Grand Prix Notes - Monza


Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “As ever, Monza proved to be an amazing experience, with an incredible atmosphere provided by some of the most enthusiastic fans we see all year. As a Formula One venue, it is simply emblematic. Lewis Hamilton drove a text-book race for Mercedes, ending up with a well-deserved victory thanks to a perfectly executed strategy. Behind him, there were also some great battles throughout the field, with a one-stop strategy becoming the default option for the field – despite the fact that Monza is known for its high wear and degradation.”


RG: “We had the potential of a good race ahead of us. I made a strong start but got hit by a car from behind in turn one which broke my rear suspension so that was it for us. It was a too optimistic move from Nasr who hit me which meant my race was over. It’s been a tough weekend but everyone has made the most of the opportunities we have and the spirit of the team and the support from the F1 world has been amazing. The E23 still feels good so we head to the next races optimistic of more good results to come.”
PM:  “It’s been a tough weekend and this is racing sometimes. We keep united and keep pushing as there are still seven Grands Prix to go so time to recover and keep fighting. I had contact in turn one where the Force India came into the side of me and took out my front-right suspension and that was the end of my race. We were looking for a strong finish and we had potential for that. Everyone knows that turn one at Monza can be tough and that’s what we saw today."
Federico Gastaldi, Deputy Team Principal
"What can you say? Everyone at Enstone, at the track, our sponsors, partners and suppliers would have liked to see a favourable result for us today but the cruel mistress that is motor sport gave us a resounding slap in the face. Both drivers had their race undone at the first corner and this was a real blow to all of us. We now focus on the next Grands Prix where we’re determined as ever to score more points and keep fighting. Thank you all for your support.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
"A disastrous race for us with our cars retiring following incidents at turn one. Both drivers started in the top ten and we had potential for a good points haul but Monza’s turn one can get very crowded on the first lap, which is what we saw today. It’s been a challenging weekend for us, but the response from our fellow competitors has been tremendous and we thank them all for that. We’ve seen that the E23 has still got strong pace so we’re heading to Singapore and Japan eager for clean races to re-ignite our championship fight."


Rémi Taffin, Director of Operations:
We introduced a number of new elements to be able to get to the end of the season without incurring further penalties. Starting with all four cars at the back of the grid we had relatively low expectations for the race outcome so a double points’ finish is better than hoped. The speed was good, particularly from Ricciardo in the second half and especially at the end, where he was able to grab eighth on the last lap. If we can carry this performance through to Singapore, a track that should suit us better, and start in more representative positions we should show form that is much closer to our actual performance.

Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director:
This weekend was a calculated sacrifice on behalf of the coming races. We looked at all the different options with the teams and knew this track would not be best suited to either, so took the opportunity to introduce as many new parts as possible. Hopefully this should give us the flexibility for the rest of the year so we can make the most of our improved performance.


SP:  “I had a really enjoyable time today. I had very strong pace from the beginning to the end; I managed the tyre degradation well and I feel we got the maximum that was possible from the race. The first stint was fairly calm: I found myself in clean air and I managed to open a gap over the cars behind so I wasn’t under any pressure. After my pit stop, I knew Kimi was closing in behind me: he was really quick and there was nothing I could do to keep him behind any longer than I did. I am very pleased with our performance over the whole weekend and the team really deserves these points. Today's result is important because it moves us back to fifth in the championship with a nice gap over our rivals. We did a good job and we deserve this result.”
NH:  “Seventh place brings some useful points, but I finished the race feeling a little bit frustrated because we didn’t have the pace we know is possible. I actually think we had a problem with the car and it’s something we need to investigate because I was losing downforce, the car was sliding and the rear tyres were heating up too much, all of which really hurt my pace. The second half of the race was quite difficult defending against Ericsson and that’s when we were considering changing to a two-stop strategy because I was struggling so much with the tyres. In the end we decided against it and I was able to hang on to seventh place for some important points.”

 Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal:
“To be leaving Monza with 14 points in our pocket completes a very competitive weekend for Sahara Force India. It means we’ve regained the advantage in our battle for fifth place in the standings and gives us a nice boost ahead of the fly-away races. The circuit certainly played to our strengths, but the team has worked incredibly hard this weekend to get both cars home in the points. Sergio and Nico both drove very mature races, fighting hard when they needed to and looking after the tyres. Nico was less comfortable with the car, so we will explore those issues, but all things considered we can feel extremely positive about our performance today.”


Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: 
“It was a good race for the team. The mandate from the start of the weekend was that we had to have a clean weekend. If there were 15 points on the table, we had to come away with 15 points. The great news is that we've taken 27 points and a podium. We've moved away from the people behind us in fourth by a good amount, which was the absolute priority. We've kept pace with Ferrari, so in championship terms it's been a good weekend for us. We came out of what was not a particularly good race in Belgium, from both a performance and operational point of view, and we've reacted really well. They team were absolutely spot on all weekend which is a great show of the strength and depth we have at Williams now.”
FM:   “It's really emotional to have been on the podium. It was a difficult but fantastic race, I didn't have the best start but I was still able to pass cars so it was good enough. I worked hard to open the gap to Valtteri, but when I pitted early it gave him the advantage on tyres at the end of the race. It was hard to keep him behind as he really wanted it, but I just about managed it. I am delighted for myself and the team, we got a lot of valuable points. It's special to be up on the podium at Monza again, and I really thank the team for their effort today.”
VB:   “It was a good result for the team today, good points which is important. My pitstop lost me too much time which was crucial for the second part of the race. I managed to get extremely close in the end but it was too late. As I saved my tyres and brakes I was able to attack in the final laps but we had system issues on the last lap, so we need to investigate what happened because I also lost an opportunity there. It's a shame for me that I couldn't be on the podium but it's still good points for us.”