite the opposite in fact. There's a lot of very strong competition who are just waiting for us to drop the ball and it's down to us to disappoint them.”

Mark Gillan, Williams-Renault (Chief Operations Engineer):
“I am pleased for Bruno who had an excellent race and the six points are a very welcome boost for the whole team going into the August break. Pastor had a poor start off the grid which compromised his race. He then pushed hard with good pace but received a drive-through penalty for his overtake on Di Resta. I'd like to thank the pit stop crew who did very well today, with our fastest ever stop.”

Laurent Debout, Williams-Renault (Renault Sport F1 team support leader):
“Bruno has looked strong all weekend and it's good to have this rewarded with some points today. Engine wise we've had a positive weekend and want to keep this momentum going over the summer – when we come back we go straight to the tracks where outright power is rewarded.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes (Team Principal):
“Nico did a good job today, and 10th place is about where the car was, if not a little better. He drove very well to make the tyres last which is a positive sign, and a good strategy saw him pick up places. Michael had a much more eventful race. He started from the pit lane, incurred a penalty and then had a puncture so it wasn't exactly an ideal start to the afternoon. During that period, we lost all telemetry on his car, and subsequently had various problems during the race which we weren't entirely sure what they were, therefore we decided to retire the car. We are clearly not as competitive as we want to be and, whilst we got everything out of the car today, we need to find more performance and lap time.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes (Daimler):
“After a problematic qualifying where we did not make it into Q3 for the first time this season, we could not expect a good race result today. After his first stop on lap 15, Nico was already 26 seconds down to the leader, and he lost another 25 seconds during the following 52 laps. About half a second a lap - a gap that we experienced already at the previous races in Silverstone and Hockenheim. So it is very clear that we have a lot of work ahead of us, and I am convinced that we will improve our performance during the remaining nine races. After his start from the pit lane and his drive-through penalty, the team brought Michael in as a precaution with 11 laps to go. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes on their 75th win with a Mercedes engine in the last 15 years.”

Vijay Mallya, Force India-Mercedes (Team Principal):
“We've shown flashes of speed this weekend, but ultimately we haven't been consistent enough to achieve our goal of finishing in the points. We didn't qualify well enough and that hurt us this afternoon because there was little chance to progress on a track where overtaking is so difficult. There was no room to improvise with the strategy and our two-stop approach was definitely the right call considering the cars that we were racing against. We will take the positives from the last few days and try to understand where we can find more performance so that we can come back stronger after the summer break.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber-Ferrari (CEO):
“Looking at our grid positions, we achieved what we could today. Both our drivers did a good job, but overtaking on this track is extremely difficult as we saw from the experiences of the other drivers. We paid the price for a weak qualifying and have to work on improving this.”

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Sauber-Ferrari (Head of Track Engineering):
“In the end we finished as high as we could this weekend. It's difficult to judge our race performance because our drivers were stuck in traffic for quite some time. Kamui lost some positions at the start, which made things difficult for him. We pitted him earlier than planned to get him out of traffic, and this helped a bit. However, halfway through the race we discovered there was a small hydraulic leak which became worse and worse, and we decided to call him in one lap before the end of the race. Checo gained a position at the start, but we were still outside the points. Therefore we decided to take a risk and extend his first stint, looking into the possibility of making just one stop. But the tyres didn't last long enough, so in hindsight it didn't pay off. We also delayed the second stop, which helped Checo to catch up some of the other drivers, but in the end we have to accept overall this weekend we were not fast enough. We have to react to this.”

Franz Tost, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Team Principal):
“Fifteenth with Daniel and sixteenth with Jean-Eric is of course not where we want to be, but we cannot hide the fact that our performance level is currently not good enough to fight at the front of the mid-field. Today both drivers did the best they could with the equipment we gave them. There was very little to choose between running a two stop or a three stop strategy and given we had enough sets available after qualifying, that swung the balance in favour of our eventual choice of going for a three stop. Jean-Eric had to make a further fourth visit to the pits as we could see that the temperatures were getting too high, which was down to debris in the right hand sidepod. There are just a few days of work available to us now, either side of the compulsory break and everyone in the team will be working hard to find some improvements to try and turn our season around in the remaining nine rounds of this very close championship.”

