F1 stars on the new season: ‘They will be the fastest cars we’ve ever driven’

Giles Richards in Melbourne
Sebastian Vettel during qualifying for the Australian F1 GP. The Ferrari driver says: ‘It’s always nice to have the feeling that these are the fastest cars we have ever driven.’ Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Fernando Alonso, McLaren

“It’s a good step forward. Not only for us drivers but also for the spectators: for the people in the grandstands and watching on television, they look spectacular. When you arrive at the first grand prix of the year, you know that joy is shared if you are competitive.”

Éric Boullier, McLaren principal

“The drivers were the ones lobbying us to have a faster car, fastest cornering cars and clearly we have achieved this, with bigger tyres, more downforce, the fastest cars today and that’s going to help the bravest drivers to attempt some manoeuvres to overtake. Fernando was one who was complaining about the previous generation and he’s clearly happier now with this kind of car. He enjoys driving the car and you can see in some fast corners they are flat out already – so it’s a good sign. All the drivers being happier should make the show better.”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

“They will be the fastest cars we have ever driven. Naturally, the day I came into Formula One the cars got a bit faster, then they tended to stall a little bit. We distributed straight-line speed versus cornering speed and for us – what really gives us a good feeling – is cornering speed and we are back to the level we probably were 10 years ago, and maybe a bit faster. It’s always nice to have the feeling that these are the fastest cars we have driven. In terms of competitiveness we are all here to find out, that’s why we go racing.”

Christian Horner, Red Bull principal

“The cars are going to stretch the drivers. We don’t know whether the racing is going to be better over the year or not but the drivers are going to be working harder, you’re going to get perhaps more differential between drivers and they’re going to have to work harder for overtakes when arguably some of them have been a little bit too easy over recent years.”

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull

“It’s more physical this year and we’ve all done our work in the pre-season. I’m sure all of us feel like we’re coming in as well prepared as possible and it’s been fun to put more emphasis on that, on the training. The cars are more enjoyable. They are going to be fast. For the fans to see the cars on track, the cornering speeds, they’ll definitely see that. Hopefully, we’re cornering quicker than anyone else.”

Paddy Lowe, Williams technical chief

“I’m predicting that with these far higher loads that we have, with higher cornering speeds, driver endurance is much more demanding, so we may see more mistakes in races, drivers more on their human limits. That could be another interesting factor. With faster laps times and more grip, driver fatigue may emerge as more of a factor than it has in recent years.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

“With the new cars there’s more load going through your body which makes more fatigue and to maintain the same level of focus and alertness you need to be fitter and have to have a good preparation. But the main thing is the greater G-forces – the cornering speed.”

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes