What the teams said - Race day in Great Britain
The Silver Arrows battled hard from the off, with Hamilton overtaking for the lead and then Bottas nipping back ahead. The team mates raced fair and gave each other plenty of room to calm the heart rates of their bosses. The Finn pitted first, on course for a straightforward win. But the timing of the safety car meant Hamilton had a free pit stop and thus inherited the race lead, which he never relinquished. Bottas did well to hang on to a disappointing P2 after he was forced to pit again, while Hamilton was overjoyed with a record sixth win at his home race.
Lewis Hamilton, 1st
"I remember my first win here in 2008 and the feeling that I had coming out of Brooklands and going down the straight and seeing the crowd, it felt so reminiscent of that today - the excitement and happiness and joy that I felt were exactly the same as back then. I've done so many races now, and you would think that after so many races you'd get used to it and the feeling would numb down, but it felt like it was the first win I ever had. Valtteri drove a very strong race and we had a really good fight in the beginning; I nearly got him going into Turn 7, but he was next to me and I couldn't really close the door. After that I backed off a little and waited for the pit stops, hoping that I could maybe overtake him in the pits. I extended my first stint for a few more laps, then the Safety Car came out and that was perfect timing for me as I came back out in front of Valtteri. I'm really grateful to all of those people that have helped me achieve this today; I have this incredible team behind me and it's really amazing to be a part of it, to be breaking down walls and records and pushing the limits and boundaries every weekend."
Valtteri Bottas, 2nd
"I had a good start of the line and then a good fight with Lewis in the first few laps, which was really enjoyable. After my pit stop, I was controlling the gap to Lewis, but then the Safety Car came out and he effectively got a free stop and came out ahead of me. I was hoping that there might be another opportunity in the race, but I knew the chances were slim because I had to do another stop to change to a different compound anyways. The tyre life was ultimately much better than we had thought, so a one-stop would have been possible, but our simulations before the race had predicted a two-stop to be the fastest option. I'm disappointed because the win was definitely possible for me today, but I can definitely take positives from this weekend - I had a strong Qualifying and my race pace also looked very good. It was also another strong weekend from the team, to take a 1-2 after a difficult race in Austria is a great result. Congratulations to Lewis for the win, he drove well and had massive support from the local fans. I'm looking forward to the next race in Hockenheim and will give it everything to fight back."
James Allison, Technical Director
"This was a fantastic result for the team and a brilliant performance from our drivers and car alike. As a team, we were very, very strong today but that didn't make life easy on the pit wall: our two drivers were fighting hammer and tongs in the first stint, and likely would have been for the whole race but for the intervention of the Safety Car, which fell unfortunately for Valtteri. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic end result for Lewis in his home race and a really strong drive from Valtteri. After the close fight in qualifying, it was gratifying to see that our race pace was strong and that we were able to repeat the competitiveness we had seen on Friday during the long runs."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"To bounce back from our worst weekend of the season with a 1-2 at our home race is a great feeling. It was exciting to see our drivers fight hard on the track; it was a tough battle, but there's a lot of respect between the two of them and they always left each other enough space. I think both our drivers merited to win today. Valtteri had a really strong weekend; he outqualified Lewis at Silverstone, he led the race, he defended spectacularly, but the Safety Car came out in the wrong moment for him. Lewis was struggling a bit yesterday but drove a very strong race today and even managed to get the point for the fastest lap on 30 laps old Hard tyres; we're still not quite sure how he managed that. It's a great result for him in front of his home crowd. We're now looking forward to our second home race in Hockenheim in two weeks."
Leclerc spent much of the early stages of the race battling hard with Verstappen, with the two trading places and pushing - but not exceeding - the boundaries of what was fair. The safety car cost Leclerc dearly, while benefitting his team mate who jumped up three places. That left Vettel a de facto third but under pressure from Verstappen, and the two collided with the German deemed at fault after hitting the rear of the Red Bull having out-braked himself. Vettel dropped down the field as a result of damage sustained and the resulting time penalty, with Leclerc gaining from the crash to finish on the podium.
Sebastian Vettel, 16th
"Regarding the incident with Max, it was my mistake and I spoke to him afterwards and apologized. I had thought a gap would open up on the inside but it didn’t and it looked for a second as if he was pulling into the middle but he stayed left, but by that time it was already too late, I was too close and I couldn’t avoid the crash. Ferrari and Red Bull have been very closely matched in the last few races and I think it would have been difficult to fight Max off anyway.
