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Europe Sunday quotes: McLaren

Lewis Hamilton - 2nd: "This is my second podium in a row, and I'm very happy to be here," Lewis said. "We did the best job we could today. Am I disappointed? Yes, I think we all are - but that's simply an indication of just how hard everyone in this team is pushing to win. We're never satisfied unless we're winning, in fact.

"But, ultimately, we didn't really lose anything today it was always going to be tough to beat Rubens and what we tried wasn't quite enough. Before my second pitstop, I'd been saving fuel and was a bit unsure if I had enough for that extra lap or not. The pitwall had initially asked me to pit but, just when I was coming in, they told me to stay out and do an extra lap however, I was already inside the white line [entry to the pits] and committed, so it was too late.

"In those circumstances, it's always better to be safe and to pit, because the last thing you want to do is run dry out on the circuit. But the call was a marginal one the team was pushing the envelope, as I say and it came just a little too late for me and the mechanics, who weren't perfectly prepared. Make no mistake, I think those guys are the best in the business; what happened was simply a result of the team trying everything in their power to turn a safe second place into a possible win.

"In any case, our overall performance this weekend confirmed the huge improvement we've made recently, but we still lack a bit of race pace compared with the very fastest cars. You can be well sure we're working on fixing that, though. Congratulations to Rubens he drove a fantastic race today and really deserved this victory."

Heikki Kovalainen - 4th: "To start second and finish fourth isn't ideal," he said. "But I'm more pleased with my overall performance in this race than in Hungary. We showed good performance throughout the whole weekend, and I really want to thank the whole team for helping us to achieve that it's good to see things improving like this.

"We don't yet have the pace of the frontrunners, but everyone has done an incredible job to get us to where we are. We've scored more points in the last three races than any other team but I still want to score more. I'm already focusing on Spa; it's a circuit I love and I really want to be on the podium there."

Martin Whitmarsh: "Following our all-front-row qualifying result, naturally enough we had very high expectations for today's race. In the event, though, our race pace wasn't good enough to beat Rubens's car. We'd adopted a different tyre strategy from many of the front-runners maybe that was right, maybe that was wrong but the reality is that we weren't quick enough to win today.

"So, coming in to the final pitstops, in our efforts to convert a safe second for Lewis into a possible first for him, we took a calculated risk in attempting to reverse the sequence of Lewis's and Heikki's pit stops at the last second. That last-second decision caused a bit of pitlane confusion, which probably cost Lewis a couple of seconds overall but Rubens's race pace was such that that couple of seconds didn't make a difference to the outcome of the race.

"In a nutshell, we decided to take the risk because we knew Rubens had the strategy to win and it was our only chance of attempting to prevent that. We don't like not winning, but second and fourth isn't such a terrible result. Now, though, we'll focus on the challenge of Spa a very different type of racetrack from Valencia."

Norbert Haug - Vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: "A shame for Lewis who drove a faultless race, but it would have been very tight with a perfect pitstop against Rubens anyway and he certainly deserves this victory.

"Our team scored more points than any other today, the same it did before the summer break in Hungary. This makes a total of 27 out of 36 possible points and Lewis scored 18 out of possible 20. That of course is very positive and will certainly please all our team members in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart who have worked so hard to recover from our not quite typical Vodafone McLaren Mercedes form in the first half of the season.

"Heikki drove a solid race today and brought home his best result so far this season. So, all in all, quite a lot of positives and we all will push hard in order to build on these results.

"Spa will not be a circuit exactly tailormade for our car and I do not expect us to be quite as competitive as we were in Hungary and here where we have been the class of the field or on a level with the best.

"Congratulations to Rubens he deserves this victory after four tough years since his last one and my feeling is the whole paddock thinks like that."

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