f1chronicle-2019 German Grand Prix
2019 German Grand Prix

After a chaotic German Grand Prix that saw a staggering 76 pit stop and a Top 10 that nobody would have predicted before the race, here’s what the drivers said…

Max Verstappen – 1st

“To come out on top after a race like that is amazing and for the Team to win for the second time this year with Honda is incredible. I don’t know exactly what happened at the start but it seemed that everyone on the right side of the grid had a bad getaway and low grip. I had a particularly poor start when I released the clutch but stayed calm and followed the Mercedes cars closely. It was hard to pass due to the dirty air and the tyres started to struggle as the track dried. From there onwards we always made the right decisions. Even though the first slick tyre was maybe a bit hard and I had a few moments, with a 360 spin, I luckily kept going. Once I was back on the Intermediates and in the lead I was able to control the race and really show the pace of the car. Once you are ahead you can take a few less risks and everything feels a bit nicer. The conditions were very tricky and it was all about survival. It was definitely not an easy race and very tricky with the changing conditions. The Team made all the right calls. They were giving me the right information and keeping an eye on all the other teams and sector times. They were really on top of things and everyone worked so well together. It has been one of my most difficult races and it is great to come out on top. For sure I enjoy driving in the wet but also you need a good car for that. You can find a bit of pace in yourself but today we had both things right and I’m very happy with the result. The orange fans were standing up, especially when I was in the lead which was also amazing to see. A big thank you to the whole Team and it has been a crazy but amazing Sunday.”

Sebastian Vettel – 2nd

“That was quite a race. I enjoyed it even though it was a tricky race, something of a lottery. It was a very long one and I don’t even remember all of it. It was very tough at times, especially on the intermediates in the slippery conditions. I made up a lot of ground immediately after the start and in the first couple of laps, even though it was difficult to see. After that, it was quite hard to get into a rhythm as I did not feel so comfortable on the intermediates and their degradation was quite high. It was hard to tell if the lack of grip was because of the track being greasy or because the tyres were going off. To be honest in these kind of races you can’t count on anything until the last couple of laps. I think I was about P8 when the last safety car came out. There are so many decisions to make, but overall we stayed on track and in the race. In mixed conditions when it was starting to dry on the slicks I felt comfortable and that’s when we made up the most ground.”

Daniil Kvyat – 3rd

“It’s incredible to be back on the podium in what could be called my ‘second career’. I thought it would never happen again in my life, so I’m so incredibly happy. There’s so many emotions I still need some time to let it all sink in! This achievement is so great for us since it’s 11 years since Toro Rosso’s last podium with Sebastian in Monza. It was such an amazing day and I’m so happy. Thank you to everyone in the team, it was just an incredible day. I was readier than ever to fight for this kind of position. This year I feel more mature, my head is cooler, and I’m readier to fight on top, so I think I proved that today to myself and everyone around here. I hope this will become a habit soon!  These kinds of races aren’t easy, it was a tough call to pit that lap earlier, but it’s a 50/50 call between the team and me, we win and lose together and today we won together.”

Lance Stroll – 4th

“I’m really happy with that. What an amazing day! Fourth place feels great considering everything that happened this afternoon. I was running at the back for most of the race; I spun a couple of times and we pitted five times! As special as it is to finish fourth, I am disappointed that the podium slipped away from us. I think a critical moment was the mistake I made in turn eight on my second or third lap on slicks, which is when Daniil [Kvyat] managed to get ahead of me. We tried our best to keep the quicker cars behind, but the podium was just out of reach. Today’s race shows why you should never give up because it’s never over until it’s over. It’s great to see how much this result means to the team and it was so special to see the crew celebrating on the pit wall when I crossed the line. This important result is for everyone in the team and we will enjoy this moment.”

Carlos Sainz – 5th

“Quite an intense Sunday and a good day for Formula 1. On my side, I’m very happy with that P5. Obviously the podium opportunity was there and now it’s easy to say we could’ve made it, but when we were P5 under the Safety Car, it was a very tough call to pit for slicks and nobody around me was stopping.

