Grand Prix Quotes: Singapore


Maurizio Arrivabene: 
“This is a fantastic win! It’s fantastic for Seb, who yesterday put in an awesome qualifying lap, something which reminded me of the great champions of the past. But this result is also fantastic for the whole team, for all the guys here in the Singapore garage, and also for those who work back at Maranello. Kimi’s third place today clearly shows how important and effective was the development work we carried out on our car. Today we have both drivers on the podium and we’re happy with that. And yet, I was not sure that we could make it until we crossed the finish line. A race win is something you build step by step, from the start onwards: and on a track like this, full of unpredictables, and with two safety car periods, the real problem was keeping concentration. Now I don’t want to make predictions for the championship: there are still may points at stake, and obviously we’ll do all that’s in our power to stay in front. But always with great humility and a huge respect for other contenders.”

Kimi Raikkonen: 
“I have mixed feelings: I’m happy to be third, considering how difficult it was yesterday, struggling with the grip and the handling of the car, but I’m a bit disappointed for not having been able to fight for a better position. Today I knew it was not going to be easy: it was a tricky race, on new tires I was able to follow Daniel easily, but then I was starting to have the same problems as yesterday, and I did not have enough speed for trying to catch him. First and third is a great result for the whole team, but of course it could have been better. It’s hard to predict how is going to be in the next races , but I don’t think we should get carried away. Obviously some tracks fit you better that others: we’ll do our best as usual. Hopefully we’ll find out that we can be competitive again fighting at the front. We have done an amazing job as a team so far, we keep improving, building and learning a lot in all areas, we are going in the right direction.”

Sebastian Vettel: 
“It was an incredible race today, in fact all in all an incredible weekend and it is difficult for me now to sum it up. The race was intense and long, I had some pressure from Daniel behind me, we were the quickest two cars out there today, but I was able to control the pace and look after the tyres, which ran ok for the whole weeekend. The car felt fantastic, I could control the gap until the end. Today we are in paradise, but we know we’re still a long way to go. It has been a surprise that Mercedes hasn’t been on the pace this weekend, we don’t know why, but to be honest we don’t really care. I am very happy for the team today, there has been a lot of work going in since the day I joined in. For the next races we will keep pushing 100 percent, we’ll give our maximum, like always. As long as there is a chance we have to go for it, we have to do everything we can. Mercedes are the ones to beat, the best way to do it is looking after ourselves and doing the best we can.”


Nico Rosberg
"Singapore was a disappointing weekend for my team. We were far off the pace the whole weekend and Lewis’ car had to retire. So I really hope that these were unique circumstances and our car didn’t suit the track and conditions. The problem is that we don’t really understand why Red Bull and Ferrari were so much quicker here. The start of the race was a bit chaotic. In the installation laps my engine went off a few times, so I couldn’t do the same start procedure, which I practised 100 times. I had to adapt but it worked out okay, so I was able to keep the positions. P4 was the maximum today, so we have a lot of work to do for Suzuka to understand what went wrong."

Lewis Hamilton
"The race was going very well. For me it felt like I was driving at my best in the race. I think I had the pace to win. I did everything. I was on the prime keeping up easily with the guys at the front on the option. My pace was really good when I started to lose power. I felt like the team was working as hard as they could and these kinds of things just happen. It’s unfortunate for the team as I was feeling real good out there, so optimistic. But it was better to retire and save the engine. We will work really hard on figuring out what it was but I am not worried about losing this engine. Our reliability is really high as we had an amazing season so far.  It’s still a long way to go and I know I lost some points today, but I was fast and on form and I will make sure I bring that out to Suzuka to fight back!"

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"I think that is what's termed a character-building weekend. Given our pace and the way the race unfolded, P4 was the maximum we could expect today with N?ico. On Lewis' side, we tried everything we could to resolve the loss of power while he was out on track but there was nothing we could do and we retired the car when that became clear. He lost valuable points today. Ever since we put the car on track on Friday morning, we were on the back foot and it only improved a little today. There were times in the race when the pace looked okay but the guys in front were managing their tyres, too, so we must be realistic about our level of performance at this circuit. Now we need to analyse everything precisely, understand the wrong turn that we took this weekend to learn the right lessons - and then close this chapter. One bad weekend doesn't overshadow our achievements so far this year but we know that there is no room for complacency after a weekend like this. We will aim to hit back strongly next weekend in Suzuka."

