Formula 1

What They’re Saying After the Spanish Grand Prix – Positions 1-10

7 Mins read
Credit: LAT Images

Lewis Hamilton – Great Britain – Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Started: Pole Position. Finished: Winner

“This feels absolutely incredible,” said Hamilton.  “I was just in a daze out there, I didn’t even know it was the last lap in the end, that’s how in the zone I was.

“I can’t remember the last time I felt like that. It was really special and a real surprise after our recent tyre problems. We brought all of our learnings from the previous weekend into this one and that enabled us to do well today. A fantastic effort from everyone in the team, I’m so grateful for all their hard work and for continuing to push, so a huge thank you to everyone at the factories.

“I got the perfect start and then it was all about tyre management. It was so hot out there and very demanding, but I was just focused on protecting the tyres and bringing the car home. What an incredible result.”

Max Verstappen – Netherlands – Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Started: Third. Finished: Second

“It’s a great result for us to split the two Mercedes cars today after they have been so quick and I’m very happy with that,” said Verstappen.  “Overall, it’s been another strong weekend with a good amount of points which we should be happy with.

“I made a good start and it was important to get past Valtteri early, which I did. I tried everything to stay with Lewis in the first stint but overall their car was faster and Lewis was a bit too quick today. From then onwards we focused on our own race and the car felt good.

“I expected some trouble from Valtteri towards the end when he pitted but I was happy with my tyres and he wasn’t catching. Second is of course good but that’s not why we are here, we are here to win so you can never be fully satisfied unless you do that.

“At the moment we’re in-between the two Mercedes cars and of course we’d like to push Lewis harder but you have to be realistic as they still have the faster car.”

Max Verstappen split the Mercedes in Spain – Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

3 – Valtteri Bottas – Finland – Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Started: Second. Finished: Third

“Of course, this is very disappointing, I’m not here to finish third,” said Bottas.  “The start was really the key point for my race – it just wasn’t good enough, so I lost a few positions.

“We’ll have to look into what happened, but ultimately the guys behind me got a good tow and were able to overtake me. On a track like this, where overtaking in the race is so difficult and track position is everything, your race becomes very tricky if you lose places. So, I think with a different start the end result would have been very different.

“In the first stint, I had to push hard to make up ground which worked fairly well. In stint two, I was pretty much right behind Max all the time, but it is so difficult to overtake here, and you need a really big time difference.

“We had a free pit stop at the end, so I could pit for fresh tyres and got the fastest lap. Overall, it wasn’t the race I had hoped for, but sometimes that’s just the way it goes. We’ll analyse everything from the race and move onto the next one.”

Lance Stroll – Canada – BWT Racing Point Formula One Team

Started: Fifth. Finished: Fourth

“I had a great launch off the line, and I was able to pass Checo and the Mercedes of Bottas, which set me up for a good race,” said Stroll.  “It was a great feeling to race a few laps in third, even if we knew we weren’t racing the Mercedes – P4 was the maximum today.

“It was good to battle with Checo on track for a bit too, even if it probably gave Otmar a few more grey hairs! We changed to a two-stop in the race, but I was able to make up places, and I managed to overtake Vettel late on, and I gained a place through Checo’s penalty too.

“Today was all about managing the tyres, which was difficult in the heat – but we made it work. The dark clouds arriving late in the race were a nice relief from the sun! The team did a great job today and I’m happy we scored some big points.

I’m excited to get to Spa now because the track should suit our car and we can aim for more points.”

Racing Point scored a fourth and fifth place finish in Spain – Credit: BWT Racing Point Formula One Team

5 – Sergio Pérez – Mexico – BWT Racing Point Formula One Team

Started: Fourth. Finished: Fifth (Including: Five-Second Time Penalty for Blue Flag Offence)

“I had a difficult start today and lost a place to Lance, but we were able to recover and have a strong race,” said Pérez.  “I think it was on the edge to make a one-stop work, but we managed to do it, which took a lot of tyre management, and great work from the team to make it happen.

