Abu Dhabi Sunday quotes: McLaren
|Sunday, November 14th 2010, 16:55 GMT|
Lewis Hamilton, 2nd: We've ended this year on a high - to get both of us onto the podium and to clinch runner-up spot in the constructors' world championship represent a great achievement for the whole Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team.
I was able to match Sebastian's [Vettel] pace in the early part of the race – but, after my pitstop, I was stuck behind Robert [Kubica]. It was just impossible to get past him – he made no mistakes – so it wasn't possible to resume my attack on Sebastian. But that's the way motor racing goes sometimes.
The team has been pushing so hard for the whole season – I'm so proud of everyone. Now, though, I'm already looking ahead to next year, when I hope our car will be even better, so that we can do battle at the very front from the first race of the season. There are 15 weeks to go until the 2011 season starts – it can't come soon enough.
Jenson Button, 3rd: It's been an exciting year for Formula 1. We've all had our ups and downs, including the new world champion Sebastian. But he's a very talented driver and he thoroughly deserves his success.
It was nice to be on the podium with the new world champion, and with Lewis, who was of course the 2008 world champion. Our main aim today was to clinch second place in the constructors' world championship, and we did that comfortably.
During the year I've had some very good Sundays but some difficult Saturdays – and that's something I'm going to work on over the winter. Overall, however, I'm very happy with my first season at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.
I want to say thank you to the entire team. It didn't turn out quite as we'd hoped, but there have been a lot of good days and a lot of good experiences that we can use to benefit our 2011 campaign.
Martin Whitmarsh, team principal: Both Lewis and Jenson drove brilliantly in Abu Dhabi this evening and it was very gratifying to see them both take their places on the last podium of the year.
Aware that it was unlikely that Lewis was going to be able to wrest the race win he needed from Sebastian on a circuit on which overtaking is notoriously difficult, we decided to call him in for an early pitstop and leave Jenson out for longer. It was a more or less risk-free strategy, because we were already running second and third and we still ended up second and third at the finish; but, given Sebastian's pace and given the nature of the circuit, it was our only real chance of going for the win we needed for Lewis. As things turned out, it didn't gain us anything; but it didn't lose us anything either.
Having said that, Sebastian drove an excellent race today, and on behalf of all at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes I want to congratulate him on winning the drivers' world championship. This evening's podium was a significant one from a historic perspective: the three most recent world champions, standing shoulder to shoulder, and I'm glad to say that two of them were in Vodafone McLaren Mercedes colours.
Last but very far from least, it shouldn't be forgotten that we notched up 33 world championship points this evening, which is more than any other team scored today. That hefty points haul more than consolidated our second position in the constructors' world championship and indeed lifted us to a comfortable 58 points clear of our friends at Ferrari, who, as is so often the case, took the battle to us again this year. We're delighted to have beaten them in 2010; let battle commence again in 2011.