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Who said what after the Bahrain GP

ESPN Staff
April 6, 2014
The Mercedes drivers engaged in a thrilling duel for first © Getty Images
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Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel (6th) "I think it was a busy race today, especially at the end after the safety car, but it's a shame we couldn't get further up. Daniel proved that there was a little bit more to get from the car today, I couldn't really get to that bit, so I'm not so happy with my day. For some reason we seemed to be really slow on the straights, and not just against the Mercedes. Merc has a stronger package, so there's work ahead of us. It was straight forward with Daniel today, we worked well together as a team and we raced well, but surely I would like to have finished higher up."

Daniel Ricciardo (4th): "It was an awesome race; it was exciting. I think the first stint was a bit follow-the-leader, but from the second stint onwards, the race really started to turn up the heat and there were more battles going on in front and behind - it was good to be a part of them. We got close to the podium today, I think within half a second, so I was doing all I could. The car came to me as the race went on and I was happy with how I moved up through the pack, so a good day. It was good fun to race Sebastian, it was hard but fair and we left each other room. That's what we want from each other and we discussed it beforehand, we're racers and that's what we enjoy doing."

Christian Horner, team principal: "A very interesting race today and great entertainment; I think we got everything out of it that we could. The drivers worked together as a team earlier in the race when they were on different tyre strategies and then raced each other hard at the end of the race. Daniel put in a great drive and, with another lap, possibly could have made it to the podium. It was good to see them both racing each other cleanly and fairly."

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (1st): "What an incredible day. That was a really tough race tonight and I am absolutely delighted to have come home with the win. It's a long time since I had a race like that! knew that I needed a good start and to go into the first corner in the lead was crucial to my race this evening. From there, it was such a battle. Nico drove fantastically well and, in all honesty, he had the pace on me today but I managed to hold on. . All credit to the team for allowing us to race and I hope the fans loved the show that we were able to put on tonight."

Nico Rosberg (2nd): "It was a great battle out there this evening with Lewis and this kind of race is exactly why I am in Formula One; I love to race like today. Of course, it's very disappointing to have finished second in the end but I gave it everything and it just didn't quite come off for me. Lewis did a great job defending his position and, so often when I did manage to get past, I then couldn't see him in the blind spot in my mirrors. . The difference between the prime and the option was not as big as we expected however and that's why I didn't quite manage to get by."

Toto Wolff: "It has been a fantastic weekend for the team from start to finish. To have led every session with both cars is a real achievement and we can be very proud of the combined effort of our staff at Brackley, Brixworth and Stuttgart. . Lewis and Nico drove with a great deal of maturity and respect for both each other and the team but still put on a great show. What we saw today was two drivers at the peak of their abilities fighting fair and square for victory. This is what we go racing for and it was a strong advert for the sport: in particular under these new regulations."

Paddy Lowe: "From the pit wall, the race was fascinating to watch. While there were undoubtedly some tense moments, we knew that both drivers would be sensible enough to bring the cars home: although it was worth throwing in a little reminder just to be sure!"

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso (9th): "Today's race was complicated for us, even if we knew what to expect because, with its long straights, this track shows up our weak points. The team did a super job and sorted the problem I had yesterday in the final part of qualifying and the start and strategy were perfect. The Safety Car helped us make up a bit of ground on the cars ahead of us and also allowed us to save fuel, but it was not enough to change the result, with eight cars ahead of us doing a better job."

Kimi Raikkonen (10th): "I am very disappointed with today's result, because after how qualifying went, I expected to do better. I didn't get a good start and immediately lost some places. On the first lap, I was hit by Magnussen, luckily without it doing any damage, but trying to move up the order at this point was very difficult, because the lack of aero downforce and speed on the straight meant overtaking was complicated. We knew this track was less suited to the characteristics of our car than the first two and that the Mercedes would be very quick."

Pat Fry: "Today, we could not have asked more of our car and drivers, because here, our most limiting factor was a lack of top speed. That meant we had to run a defensive race and even if in the middle sector, the one with the most corners, the F14 T was competitive, it was not enough to allow Fernando and Kimi to attack our rivals."

Lotus

Romain Grosjean (12th): "It's good that we didn't have any problems during the weekend and we were able to finish the race with both cars. It's not easy racing - what with the fuel management and energy recovery system - so there's certainly more mental work going on in the cockpit. At certain points of the race we were quite quick, but then at other points we were really struggling with the rear grip. Fortunately, we now have two days of testing at Bahrain so we'll be able to try a lot of different set-ups to try to get the car more as we want it."

Pastor Maldonado (14th): "As we expected the pace was much better in the race than it was in qualifying. We were using quite an interesting strategy and were running on two stops which was working well until the incident. We will need to have a look again at what happened as Esteban seemed to be off his line coming into turn one - maybe he missed his braking point, I don't know - and by then I was in the corner with nowhere to go. For sure it's difficult to understand and I was coming out from the pits and with cold tyres. I think he was very unlucky and it's good he jumped straight out of the car."