"Apart from that, our race pace was really good, and the initial laps went well and I benefited from the Safety Car to get ahead of three cars. I don't think we could have won today, but I’m not happy that I didn’t even score any points."
Charles Leclerc, 3rd
"It was a good day for me. This was by far the most fun race of my Formula 1 career to date. From inside the cockpit, the duel with Max was really enjoyable and I reckon those watching it at home or at the track also thought it was a good show.
In a way, I have to say that what happened in Austria allowed me to understand how aggressive I can be in the race and I didn’t hold back. It was also a good fight with Pierre: to overtake him I had to be daring because he was very quick down the straights. From a technical point of view, I think we need to further improve our race pace and how we manage the tyres, because today we struggled a bit.”
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
"It was definitely a difficult race, when compared to yesterday’s qualifying. Once again today, tyre wear compromised our pace, limiting our performance. It clearly demonstrates we still have work to do to close the gap when we are racing in specific circumstances. Charles drove a strong race and showed once again how good he is in a wheel to wheel situation. It was a shame that Seb’s good showing in the race was spoilt by a mistake when fighting Verstappen.
"The Safety Car made Charles’ race more difficult: stopping first was not really an option as it would have put Charles behind his rivals. All we could do therefore was react when Verstappen pitted. In the end, Charles had to attack the Red Bull again on track, which he succeeded in doing to take a well deserved podium."
Verstappen was feisty from the start, fighting hard with Leclerc. He pitted for a second time under the safety car and wound up ahead of the Ferrari and with fresh tyres, was allowed past his team mate to chase down the sister Scuderia car. He made a move stick on Vettel but the German then hit him from behind, causing severe car damage. The Dutchman limped home with an apparent power steering failure, to finish behind his team mate. All things considered, Gasly did well to keep out of trouble for his best finish this season.
Max Verstappen, 5th
“It’s a shame for everyone in the Team to lose a podium here as the car felt very good and we were so quick in the race. The battles with Charles were hard but fair and he was defending really well. I didn’t want to risk too much as the race was still very long and we were clearly faster, so it was just a matter of choosing the right time and it was great fun.
"The Team made a really good call with the second pit stop to put me on the hard tyre so we had that advantage over Charles. I then had really strong pace and caught Seb, I passed him and defended into Turn 17 but Seb out braked himself and hit me from behind. I ended up bumping over the kerbs and the gravel and I thought the race was over.
"I honestly don’t know how I brought the car to the finish as it felt like the power steering failed and the floor was damaged, so I’m actually happy to finish fifth and score some points. I’m not angry but disappointed as it was hard racing and Seb didn’t do it on purpose. He also apologised as soon as I got out of the car which I respect. I think we put on a pretty good show for the fans today and proved the sport is far from boring.”
Pierre Gasly, 4th
“This whole weekend has been strong from Friday to Sunday, with today being my best Sunday of the year. We’re fighting with the guys at the front which is where we should be and I’m really happy with fourth today. Of course as a competitive guy I’m disappointed not to get on the podium as it was so close but we’ve made a big step this weekend and we’re working in the right direction. I had some good battles with Seb and Charles and there was quite a lot of action throughout the race. I still need to work on the little details to improve and make the last step on to the podium, but overall we are not too far away and we will keep pushing. If we can have this kind of Sunday every weekend then things should be exciting.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“It was a really exciting first part of the race, with Max going wheel to wheel with Leclerc resulting in some great racing between the two of them. An early pit stop put Max just ahead but unfortunately he couldn’t hold on to that position on the out lap. They were then fighting for the rest of the stint before the Safety Car was deployed.
"We took the opportunity to pit Max again so he could go to the end of the race and it then became a straight fight between Max and Sebastian, knowing he was within a pit stop of Bottas. Max managed to make a pass on the outside at Stowe but Seb misjudged his breaking and took Max’s car out from behind. Despite the enormous hit, Max was able to get going again from the gravel to bring the car home. It was a frustrating race for him as there was potential for a podium today.
"Pierre’s race was the continuation of a very strong weekend, running hard with the Ferraris and doing a very long stint on the hard tyre to get to the end of the race to achieve his best finish of the year. This has been a great confidence builder for him and hopefully he can use this to get some momentum going for his next race.”
Mixed feelings for McLaren, who saw one driver benefit massively from the timing of the safety car, and the other lose out. Norris was running a solid seventh before his pit stop and looking set for points. But a free pit stop for Sainz saw the Spaniard jump ahead, and things got worse when Norris was forced to stop again after struggling with tyre wear. The rookie probably deserved better at his home race, but Sainz rode his luck and drove a faultless last few laps to keep a charging Ricciardo at bay and come home best of the rest.
