Monza race – selected team and driver quotes

Nico Rosberg, 2nd

“Lewis was quicker this weekend, so he deserved the win. That for sure is very disappointing for me. I had a lock up in Turn One and I decided to go straight to avoid a flat spotted tyre. That cost me the lead. But he was very quick behind me, so I had to push all the time. But I need to see the positive things from today. Second place is still good and I lost only seven points to Lewis, so this could have been much worse. It’s also a great result for the team, the first 1-2 since Austria. So I’m happy for everybody in our team and I have to thank everyone again for this great Silver Arrow. We were the strongest team at this unique circuit. The tifosi created a great atmosphere for us on the podium; it was all red all the way down the straight. That was great to see. Now I look forward to Singapore, I like the track and I have great memories from last year.”

Lewis Hamilton, 1st
“Firstly it was amazing to see the straight completely filled with fans from the podium today. You make this race and thank you so much for your support! Big congratulations to the team for our performance this weekend. We said we wanted a one-two and we got it today; this result is important for everyone. It was a difficult race for me though. The launch sequence didn’t engage properly for the formation lap and then again for the start. I tried to pull away as fast as possible, basically I just floored it and hoped for the best! Fortunately I didn’t lose too many places and was able to get past Kevin, then have a good battle with Felipe. When I closed up to Nico, I didn’t want to hold back as the car felt good and I knew from experience that the only chance would be at the start of the stint when the tyres were fresh so I went for it. I’m really pleased with the win, it’s feels like I have some momentum back as we go into the final races.”

Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“Lewis had fantastic pace this weekend and his qualifying lap laid the basis for his win. He was in a league of his own this afternoon in terms of speed but it wasn’t an easy race for him after the problems at the start. But he stayed calm, took his opportunities and delivered the goods. Nico also drove a strong race and took a good second place. It’s fantastic to take our seventh one-two of the season, we have been waiting a while for this one. Well done to everybody at Brackley for a job well done – and I’d like to give a special mention to the boys and girls at Brixworth; it’s pretty special when you see your Power Unit take a one-two-three-four finish at Monza!”

Paddy Lowe, Mercedes team executive director (technical)
“It was fantastic to score another one-two finish again. There was a lot of expectation because of the long gap since we last did it in Austria, even though the car has had the potential to do so. It wasn’t an easy race, though. The first stress point came when we had to change Lewis’ front wing after it sustained slight damage on the grid. Then at the race start, Lewis’ systems for the start would not engage the correct mode, which meant he had the wrong engine settings and lost three positions off the line. He did a great job to recover, and pulled off a very classy pass on Massa into the first chicane. He had the better pace overall today and closed in on Nico, until Nico’s mistake in Turn One. We had briefed both drivers to take the long route if they made a mistake under braking, rather than locking up and trying to make the corner. This was because a flat spot could have severely compromised the one-stop strategy, so Nico did absolutely the right thing – but it also cost him the lead. Overall, a great team result; congratulations to everybody back at base who worked so hard to make it happen and to both drivers for two very strong performances after our difficult race in Spa.”

Valtteri Bottas, 4th

“I had a few issues at the start which really effected how my race went. Once the tyres were up to temperature I had a lot of work to do. It was good fun to overtake so many people and we had some good pace as well. As a team we had a really good day and it was good to overtake Ferrari. I’m pleased to see Felipe get his first podium of the season, hopefully we can be up there together soon.”

Felipe Massa, 3rd
“It was a fantastic race for me so I am really happy. I had a good start and passed Magnussen at just the right time. I had to work hard to establish that position, sadly the Mercedes were still a bit quick, so we did the best we could. Monza is a special podium, and to hear the fans sing my name was amazing.”

Rob Smedley, Williams head of vehicle performance
“We finished where we should have done, although we did make it a bit more spectacular than we needed to. We had some issues with the starts which isn’t normal, so this needs to be investigated. Valtteri drove an incredible race to recover from 11th whilst managing his tyres. Felipe had an incredible race too, using all his experience including a great overtaking manoeuvre on Magnussen to secure a fantastic result. It was great to see the fans reception for him as well.”

