Madrid victim tributes

The inaugural European Grand Prix at Valencia took place against the backdrop of the Madrid plane crash. On Friday a three-minute silence was held as a tribute to the victims of the crash, and on Saturday Fernando Alonso handed out stickers for the drivers to sport as a mark of respect.

Fernando Alonso: “It will definitely change the weekend for me, because it’s a tragedy what happened,” he said. “All the Spanish people are in shock and I am too. It’s probably the saddest approach to a weekend I have had.”

Pedro de la Rosa: “I was deeply sorry to hear about the tragedy in Madrid on Wednesday. As a Spanish citizen, my thoughts are with the people of my country and everyone who has been affected by these events. Their loss has been deeply felt throughout the whole of Spain.”

“On behalf of the whole McLaren Mercedes team, we wish to extend our sympathies to the families and friends of everyone who has been involved. While we need time to grieve, we must also recognise that, through sport, we can help lift people’s spirits and inspire them to overcome this very sad episode.”

Ron Dennis: “All at McLaren Mercedes were deeply saddened by the recent Spanish air disaster. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of all those affected. We were honoured to be invited to take part in a minute’s silence in the Valencia paddock at midday on Friday; equally, both Lewis and Heikki readily agreed to attach Spanish flag stickers, as a mark of respect, to their helmets for both qualifying and the race.”

Lewis Hamilton: “I think it was a tragedy. I was really sad to hear what had happened. Valencia is a beautiful city in a beautiful country, so my immediate hope was that we drivers would be able to do that country proud by putting on a brilliant race.”