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Sun: Ferrari, McLaren, Sauber, STR

Sunday 22-April-2012 15:04

There were points in Bahrain for Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and, finally, for Felipe Massa...

Ferrari:
Fernando Alonso: "It went a bit better than we feared and we managed to limit the damage. We had arrived here eight points down on the championship leader and we leave only two more points adrift. To finish this run of four races in this situation is positive, even if there is no point in denying that we cannot be happy with it in general terms. Now, it's clear we have to make a step forward, because we cannot always count on the failings of others. For example, we closed the points gap to McLaren, something which I certainly would not have believed possible if it had been suggested yesterday. At the same time, we finished the race almost a minute behind the winner, which had never happened so far this year. I expected Lotus to be very competitive because they have been all weekend. So far it's been good that there hasn't been just one driver picking up the maximum points, as happened for example last year. As for the race, I can't say anything I didn't say already a week ago in Shanghai: the car is practically the same. At some points we were strong, in others much less so, all dependent on tyre behaviour. We lack top speed and when you are in a tight duel, that is penalising. As for the incident with Rosberg, I can only say that if, instead of such a wide run-off area there had been a wall, I'm not sure I'd be here now to talk about it. A shame that I was missing one more straight to get past Di Resta in the end: we could have picked up a few more little points which would have been handy. I said it earlier, we have to improve the car as quickly as possible: in Barcelona, we will have some major updates but so will the others and how good a job we will have done we will only discover on track at Montmelo."

Felipe Massa: "It was definitely not a very easy race, but in the end, we managed to do a good job and, for the first time this year, finish in the points. It's a nice result at this time, but we are well aware that it is not Ferrari's style to be happy with a ninth place. Having said that, it is a performance that gives me confidence for the rest of the season. Clearly we have to improve the performance of the car as soon as possible to be able to fight for worthwhile positions. In Barcelona, everyone will bring major updates and we will have had to do have done a better job than the others because we have to make up the ground lost at the start of this championship. As for the race, I think the decision to save a set of new Softs yesterday was the right one. A shame I lost a place to Rosberg in the pit stop: if I had managed to stay ahead of him, maybe I could have got a better result. I suffered especially with the rears and, in the end, I was not going flat out because I did not want to end up in trouble with tyre degradation."

McLaren:
Lewis Hamilton: "There are good times and bad times in motor racing. I guess this was just one of those days. By rights we should have been fighting to finish in the top four today, but it didn't work out like that in the end. The delays in the pits were a big part of that, of course. For the driver sitting in the car, that's always frustrating, because you're just waiting and there's nothing you can do to help. We lost a bit of world championship momentum today - but, on the plus side, we still picked up four world championship points, and every point you score is valuable in a season as close-fought as this one. Now we'll head into the European season, and it's clear that we've got to do two things: we've got to work on the pace of our car and we've got to improve our pitstops."

Jenson Button: "I didn't have a very good balance today: I was struggling all afternoon with oversteer. We were taking front wing out of the car all the way through the race, in fact. However, my final stint was a long one, and, if I hadn't struck trouble, I reckon things would have got quite interesting in the final laps. Some drivers had pushed harder at the start of that stint, but I'd been looking after my tyres. Into the last five laps, I started pushing pretty hard, and I caught up with Paul [di Resta] and Nico [Rosberg]. But, just as I braked for the final corner [on lap 53], the right-front corner lifted up in the air and I realised I had a [left-rear] puncture. So I quickly radioed the team, and pitted. In the last few laps, the car sounded really noisy. I think the initial problem was an exhaust failure, then my puncture, and then a differential failure; so I had to retire. It's been a pretty difficult weekend for the whole team."

Sauber:
Sergio Perez: "We knew this circuit would not be an easy one for us and we were just too slow today. We tried both strategies and split them between the cars but today there was nothing that could have really helped us. I had a lot of tyre degradation and due to a problem at the pit stop we lost a place and a point to Michael (Schumacher). He was very fast on the straights. I had no chance to get him. Next time we'll do better again."

Kamui Kobayashi: "Well, for me the start was too slow. I had too much wheelspin and we will look into that. I started on a set of new medium compound tyres and we tried a two stop strategy but in the end it didn't work out. The tyres degraded quicker than we hoped and I had to do three stops as well with the last one seven laps before the end. I can't see anything that we could have actually done better in today's race. Our problem was a general lack of speed and we will work hard to fix it."

Toro Rosso:
Jean-Eric Vergne: "It's the same pattern as in China, in that I manage to have a good pace in the race, but I'm slow in qualifying. We must find a solution to this, because if we can start further forward with the pace we have, then we should see a more positive result on Sunday. I gave it my all today, even though I started from far back. Now we have a bit of a break in terms of races, but we will have the test at Mugello where we must look carefully at what we can do, hoping to arrive in Barcelona with an even better car for the Spanish Grand Prix. As for myself, I need to analyse what is not working for me in qualifying. As a Frenchman, I have say I think it's great that Romain is on the podium and I am super happy for him. It would be nice if I can end up with a car as competitive as his and fight with him for a podium place!"

Daniel Ricciardo: "That was not what I was hoping for after starting from sixth on the grid. The opening lap changed my whole race. My initial launch off the line wasn't great and after that I seemed to go backwards, which made for a very frustrating afternoon. The front wing damage also made matters worse. I had a good chance to have a strong race today, but losing all those places at the start cost me dear. I need to be hard on myself now and find out what I did wrong to make sure I don't do it again. It was a race to forget."

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