What the teams said – Race day in Great Britain
It all looked so easy. Hamilton led from the off with Bottas tucked behind. Those two had a comfortable lead to Verstappen back in third and were serenely headed for a one-two when Bottas’ left front tyre let go with a few laps remaining. It happened in the worst possible spot just as he passed the pit entry, and limping a full lap on three wheels dropped him out of the points. The team elected to leave Hamilton out given he only had one lap to complete – when his tyre went as well! The reigning world champion just about negotiated the last few corners to cross the line and win at less of a canter, more of a slow stagger from the Red Bull of Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton, 1st
"I have never experienced anything like that before. That last lap was one of the most challenging laps I have ever had. Up until that point, everything was going relatively smoothly, the tyres felt great and I was doing some management. When I heard Valtteri's tyre had gone, I looked at mine and everything seemed fine, but I started to back off. Then, it just suddenly deflated down the straight. It was a heart-in-your-mouth feeling and then I was just trying to keep the speed up without damaging the car. Bono was giving me the gaps; I think it was 30 seconds at one stage, but it was coming down quite quickly and I was thinking 'How far is it to the end of the lap?'. But we managed to get the car across the line. That last lap is definitely one to remember, I feel so grateful that I got it back and could secure the win. It was difficult standing up there on the podium without the crowd, but hopefully I did everyone proud who was supporting us from home."
Valtteri Bottas, 11th
"It's a really disappointing result for me. I got very unlucky with the puncture; everything was going OK until that point. I was trying to put the pressure on Lewis, but we knew it was going to be a long stint on the Hard tyre. Towards the end I was starting to get more and more vibrations on the front left. I didn't see any debris or anything, so I reported the vibrations and started to manage the tyres, but then the tyre failed suddenly on the start/finish straight and I had to complete a full lap back to the pits which cost me a lot of time. I am sure there will be lots of learnings to take from this weekend, so we'll take those and move onto the next weekend."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"In the past, we have had some scrutiny for saying that having a fast car isn't enough to cruise with a 1-2 finish into the sunset. And today showed how cruel motor racing can be. Valtteri lost a valuable second place for his Drivers' Championship and the team lost valuable points in the Constructors' Championship. At the same time, Lewis had enough of a gap to make it over the finish line in first place, but we were lucky that Red Bull pitted towards the end - if they hadn't, what looked like a secure 1-2 finish would have ended up a 2-11. Therefore, we will continue to be sceptical, we know we have a fast car and a powerful engine, but we will not take anything for granted until we've crossed the finish line at each race weekend."
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
"It's very frustrating to lose a car in the final laps and Valtteri will be feeling that more than anyone today. The timing couldn't have been worse as he was just braking for Turn 16, so he had to do the whole lap on three wheels dropping him out of the points at the end. With Lewis we were luckier; after Max decided to take a fresh set and go for fastest lap, Lewis had a lead of over thirty seconds when he got the puncture. Thankfully that was just enough for Lewis to hold on to the win. Despite our frustration at the way the race finished, we can be pleased with how we've worked here. The car had great pace in qualifying and the race and we were able to build gaps to the competition quite quickly today. Next week's race will be a different challenge on softer tyres and in much hotter temperatures. That may not suit us based on what we've seen in the warmer conditions here and in Austria although we're excited by the technical challenge that it creates and will work hard over the next few days to make sure we remain competitive."
Verstappen was in third for much of the race, some way back from the Silver Arrows. But his own tyre wear coupled with Bottas’ late puncture prompted the team to pit the Dutchman right in the last moments – only for race leader Hamilton’s tyre to also let go. Verstappen put his foot down and mounted a last lap charge but couldn’t quite take the win from the ailing Mercedes. As for Albon, an early crash with Magnussen earned him a five-second penalty, which combined with the damage suffered dropped him to last. He switched to a two-stop strategy and on fresher tyres worked his way through the field back to the points.
