What the teams said – Race day at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix
This car seems to come alive in the race and both drivers showed that today. Verstappen, starting on the preferred hard compound tyres, kept Mercedes honest in the opening stages before putting his foot down once they had pitted after claiming he wasn’t there to sit behind “like a Grandma”. That built him enough of a lead to emerge from the pits side by side with Bottas. He swept past and that was pretty much that with Hamilton unable to close the gap late on despite being on fresher tyres. As for Albon, he pitted very early but worked his way back through the field with a series of bold overtakes to come home a very decent fifth.
Max Verstappen, 1st
“It’s a great day and I’m very happy with the result as we did everything really well as a Team. The race showed we had the right strategy after our decision to qualify on the hard tyre and I’m pleased it paid off. I think the length and pace of our first stint was the key to being competitive as the mediums don’t last that long, so starting on the hard was definitely the right call. We can see the car works well on softer compounds, especially in the race, and it looks after its tyres. When you are able to overtake and pull away from a Mercedes it is really satisfying. Of course, I hope this will happen a lot more throughout the season and we’ll keep pushing them hard even though they have been the dominant team up until now. We’ll keep pushing, we have a really good Team spirit and I love that we never give up and do take risks. We will enjoy today because everyone deserves it after all the hard work, before focusing our attention on next week’s race in Barcelona.”
Alex Albon, 5th
“I am happy with today’s race and the car was unbelievable. At the beginning of the race it was tricky to overtake with the DRS train but once we had clear air we had a really good chance to get through the field. I was a bit surprised by the balance and race pace today, it was so good, so we need to go away and understand why. It shows we have a lot of potential in the car, it’s just hard to unlock it sometimes, but we are good in these conditions so now we know to find out why. It was a good finish to get fifth and hopefully we can now bring some more performance to next week’s race.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“Today is an amazing day for the Team with Max putting in a dominant performance in the race. After taking a risk in qualifying yesterday and electing to start on the hard tyre, Max made it pay dividends with great race pace in the first stint. To our surprise and encouragement, when Mercedes pitted for new tyres we still had better pace on our used hard set. We then switched our strategy to go onto the medium once we got a pit stop clear of Mercedes and re-emerged just behind Bottas who Max re-passed within a couple of corners. Max then covered Bottas off by going onto his remaining hard tyre to the end of the race by which point he was fully in control to score his ninth victory. Alex also put in another very strong race today with some great passes, particularly around the outside of Copse as he progressed through the field decisively to finish a very competitive fifth place. First and fifth today is great constructors points and moves Max up to second in the Drivers’ Championship. This victory is thanks to a monumental Team effort from everyone trackside, in the factory and also Honda. We’re making great strides and days like today show we’re going in the right direction and now we need to harness this potential moving forwards. Now we look ahead to the next race in Barcelona and let’s hope it’s a hot one!”
After last weekend’s tyre dramas, it was never going to be a smooth race for Mercedes. Bottas led at the start from his team mate, but their tyres were blistering in the heat at a much earlier stage than some. Bottas lost the lead to Verstappen when the Dutchman ran a longer first stint, and Hamilton briefly toyed with the idea of a one-stop before sensibly pitting with ten laps to go. With fresher tyres he picked off his team mate but ran out of rubber and time to chase down Verstappen. A double podium, but more questions than answers for the Silver Arrows who were much harder on their tyres today than Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton, 2nd
"It was a really challenging race out there today. Fair play to Max on the win, Red Bull didn't seem to have the same tyre issues we encountered. I'm just grateful that we managed to bring it home in P2 and score some good points. We didn't expect to struggle with the blistering to the extent we experienced it. The first stint was difficult, in the second stint I was managing the tyres like you cannot believe. I was doing everything I could to nurse the tyres, but it made no difference to the blistering. I was pushing so hard in those final laps to pass Charles and Valtteri that it felt like I was racing with half a tyre at the end. I don't know if anyone else struggled with the blistering the same way we did, so we'll have to see what happened today, but I know this team will get on top of it."
