What the Drivers Said…. Race | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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What the Drivers Said…. Race

20.11.16

WEC - 6 Hours of Circuit of Bahrain

FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

Lucas Di Grassi – no8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 1st place

“It’s a great pleasure that as a crew that we have closed this door with a golden key for Audi and it is a proud moment. As a crew we have proved that we have evolved and were able to fight for many wins, win two and get pole positions and it is a great achievement.  I feel upset that we will leave the WEC and the family here. What I am going to miss is the people and driving the R18 which is mega. It is a very sad moment in my career because it is something I love to do race in. My life will now move on but I will miss the WEC very much.”

Loïc Duval – no8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 1st place

“It means a lot to us to be the last drivers to have won a race in Le Mans prototypes for Audi.We were absolutely competitive today. When I was sitting in the car a little downforce was lacking, but the mechanics cleaned the bodywork and in the process discovered a plastic bag that impaired aerodynamics. The whole team did a superb job. It was a very emotional weekend. My feelings were even stronger than in the 2013 title win. I’m happy and proud.”

Oliver Jarvis – no8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 1st place

“We had a fantastic year. Our weekend was very emotional. Naturally, we wanted to win. We managed to do that, and it was the perfect conclusion of Audi’s sports car program. Now we’re leaving the FIA WEC in the hands of the two strong teams of Toyota and Porsche – where it’s in good hands. Audi will be missed by many, but the championship is incredibly strong nonetheless.”

Marc Lieb – no2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid – 6th place / 2016 FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion

“It has been a fantastic team effort. We have had some troubles and we have been fighting this year. Our team did a fantastic job in the garage and have given us a really reliable car which was the key for this season. It has been up and down a bit but we made it and I am delighted for Porsche at this achievement.”

Romain Dumas – no2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid – 6th place / 2016 FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion

“For us the chance for a podium was over after one hour into the race. After Neel had contact with another car our 919 felt strange. We had a little oversteer everywhere. But, because of the championship situation, we didn’t have to push. For us it was important to finish the race reliably and avoid any mistakes – I’m relieved it worked out.”

Neel Jani – no2 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid – 6th place / 2016 FIA World Endurance Drivers’ Champion

“It was a promising race start. It was also hard work, because I frequently got into traffic in the worst places, but the strategy and the first pit stop went very well. Then when I was on my out lap a GT car just hit me, which caused damage to a rear tyre and bodywork. After the repairs the car wasn’t great anymore and we had no chance to close the huge gap to the front. All we could do was hope the number 6 Toyota would not win and make sure that we would not take any risks on track.”

Marcel Fässler – no7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 2nd place

“Sincere congratulations toRomain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb on winning the world championship title. My race started with some great and very fair battles. Even in the past two years, the duels with Toyota and Porsche were tremendous. I’m definitely going to miss that. Today, I extremely enjoyed every lap in this car. Having achieved so much with Audi Sport, Audi Sport Team Joest and with my two teammates in these seven years compares with nothing else. Plus, our rapport was outstanding, both on and off the track.”

André Lotterer – no7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 2nd place

“Today, we showed what the car is truly capable of. The team worked very hard for this aim throughout the season. Like Marcel, I enjoyed every lap to the full. This one-two victory is the sweetest farewell gift for Audi. It won’t be easy now to go different ways. We were kind of a dream team and lived this dream. I’m going to miss that very much.”

Benoît Tréluyer – no7 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 – 2nd place

“A huge thank you to my teammates, the entire squad and toDr. Ullrich. Congratulations to our teammates on a sensational race and to the Porsche drivers on winning the title. Thank you also to the FIA WEC for this great time. Now I’m going to enjoy my life and do something different. Thank you very much to everyone who helped me in my career.”

Timo Bernhard – No1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid – 3rd Place

“We knew pretty quickly that the Audi was quicker today. In the warmer conditions at the start we knew that  it would be more difficult for us and to be honest we never had the same speed as them throughout the race. Our maximum goal was to finish third and today actually was all about Mark. He lifted the whole team when he joined Porsche and he was the biggest ingredient for us and a big, big part of our success especially in the last wo years and I am very honoured to have shared a car with him.”

Brendon Hartley – No1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid – 3rd Place

“My first stint after Timo and Mark had been driving went pretty cleanly. I had Kazuki Nakajima behind me and it was a bit tricky with the traffic, but it came out okay. Regarding the Audi, we were hoping to get closer when it was getting cooler, but it didn’t work out today. They deserved the victory in their last race. And for Mark and us it worked out, as we got onto the podium in his last race. We did our maximum today, and it is really very sad to see him go.”

