Italian Grand Prix: Post-race driver quotes

Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP (1st): “Monza has always been a great track for me and it feels just wonderful to win here again. We made some great decisions this weekend and the work that we achieved on Friday was the key to setting up the result today. We had to think strategically in qualifying because of the KERS cars and our one-stop strategy really paid off. I had a great start to get ahead of Heikki and from there I had the pace that we needed to beat the two-stopping cars who started ahead of us. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone at the factory, here at the track and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth for designing, building and developing such a great car and engine. I m driving a fantastic car with a fantastic Mercedes-Benz engine and the team is doing a fantastic job! It s going to be a good and healthy fight for the championship over the next few races and I m really looking forward to that. Two wins in three races is pretty good going and I ll be giving it my all. And finally I would like to dedicate this win to my two sons Eduardo and Fernando who both had their birthdays this month.”

Jenson Button, Brawn GP (2nd): “I had a really good race today and it s a fantastic feeling to be up on the podium again. The team and Rubens did a great job this weekend and congratulations to Rubens for his second win of the season. The car worked very well all weekend and the balance was good throughout the race which meant I could set consistently quick lap times when it really mattered. The strategy that we chose on Saturday for qualifying was the perfect one for us and I was able to get ahead of Heikki on the first lap which was absolutely crucial for my race. Lewis was pushing hard behind me for the final part of the race but I was confident that I had him covered and it s a very difficult circuit to overtake here even with KERS. We have shown that the Brawn-Mercedes is a very good car and credit to the team for the efforts that have gone into improving it over the past couple of months. It s going to be a very exciting end of the season and a challenge that we are all looking forward to.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari (3rd): “I am happy to have made it to the podium once again, even if this time I needed a heavy dose of luck. It’s a nice result, for the championship, for us and for our fans here at Monza. I got a great start and I almost managed to also get past Hamilton, but even if I’d managed it, the result would have been the same in the end. I’m disappointed I couldn’t fight for the win, but we did not have enough speed. All in all, the strategy we chose prior to the race was the best one for us. In my battle with Sutil, I was never really in difficulty: I knew I only had to avoid making any mistakes and drive in such a way as to get the best out of the car. The tyres? The softer ones suited us better, as we struggled a bit on the harder ones, especially at the start of the stint. In the upcoming races, we will try and do our best: maybe in some of them we could even try and fight for the win.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India (4th): “It was a great race and the car was performing really well. At the start we knew it would be really difficult to defend our position against Kimi and his KERS button and then I was stuck behind him the whole race. I was really quick but I just couldn’t find a way past him as the KERS had such a big effect on the circuit. Going into my second stop we had a chance to overtake him in the pit lane and I was pushing really hard but I was a bit late on the brakes into the box. I think I have to say sorry to the mechanics for going a bit wide! But still they did a great job there. The race pace overall was very good but finally the one-stop strategy worked better than the two stop. All the same we scored a lot of points and I am really, really happy for myself and all of the team at the track and back in the factory and wind tunnel.”

Fernando Alonso, Renault (5th): “I m very happy with the result today, although at the start the KERS did not meet my expectations. In the race I had good pace, the car behaved perfectly and our strategy worked well. Finishing in fifth position is a good result, but the objective for the rest of the season is a podium or even a victory.”

Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren (6th): “I m rather disappointed with today. My race began with a difficult start and that cost me several places on the first lap. Then I couldn’t really push hard in the first stint because my prime tyres didn’t have the grip to allow me to attack. Things were better in the second stint on the options, but, by then, it was too late to regain the time I d lost in the first stint.”

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (7th): “I m totally happy, as for me it was a great race. Coming seventh may not sound fantastic, but from 15th on the grid that really was the best I could do today. The start itself wasn t good at all, I almost lost positions. But then in the first corner I managed to overtake one car on the outside and then in the chicane I went to the inside to overtake Jarno Trulli. On lap three I overtook Giancarlo Fisichella, which I thought would be impossible because he has KERS on his car. Then when I was behind Sebastian Vettel I started to save fuel. After our pit stops he was behind me, and I was eighth before Lewis Hamilton crashed on the last lap and I benefited by scoring one more point.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull (8th): “I think we had a good start and a good first lap, but then I was struggling to stay with the cars in front. The biggest issue today was the first five to ten laps when I was struggling with low grip, I was sliding a lot and lost a lot of time. Overall, we didn t have the speed and perhaps this wasn t the best track for our car. For the next race we will put more downforce in again and maybe we ll be better, we will see. The championship isn t over – our target is to do our best, we re here to win races and the championship, so we have to focus on that, all the rest is out of our hands.”

Giancarlo Fisichella, Ferrari (9th): “I am happy with the way things went in my first race weekend with Ferrari. At the start, I managed to make up a few places, then I had a difficult moment with Vettel, who closed the door on me going into Ascari in a way that was, let’s say, very decisive. In the first part of the race, I felt comfortable on the softer tyre, while I struggled a bit more on the harder one, especially after the pit stop. It’s a shame I only just missed out on a points finish, but this afternoon, I did the best I could. I am upset that I went off the track in FP3, which prevented me from being as well prepared as possible for qualifying: starting a bit further forward might have seen me finish in the top eight. Right from tomorrow morning, I will be concentrating totally on preparing for the race in Singapore, a track that I like a lot.”

