The Week in Words (Mar 17-23)
It has been a rather quiet week in the F1 world as the teams and drivers prepare for the second round of the 2014 season in Malaysia…but who has been saying what over the last seven days?
“To see him today on the podium was just unbelievable. I can’t even put it into words how I’m feeling other than it’s fantastic and he just keeps surprising me, that’s all I can say. He keeps exceeding my expectations all the time. It’s fantastic. This was way more than anybody could have hoped for.”
“Today there are definitely mixed feelings. Having cars retire is not acceptable and shows we need to improve our reliability across the board. This race was always going to be a baptism of fire but we have come short of our own expectations and we need to look at this before the next race.”
“We sometimes lose sight of the fact that F1 rookies are the future of the sport we love. With the advent of ‘pay drivers’, rookies are often viewed as a nuisance, just getting in the way of drivers who deserve to be here. While one of this year’s rookies is here for financial reasons, there is no denying the fact that, after all of their debut performances, they deserve to be in the sport.”
“The Aussie media/F1 showdown reached its crescendo in the early hours of Monday morning when Australian TV crews – demanding closure on what’s happened to ‘our’ Daniel – locked horns with seasoned F1 journalists when hustling for interview room outside Red Bull’s garage. In the pandemonium I even lost my glasses.”
“On the podium a clearly-jubilant Daniel Ricciardo decided what he really wanted to was fall over while spraying the bubbly stuff, like his countryman, Mark Webber, did during the celebrations last year. Even though he clearly did it on purpose (as opposed to stumbling and falling like Mark did), the moment wasn’t lost on Kevin Magnussen who decided it would be a great idea to pour champagne down Dan’s neck. Good man…”
“We’ve adjusted all the compounds for this year, as well as the constructions, to take into account the new regulations for 2014. We’re seeing increased torque going through the rear wheels this year, because of the new turbocharged power units and energy recovery systems, so we’ve designed the 2014 construction and compounds to deal with that, particularly at the rear. We have fewer changes at the front, because the front end is not affected so much by the altered vehicle dynamics.”
“I don’t see that we have a big advantage, to be honest, because you can see if you have a DNF then you lose points, and McLaren are leading the constructors’ championship. Yes, we have a little bit of a margin and losing that would be something I’d consider as a failure.”
“You are always going to have a competitive team-mate, but I’ve never been scared of a team-mate. It’s exciting to have someone that competitive. And in the first grand prix of the year, to finish second and third, to have two guys pulling their weight and getting the best out of the car, is fantastic for the team.”
“At the moment, we’re in the battle to be the second-best team. Obviously that isn’t where we want to be but it’s exceeding our expectations of only a few weeks ago. I think once we really get into the setup of the car, we’ll be able to close the gap to Mercedes. Obviously they’re going to improve too but I think we’re in a good position to make bigger strides.”
“The E22 has a lot of potential and is feeling better to drive every time we go out. We’ve had a lot of initial issues with the car, but this has been the same up and down the pit lane. I’m impressed every time I look at the packaging of the car and I know that the work going on at Enstone and with Renault Sport F1 will make the E22 into a podium contender very soon indeed.”
Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.