A complete list of Driver Quotes following the Bahrain Grand Prix 2009.
Jenson Button (Brawn GP)- Started: 4th, Finished: 1st: “It was a great race today and I’m so happy to have seen the chequered flag without a safety car or red light in front of me! To achieve my third victory of the season is amazing and we are going back to Europe with a strong lead in both championships. I couldn’t wish for anything more. It has been a tough weekend for the team which makes this win even more rewarding as we didn’t have the pace that we expected.
“I was really happy with my first lap. I knew that I had to overtake Sebastian quickly and got him round the outside on turn one. I had a couple of attempts at Lewis round the first lap and almost got him at the last corner. I knew that he would pull away from me on the straight so I dropped in behind and used the tow to overtake him at turn one. It wasn’t easy from there but getting up to third on the first lap was crucial for me. Our thanks to Mercedes-Benz this weekend who have not only provided us with a powerful engine but have integrated so well with our team. You need a close-knit unit to succeed in Formula One and that is what we have at this team.”
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)- Started: 3rd, Finished: 2nd: “Very good. A good result and good points, but it was a difficult race. The start was okay, but then suddenly Lewis (Hamilton) was next to me – he must have pressed his special button and got an advantage. At the first corner we were three deep, me in the middle and Jenson (Button) on the outside, so I had to give way and lost two positions.
“Unfortunately I then got stuck behind Lewis, which caused degradation to the tyres – you start to slide and never really come back from that. It’s hard braking here so you need the tyres and rear stability. In the second stint I was just behind Jarno (Trulli), which was a shame as I was on soft tyres and could have gone a bit quicker.
“In the third stint, it was the other way round and I had to defend against Jarno who was then on the soft tryes. He was very close in my mirrors, but I didn’t make any mistakes and we came second! A massive thanks to all the guys for this great result.”
Jarno Trulli (Toyota)- Started: 1st, Finished: 3rd: “I’m a little disappointed to be honest because I thought we had a chance to take Toyota’s first win this weekend. But it was a hard race. I was slightly slower into the first corner than Timo so I spent the first stint following him. I knew I was going longer than him but it was still difficult. Then we went for a very long second stint on the hard tyres. It was really hard fighting with the other cars and eventually Sebastian took the position after my last stop. After that he was on the hard tyres and I was on the soft. I was pushing him because I was quicker but there was no way to overtake. Still, I have to thank the engineers and mechanics because they did a very good job and it’s good to be on the podium again.”
Lewis Hamilton (Mclaren)- Started: 5th, Finished: 4th: “I’m delighted with fourth. The Toyotas, Red Bulls and Brawns were so fast in the high-speed corners that it was just impossible to keep up. But this is another encouraging step for the team, we just need to keep working on the car because we’re not really fighting back quite yet, we are collecting points. And the gap will be bigger when we go to Barcelona because it’s a high-downforce circuit. We should challenge for the top 10 there, but another top-five will be harder.”
Rubens Barrichello (Brawn)- Started: 6th, Finished: 5th: “We brought home some valuable points today but it was a tough race for me. I lost a lot of time behind Piquet after my first stop which was a real shame as it compromised my race plan. We went for a three-stop strategy and then took the decision to come in slightly early for my second stop as I was being held up behind Hamilton.
“It was so hot out there this afternoon and the car was burning my waist on the right-hand side which made it very difficult for me. It seems that luck is on Jenson’s side at the moment and well done to him and to the team for winning the race today. I hope that my turn comes soon!”
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)- Started: 10th, Finished: 6th: “I am happy to have picked up a few points but I can’t be that pleased with our performance level. I’ve been around long enough not to get very excited about a sixth place. We are well aware we have to improve. In theory, the new package we will have in Barcelona should see us make a good step forward, but we won’t know just how big it will be compared to the others until we are on track in Spain. Today, we got the most out of the F60’s current potential, even if I lost a bit of time in my final pit stop because of a problem with a part of the fairing on the left front wheel which cost me the chance of exiting pit lane ahead of Barrichello.”
Timo Glock (Toyota)- Started: 2nd, Finished: 7th: “That was a difficult race. I made a promising start and I was surprised to get ahead of Jarno from the dirty side. Then we were the first car to pit, which was already critical. But when I went out on the prime tyres I don’t know how many seconds I lost on the first two laps because I was really struggling for grip. I couldn’t get any heat into the tyres and I really lost the race in the second stint. I was sliding around and it was clear that the speed was better on the options. In the end I was chasing Kimi but there was no chance to overtake. Still, two points are better than none and we will now look for more in Spain.”
Fernando Alonso (Renault)- Started: 7th, Finished:8th: “We did our maximum today. The start of the race was not perfect and we lost a position which put me down to eighth. After that nothing unusual happened during the race and there were no retirements so we were eighth fastest and we finished eighth. We always aim to score points, but we only scored one point and so we need to improve at the next Grand Prix.”
Nico Rosberg (Williams)- Started: 9th, Finished: 9th: “It was not so good today. I was on the limit and really got the best out of it, but we were simply not quick enough. I lost so many places at the start because all of the KERS cars came flying past me, which was really shocking because I had a very good start.
“This is just where we are at the moment so we need to push hard to improve and catch up with the others in front. Just like everyone else, we will have some new parts ready for Barcelona and I hope our package will be competitive.”