Esteban Gutierrez was sent flying by Pastor Maldonado © Getty Images
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Federico Gastaldi, deputy team principal: "Both drivers kept their heads down and kept pushing today. It's clear we still have to unlock a lot of pace from this car, but we were much better with reliability here and our relative pace has improved too. It was good to see both cars at the finish of the race as this is what we need to improve the car and make it faster."

McLaren

Kevin Magnussen (DNF): "That wasn't a great race for me. The start wasn't ideal - I lost three positions - and after that we just didn't have enough pace to make progress towards the front. We'd been expecting that the colder conditions might help us, but, as things panned out, we were actually a little less strong here than we were in Malaysia, for some reason. We'll analyse that carefully, and I'm sure we'll learn from it. We're learning all the time, in fact. It's disappointing that we didn't score points today - two DNFs is never pleasant for any team - but we'll approach the Chinese Grand Prix with the aim of doing quite a bit better than we did here in Bahrain."

Jenson Button (DNF, classified 16th): "In terms of pace, we took a step forward this weekend. Moreover, our degradation was positive and I think we did a very good job understanding our tyres. Only one team were demonstrably quicker than us today - Mercedes - but sadly they were a lot quicker than us. Having said that, our long-run pace was very good, especially over the last few laps, so I reckon we could have raced very hard to the finish on the Primes. But unfortunately I didn't get that opportunity There was lots of good racing out there - I can't even remember how many cars I overtook but it was quite a lot - and I think it was the same for almost everyone out there. I really enjoyed it, in fact."

Eric Boullier, racing director: "Well, it goes without saying that we're leaving Bahrain bitterly disappointed.We didn't have the fastest car this weekend, we know that, but, had our cars not both been afflicted with clutch problems towards the end of the race, triggering their retirements, at least we'd have been leaving with some more championship points on the scoreboard. In fact, had Jenson's car run reliably to the flag, there's every chance that he'd have been fighting for fifth, fourth or potentially even third place."

Force India

Nico Hulkenberg (5th): "It's a great day for the team and I'm very happy for the guys. The battle with Checo was very clean and fair, and when you're fighting for the podium you give everything but always stay within the lines. It was good fun. The end of the race was hard because I had to battle from the moment the safety car came in until the end of the race. I was behind Checo and I felt I had a little more pace, but I was in dirty air and that caused me to struggle towards the end. I held back Ricciardo for as long as I could and I managed to stay ahead of Vettel. It's a great achievement for the team and we've shown once again that we are competitive so hopefully we can keep up the momentum in China."

Sergio Perez (3rd): "This podium is an amazing achievement and one of the most special results in my whole career. This is a massive confidence boost, especially after the very hard season I had last year, and it was the hardest-fought podium I ever had. It was an amazing feeling to cross the line because the last few laps were very difficult. I had to keep up the pace and I knew the Red Bulls were coming. In the end we managed to stay ahead and score this very special result in only my third race with the team. I also had a great fight with my teammate during the whole race."

Vijay Mallya, team principal: "Today is one of the greatest days in the history of our team. It's been a long time coming, but it's very satisfying to see Sahara Force India back on the podium after so many near misses in recent years. We have a great driver line-up and today we saw both Checo and Nico at their best as they battled for a place on the podium. Without the safety car our two-stop strategies would have been much more comfortable because we faced a strong assault from the Red Bulls in the closing stages. Nico did a fantastic job to keep them back for so long and hold on to fifth place. It gave Checo the breathing space he needed to secure third place. So I'm extremely proud of everyone in the team and congratulate all of them on this achievement. 2014 is a new chance and we have shown we're moving forward in Australia, Malaysia and here. I couldn't be happier."

Sauber

Esteban Gutiérrez (DNF): "First of all, the most important is that I am ok. They did all the checks at the hospital and everything is fine. Concerning the accident, I was completely surprised that Pastor [Maldonado], who came out of the pits, ran into me. I was clearly in front of him. I turned into the corner and I was suddenly hit and I rolled over. There was nothing much I could do."

Adrian Sutil (DNF): " My race was over quite early. Jules [Bianchi] braked too late and went into my car in the hairpin. I was not able to do anything to prevent it, and my car was damaged. He was driving aggressively for the whole race and pushed me off at the start. With his move he destroyed mine as well as his own race. It was unneccesary. In general, the weekend was difficult for us. However, I wanted to finish the race to cover more kilometres and also to gain experience with the car."

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "Let's start with the positives: We are pleased that Esteban is fine after his spectacular accident. Generally, it was a weekend to forget. We knew before that on this track our limitations with the powertrain would be significant. This was confirmed during the race. Nevertheless, losing both cars through accidents is very disappointing. In both cases, it was not the fault of our drivers."

