What the teams said – Race day in Great Britain | ®

by 24USATVJuly 19, 2021, 8 a.m. 20
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Hamilton got a great start and although he couldn’t challenge into the first corner, he was right on Verstappen’s tail through the first lap. Diving down the inside into Copse, the two collided in a dramatic, race-defining incident. Hamilton was able to continue, although he was handed a ten-second penalty for his part in the crash. Despite that, he had enough pace to climb back through the field, overtaking the race leader with two laps to go for a famous win. As for Bottas, he lost a place at each of the two race starts but took advantage of a slow pit stop for Norris to jump the McLaren and come home on the podium for the third straight race. READ MORE: ‘It takes two to tango’ – Wolff defends Hamilton after dramatic crash with Verstappen "I have been giving my all the past week, working in the factory, just giving it everything to uncover performance in this car with the guys and I am so proud of everyone for continuing to work, even though we had to recover a deficit. Today, as always, I tried to be measured in how I approached the race, particularly battling with Max - he's very aggressive but I was fully alongside him and he didn't leave me any space. Regardless of whether I agreed with the penalty, I took it on the chin and I just kept working. I was just like, "I'm not going to let anything get in the way of the crowd's enjoyment of the weekend, the national anthem and the British flag". I couldn't have done it without the great teamwork from Valtteri and the amazing effort from the team so I'm very grateful and just so happy to deliver this result for the team and the fans." "The main issue for me today was losing a place at the start; it was the same yesterday so it's something we need to work on. During the race, we only had one option when Lando had a slow pit-stop: we had to pit as well, even though we knew the second stint would be long, and that's how it proved - it was tough towards the end of the race with the tyres blistering badly. "It's good to see every member of the team fighting so hard for this championship. Today there were surprises everywhere - Ferrari looked very strong, McLaren were good on the Medium tyre so it's great for racing and for the fans. Overall, we've improved the car coming into this weekend but we know there is still work to do." "We have seen a dramatic and exciting race today with Lewis winning the British Grand Prix again and catching Charles at the end - I think that was something for everybody. As for the incident between Lewis and Max, it always takes two to Tango and these two competitors were not giving each other an inch. It's a high speed corner and that's why these things are nasty to look at, but there is a clear regulation that is black and white on paper - if the front axle is over the middle of the car on the outside, it is your corner. "This is a championship where the greatest driver of all time, a seven-time world champion is fighting with a tool that is maybe not as good as the other car, driven by an up and coming star who is trying to make his mark. And they collided and crashed. We have seen that in days before and with all the great rivalries in history, and this is what happened today. The most important thing is that Max is fine, and the rest of the race was great." "A great result for the team, we've had a few tough races but the team has worked so hard over the last few weeks and this is a great reward for everyone. The first half of the race was pretty tough for both drivers on the Medium tyres; in traffic we were limited by tyre overheating and it was impossible to close up sufficiently to attack. We'd planned to go long with both but when Lando had a poor stop, we called Valtteri in early to bank that position. "With Lewis we struggled with a bit too much understeer in the first stint and eventually came in due to the front tyres dropping. On the Hard tyre we could start to push the car to its potential and it was great to see Valtteri able to pull away and Lewis able to close the gap to Charles. We'd expected to catch with a couple of laps to go but Lewis's pace didn't drop and in the end it was a comfortable win despite having to drop the ten seconds with the penalty. We came here to win and to close the gap in the championships so we should be very satisfied with our work this weekend. We're nearly half-way through and there's hardly anything in it, we know that Red Bull are going to bounce back strong so from first thing tomorrow morning we'll be putting all our efforts into the next race in Budapest."

