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Sunday race report – Mercedes GP, Sauber, Toro Rosso – 2011 Belgium

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Mercedes GP

Michael Schumacher: “I think more than fifth place would not have been possible today but making up 19 places was a good feeling. With all my family, friends and fans here, it was an extra motivation, and I would like to thank all of them for their support. They saw an exciting race with a great strategy from our team. So all in all, for me, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of overtaking today. At the beginning I was a bit afraid that some of the flying parts might hit and damage my car, but I was lucky that nothing happened. After that, I had big fun hunting and making my way forward.”

Nico Rosberg: “It was a special feeling to be leading the race in a Silver Arrow at this amazing circuit. It was great to see the traffic jam behind me with the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari cars, but it was hard to realise that we just don’t have the pace to stay at the top. However we have made progress this weekend and today was a good result for the team. I had to push quite hard at the start and in the middle which cost me a little towards the end, which combined with Michael being on the faster soft tyres, meant that I wasn’t able to keep him behind me. Now I’m looking forward to Monza and I’m confident that we can improve further.”

Sauber

Kamui Kobayashi: “Of course I expected to score some points today. My start was good and I had a couple of nice fights. On the straights I was actually slower than expected, but I don’t know yet why this was. It was also hard to survive with the soft tyres and I was under pressure from Vitaly Petrov. Regarding the accident with Lewis Hamilton, which happened when I was running in fourth, I knew perfectly well he was faster than me so had no reason to fight with him. After he overtook me it was not my intention to get my position back, so I stayed on my line and didn’t expect him to move over. When I pitted on the second lap behind the Safety Car I lost an awful lot of positions. Anyway, the long stint on the medium tyres in the end worked well, but then I was too far away from the points.”

Sergio Perez: “I am very disappointed. I had a good start and beginning to the race. The car was very good and we should have scored points. On lap five I was in seventh when Sébastien Buemi changed his line in front of me under braking, I tried to avoid hitting him but couldn’t as I had lost downforce. I later got a drive through penalty which I did on lap 22. After that I also made my second pit stop. I had dropped way behind and tried to recover from there. I had just overtaken Bruno Senna when I felt there was something seriously wrong at the back of the car, so I drove it carefully back to the pits and that was it for today.”

Toro Rosso

Jaime Alguersuari: “I don’t want to speak badly about any other driver as it’s not my style, but I think the situation was quite clear to everyone. Going into the hairpin after the start, I was in the middle with Senna on my inside and Fernando on my outside and Senna completely missed his braking point and hit me which pushed me into the path of the Ferrari. However, there are many positive things we can take out of this weekend, as we clearly had a car capable of scoring many points today, which is a tribute to all the hard work of the team. I feel sorry for the guys, because starting sixth on the grid is not an everyday occurrence for us. Now I am looking forward to the next race in Monza, as I see no reason why we cannot be competitive there and score more points.”

Sebastien Buemi: “I got a great start, moving up from eleventh on the grid to sixth after the first corner, which was fantastic. I was able to follow the pace of Alonso and Hamilton. Then Perez tried to pass me and simply drove into the back of me, which completed destroyed my rear wing and I had no option but to bring the car back to the pits to retire. I really can’t understand what he was doing, as I was clearly ahead of him: it was as though he forgot to brake. Next, we come to the team’s home race in Monza and, as our car seems to have made progress in performance terms, let’s see what we can do there.”

Images © Mercedes GP, Sauber, Toro Rosso


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