Sun: Sauber, Lotus, McLaren, Manor


Felipe Nasr claimed another point for Sauber, but both McLarens were once again forced to retire.

Felipe Nasr: “It was a very challenging race for us today. We had planned a two-stopp-strategy, and we knew it would be difficult to make it into the points. It was going well as I was up in the top ten after the first safety car phase. Unfortunately, when the second safety car came in I lost front tyre temperatures. When the re-start happened my pace was not good enough. I lost a lot of ground and had to wait to let the tyres recover. However, in the end I am very happy for the team and also for myself to have scored one point. We did not have an easy weekend. It is good to have finished the race with some satisfaction.”

Marcus Ericsson: “I was satisfied with my start, as well as my first lap. I managed to get Jenson (Button) with a good move. After that, I was pushing Felipe (Nasr) quite hard, but it is difficult to overtake on this track. However, after the first pit stop we unfortunately missed switching off the pit stop buttons on the steering wheel. I was then out on track with the brake balance for the pit stop procedure, which caused a massive lock up at the rear. That was unlucky. After that, I had quite a satisfying pace. Overall it is nice that Felipe scored one point, but for me it is a bit disappointing.”

Pastor Maldonado: “It was a really difficult race. The contact from the McLaren was small but enough to break my diffuser. I was defending on the inside and I don’t know where Jenson wanted to overtake me. It’s a very narrow corner where it happened and there was no chance for him to overtake. The damage meant we lost performance at the rear at the time in the race when we wanted to preserve tyre life. Sadly it wasn’t possible to maintain the pace and the tyres so we had to make an additional, unplanned stop.”

Romain Grosjean: “We had an aggressive strategy planned for today, which looked good since we were as high as P8 at one point but the first virtual safety car cost us dearly. I lost a lot of places on the first lap, there was quite a lot of sliding going on and, as we knew this wouldn’t be a great track for us – like Hungary and Monaco – we knew it would be difficult. There was nothing left in the tyres towards the end of the race and as soon as we were out of the points, we chose to retire the car as we had some concerns with the gearbox and didn’t want to risk a penalty in Japan.”

Jenson Button: “We should have scored points today, and we would have scored points if I hadn’t had contact with Pastor [Maldonado] and we hadn’t had gearbox problems. There’s lots of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, but the car felt alright to drive, which is a positive. We went very long on our stops, and I was able to look after the tyres well, which is always helpful, and the second Safety Car helped us. But it’s been a tough season. Everyone is feeling it, but it’s not slowing us down in terms of how much effort everyone is putting in, both in Woking and Sakura. So the team will now get their heads down and focus on the next race, in Japan. It’s Honda’s home circuit, but it’ll be another tough weekend. We’ll do our best.”

Fernando Alonso: “Today’s race was definitely disappointing for us because both Jenson and I could have been in the points today and we missed that opportunity. Gearbox problems caused the failure of both cars. Before retiring, though, we were running in the top 10, and our performance on the Supersoft [tyre] was quite good, so I think we could have kept that position until the end. But to score points you have to finish, and we didn’t today, so today was a reminder that we need to work harder than ever. We still lack performance and reliability, and fixing those two things represent a lot of work and we need to do that.”

Alexander Rossi: “My Formula 1 debut has been a long time coming, but today has been pretty special. All the hard work to get here finally paid off and it was a fantastic feeling to be racing on the streets of Singapore in my first ever Grand Prix. It wasn’t the most straightforward of races; I didn’t get the best of starts, and as the procedure is quite new to me, it’s something I’ll need to work on. I recovered quite well though and managed to get a good run into Turn 5, where I was able to get past my team-mate. Everything was going well until around the midpoint of the race, when I lost radio communications. This was particularly challenging because of the second Safety Car period and I wasn’t able to receive instructions from the team about when to unlap myself. Despite that, I think we managed everything well and I’m very appreciative of all the effort put in by the team to make my Grand Prix debut a successful one.”

Will Stevens: “Overall, it hasn’t been a good weekend for me. Today I actually had my best race start of the season, but unfortunately I made a mistake on the first lap, which cost me position. The safety car helped out, and I tried my best whenever I was close enough, but there was too much tyre degradation on the rears towards the end. It’s a big shame, because I’ve really enjoyed racing on the streets here, but sometimes things just don’t go your way. Hopefully the next time out at Suzuka will be a more typical race for me.”