Feeling lucky? German GP driver and team quotes

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What’s the “feeling lucky” reference, you wonder? Check out Kimi Raikkonen’s quote, and, yes, we’re on a quick Kimi kick.

Paul di Resta, Force India
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a
“I know the track well from my days in the DTM and I am looking forward to getting out there in a Formula One car. It’s a fun circuit with some challenging corners and it’s good for overtaking, especially the slow hairpin at turn six. My favourite part of the lap is the stadium, where you can really feel the energy of the crowd. The double right hander onto the start/finish line is another special corner and it’s difficult to get it right. If you have lots of experience on this track you can gain a little bit of time through this corner.”

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a
“It’s always a bit more special (to race at home) and it’s nice that I only live one hour away so I don’t have to catch a flight! The fans always support the race and help produce a good atmosphere, especially in the stadium section at the end of the lap. It’s fair to say that Michael and Sebastian are the main attractions, but the fans always show their support for all the German drivers. (Hockenheim) is where I had my very first car race in 2005 when I raced Formula BMW – and I won both races that weekend. Since then I’ve raced there a lot in Formula Three and I also raced there in Formula One with Williams in 2010. It’s a track I know very well and I enjoy the layout, although it’s a relatively short lap. I think the most challenging corner to get right is turn one. It’s a quick right-hander that we take at well above 200 km/h and there is a tricky curb on the exit. Another important part of the lap is getting the hairpin right. If you get your braking wrong it’s easy to run wide and it’s the main opportunity for overtaking.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“We will come back in Germany with a greater sense of determination. It’s satisfying to see that we are consistent top ten performers. We need that little bit of extra luck to get on the podium. Having said that, our immediate competitors didn’t have too much luck either – Perez and Maldonado were both going well, but they didn’t score. Sauber didn’t get any more points to increase their lead over us. We are still only three points adrift of Williams and 16 behind Sauber, so we have reasons to be optimistic going forward. Hockenheim is also Nico’s home race. We have no time to take things easy. We have to take every race very seriously, with the same intensity and do everything we possibly can to earn more points.”

Timo Glock, Marussia
2010 Qualifying – 20th, 2010 Race – 18th
“Every time this race is great for me. We saw the support the team had two weeks ago at the British Grand Prix and also the British drivers like Lewis and Jenson. With five different German drivers there is plenty for the fans back home to support. It will be a very special weekend for me, taking place just 30 minutes from my family home. I have achieved some good results in this race in the past and it is always good to have some friends and family around me to share the experience. I hope the weather will be good for us and, basically, I’m just counting the days now until the weekend can begin. I think we made a good start with our new package in Silverstone two weeks ago and I hope we will see a further small step with it.”

Charles Pic, Marussia
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a
“I’m eager to get back in the car after the positive signs we saw with our new aero upgrade at Silverstone. It was clear that there is still plenty more we can extract from it and I hope to continue this progress at the weekend. It will be another special weekend for the team as it is Timo’s home race, which is great for him. I have raced at the Hockenheimring once before, in 2010 in GP2, and I secured pole position and finished on the podium in third place.”

