Formula 1 Heineken Italian Grand Prix – Race Recap (Driver Interviews)


Formula 1 Heineken Italian Grand Prix 2017 – Formula 1 Gran Premio Heineken d’Italia 2017

After a rainy and highly disrupted qualifying session yesterday, we arrived in Monza to beautiful sunshine with the Tifosi out in full force for Ferrari’s home race.

Taking to the track parade, all drivers seemed happy – waving to fans and supporters, getting ready for the race.

Lewis Hamilton led the race right from the start and was unchallenged throughout – getting into the lead from ‘lights out’ and blocking off any pressure from drivers down the grid.

Managing the race, Hamilton became the first driver to win back-to-back races this season, making it his 6th win of the 2017 Formula 1 sea on and also taking the lead in the Drivers’ Championship – now 3 points ahead of his closest rival, Sebastian Vettel.

His team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, fought his way through the grid with great overtakes and battles, bringing the car home for the team with a one-two for the Silver Arrows (Mercedes).

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was another driver who fought his way through the grid but his race didn’t go to plan – making the job harder after a tough weekend for the team.

With a slow-ish start due to wheelspin, he managed to gain places and things started to look good for the team however, at one point – he went off-track and it looked like he clipped the boards which caused a change in the car – losing confidence and not pushing the car to it’s limits.

Vettel did manage to bring the car home in P3 – giving the Ferrari fans something to cheer about by being on the podium at Ferrari’s home race.

Not the best race weekend for the team – that’s for sure.

Here is what the drivers had to say after the Italian Grand Prix – featuring Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and more…

Mercedes – Formula 1 2017 Italian Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton – 1st

“This is obviously an incredibly exciting season, the last two races have been really strong for us as a team. The way things have come together in the second half of the season is exceptional.”

“Today, the car felt fantastic, particularly on that first stint – as we had a bit of breathing room behind us, it was easier for us to extend the life of the tyres.”

“Valtteri did a fantastic job to get through and get this one-two, it’s amazing to have the first back-to-back wins in a long, long time and claim the lead in the championship.”

“The fight will continue, the Ferrari’s have been really close and really quick this season – especially on the high downforce tracks.”

“It will continue to be really close between us so I’ll be ‘beast mode‘ all the way to the last chequered flag.”


Valtteri Bottas – 2nd 

“Starting fourth and finishing second – I’m quite happy with that. What I’m really happy about is the one-two for the team!”

“From my side, it was a good race – even though I lost one position at the beginning but luckily, I got it back quite quickly and could then overtake the Williams and the Force India.”

“After that, the pace was great and I was really enjoying it – the car was so strong today, it was amazing to be on the podium and Monza is definitely one of the best – if not the best- podiums in Formula 1.”

“Iy’s such a great atmosphere, so much noise, so many people – I wish everyone could experience it.”

“Looking forward, we know that we still have a lot of work to do and the races ahead will be a close battle with Ferrari.”

Toto Wolff – Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport 

“I’m absolutely delighted with a one-two finish here in Monza, at such an important and historic race.”

“The main thing is that we took 43 points for the constructors’ championship and 25 points for the drivers’ today – Lewis is now in the lead but ultimately, it’s the positions in Abu Dhabi that count.”

“Every bit of momentum matters and we’ve had a good seven days in that respect.”

“Lewis has delivered the perfect weekend – from the impressive pole position to a faultless race drive today.”

“As for Valtteri, he bounced back from the disappointment of Spa in a great way, racing hard against Kimi, then picking off Stroll and Ocon before pulling away from the field for a very strong second-place finish.”

“We have made the most of our opportunity this weekend and it was important to do so because we know that Singapore will be more like a case of damage limitation for us.”

“We will approach the next race with healthy scepticism and leave no stone unturned and aim to deliver every bit of performance that we can.”

“If the team delivers another perfect performance like this weekend, we will be in a very good starting point.”

Ferrari – Formula 1 2017 Italian Grand Prix


Sebastian Vettel – 3rd

“Today we were not as quick as the Mercedes but considering where we started from we got the best result in the race.”