Mark Smith, Caterham-Renault (Technical Director):
“We have reached the end of the first half of the season and today's race is a fair indication of where we are. Both drivers performed as well as we could have wanted and they ran faultlessly today. The pitstops and the strategy were both good and the efforts everyone has made, here on track and back at the factory, cannot be questioned. However, we are not where we want to be and we know we have work to do to achieve the goals we have set for this season. The positives are that we have a break ahead of us, giving us time to take stock and recharge the batteries, and we then have the second half of the season to reach the level of performance we want for the 2012 season. We have the infrastructure in place, we have the right people and with the move to Leafield we have the facility so everything is in place.”

Riad Asmat, Caterham-Renault (CEO):
“I am reasonably pleased with how we have ended the first half of the season. Both drivers, the team in the garage and on the pitwall did well today. I will take some positives out of the first half of the season, but the team now needs to use the break to recharge and then come back fighting. We understand that we have much more work to do in order to progress as quickly as we would like, and I believe we will return after the summer break feeling energised and with our entire focus on continuing to grow the team and to keep on taking measured steps forwards.”

John Booth, Marussia-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“First of all I would like to congratulate the whole team on the clear strides we have made so far this season which, based on today's performance, are clearly evident. Whilst we have occupied similar race placings for much of the season, we have slowly but surely been eating into the gap to Caterham, pulled further away from HRT behind and, bigger picture, reduced the margin to the front running teams. With another very impressive drive today, Charles has shown just how far we have come, as he was in touch with - and occasionally quicker - than Petrov for a large part of the race. By contrast, Timo had another tough time and has not yet been able to benefit from the clear progress we are making with the package. A long break is just what the sport needs right now and we'll go back to the UK, spend the week preparing for the long haul races in the not too distant future and then literally down tools for a couple of weeks to enjoy a well-earned holiday. It has been a challenging first seven months of the year and the whole team are to be congratulated for responding so well. I have every confidence that when we return to Spa in one month's time, both drivers will be able to reap even more from the current package and the developments we will bring for Monza.”

Luis Pérez-Sala, HRT-Cosworth (Team Principal):
“It was an interesting race for us because we fought one-on-one with Glock from start to finish. Pedro and Narain got ahead of him and stayed in front until halfway through the race, but they overtook us in the second pitstop. Pedro had him in his sights towards the end but this time it wasn't to be. Although we finished behind our rivals, we kept a good pace and the most negative aspect is the problem Narain suffered with his suspension, which we now must analyze. Now we return to Madrid, to the Caja Mágica, and after a few more days of work we will take a couple of days off to head into the second half of the season full of energy to continue progressing and improving this project.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli (Motorsport Director):
“Because of the mixed conditions up to today, the teams were still lacking dry running with the soft tyre on full fuel heading into the race, so they all started with a number of question marks. The degradation on both compounds proved to be good, with only a few tenths of a second per lap difference between the soft and the medium tyres, which gave the teams a number of options in terms of strategy and allowed them to take a flexible approach. Lewis Hamilton's pace in qualifying meant that he was able to save a set of soft tyres for the race, which he made the most of to pull out an impressive lead – although he had to fight to keep it at the end. As usual we saw that overtaking was very difficult at the tight Hungaroring, meaning that the teams tried to use pit stop strategy to get past their rivals. The variety of strategies meant that we had a very close finish once again, despite the fact that cars following each other closely tend to increase tyre wear, as they slide more in the dirty air. We've had an unforgettable first half to the 2012 season, with one of the closest starts ever where the tyres have definitely made a difference, so we're already looking forward to the rest of the year.”

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