Bottas has made the show of the day (all drivers Quotes)

16/03/2014 14:11

by: Evgenya Udalova

4th Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes: "The great thing is that, as a team, we've done a really good job this weekend. The pace is getting there, when we had clear air we had a good chance of fighting anyone apart from the Mercedes really.

"We all knew [Kevin] was quick. He's done everything that's been asked of him. Yesterday he did a really good job in qualifying, and then he backed it up today. He's a good guy, and he's proven he's quick here so we should work well together this year."

 

5th Fernando Alonso, Scuderia Ferrari: “I’d have liked to start the season with a podium, but getting both cars to the flag is a good result, which can give us confidence, especially on the reliability front. I had some problems with the electric motor at the start and had to make a few changes from the steering wheel, but after the first ten laps everything went well. When I managed to pass Hulkenberg after the pit stop my pace was definitely better, although it was impossible to overtake. 35 seconds down on the leader is too big a gap and to work out what we need to do to close that gap, we will need to analyse the race, work out what are the strong and weak points on the car and with that in mind, the laps I did behind Nico can provide very useful information. We are a great team and I have total faith in our guys, because they did a great job today. We still have lots to learn about this new Formula One, as the race was very strange and very difficult. But it’s only the start. We must concentrate on doing better in Malaysia.”

 

6th Valtteri Bottas, Williams: "The car performed very well today which is looking encouraging for the season ahead, and on the whole as a team we can be pleased that we have made a good step forward from last season. I'm a little disappointed with myself because I was pushing a bit too hard and hit the wall which caused a puncture and put me back a long way. I spent the rest of the race trying to make up for that mistake and managed to make some good overtakes, but I need to learn from this and make sure it doesn't happen again. It felt great to be able to race hard with people around me and I want to say a big thank you to the race team and everyone back at Grove and Brixworth who have done a great job with this car. We should have finished higher today than we did with the pace we had and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do in Malaysia."

 

7th Nico Hulkenberg, Force India: "Seventh place is a positive way to start the season. I was very happy to see the chequered flag - the first time I've done so in Melbourne - and it's important to score some good points early on. I made a strong start and enjoyed good track position for the first two stints when I was running up in fourth. The only real issue I had was some front left graining on the soft tyres, which never really cleared up and that compromised my first two stints. It was a shame to lose two positions at my second stop [to Button and Alonso] but it looks like some of the cars around us have a bit more pace at the moment. I want to thank the team for the amazing job they've done over the winter and this weekend to get us to this point. It's been a great effort and it's nice to reward everyone with some points at the first race."

 

8th Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari: “That wasn’t a straightforward race. At the start, I managed to get away well and even though I was hit from behind by another car at the first corner, my car was undamaged. The speed was good, but at one point I was suffering with graining on the front tyres, I had very little grip and a lot of understeer. From then on, the car’s handling was not the same. When it was time for the first stop, we had to do a double stop and that cost me a place. It’s definitely too early to make any definite judgement, because even if at the moment we don’t seem to be in great shape, we still managed to finish the race, scoring valuable points. We can’t be pleased with this result and we know there are many areas where we need to improve. But I’m sure that analysing the data from this first race will give us a clearer idea of the direction to work in.”

 

9th Jean Eric Vergne, Scuderia Toro Rosso: ""This is obviously a good result, even though the car was very difficult to drive. We had problems with the brakes which made us lose a lot of time but at the end we are all satisfied to finish the race with two cars in the points. I'm very pleased with the overall three points especially for the team, more than for myself. After a long difficult time and so much hard work this winter, this is a great relief for all the guys in the garage and it's nice for us drivers to be able to give them something back. It looks like things are turning well and hopefully it will always be better from now on. As for my mistake in the last corner, I was trying to defend myself from Mercedes, looking for the best line to get a good exit, but I went on the grass and I was lucky enough not to spin the car. It's really a shame but it's just the first race and I'm sure we will have plenty of opportunities to score more points. Overall, it's a good result today."

