The main quotes about 2017 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix from racers and team managers
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing driver:
I have never really had a boring win and today was certainly not that. After all the chaos and the red flag I felt that a podium was in reach but then once Lewis had to pit and Seb had the penalty I knew the win was possible. I kind of said yesterday that after my qualifying mistake and starting in tenth place, today was going to be a race of no mistakes, capitalizing on moments and opportunities and I felt like we did everything we could this afternoon. The odds of a podium or win got pushed even further back when we had to make an unscheduled pit stop early in the race and I think I was back in seventeenth place. Then things fell in to place quite nicely and on every re-start I was able to make up positions and make it happen. What a day, it’s crazy and it’s slowly sinking in.
Lance Stroll, Williams driver:
I am a bit lost for words. It was such an intense race, a crazy race, and so much happened, the red flag and hopping out the car and hopping back in and having to reset. It happened so quickly. Today where we did well was to stay out of trouble, let some other drivers make mistakes and get to the end. I can't describe how I feel, it is beyond amazing. I can improve a lot, it just takes a bit of time.
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari driver:
I don't have a problem with Hamilton. I respect him a lot for the driver he is. I don't think that was his intention [to damage front wing] because he's also risking damage to his car, and his race is over. Now is not the right time to talk. I'll do that just with him and clear it and move on. Maybe I'm not clever enough but I'm not complicated. We're here to race. We're grown ups and people expect us to race and use our elbows, that's what people want. Here and there you might get a bit close but people want real overtaking not just us driving past. I enjoyed the race but I don't think it's the right thing that I got a penalty and he didn't.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG driver:
I need some time to reflect on it all, but I think ultimately what happened was disrespectful. If I had had any ill intent in terms of my driving towards Vettel, brake testing whatever it may be, I still think it’s not deserving of that kind of reaction from someone…that person you do have respect for and always showed it on the track. There’s a lot of kids, every other class and category there’s kids on TV watching us and to see a multi multi world champion who you think would behave better than that. That’s the kind of thing you see in go-karts which you learn from not doing in karts. I hope that kids don’t see that in GP2 and GP3 and think that’s the right way. Obviously, everyone has their own opinion about certain things but I just hope that youngsters don’t think that…that’s not how you drive. And that’s not an answer to any situation or issue you have anyway.
We’re world champions, we’re the best drivers in the world. Maybe if you’re going down the road in your road car and you put your hand out the window and you do this, you might swerve to the right. But we don’t do that. We’ve been racing for years, you just don’t do that.
Сhristian Horner, Red Bull Racing team manager:
Sebastian obviously felt that Lewis brake tested him. Then it just looked like a red mist moment to me, where he's lost it and taken a swipe at him, which was only ever going to result in a penalty. But, you know, it's heat of the moment stuff and, yeah, a penalty was inevitable after that. Emotions are running high, they're fighting for a world championship. It’s going to be a great championship battle throughout the rest of this year.
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG driver:
You know, it's a bit of a shame it's again me and Kimi, but we've been fighting for similar positions and it's just unlucky that it's us again. From my side, you know, I was on the inside, he was obviously outside, he did brake later and he was kind of ahead but I was on the inside. So then normally... inside you have the line. He was turning in the corner so that for me there was nowhere else to go other than over the kerb. And for me it was not an option to back off at that point. So yeah, just went over the kerb, bottomed out, the car jumped and hit him and I got a puncture.
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari driver:
Bottas braked very early, again – and I think he knows it was way too early braking – and I went just outside and it was fine, and suddenly I got hit from the other side. So I think he noticed he braked too early and just let the brakes go, and came way too fast into me. It was completely his fault, but obviously I paid the price. Not much I could have done.
Fernando Alonso, McLaren driver:
Starting 19th because of our penalties, on one of our least competitive circuits, yet still scoring our first championship points is unreal; a complete surprise. The race really came to us through the many retirements and a lot of action. I managed to stay away from the walls, just brushing them here and there. Nevertheless, I think we could have fought for a podium finish today – and perhaps even the victory. We were behind Daniel Ricciardo during the first Safety Car period; then Lewis had a problem with his headrest and was forced to pit; Sebastian had a penalty; Kimi briefly retired; the two Force Indias touched each other, so we automatically found ourselves in a decent position. We missed out on further opportunities because we weren’t quick enough in the race and couldn’t hold on to that position. Still, we got our first two points of the season today, so let’s just take that.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing driver:
I didn’t really feel like talking at that moment. I stayed at the track for half an hour to talk about the race and the balance of the car with my engineers and then I left. I thought it was the smartest thing to do. I was disappointed already as it was. If you look at the finishing positions, then you can easily imagine winning the race yourself. On Wednesday I’ll be in the simulator, at least there the engine can’t break down.