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GP Week : Issue 191
FROM THE COCKPIT NicO HUlKENbERG “Today I drove one of the best races in my career so far. I have had cars in the mirrors before, but today there were a lot and it was a bit annoying. Lewis really put the pressure on at the end, especially in the last sector. I knew I needed to get out of Turn 1 well. The car’s traction was very good today, so that kept me alive against Fernando and then Lewis later on. We were also very fast on the straight. I had a good start, although on the outside into Turn 1, which was a loss at first, but then I had a real good slipstream and was able to get past on the outside. A big thank you to the entire team for providing such an excellent car today.” lEWiS HAmilTON “That was not a great day for us and it feels like we deserved more as a team. After Grosjean got ahead of me at the start, there was no way past and it seemed that we were losing out to other on traction cars all day. In my second stint, running the prime tyre, my right front was just destroyed all of a sudden. When that happens, you start losing temperature, understeering and locking up under braking, so it was really hard to maintain the pace in those laps. It was a really difficult part of the race but I had to get to a certain target lap before I made the final stop. After the safety Car, we were just losing out in traction to the sauber. Our car was really strong through the middle sector but not quick enough on the straights to stay ahead.” FERNANDO AlONSO “We knew this would be a difficult race and unfortunately the results confirmed the concerns we had already experienced on Friday, when we had a few problems with tyre degradation on the long run. It wasn’t a surprise to be off the pace in qualifying, as that’s been the case since the start of the season, but the fact that we didn’t have the pace in the race was one. unfortunately, at the start, I couldn’t keep the sauber behind me and that meant I had a particularly stressful race in terms of the tyres. What happened to Felipe at the third corner was not a problem for me: there were a lot of us there at that point and someone must have touched him. I tried to avoid him and continued without it affecting my race, because by then, I was already behind Hulkenberg.” NicO ROSbERG “That was another very tough race for me. I couldn't believe what happened with the wing: I was on course for a podium finish after overtaking Lewis and two seconds later, the front wing just broke. It was pretty scary because that could have been a dangerous situation but the engineers told me over the radio that it was under control and I could carry some speed back to the pits. It's a shame because the car felt great today and I found a good balance and how to get the most out of the car, which I hadn't managed until this point of the weekend. It's been a real up and down season so far for me but it's good that we have another race in a week's time. Our car is very competitive and I had good pace compared to the cars on the podium.” jENSON bUTTON “Turn 3 was always going to be something of a mess on the first lap. And, sure enough, there was an incident; a car got hit, went wide and hit me. That contact damaged my front wing endplate. It didn’t really cause me too much of a problem in terms of staying with the cars in front, but it really started to hurt the temperatures, so we had to pit for a new nosebox on lap four. That cost me a bit of time. Our pace on the Prime tyre was very good, however, and I was able to run two strong stints on the Prime to stay in the hunt. During my second pitstop, the [pit-release] lights went green then went red again, so I briefly stopped as a precaution straight after I was released. I had a quick look behind me to check that everything was okay – everything seemed fine, so I continued.” FEliPE mASSA “Today’s race was really very complicated, because my chances of getting a good result evaporated right from the first lap, when I found myself in the middle of a group, all of us fighting and I decided to go down the inside to try and brake later. unfortunately, some of the cars were slower and in order to avoid driving into one of the Mercedes, I was forced to move over to the right, ending up in a spin. Luckily, the car was alright, but at that point I was contemplating a race from the back of the pack. Thanks to a few nice passing moves I still managed to bring home some points, which was a good thing compared to how it looked after the start. Today, we weren’t competitive and there were at least three or four teams quicker than us, including sauber, but I hope this was mainly track dependent and that our car will be better suited to the suzuka track.” 38 GPWEEK.com // 38 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> KOREA