Valtteri Bottas, 3rd
"That was a frustrating race today. It's never great to start from pole and finish P3. I think we were pretty much on the backfoot from the moment I lost track position to Max. We potentially could have gone longer in the second stint, the way Lewis did, to be able to push more towards the end of the race on fresher tyres. I tried to keep up with Max, but as soon as I started to push in the final stint the tyres just fell apart. We really struggled with the blistering today; as soon as you have blisters, you lose the grip and the performance, and it becomes very tough. It seems like the other teams, particularly Red Bull, didn't have the same problem, so we'll have to look into that and try and get to the bottom of it. There's a lot to learn for us today, but as always we'll move on and try to come back stronger."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Congratulations to Max and Red Bull for their first race of the season. For us, it's been a difficult day in the office. We knew that in certain conditions we weren't as competitive as we would like to be and that caught us out today. It's a combination of hotter conditions, a high-downforce car, softer compounds and higher tyre pressures that meant that we didn't have the fastest car today and we were blistering our tyres far more than the others. We have a handful of days to find out what exactly caused our issues today, come up with solutions, test them on Friday in Barcelona and then hopefully have a better race on Sunday. It will be challenging, but we've had these days in the past and came out stronger and I am really looking forward to Barcelona. These days where we lose are the days where we learn the most."
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
"Well done to Max and Red Bull on the win. We couldn't really compete with them today and were in damage limitation mode from fairly early in the race to make sure we didn't slip further back than second and third. We've obviously got work to do before Barcelona to understand our performance today, we were clearly more prone to blistering than our opposition and just about every car out there looked to be in better shape. However, our bad days have always resulted in our biggest steps of learning and we'll be getting stuck into that challenge immediately. The forecast for Barcelona looks like it will be even hotter than here so we don't have long to understand these issues."
A very mixed back for the Scuderia, who had one driver come home happy, and one very much the opposite. Leclerc kept his head down, managed his tyres superbly to make a one-stop strategy work to climb from eighth on the grid to fourth at the flag. Vettel though spun at the start and dropped to last. He worked his way back through the field only to pit and be dropped back into traffic which seemed to irk the four-time world champion. He wound up coming home outside of the points.
Sebastian Vettel, 12th
"Today I tried my best. Unfortunately I had a spin in Turn 1 and I’m not sure what happened there. I thought I got hit, but actually it was a kerb, and I suddenly lost the car. However, I also feel we could have done a better job on the strategy. After my first stop I was in traffic and for this reason we had to bring forward the second stop. In the end I had to drive on the medium tyres for 20 laps, which I feel was not the best choice we could have made today. Of course the race was difficult overall and it’s a pity we couldn’t get back to where we wanted to be."
Charles Leclerc, 4th
“Today feels like a victory, which is not something we like to say when we finish fourth. If you would have told me this morning that I could finish the race in my starting position in 8th, I would have signed immediately.
"In terms of strategy, the team had some concerns about the one-stop approach, looking at what happened to some of the tyres last week. But sometimes, as a driver, you feel something in the car that you can’t see in the data. So I pushed to go for one stop because I believed I could make it work. I am glad that we went for it and that it worked out well.
"Last year, I knew that my weakest point was tyre management. I worked very hard to improve there, and to see the result on track is a huge satisfaction for me. I am interested in analysing the data from today and understanding where we found our pace. I was quite impressed and it was a positive surprise. In tough times like these, we have to take any opportunity we can get, and we did that today, so I am very happy with the result.”
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
"It was definitely a better day than yesterday. On the hard tyre in the race, we rediscovered a level of performance that at least allowed us to stay ahead of our current rivals. Given the positions of our drivers at the end of the first lap – Charles tenth and Sebastian last – we tried to make the best strategy choices to bring home as many points as possible for the team. After that we made up six places with Charles and eight with Sebastian, so I don’t think we could have done better in a race in which there were hardly any retirements or Safety Car periods. Charles finished in the same excellent position as last weekend and Sebastian’s position was the result of his first lap incident. We must do all we can to ensure that he too can make the most of his talent and use all the car’s potential.
