What the teams said - race day in Great Britain
A round-up of all the action from the 2017 Formula 1 Rolex British Grand Prix at Silverstone...
Hamilton was imperious - he led from the start, and managed the race to perfection to record his fifth win at Silverstone. Behind him, however, all sorts of drama was occurring. Bottas scythed his way through the pack and, on fresh supersoft tyres, hunted down Vettel with a handful of laps remaining. Vettel slammed the door shut at Stowe, before succumbing on the Hangar straight a lap or so later. Bottas then set his sights on the other Ferrari and got past Raikkonen in rather easier circumstances, after the Finn had to pit with a puncture. A perhaps unexpected, but no less welcome one-two was the result for the Silver Arrows.
Lewis Hamilton, 1st
“I'm so happy... this has got to be one of my sweetest wins here. I was gunning for this victory. There was so much negativity ahead of the race, with people questioning how I prepared for the race. But this weekend has been one of my strongest of the weekend. I made a solid start and then after that I managed the car and the balance, and the boys did a fantastic pit stop. I really can't find a fault at the moment. The team did an exceptional job this weekend and Valtteri obviously drove a stormer today - I'm proud of him. It's great to have him in the team. I'm surprised to see the issues the Ferrari had because I didn't see any debris. I did not expect to come away from this weekend just one point behind Sebastian. This result really opens up the championship - and we go to Hungary next, where I've always gone well. Every time I came around Turn 7, I could see the fans cheering every single lap. It was really reminiscent of 2008, my first Grand Prix win here. I've got some great supporters here, not only in the crowd, but in the garage as well. I've got my brother here, some of my aunties and family has come too. There's this amazing young kid who's come from South Africa, Michael, who is fighting cancer. It was amazing to see him. And Billy Monger is with us, who is just such an inspiration.”
Valtteri Bottas, 2nd
“What a race! I'm really happy for us as a team, to get the second 1-2 of the season. Of course I would have liked to win, but I'm happy anyway because that was definitely one of my best ever races. I had to fight hardcore out there a couple of times, but I ended up in a good position. We could actually go longer than expected in the first stint on the Softs and the tyres were really good. In the last stint the team told me to just take care of the tyres, because we saw a few failures out there for some other teams, but for me they were fine. We're just at the half-way point of the season and it could definitely be worst. It's still just my first year with the team and I'm still right in the championship fight As a team we did a really good job today. The strategy right from the start of the race worked really well. It was a flawless race for us and the 1-2 was our prize - the team really deserve this. We definitely got lucky with Kimi's puncture in the end, to take P2, but that's racing and today luck was on our side.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“I think that was probably the best race I have been part of since joining the team in 2013! We are so delighted for Lewis: he prepared for the weekend in the way he knew was right for him, then came here and delivered in qualifying and the race. He got pole, led every lap, won the race and also set the fastest lap; it was a perfect performance. And then Valtteri rounded it off for the team by climbing all the way from P9 to P2, with a little bit of good fortune along the way but applying consistent pressure on every lap of the race. He picked his way through the field, kept the performance in the tyres at the right time and he richly deserved his second place finish; it was a brilliant drive. We are now at the halfway point of the season with 250 points still to score. There will be a lot of talk about the championship standings but not within the team. We have our eyes on one thing only and that's the next race in Hungary, so we can go into the summer break in an even stronger condition. Well done to everybody in Brixworth and Brackley for this result - it's a true credit to the amazing work you have done so far this year.”
James Allison, Technical Director
“This is a sport that asks so much of the people who compete in it, drivers and teams alike, and it is on days like these that it repays every tiny bit of effort one hundred fold. They are beyond description in the degree of pleasure, satisfaction and joy that they bring us all. Lewis has all but wiped out the deficit to Vettel in one hammer blow and the team has taken another big leap in the constructors' race thanks to a tremendous display from Valtteri, whose work this afternoon completely erased the gearbox penalty he was forced to take this weekend. It feels like we are starting to build some good momentum in recent races and hopefully we can deliver the same sort of performance in two weeks' time before heading into the summer break. Our work in the next fortnight will focus on optimising every single detail so that we arrive in Hungary prepared for all of the challenges that race can throw at us.”
