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GP Week : Issue 178
FROM THE COCKPIT JEAN-ERIC VERGNE “It was a hot start, I was pushed to the outside and I ended up going through a gravel trap at one point. After that, the first stint on the Option was only average, but the last two sections on the Prime tyre were very good and competitive and I was even in the points for a couple of corners right at the end, but as I passed Grosjean I flat-spotted my two front tyres and overshot my braking point when I tried to chase Button. Overall, I think the weekend showed we have a good car with which we ought to be able to go hunting for points in every race. So I’m disappointed at not scoring here, but my hopes for the coming races are now higher than when we first started this weekend. I think that fundamentally, we have a good car.” ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ “My main goal was to finish the race, and to achieve that is really enjoyable. I want to thank the whole team, because yesterday in qualifying we had a good chance and today we were able to recover some of what we lost yesterday. We have a good base and in the future we will try and push forward.” VALTTERI BOTTAS “I had a good start from my grid position and it felt great to be back racing again. A small mistake a few laps in cost me some places though. We got the maximum performance we could from the car today and although the pace isn’t there yet, there are still some positives to take away. The next race is only a week away, so we will work very hard to prepare as best we can and try to score our first points of the season.” JULES BIANCHI “I am very happy with my race today and really can’t imagine a better start to my first season of F1. Yesterday’s qualifying was quite a challenge but today I felt very calm as I looked forward to this moment. Generally everything went very smoothly in the race and we worked our way through the tyre management issues as well as we could in order to maximise the possibilities. We have not had the luxury of time so I would like to thanks my engineers, car crew and the whole team for helping me to be as prepared as possible and for a great job today. It would seem that the Team have made a big step over the winter and it is very nice to see them reacting positively to this.” CHARLES PIC “That wasn’t too bad a race for us. Of course we’d prefer to finish higher but I think that at this stage of the season this reflects our current performance levels. We started on the supersofts and our pace was ok for the first stint but the tyres dropped off very quickly. In contrast, when we went onto the mediums the degradation levels were very good so we were able to push the second stint much longer than we’d planned and that gave us a chance to fight. Unfortunately towards the end of the race we had a KERS failure which obviously cut our outright pace and prevented us from taking full advantage of the good tyre wear we saw on the primes. We know that it’s going to be similar to this for the first few races, but with what we have coming it’s going to be a really interesting season. We have quite a few small details we need to work on for the next race but it’s good to have a real fight on our hands, good for the team and the fans so let’s see how this progresses.” MAX CHILTON “I am happy with my Formula 1 debut and although it was less than straightforward, it’s good to get it under my belt and to know where we stand relative to the competition. The coming-together with Van der Garde early in the race damaged my front wing, which meant I had to stop for a wing change. This put me back out on track such that I hit the blue flag period and it was a bit of a battle to recover the ground I lost. I had a really good fight with Van der Garde and closed the gap enough to be able to pass him. From there I was able to demonstrate more of my true pace and I was posting laps around three seconds faster than him. Although the race had its frustrations, I feel like I’ve learned a lot that I perhaps wouldn’t have learned otherwise and that will be useful experience over the next few races. I’m looking forward to Malaysia now so I can roll all that back into my racing and be able to take the fight to the midfield pack.” GIEDO VAN DER GARDE “For me that was a reasonable start to my F1 career. It was really important to finish my first race and that’s exactly what I did so I’m pretty happy with how it ended up. I started the race on the supersofts, passed a few people in the first turn and was keeping up with Bianchi until the first pitstop, even with the deg levels on the option tyres. Unfortunately I had a slow puncture on the first set of mediums and that cost me time and position. We had 28 GPWEEK.com // 28 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> AUSTRALIA