Max Verstappen, 2nd
“I know everyone is asking whether we should not have pitted for the soft tyre because we could have won but could have, would have, should have. You can always ask these questions with hindsight but I don’t regret anything and I believe we made the right decision to pit for fastest lap at the end. We did the right thing and who knows if I would also have got a puncture, you just can’t predict these things as it does not happen very often in F1 these days. At the end of the day Mercedes deserved to win as they were faster than us, some people are saying Lewis was lucky but he was actually unlucky to get the puncture in the first place and so was Bottas. I’m happy to finish second as it looked like third was all that was possible and again we have scored good points. I was four or five tenths off Mercedes every lap but a second faster than the cars behind, so it was a pretty lonely race. At one point I went on the radio telling my engineer to remember to stay hydrated. (laughs) Other than that I was just counting sheep! Next week will be slightly different with the tyre choice affecting the strategy and although we are realistic about the pace of the Mercedes compared to us we won’t stop pushing them like we did today.”
Alex Albon, 8th
“Eighth isn’t what I want but it’s damage limitation after the damage to the car and penalty at the start of the race. I think the incident with Kevin was 50/50, he made a mistake and left a gap so I went for the move. When I realised he didn’t see me and he closed the door I tried to get out of the way but we touched. There was a big difference of speed going into the corner and it couldn’t be avoided. We had a lot of work to do this weekend but we did the best we could and the race pace was okay fighting back through the field. I’m happy we’ve got another race here at Silverstone next weekend as I love this track and we can use what we’ve learned this week and put it into practice.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“You could say we were a little unlucky to miss out on the victory today but congratulations to Mercedes who have a very dominant car and it would have been a lucky win. Lewis’ luck is with him at the moment but second place and fastest lap for Max is still a very good result for the Team after the gap to Mercedes in qualifying yesterday. Max drove a really mature race, he got everything out of the car and made no mistakes – he was even looking out for his engineers and reminding them to have a drink on the pit wall whilst setting green sectors! Towards the end of the race Max’s tyres weren’t in great shape, so when Bottas had his puncture there was no guarantee Max would have got to the end of the race so it was wise to pit for new rubber. I think we have to be grateful to have benefitted from Valtteri’s misfortune and we can be happy with this result. Alex also drove a great race and to recover and finish eighth with some great passes, after contact and the resulting penalty put him at the back of the field. I think his collision with Magnussen was a racing incident – Kevin made a mistake and went wide so Alex committed and they touched but the five second penalty was probably fair. From Hungary to here I think we are making progress as a Team and today shows anything can happen in the race, so we must keep pushing and applying the pressure to those in front.”
Leclerc had a good start and was briefly up to third before dropping behind Verstappen. From there it was a lonely race for the youngster but he managed his tyres well to take advantage of the late chaos and come home to the podium for the second time in four races. As for Vettel, he struggled starting on the softs and was involved in a race-long battle with Ocon and Gasly. He had dropped out of the points after the pit stops, but the last-gasp punctures for his rivals elevated him back to P10 where he started.
Sebastian Vettel, 10th
"That was a very difficult race, because I couldn’t challenge anyone. Many of those behind me were a bit faster and managed to get past, as I was struggling massively to find grip in this car, even though I tried lots of different things this weekend. I didn’t have the required pace and so my confidence level is quite low at the moment, because I’m struggling to get a feel for the car and every time I try and push, I lose the car. I think we need to have a look at this problem together with the engineers."
Charles Leclerc, 3rd
"It was a difficult day, but a good one. I am very satisfied with this result. We know we were a bit lucky, but sometimes these things happen and you need to be there to take the opportunity. I am satisfied with the way in which we have been working this weekend and I am very proud of the team. I am also pleased with my performance, especially with regards to tyre management. It was not easy. We had a very aggressive downforce level coming here, so we had quite a lot of speed in the straights but difficulties in the corners. I struggled quite a bit to get the tyres to the right temperature, especially after the safety car. Once they were in the right window, things became less tricky though. I think we did quite a good job with the setup and the balance of the car, and it was very nice to drive. We extracted absolutely everything from the package today. Of course, we don’t want to be fighting for fourth place for too much longer, but at the moment that’s what our car is capable of."
