German F1 Grand Prix 2011 - Nürburgring: Race Report - Lewis takes epic victory (VMM)
- Started: 2nd
- Finished: 1st
- Fastest lap: 1m34.302s (1st)
- Pitstops: Three: laps 16, 31 and 50 (Op-Op-Op-Pri)
- 2011 points: 134 (3rd)
“Every win is special - but with all the emotion, effort and energy the team put into today’s victory, this one feels even more special than usual.
“Coming into this weekend, I said I’d take things one race at a time. So to win today is massively positive for us, but there’s a long way to go and it’ll be about consistency as well as speed from here on in.
“Driving lap after lap within tenths of each other was about trying to do everything as perfectly as possible – yet, being aggressive yet controlled, I felt the moves I made today were some of the most precise I’ve ever pulled off.
“Being able to drive with your head as well as your heart, and getting it just right, is massively satisfying.
“The fight for the world championship will be very, very, very hard now. We’re back in the fight though, and I really hope we can carry this forward and keep the momentum going.”
- Started: 7th
- Finished: Ret – 35 laps, hydraulic issue
- Fastest lap: 1m36.258s (+1.956 s, 9th)
- Pitstops: One: lap 24 (Op-Op)
- 2011 points: 109 (5th)
“First, I’d like to congratulate Lewis on a fantastic victory this afternoon. He’s done a great job all weekend and this result gives everyone in the team a massive boost ahead of next weekend’s race in Hungary.
“As for my race, I had a terrible opening lap. I got too much wheelspin away from the line and had to fight my way back from 10th place. I got stuck behind Vitaly [Petrov], who was very difficult to pass because he moved a lot in the braking areas. But once I’d passed him, I enjoyed fighting back through the field.
“I’d just overtaken Nico [Rosberg] for sixth when my power steering started to get heavy. Soon after, we retired the car on safety grounds because we had a hydraulic issue. It was a very disappointing end, but these things sometimes happen in motor racing and you just have to put it behind you and move on.
“Already I’ve turned my attention to next weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, where I hope to have better luck. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes goes there on the back of a win and it’s my intention to be back on the podium for my 200th grand prix.”
Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“What can I say? Lewis was perfect in qualifying, and perfect in the race, and the result was perfect too.
“He made a brilliant start from the front row, storming past Mark [Webber] into the lead, and then nailed the first few laps.
“After that, the team made all the right strategy calls, and the pitcrew executed the pitstops faultlessly, under extreme pressure.
“It was a gripping race, real edge-of-the-seat stuff, with all three teams involved operating at the top of their form. When that happens, the victory is particularly hard-won – and mighty satisfying too. Believe me, this success will be celebrated loud and long in Nurburgring and Woking tonight – and in Brixworth and Stuttgart too, homes of Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines, whose home Grand Prix this is. As always, their engine was superb today.
“Jenson had a difficult weekend, however, and his race ended prematurely today as a result of a hydraulic failure. He’ll be disappointed, inevitably, but he’s a magnificent team player, and a fabulous driver, and I’m sure he’ll bounce back in Budapest next weekend.
“As for Lewis, well, I reckon his 16th Grand Prix victory was one of his very best: a scintillatingly authoritative performance that all too clearly underlines what a fearsomely competitive individual he is.”
* Official photos and report courtesy of VODAFONE MCLAREN MERCEDES *
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