John Booth, Marussia team principal
“We are all looking forward to heading back to the Hockenheimring for the first time since our debut season of F1 competition in 2010. This is our third ‘home’ event in succession, coming off the back of the British Grand Prix on our factory doorstep and then last weekend’s demonstration event in Russia. Next, it’s Timo’s home race, and we can expect to see a lot of support for him, and for the team. That will provide a big boost for him I’m sure, as it’s always a special feeling to have your home crowd rooting for you. This weekend we’re looking forward to exploring more of the potential of the significant aerodynamic upgrade package we debuted at Silverstone two weeks ago. We had a solid race but there were some flashes of even greater promise during the course of the weekend that we were unable to bring to fruition due to the weather. It’s hard to believe that we have arrived at the midpoint of the season; the first six months have passed by so quickly. This is the first of two back to back races that take us to the summer break, when everyone in the team will be able to enjoy a well-deserved break, so it would be nice to see some really positive steps over these two races and end this leg of the season on a high note.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Caterham
2010 Qualifying – 19th, 2010 Race – DNF
“Next up it’s Hockenheim which will be my hundredth Grand Prix weekend. That’s a good milestone to reach and I’m pleased I’ll be able to celebrate it with a really good team of people, and a lot of friends in the paddock. On track we’re back to a track that is more of a low speed circuit compared to Silverstone, but one that still has quite a lot of the lap on full throttle. It used to have one of the longest flat out sections of all F1 tracks but since that was taken out of the lap you need a car that has a balance between good traction for the low speed corners and good top speed to take advantage of the overtaking opportunities into turn six. One of the main objectives for us will be to have as much track time as we can to keep working on the upgrades we brought to Silverstone. We definitely didn’t get as much out of them as we had hoped, mainly due to the lack of dry running we had, so hopefully we’ll be able to have a dry Friday so we can work through the setup options and unlock more of the speed we know is there. Whatever happens with the weather the race weekend will definitely be good. The German fans are about as passionate as anywhere we go in the world and there’s always a great atmosphere around the whole place. I remember when I was at Mclaren, going past the Mercedes stand and seeing all the fans holding up boards with my name on – that’s pretty cool and even though this year it’ll be other drivers’ names they’re holding up I’m always given a really warm welcome.”

Vitaly Petrov, Caterham
2010 Qualifying – 13th, 2010 Race – 10th
“Now we’re going to Hockenheim which is a good track. It’s quite technical and it’s a good challenge to find the right set-up. That will be extra important for us as we need track time to get the updates we brought to Silverstone right. The basic improvements are there but we need to work on the aero balance and then I think everyone will see what they’ve given us. One of the really good things about Germany is the atmosphere, which is particularly positive in Hockenheim. The track is always full of fans and the fans are a lot like the British guys. They know a lot about the sport and the promoters put on a good range of events for the fans so they have a really good weekend, whether we’re on track or not. The whole circuit is good and if you pick the right spot you can see a lot of the lap, but one of the best places around the track is the stadium section. One day maybe I could put on a mask and go and see what it’s really like in the middle of the fans there! It would be good to go and hang out there but I think that if I didn’t wear a disguise I’d never come back!”

Mark Smith, Caterham technical director
“The back to back weekends in Germany and Hungary mark the last races before the summer break and both should give us a chance to get back to the performance levels we have targeted for this stage of the season. We start at Hockenheim where we last raced in 2010. The team has obviously progressed significantly since then and now we can realistically look at fighting with a few of the cars ahead. In Silverstone we did not maximise the new aero package we brought but the specific demands of Hockenheim definitely give us a chance to do so. Obviously we will have also had more time to analyse the data we generated over the weekend so I am reasonably confident we will be able to get back to where we want to be. Technically, Hockenheim is all about mediums. Brake wear and brake cooling are medium, downforce levels are between medium and high and this is a track where the stresses on the engine and the gearbox are in the mid-range. This means the drivers can be aggressive throughout the whole lap and that puts the onus on the engineers to find setups that allow them to push as much as possible, in the high speed sections and into the twisty bits in the stadium. If we can do that successfully, and fine tune the revised exhausts and bodywork, I think we can have a good weekend.”