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
"Mixed fortunes today. On the plus side is Charles' podium finish. After a good qualifying yesterday, he was perfect in the race, doing an impeccable job of managing the tyres. On the minus side, is Sebastian’s result. Again today, he was clearly not happy with his car: we have to study the data closely to work out why. We had prepared carefully for this weekend, going for a lower than usual aerodynamic downforce configuration, based on simulation work and development in the wind tunnel and it paid off. We also worked a lot on tyre management, which was a critical factor in this race, as can be seen from the last few laps. Charles did a good job, patiently listening to the engineers, saving the tyres for the entire race. Today, at least with one car, we got everything out of the package we have, even though it’s a long way off our target. Now we are focussing on next weekend, when we race again on the same track. We will prepare well and try as hard as possible to bring home even more points than today."
Renault have far more pace in their car than Saturday’s qualifying performance would suggest when compared to the midfield, and they set about using it to good effect today, with Ricciardo in particular looking racy. He managed to get ahead of Norris not once but twice and was pressuring Sainz in the sister McLaren when the Spaniard fell back with his tyre issue. That elevated the Honey Badger to fourth for his best finish of the season. As for Ocon, he lost out in the pit stops when Renault double-stacked their drivers, but did well to recover to sixth, with his car ironically coming alive under low fuel.
Esteban Ocon, 6th
“I’m very happy with today’s team result. It was very fun out there, lots of overtaking, lots of fun battles and a fantastic result to finish it off. I think today shows how quick our car is in the race. It really felt awesome today and it was a strong performance from the team. It’s a credit to everyone at Enstone and Viry for their hard work between Budapest and this race. We had a lot of discussions, and that’s really paid off today. It proves that we need to qualify further up to make our life easier on Sunday. We have another opportunity next week for more.”
Daniel Ricciardo, 4th
“It was a crazy race at the end, and it feels really cool to take fourth place. We made a good start, jumped up to sixth and we showed decent pace. At the safety car restart I was close to Carlos [Sainz] but didn’t have enough and that allowed Lando [Norris] to have a run on me and I missed out there. That was a bit frustrating, but it came back to us at the end. The race really came alive and that was really good. We had some pace at the end and I was able to get Lando and then Carlos had a problem. I saw Charles [Leclerc] getting closer and maybe with a couple more laps we could have had a podium! We have another chance next week. We were assisted by some chaos, but we were definitely a top six car today and that’s pleasing.”
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal
“It was a very good result from a team perspective and one of our strongest since our return to Formula 1. It is particularly good here in Silverstone, a temple of the Formula 1 championship and one of the home races for the team. Clearly, there was a bit of help towards the end to gain positions, but that should not take away from the very strong performance that the team has put in throughout the weekend. We had a decent Friday practice and that meant both good preparation for qualifying with both cars in the top 10 as well as critical learning about making the hard tyre last in the race. Today, both drivers had a strong opening lap to have track position and then we decided to stop both cars for Hards under the safety car, which the pit crew did an excellent job on. We also had strong reliability and that’s so important when we have eventful races like this one. After tracks where the car struggled, Silverstone’s layout confirmed the strengths and weaknesses of the car. In particular we must keep working on high-speed corners as that’s our weakness compared to direct rivals. We have made progress but we should not lose sight of our direct competitors nor of the competitiveness level of Mercedes in all circumstances.”
A very mixed bag for McLaren today. Sainz had the better start and ran fifth for much of the race, having to get his elbows out more than once. But his tyre let go in the closing stages and he plunged down the field. As for Norris, he had to work hard to get past Ricciardo and briefly was pressuring his team mate before falling back behind the Australian with a handful of laps left. Nonetheless, fifth is still a good result for the youngster, who remains fourth in the standings.
Carlos Sainz, 13th
“I’m a bit lost for words to be honest – I think the images spoke for themselves. It’s a very frustrating end to an otherwise very strong race. I had a great start gaining a couple of positions and solid pace throughout the whole race, managing the tyres and the gap to the cars behind. Everything was working well, we were on for a very strong P4 and 12 points, but then the tyre failed and I had to box on the last lap. Very disappointing, frustrating and unfortunate. Nothing we could do about it though.