Carlos Sainz, 6th
“A good Sunday! After a tough Saturday the plan was always to recover with a solid start, tyre management and a good strategy. Again, we operated it perfectly. I overtook both Alfa Romeos off the line to be the first of the medium midfield runners. The pace was good and we took advantage of the Safety Car to do the only pit stop I was meant to do today.
“After the stop I could set a really good pace when it mattered and the battle with Ricciardo for P6 was tense but fun. Good racing. I managed to stay ahead and score some good points for the team. We’ll analyse the whole weekend now and start thinking about Germany. Let’s keep pushing.”
Lando Norris, 11th
“I had a really good start. A little bit of contact in Turn 3 caused slight damage but nothing that really made much difference. I did the first stint – got undercut by Ricciardo – which was a little bit frustrating, and then the Safety Car came out.
“With hindsight, maybe we didn’t make the best choice by not boxing, but apart from that I couldn’t do anything else and I feel like I did the maximum possible. It’s not the way I wanted my home race to go, but I’ve enjoyed this weekend and I’m looking forward to coming back next year.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal
“Big congratulations and thank you again to the team here at the track and at the factory. We have again been the fourth-strongest team this weekend, and extended the gap to our main competitors in the midfield by one point. Overall, it was quite a tricky race today. On Carlos’s side, after having a great start, overtaking both Alfas, he obviously benefitted from the timing of the Safety Car. It came just at the right time for Carlos to gain track position to other cars, and at the same time allowed him to run the race on the optimum, one-stop tyre strategy. Ricciardo was very strong towards the end of the race, and Carlos did a sensational job in battling through and keeping him behind until the finish line.
“Lando also had another great race start, overtaking Ricciardo on the first lap. Ricciardo then undercut Lando at the first pit stop by stopping one lap earlier, and with the Safety Car we decided to split strategies between our cars, trying to gain track position for Lando. We then ran a two-stop strategy with fresh Hard tyres towards the end of the race, in order to try and overtake other cars which we thought might struggle with their tyres. Unfortunately for Lando, after driving a great race, it didn’t end up with any points for him because the tyres on our main competitors lasted longer than we anticipated.
“A special thanks to our team back at the factory who made a big push in the last week to get updates on the cars which were originally planned for the next race. Finally, a special thanks to all of the McLaren employees and fans who came to Silverstone this weekend.”
Ricciardo had a race-long battle with the McLarens, after being passed by Norris at the start. He gained the place back thanks to an undercut in the pits, before losing out to Sainz in the safety car melee. The Aussie pushed hard in the closing laps, but couldn't force a mistake from his McLaren counterpart and wound up seventh. Hulkenberg also had an eventful race, clashing with Perez, losing places after a brief mechanical issue and eventually passing Albon late on to steal the final point on offer.
Nico Hulkenberg, 10th
“It was hard work out there today and we’re disappointed not to be higher than tenth. The race just seemed to go away from us. Our strategy could have been smarter, I was hit at the Safety Car restart and lost a place there and then near the end I had to go into an engine limp mode for a couple of seconds which again put me back. It was just one of those Sundays where all the setbacks added up and cost us. It’s positive to have both cars back in the points, but we’ll regroup and review a few things to put ourselves in a better position for the next race.”
Daniel Ricciardo, 7th
“All in all, I think it was a good race. Initially, I thought my start wasn’t bad but Lando [Norris] just managed to get me after some clean racing. We got him back on the undercut but then the Safety Car played into Carlos’ [Sainz] hands with a free pit stop and that was a bit frustrating. It was unlucky on our part but we hunted him down towards the end but couldn’t mount a real attack to get past. It feels positive to be back in the top ten especially after the last two rounds. Our single-lap and race pace has certainly been a solid turnaround in a short period of time. Looking back to two weeks ago, we’d have taken this result.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal
“Overall we can be satisfied with today’s result of having both cars inside the top 10. However, we know that higher finishing positions were possible. Firstly, with Daniel, without the intervention of the Safety Car, but our reaction to pit him was the right one after a perfect execution of an undercut earlier in the race. Secondly, while Nico drove an excellent race to make the Hards last to the end, we could have stopped him earlier as he ran out of tyres before Daniel. He still deserves a lot of credit for taking the final point in adverse circumstances. But overall, at a power dominated track, in qualifying like in race, our competitiveness level has been stronger, even if the areas of weakness are still here and will be our focus for the coming weeks.”
