Hungarian GP Post Race Driver Reactions

Reaction from the Hungaroring after the Hungarian Grand Prix, round 11 out of 20 in the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship.

Sebastian Vettel (1st) – “Everybody inside the team can be very happy and proud of what we have done today! Afterwards, I said to Kimi that I was sorry, because I was slow and struggling during the race. For Kimi it was not good to be there in the middle of a sandwich. It was a tough race that, in the end, kept a good shape. I developed a problem with the steering wheel and I don’t know why yet. We need to avoid it happening again of course, but during the race I didn’t have an option. It’s not like parking the car, check if everything’s all right and then fix the problem. It was quite annoying because it was a strange feeling. But then, at some point, I forgot about it and just tried to get used to it, which was tricky because it just kept changing and getting worse. However, in the end the pace was still there. More generally, I don’t like the short term view that some people have, that after a good race everything is great and you are the hero, but after a bad race it is a disaster. It is not fair because people work hard spending a lot of time, working all together on the car. In my opinion, we have the best car and downforce which, hasn’t been the case for many years. In the end we can make a difference and we have done that so far. We have our testing days here next week and we have a lot of work to do. After that there will be the Belgian GP. Our car has been good there and I think we have some improvements, so it should be fine”

Kimi Raikkonen (2nd) – “Today my car was amazing, the handling was perfect and I was always feeling comfortable; even following Seb from very close behind, the behaviour was fantastic. I had no worries that Mercedes could get me. I had a pretty good start and a good run in the first corner; then I took it quite easy. In places like this it’s tricky to try and overtake and I did not want to force things too much with my team mate. When you end up between two cars is not the easiest situation. When they called me for the pit stop I wanted to stay on track a bit longer because I felt I had the speed, but the team has the big picture and I trust them. I ended up following Seb through the whole race and I was never able to use my full speed. Today I knew I had all the tools to finish in a better position, but I should have done a better qualifying. I’m happy for the result that we achieved as a team and this is the main thing. I’m here to win races, but if you take the big picture it was a great weekend, we got the maximum out of it.”

Valtteri Bottas (3rd) – “It was really tricky today. The pace was not so much a problem. But once you get within 1.5 seconds to the car in front of you it becomes so difficult to close the gap. And that track position was a big benefit for Ferrari today. Even though Sebastian was struggling, no-one could pass him. We tried as a team to swap positions, but Lewis couldn’t get past them either. We didn’t gain any points but I’m glad we tried it. I was promised that Lewis would let me back if it didn’t work out. I was struggling with the back markers so the gap to Lewis became bigger than I wanted. But Lewis and the team kept their promise and we swapped positions back in the last lap. I don’t think every team-mate would do that in a championship fight, so I think that was really nice of him and it shows that he is a real team player. Our situations still is not too bad with regards to the points and the championship standing. Lewis and me are still in the fight.”

Lewis Hamilton (4th) – “I tried my best out there. It’s tough when you push so hard and you work so hard and you end up in the same place that you started. When the radio didn’t work, I was thinking that the team was worried about the tyres not going the distance. So maybe they were going slow so that they could speed up later. I was pushing and I had all this pace, but I was stuck behind Valtteri and I couldn’t tell the team because of the radio. But in the final laps, I kept my word. I said that if I couldn’t pass Kimi then I would let Valtteri back. I have said through this year that I want to win this title in the right way – and perhaps I will look at it in a different way if, at the end of the season, I lose out by a small margin – but I believe in doing the right thing and that when you put good things out there, they come back to you. I was 20 points behind before, but down to one, and now back to 14. We have lost quite a few points in the first half of the year – but I know that we can win it, once we come back even better after the summer break.”

Max Verstappen (5th) – “I think the situation started from Turn 1. My start was actually quite good but then I got squeezed a bit wide on to the astro-turf and lost quite a bit of speed. Then Daniel and I were both fighting for position at Turn 2 so we braked quite deep into the corner. I had a car in front of me so I lost quite a bit of downforce and locked the front tyres, from there I was just a passenger. I was trying to avoid Daniel of course but unfortunately that was not possible. It is never my intention to hit anyone, but especially not your team-mate, and especially with the relationship I have with Daniel, it’s always really good and we can always have a laugh. This is not nice and I apologise to Daniel for that and also to the team because we could have scored some good points here. I’ll speak with Daniel in private and we’ll sort it out. It was actually a positive Sunday in terms of pace. It’s not nice what happened in the beginning of the race, so I’m of course not happy with that, but at least the car is moving forward.”