“I’ve lost some important points in these first four races, so I really look forward to this run of bad luck turning around. With a shorter championship, losing these points hurts more than normal, but we need to carry on.
“On the positive side, the car felt good on track and the boys did good pit stops for the team – that’s why I also feel so bad for them. Tomorrow, we’ll switch our focus to the second round here at Silverstone next week to try to capitalise on our good pace.”
Lando Norris, 5th
“A decent race. I made a bit of a mistake by pushing too hard on the first lap of the race. I locked-up and lost a position, but the rest of the race was pretty good. I don’t think we had the fastest car on track compared to the teams around us. We were suffering a little bit with the tyre degradation, having to push more than I wanted for the majority but, apart from that, we were on for a good result. Carlos got unlucky with the puncture. I don’t think we could’ve done a lot more.”
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal
“Right now, I feel sorry for Carlos – he had very bad luck after a strong drive. To lose many good points one lap before the end with a puncture leaves the whole team very disappointed. Nevertheless, this is racing, and this is what happens. Both drivers have again put in good performances, again we had a competitive car and we still scored some important points in the Constructors’ Championship with Lando finishing in P5. The crew did great work with three very good pit stops, and the strategy team made all the right calls in pressured situations when the Safety Car came out.
“We have completed four races now and both drivers have seen the chequered flag every time, without any reliability issues for either the car or the power unit. Massive thanks to the entire team at the track and back home, and also Renault for all of their hard work and effort.
“It’s a shame to not have our fans, partners and other members of team here for our home race, but we value their incredible support despite being unable to be at the track with us. The entire race team can take a short break now, before coming back to Silverstone later this week to do it all over again.”
Kvyat had a spectacular crash midway through the race, losing control and ploughing into the barriers at Maggots. He climbed out of the car under his own steam which was good to see and appeared unhurt, with the team set to investigate what went wrong. That passed the mantle to Gasly, who fought hard but fair to stay ahead of Vettel and then took advantage of an ailing Stroll late on to climb up to a very decent seventh.
Pierre Gasly, 7th
“It’s really fantastic for us to finish P7 today! It was a very strong race and probably one of the best ones from me. We didn’t expect such a result today, we knew we could potentially score points, but it was going to be a challenge as the timing of the first safety car didn’t play into our hands. I think we were P12 at the time and I had to fight my way through the crowd. It was tough but very enjoyable and I had many great battles with Vettel, Stroll and Giovinazzi. I struggled to get close to Sebastian, but then I had one shot to pass him and I knew I had to try and make it work. It doesn’t happen every day that you're able to overtake a Ferrari on the outside, so I really enjoyed that one! I’m feeling good in the car and we know where we need to improve, so hopefully we can take another step forward in the coming weeks.”
Daniil Kvyat, DNF
“I think it was a very strong race despite the fact it was cut short. I had a good start, great pace and made quite a few overtakes, catching up to the cars in front. We were on for a good result today when all of a sudden at Turn 10 I lost the rear of the car. I thought it was my fault, as at first I always tend to blame myself, but after reviewing the video we saw that something happened out of my control, so we will need to check all the data to understand what exactly caused the failure. It’s disappointing as we could have scored some good points here today, but I will try again next week.”
