Fernando Alonso: “The race was good; fun, but difficult as well. There wasn’t really much I could do against the Force Indias and the Williams, but I fought until the last lap and got quite close, so I’m happy with the point we scored today, and pleased that we secured our positions in the constructors’ and drivers’ championships.”
“Overall, this season has been positive: we’ve shown big progress compared to 2015, but we want to win the world championship – and there’s still a long way to go before we can achieve that. Still, we have a long winter ahead of us, and we’ll make a huge effort in order to arrive in Australia with a more competitive package. It’s a shame that Jenson’s final race came to an early end, but he’ll still be around next year, and he’ll be a huge asset for us in his new role.”
— Fernando Alonso (@alo_oficial) November 27, 2016
“Finally, I’m very happy for Nico [Rosberg]. He’s had a fantastic season and he deserved to be champion. He always believed in his possibilities and he managed his advantage perfectly. Both he and Lewis did a great job but it was time for Nico to win this year, as Lewis has three titles already!”
Jenson Button: “A suspension component failed on the car – which very rarely happens to us. I had a failure on the right-front – and I’m just glad I was able to figure it out before I hit the brakes [for Turn 11]. It’s always been a massive strength of our team that components so rarely fail, but today – of all days – something did, which is just unlucky.”
“Nonetheless, I enjoyed today massively.”
— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) November 27, 2016
“My race was short, but I loved everything else. I was really emotional before I got in the car – it was such a special atmosphere to have the whole team and all my friends and family cheer me on my way into the garage. I’m just glad I was wearing my sunglasses at that moment… I’m very content with all I’ve achieved in my career. Now, it’s done. I live in the moment, though, and tonight’s going to be a helluva lot of fun!”
Eric Boullier, Racing Director: “Fernando drove faultlessly to 10th place today, earning us a single world championship point; but, without wishing to detract from yet another strong drive from him, today was all about Jenson as far as we were concerned.
“I’m sad and sorry that his race ended in suspension failure – but, having said that, the minor placing he thereby lost will mean little to him in what I gather from my British colleagues is called the grand scheme of things.
“His McLaren record speaks for itself: eight Grand Prix wins, some of them utterly superb, and seven great years in which he won the hearts of McLaren’s staff and fans alike. On behalf of us all, JB, I salute you.
“Next year, of course, he’ll still be around, assisting us in many ways, but racing our cars will be Fernando, arguably the greatest racing driver in the world today, and Stoffel [Vandoorne], whose potential is almost limitless. If you regard a balance of proven experience and youthful promise as the optimal blend in a Formula 1 driver line-up, and many people do, then I challenge you to name a better pairing than our 2017 duo.
“As the curtain goes down on 2016, I want to praise Honda for the impressive progress they’ve made during the course of the past season, and I’d like to thank our sponsor-partners also for their crucial ongoing support. Our staff deserve a big collective pat on the back too: in difficult circumstances they’ve played a blinder – as our mechanics tell me a job well done is best described.
“And, last but very far from least, I want to pay tribute to our fans, the best in the world. Your faith and loyalty are a constant inspiration to us, and I thank you for your unstinting devotion to the cause encompassed pithily in the well-worn hashtag #BelieveInMcLarenHonda.
“And finally, may I offer the congratulations of all of us to Nico [Rosberg], who crowned a fine season with world championship glory here in Abu Dhabi this evening. Nico has never driven for McLaren but of course we know him well, having first welcomed him to our paddock motorhome when he was a kid, introduced to us by his famous father Keke, who drove for McLaren 30 years ago. Congrats to them both.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Carlos Sainz: “I think it was a positive race up until the accident: I was racing in P14 after staring from P21, overtaking the Manors, Saubers and Renaults… So it was being a good, clean race, but it’s just a big shame that Palmer hit me from behind! I was really enjoying myself and I’m also happy with the fact that we managed to recover well after what’s been a very challenging weekend.
— Carlos Sainz (@carlosainz) November 27, 2016
It’s just a pity that we were not able to finish the season seeing the checkered flag, but it’s been an amazing 2016 and I’m very happy and proud of my season overall. I take home 46 points, a number I would’ve never said at the start of the year! So I think we can all be very pleased. I’m now very much looking forward to 2017! I’d like to thank the whole team for all the effort and hard work, it’s been an unforgettable year and we couldn’t have done it without each other!”
Daniil Kvyat: “It’s a shame we had to retire, as the race wasn’t looking that bad after only having completed five laps in the practice sessions… We were fighting with Haas and Renault and I had a lot of fun, recovering many places at the start and overtaking a few more later on. It’s unfortunate that we had a gearbox issue which meant I had to stop the car, retire from the race… So I decided to go for a stroll on a push bike! … It’s like my whole season has been summed up in one race weekend! J. I’m now really looking forward to 2017, but first it’s time to rest a bit, spend some time with friends and family before training very hard over the winter in order to come back stronger than ever next season. I’m feeling confident, which is a good way to end the season and this is what I will take into the new year. Finally, I’d like to thank the team for supporting me during this year full of ups and downs – I’ve felt they’ve always been there for me and that we’ve kept growing together until reaching a point where I feel very comfortable, like at home. This is something very valuable for me and it will definitely help me next year, when we will push again all together.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal: “First of all, I’d like to say that it was an exciting race and I congratulate Nico Rosberg for winning his first Formula 1 World Championship! Regarding our race today, it wasn’t the result that we were expecting here in Abu Dhabi, because not finishing with both cars is quite disappointing. Daniil, who was really well placed and driving a strong race, suffered a gearbox problem and therefore had to stop the car. Until then, he showed a really good performance. Unfortunately, Carlos’ race also ended prematurely because of Palmer crashing into him. The gearbox got damaged and he therefore couldn’t continue racing. This was definitely not our weekend – we already had problems on Friday with what seems like being a rear suspension issue. We still need to investigate this, even if next year it will look completely different, we need to know why this happened. We will now work very hard over the winter in order to be prepared in the best possible way for 2017.”