 

10th Daniil Kvyat, Scuderia Toro Rosso: "It was a very intense afternoon and finishing my first race with a point is a great feeling. It was a fantastic first Grand Prix weekend with the team, everyone worked really hard and scoring points was a great way to end it. So well done to everyone! The start was a bit messy, but after that I managed to get into a rhythm and the car seemed competitive compared to those around us. It was close at the end with Jev, but I had to save fuel towards the end, so I was not going to attack him. I never expected to score a point in my first race, so it feels amazing. It's a real boost for us and now we have to keep on working hard and if we keep on the way we are going, then we can look forward to a really positive season."

 

11th Sergio Perez, Force India: "I'm satisfied to finish the race, but disappointed not to score points. My race became very difficult on lap one when I got hit by the Sauber of Gutierrez at turn three. It gave me a puncture and I had to return to the pits very slowly, which dropped me to the back of the pack. After that I just tried to keep a consistent pace on the medium tyres and I was quite fortunate that the safety car came out, which helped me recover some positions. Points were close, but my progress was hurt by being stuck behind the Sauber of Adrian for such a long time. It's positive to finish the race because it gives the team lots of information and hopefully that will make us stronger for Malaysia."

 

12th Adrian Sutil, Sauber F1 Team: "It was an exciting race, and especially the start, but luckily I went through without any incidents. We had a few issues with the powertrain during the first stint, but after the pit stop that improved. Nevertheless this cost us a lot of time that we couldn't recover. I was on a two-stop strategy, but we switched to a one stop because of the safety car. This could have worked well, but the safety car phase didn't help us. In addition we were simply too slow, but we managed to finish the race, which was our goal. We came close to the points, but we need to improve our speed. There is a lot of data now to analyse and we can only improve. I hope that we will progress quickly."

 

13th Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber F1 Team: "It was a different kind of racing today, but definitely something we take as a reference. In general we are missing speed and it's a challenge to be able to compete at the front like this. As a team, we need to make sure we put everything together because the lack of speed we have on the straight is quite significant. However, we can be very happy that we both finished the race today. This means a step forward for the team and its reliability."

 

14th Max Chilton, Marussia F1 Team: "Today's race was by no means perfect but we have started the season with a two-car finish, and on my side a 14th place as well, so we have to be pleased with that. The start was obviously extremely concerning. I was on the grid preparing for the formation lap with the usual procedures and suddenly everything just cut out. At that point I was worried that my race was already over, but the team did a fantastic job to push me off the grid and back to the garage where they reset the car and I was able to start the race from the pit lane. From that point on I knew we had an important job to do to get the car home, but at the same time do the hard work to we needed to be able to evaluate the car over a race distance. It was quite pleasing to be able to catch Ericsson in the process. We've learned an awful lot today that will stand us in good stead as we prepare for the next race in Malaysia and also to start developing the car for the longer term. After a tough time in testing when we did not achieve all the mileage we had hoped for, it's good to take home a 14th place finish from the first race of the season. It's a nice reward for all the hard work across the whole team."

 

Jules Bianchi (NC) Marussia F1 Team: "The problem at the start was really quite worrying and I did not expect to be able to race, but the team got me to the garage and fought hard to get me back on track. I was six laps down when I did rejoin and of course I was never going to recover from that, but that was not the point. Being in the race - and finishing it - enabled us to gather the maximum amount of information and test various strategies for maximising the power unit. In many ways it was more like a test than a race for me, which was far from ideal, but as is the case in testing, the mileage was important and this will be crucial for the engineers to start moving us forward. Hopefully I will be able to benefit from this next time around. I am pleased that we have some reward for all the hard work and we look forward to better things in Malaysia."

 

Roman Grosjean (DNF) Lotus F1 Team: "In a way, it was a pretty positive day. I expected to do around 15 to 20 laps in the race after all the issues we've had this weekend, and we managed 45! We've learnt a lot today and all the changes made to the car have been positive. We still have a long way to go, but at least I know more about tyre usage, all my engineers know where we need to improve with the chassis, and we've learnt a lot about aero balance and fuel consumption. Of course there's more to do with the energy management and recovery and some work yet with the braking. We've still got lots of work to do, but we're definitely heading in the right direction."

