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Drivers comments after Spain 2018

Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo during previews ahead of the Spanish GP F1/2018.
Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo during previews ahead of the Spanish GP F1/2018.

The Spanish Grand Prix is behind us. The weekend was surprisingly different than the first 4 races. After the very entertaining Chinese and Azerbaijan race, the Spanish edition was less exciting, but enough happened to keep our attention.

Mercedes was dominating the whole weekend and Ferrari had a hard time to match Mercedes their pace on the 1 kg lighter Pirelli tyres. Vettel gave away his 3rd place to Max Verstappen and Hamilton was flawless again.

Let's see what the 20 fastest racing drivers off the world had to say about the 2018 Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes Spain 2018 commentsMercedes f1 info


Lewis Hamilton (started 1st & finished 1st)

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Spanish GP 2018. Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

"It's the greatest feeling to come here, have that kind of performance and have a convincing win," he said. "Anybody who wins wants to do it that way.

"It's definitely a great feeling. You could probably see that when I got out of the car. Not every win feels as great as this one does. It was my 64th win but it still feels like the first, it still feels special. The journey to it is why it feels unique.

"I have been racing a long time, so to still have that feeling, that happiness when you do win because I know I have done my job this weekend to the maximum and I didn't leave anything on the table... there is no better feeling.

"I don't know how I manage to fit in my training in between all the other things that I do but I was pretty fresh after the race. That's another positive."

Valtteri Bottas (started 2nd & finished 2nd)

Formula One - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, Spanish GP 2018. Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas

"Well, of course I wanted to fight for the win, but for us as a team this is a great result," he said. "We had such a good car and the team was so reactive with the strategy.

"If we're 1-2 and I'm second, and Lewis wins, there's a big part of me that is really happy for us as a team.

"But, then, of course there's also a part of me that is not happy being second because I want to win. There's still a long year ahead and it will come.

"I've been more or less meeting my targets from the beginning of the year. I have been able to continue my good performances from the end of last year.

"There are always things that you can learn and I hope I'll keep improving. There have been some quite mixed races and the end results haven't been quite there, but I know the speed is there."

Red_Bull_Racing_logo_transparentRed Bull Racing Spain 2018 comments


Max Verstappen (started 5th & finished 3rd)

Third place finisher Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the Spanish GP F1/2018.

Max Verstappen 3rd

“I always feel quite good on this track and today has been a nice turning point after the first few races where it hasn’t gone to plan. To come back and get on the podium is really nice. The car behaved really well all race on both soft and medium tyres.

It felt balanced and had good pace so I was confident I could push on and achieve a good result. We lost a bit too much time at the beginning behind Kimi and it would have been hard to overtake him. We got a bit lucky with him having the problem and therefore allowing us to get an extra place and increase our speed. After that I could settle down and concentrate on my own race.

"I saw Sebastian approaching but I knew I had relatively fresh tyres so it would be hard for him to overtake, this allowed me to manage the situation quite well. I had some damage to the front wing which luckily didn’t affect the performance too much.

The piece fell off and it only meant a small amount of over-steer so I was able to keep a solid pace and bring it home in third place. We were quick here in the last sector which is all low speed corners so looking ahead to Monaco we can hope for a good result. We will concentrate on the setup, get a good balance and hopefully put ourselves in with a real chance.”

Daniel Ricciardo (started 6th & finished 5th)

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull Racing walks in the Paddock after practice for the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 11, 2018 in Montmelo, Spain.

Daniel Ricciardo

“It was certainly a strange race. At the beginning we had good pace and it seemed like Kimi was a bit slower than Max and myself. I thought I was faster than them but then once they picked up the pace I wasn’t really able to go with them.

When we pitted for the medium tyre we came out in traffic and lost some rhythm. I also had a spin on the VSC re-start, struggling to keep heat in the tyres, which really put me out of the race. Fortunately there were no walls but it put me in no-man’s land.

