Singapore Grand Prix: Post-race Driver Quotes

Lewis Hamilton – McLaren (1st):
“This is the perfect end to a fantastic weekend. The race was physically very tough for all the drivers, but it was actually quite straightforward for me. I made a good start and I knew I was running longer than the guys behind me, so I was able to bridge the gap back to them. It was a very nicely controlled race in that way. The team did radio me about a small problem with KERS – but I didn t have a problem in the cockpit and was able to just disable it and then re-engage it. It worked fine after that. We came here hoping for a good result – and I wanted to redeem myself after the last lap in Monza – and we got it!”

Timo Glock – Toyota (2nd):
“We have had a really good weekend and this is a great reward for the team. After a solid qualifying the pace was good in the race so I am really happy for the team and myself. It was important to get in front of Fernando (Alonso) on the first lap and I was disappointed I didn’t do it at the start. I saw he was fighting with Mark (Webber) and I just dived in and made the pass. It paid off because after that our strategy worked well; it was the key point in my race. I was just concentrating the whole race on my speed and we didn’t make any mistakes. This is a brilliant result for Toyota before the Japanese Grand Prix. It’s important for everyone in the team; the mechanics and engineers as well as the people back home in Cologne and in Japan. The car worked well today with the new package and I hope we can be competitive again in Suzuka.”

Fernando Alonso – Renault (3rd):
“This was a great result for the team allowing us to be positive and put behind us the past few weeks. I had a good start and great pace throughout the race and third place came as a result of a good strategy and a solid race. Everyone at Enstone, Viry and here at the circuit has done a great job and this has paid off today. Now we go to Suzuka in high spirits.”

Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull (4th):
“The start was not so good from the dirty side of the track, but it was pretty good race for me until we had the drive-through. There s a bit of a question mark as to why I got the penalty, I mean I had no reason to push at that point. We knew we couldn t pass Lewis at the pit-stop because he was staying out longer, so I was surprised when I got the call on the radio for it. We were on the limit with the brakes, I was lifting earlier than normal and braking a little more smoothly when I was in traffic. Sometimes I had to drop off a bit to cool them too, before I could push again – you always have to listen to your car. Regarding the championship, I think history has shown many different examples of how it can finish over the years, with it going either way. At the next races our approach will be simple: we will try to get pole position and try to win, so it s very straightforward.”

Jenson Button – Brawn GP (5th):
“It was a good race for me and I’m happy with fifth position and four more points today. Getting ahead of Kazuki off the line was key and that really made my race. The first stint was quite frustrating as I could see Rubens getting away from me whilst I was stuck behind Heikki with a heavier fuel load. The safety car then made it very difficult as I still had fuel for a few more laps and should have been able to make up two places at my first stop. I had to put in some quick laps before my second stop to close up to Rubens and then we were pushing to catch Sebastian before deciding to save the brakes and settle for the fifth position. The weekend hasn’t been quite what we expected but it’s good to come through from 11th on the grid to score points today. I’ll go to Japan tomorrow feeling very positive and looking forward to the next race.”

Rubens Barrichello – Brawn GP (6th):
“It was a pretty eventful weekend for me and a tough race today. I had a great start to make up two places and everything was going well in the first stint. It’s a shame that the safety car didn’t play into my hands but I was in a good position. Unfortunately I had a problem on my second pit stop when I couldn’t engage neutral and the engine stalled which lost me the crucial time needed to stay ahead of Jenson. After that my brakes were struggling and I couldn’t fight anymore so we came home with sixth position. It could have been a better weekend but I only lost a point to Jenson in the championship despite everything that happened so I’m staying positive.”

Heikki Kovalainen – McLaren (7th):
“I had no problems from start to finish and was feeling very comfortable, but I couldn t go quicker. I drove to the pace I could with this car. I struggle a bit to maintain the tyre s performance and the car gets out of shape if I try to increase my pace, so I can t carry more speed through the corners. My focus now is to get the car better for me, so I can achieve better results. As a team, we ll take many positives from this race. First of all, our car performance has been fantastic all weekend – and Lewis s victory shows that the performance is definitely there. But, to be honest, my weekend was ruined yesterday in qualifying, which was very unfortunate for me.”

Robert Kubica – BMW Sauber (8th):
“This was a very tough race. I was quite unlucky with the safety car period. I lost a couple of positions as I had just refuelled before the safety car went out. On top of this we had a lot of problems with my car s rear tyre degradation. As a result the final ten to fifteen laps of my stint were very slow and, especially in the final stint, I had to defend my position extremely hard. In the end I must say this was the most difficult point I have scored in my whole life.”

Kazuki Nakajima – Williams (9th):
“It was a difficult race and I think I did the best job I could, but it was disappointing not to be able to claim any points. There seemed to be a possibility in the last stint as the car in front of me was struggling with its tyres but as much as focus on the car ahead, I also had to defend from behind, so it was tough to find the balance. The car has been good here and hopefully we can carry this with us to Japan.”

Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari (10th):”I couldn t do any better. The car was sliding everywhere and I had no grip. In the final part, with the softer tyres, the situation improved a bit, but by then it was too late. I closed up to Nakajima and, a few times, I tried to risk a passing move, but here it s really difficult to overtake unless the guy in front makes a mistake. I don t expect the situation to be much different next week in Suzuka: it is a very demanding track for the car, from an aerodynamic point of view and we are lacking in this area. Having said that, I will be trying my hardest.”