After yesterday’s highs, today was all lows for Red Bull. Verstappen led off the line but was under huge pressure from Hamilton. Into Copse, the Mercedes dived down the inside as the Dutchman turned in. At such a high-speed corner, the contact punted Verstappen off and into the barriers at pace. He did walk away but was taken to the hospital for precautionary checks. As for Perez, he started from the pit lane but climbed his way back into the points. But the team pitted him late for soft tyres so he could prevent Hamilton getting the fastest lap bonus point, which he managed to do, although it cost him a top 10 finish. Contact with Raikkonen at the end summed up his day. READ MORE: Hamilton victory celebrations were ‘disrespectful’ and ‘unsportsmanlike’ says Verstappen “I’m very disappointed with my weekend and my performance. I wasn’t able to make as much progress as expected and found myself in a very difficult position with the tyres. As soon as we were in the DRS train it was impossible to overtake people. I think P7 was possible today, with a couple more laps I think I could have got Lance and Fernando but in the end for strategic reasons we decided to stop to take the fastest lap. It’s a weekend for us to forget and we lost a lot of ground in the championship, we need to regroup, work hard and come back as strong as possible in Hungary. I need to re-watch the incident with Max and Lewis as I haven’t seen it, but the most important thing that Max is okay.” “This is an incredibly difficult way to end the British Grand Prix weekend and it goes without saying that we are all just thankful Max was able to walk away from the car, despite later being taken to hospital for precautionary checks, where he currently remains for observation. "I have reviewed the footage many times and still cannot help but feel that putting a wheel up the inside at Copse, one of the fastest corners in this world championship, was ill-judged and a huge risk by Lewis to both drivers. He was not significantly alongside Max as you can see from the point of contact, Lewis’ front left to Max’s right rear. The move was never on and resulted in a 51G impact for Max. "We are in contact with Max and Jos and will provide an update later today. For Checo, it was also not an easy afternoon and after starting from the pit lane and making early progress through the field he was stuck in a mid-field DRS train creating high tyre degradation. We therefore opted to pit him towards the end of the race in order to secure fastest lap. We come away with a slim lead in both Championships and you can be sure that once we have had time to reflect on today, all this weekend will do is add fire to our Championship fight.”

After all the worries coming into this weekend that this might be a repeat of Paul Ricard, Ferrari had a barnstorming race. Leclerc overtook Bottas at the start, then got past Hamilton when he had his opening lap collision to lead the race. He was P1 for the restart, and managed his race superbly throughout to come agonisingly close to a famous win - despite managing engine mapping issues for much of the afternoon. But the Ferrari man was powerless to hold off a recovering Hamilton when he was caught with a couple of laps to go and had to settle for second. As for Sainz, he charged back through the field from P10 and looked on for a great finish, but a slow pit stop cost him at least one place out there today. READ MORE: Leclerc ‘50% happy, 50% frustrated’ after narrowly missing out on first Ferrari win since 2019 "We have to look at the positives in this type of situation, despite the disappointment of losing the win in the closing laps. It was a challenging race for me. In the first stint, I had to make some changes on the steering wheel to manage the engine cuts I had. After that, I felt that we had it under control. I managed to pull away from the others and lead for the majority of the race. "Unfortunately, Lewis was just more competitive on the hards. I could feel his pace as he approached me and there was not much I could do. On the upside, we were quicker than anyone else on the mediums, which we did not expect. It was impressive. On the hards, we had a little bit less of an advantage, but still showed a great pace. I am very proud of how we have been working. The team has done an incredible job and fully deserves this podium. They also deserve a win, so we will keep pushing to make it happen if we get the chance." "Not the greatest race for me, but in general a very good result for the team and many positives to take away. Today our car was strong, the balance was good, and our work with the set up is paying off. Two good starts put me in a position to fight with Ricciardo, but passing the McLaren on track proved to be incredibly difficult. The dirty air through the corners meant I couldn’t get close enough and we were lacking a bit on the straights. "Once he pitted, my pace in clean air was super strong and I managed to virtually overcut him before my stop. Unfortunately the pit stop was slow. The team has been great at pit stops all year and these things can happen. I tried my best to overtake the McLaren during the second stint but we faced the same problem and in the end we came home in P6. A big congrats to Charles, who nearly managed to secure a win for the team! This race gives us a good feeling for Hungary and for the second part of the season. We keep pushing." "This was a positive Grand Prix for us, not just because of the result, but mainly because of the progress the team has made. After the race in France the whole group reacted well. We know we are not yet at the point to be fighting for the top places on a regular basis, as there are two cars that are faster than ours. But it’s important that we are working in the right direction. "Charles drove a fantastic race, following on from excellent performances on Friday and Saturday. I can understand his disappointment because it hurts to lose a win in the closing moments of a race, but he should be pleased with what he achieved over these three days. Carlos drove a solid race. It was a shame that a technical problem with a wheel gun at the pit stop cost him at least one place. Now we are looking ahead to the next race in Hungary. It’s a very different type of track to this one and we will be looking to confirm the progress seen over the past few races."