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
"We clearly did not put ourselves in the strongest position during qualifying yesterday, starting from the third row, and it proved to be a long and painful race. It was a case of damage limitation for Nico who salvaged P4 today and didn't put a foot wrong. For Lewis, he suffered a technical problem that meant he was not getting full power, and we couldn't solve that while he was out on track. It was difficult to understand the pace during the race because the leading cars were controlling strongly their pace to make a two-stop strategy work. All attempts to find something different with the strategy that could have given us an opportunity were thwarted by the two Safety Car periods, which fell into a perfect two-stop window. We will do our analysis to understand the problems we faced this weekend, and then aim to bounce back strongly in Japan."

Red Bull Racing

Daniel Ricciardo:
“I think this was our best chance of a win and we got close, so we can be proud of what we did. We have made the most of our opportunities here. At the start Seb just went away and then I was coming back to him and if it hadn’t been for the Safety Car, we’d have got pretty close and maybe an undercut would have been possible at the pit stop. Making both stops under the safety car affected our chances and I think that dictated the race really. In the first stint we were coming on quite strong, with Seb pushing hard to break the DRS gap. But as the laps were ticking down, we were starting to come alive and I was able to lean on the tyres a bit more. Then I was frustrated to see the Safety Car come out, but I knew I still had to make one more stop so I had one more chance. But Seb seemed to have learned from the first stint and started easier than in the first one and was able to pull away later. I was able to close on him again, before we had another Safety Car. That was that really because it’s hard to overtake here. We got the fastest lap right at the end and we can be proud of that. Moving forward, Suzuka is usually a good track for us, although I don’t expect to do as well as there, but we can aim for the top five. It’s good to get another podium, I’m really happy for the team. The last few races the chassis has really come alive so thanks to the guys for that.”
Daniil Kvyat:
“I was unlucky with the timing of the Safety Car as I pitted a lap before it came out. It seemed the Safety Cars didn’t like me at all today, it must be something personal! But that’s life. That worked against us and it wasn’t a good race for me, but we couldn't have done anything else. I lost two places to Mercedes after the first stop and a place to Bottas after the second one. After that, I was always in traffic behind cars that were a tiny bit faster down the straights, which was just enough for me to be unable to pass. On the plus side, we kept it on the track and scored some points. The team did a very good job this weekend and the car worked very well. 8 points is the maximum we could have got with all that bad luck. My time will come. Our car has always worked well in the corners, so our team’s result here is not so surprising.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal:
“A great performance by Daniel today in what was our most competitive weekend of the year. He pushed all the way from start to finish, but he was a bit unlucky with the Safety Cars. Our pace was better during the last part of the stints than the Ferrari and the Safety Cars came at the right time to give Ferrari and Sebastian a bit of a breather. But nonetheless, a fantastic performance to finish second. Dany was unlucky with the timing of both the Virtual Safety Car and the Safety Car itself, which cost him places to both Rosberg and Bottas through no fault of his own. But a good collection of points for the team as we head into Japan. Congratulations to Sebastian, both he and Daniel were in a league of their own today.”


Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: 
"It was an excellent race for Valtteri today. He showed great pace and the gap from qualifying disappeared, so we were fighting with Kvyat and Rosberg throughout the race. We made good strategic calls, when Kvyat pitted we stayed out knowing a safety car could come at any time, and we got ahead of him. Felipe getting tangled up with Hulkenberg, who subsequently received a penalty, was unfortunate and put us on the back foot with that car. His retirement was a gearbox problem, the car was jumping out of gear so we need to investigate that. I'm happy with the day but it's tinged with disappointment because we've lost some points with Felipe's car."
Valtteri Bottas: 
"It was a good race for me. The start was good, the pace was a little bit better than we expected. I could put a bit of pressure on the guys in front and undercut some people. The pit crew did an amazing job today under pressure. We did what we had to, got our heads down and took our opportunities. This was the maximum result today so I’m pleased."
Felipe Massa: 
"It was a very unlucky race for me. My problems started with the collision I had with Hulkenberg after my first stop. I was braking for the corner and he turned his car in on mine, leaving me with nowhere to go, so we hit. This caused a slow puncture on my front-right tyre and the extra pitstop put me back many positions. I then had a gearbox problem. I was changing gears from 2nd to 3rd and was getting neutral. It seemed to resolve itself but it happened again and I had to retire the car. It was one of those races where things just weren't going my way. We need to concentrate on recovering some of our lost points at the next race."


