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GP Week : Issue 195
FROM THE COCKPIT JenSOn bUTTOn “even though I was only battling for a single world championship point, I still wanted to do the best job I could this afternoon. As in all the past few races, I made contact with another car on the first lap – and that contact broke my left-hand front-wing endplate. It wasn't quite as bad as in Abu Dhabi, but it still left me with quite a lot of understeer. We considered changing the nose-box at the pit-stop, but, instead, the mechanics added some extra front wing, and that helped to re-balance the car. It still wasn't ideal, because losing downforce at the front doesn't affect only the front-end, it affects air-flow across the whole car as well. still, I enjoyed the race. The first 30 laps, during which I was stuck behind Felipe, were particularly tough, but I was able to make some good moves at the end, and that made our day a bit more interesting. Now, I'm hoping for a trouble-free, exciting and prosperous final grand prix of the season in Brazil next weekend.” DAniel RiCCiARDO “It was a tough end to the day, really tough. It looked as though we were going to hang on to the flag to get the point for tenth place, but then in the last five laps, I lost pretty much all the grip I had and I saw the guys closing in on me. I tried to hold them off but I didn’t have enough left in the tyres to do it. It’s frustrating to get that close but I put up the best fight I could and there was nothing more I could have done today. It was very difficult to overtake in the early stages when the cars were full of fuel and it wasn’t easy to stay with the car in front through the fast corners, so we had to be patient.” JeAn-eRiC veRGne “The final result was nothing special, but I feel I had a good race. We had planned a two stop, but switched to a single tyre change and for the second part of the race, I was told I had to manage my Options carefully, but I was given the go ahead to push again with 15 laps to go and at that point my race pace was quite good. so I feel we did a good job with the car we had. On the last lap, I tried to pass my team- mate at Turn 1, and it didn’t work and we ran wide, but I think he had used a bit of Kers on the straight so I couldn’t pass him. I used all my KeRs on the next straight to try and outbrake him but then Gutierrez clipped my rear wheel at Turn 12 and he tried to pass me and we touched.” FeliPe MASSA “It’s been a really difficult weekend and I was struggling right from Friday, unable to get the tyres up to temperature or to run at a good pace. At the start, I didn’t make up any places and then for all the race I was stuck in traffic, on a track where overtaking is not that easy. We knew that making a second stop was not the best choice, but I already found myself in a difficult situation and so we decided to risk stopping for a set of Medium tyres: if anything had happened ahead of us, maybe a safety Car, we might have profited from the situation. unfortunately, nothing happened and the tyre wear of those ahead of me was very low, so I was behind them ending up in the same position from which I started. It’s a real shame because we could have done better. Now we must keep concentrated for the final round of the season in Brazil, my final race with Ferrari on my home track: it’s bound to be a very emotional weekend because of that. I hope I can be more competitive there and even if our rivals are very quick, we will do our best right to the very end.” eSTebAn GUTieRReZ “It was a very tough race starting from P20. We had to make up a lot of positions on track. I managed a good first lap. I made up a couple of positions and then, once the safety car was deployed, we decided to pit in order to put me on a different strategy to the other cars. We need to analyse the situation now and see how much we gained from that. I think all in all the problem came from the ten place grid penalty, which made it complicated at the end.” HeiKKi KOvAlAinen “My start wasn’t great but then it was going okay until the first pit stop as I was racing with the pack with the car feeling quite good. After the pit stop I started to have a few problems, but it was difficult to know exactly what was going on. We had issues with downforce so we changed the front wing and after that it was much better, although still not as good as it’s felt previously this weekend. There was a KeRs issue too, though not enough to account for my lack of race pace. We’ll have a good look at the data and hopefully be on top of things far better for the race in Brazil.” 38 GPWEEK.com // 38 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> UNITED STATES