Tony Fernandes, Caterham team principal
“Both the German and Hungarian races give us a chance to get back on track, literally and metaphorically. The team will take a very well deserved break after the race in Budapest, but before that we need to have two strong weekends where we can exploit the hard work put in all year by the team in the design office and the wind tunnel. In Silverstone we were not able to show how far we have progressed, for a number of reasons, but I am more sure than ever that we are going in the right direction, and that very soon our efforts will pay off.This is an extraordinary season and it is possible that in previous years the gains we have made would have been more obvious. We are still a small team, but we have already made very good progress this year and with a little luck and even more hard work I know we will make that step into the midfield and join the battles that are going on ahead of us. We have the people to help us do that, and after Hungary we will be moving the F1 team to our new home in Leafield and that will mark the next chapter in our extraordinary story. However, now we are focusing on the races that take us past the mid-point of the season and I am excited about seeing what we can achieve at both Grands Prix. Hopefully Heikki’s car won’t suffer the same contact that cost him so much downforce in the British Grand Prix, and I know that Renault Sport F1 are working as hard as they can to ensure we do not suffer a repeat of the engine failure that ended Vitaly’s race before it started in Silverstone. With more time on track to push the upgrade package as far as we can, and a little luck, both races could send us into the summer break on a very positive note.”

Pedro de la Rosa, HRT
2010 Qualifying – 15th, 2010 Race – 14th
“Hockenheim is a circuit which is a little bit more favourable for us than Silverstone because it’s made up almost entirely of slow corners, except for the first one which is quick. We haven’t brought any upgrades to this track so we’ll try to get the most out of the car with the different options at our disposal. In England we anticipated a tough weekend and we performed better than expected, which is positive. In Germany we will work to continue in this manner and try to take things one step further.”

Narain Karthikeyan, HRT
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a
“The new Hockenheim circuit is quite different to the old one, which for my liking was more exciting. Before it was quick but now it is slower and a high-downforce track, it is also quite short, not too complicated and very stop-and-go. In the last few races we have proved that our car is quick in qualifying but we haven’t yet shown it over a race distance. We’ve been working on that and in Germany we are aiming to give our main rivals a fight throughout the entire race.”

Dani Clos, HRT test driver
“I’m happy to be getting into the car again just a few weeks later; it’s another very good opportunity for me. I wasn’t able to do much mileage in Silverstone because of the weather but my sensations and the work we did were very positive both for me and the team. We did a great job on a wet track and, although it was brief, it was very intense. Hockenheim will be a good opportunity to improve and do more miles with the F112. Besides, it’s a track I know and that I find enjoyable, and a place where I have good memories. I’m confident and really looking forward to getting back on to the track.”

Luis Perez-Sala, HRT team principal
“We left Silverstone satisfied because we finished with both cars once more, proving a good reliability, and we performed better than expected. The F112 adapts better to the characteristics of the new Hockenheim, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be favourable for us. Our objective for this Grand Prix is to maintain our competitiveness and reliability so that we can continue to advance with the consolidation of the team. Something that, step by step, I believe we’re achieving and it reflects in the efficiency of our work. I’m also happy that we’re giving Dani a new opportunity to run in Friday’s free practice session and we hope that this time he can make the most of the session.”