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne (DNF): It was a bit of a mess at the start in turn 8 with a lot of cars around me, but while the others were having a poor exit I had a clean one on the outside. When I then found myself next to a Lotus, I got squeezed more and more and when he realized I was about to overtake him anyway, he just closed the door. That is why our wheels touched and my car took off, out of control. Both rear wing and floor got heavily damaged with a huge loss of aero performance and it was just not possible to continue my race. Hopefully bad luck will leave us alone for the next races."

Daniil Kvyat (11th): "Unfortunately today didn't go as I would have liked. I was not happy with our pace and it was frustrating to see the other cars just passing me by. The start was a little bit messy and I lost a position. From then on I tried to push as much as possible, but it wasn't enough to get into the points today. We will now have to analyze carefully what went wrong today and hopefully we will come back stronger at the next race in China."

Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal: "Considering our speed during all the weekend's practice sessions, I was expecting a much better result for the race today. Unfortunately Jean-Eric was hit right at the beginning: when we read all the data and realized how much downforce he had actually lost because of the damaged floor and wing, we decided to call him in. As for Daniil, he did a good race but we didn't have enough speed today and we will have to investigate the reason for this in order to have a better weekend in China."

Williams

Valtteri Bottas (8th): "After a poor start our race strategy was compromised. I had too much wheelspin and that lost me a few positions which is frustrating. We had issues with the tyres that were worse than expected but on a positive note we got some good points from both cars. We always want more though, so we will continue to work hard and look forward to the next race."

Felipe Massa (7th): "The start was fantastic, I did everything right and I had good grip and it all went well. We were in a good position and fighting but sadly the tyre degradation was worse than we expected. The safety car didn't help the strategy as I think we should have been up with the Force Indias rather than behind the Red Bulls so that is a shame. Other than that it was a good race, with some good battles and to finish with both cars in the points is really positive."

Rob Smedley, Head of Vehicle Performance: "Overall I am extremely happy. We finished the weekend with both cars in the points, and good points too. To start in third and finish in eighth for Valtteri is a bit frustrating, but that's racing and we have to accept that. There are many positives still to take, one thing we do need is a little bit more race pace. The team worked very well together from strategy to pitstops, the change over the last twelve months has been very encouraging."

Marussia

Max Chilton (13th): "I didn't get a very good start but through the course of the race I managed the tyres well, while still having a good race with the Caterhams. The safety car helped us out as I don't think we had to fuel save as much as the others, once we had unlapped ourselves. All in all it's great to be leaving Bahrain with 13th place and having finished every single race of my F1 career so far - 22 out of 22 now! Most important of all, it's a nice feeling to have helped us back into 10th position in the Constructors' Championship standings."

Jules Bianchi: (DNF) "I'm really disappointed after another tough race for me; the third one in a row. I got a good start and made up three places by the end of the first lap and I was having a really good first stint, enjoying a good race with Sutil. I had the chance to get ahead of him and I was slightly ahead going into turn 1, but he turned in on me and crashed into me, which punctured my left rear. I pitted but after that the car never felt the same and we can see now that the floor was damaged, which resulted in a loss of downforce and made the car difficult to drive for the rest of the race."

John Booth, Team Principal"After a disappointing outing in Malaysia last weekend, where unfortunately we allowed 10th place in the Constructors' Championship to slip through our grasp, it's fantastic to regain the position again so quickly. Our performance today was no accident; it was the product of a lot of hard work by the factory in a very short space of time, coupled with the efforts of the trackside crew.

Caterham

Kamui Kobayashi (15th): "We were on a two stop strategy so we came in for the mediums on lap 35. I was fighting with Gutierrez but let him go as he was on a different strategy and there wasn't any point ruining that set of tyres just to race him, but then the safety car came out and I was able to make up the lap and was up with Maldonado and Grosjean just as the safety car came in. After the restart I had to save fuel so couldn't keep pace with the pack and that was pretty much the end of my race. Finishing 15th isn't great but we really couldn't do any more today. We'll have to regroup for China and with a few updates we have for that race we'll aim to make progress there."

Marcus Ericsson (DNF): "The car still didn't feel great on the second set of tyres and I couldn't hold back the Marussia or Kamui who was on a different strategy to me. I kept pushing up to the second stop on lap 26 when we went onto the third set of options and came out ahead of the Marussia again but then after a few more laps I lost power and was told to stop the car because we had an oil leak. It's obviously disappointing not to be able to finish the race, especially as the car was feeling much better as the fuel level dropped. Still, for me it's another part of the learning process and with every lap I'm racing my education continues."

Cedrik Staudohar, Renault Sport F1 Track Support Leader: "Yet again both drivers did a good job with all the settings and were able to race on pace with both Lotuses, Marussias and Saubers. The chassis-engine package is improving with each session as we understand more about its strengths and the aim is clearly to keep this upward trend going. Unfortunately Marcus' race came to an end due to an oil leak, which was linked to an issue with the MGU-H."

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