The seventh race of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship season was a nerve-wracking affair. Martin Sonka could've won the championship if results went his way. It didn't play out like that and it will all go down in Indianapolis next month. Here's what the Master Class pilots thought of today's race...
1st Yoshihide Muroya
"It's a win, so of course it's very, very satisfying. We had a hard time in Kazan and Porto, then we prepared very well, and thanks to all of my team members. We knew we would be able to fight for the championship this year. The plan for Indianapolis is easy: just go fast and go get the win."
2nd Matt Hall
"Winning would've been great, but there are some fast guys out there. I've been working this year towards having a winning aircraft and team, We never said we were going to win a race, but we're getting close. Winning Qualifying is almost a tick in the box to say we know we can win. We know where the time is still missing and we're working on it. So things are looking good for next year, but a great result here. I've got three Lausitz trophies, for first, second and third. It's a good set to have. I love this track, it's a fun track to fly. There's a lot of subtle things about it so it is a very technical track to get the line right. I'm really pleased that we've now gone two races in a row without a penalty."
3rd Martin Sonka
"There were so many fast pilots here that I have to be satisfied, what I'm not satisfied with was that I slowed down a little bit in the Final 4. I was hoping for an even faster time, but Yoshi and Matt flew superb times."
4th Juan Velarde
"I'm very happy with the result of this race, we are competitive again. We felt like that in Porto, but we didn't have the chance to race. We started really well here, but I didn't have a very good Qualifying, but the result of the race today is pretty good. Petr is a very good pilot and it was a challenge to fly against him. I feel a little bit sorry, but I'm glad I'm here. I think we're two each now in head-to-heads."
5th Pete McLeod
"Definitely it was a little disappointing with a loss, but at the same time it was a very exciting flight for me. There was a lot at stake, and it was really energising. Maybe we missed an engine setting slightly, but I can't complain. I made him work for it, and he flew well to beat me. I haven't had a chance to see the points to know if I still have a chance at the championship, but at Indy I want to fly a good race and focus on finishing the season on a high note to head into 2018."
6th Kirby Chambliss
"I did all I could do out there today. I thought my time was going to be really fast and I didn't really change my line. My entry speed was 199, it doesn't get any better than that and you come off the track and think to yourself that it's good enough, then you see the time and it's frustrating. It's kind of hard to see where you can shave half a second off one minute. I flew really well, but we had some tough matches and we had to fly hard just to get sixth place."
7th Mikael Brageot
"On one hand it's really disappointing to lose by 0.002s – it's a few centimetres at the end of the track. But on the other hand we are really happy. We really flew all weekend penalty-free, and with skill. We are on the way and Matt is a strong pilot and it's a good start for a first season and we will put everything into it for Indy."
8th Petr Kopfstein
"I had to push, but it was slightly too much – just 6/100ths of a second over the G limit. It was an unnecessary mistake, but at this stage of a competition you can't fly conservatively. I cannot fly like last year when I was just trying to get through the track safely, and we gave it all we could, but we probably need more experience to balance things more. We're working on 2018 already, but for sure the Indy race is in front of us and that's what we're focusing on."
9th Nicolas Ivanoff
"The plane is flying well. I made lots of mistakes today. I was a little bit slow in the high-G turns, but it was hard to fly against Martin. It was not a good day today. If you're a little bit late in Gate 3 and after Gate 4 you can lose a lot of time there, and if you're off there you lose even more time in the VTM, so you have to be on the edge."
10th François Le Vot
"Here in Lausitz I found the track interesting, challenging and amusing as well. It was not that difficult, but very tactical. I think I was missing a little training between races. I'm quite satisfied with my flights, but I will have to push harder next time. The next step will be Indianapolis to end the season, and I think I have nothing more to gain or lose. I just want to enjoy the experience of flying there as much as I can."
11th Cristian Bolton
"When we fly in a motor speedway, the track is very compact and the distance between gates is quite short, and sometimes you have huge angles. That's where you have to find a balance between G and speed, and it's one of the most difficult parts of the sport for us as pilots. I'm not sure what happened here, and I have to check my data. I'm not happy with my flight because the team worked very hard this week and it was a clean flight, but it was not a very good time for this track. We're now looking ahead towards Indy."
12th Matthias Dolderer
"I'm super disappointed not to advance out of the Round of 14 here at the Lausitzring, especially after a really good Qualifying yesterday. We changed the line a little bit, and then I hit a pylon in the first round. I guess that's life. It looks like it's not my year, but let's go forward to Indianapolis."
13th Peter Podlunsek
"With two seconds of penalty, I couldn't go on to the Round of 8. It was very tight, and somehow I couldn't find the right speed here. The whole track is a little bit tricky, and without the proper rhythm you can lose a second. But the conditions were perfect and we really, really enjoyed it here. This is sport, and I hope Indianapolis will be better. We are motivated to go fast."
14th Michael Goulian
"I knew that Pete would be strong, so today was a day to lay it all on the line. I went out and flew with 100 per cent aggression, and I had the fastest net time of the Round of 14, so mission accomplished. I didn't know I had the penalties until afterward, so the flight was satisfying for me. Having the fastest net time is great, and we also had the fastest net time in Free Practice 2. We came here to win this race, and we had more penalties because I was flying on the edge. That was the mantra – let's fly as hard as we can – and that's what we're going to do at Indianapolis."