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Japan 2011 - Post race interviews // Quotes from the drivers immediately following the Grand Prix

Published by Christine

Key quotes from F1 personnel immediately following the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Lewis Hamilton - McLaren

"A bit of a shocking race, to be honest. Jenson did a fantastic job and that's great for the team points and obviously congratulations to Sebastian. We knew that was going to happen, but it was a bit of a perfect season for him. Just going to keep my head up and keep going, not give up, and hopefully in the next race we'll have another chance.

"The only thing I have to say is that I can't see anything out of my mirrors and they vibrate so much down the straight. I had no idea Massa was there. Maybe that's something we can fix but I had no problem with him.

"I think Jenson has shown that [we have a better car] today with a remarkable race. My job, and my hope, is to try and pick up some pace from somewhere. I was just struggling, I didn't have any grip, I was gobsmacked to be honest. That's the way it goes, we'll work as hard as we can to try and pick up the race."

Jenson Button - McLaren

"I've never seen my missus cry at a Grand Prix before, even when I won a race. It means a lot to her, it's her home Grand Prix. When she cries it's difficult for me not to, but I'll try and hold it together. It does mean a lot, it's not just Japan, it's this circuit. This place is phenomenal.

"The layout of this place, and the history of this place, there's no room for error. To win on a circuit that's really been Red Bull's ground over the last couple of years, really does mean a lot. These guys have been flawless all weekend, and the pitstops have been the best we've had all year. It all went to plan, except for the start."

"I'm one of the oldies now... I think winning the championship in '09 really gave me confidence in my ability. I had a couple of really rocky years where the car's not quick but you really question your ability. Why can't I push this car further than anyone else? There are so many things going on in your head. After you win the world championship, your confidence really goes through the roof. Not just your confidence in driving, but your confidence in setting up a car and putting your team in the direction you want them to.

"At the moment, I'm the happiest I've ever been. This is a great place for me right now. This team have been phenomenal over the last twenty months making me feel at home. But there's more to come. We're not at our peak yet, and hopefully we'll see that over the next few races, and hopefully it'll be a good level for when we start 2012."

Martin Whitmarsh - McLaren

"I think the first one is always the biggest one for any driver, but I think to win twice, back to back like this, shows he's mature. He's really driven faultlessly this year. He's done the job you'd expect a world champion to do.

"I think [the start] was a fairly testy effort. Jenson made a good launch and had he not been driven off the road, he could have got by. I think that just added to Jenson's enthusiasm for the race."

Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull

"Now we are allowed to say it. Obviously, a lot of people have been quite confident on that, but I think one of the important things was that we didn't allow us to drift away with that thought on too much. We really stayed present and concentrated on every single step. Incredible. Everything we did this year, everything we achieved, we achieved as a team. It's not just us pushing on track, it's the guys in the factory as well. Every single one, it's incredible.

"Hard to imagine, we built two cars, we have two drivers, we carry all that weight on our shoulders when we are on track. Sometimes we don't treat their cars as good as we should, but try to get every bit out of the car as we can. We set ourselves the target of winning the championship this year, and to achieve it at Japan, with four races left to go, it's... hard to put it into words.

"To be honest, I wasn't thinking about the championship at all. I tried to get close to Fernando, I lost connection a little bit after getting past a backmarker, which was hard to get back again... especially when I saw Jenson not slow, but we were closing in on him, I thought, this is going to be fun the last few laps. The victory is in sight again, I was hungry as I ever have been. Going for victory, throwing the car around. Would have loved the race to continue a little bit more, that's why it was a bit shocking when I crossed the line. All of a sudden the chequered flag, and now it's time to realise that we won the championship."

Mark Webber - Red Bull

"Obviously, it was a crucial part of the race for me, to try and come back through. Made a little bit of contact [with Schumacher], but he knows all about that from years gone by. It happens. He got away with it. There was no passing on track today, we had to do it all on stops, that was the best we could do from there. The safety car... it would have been nice having the field spread out to have a look at Fernando around the stops. When the field bunches back up, it's hard to undercut people. In the end, it was a reasonable result. I think congratulations to JB, and also congratulations to Seb on the full title."

Christian Horner - Red Bull

"Just in the last eight laps, we reminded Seb that he didn't need to win this race. Obviously, he's a racer, he ultimately would have loved to have won this race. Prudence was the right thing to do. He's been so fantastic this year, to get this podium place, to get the championship in Japan, it's just a phenomenal achievement."

Adrian Newey - Red Bull

"Last year was obviously very special. For Red Bull to come from a startup team in 2005 to win the championship last year was very special. But this year, to show it wasn't just a flash in the pan, to keep up that consistency is a great tribute to everyone in Milton Keynes. All the effort that's gone in there, is fantastic for the team."

Nico Rosberg - Mercedes

"I was hoping to be a bit higher up, I was hoping to be, mmm, eighth, but that's okay. I'm pleased. At least one point is worth something. All the effort wasn't for nothing. In general, it was a bit of a difficult weekend. Everything worked out fine, I was quite pleased, the balance of the car and everything.

"Hopefully a more normal weekend in Korea, and the possibility to get further up there."

Paul di Resta - Force India

"I'm okay physically. Not too bad, my voice is a bit worse. I think the safety car spoiled it a little bit for us. That was our fastest part of the race. The start was awesome, I went in with hopes that would happen. I think it was just unfortunate at the end to get pipped by people on options. The strategy we went for was quite aggressive, maybe it would have paid off, but you'll never know now the safety car came out.

"It's going to be difficult, you can see that Sauber have caught up. Renault are back on form. We've got tracks that are quite technical. We're in the mix of it, it's just who can do the best job over a weekend."

Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber

"It's a tricky day for me. Unfortunately, the safety car timing was so bad for us. I had a bad start as well. For us, it's not our day, in fact, so, everything is not going so good. Some days you need luck. I got the anti-stall on the start, I don't know what the reason. We don't know what the problem is, we'll have to check, but unfortunately we'll have to anti-stall.

"It's a great day, I feel the Japanese people back the motorsports. I'm very proud of so many people being excited about Formula One. I think it's a really good thing for us. Today, I couldn't make a good result, that's really a shame, and I have to say apologies to everyone."

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