Kazuki Nakajima, Williams (10th): “We finished in a good position today considering our qualifying performance. I managed to gain a couple of positions in the first few corners and that made a big difference. The race pace wasn t enough but we managed to have a good couple of laps and I think it was positive to keep Glock behind me even though he was going longer than me. I think we need to find more speed from the car but Singapore should be a good race for us.”

Timo Glock, Toyota (11th): “It wasn’t the result we wanted but at least it was good entertainment. I had already been fighting with Jarno when I came out of the pits; it was quite tight but he got ahead. Then towards the end I could see him try to overtake Kazuki Nakajima but he hit the kerbs and bounced wide. We had a nice battle and made sure we kept it clean. In the end I was on the inside so I won the fight. Overall it was never going to be easy to get much out of this race but Singapore is a different track and we will have some new bits on the car so we should have a decent chance.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren (12th): “I wasn t on the optimal strategy so I really had to push to make my two-stopper work. I got every tenth out of the car that I could possibly get and I didn t make any mistakes – until the last lap. It s unfortunate – but these things happen, it s a racing incident. I was pushing incredibly hard on that lap to try to get close to Jenson and use KERS to pass him, then I exited the first Lesmo and the back-end got away from me and I went backwards into the wall. I can only say ‘sorry to the team – they did a great job and, although we weren t quite as quick as the Brawns today, I pushed harder than ever, so I can feel happy about that.”

Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso (13th): “Starting from the back, the race is never easy, but I feel my lap times were good and consistent, especially in the second stint, so I am reasonably happy. From now on, we go to tracks that are a bit slower and more technical than here, running with more downforce. Let s see if that works better for us. Some teams have made good progress recently, so we must see if we can manage to close the gap.”

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (14th): “We expected a difficult race and that’s what we got. I was behind Nakajima for much of the race and I felt I was able to go faster but it was difficult to overtake. Towards the end I was getting a bit bored to be honest and I tried really hard to find an opportunity. As soon as I saw a little space I just dived in and braked very late. The move was almost okay but there wasn’t quite enough space and unfortunately I hit the kerb and then I had a bit of a fight with Timo. That was good fun and I enjoyed it. I was always on the outside line but I kept fighting because it is better to have a bit of action and in the end it doesn’t make much different if I am 11th or 14th. At least I tried because it wasn’t an exciting race for me otherwise.”

Romain Grosjean, Renault (15th): “I m very disappointed with today s race. My start was very poor and I need to try and understand why. I had some contact in the first chicane and so the car was damaged for the rest of my race, which made things difficult and impossible to score any points. The challenge now is to continue to progress and try to get closer to Fernando in qualifying.”

Nico Rosberg, Williams (16th): “This was a bad weekend for the team. To begin with, we have lacked pace since the start of practice, and we then had a number of issues in the race too. I had a good first lap and I made up four positions overtaking on the left and the right. Then I was hit on the front left by some debris and the car felt suddenly very different, with lots of understeer, so I assumed I had punctured my tyre and requested to pit. In fact the aero balance had been massively compromised and destroyed the grip, and this was just the beginning of a difficult afternoon. Today is one to put behind us, I think, and look ahead to next race where we should be fine.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi (DNF): “Finally, I am racing again and I gave it 100%. We didn’t make any mistakes and everything was perfect until we were in a great position, but that’s racing unfortunately. I had an unusual problem, the transmission started making a strange noise and then I lost drive and couldn’t push. That’s racing it was just a shame as we didn’t have a reliability problem until now, but that’s how it is. We won’t give up though until the end of the season, we want to get lots of points and I am sure we will make it.”

Jaime Alguersuari (DNF): “I started from the pits, so at least I kept out of the trouble on the opening lap. After that my race was going okay and I was up behind Buemi. But then I had a gearbox problem which caused my retirement. I d also had some other troubles on Friday and when a weekend starts badly it often ends badly. I m very disappointed not to finish, as it is very important for me to do as many kilometres in the car as possible.”

Robert Kubica (DNF): “I made a very good start and was in quite a good position before the first braking point. I was on the left hand side of Mark Webber. I guess he did not see me at all. Mark pushed me on the grass while I was on the brakes. Although I managed to come back on the track, we touched in corner one. In Roggia he was on the outside and slightly in front of me. When we were going into the first apex unfortunately again I was not able to avoid him. I ended up with a damaged front wing, but am not sure how this happened as it could have been with my fight with Mark or I could have hit a kerb. However, I was able to continue and managed to overtake Sebastian Vettel, despite having the front wing problem. For safety reasons we had to change the wing a couple of laps later. Finally an oil leak forced me to retire.”

Mark Webber (DNF): “I had a reasonable start, I was trying to find a good line through the chicane. I had Sebastian in front, so I was pretty clean as I didn t want to get tangled up with him. Both of us got through the first chicane, I was following Sebastian into the next, but then had a racing incident with Robert Kubica. It seems like his front wheel was inside my rear left at the second chicane, it was difficult to know he was there. We had contact which flicked the car into the air a little bit, then nosed it into the guard rail. The car was undamaged, but I couldn t get it out and back onto the track. I couldn t have done anything differently. It s frustrating to retire through such a small incident, especially when all the guys have put so much effort into preparing the car. It s not great for the drivers championship, but this is my first DNF of the year. We will bounce back from this and do what we can in the final races.”