Sunday's Selected Quotes - British GP


Sunday's Selected Quotes - British GP


Mika Hakkinen: "I feel really good, its been too long since I have been on the top step of the podium. I'm happy to claim victory here at Silverstone as its one of the races I have always wanted to win, and it's the team's home event. I believe we made a great show today. The car was working well and we had the right strategy. I kept pushing as hard as possible during the race but once I had taken the chequered flag, I slowed right down to enjoy the feeling and wave to the enthusiastic spectators."

David Coulthard: "Obviously I'm disappointed as this is not the way I would have liked to finish my home race and I believe we were in with a chance to win today. I was ahead coming into turn one and even though I was on the outside, its quite an open corner and I feel Trulli should have given me room but he didn't and we touched. I kept going but the suspension on the car was damaged and I knew it was only a matter of time before I had to retire."

Ron Dennis: "An afternoon with mixed emotions. Of course we are delighted by Mika's total dominance of our home Grand Prix with the team contributing with a perfect and well executed strategy. David's race was effectively over at the first corner following a collision with Trulli who was understandably fighting for position but should have appreciated that David was ahead. One must always remember that a driver doesn't win races from having a timid approach when faced with split second decisions. The Drivers' World Championship whilst being more difficult to win has most certainly not been won and the Constructors' is even more open."

Norbert Haug: "Everybody was very happy with Mika's win, which he achieved with a superb drive. Unfortunately David was hit by Trulli, which forced him into retirement early on. David was certainly in with a chance of winning. The team's strategy was perfect and the speed was there to dominate the race.'


Michael Schumacher: "My car wasn't really quite the way I would have liked it. I had some problems, especially at the entry to Copse corner, where I got sideways a couple of times. The car was not well balanced and I could not get the maximum out of it. My main concern at this point was just keeping the car on the track and when Mika came alongside me there was nothing I could do. The strategy, as always was a joint decision with the team and I don't think a different strategy would have necessarily changed anything: maybe, if I had been able to keep Mika behind me, we would have had a different result. We did not have that much experience with the new tyres, especially after I had a puncture on Friday and along with the changing weather, it was not easy to find the right strategy. We simply were not fast enough here, but the next race could be different. Whatever the championship situation, I want to continue winning races."

Rubens Barrichello: "I am happy with this result, because this is my first Formula 1 podium at Silverstone. I made up a few places at the start and certainly going for a long first stint was the best idea. The car did not really have the balance I like; all weekend it was different to the way it had been at the test. So I was driving carefully, while still trying to be quick. Even with the heavy fuel load, I was coping well. The car was good at the exit to Becketts which allowed me to keep the Williams behind me. I managed to keep ahead of Montoya after my pit stop and the car was better on the second set of tyres. At the end, I was able to relax a bit. Two podiums in two races, so I have to be reasonably happy."

Jean Todt: "I have to say it's always nice to have two Ferraris on the podium and four Maranello-built engines in the points. Of course we prefer to win, but this result is like a victory for us, because Michael has increased his lead over his closest rival by six points and Rubens has moved back up to third place. In the Constructors' classification we leave an "away match" with a draw, having picked up the same number of points as our closest opponents. We had opted for a one stop strategy for both cars and in the end, this turned out to be less effective than a two stopper. With six races remaining this season, we have to remember that the road ahead is still a long and difficult one. We have a good advantage and we must conserve it over the next few events."


Juan Pablo Montoya: "It was a pretty good race even though I think we could have finished third, we had played a different strategy and it didn't really pay off. The start was pretty good and I didn't know how far forward I could go. After this morning I was aiming for a point so getting three out of the race is not that bad."

Ralf Schumacher: "I had an excellent start, but in the first corner I had to lift off when David spun and, therefore, lost a position to Rubens. I believe I was on the right one-stop strategy, but unfortunately during the pit stop the fuel nozzle stuck and this cost me several seconds, but these things happen. Then suddenly I heard a noise and the engine just stopped."

Patrick Head, Technical Director: "Obviously the race was a lot better than the practice position, which was very poor, but we have got to go away and work out why we were in a weak position relative to McLaren and Ferrari here. From eighth and tenth on the grid a fourth place is probably as good as we might expect."

Dr Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director: "We leave Silverstone with mixed emotions. On one hand Juan's fourth is a good result, considering he started from eighth and that this is not an easy circuit for us. He did a brilliant job. On the other it is a pity Ralf retired due to a technical failure. The engine lost power and suddenly turned off. We will find the reason for this when we get back to Munich."


