Giedo van der Garde, Charles Pic, Mark Webber and Nico Hulkenberg were the four retirements from today’s Indian Grand Prix.
Van der Garde, to start with, retired on the first lap due to damage he sustained from a brushing with a fast starting Max Chilton. While still on track, VDG took to the team radio to rage about Chilton (“again”), but once he had gathered his thoughts post-race, he had this to say, “I’m really disappointed my race ended so early.
“I made a fair start but coming out of turn one Chilton left me no room and we made contact, breaking my front wing and suspension. It’s been made really clear to us that we have to give each other room but today I wasn’t given any at all and that’s what’s finished my race before it really got going.
It’s such a shame as this weekend the car’s felt really good, the balance has been there right from the first practice session and we know we have the pace on Sundays to pull away from the cars we’re fighting with. Having it all end so quickly is obviously bad, for me and everyone in the team who keep working so hard, but we can come back from this straight away next weekend in Abu Dhabi and that’s exactly what I aim to do.”
Van der Garde’s team-mate, Charles Pic, was the next man to drop out. Pic suffered two punctures throughout the race before losing hyraulic pressure and calling it a day:
“After the start and coming out of turn one I was ahead of Chilton and my team mate. Giedo didn’t have anywhere to go and made contact with my right rear tyre and it punctured which meant I had to come in immediately for a stop. We’d started on the soft tyres so we were always going to have to stop early, but obviously not on lap one, and with the time I’d lost with the first lap puncture I was back to where we were in Japan, having to play catch-up for the rest of the race.
“On the first set of mediums the car started behaving strangely and I was told to box again on lap 16. It turned out we had another puncture on the right rear and the tyre had lost a lot of pressure so we put on another new set of mediums and I pushed to close the gap to the cars ahead, but with such a big deficit it was always going to be unlikely I’d be able to catch and pass them. We gave it a go but we started losing hydraulic pressure, affecting the gearbox first, making changes harder, and then the steering started getting heavier and on lap 39 I was given the call to retire the car.
“My engineer explained afterwards we had to stop because of a hydraulics leak which is why we’d had problems with the gearbox and the power steering and we had to retire to stop any more problems with the rest of the car. Overall this has been a bit of a tough weekend, but we will keep fighting, next weekend and for the rest of the season.”
Mark Webber was sitting pretty in second place before an alternator issue forced the 37-year-old to pull over for yet another retirement. He admitted that he was disappointed with the ‘tough weekend’:
“Obviously I’m pretty disappointed with today’s race, but there is not much I can do, the alternator went wrong with very short notice so we had to stop straight away. It’s tough because we did a lot of things right this weekend, but I’ve got a smile on my face as I could not have done any more.”
Finally, Nico Hulkenberg was the fourth and final man to end his race prematurely. The German had impressed during Qualifying but retired due to a brakes issue, which Hulkenberg admits seems to have come from nowhere:
“Today I would have passed the finish line in eighth place. We don’t know yet what happened. When I was braking into the last turn something clicked and all of a sudden my brakes were gone. Something must have been broken on the car. Following that I pitted and went out again, but something wasn’t right. It is very disappointing.”