Sun: McLaren, STR, Lotus, Manor

Date published: October 11 2015 - Editor

Both McLarens were in the points in Russia while Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean crashed out.

McLaren
Jenson Button: “Today, we did everything right, did the best we could, and we took home some points. I was a sitting duck for the first couple of laps: I couldn’t really fight off the people behind, my deployment was cutting off at the end of the straights, so it was very easy for people to overtake. That was tricky: they were trying to pass me into Turn 13, which is a pretty scary place, especially when you don’t have DRS and can’t gauge the closing speed of the cars behind. Still, it wasn’t bad. I was racing Fernando for the whole race, which was all I could really do, as all the other cars were quicker. We haven’t made massive progress with the car’s performance, but we did lots of interesting things with the set-up this weekend. We’ll analyse those and see whether they paid off or not.”

Fernando Alonso: “To have both cars finish in the top 10 at a circuit where we didn’t expect to fare well, was a nice surprise. It was just a shame to lose out afterwards [owing to a 5s penalty for corner-cutting]. In fact, the car performed very well in the race – I think we were able to look after the tyres a little bit better than the cars around us, and, on an afternoon where every little bit helped, we made the most of that. We’ll now hope for more performance at the next race, in the USA. It’ll be tough, and we’ll have to remain realistic, but I’m definitely happy with today’s result. Now, we can keep moving forwards and improve things for the future.”

Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen:
“I’m disappointed. It certainly wasn’t the best of race starts, as I got clipped because the cars in front of me crashed and from then on it was a very difficult race. I had a lot of damage on the car, especially at the rear, and it wasn’t behaving as it should’ve been. It was very difficult for me to continue, but we tried to, hoping we could get back into the points, even though in the end it wasn’t possible.”

Carlos Sainz: “What a disappointing way to end what was being such a good race! But I have to say that I’m happy I could race after what happened yesterday. Today’s was a good performance in difficult conditions. I started from P20, pushed hard and suddenly I found myself in P7… We could’ve even ended in P6! Towards the end of the race I was warned to look after my brakes as the temperatures were very high and I was managing to do that while still racing at a good pace. Unfortunately, with only eight laps to go the brakes said ‘enough’ at Turn 13 and that was the end of my race. I have to be thankful to the whole team, they did a great job for me to be racing out there today after yesterday’s crash. The car was in perfect conditions. Now I will certainly get some rest during the next couple of days!”

Lotus
Pastor Maldonado: “It was a bit tough today but we opted for the right strategy from the beginning starting on the soft tyres and going longer on the first run. Unfortunately we lost a lot of time on the second stint with the new super soft tyres. Our car didn’t perform as expected at the beginning of the run but then after a few laps we started to get back into the rhythm. We scored points today which is very positive for the team and hopefully we can continue to do so in the next races.”

Romain Grosjean: “I lost the rear end in a very high speed corner going through turn three and couldn’t recover it. We don’t know exactly why yet. We need to check what has happened – was it a driver error or something technical? – we’ll see. I feel sorry for the guys because there will be a lot of work to repair the car. I feel okay physically and I’ll certainly be a bit sore tomorrow morning, but I’ll be completely fine again after a couple of days. We lost some good points today but let’s understand what happened and look forward to the next race.”

Manor
Roberto Merhi: “I’m really pleased with my race today. Everything went well for me through the weekend and finishing ahead is a nice way to end things on my return to the cockpit here in Sochi. It hasn’t been an easy weekend on the track. It seems that there was something happening every session and this made it difficult to find a good rhythm to prepare for today. Anyway, the race went well and it was very straightforward for me; pretty as much as we planned. Now I’m looking forward to my final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, but I’ll be on hand with the team at the next three rounds also.”

Will Stevens: “The start was very chaotic, as we expected to be the case here, and we all had to avoid the crash between Ericsson and Hulkenberg on the exit of turn 1. I lost position to Roberto and was behind him for the first stint, then at the restart I flat-spotted my tyres under braking and had to pit again, so our positions were pretty much set for the rest of the race. I think it has been one of those weekends here in Sochi. Nothing has been very straightforward so we have to be pleased with getting both cars to the finish again and look ahead to better things in the next few races.”