Courtesy of Red Bull Newsroom
Scuderia Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing driver quotes from Sunday’s Russian GP.
The Finnish pilot overtook the two Ferraris on the opening lap and just held off Sebastian Vettel at the end to claim his first F1 win with Kimi Raikkonen rounding out the podium.
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 5th, Start Position: 7th
“The start was very important today and ended up being the only action of the race for me. I managed to get past Felipe and Daniel and from there on it was a very lonely race. I could see the cars in front of me pulling away and I was pulling away from the cars behind so I just tried to manage the car home. After the issues we had this morning luckily nothing upset me or the rhythm during the race so I just had to bring it across the line. The mechanics did a really good job sorting the issue in such a small amount of time and giving me a car to complete the race in P5. The pace was not so bad in the last stint which is another positive to take away from this tough weekend. Towards the end you naturally start to turn things down on the car to be safe. We maximised the opportunities we had so now we can look forward to Barcelona, the upgrades are coming and we can hopefully start to get involved in the fight at the front. Barcelona is obviously a very special track for me following last year’s race so I am excited to return and see what we can do.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 5th
“The start felt pretty good initially, I seemed to get away quicker than the guys in front which backed me up and meant I lost momentum. I was then a bit of a sitting duck on the outside line losing track position but it looked like it would be a good battle from there. After the safety car I looked in my mirror to see where the Force India was and I noticed that the right rear brake was on fire, I reported it to the team and they told me to bring the car back to the pits slowly. Unfortunately the issue could not be fixed and I had to retire from the race. It was early in the race so I don’t know how much the safety car and two starts impacted us but the team will obviously investigate that. It’s frustrating, on a Sunday you just build up for the race and try to store up your adrenaline to use at 3pm but today it was over very quickly and unfortunately I didn’t get as much of a fight as I would have liked. We don’t know how much the new package will give us until we get it on track in a few weeks but we are hoping Barcelona is the first step to getting closer to the leaders.”
Carlos Sainz (STR12-03, Car 55) Race: pos. 10th
“What a tough race, especially as we were starting from behind because of the grid penalty… But today we got everything right: the start, the first lap, the pit-stop, the strategy… So we can be happy! We did a good race and recovered well from P14 to P10, which I think was the maximum we could do this weekend. After the pit-stop it was a bit of a lonely race for me and I just had to control the gap to Stroll, which we managed to do well. I must say that now I’m really looking forward to the next race in Barcelona –it’s a track where I’ve always performed very well and to race in front of my home crowd is always very special. I also have my own grandstand there, so a lot of people will be coming to support me and this will surely be one of the highlights of the weekend.”
Daniil Kvyat (STR12-01, Car 26) Race: pos. 12th
“My start today wasn’t the best and I lost a bit of time there. During my pit-stop, we managed to get past Magnussen even though we then got undercut by Stroll and during my second stint I was unfortunately blue-flagged quite a lot and lost some more time having to let the leading cars by. I’d like to point out that my first comments after jumping out of the car this afternoon were maybe a bit too hard on the team – after having sat down with my engineers I understand why the team called me in a bit too early for my pit-stop: at the time, it was a very difficult call to make and nobody knew that the leading teams were going to stay out for so long. On a positive note, the last part of the race, in clean air, was fantastic – we were flying and the car felt great! We now need to bring what made the car so good into the next races.”