Sun: Force India, Toro Rosso, Williams, McLaren

Date published: July 10 2016

Force India duo Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg did well to finish higher than the qualifying places, especially the Mexican who gained four places.

Force India:
Sergio Perez:
“It’s a very good result for the team, with two cars in the points, even if I feel I could have kept fifth place without that spin at turn one. When I had that moment I thought my race was over, but I managed to save it. However, I flat-spotted my tyres and that hurt me for the rest of the race in terms of degradation. I pushed hard to try and keep Raikkonen behind, and it was only when he passed me that I was able to take it easy and save the tyres. We had to do a very long stint on the mediums, which was a bit of a risk as degradation was quite high, but the team made the right calls at the right time and it paid off in the end. The conditions, especially in the first part of the race, were very tricky. You had a drying line, but as soon as you put a wheel on the damp parts, all the grip was gone. Just keeping the car facing in the right direction was an achievement. To come away with this many points after a weekend in which I hadn’t been very comfortable with the car is a big satisfaction and it makes up for the disappointment of last week.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “Obviously a good result for the team, but I still feel a bit frustrated with how the race unfolded because things didn’t work in my favour today. I really lost out under the virtual safety car, which allowed a lot of cars to jump me when I had already made the switch to intermediates. Then, I was stuck behind Felipe [Massa] for so many laps, even though I was a lot quicker than him. There was only a narrow dry line with a lot of standing water offline so it wasn’t easy to make a move. When everybody moved to dry tyres it was a lot of fun out there and you had to be very careful through turn one, which remained damp for so long. I did a very long stint on the medium tyres and by the final few laps it was just a case of trying to manage the degradation and survive until the end. Although I’m not totally happy, I am pleased with the car performance and the fact that we scored good points today.”

Toro Rosso:
Carlos Sainz Jr: “I’m pleased with my race today, it was a decent one. We had a very good first half of the race in the wet and mixed conditions – we were fast, the car felt amazing and at one point I was racing in P6. Unfortunately I made a mistake going into Turn 1 – I’m not very happy about that! From that moment onwards I had to calm myself down and reset my confidence a bit. I kept my head down and to cross the line in P8 is a result we can be happy with, even though it’s a shame that we were not able to beat the Force Indias. Having said that, this is the fifth time we score points in the last six races, so we are definitely going in the right direction and we just need to keep pushing. The next race in Hungary should suit our car well so I’m looking forward to another good fight for points!”

Daniil Kvyat: “I think today’s race wasn’t a bad one – we managed to fight our way back nicely through the field, keep up with Ferrari and end up in the points, which was our target. We looked very competitive and actually I’d say that we deserved more points today. This is a good sign after a very long unlucky period! Personally, I am happy – I finally had a good day at a racing track and it’s a long time since I felt this. I’m sure that we will now learn from these positive moments and carry them with us all the way through to the end of the season. I look forward to the next race in Hungary!”

Williams:
Valtteri Bottas: “That was a disappointing race. We were trying to fight with so many cars throughout the whole race, but in the wet it was so tricky with oversteer. We tried to keep pace and positon, but our tyres were degrading a lot compared to other teams, causing us to drop position and finish outside of the points. When the tyres were working the pace was OK, even with the medium tyre. But once that dropped it was tricky.”

Felipe Massa: “Today was a disappointing day. I spun in the wet and lost positon. The main problem going from the wet tyre to the dry tyre was not getting enough heat into them to make them work. In the slick stints the pace was poor. As a team, it’s important we analyse what happened today. For myself as a driver I need to learn from my mistakes too. I’ll be having a day in the simulator tomorrow running through the test programme for this week.”

McLaren:
Jenson Button: “It was definitely the right decision to start the race behind the Safety Car – it was super-wet and there was loads of standing water, but I think it should have been recalled two laps earlier. Then, when the Safety Car pitted, everyone boxed for Inters, so I decided to do the opposite, which was a good thing as I overtook a couple of cars. For the second stop, it was better to stop sooner rather than later, but I was stuck behind Valterri [Bottas], so I stayed out for another lap. My race wasn’t helped by starting 17th: to get into the points, we need to qualify inside the top 10, hold on in the race, not make mistakes and hope to stay there. I couldn’t really close on the cars in front of me because we don’t yet have quite enough pace in the car to make up sufficient places in the race. It wasn’t an easy afternoon, but it was great to see all the fans cheering at the end. They got a British victory as well, so I’m sure they’re very happy.”

Fernando Alonso: “There’s not much to be proud about after finishing 12th and 13th today. In the tricky conditions at the start, you can go from hero to zero in the space of one lap, so we just did what we could with the strategy. We lost some positions during the stops, unfortunately, so we need to go away and look at that. There was a point in the race where I felt I could have scored a few points – when I was pushing hard behind Felipe [Massa] – but it was just too difficult to overtake. Then I went off at Turn One. It was a tough race, but, even though it may not look like it, I think we’ve made a step forward this weekend; we’re more competitive. We could fight with Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso in the race, and that’s good news.”