Verstappen got an excellent start, nearly jumping both Ferraris before settling into third between them. Vettel moved ahead due to the undercut and from there it was a relatively lonely race for the Dutchman. Ricciardo was in the thick of the action throughout , though - he made his way up to 12th in the first few laps before running wide onto the grass and dropping down to last. It must have felt like déjà vu, having to re-pass all the back markers but he kept his concentration and was soon running in the top ten. From there, a late pit stop for fresh rubber helped him hunt down Hulkenberg in the closing laps.
Max Verstappen, 4th
“It is a positive day, I am happy to finish the race and get some solid points once again. We got a bit lucky with Seb’s puncture at the end and I pitted to be safe as I knew I had enough room behind me. The front left didn’t feel great and having seen what happened to the Ferrari we played it safe. If I had seen Kimi pit at the end I may have stayed out to try and get a jump on him but we made the precautionary stop to make sure we finished. With a lot of fast rights here it takes its toll on the front left so we knew there would be issues late on. At the beginning I knew I was quite a bit slower than Seb so I just did my best to stay in front and have some fun, it was the only thing I could do and luckily he didn’t manage to pass me on track, after that little battle my race became a bit lonely. Our pace was pretty good and the car felt competitive during the race, it felt better than it did in qualifying so now we need to understand why we struggled yesterday. Fourth is a good result, probably one place better than we expected which is always nice. We have some upgrades coming in Hungary which I am hoping will make some steps towards being able to fight with the top two teams.”
Daniel Ricciardo, 5th
“I hope they showed a lot of that on TV. I just felt like the whole race I was overtaking cars and I hope the fans enjoyed it. We made up a chunk of positions early on and then I got a bit greedy, went off track and ended up at the back again. It was great fun coming back through the field and I gave it everything. I caught Hulkenberg with a few laps to go and then Seb had his issue which handed me fifth, so danke Sebastian. I’ve been really happy with how I’ve been putting my Sundays together for the last handful of races, it’s been strong and to get fifth from the back today I really couldn’t ask for more. Last week I was the hunted and this week the hunter, I love the fight of this sport and today I felt I could really enjoy that. I would give this race ten out of ten in terms of fun. I think you could say that in the last six races the Honey Badger has certainly shown up on Sunday and it’s been great fun.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“It was a great performance from both of our drivers at Silverstone today. Max thankfully ran to the finish and provided a lot of entertainment in his rigorous defence in his duel with Sebastian which was firm but fair racing. Stopping early on a one stop strategy we always thought the tyres would be quite marginal at the end. As soon as we saw Kimi having issues with his tyre, without being able to have track position on him, we decided to make the stop and Max did a good job in bringing the car home and seeing the chequered flag for the first time since Monte Carlo. Daniel’s recovery drive today was excellent, making a lot of places in the early laps he then lost out at Luffield and had to do it all again and to go from 20th to fifth was a great turnaround from yesterday’s problems.”
Ocon got a better start than his team mate, and that turned out to be where Perez's race was decided. With Ocon unable to chase down and challenge Hulkenberg ahead, Perez was clearly the quicker driver, but the Mexican couldn't find a way past the Frenchman. They both lost out to Ricciardo in the latter stages, but brought both cars home in the points. Perhaps more importantly for the team, given their recent history of on track tussles, the pair also kept the fight fair and clean throughout.
Esteban Ocon, 8th
“I had a brilliant start – it felt like four wheel drive and I moved up a couple of positions, but I lost out to Hulkenberg at the end of the first lap. After that, I had a good battle with my team mate for most of the afternoon and the team let us race – just like Canada. Sergio was fast and giving me pressure, but I was able to stay ahead. It’s very satisfying to see us score points again with both cars. Our consistency is our strength this year – on all tracks we are there with good speed and scoring points. We need to keep this up in the second half of the year.”
