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Formula 1 2010 in quotes - How the teams change their tune over the course of a season

Published by Stuart Taylor

Inspired by the excellent Autobiography of Formula One (a book, which, if you haven't got it already, oh my goodness you need to get it right now. Stop reading this post and get it), I have compiled together the story of the season told only in quotes from F1 personnel (and some journalists). It's a bit lengthy but doesn't take too long to read as they are only a sentence each, really. It was fun to do!

It's interesting to read over things said near the beginning of the season and realise how you never can tell which way the tides will turn in F1. In fact, even in September, Domenicali was talking about giving up and focusing on 2011. Imagine if he did.

New beginnings for 2010
New beginnings for 2010Credit: Drew Gibson/LAT/Renault


"In the past Renault has demonstrated that it is one of the top teams in Formula One and I am sure that with hard work and determination we can challenge at the front once again." – Éric Boullier, joins Renault as Team Principal

"I can't say any more than that we will definitely be on the Bahrain grid." – Peter Windsor, USF1 director

"Shortcuts would be great for TV. I've tried to push the teams on this because I don't think the efforts to increase overtaking are working, but they haven't gone for it." – Bernie Ecclestone

"This is not a game, this is a sport." - Jarno Trulli, on shortcuts

"Ross Brawn knows that I prefer to have odd race numbers." – Michael Schumacher, on swapping race numbers with Rosberg

"Get out of there. That is the only thing I can tell him." – Rubens Barrichello, advice to Rosberg

"I just don't think Rosberg will be able to match Michael's levels of consistency." – David Coulthard

"If Schumacher is not competitive, it will be a disaster." – Flavio Briatore

"Felipe and I both race for Ferrari. I've always had strong teammates and I never had any problems with then. I have a great relation to all of them and it won't be different with Felipe." – Fernando Alonso, at Ferrari launch


"I assume that we have a package with which we can fight for the championship throughout the year." – Michael Schumacher

"I have the idea of my perfect, fantasy track and that's not what we are building." – Damon Hill on the new Silverstone layout

"I am extremely proud to be here today and to be able to show the world the fruits of the team's hard work over the last five months." – Tony Fernandes, Lotus launch

"Now I think I'm ready physically to face the season without major problems." – José Maria Lopez, USF1 driver

"We are not gone, as many have reported." – USF1 website

"We're working with the FIA to clarify how many races we can miss." – Ken Anderson, USF1 Principal

"In the meantime, we have lost two constructors along the way, in the shape of BMW and Toyota, while at Renault, there's not much left other than the name. Was it all worth it?" – Ferrari’s Horse Whisperer

"The US F1 Team have indicated that they will not be in a position to participate in the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. Having considered the various options, the FIA confirms that it is not possible for a replacement team to be entered for the Championship at this late stage." – FIA statement


"Even the established top teams have problems in the shakedowns and our shakedown will be FP1 on Friday." – Karun Chandhok, HRT driver

"Of course I want to beat him every time, and he wants to beat me, but we get along well." – Sebastian Vettel on Webber

"Nothing but tight corners… Accelerate, brake, accelerate, brake ..." – Mark Webber on new Bahrain layout

"It looks like it's legal so we will look at developing our own version." - Red Bull team boss Christian Horner on McLaren’s f-duct

"The sport is in danger of missing out on its greatest bonanza. There are four champions on the grid, all in competitive cars. The racing should be sparkling rather than as dry as the desert." – The Daily Mail on a rather dull opening race

"I was significantly faster than him in the fastest laps -- three hundredths!" – Michael Schumacher on Rosberg

"It is very special. I don't know what to say really, it is very difficult to put it into words. I feel I am just building in confidence and hopefully when we get to the next race we can do something similar, as this feels too good." – Jenson Button wins the Australian GP

"He was overtaken by the Virgin, and Badoer was crucified for much less. Are we confident that Michael Schumacher is really under that red helmet?" – The Sun

"Red Bull can forget the title." – Niki Lauda


"We are fixing it for the team. We are not charging the team." – Nick Wirth on Virgin’s fuel tank problems