 

Pastor Maldonado (DNF) Lotus F1 Team: ""It was obviously very disappointing, but if you look at the positives we did more laps than in the pre-season which is quite encouraging as we have more data which is very important for making progress. We had a very negative free practice but we did plenty of laps during the race which is very positive for the team. I'm looking forward to the next race and we'll keep pushing."

 

Marcus Ericsson (DNF) Caterham: "Even though my first race in F1 ended with a DNF I'm still proud of the way we fought today. It's been a very difficult weekend overall, one of the hardest in my whole career, but we still showed a bit of the potential we have in the first laps of the first stint when I passed Sutil and was running well in twelfth. My first ever live pit stop a Grand Prix went really well but then unfortunately an oil pressure problem forced us to stop - we don't know what caused that yet but if we hadn't had that I think we'd have finished ahead of the Marussias as I was pretty comfortable ahead of Chilton until the issue.

 

Friday was tough, obviously, but we had a better Saturday and then today we started to show some of the race pace this car has. For the last few laps of the first stint I was driving with pretty flat spotted tyres but the rear was still behaving well and the Power Unit felt good. That's encouraging for the next race in Malaysia which is on a track I've raced at before and one I like, so I'm leaving Australia in a positive frame of mind and just want to get on with it again as soon as possible!"

 

Sebastian Vettel (DNF) Red Bull: "Already on the way to the starting grid, I felt loss of power. We had not realized what it was connected. At the start, the engine will not develop the necessary power rivals overtook me, I lost positions. We tried to do everything in our power, and I even thought that the situation has improved.

 

Unfortunately, we soon realized that the problem with the engine more serious, like two cylinders stopped working. And when the engine lost power, you can not make the entire system to function normally. So we had to go out from the distance.

 

Of course, we will deal with these difficulties, but it will take time. All are working at full pressure - and our team in Milton Keynes, and especially motorists in Viry Renault Sport. We started the championship is not in the best shape, but in this weekend learned a lot. It is clear that the machine is fast, and when we achieve normal operation technique, we need to be competitive"

 

Lewis Hamilton (DNF) Mercedes: "My start didn't feel great today and I had a lot less power than usual when pulling away, so it was obvious immediately that something was wrong. It looks like we only had five cylinders firing and, while I wanted to keep going, we had to play safe and save the engine. It's unfortunate but that's racing and we will recover from this. We have a great car and engine, and the pace was really strong today as Nico clearly showed. Big congratulations to him and the team for achieving the win, it's a fantastic result for us. Of course I'm disappointed with my own race and when I think about all the work that has gone on back at our factories, it's tough to have a costly hiccup. However we have achieved an incredible amount to get here, to be at the front and to be so competitive; we will bounce back and learn from this. There is a very long way to go this season."

 

Felipe Massa (DNF) Scuderia Ferrari: "I'm obviously very disappointed as I had the sort of car capable of challenging for a podium today, but the incident in the first corner ruined my race. I tried to have a calm start and not take any risks, but was hit from behind after Kobayashi braked too late and there was nothing I could do to avoid being taken out of the race. It's a shame but there are a lot of positive things that the team can take from this weekend in terms of pace and reliability, so I'm just thinking about the next race and having a strong result there."

 

Kamui Kobayashi (DNF) Caterham: "That isn't how I wanted my first race back to go, and I'm sorry for the team and for Felipe (Massa) that both our races ended early. I had a really good start but then into turn one I made contact with Felipe. From the initial data it looked like I had a brake system issue which obviously meant I couldn't do much about the contact and when we got the car back and looked at the information in much more detail it was clear that was the problem. After the race I went to the stewards and they went through the data from the car and confirmed this was the case. We'll have a close look at what caused that problem and make sure we fix it.


"It's been a tough weekend for us, but we still have a lot more data that will help us keep improving, and the really positive thing is that we were still quite competitive, even with the issues we had on Friday. Race two is Malaysia, one of our team's home races, and we'll keep pushing there, just as we will all weekend."