Sergio Perez, 9th
“It’s been a difficult race and I have a feeling we didn’t get to demonstrate our true pace. We should have finished higher, but in the end we still bring home points with both cars. I had a poor start and that compromised the rest of the afternoon, because I couldn’t recover from it. Silverstone is one of the most difficult tracks on which to overtake, and even though I spent all my race within DRS range of Esteban, I never had a real opportunity to pass him. Being so close to the car in front damaged my tyres and cost me lots of downforce so there was nothing I could do. You can look back at the race and think of things that could have been done differently, but it’s always easy to say this after the race. As we get to the half-way point in the season, I feel very positive about our performance. We have been doing really well as a team and I hope we can get back to our real level in the next race and after the break.”
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal & Managing Director
“It’s very satisfying to see both our cars finish inside the points at our home race. We’ve added six important points to our tally and strengthened our fourth place in the championship. It was a straightforward race from our perspective with Esteban getting the jump on Checo at the start. From there it was line astern to the flag with both drivers following similar one-stop strategies. Keeping up this consistency is important and, as we reach the half-way point of the season, I’m feeling very proud of what we have achieved from the first ten races. I have equally high hopes for the rest of the season as we continue to develop the VJM10.”
Vettel had an eventful race which started with his brakes on fire. He lost a place to a feisty Verstappen, before gaining it back in the first round of pit stops. On older rubber he couldn't keep the freshly-shod Bottas behind and looked to be settling for fourth before his tyre punctured in the closing stages and dropped him down the field. Raikkonen got a good start and was comfortably running second when a similar late tyre puncture forced him to pit. He had enough of a margin to still finish on the podium.
Sebastian Vettel, 7th
"It was a difficult race. The brakes got fire on the grid and I think this is the reason why I had no grip at the start: they were too hot. During the last laps, after the problem with the front left tyre, I tried to get the car back and recover some points. It was difficult today because I was stuck at the beginning behind Max, but I am not the one to judge what happened between him and me. After that I think the pace was good, considering the fact that I was on the soft tyres. Valtteri was on other compound, the supersofts, so it was clear that he would have been strong. Today was not a great day, but we’ll see what happens in Hungary, on a different track."
Kimi Raikkonen, 3rd
"My race wasn’t going too bad until a few laps before the end. I suddenly had the problem, my front left tyre let go with no warning; the air stayed in the tyre but the rubber part, came off. It’s disappointing because without that issue the second place was secured, and we deserved a better result. We had made some changes to the car and they seemed to have improved the feeling. When it’s like this you are confident and you can push; I hope that it will be a similar story in the future races. However, today we were lacking a little bit of speed against our rivals. We did what we could but obviously there’s some work to be done to catch up the Mercedes in places like this. This is definitely not our strongest type of circuit. I’m interested to see what happens in the next race, I guess the Hungarian track should suit our car better."
Maurizo Arriabene, Team Principal
"Even if the reasons are obvious, complaining about losing a second and a fourth place is not Ferrari’s style. Today, the hard fact is that we lost a lot of points in both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championships. We leave here, set on improving quickly, with humility and determination."
Haas split strategies, with Grosjean trying a two-stopper and Magnussen opting for a long first stint on soft rubber and a shorter second on the supersofts. The latter proved to have made the better call, running in the top-ten for much of the race and frustrating the Force Indias behind. Whilst both ultimately finished outside the points, it was a solid if unspectacular showing from the American squad.
Romain Grosjean, 13th
“Tough day in the office. We didn’t have much pace today with either tyre. I got stuck in traffic initially, which killed the supersoft. I pitted for the softs, and again, traffic all the way. We tried a gamble at the end putting new supersofts on, hoping that something would happen at the front, but nothing did. We just need to understand why our race pace wasn’t as good as it was in qualifying and go from there.”
