2011 Spanish Grand Prix - Team Website Round Up

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Not my cup of cake
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Missed Turkey as I was on my travels but here's round up and highlights from the team's websites post Spain.

Ferrari
The two leaders pulled away from Fernando who was doing all he could to keep Webber behind him but this duo was passed by Button, who had the advantage of being on the soft tyres at this point, while the hards, with which Fernando ended up doing almost half the race, clearly did not suit the Ferrari. When it came to the final stops, Webber got ahead of Fernando by staying out a few laps longer and that is how it ended at the flag. As for Felipe, he seemed to suffer even more than his team-mate on the hard tyres, survived a spin, but gradually slid out of the points zone, before having to park the car at the side of the track with six laps to go.

Williams
The Spanish Grand Prix resulted in another two car finish for AT&T Williams with Pastor Maldonado in 15th and Rubens Barrichello 17th. After initially losing position off the line, a sticking rear jack then cost Pastor valuable seconds in the pitlane while Rubens was hampered by both KERS and tyre wear issues. Despite the team not scoring any points in Barcelona, there was evidence of genuine progress with Pastor making it into Q3 in qualifying for the first time and Rubens setting the second fastest race lap.

Red Bull
For our reigning world champion, relief was the overriding emotion after winning the tense battle with Hamilton. In the final 10 laps Sebastian not only had to contend with Lewis breathing down his neck, but also manage the KERS system and the Pirellis: “My tyres were going away from me and I prayed the same was happening to Lewis, as he was catching up. At the end of the straights he would be right in my mirrors. It was very close, but on the last two laps, I could make it stick. It’s quite a release when you cross the line and you know that you made it, so I’m very, very happy.”

Mark, meanwhile, was left to reflect on a frustrating afternoon of cat and mouse tactics that just didn’t go his way on the day: “It was a bit of a chess game. People were covering each other’s pit stops and I really didn't do much racing on track. We were frustrated by Fernando who seemed to pit every time I did! At certain stages I was quick and at others I wasn’t – that’s the way it was today.”


Toro Rosso
No race update yet


McLaren
Martin Whitmarsh: Jenson was edged down to 10th place on the first lap, and from then on he was always going to be playing catch-up. But, using a three-stop strategy hatched in response to that setback, he did just that. He caught up superbly, in fact, balancing the need for speed with the equally crucial requirement that he look after his tyres, and the result was that he ended up on the podium alongside Sebastian and Lewis. It was one of those drives that marks out a true world champion.
As for Lewis, he drove another storming race, taking the fight to Sebastian from lights to flag. It’s probably fair to say that Red Bull are still a little quicker than us in qualifying, but Lewis showed this afternoon that in race spec we’re now able to match them every inch of the way. Indeed, Lewis was looking for a way past Sebastian in the final few laps – their battle must have made for a thrilling finale for TV viewers and trackside spectators alike – but in the end he just couldn’t pull it off. Nonetheless, as I say, he drove brilliantly.
In summary, then, we scored 33 world championship points today, which is another decent haul. But we want to win and we intend to win, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing our damnedest to do on the famously challenging streets of Monte-Carlo in just a few days’ time.


HRT
Colin Kolles: Tonio started the race very well, he was in a good position, improving lap by lap and creating a bigger gap with the cars behind him. Unfortunately, after the first pit stop, we noticed that the gear box wasn’t running properly so we had to change the gearbox mode. We started losing pressure and had to stop due to a gearbox failure. We don’t know what happened on Narain’s car, we will have to look into it and assess the situation but getting over the finish line is positive. Tonio’s start to the race is proof that we have made the next step and can compete with our closest rivals on the track”.

Lotus Renault
Eric Bouille: On the one hand it was frustrating. Vitaly qualified sixth on the grid, could have been even quicker on his qualifying lap on Saturday and then during the race he dropped some places today, so we had greater expectations with his car. On the other hand, we are pleased for Nick who started the race at the back of the grid and came all the way up to 8th before crossing the line, so that was positive. On top of that, he was fast chasing both Mercedes so it could have been even better.