"Now we face another test at the very demanding Montmelo track, where we had struggled during winter testing. The aim is still the same: to improve our performance both in qualifying and the race to bring home as many points as possible with both drivers."
Hulkenberg lost a place to Verstappen at the start while Stroll gained one on Ricciardo, and from there those two ran in fourth and fifth for much of the day with a steady gap between them. The German was forced to pit for a third time late on after the team picked up on a worrying vibration which dropped him to seventh while Stroll was overtaken late on by Albon to wind up sixth. Nonetheless, double points and a composed display by their stand in makes this a decent day for the Pink Panthers.
Nico Hulkenberg, 7th
“I’m happy to have scored points for the team. P7 is a good result, especially when you haven’t raced for nine months. It wasn’t an easy race, and it was tough physically, but first of all, it was important that I made a good start and got through the first lap because once the race settled down, I could use my experience of managing tyres and driving these types of Formula 1 cars. I was quite relieved after I got through the first few corners! In the second stint, it was tricky to manage the tyres. Unfortunately, we had to pit again and move onto a three-stop strategy because there were some vibrations, and we needed to make sure I could make it to the finish.”
Lance Stroll, 6th
“I had a good start to the race and made up some places off the line, which put both of our cars into a great position early in the race. It was fun to have a battle with Nico and I managed to get him around the outside of Turn 6, but I locked up a little bit, and he was able to get by again. We then settled into P4 and P5, but it was clear that Leclerc was able to make a one-stop strategy work and the Red Bulls were very quick today. We’ve banked some good points with a solid strategy. We always want more, though, so we’ll go away and look into all the different strategies used today and learn from it. Nico did another good job, and it’s a strong result for the team.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO
“Given our starting positions, we were hoping for a bit more today, but as the strategies played out I think we can be satisfied with sixth and seventh places. Lance and Nico drove clean and tidy races, and we had solid pace. It was important to bank a couple of good results and that’s exactly what we did – coming away with 14 points. We chose to play it safe and pit Nico a third time when his tyres picked up a severe vibration. I think it was a sensible decision and I’m pleased he could still score good points after stepping into the car only last week.”
Ocon had a good day. Starting P14 after a three-place grid drop earned in qualifying, he was one of only three drivers to try the one-stop strategy and made it work beautifully to come home in the points. As for Ricciardo, he was set to bring home a decent haul of points but spun midway through the race which dropped him down the order. He ended up three-stopping on his way to a disappointing P14 finish.
Esteban Ocon, 8th
“That was definitely a very good Sunday for us. We made a solid start, managed the tyres well, received good communication from the team and it was a great pit-stop from the mechanics. It looked to be a very tough race in terms of tyres, especially on an aggressive strategy, but we managed to get that sorted and, in the end, we had a lot of pace. We just kept the tyres alive as best we could and managed to keep cars behind, so we’re very happy with the result. I don’t think we could have done much more from fourteenth on the grid. Our target is to qualify better – we have the pace for that – and then we can really fight for more points.”
Daniel Ricciardo, 14th
“Today was just one of those days where things got progressively worse and worse. It was going okay at the beginning, maintaining sixth and hanging on pace-wise to the cars ahead. We pitted for another medium and I was struggling to hold onto them. We had to pit for the hard and then it got messy at Turn 3 and I lost the rear defending from Carlos [Sainz] and had the spin. The race was done then. We have to accept it, take it on the chin and go again in Barcelona. It’s a frustrating one today, but there are lots of positives from the two weeks at Silverstone and we can draw on that looking forward.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal
“Mixed feelings after today with one car in the top 10 and the other outside the points. Given Esteban’s starting position, his race should be praised, gaining six places in a race like today in a very competitive field is quite something. He, and the team, made the one-stop work. It was perfectly executed by him, the pit wall and the pit crew. His progression in the race certainly contrasts with Daniel who was starting from fifth on the grid. His plan was for a two-stop. His first stint was strong, and we pitted him at the right time to avoid traffic when he exited. His second stint, though, was not competitive at all and we had to call him for an early stop, which compromised the rest of his race. He had a fantastic Saturday – outright fifth on pure pace – and also a good race last weekend. From his starting position today, we were clearly aiming for a better result. We need to assess that second stint and take that on board for upcoming races. Barcelona will undoubtedly see a repeat of hot conditions with similar high energy on the tyres from the high-speed corners. We’ve made a positive step in competitiveness in qualifying. We must confirm it next weekend and get on top of this counter-performance on the medium compound. We must be able to do better even with tricky tyre selection.”