“It was not ideal but I know that we are working very hard on what we want to achieve – the next tracks should be OK for us. We know that we have to work on ourselves and where we need to do that.”

“I was happy being back here with all our supporters, I got a lot of adrenalin from being on that podium – of course, I wanted to win but I am confident that we are on the right way.”

“It was not a great day for us but at the same time, it’s brilliant to feel all of the passion from the fans. Leading the Championship is not important as much as winning the Championship – it’s where you are at the last race that counts and it’s clear where we want to go and what we want to achieve.”


Kimi Raikkonen – 5th 

“For the whole race, I kept struggling with the balance of the car and it never felt like it should have done.”

“On some laps it was getting better but most of the time, we were lacking grip and also pace.”

“It was not an easy weekend – we were fighting in all conditions, in the dry and even more in the wet.”

“This is something that we have to fix for these kinds of circuits and I’m disappointed as the result is not what we wanted.”

“For sure, if you take the pure layout of the track, it’s not an easy one for us – which is unfortunate at our home grand prix.”

“I would be surprised if it’s the same story at the next race because on paper, the race in Singapore should be better for us – now we have to go there and do our best.”

Maurizio Arrivabene – Team Principal

“It’s been a difficult weekend at a track that definitely didn’t suit the technical characteristics of the SF70H.”

“The great crowd of our fans here at Monza supported us all the way and the entire team thanks them for that.”

“After a far from ideal qualifying in the wet, Sebastian managed to get the better of the drivers directly ahead of him on the grid and thus making it to the podium.”

“As for Kimi, he had more of a difficult time due to the balance on his car being inconsistent – despite the fact the everyone in the team did their utmost, we cannot be satisfied with the result.”

“We will tackle the next race in Singapore with our feet on the ground and with our usual determination.”

Red Bull Racing – Formula 1 2017 Italian Grand Prix


Daniel Ricciardo – 4th

“I’m very, very happy about the result and loved it out there today, it was good fun!”

“Two of my favourite races this year have been starting from the back – Silverstone and this one. Some good overtakes in the race kept me excited and I had some real pace in the end.”

“I could see Seb and the thought of a podium was tempting me so I was obviously trying to catch him right up to the end.”

“The boys did the quickest pit stop and I also got the fastest lap record so that’s very cool – you can almost call it a perfect day.”

“We couldn’t have done much more from where we started – of course, I wanted to be up there on the podium as it looked unreal but I believe it will come next year.”

“Today has been really good – a really good boost for everyone and we’re looking ahead to Singapore.”


Max Verstappen – 10th

“I had a good start, immediately I was in between the Sauber cars and then under braking – I chose a good like then out of turn two, I got another position and it was all looking good.”

“On lap 3, I had a touch with Massa and punctured my tyre so my race was really over – I had to pit for tyres and a front wing with meant swapping to a two-stop strategy.”

“I tried to catch up and the car was working pretty well, so we cannot complain about that.”

“At least we finished the race and at the end of the day, I think it wasn’t too bad to end up back in a point scoring position after what happened at the start.”

Christian Horner – Team Principal

“A fantastic drive by Daniel today. After an imperfect start, he fought all the way through the race and had good pace, good strategy and made some fantastic overtaking moves to finish within four seconds of Sebastian, just out of a podium place and full deserved driver of the day.”

“Max was unlucky to get involved in the race incident with Felipe Massa and as a result, suffered a puncture.”

“His pace was right there with Daniel’s today and it’s a sham that his race was compromised with that puncture on the third lap.”

“Nevetheless, he kept fighting and brought the car in the final point-scoring place.”

Sahara Force India – Formula 1 2017 Italian Grand Prix


Esteban Ocon – 6th

“I really enjoyed the race and I’m happy with our performance. At the same time, I’m a little disappointed because I really wanted to finish on the podium today.”

“You have to be realistic and we didn’t have the pace to match Mercedes and Ferrari so I think sixth place was the maximum that we could achieve.”

