Reaction round-up: Canadian Grand Prix

Reaction round-up: Canadian Grand Prix

That was quite a race, wasn’t it? Daniel Ricciardo stormed to a hugely popular maiden F1 victory at the Canadian Grand Prix, after both Mercedes cars hit trouble.0986LB1D8137

Nico Rosberg was able to limp home in an impressive second place, while Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire. Sebastian Vettel picked up third, having narrowly avoided being collected by Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez after the two collided on the final lap. With mixed fortunes up and down the field, here is a round-up of the driver’s reactions after the race:

Sebastian Vettel

“Congratulations to Daniel for his first win, which is very, very special, so I’m happy for him and happy for the team, especially after such a horrible winter. It’s nice to be able to finally break through to get a win this year and capitalise on Mercedes having a problem. I think we could have taken more risk with the strategy today – but it’s hard to know exactly what was going on around me when I’m not sitting on the pit wall. We have developed the car a lot this year, so we are going in the right direction, but we need to develop it even more for the straights, so there is still a lot of work ahead of us. We are here to keep pushing and to keep doing our best.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“I’m a grand prix winner. I think it still seems a bit surreal to be honest, just because it all happened so quickly at the end. I was third for a while and then it all happened in a really exciting fashion. Once I got past Perez I knew I just had to drive clean and get in Rosberg’s DRS zone and, from then on, it was just awesome.

“Finishing under the safety car made it a bit weird, but I wanted to make sure the two drivers who were in the accident were okay before I started celebrating. We achieved a great result today with first and third – so let’s enjoy it – but we will still have some work to do also. This will motivate the guys to work even harder and find even more, so I’m sure it will keep coming even better for us at the next few races.”

Nico Rosberg

“That was a big battle all the way through today! I had a tough start but I was able to defend in the first few corners and fight against Lewis. The race went smoothly for a while then both cars suddenly lost the MGU-K system and a lot of power which was really tough. Then I lost some time in the second pit stop which let Lewis jump me and I was struggling to cool the rear brakes down so it was all happening.

“Towards the end of the race, I tried to defend against Sergio which was fine but Daniel was too fast on the straights with much more power than I had available and he was able to get past. With so much going on, I had to ask my engineer where I finished at the end as I thought I was probably about fifth or sixth. I was so happy to hear that I was in P2. They are important points for me in the championship, so it was a tough but ultimately good day.”

Lewis Hamilton

“I did the best that I could out there today and felt like I was having a strong race but unfortunately it just wasn’t our day. Montreal has been a good track for me so to come here and not finish is disappointing but there are plenty more races ahead of us this season so let’s hope for better fortune. There was nothing I could do about our issues really.

“We were managing the loss of power but as soon as I finally made the jump on Nico in the second pit stop, my brakes failed going into turn 10. It’s great for the team that Nico was able to hold on and get second place today but it’s tough for me. That’s two DNFs now this season and now I have to try and recover the points gap again. But these are learning experiences: we’ll learn as a team and get stronger.”

Fernando Alonso

“Looking at the wild final stages of the race, today we picked up some “lucky” points, but we still can’t be happy with where we finished as our aim was to do better than this. In the beginning, my pace wasn’t good and I wasn’t happy with the balance of my car. Then in the second stint, when the track began to improve, we found a good rhythm and we managed to catch the group in front. But we weren’t quick enough to join the fight.

“What Red Bull did in the race shows how quickly things can change in Formula 1 and that should be further motivation for us to get to a point where we can fight for the win. This weekend, we have made some steps forward, especially on the aerodynamic front, but the others have also improved and now, all we can do is carry on working to be as well prepared as possible for the forthcoming races.”

Kimi Raikkonen

“We knew this would not be an easy race, because on this track, we were not fast enough down the straights and we had some problems in the slow corners. On top of that, today I never had a clear track ahead of me, for one reason or another I was always stuck behind other cars. In the beginning I had some problems with the brakes and the handling of my car wasn’t consistent.

“Then after a few laps, the tyres behaved better, but still with highs and lows. For a lot of laps, I was stuck behind Kvyat’s Toro Rosso and this cost me precious time. Even if at the moment, nothing seems to be going right for us, the new development package has given us more potential and now we must just try and find more consistency.”