Kimi Raikkonen: "I didn't make such a good start, but after that everything was great. The car ran really well all the way through, and our strategy worked exactly as intended. I had to be patient when I was running right behind Ralf Schumacher and later behind Villeneuve, because in those circumstances that is all you can do, but otherwise everything went to our plan. For me this was the perfect race."

Nick Heidfeld: "I'm very happy with my result. After I lost running time in the warm-up this morning I made the formation lap into a test run, and through the race I improved the car by making some electronic adjustments to the set-up. My only problems came when I met traffic or when I was being challenged by Frentzen. We had a good battle! Starting ninth and still scoring a point is very satisfying in a race with so few retirements."

Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "This has been a great day for us. In a way our fifth and sixth places against such strong competition are a consolidation of everything we have achieved so far this season. But at the same time they are also a product of the team's spirit and commitment, and the progress that we have demonstrated this weekend with our aerodynamic package. I am really happy for the drivers and the team that all the hard work that everyone has invested has paid off yet again."


Heinz-Harald Frentzen: "Unfortunately, I made a poor start, I enjoyed a good battle with Heidfeld, but then I felt a bargeboard suddenly break. That resulted in heavy understeer which was reflected in my lap times towards the end of the race, when I couldn't keep pace. I just had to do the best I could and, naturally, it's disappointing not to have been able to score points after a really encouraging and promising weekend. All we can do is to try again next time. That, of course, will be my home Grand Prix at Hockenheim, so a good result there would be very timely for me as well as the team."

Jarno Trulli: "To be out of the race at such an early stage is incredibly disappointing for me and the team, the car has been running so well all weekend and, with my strong grid position, we were looking in very good shape to finish in the points today, with even a podium being possible. I had a very good start and was next to David on the inside by the first corner. I don't know whether he just didn't see me or didn't want to give up the fight but, either way, he closed the door, leaving me with no more room to brake or avoid an accident. So our cars touched. It was a racing incident and David and I will talk about it although, generally, I think the car on the outside should leave enough room for the inside car."

Eddie Jordan, Chief Executive: "I can't begin to say how disappointed I am, especially after the superb promise of qualifying and, of course, because we are racing at Silverstone. I'm sorry we could not give the fantastic number of Jordan supporters and our sponsors and their guests a better result than this on what is our home circuit. The thing which really hurts is that the team is capable of it; our qualifying performances proved that we have the pace - but it is just not coming together in the races. Obviously we are going to spare no effort to turn things around because, quite honestly, this is simply not good enough."


Jacques Villeneuve: "It was a very tough race today. I had a good start but then I couldn't shift up and I lost the time I'd gained at the start. When we got to the first corner I hit the brakes hard, which locked the front wheels and I wasn't able to turn. Olivier was on the outside of me and when he turned I couldn't avoid him so we touched, which put him off. That lost him his race. Things like that happen at the start but it's not good for the team or Olivier so I feel very sorry about that. After that it was just a question of fighting until the end because the car wasn't the same after the coming together. As usual we were much better off in the race than in qualifying. Had we been able to qualify where we raced we could have done better today."

Olivier Panis: "What can I say? It's a real pity. Our car is always very good in race conditions and today I wasn't able to achieve anything for the team because my race was so short. What happened was a racing incident and I think we will now try and forget about it and concentrate on the next race at Hockenheim."

Craig Pollock: "A difficult home Grand Prix for the team today. We had an unfortunate incident after the start when Jacques touched Olivier. It was however a racing incident but I feel very sorry for Olivier and his crew. He was feeling good in the car this morning and I'm sure he could have done well today. Jacques drove very hard for the rest of the race and was able to finish 8th as a result. I have no doubt that Jacques and Olivier will talk things out between themselves then put it behind them to focus on the German Grand Prix."

Malcolm Oastler, Technical Director: "We adopted a strategy that would give us an opportunity to overtake if we had the pace. We lost Olivier's car in the first corner in very unfortunate circumstances but Jacques was able to press on. He was unable to get round Alesi for quite a long time which put him out of contention for the top 6. Nonetheless, he put in a very solid drive but 8th was the best we could do. We're looking ahead now to testing in Monza and Valencia next week where we hope we will be able to improve our competitiveness ready for Hockenheim."