“It was also fun to battle Lance, but the priority was to save the tyres. I’m disappointed to have got a five-second time penalty: I don’t think it was fair considering the first opportunity I had to get out of Lewis’s way was into Turn 1.

“But the main thing is that we were able to hold onto P5, and we scored a lot of points for the team today. It’s been a positive comeback for me and I want to thank the team for their help in getting me back up to speed so quickly.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. – Spain – McLaren F1 Team

Started: Seventh. Finished: Sixth

“A very good day for me and the team,” said Sainz.  “To finally get a good result after the issues of the previous four races feels great and I honestly think we deserve it.

“We put in a very good fight with the Racing Points and defending from the Red Bull after the pit-stop was key. It’s a pity that I got lapped by Max [Verstappen] at the end of the race and lost a couple of seconds, because Checo [Perez] had the time penalty and I think we could’ve finished in front of him.

“But anyway, the mechanics did a good job today, with all four pit-stops under three seconds, and we managed to get both cars in the points. This has been a confidence-building weekend for the team and hopefully a turning point in my season.”

Carlos Sainz Jr. scored eight points in his home Grand Prix – Credit: Charles Coates/Motorsport Images/McLaren F1 Team

Sebastian Vettel – Germany – Scuderia Ferrari

Started: Eleventh. Finished: Seventh.

“Today we tried something different and it paid off,” said Vettel.  “I was struggling in the first stint, even on medium tyres, while in the second one I felt a lot better, despite having the soft tyre for many laps.

“There was some rain forecast at some stage so we extended our stint on softs. In the end we were in a position in which we had nothing to lose, so we took the risk and decided to try and make it to the end. Luckily it worked and this result reflects the maximum we could do today with the car. 

“There is still lots of work to do, but at the moment this is our true pace, that’s why sometimes we have to take some risks in order to have more or different options to finish ahead of our competitors.”

Alexander Albon – Thailand – Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

Started: Sixth. Finished: Eighth.

“It was a hard afternoon and I’m not happy with my race,” said Albon.  “It was really tricky out there and I just didn’t have any grip on any tyre compound.

“Each stint I was nursing and looking after the tyres but after six or seven laps I just had no grip. It was frustrating and the opposite to Silverstone last week. No matter what we did we just really struggled to keep the tyres alive. It hasn’t been an issue this year so we’ll need to look at the data and see the reasons behind it because at the moment we just have question marks.

“I was struggling in sector three mostly, I couldn’t stay close enough to cars ahead so I couldn’t overtake and I was kind of a sitting duck. Now we need to understand why today was so different to last weekend in the race so we can come back stronger and improve for Spa.”

Pierre Gasly scored two more points for AlphaTauri in Spain – Credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Pierre Gasly – France – Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda

Started: Tenth. Finished: Ninth

“It was a great race and I’m happy to get another two points for the team this weekend,” said Gasly.  “We had a good start and I managed to pass Charles and Lando in Turn 1 which put me in eighth position.

“We got held up a bit in the second stint behind other cars in a train of DRS, so we didn’t make full use of the prime tyres, which was a bit of a shame.

“However, I think there are a lot of positives to take away from Barcelona, which is quite a challenging track in terms of car performance, and it was nice to be in the mix with the McLarens for most of the race. We can be pleased with our result today and now we start focusing on Spa.”

Lando Norris – Great Britain – McLaren F1 Team

Started: Eighth. Finished: Tenth.

“A tough race,” said Norris.  “We had really good pace in the car but, as usual in Spain, it was very difficult to overtake.

“You can only really overtake in one corner, and if the car in front gets a good enough exit out of the final corner and there is a train of cars, then it’s pretty much impossible even if you are quicker. It’s a shame – because the car felt good.

“It came alive a lot towards the end. It would’ve been nice to use a little bit more but tenth was, I think, the best we could’ve done today, so I’m happy to be in the points.” 

Lando Norris struggled in Spain but scored one point in tenth – Credit: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images/McLaren F1 Team
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