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, 13th

“From the beginning of the weekend our performance was not on the level where we would like to be. Even though we have been working very hard, session after session, to improve the car handling, I have been struggling for the whole race, making it very tough today. We will now have to analyse carefully what went wrong and hopefully we will come back stronger at the next race in Singapore.”

Daniil Kvyat, 11th
“I feel disappointed with how my race ended. We had a brake disc failure I think, but I managed to hang on and bring the car home in P11. It’s a shame when you give it your hundred percent and you finish the race outside the points, but I’m very pleased with my race in general. Starting from the back is never easy, but I managed to overtake a few cars and get close to a points finish. We will now have a look at what exactly happened, before heading to the next race in Singapore.”

Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal
“Daniil did a fantastic job today. Starting from the last position on the grid he was able to make his way up. I think he is the driver who can count the highest number of overtaking during today’s race. In the last two laps he was fighting to close the gap to Kimi Raikkonen, getting quite close to him, but unfortunately he suddenly suffered a front brake failure, which we will have to investigate. Only thanks to his extraordinary driving skills he was able to control the car and avoid a collision. All considered, I’m really impressed by his capability to close the gap to the cars in front of him and I’m convinced that he might have finished the race in 9th position today, after the 5 seconds penalty imposed to Magnussen. As for Jean-Eric, he complained about a lack of grip which made him struggle with the car for the entire race and therefore he finished in the thirteenth position. The team has done a solid job with a good working strategy and fast pit stops. We just have to go on pushing as much as possible to arrive well prepared in Singapore to score the points which we missed out on today.”

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg, 12th

“It wasn’t a very busy race for me. I was racing alone most of the time and just doing my own race: not being towed around or benefiting from DRS made it a bit harder. I had a very good start, especially considering I was on the hard tyre, but I lost contact with the cars ahead of me quite soon because they were on the medium and I didn’t really have the same pace. It was quite difficult to manage the car, especially the rear end: I had some oversteering and it was tricky to drive. I pitted quite early as I wasn’t going anywhere on my hard tyres and we saw a good opportunity to jump people, but we still found it difficult to deal with the balance. We need to look ahead now to Singapore and work to bring more performance to the car. Singapore is a track we all enjoy: everything – the track, the atmosphere, the setup – is special.”

Sergio Perez, 7th
“The race was a lot of fun. We were always fighting somebody and always pushing hard. It was great racing and it’s good to score important points for the championship. The most important part of the race was the fight I had with Jenson, which was really nice and reminded me of the old days. I know he is a driver that you can fight really hard and it’s always clean. At the end of the race with Kevin, I knew he had a penalty and there was no need to attack him. It meant I could focus on keeping Jenson behind me, which was not easy.”

Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal and managing director
“Six points keeps us where we need to be in our close championship battle with just a single point separating us from fifth place. Sergio was mighty today, showing once again how well he can race with some brilliant overtaking and defending. Nico made a great start, but he has not been completely comfortable with the car balance all weekend and especially in the race today. Despite his very strong start, points were out of reach. With six races remaining this season, I still believe we have all to play for and that we must keep pushing hard.”

Jenson Button, 8th

“This wasn’t the result I was after – but the was good fun nonetheless. It’s just a pity that we didn’t quite have the race pace we’d hoped for: when you start fifth and sixth, you’re not just looking for a points finish, you want a bit more than that. If we’d had a clear run, I think we could have done a bit better – but, in the traffic, it was easier for the cars around us to pick us off than it was for us to pick them off.

“I had an amazing battle with Checo – we took the first Lesmo side by side, which doesn’t happen very often. It’s a pity I couldn’t get past him – I tried so many times, but he was so strong under braking that to match him into the turns I was locking up the fronts and the rears, which left me struggling for position on the exits. But I was really on the limit. It was superb wheel-to-wheel action – I hope it was great entertainment for the spectators and fantastic TV for the fans at home.”