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2010 Qualifying – 1st, 2010 Race – 3rd
“I’m looking forward to the German GP, hopefully there will be at least as many people supporting the German drivers as there were in Silverstone last weekend. Hockenheim is only half an hour away from my home town, so I have a lot of friends and family there and it’s always a special crowd to race in front of. I’ve driven on that circuit in different series and it’s always been great. The campsites near the new circuit are fun and it’s special to meet the fans there. I haven’t won the German GP before and of course, I would like to!”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2010 Qualifying – 4th, 2010 Race – 6th
“Obviously the German GP now switches between Nurburgring and Hockenheim with this year’s taking place in Hockenheim. We were last there in 2010 and it’s always a good atmosphere. There are plenty of German drivers on the grid and the support for them is always massive. There’s a long, long straight around the back into the hairpin, so we have a high top speed there and it’s always important to get the last sector together due to the combination of corners in quick succession. The temperatures will be interesting as it can sometimes be a hot race, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2010 Qualifying – 5th, 2010 Race – 5th
“The final back-to-back before we head into the summer break will be important for the whole team: coming off the back of a couple of disappointing weekends, it’s important that we capitalise on the opportunities available in Germany and Hungary. I’ve always enjoyed Hockenheim: I raced here when it blasted through the forests – a long time ago! – and I had a great race here in 2004, finishing second, despite starting back in 13th after a penalty for an engine failure in practice. It’s a circuit where you can attack; it’s good for racing and the newer layout is better for the spectators, too. Performance-wise, I still think it’s difficult to accurately predict where we stand in the competitive order – Valencia and Silverstone were certainly difficult races for us, but I don’t think they were truly representative of our pace. This year, you really need a problem-free build-up to the race if you’re going to maximise the car’s potential – and that’s exactly what we’ll be hoping for in Germany next weekend.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
2010 Qualifying – 6th, 2010 Race – 4th
“I was quick to get over our disappointing weekend at Silverstone, running with the Olympic flame on the day after the race and then quickly turning my full attention to Hockenheim. Unbelievably, next weekend will mark my 100th Grand Prix. That’s incredible, because I still remember my first as if it were only yesterday – I guess Formula One has that effect on you! It’s always been a regret of mine that I arrived in Formula One too late to race on the classic, old Hockenheim layout, where the track disappeared for miles into the forests and was only broken up by a couple of relatively high-speed chicanes. It must have been incredible battling round that track with minimal downforce, locked in a slipstreaming battle with another car and waiting for just the right moment to pounce and overtake. Still, I very much enjoy the updated track – it’s a place that’s built for racing: the hairpin at the end of the back straight is a classic overtaking spot, and the whole layout seems to make it more inviting for a following car to attempt an overtake. This is the first time we’ve been to Hockenheim since introducing DRS, too, so it should make for an even more exciting race.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“Silverstone was a difficult weekend for us – made better by observing at close-hand the depth of loyal support all around the circuit for Jenson, Lewis and the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team. Indeed, it was extremely heartening that, even after what was a disappointing result, their enthusiasm and support remained undimmed. They are a constant motivation for me, and for everybody at McLaren. Of course, after Silverstone, our focus immediately turned to Hockenheim, which, along with the Hungaroring in Budapest, will bring the curtain down on the first half of the season at the end of the month. There is a huge resolve within the operation to ensure that our aggressive development strategy is upheld across the summer: we are determined to narrow the gap to the championship leaders before the start of the summer break. We have many happy memories of racing in Germany with our friends at Mercedes-Benz. This year, while we remain rivals on the track, I’m sure there will be opportunity to catch up with old friends and enjoy some famous Mercedes-Benz hospitality.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a
“I’ve always enjoyed driving in Germany, but the problem is that luck has never been on my side there and something has always happened to stop me winning. I’ve had four pole positions which shows my speed on German soil, but six retirements haven’t been what I wanted. In the past, the races I’ve contested in Germany have never gone as I had been hoping for. Obviously both circuits – Hockenheim and the Nurburgring – have not been very kind to me. I like them both and I have always been very competitive there. Maybe it will all come together this year. The car can make all the difference at Hockenheim, and luckily we’ve got a good one. You need good traction out of the corners and if you’re lacking rear grip it’s hard to get the pace from the car to challenge for the top positions. When I was last in Hockenheim in 2008 overtaking was quite difficult. Not as tricky as some circuits, but not easy at all. This year with the tyres, the KERS and the DRS it could be easier to overtake, especially if we are better on our tyres than the opposition. It’s not all about qualifying at Hockenheim, but certainly it makes life easier when you start from the front and have clean air. Usually in Hockenheim it has been very hot and everybody has had problems with the tyres going off. Obviously, for us, the hot weather suits the car fine. Our car prefers the hot temperatures and in the long runs it’s not that hard on tyres. Let’s have some real summer weather in Hockenheim.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a
“I like Hockenheim because I’ve raced there quite a few times. In fact, one of my first single-seater races was there in Formula Renault 1.6 in 2003. Then in Formula Three, I did about eight races at the track because we went twice a year with the Euro F3 Series, so there are a few good memories and I’m looking forward to returning. Hopefully we’ll have some updates on the car, get pole position, a win and the fastest lap! The perfect weekend! I think the chances of overtaking will be quite high. We need to see the DRS zone and so on, but looking at the layout it’s good for that and all the races here are usually interesting. I’m sure we can have a good race and deliver a strong result. The team have been working hard and finding solutions to improve our qualifying performances. In Silverstone it was cold and wet which made for a difficult session but we still made it through to Q3 quite strongly, even if we weren’t able to go out. I’m sure Hockenheim will suit us well.”

Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal
“Winning could be seen as a reasonable target considering our recent level of performance. This said, a podium could also be a fair goal to envisage. I think we should concentrate on the operational side of things and make sure that our preparations are perfect. Our car has not been the most reliable since Montreal, with KERS, differential, alternator and gearbox issues. We’re doing our best to fix this situation. At Silverstone we dramatically improved our pit stops thanks to new procedures and new parts. In Hockenheim, some interesting development parts will appear on Friday. We’re pushing, you see. We leave no stone unturned and want to have a much better second half of the championship.”

James Allison, Lotus technical director
“We should see pretty warm weather conditions in Germany, and nothing about that track should do anything other than fill us with confidence, so I’m feeling positive in that regard. I’m excited too because we’ve got some interesting new updates for Germany and we’re looking forward to see how they work out. We’re hoping for a similarly strong performance from both of our drivers in the race, a bit better in qualifying, and with a little luck to start hounding Ferrari for second in the championship… maybe even opening up some clear water between us and McLaren in the process.”

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber
2010 Qualifying – 12th, 2010 Race – 11th
“I like the circuit in Hockenheim and have quite a lot of experience there from Formula Renault, Formula Three, GP2 and F1. Usually at the time when we are there for the Grand Prix it is quite hot. We are not totally sure how the updates we took to Silverstone work, as we haven’t really been able to confirm these in practice in dry conditions. Maybe we need to do some more fine-tuning on these, so it will be interesting to see how this happens in Hockenheim. I think our car performs well on all the circuits – high speed or slow speed ones – so I am not worried about our performance there. We shall just focus on trying to get our best result there. I am very excited about racing in Germany, which is not too far away from Hinwil, so is a kind of home race.”

Sergio Perez, Sauber
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a
“I am looking forward to what will be my first Formula One race in Hockenheim. I have good memories of the circuit from GP2 times when I won there. For us it remains important to do better in qualifying, so our Saturday performance is what we have to focus on first. Our car is quick and if we could just get everything right this time we have good chances for a nice race result. In Hockenheim I especially like the stadium part that is, driving wise, challenging and has a great atmosphere. Also for me personally it is nice to go back to Germany after I lived there for two years in the early stages of my career. The first year – 2005 – was in Vilsbiburg in Bavaria and then a second year in Berlin.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber CEO
“We have failed to score points this season several times and for a variety of reasons. In hindsight it doesn’t help to pine for those points, as now we have to move forward. The Sauber C31 has proved to be quick on all types of circuits. Plus we’ve got two strong drivers – Sergio has been on the podium twice this year, and Kamui has been able to shine with a fourth in qualifying and a fifth in a race. Both have a fastest race lap to their names. We have everything it takes to wind up the first half of the season in a positive way, and that’s our aim for Hockenheim.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Sauber head of track engineering
“We have not been racing in Hockenheim since 2010, so this will be the first time for us using the Pirelli tyres and also the DRS. The Hockenheim track is a mix of everything, although high speed corners don’t have the same influence on the lap time as they do in Silverstone. Overall its requirements are closer to those of Valencia. Braking stability and traction are important, but you also need some straight line speed, particularly on the long straight where overtaking should be possible. The tarmac is quite smooth. Pirelli has allocated the soft and the medium compounds, which at first glance, look like a conservative choice. But temperatures can be high in Hockenheim in July, so we will see how this affects the tyres. We will have some minor modifications to the rear of the car, and we still don’t know a 100 per cent the effect of the development package we introduced in Silverstone, because, due to the bad weather, we could not do all the measurements we planned. However, I’m confident our performance will be strong again, as our car has been quick on various different tracks this year.”