Jody Egginton, Technical Director
“Today's race has certainly been exciting with the closing stages providing lots of drama. Pierre had a fantastic race making several good passes, managing his pace and tyres very well in order to be able to push hard when it really mattered. Dany was also showing some good pace up until lap 12, so although he has not been able to score points today, we are confident he can bounce back next week. Today's performance has further validated the updates we have brought here are delivering, now we will spend the next few days reviewing the data to be able to extract some more from our package next week. The entire team worked fantastically today, and we achieved a result worthy of the hard work put in by everyone here and back in Faenza & Bicester.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal
“We came to Silverstone with a few new parts and we were quite optimistic. From the very beginning of the weekend, we were able to show a good performance throughout all free practice sessions. For whatever reason, we couldn’t put everything together in qualifying, even if Pierre’s 11th position on the grid, with a free tyre choice, was actually quite fortunate. Pierre had a fantastic race, overtaking many cars and we decided to call him to the pits during the safety car period – unfortunately the one due to Daniil’s accident – to put him on base tyres, which paid off quite well. His seventh position at the end of the race brought some good points to the team. Daniil started the race from the back in P19, due to a five-place grid position penalty, but he had a good start and was immediately very competitive, catching up to Pierre in P12. He was actually behind him when he had his accident at Maggotts, which we will need to investigate but it looks like it might be due to a rear puncture. However, the most important thing is that he got out of the car without injuries and he is completely fine. It’s a real shame as he was showing great pace and I think he might have also finished in the points. We are now looking forward to next week for the second race in Silverstone.”
Hulkenberg’s fairytale return to the F1 paddock ended before it had begun – his car suffered a suspected power unit issue before the race and he didn’t take the start. As for Stroll, he was in the thick of the action in the midfield before he lacked pace and started to fall back behind his rivals. He benefitted from the two late punctures to get back into the points in a disappointing day for the team.
Nico Hulkenberg, DNS
“It’s a real shame that I couldn’t start the race and I feel for the team because they did everything to get me onto the grid. I’m very thankful to everyone for their help. It’s been a jump into the deep end this weekend, but I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work with the team again. It would have been great to score a good result in the race as a reward for all our hard work.”
Lance Stroll, 9th
“We were able to keep up our run of scoring points in every race this season, but I’m disappointed to only finish in P9 and we need to go away and look into the reasons why. The balance of the car was better today and I expected us to be more competitive, but we slipped back in the race. It wasn’t our day today, so now we need to focus on next weekend and make sure we come back stronger and show what the car is capable of. It’s a shame Nico couldn’t start the race because he’s done a good job this weekend.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO
“A tough afternoon – starting with a power unit or gearbox issue, which meant Nico didn't even make the start of the race. The first indication of a problem was when we tried to fire up the car to go to the grid. There was basically a drivetrain seizure, the cause of which is still being investigated. It’s a shame for the entire team after such a huge effort to get Nico in the car. With Lance, we were especially unlucky with the timing of the safety car, which also ruled out any strategic benefit of starting on the medium tyres. After that, we were stuck in the train of cars and struggled with our race pace – certainly compared to the long runs we did on Friday. We need to understand where we lost out today so we can be stronger next week.”
Magnussen’s race was over at a very early stage as he was punted off into the barriers by Albon when they both tried to take the same line into the final corner. As for Grosjean, Haas were the only team not to pit under the second Safety Car and he ran strongly in the top 10 as a result, although he was shown a black and white warning flag for his defensive moves against Sainz. When he finally pitted, he tumbled down the field, and then had to go to the stewards who let him off with a warning for a similar move on Ricciardo.
Romain Grosjean, 16th
“It’s disappointing, the result, as I drove to the absolute limit from the beginning to the end of the race. The first stint was fun. I found myself up in fifth behind the Safety Car and I was like ‘oh, just like the good old days.’ I was happy to stay out, we have to try these things with our car - just like we did in Hungary. I was a bit skeptical for the restart on the tyres, but it worked well, and I could keep the pace. I was happy and having fun. I don’t think much is going to change for next week, I think the order will stay the same, but obviously there’ll be a bit more degradation in the race – so maybe it’s a two-stop race, which I’d rather have, a one-stop is a bit boring.”