Team Lotus
Mike Gascoyne: That was a long hard race that was all about managing the tyres. Both drivers started well but Heikki suffered some damage to his front wing that helped Jarno get past. From then on the pace was good. We were trying to stay on three stops and maybe stopped a little late in the first stint, but in the end it was a shame we were not able to get both cars to the flag. Heikki made a small mistake on lap 52 and then Jarno had a cracked exhaust which meant we had to keep an eye on that, but overall we have made real progress this weekend and have amassed a great deal of data on the new package that will help us learn how to get the most out of all the changes, so it is another positive weekend for the whole team.

Virgin
John Booth: Timo got a particularly good start on the run down to turn one, but unfortunately Liuzzi got past on the outside. He struggled in the first stint with a set of tyres which had a small vibration issue. We picked this up after qualifying but since we needed to run all three sets of our Option tyres today, we elected to use that set in the stint which we thought would be most plagued by traffic. It looks in general that our pace was a little bit better than we thought compared to the front-runners and we also didn’t see the traffic we expected in the first stint. After stopping for a new set of Option tyres Timo made light work of getting past Liuzzi and was able to run at his true pace for the rest of the race.


Jérôme struggled a bit with his braking stability throughout the weekend and this seems to have harmed his pace in the race relative to Timo. However, overall, he completed his objective of moving ahead of the Hispanias.


In terms of the team performance, another strong weekend in which we have completed the first five-race cycle on the gearbox, which is a huge improvement compared to last year. Now we have our reliability issues behind us, we need to focus on performance developments for the car.


Sauber
James Key: It was a difficult start to the race in many ways. We recovered well and I think both drivers did particularly good jobs to get into the points. It was quite eventful right from the outset when we think Kamui was pushed onto the grass on the first lap and then got a puncture. He ended up coming in at the end of lap one and so was last on lap two. It was a great effort from him to come back and score a point, rather similar to the last race in Turkey, but this time without any tyre advantages. Sergio also drove well. He came in early and then really pushed on the hard tyre. Then we had some reasonably good soft tyres at the end when he managed to get up to the people he was fighting with and overtake them.


Force India
Robert Fernley: I don’t think there’s any doubt that our decision to save tyres yesterday was the right one and the fresh rubber certainly helped us optimise the strategy today. Both Paul and Adrian did an excellent job - pushing hard and coming through the field. Adrian lost a little bit of time during one of his pitstops, but apart from that I think we got the most we could reasonably expect from the race.

However, we know we have plenty of work to do before next week’s race in Monaco and we still need to find some speed if we want to stay at the front of the midfield battle. Sauber, Williams and Toro Rosso are all very closely matched at the moment and we need to establish our position at the head of that group and pushing the top ten.


Mercedes
Rosberg:


Nico had a pretty good start and only lost a position when overtaken by his team-mate. He followed the same strategy as Michael, stopping one lap later on laps 11, 27, 42.
However, the race didn’t run so smoothly because of technical glitches, as his car lost radio communication early in the race, and he was hampered by a DRS malfunction. This malfunction made overtaking almost impossible for Nico, and apart from a couple of looks down the inside of Michael for P6, seventh was the best Nico could hope for from the race.


Schumacher:


After having suffered a KERS issue on his car on Saturday and not completing a time lap in Q3 to save a set of tyres for the race, Michael started from the race from P10. From there he knew that a good start would be key for the rest of this race, and that’s exactly what Michael delivered, gaining four places on the first lap: so far this year, Michael has gained on average over 2.5 positions on the first lap of every race.
He then stayed P6 for most of the race and stopped three times on laps 10, 26 & 41. Michael’s first three stints on options showed a very good and consistent pace, especially considering some problems with oversteer and balance, and it is safe to say that he delivered his best race performance of the year so far.
 

KekeTheKing

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Supporter
I wonder when/how Rosberg's DRS malfunction occurred? Because I've just noticed that it was functional on Lap 11. Not that it really matters, but at 1:29 of the Onboard Overtaking Video you can see Rosberg's DRS flap open up quite clearly as Vettel is about to pass him on the straight.


More evidence to show that it's the tires having the biggest impact, and not the DRS, as Seb was still able to go by Nico with his wing open. The reason Nico had use of his DRS here, for those who might be wondering, was because he was on Schumacher's tail before he pit at the end of the previous lap.
 
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