Fernando Alonso (6th) – “We were probably looking at seventh or eighth position today, but with Ricciardo out of the race, sixth place became possible, and we grabbed it. Still, we worked for that result all weekend – no mistakes, good practice sessions, strong qualifying, and then a perfectly executed race. There are three or four weekends in a season where we can be competitive, so we need to maximise those and fully capitalise on our potential – and that’s exactly what we did this weekend. Races like Spa and Monza are going to be more difficult for us, so let’s just enjoy this result and think about the difficult ones when they come. The battle with Carlos was a close-run thing. We were together at the start, at the restart after the Safety Car; we came into the pits together, we exited together and I knew I had two laps where I could really push and stress the new tyres a little bit. I tried to do that with some kamikaze moves at times because, after those initial two laps, I knew it was going to be impossible. It worked out fine. Also, the fastest lap at the end of the race was a surprise – a gift – but one we’ll take! It was definitely a good race, so let’s go into the summer break with smiles on our faces.”

Carlos Sainz (7th) – “A great race! I managed to do a very good start, went around the outside of both McLarens into Turn 1 and held onto my position into Turn 2. At this point, I saw that maybe I was also capable of getting a Mercedes, but I decided to back-off a bit and play it safe because the work was done. From then onwards it was a very tough task to defend from Fernando, as he was much faster than us today. In the end he got past us but I’m happy to have been able to hold on to that seventh position… For us this is like gold at the moment! All in all, it’s been a very positive weekend with a perfect Quali yesterday, a fantastic start and race today… I can now go on holiday happy and very satisfied with my first half of the season – I’ve ended up in the points in every race I’ve finished up until now, which is a good statistic to hold onto, and I’m enjoying this mid-field battle. I look forward to the second half of the year!”

Sergio Perez (8th) – “I’m very pleased to come away with eighth place today. It hasn’t been an easy weekend in terms of my feeling with the car, so to turn things around in the race and pick up some points is a good recovery. I made a very good start, positioned my car well and that was very important for the final result. There was a bit of contact with my teammate, which damaged my front wing, but fortunately it didn’t change the balance of my car. It wasn’t the busiest race for me because I spent most of the afternoon behind Sainz and Alonso, but we couldn’t make our way through during the pit stop window due to a slow stop. Overall it’s been a very strong first half of the season and we can go into the holidays feeling pleased with the job we have done.”

Esteban Ocon (9th) – “It was a pretty messy start and that compromised my race. Sergio made contact with me in turn one, which caused some damage to my floor, but I was able to continue even though I lost some performance. In the end, we got another double points finish for the team, which is great considering how difficult the weekend has been leading up to the race. The rest of the race was very clean and we were able to resist a lot of pressure from Stoffel [Vandoorne], so I am happy with the end result. We kept our main rivals behind us today and it means we can go on holiday feeling happy. I’ve scored nearly 50 points in the first part of the season and we’ve got a healthy margin over the teams behind us. Now we can recharge our batteries and come back ready to score even more points in the second half of the year.”

Stoffel Vandoorne (10th) – “It’s been quite a positive weekend for me – we came here expecting to be competitive and we were able to run inside the top 10 for the whole weekend. When an opportunity like this comes up, we have to grab it with both hands – and we did. Before my stop, we were looking at the gap behind and trying to over-cut people behind us, but I made a small mistake at the stop, locked up and stopped too long. Nonetheless, my pace in the race was encouraging – we were definitely quicker than the Force Indias here, but overtaking is very difficult. In the end, we got points so it’s a good weekend for the team.”

Daniil Kvyat (11th) – “It was a great race where we were not rewarded, unfortunately. We had good pace out there today and I think that, without the grid penalty, we could’ve been fighting for points. On the positive side, it’s good to bring the car home and to gain five positions at a track like the Hungaroring isn’t bad – I enjoyed it out there today! I’m now looking forward to the summer break and having some time off before focusing again to get the best out of the second half of the season!”

