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HomeClassic Car InvestTeams' reactions following the Belgian Grand Prix

Teams’ reactions following the Belgian Grand Prix


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Round 14 of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Belgian Grand Prix saw Max Verstappen charge from 14th on the grid to claim a dominant victory with his team mate Sergio Perez completing a one-two for Red Bull. With Charles Leclerc finishing down in P6, the reigning world champion managed to further extend his F1 championship lead.

Max Verstappen, 1st

“This whole weekend has been incredible. It’s never easy though, it was quite a hectic first lap staying out of trouble, so many things were happening in front of me and everyone was trying to maintain their spot. After the safety car and when it had all calmed down, we made our way forward by picking the right places to overtake and we could look after our tyres. Now we need to keep on working hard and focus on each race ahead of us. We know that we have to finish every race, we don’t need to win every race but we want to as a Team. Let’s see what we can do in Zandvoort.”

Sergio Perez, 2nd

“It is a great weekend for the Team and I am very pleased with that because we have been working so hard. Max was on another planet today and so quick, I want to understand my race pace and where I lost out to him, I am aware of the gap and I want to come back stronger. I had a really bad start but luckily I was able to rectify it.

“I went into a lot of wheel spin as soon as I released the clutch and couldn’t get any traction, especially when I went into second gear, it meant I lost a lot of positions. I think my first stint wasn’t very strong and that really made a difference and determined a lot of my race. I need to be at a better level for Zandvoort and Monza. There is plenty to look at and hopefully I go into next weekend even stronger, I think things will be a lot closer there so I am looking forward to it massively. We are going to push really hard.”

Charles Leclerc, 6th

“We started well, then on lap 3 we unfortunately had a tear-off in the brake duct that meant I had to pit when I was in P9. That set us back quite a bit. From that moment on, I knew that it was going to be a difficult race.

“The feeling in the car was quite ok, but compared to our competitors we were lacking pace. They made a huge step leading up to this weekend and we have to work on closing the gap.”

Carlos Sainz, 3rd

“The car felt quite good today and we did our best, but our pace just wasn’t quick enough this weekend to hold on for the win. We ran a solid race from start to finish, with good pit stops and strategy calls, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Red Bulls behind, as they simply had more pace. Time to analyse and prepare the next week’s race at Zandvoort.”

Lewis Hamilton, DNF

“Looking back at the footage, Fernando was in my blind spot and I thought I left more room than I did, so it was my fault and I paid the price. I’m just sorry for the team, we had a chance of P3 and P4 today. The car felt good on the laps to the grid, we’d got it into a good place and I’d made a good start. After three weeks away, I was looking forward to racing today so it’s frustrating, but it is what it is. Right now, my job is to focus on the next race, I need to recuperate and get back on the treadmill.”

George Russell, 4th

“I have mixed feelings right now because had you told me last night we will be two seconds off the podium on merit and pure pace, I’d have said that’s a good recovery. When I was closing in on Carlos at the end, a second a lap, I thought here we go – we’re in for a really good shot here. But then I just had two really scrappy laps and got the tyres out of the window.

“When the tyres are in that sweet spot, the car is transformed but as soon as I lost them, I knew the podium was game-over. Overall, considering where we were, P4 and two seconds off the podium – not too bad. Today our race pace was probably better than the Ferraris; Carlos started on pole, was leading the first stint and we closed him in both times. So at worst, I think we were equal with Ferrari today, but as we know, it’s swings and roundabouts. What is clear is, Max is cruising away at the moment.”

Esteban Ocon, 7th

“What a way to wrap up what’s been a fantastic weekend for the team. The car was fast, and I personally had a lot of fun out there racing today, especially with those double overtakes. Well done to the team for their work this weekend, we can all be proud of ourselves. I was feeling confident all race and the car felt great and who knows what could’ve happened if we had started further up the road! We leave Spa satisfied, knowing it was a job well done, as well as a good haul of points for the team to extend our fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship. Bring on Zandvoort.”

Fernando Alonso, 5th

“I am happy with the result today with fifth place. Our performance shows that we are consistently ahead in the midfield. It’s clear that when we execute our races well, these are the results we can expect to score. We were also handed a little gift with the penalty to Charles [Leclerc] at the end, but we’ll take it. The incident with Lewis [Hamilton] was also unfortunate, but it’s a racing incident and the car seemed fine despite the contact. We can look back and be very pleased with our weekend here with more points scored in both championships as we look ahead to Zandvoort next.”

Sebastian Vettel, 8th

“Eighth is a solid result. I was a little bit unlucky with the timing for the second stop. I came out just behind Pierre [Gasly] and lost a lap behind him, which allowed Esteban [Ocon] on new tyres to close down the advantage I had built up during the middle stint. Once again, we were more competitive in the race than in qualifying: we started strongly and I managed to find a decent rhythm. I was able to put pressure on both Alpines, and I think seventh might have been possible, but they were a bit too fast for us today. But we will bank these points.”

Lance Stroll, 11th

“It was a tricky day out there today, and we were so close to picking up a point. Things did not quite work out for us as we had hoped. Losing some positions early on made it tough, but we had some fun battles out there within the midfield. Later in the race we got stuck in a DRS train behind [Alex] Albon’s Williams, and ultimately we came up just short. Our race pace was positive, however, and we are extracting good performance from the car when it matters most.”

