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Race - Select Driver and Team Quotes



31 MAR - 03 APR 2016

Lewis Hamilton remained in a positive frame of mind as he left Albert Park, despite his opening lap retirement in Sunday's Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes man was delighted with team-mate German Nico Rosberg's victory and convinced he will enjoy better days ahead.

"My start didn't feel great today and I had a lot less power than usual when pulling away, so it was obvious immediately that something was wrong," he said.

"It looks like we only had five cylinders firing and, while I wanted to keep going, we had to play safe and save the engine. It's unfortunate, but that's racing and we will recover from this."

Toro Rosso's Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat, who made history aged 19 by becoming the youngest driver to score a point in Formula One, finishing 10th, said: "It was a very intense afternoon and finishing my first race with a point is a great feeling. I never expected to score a point in my first race, so it feels amazing. It's a real boost for us and now we have to keep on working hard and if we keep on the way we are going, then we can look forward to a really positive season."

German Nico Hulkenberg, who finished seventh on his return to Force India, said: "Seventh place is a positive way to start the season. I was very happy to see the chequered flag - the first time I've done so in Melbourne - and it's important to score some good points early on. I made a strong start and enjoyed good track position for the first two stints, when I was running up in fourth. It was a shame to lose two positions at my second stop but it looks like some of the cars around us have a bit more pace at the moment."

Frenchman Romain Grosjean emerged from a near-nightmare weekend for the Lotus team with some positive views. Despite their double retirement, he felt Lotus had made progress. He said: "In a way, it was a pretty positive day. I expected to do around 15 to 20 laps in the race, after all the issues we've had this weekend, and we managed 45! We've learnt a lot today and all the changes made to the car have been positive.

"We still have a long way to go, but at least I know more about tyre usage, all my engineers know where we need to improve with the chassis, and we've learnt a lot about aero balance and fuel consumption. Of course, there's more to do with the energy management and recovery and some work yet with the braking. We've still got lots of work to do, but we're definitely heading in the right direction."

Williams' deputy team principal Claire Williams had mixed emotions after the race. She was delighted with Finn Valtteri Bottas' performance in recovering from the loss of a right rear wheel after 10 laps to finish sixth, but disappointed by seeing Brazilian Felipe Massa taken out of the race in a first corner collision involving Japanese Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham.

"Felipe would have done a great drive, if we didn't have the unfortunate first corner incident," says Williams. "But Valtteri did a fantastic job. From our perspective, he was the man of the race, he overtook more than 20 cars. It's great for everyone at the factory and trackside. There was minimal damage to the car when he hit the wall." Caterham said that no action was being taken against Kobayashi because the stewards determined that the incident was caused by a serious technical failure that was outside the control of the driver. It was later revealed to be a brake failure.

Massa said: "I'm obviously very disappointed as I had the sort of car capable of challenging for a podium today, but the incident in the first corner ruined my race. It's a shame, but there are a lot of positive things that the team can take from this weekend in terms of pace and reliability, so I'm just thinking about the next race and having a strong result there."

Kobayashi said: "That isn't how I wanted my first race back to go and I'm sorry for the team and for Felipe that both our races ended early. I had a really good start, but then into turn one I made contact with Felipe.

"From the initial data it looked like I had a brake system issue which obviously meant I couldn't do much about the contact and when we got the car back and looked at the information in much more detail it was clear that was the problem.

"After the race, I went to the Stewards and they went through the data from the car and confirmed this was the case. We'll have a close look at what caused that problem and make sure we fix it."

Two-time world champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari finished a mediocre fifth for the Italian team. He said: "We're not happy with the performance we showed today. We need to improve... On the other hand, it's the first race of the world championship and we cannot become crazy about what we saw today - we just know we need to work."

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