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GP Week : Issue 182
FROM THE COCKPIT VALTTERI BOTTAS “I couldn’t feel the grip in the car and we were sliding a lot from the start which meant we were hard on the tyres. We made a three-stop strategy work but in the end, Pastor switched to a four- stop race and that seemed to be better. We’re not where we want to be, so there is still a lot of work to do.” CHARLES PIC “I’m really happy with today’s performance. Finishing 17th doesn’t really tell the whole story as we ended the race right behind one of the Williams cars which shows that we’ve made some good progress this weekend. The blue flags didn’t help as without them I’d have had a much better chance of overtaking him, but it was still good that I could attack him in the last few laps. The car felt great for the whole race, particularly after my third stop when we went for a 25 lap final stint on the hard tyres and I was able to manage the degradation levels well which meant I could push right to the flag.” JULES BIANCHI “I feel like I drove a really hard race today but there is not so much to show for it. I am obviously pleased to have had three strong middle stints but the damage was done in the opening few laps when I had to pit for a new nose. I think we recovered well from this and had we not had the extra stop we could have been fighting with Bottas today. Our lap time was much faster than theirs and I managed to get the gap down to eight seconds in the final stint, but pushing so hard stretched the tyres too much and I had to back off to just focus on getting the car home.” MAX CHILTON “It was disappointing to have such a problematic start to the race and then we had the pit stop issue, which was a further setback. What is encouraging is my lap time in free air today, which I’m pretty pleased with, and it’s good to be able to demonstrate more of my outright pace than I’ve been able to over the past few races. If we can get on top of some of these problems we can really start to come into our own a bit more. The pace is there so we should be able to get back to closing the gap to the midfield.” JEAN-ERIC VERGNE “After a good start, I then had a lot of understeer and we had to keep adding a lot of wing at each pit stop, which didn’t really help. The strategy we adopted was the right one and even with a damaged floor and wing I was able to do good lap times. Yet again I was unlucky and I hope that stops soon, because as I was coming into the pits, Sauber did an unsafe release with Hulkenberg who drove into me and then I had a problem with a tyre, so it was one problem after another today.” GIEDO VAN DER GARDE “It’s obviously such a shame that my race ended like it did today, but sometimes these things happen. I’d had a great start and was fighting with Button and both Williams cars through the first couple of stints The car felt great, really good and I was definitely having the best of the season so far. When I came in for my second stop I could feel that there was a problem with the left rear as soon as I rejoined the track. At some point the wheel came off so I tried to make it back to the garage to see if I could continue, but once the team had taken a close look it was clear I had to retire the car.” ROMAIN GROSJEAN “I made a poor start but after that I was on the pace and we know we’re able to produce good race strategies, so there was potential for a strong result today. The car was feeling pretty good until we had an issue with the rear suspension which meant I had to return to the pits and retire from the race, which is a great shame. It’s always disappointing for everyone when something like this happens but there’s no-one to blame; it’s just a part of motor racing.” The GP Week driver of the day award goes to... ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ After weeks of endless criticism, Esteban delivered an impressive performance from the back of the grid to finish half a second shy of the points, and setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Unbowed by a three-place grid drop, the Mexican racer managed his tyres well over a long first stint that saw the rookie lead the grand prix for four laps, during which time he was (briefly) able to pull out a lead over the four-man pack bookended between Rosberg and Massa, and containing two world champions. F1 >>> BARCELONA 29 GPWEEK.com // 29 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: