Selected team and driver quotes from Monaco

Red Bull:

Mark Webber – 1st: “It’s a special day, the greatest day of my life I suppose. As a Formula One driver you really hope that you win races and if you have a choice then the blue riband event is very, very special for any driver. To join Ayrton Senna and the likes round here is a very special thing. The last few laps are intense. Jenson actually said to me on the parade lap that when you’re leading with a few laps to go, it looks like the track’s narrowing and the barriers are coming closer and closer. Fifteen laps from the end, that’s just what it was like. A one-two finish for the team here is such a feather in their cap, it’s incredible. The safety cars weren’t a great situation to have – you do all the hard work, get away and risk some pretty quick lap times to increase the gap and then you have a safety car which neutralises it and all the fast guys are back on your wheel again. It’s very difficult when it’s like that, but that’s part of the driver’s role to stay composed and get the job done. To get 50 points from the last two races is awesome, but there is a long, long way still to go. We’ve got so many different conditions and tracks coming up there are many exciting times to come; I’m looking forward to it.”

Sebastian Vettel – 2nd: “I’m happy. I think we achieved our optimum from third on the grid normally it’s hard to pass anyone, so second is good. I had good acceleration at the start and was able to dive down the inside and get into the first corner ahead of Robert. That was crucial to finishing second. I couldn’t keep up with Mark today and we need to see why that was. It was difficult, especially at the beginning and after all the restarts. Later on I finally felt I had more grip and wasn’t too far off Mark’s pace, but by then he was already down the road. There was no point trying to catch him, as overtaking is so difficult here. I also had to look more in my mirrors today. Robert was pushing quite hard and it was quite difficult to get away from him at the restarts. I was going sideways rather than straight at times. But, I’m happy. I think we couldn’t have done better today and we take away good points, which counts for a lot.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal: “A tremendous result for the team today I think Mark Webber’s had the week of his life. To win two GPs in a row including the Monaco GP, which is probably the most prestigious on the calendar, is a very proud day for the whole of Red Bull Racing. And we didn’t only win Monaco, but finished first and second so it’s a great day for the team. It puts us first and second in the Drivers’ Championship and first in the Constructors’ Championship. It’s a great result and testimony to all the work that goes on behind the scenes, which goes to make results like today’s possible. Congratulations also to Renault on their one-two-three finish.”

McLaren:
Lewis Hamilton – 5th: “I got quite a good start, and was challenging the guys on the second row into Turn One, but it just wasn’t possible to make a move stick. It’s virtually impossible to overtake around here, especially when the guys in front of me were as fast as I was. After the result in Barcelona, I didn’t want any further mishaps, so I just looked after the car and went for the points. It was quite a straightforward race for me, and fifth was the maximum possible, but I’m not complaining; we need those points. I know we’re working hard to bring improvements to the car for Turkey, and I’m sure we’ll be able to make up the gap to the front at some stage soon.”

Jenson Button – DNF: “That was extremely disappointing. I knew after the formation lap that there was a cooling cover left on the left-hand sidepod, where the radiator is. We thought everything was going to be okay, and it would probably have been fine if we hadn’t had a Safety Car. My car quickly began to overheat and I started losing engine power, so I turned the engine off pretty sharply because the last thing I wanted was to leave engine oil on the racing line. Today was just one of those days. It was human error, a mistake, and that’s all there is to it. I’m still only eight points behind the lead of the drivers’ championship and we head to Turkey feeling confident that we’ll be more competitive there.”

Martin Whitmarsh, team principal: “Lewis scored a useful 10 points as a consequence of his solid run to fifth place – which, since overtaking is notoriously difficult here at Monaco and since there was no attrition in front of him, was as good a result as he could realistically have hoped for from his fifth position on the grid. He drove faultlessly, in fact, looking after his brakes and tyres throughout.