"We thought the first rainstorm was it, and there was nothing else coming, so we waited. I guess events proved it was the wrong thing to do." – Jenson Button, after both McLaren’s fail to make it through Q1 in a rainy Malaysia

"I don't know what Lewis was doing, weaving all over the track. I think he thought he was playing a Playstation rather than real life." – Anthony Davidson, 5Live

"The race ultimately came down to the first 500 metres; both drivers had excellent starts. Sebastian got the inside line into Turn 1, Mark gave him enough space and they fought each other through Turn 2 and into Turn 3." – Christian Horner after Vettel’s first 2010 win

"We call it the F'ing duct." – Christian Horner

"I don't know why he was keen to touch me." – Sebastian Vettel on Hamilton, after they clash in the China pitlane

"Every race you win becomes your best, but this was an extremely special win in very tough conditions." - Jenson Button wins again

"Until the airports open we'll be staying here." – FOM freight management, after the Icelandic volcano grounds flights

"Michael needs to be able to lean heavily on the front of the car to make his driving style work. We've got a modification of the car coming for Barcelona which puts us into a better range for the weight distribution we can achieve." - Ross Brawn

"No Marlboro logo or branding on the race cars since 2007, even in countries where local laws would still have permitted it." – Ferrari, immediately before removing the contested livery anyway

A futuristic looking Rosberg.
A futuristic looking Rosberg.Credit: Mercedes GP


"I think it looks really futuristic." – Nico Rosberg on Merc’s new airboxless roll bar

"I've never done that, and it's definitely not in my nature to do what he did." – Lewis Hamilton on Alonso overtaking Massa into the pitlane

"I'll be amazed if he goes half a second quicker than Bruno; I highly doubt it." – Chandhok on Klien, immediately before Klien goes half a second quicker than Senna in practice.

"Unfortunately I can't get too drunk tonight as we are at the track again on Wednesday but we will see how we go." – Mark Webber wins in Spain

"We did receive an inquiry from Jenson's management last summer but we were, and still are, very happy with our two drivers." – Christian Horner

"We had the potential to do very well, but Fernando's accident immediately diminished our chances." – Stefano Domenicali after Alonso misses Monaco qualifying after a crash in P3

"I can sum up Massa's problem in two words -- Fernando Alonso. He has destroyed him mentally. Already." – Anthony Davidson

"I feel absolutely incredible and for sure the greatest day of my life today. To win here is a very, very special day." – Mark Webber in Monaco

"From my perspective it was a really cool manoeuvre, but apparently it's not allowed." – Nico Rosberg on Schumacher’s penalised last-corner overtake of Alonso after the safety car

"We will have no team orders, instead the better one or the luckiest one should win." – Dietrich Mateschitz

"For the first time in the history of Formula One in the United States, a world-class facility will be purpose-built to host the event." - Bernie Ecclestone, after Austin bags the USGP hosting rights

"What we always ask is that the drivers give each other room. Today, neither yielded." – Christian Horner, after Red Bulls collide in Turkey

"Vettel was so much faster that he had to pass. If Webber and he had braked together, then Hamilton would have passed Vettel." – Red Bull’s Helmut Marko

"It looks as though he didn't leave Sebastian enough space. It was very clear he (Vettel) was by his side and in front." – Christian Horner

"Where should Mark have gone?" - Lewis Hamilton


"We are not going to stop developing this car -- we are not throwing away these races so far." – Stefano Domenicali

"I think team orders are wrong. I think it would be wrong to deny the public from what a Grand Prix should be about which is man and machine competing with each other." – Christian Horner

"The team did an exceptional job. The race was one of the toughest races so far but that's what you want to have the hardest fight." – Lewis Hamilton, after winning the Canadian GP and taking the lead in the championship

"We are extremely pleased with the progress of preparations for the Korean GP. Construction is on schedule for completion this summer, and we have encountered no obstacles whatsoever, either logistical or political." – Yung Cho Chung

"In modern F1 races cars with GP2 levels of performance shouldn't be allowed to participate -- they are supposed to race on Sunday mornings." – Luca di Montezemolo

"If it was any other driver, other than the great Michael Schumacher, we'd be looking for his head." – Eddie Jordan