Norris can count himself unlucky today – he got a great start, overtook Bottas and looked set for a podium finish. But he was the victim of a slow pit stop, which allowed the Finn to get ahead. Fourth is still a solid result, and moves him back ahead of Perez into third in the championship, thanks to his record of scoring in every race. Ricciardo had to work harder for his points, as he had Sainz just behind with DRS for close to half the race. But the Australian defended superbly to keep the Ferrari at bay for his best finish of the season. "A bit of a frustrating race, but also a lot of positives and in the end I’m happy with the result. I would've loved to have a chance to fight for P3 – the pit-stop meant we weren't able to, but I don’t really think it would've changed the end result. A good job by the whole team and thanks to them for giving me a great car this weekend. Fourth and fifth for us is a great result and now for one more race before the summer break. We’ll keep it up and try to do better next time. "It was lovely to see all the fans in the grandstands – it made it a lot more special, and seeing them all waving and cheering on the in-lap was cool as well. Thanks to all of them for coming out to support and making it a more enjoyable and special weekend – hopefully we'll see them again soon." “From a team point of view, it was a good day, with both cars in the top five. It’s the first time this year that I’ve had a top five, so I’ll take some positives from that – definitely a good day. “I did struggle with outright pace. There were parts of the race where I felt I couldn’t do that much more, so I’ve still got areas to work on with myself, and getting the car more to my liking, but nonetheless it was good to hold off Carlos. He was a lot quicker! He caught me extremely quickly and I knew that if I was mistake-free, I’d have half-a-chance. From that point of view, I’m super happy to end up fifth. “Finally, it was great to see so many fans back in the stands here today. As a driver, it really means a lot to hear them cheering you on. There’s been plenty of McLaren caps in the grandstands too, so that’s awesome to see. I’m definitely feeling the love.” "Today, in front of a phenomenal crowd at Silverstone, containing a lot of our fans and many of our staff from the MTC, we come away having scored a lot of points in our battle in the Constructors’ Championship. The entire team, our colleagues from Mercedes HPP and both drivers did an outstanding job this weekend to prepare and adapt to the demands of the new sprint format. We improved session by session and leave the circuit having had a very good day. "We have to say sorry to Lando for the issue with a wheel nut at his pit-stop that took away his chance of fighting for a podium. He drove extremely well for P4, as did Daniel, who took a good step forward for P5, and withstood relentless pressure from Carlos for more than half the race. "We hope Max is okay after his high-speed crash and send him our best wishes. It’s the one thing that mars a special weekend. F1 and the teams did a great job to put on this new format, which provided a great show for everyone, both in the packed grandstands and back at home. We had a lot of our own people with us in the grandstands this weekend and we really felt the support of the many McLaren fans. "There’s a lot to learn from this weekend – we’ll go away and analyse it thoroughly to see how we can improve the next time we try sprint quali. But first, a weekend off, some much-needed rest for the team and then on to Hungary.”

After the thrills of yesterday, Alonso wasn't off to such a good start today when he spun on his way to the grid. He also couldn’t repeat yesterday’s heroics at the start, but held station for much of the early stages. Despite having a DRS train of cars behind him after the pit stops, he defended solidly to come home in the points. With Ocon behind coming home where he started, it was a good performance for Alpine who managed their first double points finish since Portimao. READ MORE: Alonso says British GP was Alpine's 'strongest weekend on race pace' as he nets fifth straight points finish “It was not an easy race today with everything going on; the red flag, two standing starts, but we’re back in the points and that feels good. It was nice to be fighting and getting the maximum from the car. Tyre management was challenging today but we did everything well. Of course, you always want more, but as a team, we have both cars in the points today and that’s a great reward for everyone’s hard work. We’re back on the pace after three difficult races and we aim to keep this going now through to Hungary. We’ll be preparing and working hard for that, to make sure we back this result up. I’m glad Max is okay after the incident, and I wish him a speedy recovery.” “It was a good result today and I am happy to score more points for the team. It was a very long, hot race so it was very challenging. I thought we managed the temperatures and the tyres in a good way, and we also kept enough of a gap to Lance (Stroll) behind. We made some good calls on strategy and executed everything well. It was a little bit of a different weekend and we’ll have to see if the fans enjoyed it. We now have two weeks until we go again.” “Overall it’s been a positive weekend for us; a great Sprint, double points and nice to see Esteban back to form. The race didn’t start the best way with Fernando having an off on his way to the grid and damaging his diffuser. We made all the repairs we could on the grid but had to start the race with a slightly damaged car and a performance deficit. Both drivers lost some positions at the start, but it went a lot better on the restart after the red flag. From that point on, it was a very well-managed race from a strategy and pace point of view. Fernando actually managed the pace in a very strategic way by creating a DRS train to protect his position. It was a while since we placed both cars in the points and it allowed us to outscore our nearest competitors in the constructors’ championship. We also send our best wishes to Max and hope he is okay.”