“Jenson’s afternoon was very disappointing one for him, through no fault of his own. Human error caused a cooling cover to be left off the left-hand radiator on the lap to the grid and, despite our best efforts to recover the situation, the components underneath the car got too hot, and Jenson was forced to switch the engine off when a small fire developed.”

Renault:
Robert Kubica – 3rd: “Finishing third in Monaco is a super result for us after an excellent weekend. Nobody was expecting us to finish on the podium here, but we were up at the front all weekend and the whole team really deserves this result. It’s also a great performance by Renault engines to fill the top three steps of the podium. At the start of the race I lost a place to Sebastian, but I knew it was always going to be difficult starting from the dirty side of the track. Normally I would have defended the position, but Mark got quite a slow pull-away from the line and I thought I might have a chance to overtake him. Unfortunately I got some wheelspin and it was too late to close the door to Sebastian, and I also had to defend from Felipe. In the race we had excellent pace and I think I was a bit quicker than Sebastian on the prime tyres, especially after the restarts, which shows the progress we continue to make as a team and is very encouraging for the next few races.”

Vitaly Petrov – DNF: “It’s a bit disappointing not to make the finish of the race but I felt something wrong at the rear so the team decided to stop me with a few laps to go. Unfortunately my race was also affected by a puncture, which cost me a lot of time and put me a lap down. The start of the race was not too bad and I made up a few positions, but we didn’t make up as many positions during the pit stops as we hoping to and we need to understand why this was the case. Still, I completed most of the race and this is more good experience for me. Hopefully I can come back to Monaco next year and score some points.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “To get a podium here in Monaco is a great result for Robert and the team. Starting on the front row we certainly had high expectations and we are all very happy with this third place. Robert drove a fantastic race and the performance of the car was very strong, which allowed us to keep the pressure on Red Bull and stay ahead of the other teams. I’d like to say a big well done to the whole team who can be very proud of their hard work recently, which has contributed to this result. And of course, it’s great to see three Renault engines on the podium. As for Vitaly, his race was made difficult after his accident in qualifying yesterday, but things became even tougher when he got a puncture, which ended his hopes of points. Looking ahead to Turkey, we will keep pushing hard with our development, which is really starting to pay off. The car has shown its’ strengths on slow, bumpy tracks and we need to work hard to be as quick on the upcoming circuits. Overall I’m very happy with how things are progressing.”

Virgin:
Timo Glock – DNF: “It has been a very disappointing end to the weekend. I had a problem at the start and then lost position to Lucas, but I had a really good first lap and overtook Lucas and Jarno Trulli at Loews. This got me into a good position behind Heikki Kovalainen and I could go a similar speed to him, but I had a bit too much tyre degradation on the rear and some problems with the brakes as well. Unfortunately in Casino corner, the rear suspension failed, which ended my race, so we now have to investigate and understand why that happened.”

Lucas di Grassi – DNF: “The first part of my race today was good. I overtook Timo and had a good fight with Fernando for a couple of laps, but then as soon as we made the pitstop we had a wheel problem that forced us to abandon the race. It has been a frustrating end to the weekend, so we need to improve for Turkey and make sure we are in a position to fight to be the best of the new teams.”

John Booth, Team Principal: “A disappointing end to our first Monaco Grand Prix, but we take a lot of positives away from the early party of the weekend, where we saw good steps operationally and with the new car. The team have done a terrific job during two challenging back to back races, so it is frustrating that we were unable to achieve a better reward for them today. We will go to Turkey with the second revised VR-01 where it will help us enormously to be running the same specification of car on both sides of the garage. We look forward to a better race there in two weeks’ time.”

Nick Wirth, Technical Director: “Timo experienced a right rear track rod failure for reasons that we will need to investigate next week. Lucas’ right rear wheel came loose immediately after the pitstop, losing drive and causing him to stop. We actually experienced problems with the left rear wheel in the pitstop and early analysis after the race shows that there are problems with all the wheels fitted during the stop. We’re all very disappointed with our first Monaco Grand Prix but I’m sure we can address these issues quickly and look forward to the debut of the second revised VR-01 in Turkey.”