Kevin Magnussen, 10th
“I made a great start – I got up to second into the first corner – but I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep that position, and inevitably I fell back. Obviously, it was nice to be up at the front for a while, and disappointing that we couldn’t stay up there, but as I say I knew it wouldn’t last for ever. “It’s unfortunate to come away from the weekend having only scored a single point. Okay, we’re not battling for the world championship, but we’re still fighting for crucial positions in the constructors’ championship, and the points we lost today would have been very useful from that point of view. It’s frustrating to get another penalty, of course it is, but we’ll analyse them and see what we can learn. Let’s see if we can do something different next time.”

Eric Boullier, McLaren racing director
“Kevin made a truly tremendous start from fifth place on the grid, which gave him momentum enough to slip neatly past Felipe into second place into Turn 1. Thereafter he drove hard and well, making no errors, but was unable to prevent a number of faster cars from passing him over the next 53 laps. “In the closing stages he and Valtteri were involved in a spirited and entertaining dice – the kind of wheel-to-wheel racing that Formula 1 fans thrill to see – and in our view he was unfortunate to be penalised for what we saw as a legitimate defence. But the stewards’ decision is final, and as a result of it Kevin ended up being classified 10th. Jenson drove a typically controlled yet combative race, finishing ninth on the road, which became eighth as a result of Kevin’s penalty. “As a team we scored only five world championship points today, which was quite a lot fewer than we’d expected to score, but there are positives to take from the weekend too: our qualifying pace was strong and our race pace was solid, and as I said yesterday it’s clear that we’re making sure and steady progress. “The next race, the Singapore Grand Prix, will be run on a tight and tortuous circuit whose layout could hardly be more different from the flat-out speed-bowl that is Monza, but, on fast circuit or slow, you may be well sure that we’ll be doing our damnedest to score as many points as possible in an effort to consolidate our fifth place in the constructors’ championship.”

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, 6th

“I think that was the most we could do today. On the primes we weren’t able to look after the tyres as well as we wanted to. The target is to get back to the front, at the moment the gap is quite big but we will have to work hard to close it again. We have had some difficulties this year, but they can only make us stronger if we learn from them. In terms of strategy we wanted to get the McLarens so we went aggressive with the early stop, but the tyres started going off at the end and all in all that was what we could do today.”

Daniel Ricciardo, 5th
“The strategy helped today, it kept the tyres fresh enough to go those extra few laps at the end. I saw the cars in front of me pit and the pace was still good enough, so seeing that we didn’t have great pace when we were out of position then we thought we would try something different and that’s why we went long, which helped towards the end of the race. I was more comfortable with the prime tyre and was able to do some good moves, which kept me smiling. The start wasn’t ideal, it’s one of the longest runs up to Turn One here from the start line and it’s not a place where you want to have a bad one, but I dropped the clutch and didn’t get the traction, so we will have to look at that, but we kept a cool head and picked our way back through the field. I think fifth, even with a good start, was the best we could do.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal
“I think fifth and sixth was the absolute optimum today. We picked two different strategies, an aggressive one with Sebastian to undercut the McLaren, which worked and gave him track position but unfortunately made his tyres marginal at the end of the race. With Daniel we took the opposite approach as he was running in clear air. We ran him long in the first stint with a shorter second stint and then his passing moves to come back through the field were truly impressive and obviously with Sebastian struggling with tyre degradation due to the length of the stint, it became inevitable that the two were going to swap positions. But fifth and sixth place, at a circuit dominated by Mercedes-powered cars, is damage limitation achieved.”

Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 track support leader
“As expected it was a hard race and we played with the strategy to nurse the tyres and stay as close as possible to the front. Sebastian pitted early to protect position, which left him with very worn tyres at the end, but he nevertheless managed to keep as much pace as possible. Daniel went longer on the first stint and was then able to keep his tyres in good shape until the end of the race. We’ve still got a lot of work to do but overall it’s a reasonable result for the team compared to the qualifying pace yesterday.”

Pastor Maldonado, 14th

“I made a good start and a strong first lap which gave me a better position than on the grid as I was able to get past the Saubers. From there I tried to attack the Toro Rosso ahead of me, but their configuration for the straights was too much to overcome. This meant we were running at a consistent pace without any fear from the cars behind, but equally without pace in the right place to attack the cars ahead. It was quite uneventful today but good to get to the finish line.”