Giovinazzi had a poor start, losing places and then inadvertently set the race alight by sliding off into the gravel trap with what appeared to be a puncture. That ended his race but brought out the safety car, leading to a flurry of crucial pit stops. Raikkonen managed to avoid the carnage and make a long, one-stop strategy work, overtaking a few cars at the end and using all his experience to come home solidly in the points once again.
Kimi Raikkonen, 8th
“P8 is a positive result. My car was handling quite nicely around the corners today, but we were lacking a bit of straight line speed. At the end I was fighting to keep the Toro Rosso of Kvyat behind by trying to stay in the DRS window of the car in front of me. It wasn’t the easiest weekend but we will happily take the points.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, DNF
“It is disappointing not to finish the race – something went wrong with the car and put me in the gravel but we don’t yet know what. We will investigate when the car is back. It’s unfortunate but it’s how racing goes. I was quite close to Kimi and we were on similar strategies, so I could have been in or close to the points, but we can still be pleased about our performance. We scored a good result for the team and we made another step forward. The midfield is very close so we need to keep working hard to remain there.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“Bringing home four points is a good result but it’s always a bit disappointing when one car doesn’t see the chequered flag. Overall it was a good team performance: Kimi drove a solid race and was able to make the most of the opportunities that came his way. Antonio would have been close to him, but unfortunately a mechanical issue meant his race ended in a gravel trap. Once again, we were able to fight in the midfield but we still need to work hard to retain the ground we made up.”
Albon clung on to the points positions for most of the race, but struggled towards the end with a power unit issue which meant he was unable to pit. His tyres went 'off the cliff' in the final couple of laps as he lost out to Hulkenberg and Norris. Kvyat though, kept out of trouble, and an advantageous pit stop during the safety-car period leap-frogged him up the field. He turned 17th on the grid into an impressive ninth.
Daniil Kvyat, 9th
“I’m very happy with the race today. To be honest, I didn’t have too many expectations today starting from the back of the grid, All weekend I didn’t really get into the rhythm and I was struggling a bit with the balance, but when it mattered most today I managed to extract everything from the car. We found a few improvements yesterday with the setup direction and I think we managed to correct it and I just clicked with the car. I had a good battle with Kimi at the end for P8, which was fun, but I didn’t have enough laps in the end to make a move. It’s good to get two more points on the board and it was important to bounce back after the past couple of races.”
Alex Albon, 12th
“It wasn’t an easy race for me managing the tyres. When the safety car came out some drivers got lucky, others didn’t. We had an issue with the car where we couldn’t pit or touch the car, so we had to stay out while others around us pitted. It was a frustrating race, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Jody Egginton, Technical Director
“Today's race has been quite eventful and, although we have scored points, we will be leaving here questioning what we could have done better. Alex put in a fantastic drive, especially when we consider he was managing an issue with his car all race which was limiting pit strategy options at various points. Even if he did a great job managing his prime tyres, they were finished two laps from the end of the race and he could not keep Hulkenberg behind. Dany's race was slightly less eventful, and we took the opportunity to move to the base tyre during the Safety Car period, which allowed him to attack in the last third of the race but unfortunately, he ran out of time to get past Kimi. We have extracted a level of performance from our cars more in line with expectation here, which is positive, but the closeness of the midfield means there is no room for error and we have to keep developing aggressively."
Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director
“Thanks to strong pace and a good strategy, Daniil went from 17th to finish in the points. Unfortunately, Alex dropped out of the points in the closing stages, as he was unable to make the second tyre stop that he needed. This was PU-related, as the data showed a high voltage issue, so we told the team it was inadvisable to make a second stop on safety grounds. Of course, we will now analyse this issue very carefully. It wasn’t the best race for us, but for the fans it was another really exciting Grand Prix. We will now concentrate as usual on our development programme, as we head for another pair of back to back races.”
Starting from the back of the field, it was always going to be tough for the team in pink at their home race. Perez astutely worked his way up the field but struggled with the handling of his RP-19 at the safety-car restart, colliding with Hulkenberg. That cost the Mexican his front wing and resulted in a lengthy pit stop, ending his slim chances of points. Stroll tried a two-stop strategy but didn't benefit from the timing of the safety car and came home 13th.
Sergio Perez, 17th
“We were very unlucky today. The first stint was very strong – I was managing my race, looking after the tyres and we were on course to score some points. Then, the safety car came out just after I had pitted and that’s what ruined my race. During the safety car period I also had an issue with my steering wheel, which affected the brake balance and meant it was too far forward. That’s why I ended up hitting Hulkenberg because I couldn’t stop the car enough; I damaged my front wing and dropped down to last. I cannot believe the tough luck we had today. It’s so disappointing because we deserved a big result in our home race and we had the speed in the car to score points.”