Mark Webber – No1 Porsche Team Porsche 919 Hybrid – 3rd Place

“I was the second and the last driver in the car today, and pretty happy with both stints. Early in the race I had a nice little fight with the number 5 Toyota. I managed to get passed him and tried to pull away, but we didn’t have enough pace to fight the Audi. Then for the final stint it was pretty emotional putting my helmet on for the last time. I enjoyed the last stint and I got the chance to bring the car to the chequered flag for the top three finish, and this was the maximum we could get today. It has been such an incredible three years for me with Porsche, together with Timo and Brendon and the whole team. Nothing is forever, I’m stopping at a good time and I’m looking forward to seeing everybody again soon.”

Roman Rusinov – no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 05-Nissan – 1st Place LMP2

“This was a really strong race victory for us. I like this track very much and it is one we can attack well with the car we developed through the week in the practice sessions.  Starting from the back of the grid was a real challenge of course but we met the challenge and defeated it. I am very proud of our achievement today. A third win feels great and we have proved that we can be fast and consistent at a variety of tracks.”

Nicki Thiim – no95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage – 1st LMGTE Pro / Drivers’ Champion

“As I said over and over again. I made a big change to my racing career at the beginning of this season. That was to come to a new team in Aston Martin Racing with a range of new partners in Total and Dunlop.  I told my teammate that it would be amazing to win the championship with this team and with a fellow Dane and I still can’t really believe that we now have our first WEC championship with Aston Martin. I’ve just driven two stints in the car so I need a moment to calm down but I am sure the emotions will come.

“The consistency throughout the season has been amazing, the car has been great and the improvements we’ve made with our partners throughout the year have been incredible. To be up there in our first year with two new partners in Dunlop and Total and to compete against some big teams with their two new cars is really something special. Right now, I’m very happy with what I and the team have achieved”.

Marco Sørensen – no95 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin Vantage – 1st LMGTE Pro / Drivers’ Champion

“It’s absolutely amazing to win the championship and I’m going to say it’s even more incredible to win it with a Danish brother like Nicki. When we were 10 years old, we raced against each other in karting but to be here winning a championship with him and Aston Martin Racing is fantastic. Nobody would have thought we could be here together. I’m so proud of the whole team. We had a lot of new partners at the beginning of this year but it all just came together so well and today has been fantastic. I still can’t really believe it.”

Anthony Davidson – no5 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 4th place

“It was a frustrating race for us. We gave it everything but we didn’t quite have the speed to challenge for the podium. It’s a sad way to end the season but it’s not been a great year for car #5 so I am pleased to see the back of it. I want to say congratulations not only to the Porsche #2 drivers but also to Audi. It was a very impressive display which sets the standard for next season.”  

Sébastien Buemi – no5 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 4th place

“In the last race of the season I am pleased for Audi that they win with a one-two. We would have loved to have been on the podium but we didn’t have the pace today. We were hoping to give a better opportunity for car #6 to fight for the drivers’ championship but it wasn’t to be this weekend.”

Kazuki Nakajima – no5 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 4th place

“Firstly well done to the Porsche #2 drivers and big congratulations to Audi for the one-two. For us it was a difficult race because we didn’t have the pace to fight at the front; Audi were basically untouchable. The car felt okay to drive and I was happy enough with it; I think we did a decent job.”

Kamui Kobayashi – no6 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 5th place

“Congratulations to Audi for winning their last race in WEC and of course Porsche #2 won the title so well done to them. We had a good fight with them all season right until the last race but unfortunately we couldn’t do it today. It’s a pity to end with fifth place but we didn’t have the performance here that we hoped for. We are frustrated with this race but we will come back stronger.”

Stéphane Sarrazin – no6 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 5th place

“I’m a bit sad to finish the season off the podium. It was a difficult race for us; we didn’t feel good with the car. Audi did an incredible job so well done to them. Well done also to Porsche #2. We were really fast since Mexico, with some very good results and a big highlight with the win at Fuji. All the team did a great job; we enjoyed this year together and for me it was still a positive season.”

Mike Conway – no6 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota TS050 Hybrid – 5th place

“It was a tough day really. We thought it would be very close and we would be able to fight but Audi were so strong, it was impressive. Congratulations also to the Porsche #2 guys. Towards the end of the race it got really difficult with so much rubber stuck in the front of the car; I lost a lot of front grip. The team has plenty to be proud of this season so we will look back on the positives.”