Vettel made up places at the start and was looking strong, but he spun at the restart after lighting up the rears to drop to the rear of the field. Although he managed to get back past the two Haas drivers, he could make no further headway and wound up retiring the car. As for Stroll, the Aston Martin was expected to have better race pace than qualifying pace and so it proved. He quietly made his way through the field, kept out of trouble and wound up solidly in the points after starting 14th. “The weekend was looking promising and, without all the problems, I should have finished well inside the points. I am very disappointed to lose the car in a wheel-to-wheel battle with Fernando [Alonso]. I am not sure exactly what happened, but I misjudged it, lost grip, and spun. After that, I was right at the back. In the end we did not finish the race because the team retired the car with a cooling issue.” “I am really happy with my race because we were able to turn around a tricky start to the weekend by finishing in P8 and scoring four points. We have been working to find the right car balance and we had a breakthrough today, which is a great credit to the team and all the effort everyone has put in. The key to the race was making two strong starts either side of the red flag, where we gained several places each time. The strategies were quite similar for the whole grid, making overtaking more tricky, but those starts set us up for a good race. The new format has been a challenge for everyone this weekend, but I think there are positives and we can learn how to maximise the other events with Sprints.” “We had hoped to be coming away from our home Grand Prix with more than the four points we eventually scored, but those four points came our way as a result of a superb drive by Lance, who made up six places this afternoon to convert a P14 grid slot to a P8 finish. No driver made up more places. As for Sebastian, he made a good start when the race recommenced after the coming-together between [Lewis] Hamilton and [Max] Verstappen, and he was dicing with [Fernando] Alonso when he spun at the exit of Turn 7. He got going again but his race was ended on Lap 40 with an engine overheating issue.”

Considering their lacklustre weekend, getting one driver home in the points is something of a success here. Not many would have gambled on it being Tsunoda though, the rookie making his way back through the field after starting 16th. For much of the afternoon, Gasly was the better placed of the two but he suffered a late puncture which dropped him down the field. Bolting on the soft tyres, he made up three places in the last few laps but ran out of time to recover to the points. “Honestly, I have no words. We were in the points right until the end, then unfortunately I had a puncture and had to box with five laps to go. It’s very frustrating to be coming away with no points after today’s race. There are still some positives to take away though, as after quite a difficult weekend, the pace when I was alone in the middle of the race today was quite good, once I’d managed to clear the traffic. We obviously want to continue to fight for better positions, so we’ll work hard to understand the areas we’ve struggled with this weekend and hope to be more competitive again in Hungary.” “I’m quite happy to have come away with a point today. I tried to stick to the plan, really focus on tyre management, and I think I achieved that well. I’ve struggled a bit throughout the weekend and the different format has made things slightly more difficult for me as a rookie, so I’m pleased to have come away with an all-important point for the team.” “The pace of the car hasn’t been where we expected it to be leading up to the race. Our qualifying was below our expectation and then in the Sprint Qualifying there was a lot of traffic, so we couldn’t make any progress. Today in the race, we managed to use the strategy to extend our first stint on the mediums, which worked out quite well and allowed us to jump some competitors with both cars. This allowed us to be in a good position to fight for the points with Pierre and then get close to that with Yuki. "Pierre looked quite strong against Alpine and Stroll, however it’s difficult to overtake here. Unfortunately, Pierre then picked up a puncture from debris on track and was forced to pit for softs near the end of the race, taking him out of the points. Yuki was in a position to benefit from this and has managed to score a point here. We could recover some of our losses, but our expectation was that we could’ve been finishing in P8 today so it’s still quite disappointing. We’ve got to go away and get ourselves organised for the next race, as we’ve demonstrated today the midfield battle is extremely tight and we need to be scoring points each race.”