Romain Grosjean, 16th
“I had a dreadful start and was last by the first corner. I was on the hard tyres for the first stint and this made it difficult to fight back. I’m not sure what happened with Esteban [Gutierrez]. He was overtaking me, but then under braking he moved over on to me. My front wing was where he was trying to be so we touched. Not too much damage for me, but he had a puncture as a result. Certainly, I don’t think the tracks we will visit next will be as challenging for us as this one has been.”

Federico Gastaldi, Lotus deputy team principal
“We saw a very strong race today from Pastor who didn’t put a foot wrong and extracted the maximum from our current package. Romain’s race was a little more difficult but he drove around the small issues he experienced to bring his car home too. Monza has certainly been a difficult venue for us this year; let’s hope for better results in Singapore.”

Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director
“Fourteenth isn’t where we want to finish but today’s race did give us some signs of encouragement. Pastor’s pace was much closer to that of the cars in front of us, and he drove an exemplary race. Both cars were reliable although Romain lost a part of his sidepod and also experienced some downshift issues later in the race which hurt him in the very important braking zones here. We’ve taken another small step in understanding the car this weekend which helps us for the next races.”

Esteban Gutierrez, 19th

“It was a really tough race. From the beginning on I struggled to get the hard tyres to work. We changed the strategy immediately, and I think that was a good decision. Back on track I was able to overtake a few cars, but that was it. We lost a lot of time with the incident I had towards the end of the race. Now, I need to look forward and concentrate on the next races.”

Adrian Sutil, 15th
“It was not a spectacular race for me. We were easily able to finish the race with a one stop strategy. Generally we were too slow today, that is why I could not finish better than 15th. The team worked well and we did not make any mistakes. We still have to continue working on the car in order to improve our performance. It was not an easy race, but we finished it without any incidents.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber team principal
“It was a difficult weekend that ended as we expected it would. Under the circumstances the team worked well, even though we have some room for improvement with the consistency of the pit stops. Adrian extracted from the car what was possible today. The contact which Esteban had with a competitor was unnecessary. The tracks which are now coming up are less dependent on power, therefore, we hope we can come back to the level of performance we had in Hungary.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Sauber head of track engineering
“From the beginning it was clear that under normal circumstances it would be extremely difficult to make up positions. We, therefore, decided to choose a tyre strategy which was meant to give us an advantage if some unexpected things happened. However, in the end this didn’t pay off. Esteban struggled to get the hard tyres to work, therefore, we switched to a two-stop strategy. But in the race we were simply not fast enough. It looks as if we are stronger in qualifying, but then are losing ground to our competitors with our race settings. The tracks that are now coming up need less power, which should help us.”

Jules Bianchi, 18th

“It was a really tough race for us today but I did everything the Team asked of me and nothing more was possible. In the end, we struggled a little with the speed on the straights and we were not able to improve further. Across the whole team we know the areas we need to improve on and everyone is pushing hard to get the most from the package. For now, we just have to put the disappointment this weekend behind us and look ahead to Singapore and a track that is much better suited to our car.”

Max Chilton, DNF
“A disappointing premature end to the race for me. Unfortunately it was my mistake; I braked slightly too late and wasn’t able to get round the corner. I hit the sausage kerbs at turn 4, which unexpectedly launched me into the air and I came down hard and ended up in the gravel. It was all the more disappointing as I had just retaken position from Grosjean. We had managed our expectations for this weekend because we knew it would be a challenging track for us and so it has been a frustrating day for us all round. There isn’t much to say beyond putting a difficult race behind us and looking forward to better things in Singapore.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal
“A tough day for the Team and on the back of yesterday’s qualifying result, overall it has not the best weekend we have experienced this year. Max’s race ended fairly early on with a rare mistake at Turn 4. With Jules we followed the fairly conventional one-stop strategy, as was adopted by the majority of teams, and with this there was not much else we could do in order to try and help move him up. Coming into Monza we weren’t particularly confident that we would have a strong weekend, however the pace up until qualifying looked encouraging, although it is clear that the race pace was more in line with our prior expectations. The car has not been particularly unbalanced and nor have we suffered with any stability problems this weekend, so at least we can be confident going into Singapore that we have a car we can build on there and with that type of track we are hopeful of a much better weekend.”