Lance Stroll, 13th
“I think it’s a weekend to forget, to be honest. Things just haven’t worked out for us. I had a good start and I was up three places by the end of the first lap. Unfortunately we had to pit earlier than planned to remove some debris from my left front brake duct and that really hurt our strategy. We had been aiming for a one-stop race, but ended up stopping twice because the team changed me to the soft tyre for the final stint. I think the team was hoping the cars ahead would run out of tyre life, but unfortunately it didn’t happen quickly enough.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO
“It’s wasn’t our day and we come away from our home race empty-handed. The safety car proved costly for us with both cars pitting shortly before it was deployed. We had hoped to get both cars home on one-stop strategies, but the safety car hurt us more than most and some of the cars we were racing effectively got a free pit stop. That’s racing and luck wasn’t on our side today. It’s a shame because we had cars capable of scoring points. A brake balance issue for Sergio contributed to the contact he made with Nico [Hulkenberg] and ended any chance of a recovery. We switched Lance to a two-stop race late on, in the hope that the fresh rubber might allow him to pick off some of the one-stopping cars, but we ran out of laps in the end.”
A weekend to forget. It was always going to be a tough ask for both drivers starting so far back, but Magnussen tried to drive round the outside of his team mate at the start. The two collided, both needing to pit after suffering rear punctures, and subsequently retired. At least the only way is up for the beleaguered American outfit.
Romain Grosjean, DNF
“I picked up the rear right puncture. After the pit stop the damage to the car, on the floor, the brake ducts and so on, it was too much to be able to carry on racing. We had to retire the car unfortunately. It’s a real shame. We wanted to evaluate both packages on the cars today. My car felt really good on the way to the grid, I was encouraged by those laps, and was hoping for a good race.”
Kevin Magnussen, DNF
“I think we had a decent weekend going for us, but obviously qualifying went worse than we expected. I think we’ve learned some things this weekend about the car, with the experiments we’ve tried. We didn’t get any result out of this today but hopefully we can take some learnings onto the next one.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“It was a very disappointing race for us. I’m just stating the obvious here. The best that our drivers could bring to the battle was a shovel – to dig the hole we’re in even deeper. We need to go back, regroup, and see what we do in future.”
Williams didn't have the pace to compete today, and the drivers mostly fought with each other. Russell came home ahead of Kubica once again, in a good showing in front of his home crowd. The team did manage to finish ahead of both Vettel and Perez, albeit because those two sustained damage that required late pit stops.
Robert Kubica, 15th
"It was a challenging race. The start was difficult as I struggled initially warming the car up. I made some setting changes and knew our target was to go quite long. I tried to look after the tyres, and when I knew they were in the right window our pace wasn’t too bad. The pack came together because of the Safety Car, which meant there was more racing. Unfortunately, the problems were similar to qualifying, making the car feel different from one lap to the next. Overall, not a bad weekend, but we need to resolve the ongoing problems."
George Russell, 14th
"I felt that we got the most out of the car. It was great fun out there, driving flat out every single lap around a circuit as cool as this was a special feeling. Even before the race, seeing all the fans supporting us Brits was amazing. We are still pushing, and hopefully at the next race we will be a bit quicker."
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer
"Both drivers had solid races, were able to understand today’s conditions and manage their tyres to complete comfortable one-stop races. The timing of the Safety Car allowed us to pit both cars for the hard Pirelli tyre and run relatively relaxed stints to the end of the race. We were flattered by the misadventure of others but that is all part of racing and so in fact we benefited from two reliable cars and two well-judged drives.
"Our attention now turns to two days of 2020 tyre testing on behalf of Pirelli before we move on to Germany and the challenges of Hockenheim."
Mario Isola, head of F1 and Car Racing
"All three compounds played an integral part in a fantastic race today, with perhaps the most remarkable performance coming from the hard tyre with Lewis Hamilton, who claimed the fastest lap just before taking the chequered flag, on a set of tyres that had already covered 32 laps. And this on one of the most demanding circuits of the year, with energy loads in excess of 4g through some of the corners. From start to finish we saw a highly entertaining race with plenty of action and close battles. The safety car was a decisive element, which effectively split the race into two sprints as most drivers took advantage of it to make a pit stop. The decision to pit Hamilton from the medium to the hard during this safety car proved to be a key element of his victory. Now we look forward to continuing our development of the 2020 compounds, with two days of testing with Red Bull and Williams at Silverstone."