“We decided not to and the guys who were further behind had more margin to take that risk. In general we made the right decisions at the right time. Clever race and well-managed under stressful conditions, so congratulations to the team.”

Alexander Albon – 6th

“It was a good race today! I was a bit scared at the start, learning how the car behaves in the wet around this track, although, I’m really happy with how I performed as it was my first time in these conditions in an F1 car. The pace was really good, we were a bit fortunate and we timed our first pitstop right, and I was really excited racing in P4, I was thinking ‘OK here we go!’ Unfortunately, at the second stop we were caught out and pitted a lap later than Dany to switch from wet tyres to dry, so four cars passed us. It’s funny, it’s like a disappointing P6 because we were running in P4 for quite a while. It was an amazing job by the team, the strategy was great and we were able to bounce back from a difficult Qualifying.”

Romain Grosjean – 7th

“I’m very happy with the double points finish. It was obviously a bit of a crazy race. I don’t think we’ve quite sorted our race pace. When you see the midfield being in front of us and only the Williams behind. Anyway, we survived when we had to survive, but it was very difficult. You saw all the top guys going out and off the track – conditions were very tricky. I’m happy to have a double points finish, but when you see a Toro Rosso on the podium, you wish you were there. With all the experience we have, we should be able. It’s just that the race pace on inters and slicks wasn’t good enough.”

Kevin Magnussen – 8th

“It was a very crazy race. It was entertaining and exciting all the way through. There are always hard decisions to make with all the changing weather, having to decide the tires and so on. The way we earned the point today was to be good on the dry tire in the mixed conditions. That’s when we made up on the opposition. In the dry we didn’t have any pace, so we fell back. At least we got both cars in the points, I don’t think we could have done that in the dry.”

Lewis Hamilton – 9th

“What a crazy race. This has been one of the most difficult races we’ve had as a team for a long time. I thought I had the race under control, but we took a risk going out on slicks and the race fell apart from there. I went wide at Turn 16 and it was like ice out there, then hit the wall and damaged my wing. I made a mistake and paid the price. I was in the lead and then finished P11. I’m not even sure how, but that’s very painful and I’m just glad it’s over. It’s hard to perform when you’re not at 100 per cent. I need to make sure I’m fit and healthy again in time for the next race. You live and you learn from days like this. It’s important now that we regroup for Hungary. I’m happy for Seb, who fought his way back to P2 from the back, and how good to see Daniil and Toro Rosso on the podium too – good for them.”

Robert Kubica – 10th

“It was a crazy race today and track conditions were very slippery. I managed to bring the car home with no mistakes which is the most important thing. Although racing in wet and changeable conditions isn’t new for me, it’s been nine years since I last experienced it in a Formula One car and it certainly refreshed my memory.”

George Russell – 11th

“It was extremely challenging. It wasn’t ideal conditions for anyone out there and it was a long race. We should have taken slicks under the penultimate safety car, but I think we took the conservative approach when we should have maybe rolled the dice. There were 13 or 14 other drivers on the grid who didn’t do that so it’s not exactly that we made the wrong call, but we had the opportunity to make the right call. We kept it on the black stuff when a lot of people didn’t, and it was the best result of the year. It seems okay but there was a chance for more.”

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG:

“It is extremely disappointing to have both cars penalised and pushed out of the points in what had been such an exciting race. The situation arose during the laps we spent behind the Safety Car ahead of the standing start: we suffered a dysfunction of the clutch that was beyond our control and we will further investigate the issue. We respect the FIA’s process and the stewards’ work, but will appeal this decision as we believe we have the grounds and evidence to have it overturned. In this regard, we will be in touch with the FIA soon. Kimi and Antonio drove very well in challenging conditions and seventh and eighth place were the rightful reward for their performance. The team worked really hard to put both cars in the points and we showed once again that we have the pace to fight at the sharp end of the midfield. This race was a great showcase for Formula One and it’s a pity it ended this way.”