“At one stage of the race, we were racing against Raikkonen and I thought we could keep behind him but he was just too quick.”

“I also had a good battle with Stroll for most of the race and I had to work to keep him behind me – with the strong qualifying yesterday and the 6th place today, it’s been a great weekend and I have to say a massive thanks to the whole team for all their hard work and for giving me such a competitive car.”

Sergio Perez – 9th

“First of all, I want to thank my team for the amazing job they did to change the gearbox on my car before the race.”

“It’s been a difficult weekend for us, when you consider the struggles on Friday and ow missing out on Q3 yesterday made our race much more difficult.”

“Today, the car felt good and I was strong in the first sting – despite some damage which was picked up at turn two but things then got more difficult after the pit-stop.”

“We had a slow stop and then I got stuck in traffic and I think that’s where I lost a couple of seconds which made the difference between us and Williams.”

“We gave everything to get back to them but we ran out of laps to pass them – perhaps with 2 extra laps, I would have made it but that’s racing.”

“Even though I expected a bit more, we still rescued a few points and I’m happy with this result.”

Robert Fernley – Deputy Team Principal

“A successful weekend in Monza with both cars in the points. The car has been competitive across all the sessions and it’s a credit to the whole team that we could convert our potential into a solid result.”

“It was fairly clear that a one-stop strategy was the best approach today and both drivers drove strong races. Esteban ran as high as second after the start, but the pace of Mercedes and Ferrari proved too strong and he had to concentrate on fighting off the Williams’ pair.”

“Checo ran deep into the race on his supersoft tyres and in the final laps he was closing in on Massa.”

“It was an exciting final lap, but ultimately he had to settle for ninth place. It’s great to end the European part of the season on a high note and we begin the Asian fly-away races sitting in a strong fourth place in the championship.”

McLaren – Formula 1 2017 Italian Grand Prix 



Fernando Alonso – DNF

“Our bosses were here today and unfortunately, we couldn’t deliver a good result – it’s very disappointing to have a double DNF.”

“I had problems with the upshifting from the very early stages of the race which at some points was costing me a lot of time – almost a second a lap.”

“We tried to fix the issue by changing some setting but the shifting never worked as it should have and it hampered my race.”

“Starting from the back of the grid, we knew it was never going to be easy here – we managed to make up a few places during the race but there was little change we could make it into the points today.”

“Now, we are looking forward to Singapore which is a more suitable track for us.”


Stoffel Vandoorne – DNF

“We only knew on the lap that I retired that there was any sign of a problem, as I lost power.”

“Its a similar issue to yesterday and it’s a shame because we changed the engine overnight for a brand new one today.”

“To have another problem in a race which was going very well is obviously frustrating – hopefully Singapore will be better.”

“It’s pretty difficult to draw positives from a weekend like this and from my side, it had actually been a really positive weekend in terms of my driving and performance I’ve put in – it’s been very strong.”

“The last few races have been very strong for me, in fact – it’s just a shame to finish with another retirement and not have any reward for all of that, and another issue today but we have to keep moving on.”

“I guess, it’s possible that I’ll have another grid drop in Singapore although we don’t yet know exactly what the issue was today – despite it looking like a similar problem. We’ll just have to wait and see.”





Sauber – Formula 1 2017 Italian Grand Prix

Marcus Ericsson – 18th

“It was a good start to the race from the middle of the grid. I hd some good fights but when the race settled we struggled to keep up with the competitors in front.”

“We knew that this type of track would be difficult for us and I picked up some damage at the beginning of the race. It was quite difficult to drive the car like that – so it was not the best race for me.”

“We need to focus and come back stronger in Singapore in two weeks.”

Pascal Wehrlein – 16th

“I did my best today, we knew that this race would be difficult for us but the whole team did a good job throughout the weekend.”

“I’m looking forward to Singapore now – it’s a race that I particularly like and I hope that we can be more competitive there.”

Below, you can see more photos from around the paddock and race.













The Formula 1 Girl 🙂



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