Pierre Gasly, 9th

“It’s been an amazing race, it’s my 100th race today, so it’s a special one. I’m really surprised with how we’ve finished, after having to start from the pitlane to come back home in the top 10 is pretty incredible, so we should be happy with that today. We were obviously lined up in P8 on the grid, but had an issue and had to return to the garage, luckily we got the car started, and were able to begin the race from the pitlane. The car isn’t quite where we want it to be yet, we’ve still got some areas we need to work on, but I’m pleased we managed to be back scoring points again today.”

Yuki Tsunoda, 13th

“Starting from the pitlane was always going to be tough, but I think the pace was strong today and we had a good strategy, being able to make our way forward during the race. Unfortunately, we lost quite a lot of time in the pitstops and then I got stuck in a DRS train, but I’m pretty happy with how I drove today and how the car felt. Hopefully we can maintain the performance we’ve found this weekend in the Netherlands, alongside a clean race weekend, and aim once again for the points.”

Nicholas Latifi, 18th

“I went a little off the line in turn six, there must have been a lot of marbles from the junior categories and I understeered right off. It felt like driving in the wet on slick tyres. I dipped the wheel in the gravel, and it spun the rear around which caught me by surprise quite a bit.

“I thought I would go straight into the gravel and come back on slowly, but instead I spun across the track as a result and made contact with Valtteri [Bottas]. My race was compromised from there as that set of tyres we needed to make the two-stop work were damaged. One to forget but we’ll try and bounce back In Zandvoort.”

Alex Albon, 10th

“This was one of the tougher races I’ve done in my career and also one of my personal bests. We did the best job we could today and it’s a good feeling. “On the lap to the grid, it was clear that tyre degradation was going to be really high and hotter track temperatures than we have had the rest of the weekend made tyre wear worse.

“On the final stint I was thinking about three-stopping, but we held on, kept Lance [Stroll] behind and then it was about not making any mistakes. “I think, as a whole, we executed the weekend from FP1 onwards well, maximised the positive of our car being quick on the straights, and made no mistakes. “We experimented, made the best of the tyres in qualifying and maximised the results potential in the race, so I’m very happy.

“As a team, we had a complete weekend and that’s what it shows; when you don’t have the fastest car but you do everything right, you can still come away with a point or two.”

Lando Norris, 12th

“It was a difficult race but pretty much as I expected really. It wasn’t easy to overtake, and I just got stuck in the DRS trains. Not a lot to do but I think we did a good job. The little changes we made to the car for this weekend made a bit of a difference so there’s still some positives to take from it all. We tried but we just weren’t quick enough this time around. We’ll keep working hard, keep pushing, take a look at everything in the next few days and try and take the fight back to the Alpines in Zandvoort.”

Daniel Ricciardo, 15th

“I think it was visible to see our struggles today. Not to be pessimistic but I knew coming into the race that we would probably find it hard through the first and third sector with the rear wing that we were forced to use from yesterday. Obviously, I hoped that I’d have enough speed in the second sector to try and make something happen – but we just couldn’t overtake with the speed we had.

“I know I wasn’t the only one who struggled overtaking today, it looked like some cars were just so much quicker than others on the straight and that was it. In clear air, we certainly had a bit more speed but we just lost so much time being stuck behind cars and couldn’t really make anything happen. I think there was a lot of opportunities with the mixed grid but I appreciate Lando’s race didn’t seem that much better so maybe we just didn’t have the package. We’ve got a week to come back for Zandvoort. We’ll see how we go there, and hopefully it’s a good weekend.”

Valtteri Bottas, DNF

“We had pace today and, with such a mixed-up grid, there could have been opportunities to get a good result, so it’s disappointing to finish my race so early. It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time: I saw Latifi spin towards the left, and all I could do was take evasive action to avoid a collision. Unfortunately, I spun on the grass and ended up stuck in the gravel: I tried to go forward and back, but couldn’t move. It’s not the birthday present I wanted, but hopefully I can still have some fun tonight, before we turn our focus on next week.”

Zhou Guanyu, 14th

“Our pace was quite alright today, and despite starting from the back due to the penalty, the race has even been quite exciting, with lots of action going on. Unfortunately, I got stuck behind a Williams train towards the end of the race: they were way fast in sector one, making them hard to pass, and eventually, in the last four or five laps, I had no tyres left, so it was a bit difficult to keep up. In terms of results, we obviously wanted more from today, but we sacrificed this weekend for the engine change; hopefully in the upcoming ones we can start further up on the grid and score some good results.”

Kevin Magnussen, 16th

“I think we had an idea that this wasn’t going to be such a strong weekend. This type of track isn’t really our track so we tried what we could, but we didn’t really have the pace today. All in all, it hasn’t been the best of weekends, but we’ve got more running, collected more data and that will be useful going forward. I’m looking forward to the next race.”

Mick Schumacher, 17th

“It was tough, especially after the Safety Car restart to see those cars driving by. It was frustrating not having any top speed compared to the cars around us. On the other hand, it’s great to be here and great to be driving in front of so many people, some German!

“I think it was circuit specific that we struggled this week but with Zandvoort coming up we should be in a better position where we should be able to fight for points again and also, we should have a better read on the upgrade where it’s more comparable to Budapest. I expect us to go a bit forward and hopefully it will give us some points.”


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