Kevin Magnussen, 12th
“I felt the Toro Rosso hit my tyre at the start, but nothing happened. Fortunately, there was no puncture. I just didn’t quite get the first lap. It was always going to be difficult when you start on the reverse strategy on the harder tyre. That first stint kind of kept me out of the points. The pace was good in the car, I just had to do a long stint on the tyres and wait for the guys in front to pit and then put in a lot of good lap times. I came back a bit at the end, but it wasn’t enough. Whenever you’re fighting outside of the points, it’s never that interesting. Still, I’ll take the positives. We were quick and had good pace in the race.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“It’s been an average weekend. We didn’t get in the points, but Kevin’s race pace was good. We lost a few positions at the start and that’s where we ended up. Again, we had a similar race pace to all our competitors – we were just in a worse spot. I’m still confident in our car. In the midfield, we can battle. This time we were just at the lower end of our group. It changes around every weekend. It’s not what we wanted, but still, we finished with both cars. On we go to Hungary.”
A brilliant start by both drivers saw them move up to the outskirts of the top ten in the early stages. And there Massa stayed, putting in a solid performance to grab the final point on offer. It wasn't to be for Stroll, who suffered a loss of aero performance which limited his chances, and ended his streak of three straight finishes in the points.
Felipe Massa, 10th
"I’m definitely happy with the race after starting 14th, having had a very good start and opening lap, to finish 10th. For sure the most difficult part of the race was overtaking the Force Indias at the end. I was quicker, but maybe not quick enough to have the opportunity to overtake. I’m still not happy with the qualifying yesterday. When you start out of position things are a lot more difficult than they should be so today maybe we could have fought for more points. Unfortunately, starting 14th didn’t allow us to do that, but I’m happy with my race. We just need to make sure our starting position is better in the next race."
Lance Stroll, 16th
"It was not a good race for us. The start was good and I moved up to P12. The first stint was also okay, and then also at the start of the second stint things weren't bad. But then we picked up some damage on the car, which I believe was a broken barge board. I started to feel something was wrong, we suspected it was the tyres and so I stopped again. However, this was for nothing really as it just got worse from there. I just brought the car home but some damage on the car destroyed our race. Now I’m just looking forward to Hungary."
Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer
"We had planned to do a one-stop, starting on the soft tyre. From 14th and 15th that looked like the best way to try and gain some places. The race went reasonably to plan, the only issue was that the supersoft didn’t degrade in the way we had hoped for those around us in the first stint, as then we would have had an advantage in the closing stages. Felipe was able to challenge the two Force Indias at the end, but couldn’t overtake. Lance drove a good, solid race, but he suffered some bodywork damage, at which point he was losing too much laptime and was degrading the rear tyres. We pitted for another set, but it was a struggle to the finish. Overall, it’s a disappointing result at our home race. The car was quicker than our result would indicate. We need to learn from this experience and be better next time."
Sauber gambled with Wehrlein, opting to pit him twice under the safety car so that he ran the slower medium tyre for just one lap. Ultimately this didn't pay off, and he had to pit yet again later in the race, costing him valuable time. Despite completely different strategies, the Swiss team still witnessed their drivers squabbling over the same piece of track. They banged wheels, but that was as risqué as it got and both came home outside the points.
Marcus Ericsson, 14th
“It was a fairly good race for me. I maximized the performance of the car and my lap times were decent, especially during the second half of the race. Of course we want to be higher up and fight for points, but our pace was not competitive enough for that this weekend. We did manage to make the best of it – the team did a good job in improving the car set-up throughout our stay in Silverstone. We have to keep pushing now in order to have a stronger weekend in Budapest.”
Pascal Wehrlein, 17th
“The race did not go as we hoped it would. When the safety car came out at the beginning of the race, we made the decision to complete the mandatory pit stop and change to medium tyres. I then returned to the pit one lap later in order to switch to soft tyres, with the goal to drive on them until the end of the race. Unfortunately the tyres lost more and more grip, due to which I had to change again. I hope that we have a better weekend in Budapest.”