Kamui Kobayashi, 17th

“I’m happy with my race. We finished in front of Marussia, which is a good result for us. The new updates that were introduced in Spa are working well and we are definitely improving. Monza is quite a unique track, so let’s see how we get on at other circuits, but I am happy with our result – the team has worked very hard and done a great job, it’s been a very smooth weekend.”

Marcus Ericsson, 20th
“Starting from the pit-lane because of yesterday’s penalty wasn’t ideal, but in the end I think it was a decent race. I didn’t do any mistakes and I was very consistent on the lap times. Unfortunately the pace isn’t there to finish higher up, but I feel that I did everything I could today. Now we just need to carry on working as hard as always and prepare for the flyaway races.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director

“Throughout the weekend, wear and degradation rates were low on both compounds – even with the punishing speeds and impacts with kerbs that the tyres have to face here at Monza. We’ve seen top speeds during the race in excess of 360kph, putting on a great show for the spectators. Also, we’ve experienced no blistering during the course of the weekend, which can occasionally be an issue at Monza. Congratulation to Lewis Hamilton for his second win with us at Monza: we saw plenty of high-speed action further down the field as well, showcasing all the skills of the current generation of Formula One drivers and cars.”

Fernando Alonso, DNF

“After a long run of trouble-free races, it’s a real shame I had to retire just here in Monza, in front of all our fans. I would have liked to have put on a very different race for them. In the first stint we were competitive, but when you find yourself in a group of cars where everyone is using DRS, overtaking becomes nearly impossible. After the pit stop, I found myself at the back of a train of cars and at that point we changed the strategy, deciding to drop back from the group to conserve the tyres and try and attack at the end of the race. But then came the problem with the ERS system. It’s never nice for the team to have a reliability problem, because the guys work night and day to give us the best car possible. What happened doesn’t change my will to win and in order to try and have that happen soon, we will continue to work as hard as we can, always giving our all.”

Kimi Raikkonen, 9th
“We knew this would be a difficult weekend and today in the race, we saw the proof of that. Overall, I was happy with the handling of the car and the balance was good, but we lacked speed down the straight and I didn’t have much grip. As soon as I got close to the cars ahead of me, I lost aerodynamic downforce and the car was sliding all over the place. I think I did the most I could today, even if unfortunately I was unable to get the result I would have wanted for our home race, for the team and all our fans. Now we must think of the upcoming races and continue to work nonstop, because we are coming up to tracks that should better suit the characteristics of our car.”

Marco Mattiacci, Ferrari team principal
“In Formula 1, as in sport in general, there are days to forget and this was certainly one of them. Unfortunately, we had no way of predicting the problem that affected Fernando’s car, but I am sorry that it happened right here in Monza at our home race. Even though we are making progress, we knew that these last two races would be very difficult. Therefore, while it’s impossible to accept a result like this, now our only thought is to get back to being competitive as soon as possible. First and foremost, we must continue to work and to improve, because I’m sure the working practices put in place these last few months will help us get back to the top.”

Pat Fry, Ferrari chassis director
“On a weekend which we knew would suit the characteristics of our opponents’ cars, trying our best was unfortunately not enough. Having pulled off a brilliant passing move on Perez round the outside at first Lesmo, Fernando then spent the whole first stint in a group of cars all doing the same lap times, with all the drivers benefiting from the DRS effect on those cars ahead of them. Unfortunately, his race ended after the first stop, because of a failure within the ERS system. Even if it’s been a long time since we’ve had a reliability issue, this incident shows how important it is to continue to focus on this aspect. Thanks to a good getaway, Kimi managed to make up one place at the start and another by passing Hulkenberg on lap 6, but he could not make up enough ground to attack those in front. We finished in the points with him, however it’s disappointing that we were unable to do more for the fans. Now, all we can do is look to the future and try and do well starting with the very next Grand Prix in Singapore.”