"The most important thing today is that Mark Webber is safe and OK. After a very nasty accident, he's fine." – Christian Horner, after Webber backflips out of the European GP

"Bloody hell, let's get on with it." – Mark Webber

"Everything is against us. They allow everything and it's a shame the public has today seen a race that is not quite real." – Fernando Alonso after a delayed penalty for Hamilton has no affect on his position


"A decision as to who will drive for Hispania for the rest of the season will be taken over the weekend." – Colin Kolles, HRT, after Yamamoto replaces Senna for the British GP

"I think the most important thing for any driver is to know that he's getting equality of equipment and priority." – Christian Horner after Red Bull take Mark Webber’s front wing and give it to Vettel in Britain

"Not bad for a number two driver." – Mark Webber after winning the British GP with the old-spec wing

"The first question should be 'will he do another year?' I believe he will stop after this season." – Jackie Stewart on Michael Schumacher

"I'll talk to Alonso to find out why he has touched my car. You really must not touch your teammate's car." – Felipe Massa after Alonso gave him a puncture at Silverstone

"Who knows, in the next few months, if we're both still racing at the front, things could become more tense between us." – Sebastian Vettel on team mate dynamics at Red Bull

"There are many factors that we have to manage perfectly, if we are to win this weekend." – Fernando Alonso previews the German GP

"Formula One teams can no longer censor pit radio messages during official track sessions." – FIA, before the German GP

"Ok, so… 'Fernando is faster than you'. Can you confirm you understand that message?" – Rob Smedley to Massa over the radio as Felipe leads Fernando in Germany

"This is not true." – Stefano Domenicali, after being asked if team orders were implemented in Germany

"It is unbelievable how awkwardly they demonstrated who is their number one. The FIA must react with a drastic punishment." – Helmut Marko on Ferrari, without any irony

"It was a difficult start to the race as Lucas overtook me in a brilliant move." – Timo Glock’s media release is altered, as a prank, by di Grassi before release to the press.

"I don't know what they are doing, but it's incredible." – Lewis Hamilton keeps his nose clean as others move to accuse Red Bull of (literally) bending the regulations.

"Horrible! That should be a black flag. It was the most dangerous manoeuvre against me I have ever known." – Rubens Barrichello after Schumacher nearly drives him into the pit wall

"I know you're upset, but take a deep breath." – Vettel’s engineer, Rocky, to Vettel after a penalty allows Webber to steal victory and the championship lead in Hungary


"Vettel assumed that he has the full support of the team. But Webber has more points and team orders no longer exist." – Niki Lauda

"We have the option to either run it or not. I think at the moment we are just looking to whether we are going to use the F-duct at Monza or not." – Jonathan Neale, McLaren MD

"If there is no asphalt, it might be a short demonstration." - Christian Horner, upon seeing photos of an unfinished Korean track

"It's a massive blow -- a massive blow." – Jenson Button, after Vettel takes him out of the Belgian GP

"Everything that could go wrong for Sebastian went wrong today." – Christian Horner

"Lewis and Mark, as you are the only two contenders to score points, do you think you are sitting beside your main rival for the title?" – Frederic Ferret, L’Equipe, in Belgium Press Conference


"We may have to put up some tents." – Bernie Ecclestone on the struggling Korean venue

"Should Monza go really badly then on Monday we will begin to use all of our staff and resources for the project of next season's car." – Stefano Domenicali, ready to give up on 2010

"Massa was told that he was slower than Alonso to motivate him. Angered by the message, Massa decided to slow down." – Carlos Gracia, president of the Spanish Motorsport Federation, speculates on the Hockenheim scandal

"With two drivers close in the championship it is too dangerous to choose." – Vettel on favouring one driver over another

"I'm a little bit disappointed -- it would appear that we took the wrong route by running without the F-duct this weekend." – Hamilton after finishing 3 places behind Button in Italy qualifying

"The win has come at just the right time and at the right place." – Stefano Domenicali, after Alonso wins in front of the tifosi, bringing their championship back to life

"We should all thank Lewis Hamilton for his stupid mistake at Monza. Now we will have a great sprint for the title." – Niki Lauda, after Hamilton breaks his suspension against Massa in Italy