Nico Rosberg – Williams (11th):
“Today s outcome was hugely disappointing. I made an unnecessary mistake by braking too late and running over the white line on the pit-lane exit. Then the safety car came out at the worst possible moment. It left me with a really horrible feeling, also for the team, knowing that I wouldn t be second when I have served my drive-through penalty and I would have to spend the rest of the race at the back. The team gave me such a good car this weekend having put more effort into development than anyone else, and I am now determined to use this to best advantage in Japan.”

Jarno Trulli – Toyota (12th):
“It was a really tough race and not much went right for me. As soon as I got out of the traffic the safety car came at the wrong moment for me; right when I was passing through the pits for my first stop. I wasn’t particularly competitive all weekend and I was struggling with traction so we have to take a look at that. But on the positive side Timo’s second place is a great result for the team, who really deserve it. Timo drove a great race and I am happy for his podium; it is also good news for us in the constructors’ championship.”

Giancarlo Fisichella – Ferrari (13th): “It was a very tough race, both physically and mentally. The pace was not up to Ferrari s standard and we have to take that on board. I was struggling to keep the car on track because of a lack of grip. At the end, on the softer tyre, the car s handling improved and I managed to do some good lap times. We brought my first pit stop forward to try and get me out of traffic, given that I was stuck behind Sutil, but then with the safety car the move didn t give the result we d hoped for. Here, KERS was less of a factor than at Monza: at the start I managed to pass a car and then it was mainly useful to defend my position. Now we go to Suzuka, a real track: given how things have gone this year, with cars being strong in one race and weak the next, it s difficult to make any predictions.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi – Force India (14th):
“It has been an ultra difficult weekend and race for us. The conditions are very difficult from the beginning as we were starting on the last row and trying to get some points was always going to be tough. Also having two cars with KERS in front of me didn’t help. I couldn’t overtake Giancarlo even though I was quicker on my first two stints. On the third stint we started to have a lot of graining with the rear tyres with the soft compound and I just couldn’t catch him. In the end it was a difficult race but we are more optimistic for the next races.”

Jaime Alguersuari – Toro Rosso (DNF):
“It would have been difficult for me to do better today, as conditions in the race in terms of the track and the heat were very tough. I ran at my own pace and then I was stopped with a brake problem. Now we go to Suzuka where I hope to do better and finish the race with no technical issues.”

Sebastien Buemi – Toro Rosso (DNF):
“The start was good for me as I got past Kimi and was going well, but towards the end of the first run, I began to suffer with tyre degradation. The first pit stop went well and I rejoined in P12. After that the safety car came out, bunching up the field. I was behind Kimi again and pushing hard until my second pit stop, when we had a big problem as no fuel went in and I had to come in again. Finally, I had an issue with the gearbox which meant I had to stop. I am very disappointed that we had reliability problems in a race where we might have got a good result.”

Mark Webber – Red Bull (DNF):
“We had a suspected brake problem, so when I came in for my pit-stop, the guys made a visual check. It seemed reasonable for me to continue, but then we had the failure and I retired. The guys did everything they could – I think they were seconds away from retiring me when we had the failure, so it s disappointing. The first lap was pretty feisty, as you d expect on a street circuit and I had a bit of a fight with Fernando in Turn 7 and we both ran wide. About nine laps later I had to let Fernando back through, but unfortunately Glock was in the middle by then, so I had to let them both through. My race was heavily compromised from there. I thought the incident was fifty/fifty but the stewards decided I had to let Fernando and Glock through, so I lost the hard work I d done during my first stint. It was a hard penalty I think, Kimi did something similar in Spa and got away with it. I d like to say thanks to the guys in the garage for this weekend – they re awesome and that s why we re second in the constructor s championship. Fingers crossed we can finish this year on a high.”

Adrian Sutil – Force India (DNF):
“It was quite frustrating at the start as we knew with the one stop we were very heavy, but Jaime (Alguersuari) was very slow and really fighting with the car. He was holding me up a lot and I tried a few times to pass him but I finally saw a chance. I tried and it wasn’t enough – I was a little late on the brakes, spun and that’s it. Then Nick came around the corner and hit my front wing as I was stuck in the corner. I didn’t see him coming as I was on the move already and couldn’t react to it, but I’m sorry for it. It was a race incident. After the accident I then had a problem with the brakes and lost all the rear pressure and I had to stop as it was too dangerous to drive. We should be much better in Suzuka – I really can’t wait for it. It’s one of my favourite circuits and I have big hopes for a better result.”

Nick Heidfeld – BMW Sauber (DNF):
“For me it was clearly Adrian Sutil s fault. Obviously I saw it from the inside and later also on TV. He had spun backwards and then just drove back onto the track and straight into my car. That s something you just can t do. I had no chance to avoid this accident. I was last with a lot of fuel on board. The speed at the back of the pack was very low and, therefore, I started to save fuel very early on as overtaking was impossible anyway. Although my chances were far from promising today, it is still annoying not to finish because of such a stupid incident.”

Romain Grosjean – Renault (DNF):
“It was a disappointing weekend for me. The car just wasn’t right and we had recurring brake problems which we hoped we had solved before the race. I had a good start and a good first lap when I felt my brakes failing and so the team asked me to retire. It s too bad because I was comfortable and enjoying this track and racing at night. Now we will have to work hard and get the car back in order for Japan next week.”