Not to be for Russell today, as he dropped places at the start. The Englishman did recover back to 12th where he started, but couldn’t get any nearer the points than that. Latifi made up places after starting towards the back but he couldn’t quite get on the pace of his team mate today. "P12 was the maximum today for us. We made a poor getaway initially on the first start but a really good one on the second. Sadly, we had already lost a few positions. When you have 50 or 60 laps in a race the true pace of the car comes out and realistically, we are still slightly slower than Alpha Tauri, Alpine and Aston Martin right now. Defending from those teams was always going to be difficult but we’ve been racing in the top-12 in the last four races, fighting for points in three of them, so we are making some good progress. "It has been an amazing weekend here at Silverstone with a strong weekend and the support from the home crowd. I wish it was like this every weekend! I am so grateful, and I hope as a team we can continue to perform and give them something to cheer about." "It was a very hot and physically challenging race. It was all about managing the tyres, and we moved forward after two poor starts off the line so that is a positive. I think we overmanaged the first stint on the tyres, but then had to box to prevent an undercut. The last stint felt OK but it was difficult at the end to move forward and get close to other cars in the dirty air. I am happy overall with my performance and I think it was a decent race for the package we had. There are some positives to take away from the weekend and I’m now looking forward to Hungary." "We enjoyed a good fight with the midfield teams today and we raced hard in difficult and hot conditions. The early safety car and race suspension made the one-stop race easier than it might otherwise have been, and the race became one of balancing attack and tyre management. It was a shame that we were unable to beat the Alpha Tauri cars having outperformed them on Friday evening, but that is racing, and they are a strong team. "We can take a lot of positives from this weekend and we enjoyed the different format. Having raced in the heat here in Silverstone, we are well prepared for the next event in Budapest in two weeks’ time, which is also likely to be very hot. The nature of the Hungaroring is quite different to Silverstone, but aspects of the tyre behaviour will carry forward."

Raikkonen had a great start, making his way up to the points. Although he then dropped a few places, he was doing well to keep Gasly and Perez at bay for lap after lap. But in the closing stages a collision with the Mexican saw him spin off and drop to P15. His team mate struggled for pace, and didn’t look likely to challenge for the points with so many midfield cars finishing today. READ MORE: 'I'd rather fight than finish P11 or P12' says Raikkonen as he and Perez escape penalty after late collision “It wasn’t too bad a race until the contact with Perez. We knew it would be a difficult afternoon but we had a good start and were able to run in the top 10 for a while. I had a nice battle with Sergio, we went side by side in quite a few corners but suddenly the space was gone: I am not sure what happened but I spun and that was it. In the end, we had to do a lot of defending, we were still missing something to be in the points until the flag. Hopefully the next tracks will play a bit more to our strengths and we can be more competitive.” “It was a long race and not an overly exciting one for me, we had good pace but we couldn’t put it together when it mattered. We were in front of Tsunoda before the stops, but got stuck behind Russell and couldn’t get through. This wasn’t a track where overtaking is easy, and it’s quite a disappointment when you see that Yuki eventually finished in the points. We’ll need to learn from this and focus on Hungary. It’s a track with slow corners and no long straights, so it should fit us a bit better.” “Another race in which our good pace put us close to the points, but in which the reward eventually eluded us. We had a good start, we were able to run in the top 10 both before the stops and at the time of Kimi’s contact with Checo, but in the end we just missed something to stay ahead: we continue to close the gap with the leaders, even on a track where we expected to struggle a bit more, and that should be a good sign ahead of other circuits where we can hope to extract more from our package.”

After their collision yesterday, the two Haas drivers kept it cleaner at the start and then set about racing each other until the flag. Schumacher had made places up at the start but as quicker cars recovered, he was left to defend hard with his team mate. They swapped positions on three consecutive laps, with Mazepin coming home in front for just the second time this season. “It wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, we were struggling with tyres and the approach that we had. We were trying not to overheat the tyres over the first few laps, and it seems like Nikita was pushing a bit harder in the first few laps and still managed to keep his tyres in the window. I will have to analyse how as there was a lot of margin for me to go faster. We will have to learn from it and try and get back stronger in Budapest.” “It was tough – very hot! The weekend has been positive. I was very happy with the balance that we managed to extract out of the car, but we were slow compared to other teams – we were not able to fight anybody today. We obviously weren’t able to change the car as much as other weekends, but I think we found a very good set up early on in the weekend, which perhaps wasn’t ultimately the best thing in qualifying but then worked quite well on a track that was degrading like this. I had to push very hard in the beginning to try and get in front because you know that this track is difficult to overtake on, and I used a lot of my tyres but then I put in probably my best overtake in the last three years.” “It was a good race today for us. We finished not where we want to finish but both guys were fighting hard and clean - this is a part of the learning and we want to take this forward. We had good starts. There was a lot of drama at the beginning of the race, and we went through that very calmly and they both delivered. At the moment, this is what is possible. They both fought hard but clean and that’s the most important thing for me.”

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