McLaren predicted a tough race yesterday, with their car lacking some pace this weekend. And so it proved, with Norris struggling for balance and Sainz likewise not overly happy with his MCL35. The Briton managed to come home in the points after starting higher than his team mate, who fell back on the medium compound tyres in his middle stint. They did at least both get involved in the thick of things in both attack and defence but it wasn’t really the race the team were hoping for.
Carlos Sainz, 13th
“A disappointing day for all of us. We managed to get a good start and after a very strong and long first stint we were in a good spot. Unfortunately, it looks like we had a gun failure in the pit-stop, which undid all the work done before the stop. It looks like we could’ve been on for some points today with the tyre strategy we had and with how we managed the race, but again I missed out on a good result for reasons beyond my control. We were unfortunate, but at the same time we need to keep digging and keep pushing because today is definitely another disappointing day for me personally, and for everyone in the team. We go again next weekend at my home race, so I hope we can recover there.”
Lando Norris, 9th
“A tough race! I went forward one position, which I guess is the main thing, but it was tough. We really struggled with tyres, which we knew were going to be an issue coming into the race, but we struggled a lot more than we were expecting – or I was expecting – and that made it a lot more difficult for me. All of the cars ahead, as you could see from qualifying, were quicker than us. I think probably a lot of people were in the same boat as us, it was just very tricky to control.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal
“This was a tough Sunday. We had expected a challenging race after having struggled for pace all weekend in the hot ambient conditions. Finishing P9 with Lando was the best we could do with the performance of the car. Carlos was unfortunate to lose the opportunity to join his team mate in the points, after an equipment failure during his pit stop. Both drivers gave it their all on track; my thanks to them and the entire team for the commitment and hard work they have put in across these two weeks at Silverstone. We will reset tomorrow and try to find a better level of performance for Barcelona.”
Kvyat had exited in Q1 yesterday but atoned for that in the race by grabbing the last point on offer after the team managed to perfect his two-stop strategy. Gasly though struggled with his first set of tyres and had to pit much earlier than his rivals. That saw him lose a place to Norris and a second early pit stop left him fighting in traffic and coming home disappointingly out of the points.
Pierre Gasly, 11th
“I had a good start and also felt quite comfortable with the tyres on the first stint, so I was a bit surprised when I was called in for the first pit stop earlier than we had planned before the race. I think we tried to cover Albon but actually, that wasn’t really our race. Once back on track, we found ourselves in traffic and I had to push more than I would have liked on the tyres to make up a few positions. This caused massive blistering after a few laps, so from there on the race was pretty much a nightmare. I’m quite disappointed because I think there was something more to achieve today. We need to review what we could have done better strategy-wise and get back into the points in Barcelona.”
Daniil Kvyat, 10th
“I’m very satisfied today, I felt like it was a mega race. As a team we did a great job, we were able to squeeze everything out of the car and I think today’s result was the maximum on the table. We took every opportunity that came our way and, unlike last week, we were able to capitalize on them. I generally feel quite strong on Sundays, but we definitely need to put it together on Saturdays, as starting the race from a better position would make things much easier to regularly fight for points. However, starting from P16 and finishing tenth to score one point makes us happy today.”