Once again, mixed fortunes in the Renault garage. Palmer didn't even make it to the start line, pulling over midway through the formation lap with a hydraulic issue. Hulkenberg, by contrast, had an excellent race. A good start kept him running solidly in the top ten and there he stayed, losing a place only to a much quicker Bottas. We were denied what looked like a stellar finish between him and Ricciardo, due to his R.S.17 developing a de-rating issue at the end. Nonetheless, sixth matches Hulkenberg's best result of the season.
Nico Hulkenberg, 6th
“We are very happy with the race result today. P6 is a big success for the team. We were able to get a good lap in qualifying and then to carry it through to the race. We had a strong race pace, and were able to keep ahead of both Force Indias, which is really positive. We lost some power at the end, especially down the straights, which made it easier for Daniel to pass me, but then we gained back a position from Seb [Vettel] when he had his problem. Overall this is a very positive result. The new upgrades worked really well, we were able to push the car and I’m really pleased for the team.”
Jolyon Palmer, DNS
“Going out at the start of the race is really frustrating. We had a hydraulic leak on the first lap, which is pretty gutting as I think we were in a good position. Eleventh with new tyres, a car that was working really well with lots of different options on strategy : all was looking good to get some points. I have had so much support all weekend that it would have been sweet to get them here. All the same we can see that the car has taken a step forward, but we just need to look at reliability now.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director
“We have to say sorry to Jo as he finally had the starting position he needed and we all wanted him to get those first points today. He almost certainly would have made it if we hadn’t had the problem. On the other hand we had a great race with Nico. He drove very well, with no mistakes, good strategy execution and we were a good thirty seconds ahead of both Force Indias. There is always a bit of frustration to be so exposed to reliability weaknesses as we could have done even better today, but what is important is that the upgrades have worked well and we are delighted to see this bear out in the results. With more to come in the coming races I hope we can keep the momentum going to end the first part of the season on a high.
“Scoring points is a good way to end our 40th anniversary weekend. While we can celebrate the past it’s also good to see our younger drivers doing well too. Congratulations to test driver Nicholas Latifi on scoring his first win in F2 and development driver Oliver Rowland getting a podium too. ”
Alonso made up four places at the start and used all his race craft to hold off the quicker Red Bull of Ricciardo for a number of laps, but was unable to complete the race distance after a loss of power. Vandoorne did see the chequered flag, but finished in 11th to agonisingly just miss out on his first points of the season.
Fernando Alonso, DNF
“It was a difficult weekend for us, starting last with the penalties; then in the race, when I was following a group of cars, I had another issue.
“Hopefully, it hasn’t done any damage to the engine and we’ll be able to keep using it in the future.
“Stoffel was 11th today, so I think we weren’t quick enough to be in the points today and I think I could have ended up 13th or 14th, so the retirement is a little bit less painful than it would be if we’d lost a points finish.
“Now I’m looking ahead to Hungary, which should be a better weekend for us.”
Stoffel Vandoorne, 11th
“It’s a shame to once again finish just outside the points – but there are plenty of positives to take away from this weekend.
“The pace we showed in the race today was very encouraging: to run as close as we did to both Force Indias and a Williams on a circuit like this is a real positive.
“Not everything went perfectly in the race – my pit-stop didn’t go too smoothly, so I came out side-by-side with Felipe and lost a position. That was a shame, because there was definitely a chance to finish ahead of him because our pace was very similar to his.
“So, unfortunately, no points – but today was very encouraging, and I’m sure our time will come.”
Eric Boullier, McLaren-Honda Racing Director
“From the back of the grid Fernando made a strong start, carving his way through the backmarkers, and was holding a solid 13th place by one-third distance. Meanwhile Stoffel was holding a steady ninth place.
“It was therefore disappointing when Fernando was forced to retire on lap 35, as a result of a drop in fuel pressure that led to a loss of power. We’re still investigating the cause of that failure.