"The further up you are the more it helps but obviously the race can still change a couple of things. I think Fernando started here from 15th on the grid two years ago and won the race." – Sebastian Vettel’s joke embarrasses Alonso in the Singapore press conference

"I thought I'd got sufficiently past him, though. I braked, turned in, and tried to leave enough room for him on the inside - and the next thing I knew, my tyre was blown, and that was it." – Hamilton, after another collision leaves him with a second successive DNF

"This win is very significant. We are not considered favourites for the races that lie ahead of us, but none of them are anything to be frightened about." – Fernando Alonso in Singapore

"I will say it again. The world championship for me is over." – Felipe Massa

Whitmarsh was on the money.
Whitmarsh was on the money.Credit:


"With so much rain, we cannot start qualifying -- not in these conditions." – Martin Whitmarsh at Suzuka

"It's not the same because he is mostly racing behind me. In this respect there is no value in my beating him." – Hamilton on Schumacher

"Basically it was a formation finish, from lap nine. It was very difficult for me to do anything about Sebastian in terms of overtaking, virtually impossible, both very even, same cars." – Mark Webber, following Vettel to a 2nd place in Japan

"What Kamui did with his car was super. Because I had to watch on television, he saved my day." – Robert Kubica becomes an armchair fan after an early retirement

"Our advice to you is don't panic and make the most of the experience." – Toro Rosso braces the F1 Media for Korea

"F1 in Seoul? Nah, let's have it in the middle of nowhere 100s of miles from anywhere." – F1 photographer, Darren Heath

"Only if they're as selfish as Alonso will they be world champion this year." – Gerhard Berger

"This is not a nice moment, but I think it was a difficult race for all of us today." – Vettel retires from the lead of the Korean GP

"It was totally my fault. Today didn't help me with the Championship, but I can absolutely still win it." – Webber crashes out of Korea

"Hoo hoo ha ha ha ho ho ho ha! Waaa hoo hoo ho ho ha he he he he he!" – Alonso amazed as he inherits victory in Korea


"I'm a professional. I did it already in 2007." – Felipe, when asked if he’ll aid Alonso

"It would be stupid to give up the belief in the title. I will continue to fight." – Vettel in Brazil

"I am absolutely delighted that we can now officially talk about the partnership with Renault. The combination of the Renault engine and the Red Bull Technology gearbox and hydraulics gives our design and aero teams a successful, tried and tested platform." – Tony Fernandes

"It was still tricky out there. There were wet parts, particularly the last corner. But the lap was spot on. I'm just so happy and I want to enjoy the moment with the team! " – Nico Hulkenburg, stealing pole at Interlagos with 3 stunning laps

"He bounced off about five cars. We were driving over the top of them. It was very scary." – Button, after escaping an attempted armed robbery

"Fair play to Seb. He drove a good race and won the race." – Mark Webber

"In a week we'll know." – Vettel, on whether not swapping him and Webber was a bad idea

"Red Bull has spent three months preaching about equality, so now they should continue with the same philosophy." – Fernando Alonso

"I'm surprised how Fernando was able to take the pain of having his legs waxed. Mark pointed it out and was asking how far it goes up. I was like, 'Wow, they're shiny'." – Hamilton, after Fernando turns up to Yas Marina with hairless limbs

"Imagine it's the World Cup final, with Italy playing Germany. And the referee is from Rome. It's unthinkable. Only in Formula One is it possible." – Bild, after a Ferrari-loving Italian steward is present for the F1 finale

"I'm speechless. I don't know what you are supposed to say in these moments, it has been an incredibly tough season for all of us, physically and mentally. I knew all I could try to do was win this race and do my best. We only led this championship once this season, but it was when it mattered!" – Sebastian Vettel comes from 3rd favourite to win the title in Abu Dhabi

"It's going to be a pretty tough few days. When the target's that high and you just miss with the arrow, there's a long way down emotionally." – Mark Webber

"Despite the ability of the excellent Alonso, Ferrari has managed to lose a championship already won." – Italian Minister, Roberto Calderoni