Romain Grosjean

“Today was not great in terms of pace for me, however there are some positives looking forwards. We can see that a Renault Sport F1 team can win a race so we have a target there, especially when the win came at a circuit that is not thought to be one of the stronger ones for them. Congratulations to Daniel for his win which I watched in the garage. The rear wing of my car broke, so it was safer to retire than risk a potentially dangerous situation. We have a lot of work to do, so it’s time to go home and try to understand our problems and come back stronger in the next races.”

Jenson Button0982LB1D5537

“What a fantastic race. The opening stint on the Option tyre was tough-going for me, so I decided to jump off it quite early and move to the Prime. But then I just kept coming up on traffic – there were cars everywhere: if you were racing against a single car, it was easier to get past, but if you were in a bunch, it was tough because lots of drivers were able to use the DRS.

“Still, I fought my way through at the end. I had a little dice with Fernando and Nico [Hulkenberg] – Fernando almost hit Nico at the hairpin, and had to dive down the inside. Then they both ran wide and I got down the inside of both of them. On the final lap, you never want to see an accident like Felipe and Checo’s – but, fortunately, they both got out of their cars okay, which was good.

“We come out of this weekend knowing that there’s a better overall feel to our car – it’s encouraging that we’re making progress. In a straightforward race, I wouldn’t have finished fourth, but we did a good job today and ought to be happy. These points are helpful, and they’ll spur us on to do another good job in Austria.”

Nico Hulkenberg

“It has been a very busy race for me today, so to come away with ten points and a fifth place is a good result. I gained some positions at the end due to the crash between Sergio and Massa but lost one to Jenson [Button] when I was in a battle with Alonso, but we were always going to finish in the points regardless. The safety car at the start didn’t help me as it allowed those on supersoft tyres to stretch their stints.

“Being on a different strategy from everyone else meant I always had someone pushing close behind me: it was fun, but also very challenging, especially towards the end of the race as I had quite a long stint on the supersoft tyres. Stopping only once I had a bigger challenge managing the tyres compared to the two-stoppers, but I think we got the right reward for it. I think it was the fastest strategy for us today and to be the only two cars to manage a one-stopper is definitely a positive.”

Esteban Gutierrez

“It was a very challenging race. Especially in the beginning, I was struggling so much with the tires. It was hard to manage them and to drive consistently. I fought with some cars, but it was extremely difficult to keep them behind. When I pitted, I got a fresh set of soft tyres, which I drove until the end. With this second set of soft tires, the car felt much better, I even enjoyed driving. But then we lost power, and I had to retire.”

Daniil Kvyat

“It’s been a disappointing end to a difficult weekend here in Canada. Even though yesterday’s Qualifying did not go well for me, I was hopeful to aim high in today’s race. At the start of the race I lost a position and then later on I made a mistake in Turn 1 when my tyres were still a bit cold and I lost quite a lot of time there. At the point my race was already compromised, but I kept pushing anyway. I then had to stop on track when I suddenly lost drive. About the incident with Raikkonen, there was only place for one car in the chicane and if I had turned, we would have clashed, which is why I cut the chicane.”

Valtteri Bottas

“Not our day really. The beginning of the race was ok but Red Bull was a little bit stronger than expected, so we were looking to fight for fourth position. We need to look back at the second pitstop in terms of timing and the stop because I didn’t come back out where I should have. I was then in traffic, stuck behind the Force India, which overheated the engine and brakes, and I had to save everything to get to the flag.”

Jules Bianchi

“I got a great start, kept everyone who was behind me behind and then obviously Max and I were racing each other through Turns 2 and 3. I braked into Turn 3 and there was an impact, after which I ended up in the wall with a badly damaged car. I am disappointed for the whole Team because once again we had a strong weekend and it was a race that held so much promise for us, both in terms of the car we had and also how the race ultimately panned out today. Now we have to move on and give the Team a better reward from Austria.”0983LB1D5851

Marcus Ericsson

A disappointing end to a difficult weekend, but for me it’s all part of the learning curve. As soon as the formation lap started I could feel that the Power Unit wasn’t pulling hard in any gears and that continued under the safety car. The team tried to fix it but there wasn’t anything we could do and as soon as the safety car came in I was told to retire and that was the end of the race. When I got the car back we found out the problem was with a pipe connected to the turbo, not the Power Unit itself, and we had to retire to prevent any damage to the engine. Obviously that’s not how we wanted to end the race but we’ll regroup and keep pushing.”

Images courtesy of Octane Photographic

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.