“With 10 laps to go, Stoffel was locked in a battle for 10th place with Felipe. In the end his hopes of scoring a world championship point were to come to naught, but his was a solid and impressive drive nonetheless.
“From here we go to the Hungaroring, over whose many twists and turns, linked as they are by short straights, we hope to be a little more competitive.”
Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer
“This weekend ended on a frustrating note as Stoffel just missed out on a world championship point at our home race. Up until today, things had been looking up and we had been showing some encouraging pace.
“Stoffel started his race from a good position and he showed competitive pace in the midfield throughout the race. He pushed as hard as possible so therefore it was disappointing that he finished 11th, just outside of the points.
“Although Fernando had to start from the back of the grid, he improved his position during the first part of the race, and was close to Stoffel. Sadly, he had a fuel system-related issue and had to retire from the race. We’re now investigating the cause.
“Having said this, I still think we leave Silverstone with some positivity. We had improved pace and our competiveness has also improved over the past few races. Next up is Hungary which is a track that suits our package better, so I hope we can have a good race. We’ll continue our best efforts towards scoring some points at the next round.”
Toro Rosso might want to forget this weekend in a hurry. Technical issues in qualifying seemed mundane compared to what unfolded at the start of the race, with both drivers tangling when fighting for position.The incident left Sainz out of the race and Kvyat with a drive-through penalty and car damage. He limped home 15th.
Daniil Kvyat, 15th
“Even if I was able to continue after the collision with Carlos, my race was also compromised and I’m obviously not happy with what happened. I was ahead and on a dirty line, so it’s normal to have some understeer, and then, all of a sudden, the crash took place. These things happen and sometimes they’re unavoidable. It’s a real shame, as this has damaged both us drivers and the team, which I feel very sorry for. There’s not much more that can be done now, we just need to learn from this and move forward.”
Carlos Sainz, DNF
“I’m not going to say much about what happened today on lap 1 with Daniil, the images talk for themselves – it’s just very frustrating to have not finished another race. Of course I’m disappointed and it’s not the way you want your race to go, but I just need to think of it as a stage of my year – with 20 races, there’s always going to be this kind of situation at some point… That’s why I’m not worried and very calm. Fortunately, it’s a weekend where not a lot of points were on the table, especially because we needed some tricky scenarios like rain but this never happened, so we didn’t lose that much. The only big shame is that we haven’t scored any points again this weekend, but we need to keep our heads up – I’d like to cheer the mechanics and the whole team up as they must also be disappointed about this and hopefully in Hungary we can turn it around and have a good race weekend as a team. I’m confident it will be better next time out.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal
“The weekend here in Silverstone started in a bad way from the very beginning, after the scrutineering process on Thursday. We clarified everything on the same day but I would like to say that the team has never and would never operate its cars in an unsafe condition. We are a professional team operating at the highest level of motorsport and we treat all aspects of the operation of our cars and their safety with the utmost gravity and respect.
“As for the race today, it was a big disappointment for the team because the worst scenario that can ever happen is the collision between teammates on the first lap of the race. This should not have happened today. From a performance point of view, the car would’ve been able to finish within the top ten – Daniil’s lap times were quite competitive, although the floor was damaged, as well as other parts on the car. We had to call him in to change the front wing and in parallel to this, we also changed the tyres to the soft compound. We thought that he could maybe stay out longer, but then we had to do another pit-stop for the supersoft. At the end we finished the race in P15, so with no points, but all we can do is forget about this race weekend and prepare ourselves in the best possible way for Hungary. This race track should suit us much better and hopefully we can achieve a successful result before the summer break.”
Mario Isola, Head of Car Racing
“The British Grand Prix contained a sting in the tail for the two Ferrari drivers, with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both unfortunately experiencing a tyre issue close to the hard-fought finish; that’s a real pity and we’ll obviously now look into exactly why this happened together with the team. The race was run at an incredible pace this year, with the fastest lap being nearly five seconds faster than the 2016 equivalent.”