Jody Egginton, Technical Director
“Today we had the cars and the drivers to score points on both sides of the garage and, although we have managed to achieve this with Dany, unfortunately, we have not executed the best race for Pierre. This has compromised his race and cost him points, which is, of course, not only disappointing for the team but also Pierre. He has shown good and consistent performances here over the last two events, but we have just not provided him with the best strategy to deliver his best race today.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal
“First of all, congratulations to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing for Max’s first win of the season, he drove an incredible race, well done to the team. As for us, Pierre started from P7, he had a good start and in the first few laps, he defended his position well showing good pace. However, we clearly made a mistake strategy-wise, as we called him in too early for his first pit stop. With the second set of base tyres, he quickly started to suffer from blistering on the rear so it was difficult for him to catch up, which meant we had to call him in again. His last stint was quite long and he did what he could, but there were no points for him today. As for Daniil, he started from 16th position and made a good start to come back 14th after the first lap. He drove a very consistent race with good lap times whilst also taking care of the tyres. He made his first pitstop on lap 18 and took a second set of the base tyre, he was quite fast and was able to gain a few positions until we pitted him again for the Prime tyre on lap 33. After a very good race, he was able to finish in the points with a well-deserved P10."
Magnussen was the only retiree of the day, and he pulled into the pits having run last for much of the afternoon following a five-second time penalty for banging wheels with Latifi and two early pit stops. It was a precautionary move by the American outfit after they discovered the Dane was suffering with vibrations. Grsojean at least saw the chequered flag but couldn’t pull off a one-stop strategy and tumbled down the order after a late pit stop for fresh rubber.
Romain Grosjean, 16th
“The start, for me, was an issue – I don’t know what I did wrong, we need to look at everything. After that I felt I had some good pace, but obviously being in traffic I was losing so much front air. Going into the high-speed stuff, I couldn’t pass the guys. I asked to go on a one-stop strategy, which was ‘Plan B’, but we were just too short of making it. But I still tried to go long on the hard tyres, I was working to look after them. I was doing as much as I could. We were expecting front wear, but we got rear blisters. I guess that was the same story for everyone. It was windy out there, it was inconsistent because of the gusts, but I can push the car, I can drive it – our lap times were good. We need to work now on cooling down the rear tyres when they get too hot. Our results don’t show much, but for us the pace wasn’t bad. I know where we can improve.”
Kevin Magnussen, DNF
“The car just hasn’t performed this weekend as we know it can. We know it can perform, especially on a Sunday in race conditions. It just hasn’t happened this weekend. We had the crash last Sunday, and I think the parts that we put on as replacements, the floor and so on – they’re old parts, I can’t really say what else it could be. In my mind that has to be it as the car can be a lot better than this. It simply hasn’t worked this weekend and that’s unfortunate. I had a great start again, so I’ll take that away as a positive and try and continue to keep doing that. We know in normal circumstances the car is more competitive in the race than it is in qualifying. We need to keep getting those good starts and fight in those positions. Our job is to keep fighting.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“It wasn’t a good afternoon. We tried again with our strategy to do different things, but it didn’t work out. We had to retire Kevin (Magnussen) at the end of the race as there were vibrations and we were not sure anymore how badly they’d affect the suspension. Romain (Grosjean), at some stage, we though we could get through with a one-stop. We weren’t sure and we didn’t want to take a risk as obviously to get into the points is very difficult anyway. So, there was no point to risk anything. We are happy to be leaving Silverstone, as nice as it was here with the weather and the sunshine, but we want to move on to the next race.”
The team started last on the grid so it was no surprise to see both drivers come home outside of the points. Raikkonen at least made a fight of it, battling Albon hard and forcing the Red Bull man to pull off one of the best overtakes of the day when the Finn gave no quarter and ran his rival as wide as he could. Giovinazzi had a quieter race with just the Williams cars for company.