Nelson Piquet (Renault)- Started: 15th, Finished: 10th: “I had a strong race and the car was good. It would have been better if I could have made the first stint shorter and the second stint longer, but overall I’m happy with the day as we had a solid race, which is what we needed. Now we must to concentrate on improving our performance for the next race.”
Mark Webber (Red Bull)- Started: 18th, Finished: 11th: “My start was okay, we had a reasonable first few laps, but then I got stuck behind Piquet. It’s very difficult to overtake a car with KERS, he was too quick on the straights and that really wrecked the first stint for me. We then converted to a two-stop strategy, but the grip was quite low on the prime tyres, although it was the same for everyone.
“If you don’t start near the front in these races we know the score, but I did my best. It was a good day for Sebastian, which shows the performance of the car. My mechanics worked like hell and the car was reliable, so we’ll have our day.”
Heikki Kovalainen (Mclaren)- Started: 11th, Finished: 12th: “My start was a disaster. Obviously, to begin the race on the prime tyre was the wrong choice. The harder tyres didn’t have the right grip and soon started to deteriorate. The tyres started vibrating even though there wasn’t a flat-spot. After my first pitstop the car felt much better, but by then it was too late to improve dramatically. Anyway, the pace was not very good. We now need to go away and analyse why our performance was not good enough today. We’ll be working even harder to improve it ahead of the next race in Barcelona.”
Sebastien Bourdais (Toro Rosso)- Started: 20th, Finished: 13th: “It was a really good day for me, except that I started so far back on the grid, which meant I couldn’t get into the points. But clearly, the car was working well and I had a good race pace. The team adopted the right strategy starting me on Primes and after that I was quite quick.
“It was nice to drive a race on the attack, feeling comfortable with the car and I knew that with the different strategies, I had to push right to the end, running the Options. So, overall, I’m fairly happy with this result. Now, I’m looking forward to Barcelona and updates on the car as I’m sure they will make a big difference. 13th is nothing special, no points, but I can be pleased with the day’s work.”
Felipe Massa (Ferrari)- Started: 8th, Finished: 14th: “My race was decided at the start. I was sandwiched between Kimi and Rubens and the front wing got broken after making contact with my team-mate’s rear wheel. At first, I didn’t realise what had really happened and so I came in after two laps to change the nose. Then, after a good start with a clear track, I found myself in traffic and my hopes of climbing up the order evaporated. Throughout the race, my telemetry wasn’t working and so my engineers couldn’t help me with the management of the car.
“The KERS did not work perfectly either, especially at the start. A shame, as once again today, we lost an opportunity to score points. Now I expect to make a good step forward in performance terms in Barcelona. One thing’s for sure, we won’t give up because all of us want to get back up the order.”
Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India)- Started: 17th, Finished: 15th: “It was a really tough race here today. The temperatures were the hottest we’ve had this year and I was really in some pain in the closing stages as my seat was rubbing against my right hip. By the end it was very badly bruised. All the same I think the first part of the race was very strong and I could race with Webber and Kovalainen and then Piquet. In the final laps Massa got past and there was a little contact. I think 15th isn’t too bad – we are racing again and I think we can be pleased the overall weekend performance.”
Adrian Sutil (Force India)- Started: 19th, Finished: 16th: “It was a long race, very tough, and the temperatures were very high. Everything was on the limit, the car and myself, but actually it was a very consistent race. At the start of the race I lost three positions in the first lap as Nakajima drove into my car. It was a shame but it was a good race from that point with good pit stops and another finish that keeps the team’s good finishing record so far this year. The new upgrades have put us firmly back in the midfield and we can look forward to Barcelona now where we have some more upgrades coming.”
Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso)- Started: 16th, Finished: 17th: “I’m not happy with the way it went today. It was very difficult and it could have been better. My start was bad with a lot of wheelspin, losing places and then I was unable to attack and sliding a lot. I am not sure why I struggled with the car, as it’s behaviour was really strange.
“I was not concerned by the heat and gave my maximum from start to finish. At least I finished, which is a good experience, but there is nothing much else to say apart from the fact I was slow and had a bad weekend!”
Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber)- Started:13th, Finished: 18th: “My race was destroyed after corner one. I was between Nick and another car, we touched each other and I destroyed my front wing. Then after the crash there was a miscommunication with the pit crew. I asked to come in straight away, but was only able to pit after the second lap. Then the race was very difficult, as for a long time I was in a heavy car on prime tyres. We were really nowhere with our pace. I hope we make a big step forward in Barcelona.”
Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)- Started: 14th, Finished: 19th: “The result is a disaster, although we were unlucky with the collision in the first corner. At first I thought the suspension was broken, but I only had to have a new nose fitted in the pits and then continued. The first half of the race with the harder tyres was difficult, but the softer compound made it a little bit easier. However, it is another race to forget and we all hope for improvements in Barcelona.”
Kazuki Nakajima (Williams)- Started: 12, Finished: Retired: “It’s was a disappointing race for me. My start was average but it was very difficult to defend against the cars around me that had KERS. It was then very close going into the first corner on the second lap and I damaged my front wing so I had to pit early. I came out at the back of the field and from there I couldn’t make up any ground.
“In the end, my oil pressure was spiking so we took the decision to retire the car. The one positive thing is that the car felt good so we will hopefully do better at the next race.”