Jolyon Palmer  (12th) – “The start was okay, but I lost out when I had to avoid Ricciardo, who suddenly slowed and that dropped me out of the top ten. As well as letting him through, my strategy was compromised today to try and help Nico’s race, and that meant Magnussen and Kvyat jumped me. It was a frustrating run to the flag with much more pace, but no chance to overtake them on this track. Now I’m looking forward to summer break and switching off from racing to reset for Belgium.”

Kevin Magnussen (13th) – “I don’t really understand the penalty. He (Hulkenberg) didn’t get anything for what happened at turn one when he smashed into the side of Romain, which finished his race effectively. I didn’t even touch him. He could have chosen to back out, as I had the corner. I was on the inside and we were side-by-side. If anything, I was a little bit in front. I just chose my line. It’s not like I moved off the racing line. We braked late, so it’s natural you go wide and push on the entry. He put himself in danger on the outside. There aren’t many positives to take away from this weekend. It’s been a tough weekend in every sense. I’m sure we’ll do better next time.”

Lance Stroll (14th) – “It was quite a boring race, I was driving alone the whole time, so not much happened and we didn’t have the pace this weekend to stay with the others. I tried everything I could in the first stint to hold the other guys, and I was doing okay. Then, in the second stint, I tried the undercut but I just didn’t have the pace and overheated the rears too much. We kind of finished where we started, and we expected that. All in all, it was a tough weekend, but we now need to look forward to the other kind of tracks – Spa, Monza – that should be better for our car. Now we are over halfway through the season, I feel very different to Australia. It was my first race and with each one I have been getting a little bit better. Obviously you shine a bit more on the tracks that work with the car, but for sure every race and every weekend I am getting more experience and becoming a better driver. I am now looking forward to the break to recharge the batteries and do a lot of training.”

Pascal Wehrlein (15th) – “Considering my grid position, the race result is ok. I could not have expected more starting from P18, so we definitely made the best out of today. Now, I am looking forward to the summer break, during which I can review the first part of the season. I will then return into the second part with full power.”

Marcus Ericsson (16th) – “It was a difficult race. We did not have the pace that we hoped, and were just not able to fight the competitors in front of us. It is disappointing, because we expected to make a bigger step with the first parts of the aerodynamics update we brought with us. After the summer break, we should be able to make another step forward.”

Nico Hulkenberg (DNF) – “It was a frustrating race today, especially as we had the pace for a better result. I felt really confident and the car was good. We could put in decent lap times in clear air, but it was pretty difficult to pass, so I spent a lot of time stuck in traffic. The pit stop was frustrating as we lost a lot of time at a vital moment in the race. This led to me being stuck behind Kevin Magnussen. I’m all for hard racing but he was just ruthless by pushing me off track, for which he was then penalised.”

Paul Di Resta (DNF) – “It was obviously a very exciting day, but it was a very difficult day as well. Jumping straight in the car with no experience of the different tyre compounds or running on high fuel. I wasn’t sure what to expect so I went in with an open mind. You have to be very aware of the space around you, and how much downforce you lose when there’s traffic around you. So I was cautious and just wanted to keep my nose clean. We went a different way on strategy, but the biggest thing for me was just gaining the confidence as the runs went on and I was feeling more comfortable with the car. It would have been nice to finish, without the oil leak. But overall I’m not too dissatisfied with where I was given how little running I’d had.”

Romain Grosjean (DNF) – “Not much to say about the race, to be fair. It was compromised at the first corner when I was hit. Then we had a puncture, and then we had a loose wheel, so we had to stop the car and not take any risks. When you have a tough weekend you then want to jump back in, get back on the horse. The break will be good for everyone, but we need to understand what we can do to avoid this kind of weekend.”

Daniel Ricciardo (DNF) – “The start wasn’t too bad and I got a good exit out of Turn 1, I saw Bottas on the inside of Turn 2 so knew I had plenty of room on the outside. I thought it was a good place to position myself and protect my position through the turn. I felt a hit but couldn’t see who it was, I knew Max was on my inside going into Turn 2 so assumed it must have been him. It’s really frustrating as we know our car has been better than sixth all weekend so we went out there to push for a good result and get on the podium. We will discuss the incident in de-brief this evening and me and Max will talk privately also and sort it out. I would have loved to race today and now I have four weeks to wait until I can get in the car again. It’s a shame to finish the first half of the season and head into the summer break in this way.”


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