Sun: McLaren, Toro Rosso, Williams, Force India

Date published: July 24 2016 - Editor

In the middle of the grid, Jenson Button was the only retirement of the race, while his teammate Fernando Alonso finished in the points.

McLaren:
Fernando Alonso:
“Well, P7 has been my position all weekend! It’s a pity we couldn’t improve this afternoon but still I think we were best of the rest today. Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari are out of reach at the moment for everyone – they’re on another level – so, in the other mini-championship we’re racing in, we were quite competitive and I feel we delivered the maximum we could today. There wasn’t much action in the race though. For us, it was a little bit of a boring afternoon at some points – not the usual Hungaroring show – and the only retirement, unfortunately, was Jenson. I’m happy about how the weekend went and hopefully we can keep this up progress. We’ve been more or less competitive here and at Silverstone, on two very different circuits, so I’m looking forward to next weekend at Hockenheim.”

Jenson Button: “It wasn’t a great afternoon for me. We had a brake sensor problem early on, which meant the pedal went to the floor, and it’s never nice for a driver to get that feeling. The brakes just weren’t there, which was a big safety concern. The team told me to make a switch change on the steering wheel to make sure it wouldn’t happen again, and it duly resolved itself, but we got a penalty for the communication. We pitted so that they could give me the information I needed, but I guess we should have pitted earlier than we did. Having said that, it didn’t really matter as I was last anyway. I completely understand that drivers shouldn’t be fed information that helps us drive our cars – we should be able to deal with that job ourselves, and in fact I love that challenge. But when it’s a safety concern, I don’t think you should get penalised for preventing an accident, as we did today. When you have a power unit that’s so complex, a driver can’t figure out everything for himself. It’s a regulation that shouldn’t be in place at this level of a sport which is so good in so many other ways, and I think commonsense should now prevail. I also had a mechanical issue which meant I had massive understeer throughout the whole race; and then, in the end, we retired with an oil leak. I don’t know if it’s salvageable – I hope so – but we’re investigating.”

Toro Rosso:
Carlos Sainz: “A solid race from us today here in Budapest, I’m satisfied with the result. I’m pretty pleased with the race, even if Fernando Alonso got past us at the start. We were able to keep up with McLaren’s pace, something that during the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday didn’t look like we’d be able to do… It was just impossible to overtake him! If you would have told me I’d finish P8 after the bad start to the weekend that we had, I wouldn’t have believed it! I think we can be very happy and pleased with ourselves – the team did a great job to turn things around and I’d like to thank them for this! We can now go to Germany feeling confident.”

Daniil Kvyat: “Unfortunately, I have to say this was one of the least enjoyable races I’ve experienced for quite a while… We had a very poor start – I had too much wheel spin and there was something wrong with the settings – and that sadly defined the rest of our race. We lost a few positions, went towards the back of the grid and from then on it was very hard to recover and move forward. In motorsport you have good days and bad days and this has been one of those negative ones. Luckily the next race is next week, so we can forget about this one quickly and hope for a better one in Germany.”

Williams:
Valtteri Bottas: “The start of the race was really good. It was very important to get ahead of the Force India. After that we pretty much executed our plan. The supersoft tyre was holding on a lot better than we thought it would, so we ran a bit longer in the first stint. After that our pace on the softs more or less matched our predictions. I think we got the maximum points today from the starting position that we had. I’m sure in Hockenheim we can get more points and try to build a bigger gap from Force India.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a terrible race, which started on the way to the grid with the problem with my steering wheel rack being too light on one side and too heavy on the other. We tried to fix the problem and we couldn’t, but at least we improved it because the initial lap was impossible. To do the whole race with the steering wheel heavy on one side and light on the other was really difficult. I tried to race until the end but this wasn’t the result we were aiming for. The next race at Hockenheim is a different track which will hopefully be much better for us, so I hope we can get back to normality and score points with both cars.”

Force India:
Nico Hulkenberg:
“I am not overly happy with my afternoon because it was a pretty difficult race for us. I found myself in the wrong place at turn one and lost a position, which made things a bit harder for me. The main problem in the race was after our first pit stop, when we fell behind the Toro Rosso of Kvyat and the Williams of Massa, and I just couldn’t get by. It’s so hard to overtake here and as soon as you get close to the car in front, you lose so much downforce and you destroy your tyres. That was the story of my race. I lost a place to Palmer at the second pit stop – that was my mistake actually and I hold my hand up and apologise to the team. During the pit stop I let the clutch slip and that made the car move, so the boys couldn’t fit the tyres properly and it cost us a little time. The next race in Germany should be fairly similar to this one: we have the same tyre compounds and the track has lots of medium-speed corners. We have shown today that even with a difficult race we can bring home points, but we need to do a better job in the coming races to pick up more points.”

Sergio Perez: “A tough race today. We were planning to do a one-stop race, but the performance was not there on the medium tyres and the car was sliding around under me. So we decided to switch to the two-stop, the team called me in, but when I arrived in the pit lane the team was not expecting me. I think it was a simple miscommunication between the pit wall and the mechanics, which can happen sometimes. It’s frustrating because it cost me some time and the chance to be in the points. I’m pleased that Germany is coming up next week and the positive thing is that we have a strong car with good race pace.”