"There were moments where the car was really fast but it was just too difficult to get it every lap. I would set the fastest lap and then the next lap I would nearly spin.

There is potential but it’s just hard to extract consistently at the moment, so we have some more to learn with this new package. In the end, it was a pretty boring race but I’m going to take some positives from the potential we have. Monaco should be our strongest circuit to date on raw pace so I’m looking forward to getting there in a few weeks.”

ferrari f1 infoFerrari Spain 2018 comments


Sebastian Vettel (started 3rd & finished 4th)

Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Spanish GP F1/2018

Sebastian Vettel

"Our tires didn’t last as long as for the others, so we couldn’t follow the same strategy. We had to stop again and we obviously lost two positions, and also a bit of time during the pit-stop itself. But staying out was not an option today.

We had problems finding the right balance of the car and we were struggling with the front tires. Maybe the changes for this weekend had a bad impact on us, worse than the one the others had. So, I am happy to go back to ‘normal’ tires in Monaco as we seemed to struggle a little bit more than the others.

Today we just didn’t have the right pace, Mercedes was faster than us and we hadn’t many chances. We tried our best, but something was missing and we need to improve on this. During the whole weekend it has been tough to find the right balance on these new tires. But I see no reason for not being optimistic for the next race."

Kimi Raikkonen (started 4thj & DNF)

Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Spanish GP F1/2018

Kimi Raikkonen

"My race was going pretty ok today, I was in a decent position and the speed was good. I was running smoothly and saving the tires. Everything could have been alright, but unfortunately it did not happen.

At one point I started losing power; I managed to drive around but obviously not at full speed anymore, so I drove back to the garage. We don’t know more than that about the issue we had, we need to take the car back to the factory and check what happened.

Looking at the Championship, this result is far from ideal, and I’m pretty disappointed. There is nothing we could have done differently today, but we need to try and keep pushing."

haas f1 infoHaas Spain 2018 comments


Kevin Magnussen (started 7th & finished 6th)

Kevin Magnussen Haas Spain GP F1/2018

Kevin Magnussen

“I had a really good start. I was alongside the Red Bulls, but I didn’t really want to fight them as I knew they were much faster. My job was to stay in seventh and settle down from there.

I was able to defend well, keep out of trouble on the first lap, so I was happy. It’s been a strong performance and I think we deserved to get the kind of points we’ve scored in Bahrain and here.

We should be able to score points at every race, and we have had the car to do that, we’ve just had some mistakes and mishaps that meant we didn’t score points regularly. It’s good to get some good points on the board.

I’m happy we’re back more in our deserved position in the constructors’ championship, as well. We just need to keep this level up and continue to score regularly.”

Romain Grosjean (started 20th & DNF)

Romain Grosjean Haas Chinese GP F1/2018

Romain Grosjean

“There’s not much to say. I lost the rear end in turn three and I just spun. If you look at the footage, I had wanted to avoid contact with my teammate.

Kevin had a bit of a wobble, I lifted off the throttle, and then the car just went. I’m sorry for the others that were involved – there wasn’t much I could do once the car went.

Kevin had a good race, which is good for the team. I had wanted a steady race, but that wasn’t today.”

renault f1 infoRenault Spain 2018 comments


Carlos Sainz (started 9th & finished 7th)

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Renault Sport F1 Team on the grid. Spain Grand Prix, Sunday 29th April 2018. Baku City Circuit, Spain.

Carlos Sainz Jr

“I think it’s a very positive result for me and the team. We can be very proud of what we’ve achieved this weekend as this track was not ideal for us.

We turned things around well since Friday, did a very good start and managed to finish seventh which I think was the best we could hope for. It feels great to get another good result at home and I hope the fans have enjoyed the race. Many thanks to all for their support!

It’s good progress for the midfield fight and important points for the team. We have areas to work on, but we are making good progress. Let’s keep pushing.”