Pierre Gasly – DNF

“That was an insane, crazy race and it just had everything. With the rain, crashes, safety cars and pit stops, it was a lottery and there were a lot of opportunities so I’m quite disappointed not to have made the most of it on my side and not finish the race. Towards the end, I was fighting with Alex during the last few laps and we made contact, which took my front wing off and gave me a puncture, so I had to stop the car. I don’t know what to say but it’s annoying not to score points when you have a race like this. At the start, I had wheel spin so I was slow off the line and I lost a lot of positions into Turn One so it was quite hectic from there. In these conditions, it’s a gamble when to pit and when not to and sometimes you just need to get lucky but the pace was there so we will keep pushing and next week, we go again in Hungary. For the Team and Honda, it was great to get Max’s win today and bag another decent amount of points.”

Valtteri Bottas – DNF

“That was a really tough race and I’m very disappointed. It was tricky out there: the track was very slippery and the conditions changed all the time. It was very easy to make a mistake and unfortunately I made a mistake in the end which lost us a lot of points. It’s a shame because today was a good opportunity for me to make up some points to Lewis and it was my own fault that I ended up not getting any points at all in the end. I had a good shot to get a podium and I was pushing hard to get past Stroll. I was quite close to the limit in Turn 1, then I suddenly lost the rear and just went off; I don’t think there was any time to catch the car. It’s very disappointing for the entire team, but we’ll give it everything to come back stronger in Hungary.”

Nico Hulkenberg – DNF

“It’s a tough one to take. I’m upset for myself, the team and for Renault because they deserved an excellent result today. It’s one of those days where you have to make it stick, and I’m just gutted with how it ended especially in front of the home crowd. The final corner was very tricky as it was damp. I lost the rear a bit, went into a spin so I opened the steering and went onto the black tarmac. It was like ice there and by that point I couldn’t stop the car. We were doing a phenomenal job, strategy was very difficult so it hurts and it will hurt even more tomorrow.”

Charles Leclerc – DNF

“It is a disappointing end to the weekend for me. After a good start, we worked our way forward in rather tricky conditions. The team did a great job and let me arrive in second place to fight for the win. The strategy was the right one and the car felt good. Unfortunately, I made a mistake in turn 16 and lost control of the car. I hit the wall and that was the end of my race. It’s a shame and I am sorry for the team and our fans. Seb did a great job today and his result is well-deserved. Our car and performance were strong all weekend, in both wet and dry conditions, which is a positive. We have to stay focused and we will give our best again at the next race in Hungary.”

Lando Norris – DNF

“The start was tricky because of poor visibility and it was still very slippery even on Wets. Everything was going okay, making up some positions here and there when we didn’t box under the first Safety Car, which in hindsight may have been the wrong decision.

“I made up a couple more places after boxing onto Inters and my pace was good before I stopped for slicks, as it had dried just about enough. I got ahead of the Toro Rosso immediately after that stop on the back straight. Things were looking good but then the car lost power. It’s a shame as points were definitely possible in what was a manic race.”

Daniel Ricciardo – DNF

“We had an exhaust failure today, which caused the retirement. I could see a lot of smoke coming out from the back of the car and that was our day done. It’s certainly a shame. I watched the rest of the race and it looked a lot of fun out there. I would have loved to have been racing as there were opportunities for big points. It’s disappointing but we’ll move on to next week. It’s a tough overall result for the team, but hopefully Hungary will be better for us.”

Sergio Perez – DNF

“First of all, I need to apologise to my team because I made a mistake. I’ve thrown away a great opportunity today to score big points for the team. The first rule in these conditions is not to make a mistake and I did. I was picking up the power and then had some aquaplaning on the rear. I lost it and just couldn’t recover from it. I put my hands up for it – I’m extremely disappointed with myself. Watching the race from the garage is always tough, but I’m happy that Lance had such a great race. We needed those points and it’s a boost for everyone. I think we’ve definitely taken a step forward this weekend. Now we look forward to

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