Race quotes: Williams, McLaren, Force India, Renault

Date published: November 12 2017

Felipe Massa finished best of the rest in his final race in Brazil, holding off Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez in the dying stages.

Williams

Felipe Massa: "It's such an amazing result and such an amazing feeling to pass through all of this in my career. The race today was perfect, from beginning to end. An amazing start, overtaking a few cars, then an amazing restart after the safety car, passing Alonso. I knew it would be very important to pass him for my race and result. After that, a perfect race. I managed to keep him behind, even without tyres at the end. I'm so happy and emotional about my race today. I finish with my head held high, that's the most important thing, in this place which is amazing for me. The only thing I can say is obrigado, I will miss all of you guys."

Lance Stroll: "Everything has been bad this weekend. It was very hard for me, because with the power unit we changed to after a problem in FP3, we had no qualifying mode, so I was running the old spec power unit and was losing time, lap after lap. I then stalled at the start and just couldn't compete. I had a flat spot and I knew there was going to be a problem. I had Grosjean on old tyres, I had DRS but I didn't have enough drive to get alongside him so I had to dive and then you risk a flat spot and that is just what happened. All in all, it has been a tough weekend and now I am just looking forward to Abu Dhabi."

McLaren

 

Fernando Alonso: “Overall, it’s been a happy Brazilian GP for us. We started sixth, at the first corner we were up to fifth, and then we finished in the points – one of our best weekends.I had a fantastic car throughout the whole race, but, ultimately, I just could not overtake. We didn’t have enough speed on the straights. I was very, very close to Felipe a couple of times at the exit of the corners, and I thought ‘now is the time I can pass him,’ but even though I was using the DRS, he was pulling away. He was very consistent and made zero mistakes. Also, being the last lap of Felipe’s last-ever F1 race in Brazil, I wasn’t sure how hard he would defend! I didn’t have a chance to overtake him, anyway. And I had to defend from Perez behind, so I was happy when I saw the chequered flag.”

Stoffel Vandoorne: “Definitely not the race I wanted to have. I actually had a really good launch off the grid, then had a good fight with Ocon and Grosjean and nearly got past them – we almost had an accident there when everyone bunched up. Then, in Turn Two, I got sandwiched by Magnussen and Ricciardo. There was nowhere to go. An unfortunate end to my race. From my perspective, there was nowhere I could have gone to avoid the incident. I definitely think today was a missed opportunity to score points. Our race pace looked really promising on Friday, and I felt that, with the track conditions being so hot today and after making a strong start, we had a good chance to finish in the points. A shame.”

Force India

Sergio Perez: "Things got quite complicated on lap one when Alonso pushed me wide at turn two. I was on the grass and lost another position to Massa. That was very costly for my race because I spent the whole afternoon trying to recover. We certainly had the pace to finish in seventh, but the very high track temperatures made things difficult because as soon as you tried to attack you suffered with massive tyre degradation. We tried to change our strategy to overcome things, but it wasn't enough to recover the seventh place. In the final few laps I was very close to Massa and Alonso. Massa was quick in the final sector, while Alonso was fast through sector two and had the benefit of DRS to help him defend down the straights. Maybe if there had been one more lap it would have been enough to overtake them. Considering the way things unfolded, I'm happy with the result but not totally satisfied."

Esteban Ocon: "I'm not happy to retire from the race. I knew this day would come at some stage, but I wasn't expecting it to be today. It's a shame because it has been three years since my last retirement in single-seaters [in 2014]. There was nothing I could do; Romain [Grosjean] lost the car in turn six and crashed into me. He made a mistake and I suffered from it, my front wheel rim was damaged so I couldn't even drive back to the pits. It's frustrating because the car was quick and we had the pace to be fighting up there with Checo. Days like this happen but I hope it will be another three years before it happens again."

Renault

Nico Hulkenberg: "It's good to get my first point since Spa although it was pretty much an uneventful race. We lost places at the start and with Hamilton and Ricciardo coming through it was a tough ask to move up the order. On the one side, it's good to have finished the race, on the other side we did lack pace today. I was pushing flat out, so it's a shame we couldn't do more. My focus is now on a final flourish in Abu Dhabi."

Carlos Sainz: "I had a very good start but unfortunately I did get a bit of damage to my floor after being pushed wide by Felipe. After that, I had a super-quick pit stop from my guys but there wasn't much we could do to work up the order as it was pretty much a procession. The car felt okay today but we were lacking a bit of pace. However, I would say the race was quite positive as I made a good start and I was able to accumulate another 71 valuable laps in the car. Just one more race to go and I'll be going all out for points in Abu Dhabi as I was disappointed not to score here."