Romain Grosjean:
“We had an aggressive strategy planned for today, which looked good since we were as high as P8 at one point but the first virtual safety car cost us dearly. I lost a lot of places on the first lap, there was quite a lot of sliding going on and, as we knew this wouldn’t be a great track for us – like Hungary and Monaco – we knew it would be difficult. There was nothing left in the tyres towards the end of the race and as soon as we were out of the points, we chose to retire the car as we had some concerns with the gearbox and didn’t want to risk a penalty in Japan.”
Pastor Maldonado: 
“It was a really difficult race. The contact from the McLaren was small but enough to break my diffuser. I was defending on the inside and I don’t know where Jenson wanted to overtake me. It’s a very narrow corner where it happened and there was no chance for him to overtake. The damage meant we lost performance at the rear at the time in the race when we wanted to preserve tyre life. Sadly it wasn’t possible to maintain the pace and the tyres so we had to make an additional, unplanned stop.”
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal: 
"We scored no points today but we certainly fought hard. It’s a long, hot and humid race so thanks to Pastor and Romain for pushing to the maximum for every lap. Everyone in the team has been working hard all week so it’s frustrating for all of us when we fall short of the points. We’re certainly focused on a better result in Japan.”
Nick Chester, Technical Director: 
"That was a long tough race for us. Romain lost positions at the start so we brought forward his stops to undercut and gain track position. Unfortunately this meant we missed out on a quick pit stop under the virtual safety car at the first stop. We suffered worse tyre degradation than expected on Romain's final stint which cost us in the last few laps. Pastor made up positions from his start but was compromised later on after the damage sustained from Jenson. We are now looking forward to Suzuka."

Force India

Sergio Perez: 
“It’s a good feeling to end such a demanding race with seventh place and six points. The start was very important because I knew I had to get ahead of Fernando [Alonso] and I also jumped ahead of Romain [Grosjean]. After that I managed to keep up a good rhythm and I had new tyres immediately after the first safety car so I concentrated on looking after them and building a gap to the cars behind. The second safety car didn’t help us because it gave the Toro Rossos a big advantage with their fresh tyres. We knew they were catching us quickly and it was tough to stay ahead because my tyres were getting old and it wasn’t easy to keep the car away from the walls. So the last 15 laps of the race were very demanding but fortunately we could hold on for seventh.”
Nico Hulkenberg: 
“That’s a really frustrating way to end my race. I was feeling confident with the car; I had made my first stop and I was in good shape. The accident with Felipe [Massa] was very unlucky and I don’t understand why I’ve been given a penalty before there has even been the chance to discuss the incident in the stewards’ room. I saw Felipe coming out of the pit exit as I went through turn one, but I was ahead in turn three, I was on the racing line and I took the corner as usual. Then I felt the contact with my left rear and my race was over. In my view it was my corner and I’m surprised Felipe backed out of it much too late, locking up just before he hit me.”
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director: 
“Another bittersweet race in which we weren't able to get the reward the pace of both drivers should have warranted. Checo was brilliant: he was smooth in attacking and didn't put a wheel wrong when defending. The ending of the race was a bit nerve-wracking, with Checo coming under intense pressure from Verstappen, but he was able to play on the strengths of his car and didn't allow for any overtaking opportunity to arise. Nico had excellent pace but he didn't get the chance to show it. He was ahead of Felipe coming into the corner, took the line he was expected to take and yet Felipe didn't back out until it was too late. We are surprised a penalty was given to Nico, especially considering that he was the one who ended up out of the race and with severe damage to the car. We’re even more surprised the drivers weren't called to the stewards' room to give their view on the events. In any case, tonight's result strengthens our fifth position in the championship. We managed to increase our advantage over the teams behind us and we will aim to continue in this fashion next weekend in Japan.”


Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: 
“Tactics and tyre management played an important role during this evening’s race. Conditions were as tough as ever in Singapore, with the heat, humidity and sheer length of the race, but Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel were able to get the very best out of the tyres and the strategy, knowing when to push and when to keep something in reserve. It was a perfect race from him. The strategy for every team was obviously affected by the two safety car periods, which had the effect of stretching out the stints. As a result, we saw more drivers moving towards a two-stop strategy rather than a three-stopper. All the way down the field though, there was some different thinking about which order would be the best one to use the tyres in. With such a long race distance, looking after the tyres most effectively was crucial to success, especially in the closing stages.”

Renault Sport F1

Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations:
Singapore is a very difficult track to get right, both for driveability and reliability, but we’ve had a trouble-free weekend. We played to our strengths and helped all four drivers score points, so we can consider that a job well done. We laid the foundations for it in Monza, and it is satisfying to see those risks paying off. Thanks to all the guys on track; it shows how we never give up. We still have a few races to go on a wide variety of tracks so there is a lot of work, but we’re confident in our performance.

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
We thought Singapore would represent our best chance for a strong result and it played out today with all four cars in the points. Despite a lot of off-track activity and rumours, we have kept focus and had a faultless weekend, allowing the teams to optimize their set-ups and performance. Suzuka is a very different challenge but we’ve laid the foundations for the second part of the year and can look forward to it with optimism.