Kimi Raikkonen, 15th
“I am not happy to be out of the points, of course, even though our pace was not too bad. We did what we could but from P20 we could only make it up to 15th, so we are still missing something, especially on Saturday, to be in the fight for the top ten. We thought a one-stop was possible since yesterday so we tried: the tyres actually lasted well, I still had pretty good grip but had an awful lot of vibration and I had to slow down to avoid something breaking. In the end we leave with nothing, so we will need to come up with a better performance if we want to be in the fight for points.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, 17th
“It wasn’t the easiest of days: we tried our best, we chose to split the strategies to give ourselves a few more chances but in the end it was not enough to get points. Our race pace was once again better than what we showed on Saturday, so we can hope to make a step forward if we improve our performance in qualifying. We need to keep positive and work hard, as a team, to improve: it’s not realistic to expect many things changing in a couple of days, but at least we are going to a new venue and we can hope it suits us a bit better than Silverstone.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“Starting from the back, we knew we would have our work cut out today and our final positions reflect this. On such a race of low attrition and without massive shake-ups, P15 and P17, ahead of our most direct rivals in the standings, is pretty much all we could achieve. The team performed well and executed a clean race, but we have a lot of work still ahead of us before we can be where we want to be. We need to improve our qualifying pace to be able to start further up the grid: on Sunday we seem to have a good turn of speed and we can keep up the pace with all the others, but we can’t really get anything out of it if we’re starting that far back.”
Williams didn’t have the car to compete today and propped up the field. Latifi was lucky to stay on the track after banging wheels with Magnussen, an incident the Dane was penalised for. But other than that, it was a very quiet day for the team who will hope for better next time out in Spain.
George Russell, 18th
"It was a very difficult race. We made a really poor getaway and lost a couple of positions. It was difficult for everybody, but that’s how it is in these tricky races sometimes. We have a lot to understand and review, it just wasn’t our day. It’s been two very different weekends at Silverstone. We need to understand why and what’s changed between these two weekends and how that will help us moving forward. Nevertheless, it has been a good two weeks. Our qualifying pace is strong, so we just need to keep working on our Sunday pace."
Nicholas Latifi, 19th
"It was a race that you had to adapt on the fly based on the situation and the strategy. The car was feeling great, even better than last weekend and it is the most confidence I have had behind the wheel in a race so far. I think the finishing position is not where we deserve to be, we came into some tyre issues with our rear left, which forced us into a third stop. I think we were just unlucky with the track position and being stuck behind some cars. I’m a bit disappointed, but the positive is that the pace is there."
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
"It was a difficult day with tyre management dominating most of the afternoon. rear tyre blistering caused a lot of vibration, which disturbed the drivers quite a lot and effected their visibility. We opted to make a third stop with both cars, and this was costly in our race with the cars around us. We need to go through the data and review the state of the tyres after each stint to see if the third stop was necessary and how we will manage the tyres in a similar situation in the future. If we can understand this then we make better use of the natural race pace of the car, which was definitely better this weekend even though it didn’t show in the final race result.
"It has been an interesting experience to have back-to-back races at such an awesome circuit and to get the opportunity to do so with different tyre combinations. However, without the fans here the atmosphere is just not the same and we look forward to coming back next year with a full crowd.
"We fly to Spain in a few days and we must learn quickly from today and regroup ready to better exploit the car pace in Barcelona."
Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing
"This weekend’s race was all about pure strategy, judged to perfection by Red Bull and Max Verstappen. His strategy began on Saturday afternoon, with the brave decision to run the hard tyre in Q2 and so start the race with it, which clearly paid off. Once he had gained track position by virtue of his longer first stint, he was able to control both the Mercedes behind him, which had nonetheless shown the pace to qualify first and second. Although Silverstone is one of the most demanding tracks on tyres, and the compounds were a step softer than last week, this all provided a challenge that helped to spice up the show. We saw some blistering as expected, but only on a few cars and nothing that affected the race outcome. Tyre management was an integral part of the tactics today, but the drivers certainly rose to the occasion and the viewers enjoyed an exciting and unpredictable race."