Eddie Irvine: "I drove a reasonably good race today, I didn't start too well and lost a couple of places into the first corner. I held onto 15th position because of Trulli and Panis retirements in the first corner. I was carrying a lot of fuel at the beginning and it wasn't easy getting past people. Once the Benetton's pulled in and I passed Pedro (De la Rosa), my race then began. Without sounding like a stuck record, we have been reminded again of the importance of qualifying better, but my whole race weekend was made more difficult by not testing here at the last test. Our car hasn't tested this new aero package until Friday's Free Practice and I hope to have a much better understanding of its strengths next week at Monza."

Pedro de la Rosa: "That was a very boring race from my perspective. I had to pit twice when we had actually decided to go for a long one-stop strategy. There was a problem with the fuel rig during delivery and I had no choice but to come back in again. This cost me a lot of time and I was making up the numbers after that. I don't really have to much to say in addition to what we've already said since Magny-Cours - we need to qualify better and we are working hard towards achieving that."


Jos Verstappen: "I had a very good start, gaining six places, then overtook Villeneuve and Alesi to get up to ninth position. I was sliding around a little on my first set of tyres but after the first pit-stop the balance was much better. I had good traction and the handling was good. This carried through to my third set of tyres but I had to slow down at the end as I had an engine problem. Overall though I'm reasonably happy and I'm already looking forward to the next race."

Enrique Bernoldi: "I got up to 14th position at the start which I was happy about and set about chasing Button in the Benetton. I was definitely faster than him but didn't have enough downforce to overtake. Eventually I beat him on strategy but his team-mate beat me! I think 14th position from 20th on the grid is not all bad. Our race pace was as strong as usual and it's good for the team to get both cars to the finish."

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: "We're very pleased to get both cars home, especially Enrique. Both drivers drove an excellent first stint, securing good track positions. Jos had a small engine problem at the end but he nursed his car home perfectly. We're now looking forward to running at a low downforce track which suits us more."


Jean Alesi: "I am disappointed by our final result The weather conditions have been so unpredictable this weekend that obviously we have not made the best of the car regarding the race set-up. I made a great start, climbing up to 9th place. But then it has been a difficult race, characterised by a general lack of grip. As we decided to go on a one-stop strategy, my car was heavy with fuel which made it even more difficult for me to keep the pace. We thought the car would improve with less fuel on board but it never really happened. It shows we need to work even harder during Friday and Saturday to build a more competitive race set-up."

Luciano Burti: "Unfortunately, I had an engine problem as soon as the sixth lap, but we can't complain about it as it has always been reliable and that things happen sometimes. I did not have a great start, but from what I could feel, after a few laps the pace of my car would have been quite good after a few more laps. There is not much more to say, so let's see next time..."

Alain Prost: "Even though we were a little bit worried on some points before the Silverstone Grand prix, the first two days of practice had let us expect a stronger result today. We really hope that the team's effort will be rewarded better in the next races."

Henri Durand, Technical Director: "With a weekend programme disrupted by changing weather conditions, we have not been able to carry out all the necessary test to evaluate the different possible strategies. We opted for a one-stop race and soft tyres for both cars, and today’s result shows it was clearly not the best solution for our cars. Luciano's engine problem is the first this year, and unfortunately, this is part of motor racing. Again there is a lot to learn from such a week-end, and we are already focused on the next race"


Giancarlo Fisichella: "I made a fantastic start and overtook about five of my rivals, but then I ran wide at Copse Corner when one of the Jaguars squeezed me a little bit. That cost me several places, unfortunately. I made another mistake when I was running at the tail end of the field, too, but things picked up later on. After the first pit stop I was just concentrating on lapping faster than the drivers immediately behind. My second pit stop was excellent and enabled me to get ahead of both Jenson and Bernoldi."

Jenson Button: "My start wasn't great because I was stuck between two other cars, although I gained a few places while the first lap was settling down. From lap 10 I had to make do without power steering, because the system failed, which made it a pretty physical afternoon ­ especially as the car developed more and more oversteer as the race wore on."

Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director: "The race provided a reliable end to our weekend. Both drivers made excellent starts, but then both drivers were obstructed on the run to the first corner and so was unable to gain ground. He drove a very strong first lap and was able to pick up some places. Giancarlo had an early off that dropped him to the back, but he drove strongly for the balance of his first stint. We maintained our positions after the first pit stops, but Giancarlo was able to gain a couple of positions at his second stop thanks to the team's excellent pitwork. Jenson was unlucky in traffic with some blue flags just after his second stop, which meant that he lost out to Giancarlo. Overall we probably made the wrong tyre choice for the weekend, but our reliability was a plus point. We will carry on working flat out to find more performance in our whole package."

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