Nico Hulkenberg (started 16th & DNF)

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team. Australian Grand Prix, Friday 23rd March 2018. Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia.

Nico Hulkenberg

“It was messy into turns one and two but in turn three it got a lot messier. I saw a car spin in front of me and a lot of smoke. It happened very quickly so I couldn’t avoid Grosjean spinning backwards into my car.

It’s a pity as we were competitive, we have good pace so it’s frustrating not to have shown that yesterday and today. It’s difficult to swallow, especially when it’s not your fault. We’ll have to try again in two weeks.”

mclaren-logo-pngMcLaren Spain 2018 comments

Fernando Alonso (started 8th & finished 8th)

Baku City Circuit, Baku, Spain 2018. Fernando Alonso, McLaren.

Fernando Alonso

“We started on the Supersoft tyres today because of yesterday’s qualifying, so the plan was to gain some positions in the first couple of laps and then stop very early to change tyres. Instead, we found ourselves losing several positions in the first lap because of the incident at Turn Two, so at that point I thought it was impossible to get any points today. But, luckily, we had a good race, we had a good strategy with a good call for only one stop on the Medium tyres, and we took those four points.

“During the race, I was concentrating more on the sky than the cheering grandstands, as in some corners there were very dark clouds. I thought maybe some rain could have helped us, but unfortunately it didn’t come in the end.

“It was difficult to overtake today – I was behind Leclerc for a long time – as we are still lacking some straight-line speed to be able to pass. This is something we’re working on; we know where our car’s weaknesses lie and hopefully we’ll find a solution quite soon. We made a good step forward here, but we know it’s going to be a tough battle until the end of the season. It’s important to score points every race and we have done so far for five consecutive races. I’m happy right now.”

Stoffel van Doorne (started 11th & DNF)

Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. Friday 23 March 2018. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren.

Stoffel Vandoorne

“It was an unfortunate end to the race. I felt that the race was going to come towards us at the end, we had a one-stop strategy and extended the first stint to go very long on the Soft tyres. We had managed the tyres well and we wanted to create a big tyre delta to the others. It’s always hard to predict exactly where we would’ve ended up, but I feel at the end we could’ve had some more chances to overtake.

“We had a good launch for the first time this season! The first corner was all about avoiding cars in slippery conditions with a lot of cars spinning off. It was difficult to keep the car on the track, especially at the beginning. We don’t know yet exactly what the problem was that ended our race early, but it looks like the gearbox as I lost drive completely. It’s a shame because we had reasonable pace.

“The upgrades we brought here are definitely a first step forward. We’ve been able to make progress especially for qualifying, but there’s still a long way to go and we need to keep improving, and keep bringing some new parts to every race.

Force india infoForce India Spain 2018 comments


Sergio Perez (started 15th & finished 9th)

Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1. Spanish GP F1/2018.

Sergio Perez

“It was a tough afternoon but to score two points in these conditions is not a bad result and a decent reward after a difficult race. I made a good start but I had to go wide to avoid the accident with Grosjean and I lost a lot of positions. It really complicated everything for me because it put me behind a lot of other cars.

After that we made the right strategy calls, especially pitting under VSC, but then I hit debris from Verstappen’s car and I picked up some damage. I was struggling with a lot of vibrations and I was lucky to make it to the end.

It’s good to come home with some points after starting so far back, but it’s a shame about Esteban’s retirement because we could have scored points with both cars today. We have a lot to improve, but I hope we can be much more competitive in Monaco.”

Esteban Ocon (started 13th & DNF)

Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 on the grid. Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday 13th May 2018. Barcelona, Spain.

Esteban Ocon

“A disappointing day on my side of the garage. We were racing well and looking good for some points.

Then things went wrong at my pit stop when there was a problem changing the right rear wheel. We lost about twenty seconds and it put us to the back of the pack. A few laps later I lost power and had to park the car.

It looks like an oil pressure problem, but we need to wait until the car is back to know exactly what happened.”