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes
2010 Qualifying – 11th, 2010 Race – 9th
“People often ask me whether there is any such thing as a home advantage in such an international sport as ours and my answer is: perhaps not a home advantage, but certainly a home-race feeling. As a German driver, you naturally have a different sense of excitement when you arrive at the German Grand Prix and know that all the spectators in the grandstands are supporting you. That makes you proud, and always boosts your motivation even higher. This year is the first time that our Mercedes works team has been capable of racing right at the front, and because of that, we’re hoping for lots of support from the fans and to reward them with our performance. Hopefully we will see a lot of Mercedes colleagues in the grandstands, and we want to do particularly well for them. We have set ourselves the clear target of giving everybody a reason to celebrate next weekend.”

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2010 Qualifying – 9th, 2010 Race – 8th
“I am really looking forward to our second home Grand Prix next week. We will start the weekend with visits to our factory for the new A-Class and B-Class in Rastatt, AMG in Affalterbach and the FOTA Fan Forum in Stuttgart; it will be great to see so many colleagues from Mercedes-Benz, and also to spend some time with the fans before the weekend gets really busy! Hockenheim is always very special for us, and especially for me. I was born in Wiesbaden, near Hockenheim, and I have really good memories of the previous Hockenheim races. Before my Formula One career, I won quite often at this circuit, and I will never forget my father’s last DTM race in 1995. I joined him on the roof of his car driving through the Motodrom – and that was the moment when I thought to myself “How cool is that?!” and decided to become a racing driver like him. I will be pushing really hard to perform well in front of our fans in the Mercedes Grandstand, so we can hopefully celebrate a good result together. I think our car should suit this track much better than Silverstone. Hockenheim has long straights and short corners, which will be good for the Silver Arrow.”

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
“The German Grand Prix will be our second home race in two weeks following the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last weekend, and we are looking forward to racing in front of our home fans and Mercedes-Benz colleagues once again. As the Mercedes-Benz works team, the weekend is always a special one for our team. Our performance has been up and down recently, ranging from podiums to lower points finishes, and we need to work hard to improve our level of consistency and ability to challenge at the front of the field. The Hockenheim layout should be more suited to the F1 W03 than the high-speed Silverstone layout, and we are bringing some further improvements to the car which should help our performance. It would be very special to achieve a good result in Germany, so we will be working hard to achieve just that.”

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“The German Grand Prix, in the country where the automobile was born, is a highlight of every Formula One season and especially so for our Silver Arrows works team. Following the race in Silverstone two weeks ago, this is our second consecutive home Grand Prix – the Daimler head office and Mercedes headquarters in Stuttgart are located around 100 km from the circuit. The Mercedes Grandstand, which gives the best views of some of the most interesting parts of the circuit, marks its tenth anniversary this year and will once again offer many special attractions. One highlight will be the opportunity for all visitors to Hockenheim to test drive the brand new A-Class for the first time in our Experience World.

“Hockenheim sets quite a different challenge to Silverstone. The circuit has just two very high-speed corners and the majority are medium-speed.
Good braking stability and excellent traction are required in the Spitzkehre at the far end of the circuit, which then leads into the spectacular sequence in front of the Mercedes Grandstand. Following its introduction last year, DRS is being used at this circuit for the first time and it can be deployed for over half the lap in qualifying. What’s more, it is certain to further increase the number of overtaking moves in the race, which will be good for the fans and help make the race even more exciting.

“This year, we are celebrating 111 years of Mercedes Motorsport at the German Grand Prix. This impressive figure has special meaning; Nico’s victory in China this year came in his 111th Formula One race and was also the 111th Grand Prix win for Mercedes since 1901. In Hockenheim, our team will be working hard to deliver a similar level of performance to that we have seen this year with Nico’s win in China three months ago, his second place a month later in Monaco and Michael’s podium finish two races ago in Valencia.”

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