Force India:
Adrian Sutil – 9th: It was a very good race for us here today. I was P12 on the grid but we had a really great start and I made up two positions on the first lap. We then had a good first stop where I gained a position to be P9 and then I could just do my own race. I had quite a lonely race with a big gap most of the time to the car in front and then the car behind so I was just pacing myself for a lot of the race. I had a very good balance at the end when the grip picked up so I am pretty happy with everything today: ninth position and a few points, we can be quite satisfied with this after the qualifying yesterday.

Tonio Liuzzi – 10th: It was quite a difficult race with a lot of incidents and safety car periods to deal with, but I like these type of conditions. We were P9 after the start but I think we stopped a couple of laps too early for our tyre change, which just allowed Adrian to pass us when he came in. But as a team we can be very satisfied as we got both cars in the top ten and in the points, which is good for the overall morale of the team. We have really deserved this type of result but for various reasons this is the first time it’s happened. It’s really just the start – we have to try and carry this forward for the rest of the season. We are doing a good job back at the factory and from this point on the circuits should come towards us so we can be positive about the future.

Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal: I am delighted with today’s results. At the start of the season we said we wanted to be regular points’ finishers and to date that’s exactly what we have done, but to do so with two cars is a real step up. Adrian and Tonio drove brilliant races, keeping focussed despite the numerous safety car periods and yellow flags, and really deserved to get in the points. It’s very pleasing to see us keeping pace yet again with the larger teams on merit and we can now take this result away with us, build on it and come back even stronger in Turkey.

Lotus:
Heikki Kovalainen – DNF: “It was a fantastic race right from the beginning. I had a bit of a struggle at the restarts to get the tyres up to temperature, but once I got everything working I was able to almost keep up with the Renault. I was pushing very hard, and the car felt fantastic – the balance was really good. Just before I retired I could feel the steering alignment was a bit uneven on the right hand corners I had to use maximum lock, even in the tunnel, and it got the point where it didn’t feel safe anymore. In Monaco you can’t take a risk with it so I came in. It was a mechanical issue, but despite that I’m really pleased with today. We again showed we’re firmly the best of the new teams and we are nearly there with the next group, so I think we just need to keep attacking, and that’s how we’ll achieve results.”

Jarno Trulli – DNF: “This wasn’t a great weekend for me. After we had a problem with the wheelgun in the pitstop I was stuck behind the HRTs and trying to find room to overtake in the last lap Karun seemed slow through the second and third sector, and I’d seen he was leaving room at Rascasse, so I tried to get through but we touched and that was that the end of the race. It was one of those things a racing incident, but I still feel like we’re going in the right direction as a team, and I want to put the bad luck behind me when we get back on track in Turkey.”

Mike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “This was our strongest performance yet compared to the midfield, so obviously mixed emotions for where we finished. Heikki had a very strong race and in the middle his performance was particularly good compared to the midfield group. It’s a shame we had a problem on his car – the steering joint failed, something we’ve not seen before – but overall it was a very positive weekend for him. For Jarno, he had a much more difficult weekend, clearly struggling with the balance of the car and I think as a team we have to take a look at everything to be able to do a better job for him. Obviously he was compromised by the slow pitstop, which dropped him down the field and affected his whole race. He was capable of going much faster and when he made the move he unfortunately fell victim to the nature of the Monaco circuit. So I leave feeling pleased we showed such good pace, and we move on to Turkey.”

Tony Fernandes: “I take a lot of positives from the race today and it was another one where we had at least one car classified. Most importantly Heikki made a great step forward and it was fantastic watching him race with Petrov. He and the whole team felt it was the best race of the season for him and that boosts confidence further for the season ahead. We’ve got some more new parts coming which will continue to take us forward, and hopefully Jarno’s luck will turn, but even with that we’re all pleased. It’s also great to see so many of our fans out around the track – hopefully we gave them some good racing today, and in years to come we’ll give them some good results as well.”