Alfa Sauber logoSauber Spain 2018 comments


Charles Leclerc (started 14th & finished 10th)

Charles Leclerc Sauber F1 Team at Spanish GP F1/2018

Charles Leclerc

“It is a great feeling to finish in the points again. It was quite an interesting race, with tricky weather conditions making it challenging to drive, especially in terms of tyre management.

We have made considerable progress since the beginning of the season, and the whole team is eager to continue working hard in this direction.

It will be important to stay focused – the next Grand Prix will be my home race in Monaco, and I am very excited to drive my first Formula 1 race there.”

Marcus Ericsson (started 17th & finished 13th)

Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team at Spanish GP F1/2018

Marcus Ericsson

“I was strong in the first half of the race with the medium tyres, then we were a bit unlucky with the virtual safety car coming right after our pit stop and that was really frustrating.

In the second stint, I struggled more on the soft tyre. The result was a bit disappointing because we were in the fight and not too far off scoring points. Overall it was a good race, I had very good fights and defended well.

The fact that Charles scored points is very positive for the team and from my side I need to bounce back in Monaco.”

Williams Spain 2018 comments


Lance Stroll (started 18th & finished 11th)

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain. Friday, 11 May 2018. Lance Stroll, Williams Racing.

Lance Stroll

We scored no points but it was a good race. I made a good start again with a lot of positions.

Then it was just steady running and I did everything I could, but just missed out on points.

After the safety car period it was tricky, as tyre warm up was hard and I suffered a little bit there, but all in all it was okay. The medium tyres were pretty easy to manage and I am really happy with the race we had.

Eleventh is pretty much everything we could hope for today.

Sergey Sirotkin (started 19th & finished14th)

Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan. Saturday 28 April 2018. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams Racing.

Sergey Sirotkin

It’s been a very tough day.

I had a good start and I was right in the mix before I almost got caught by a couple of spins ahead of me. I needed to slow down to avoid them but once I was through, I was last.

I managed to fight a bit with Toro Rosso and get ahead for a couple of laps.

Today, it was the worst I have experienced throughout the whole race. I struggled a lot with my seating comfort which we are looking into.

Toro Rosso TeamToro Rosso Spain 2018 comments


Brandon Hartley (started 20th & finished12th)

Brendon Hartley of Scuderia Toro Rosso and New Zealand during previews ahead of the Azerbaijan Formula One Grand Prix 2018

Brendon Hartley

"I had a clean start and made up a few positions on the first lap. The mechanics did an amazing job to get the car ready for today - it was actually finished last night - we just had to do the car setup this morning.

We decided to pit under the first safety car and go straight on to the medium to effectively do a one-stop. It worked, but it meant we lost a lot a couple of positions in the beginning. It was difficult to overtake today, I think some of the cars around us had a bit more top speed which made life difficult.

I had a good overtake on Marcus at the end to get 12th and if I had made the overtake a little bit earlier there would have been the chance for 11th as well, because the pace was definitely there at the end of the race."

Pierre Gasly (started 17th & DNF)

Pierre Gasly of Scuderia Toro Rosso looks on in the paddock during previews ahead of the Spanish GP F1/2018.

Pierre Gasly

"Starting from P12, we were two positions away from P10 so points were clearly the target. Unfortunately, we couldn't achieve any, which is a shame. It's only the fifth race of the season but it's a missed opportunity.

The crash with Romain at the start was a big mess, I saw some space on the inside with Nico and I tried to cut the corner as much as possible, but suddenly he came back completely towards us. It took both Nico and myself out. It seems like every weekend I have a peak of adrenaline with different incidents!

Clearly it's a big shame not to be able to fight with the others and get a good result. The impact was big but I am fine, I'm just disappointed to be out on lap 1, because you work all weekend for the race and the chance to fight for points, but the excitement ended pretty quickly. Now we just need to focus on the test next week."

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