Pascal Wehrlein finished P11 in his first race of the season, while the doom and gloom continues at McLaren.
Pascal Wehrlein: “I am very satisfied with how the weekend went – being in P13 in qualifying and now finishing the race in P11. It was a tough race, as we decided to only make one pit stop. The result is the maximum that we could have achieved today. It is obviously a pity that we have missed this point by only one position. Nevertheless, I am already looking forward to the next Grand Prix.”
Marcus Ericsson: “It was a disappointing race. The start was good, I was the only driver on soft tyres, but I was able to follow the queue quite well. The safety car phase came at a bad time for us, so we decided to stay out. At the re-start I was in P8, however, the other cars on fresh tyres were able to overtake me. After boxing for the supersoft tyres, the lap times were looking good, but I was too far off to catch up with the cars in front of me. In the end, I had a gearbox failure, which forced me to stop the car on track.”
Daniil Kvyat:“After my first lap I think my race was over, unfortunately. I had very little grip on lap 1 and went off the track because of a misunderstanding with another car – I locked my wheels, went off and that made me drop to last… We will need to analyse what happened there, as I felt I had less grip than anyone else. From that point onwards it was a very busy race, but we were battling for nothing unfortunately as the points positions were too far away. . At least I was able to finish the race here – it was important to complete all the laps and to know that, every time I get in the car, I know what it’s doing and I feel comfortable. Today was just not our day and we can’t afford situations like this as the midfield is very tight. Hopefully in the next race in Russia, my home Grand Prix, we can fight for more points, because that’s what we need and we have a car that can do it.”
Carlos Sainz Jr: “It definitely hasn’t been a good weekend for us. We’ve had reliability problems on Friday and yesterday, which meant that today we had to do a race starting from the back. It started well, and recovered from P16 to P11 during the first lap – we were definitely catching the points positions there! Unfortunately, all of a sudden after the pit-stop I was involved in an incident with Lance and that was the end of my race. The weekend ends with a DNF, but weekends like this one always happen at some point throughout the year in F1… This is racing! On the positive side, the car feels very good to drive and we can fight for points regularly, so I look forward to the next races.”
Fernando Alonso: “It was a frustrating race. The deficit in power and performance we had on the straights today was amazing. Sometimes I looked in the mirrors at the beginning of the straights and saw the other cars 300, 400 metres behind, so I forgot completely about that car and started changing settings on the steering wheel and doing my own things, then the next thing I see when I come on the brakes is that car alongside me. We were running close to the points but that’s not enough. Today we never had the pace we had in Australia and China, and, in the end, we had a problem and we decided to retire the car.
“It’s frustrating. When the red lights go off you’re motivated and you start fighting, but you’re so behind on the straights that there’s no way you can defend your position. You fight in a fair way with everyone, but you don’t enjoy the battle.
“Everyone in the team has been working very hard over this weekend, day and night, and I’m sorry for Stoffel who has had so much bad luck all weekend and then didn’t even start today’s race.
“But we’ll keep working hard, and we hope to improve in due course.”
Stoffel Vandoorne: “It’s a real shame that we weren’t even able to start the race today. The team discovered a water-pressure issue on the way to the grid. It’s disappointing, obviously, that we come all the way here and can’t even start the race.
“We knew from the beginning of the season that the situation we were in was going to be difficult. I have an extremely good relationship with the team, I believe that we’ll get on top of these issues, and I’m confident that I can do a good job when everything comes together. We’re going through a hard time – it’s not fun for us to go through this – but this is what it is at the moment, and today shows that.
“It’s frustrating when you do all the preparation work, put in so much effort, we drivers train a lot to keep fit to be able to go racing, and then not being able to start is a shame. It’s been an extremely difficult weekend for me, having two failures on Friday in FP1 and FP2, and now in the race: it’s obviously very disappointing. But I’ll keep my head down, I’ll work hard with the team, and I’m sure there will be some improvements at some point. When they will be, it’s difficult to say, but I’m confident that they’ll come. We’ve lost quite a bit of mileage so it’s definitely not an ideal situation, and we need to make a good step forward soon. Hopefully we can show that at some point in the next few races.”