Sun: Caterham, Marussia, HRT, Red Bull

Date published: September 9 2012

Disappointment for Red Bull with both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel failing to finish…

Disappointment for Red Bull with both Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel failing to finish.

Caterham:
Heikki Kovalainen: “Overall the race was OK and better than we had last weekend but for me it was a pretty hard afternoon, not too bad but maybe a bit average. I didn’t really have the performance I had on the longer runs on Friday and the grip level felt lower so I couldn’t really attack and that held me up a bit on each set of tyres. Now we have a couple of weeks to work through everything we’ve learnt in Italy and from Spa and make sure we go to Singapore with a clear idea of where we lost time in Belgium and what we can do to keep improving in the rest of the season. Everyone’s determined to get back to where we should be and we’ll see what we’ve learnt when we get back on track in two week’s time.”

Vitaly Petrov: “My car felt fantastic all afternoon so thanks to the team for giving me a car I could push my teammate with right up to the last lap. The pitstops were good and the mechanics and engineers did a great job to keep me in the hunt with Heikki. With a few laps left Heikki and I were right up behind Fernando but Heikki was close enough to the Ferrari to use his DRS, otherwise maybe I’d have been able to pass. Anyway, we’ve definitely improved since Spa and we can build on this for Singapore and the rest of the season. It was my birthday yesterday and I had a quiet dinner with some friends. Now I can go out and celebrate a bit more and that’ll be a good way to finish the European races this year – maybe I should make sure I have dinner with them before every race so I can have as good a Sunday as this for the rest of the year!”

Marussia:
Charles Pic: “I am very happy with today’s race performance as it represents another significant step for the team. We came here expecting it to be a tough weekend for us; our car had not performed well in Montreal, which has similar aerodynamic characteristics. We worked well through the various set-up options to arrive at a car that was actually very strong and which today put us even closer to the cars ahead when we were perhaps expecting not to be so competitive to them here.

“This is a good sign. In the race it was not a bad start, but not great, so there is some work we can do in the last stage of the season to improve that and our prospects for the races. We have some more upgrades for Singapore so I hope they translate into more of this great progress we have been seeing.”

Timo Glock: “A bitter shame on my side really. The start itself was not great although I got through Turn 1 okay, but into Turn 2 there was a bit of a queue in front of me and Petrov moved to the outside, where I was. I couldn’t avoid him and he just clipped my front wing, which was damaged as a result. From there I couldn’t really do much as we had lost a bit of performance and the car was just ‘okay’ to drive.

“Worse than that, as I stopped so early I was out of sequence. I had to stay out longer and had more degradation at the end as the stints were quite long for me. Then blue flags cost us at the end. Overall I think we have to be quite pleased as we weren’t really running with the traditional Monza downforce specification. I’m now looking forward to Singapore – my favourite race.”

Charles Pic: “I am very happy with today’s race performance as it represents another significant step for the team. We came here expecting it to be a tough weekend for us; our car had not performed well in Montreal, which has similar aerodynamic characteristics. We worked well through the various set-up options to arrive at a car that was actually very strong and which today put us even closer to the cars ahead when we were perhaps expecting not to be so competitive to them here.

“This is a good sign. In the race it was not a bad start, but not great, so there is some work we can do in the last stage of the season to improve that and our prospects for the races. We have some more upgrades for Singapore so I hope they translate into more of this great progress we have been seeing.”

HRT:
Pedro de la Rosa: “I’m more than satisfied with the result, especially keeping in mind how we started the race. The start wasn’t easy but I did what I could because the medium tyres didn’t work well. In the second half of the race, on hard tyres, I started to run well and I’m happy with our pitstop because it was very good. I’m happy with this 100th Grand Prix although I would have liked to have done it better. We have to continue improving and in Singapore we hope for the planned upgrades to help us take that step forward.”

Narain Karthikeyan: “I had a great start and overtook both Marussias, but on the first corner we had a slight touch that, besides making me lose positions, damaged my front wing. The car was oversteering and we made the most of the pit stop to the change the front wing, which made us lose a substantial amount of time. Then the blue flags started coming out and we also had to change our driving mode to avoid excessive overheating and reach the end of the race. Nevertheless, I’m happy because the car is performing well and surely, if we continue working hard, we will achieve a good result. Now the Asian swing begins and I’m very excited about racing close to home in Singapore.”

Red Bull:
Mark Webber: “Towards the end of the race, I had no rear tyres left and I was pushing reasonably hard. Nico (Rosberg) was coming on his fresh two-stop tyres, so I had to keep pushing and staying on it – for the sake of getting a couple of points, maybe I shouldn’t have pushed as hard, but I was trying to stay on it. The rear tyres were completely finished, so I dropped it out of the Ascari chicane; I managed to keep it off the wall, but then the tyres were so heavily flat-spotted, I was worried about damaging the car. We do 330 km/h round here, I couldn’t see the track, so we decided to retire.”

Sebastian Vettel: “I found out I had a problem roughly 300 metres before I stopped the car. It was an alternator problem, similar to the one we had yesterday morning. The drive-through incident was decided and happened, so there’s not so much to say about that. We lost some points today; but we did the best we could – you could see that our pace was not as strong as the leaders. It had been a good race for us given the lack of pace. There are not so many long straights at the next couple of circuits, so we can challenge there.”

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