Kevin Magnussen, DNF
“I’m all good after the accident, just very frustrated. I had made a great start – again, gained a couple of positions. I’d felt that the car was good on the way to the grid and I said to my engineers that the car was working really well. I’m gutted to be out as maybe we could have done something today. We had done everything we could do. We’d qualified as best as we could, then I got a great start – it was a good first lap with the positions gained, we were close to the top 10. It was looking good, I’m very gutted.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“I would say it was an interesting day. As much as the disappointment is high, the positives we take out of it is that the drivers like the car, they like how it drives – we just need to get faster with it. Romain (Grosjean), once he was in the mix, he could almost keep up with the other cars and in some cases, he was faster – so that’s a good sign. Unfortunately, on his pit stop, he couldn’t engage the gear and we lost 10 seconds. That took us out of the chance of scoring a point, I’m saying one point – not plural. Kevin (Magnussen) was taken out on Lap 1, so there’s not much more to say on that one. It’s our destiny at the moment that we don’t have any luck. The good we take away from here is that when we are in the mix in the race, we can be there. We still have to work on qualifying. So, it was an interesting race. We didn’t end up with a point, but everyone’s doing a good job, working hard, and sooner or later we’ll score again.”
Russell was demoted to the back of the field after that grid penalty, but soon made short work of his team mate. He also managed to overtake Raikkonen, the car showing much better pace on the hard tyres than it had yesterday on the softs. Latifi too got into the thick of the action, duelling with the Finn's Alfa Romeo and the Haas of Grosjean in a composed display.
George Russell, 12th
"This was the first race where we have been pretty fast, and our Sunday pace matched our Saturday, so that is positive. We have put a lot of effort in to focus on our pace today, so we are going in the right direction. After the Safety Car, the car felt strong. I managed to overtake Kimi (Raikkonen) and I caught Antonio (Giovinazzi). If we can maintain a good qualifying position ahead of the Alfa Romeos and the Haas’ there’s no reason we can’t stay there on merit on a Sunday."
Nicholas Latifi, 15th
"I think out of all the first four races so far, this was the race where in duration the car felt the best and the most predictable. The car felt alive and it was really nice to drive. In the first lap I made a mistake and went off and lost the track position, but besides that I had a lot of confidence to push. It was quite an enjoyable race, as it is much nicer when you are in the fight with other cars."
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
"Silverstone delivered another exciting race and whilst the safety cars bunched the field up, we can be reasonably pleased with our pace and the result. We now have a good baseline to use for some further tests next week when we return to Silverstone for the fifth race of the season.
"Both drivers drove well today and, with the help of the experts in the garage, were able to manage their tyres to the end of the race whilst also dealing with the gusty conditions. There is still a lot of opportunity to push the car harder, but we are making good progress and will continue to do so next week.
"As usual, the pit crew did a great job and the double stop that they were able to complete during the second safety car period helped us gain some valuable track position with both cars."
Raikkonen had a race to forget. Struggling with tyre wear for much of the afternoon, he was passed by both Williams drivers before having an off late on that cost him a chunk of front wing and led to a second pit stop. As for Giovinazzi, he managed to extract better pace from the Alfa, especially on the hard compound tyre, but fell back towards the end after serving a time penalty for an infringement behind the Safety Car.
Kimi Raikkonen, 17th
“Not the race we expected, by all means. At the beginning of the race I thought we would have a chance to fight, but after the stops our pace was not enough to keep up with the others. We’ll need to see how to improve our performance for next week’s race. In the final laps, I had a front wing failure, but that made no difference in the end. I am not sure what happened, we’ll need to look into that.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, 14th
“It’s been quite a difficult race but I think we did the most we could. I had a good start and made up a few places, gained another place with a very good pit-stop by the crew but after the second safety car I struggled with pace – and a five-second penalty meant I lost two more places at the end. We hoped to be a bit more competitive, so we will need to look at the data and improve what we can to make a step forward when we race here again next week.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“It was a disappointing Sunday. We looked good in the opening stages, climbing up to P12, just behind Ocon and Vettel and showing good pace. We were looking on course for a good result until the stops, but in the end we weren’t able to make any more progress once we switched to hard tyres. With one more race here in Silverstone, we will need to comb through the data and find the best way to improve our performance for next week.”
Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing
"We'll of course be investigating exactly what happened to the tyres on the two Mercedes cars as well as that on the McLaren of Carlos Sainz in the final two laps of the race. What we already know for sure is that the tyres involved in these failures were extremely well-used, with nearly 40 laps of running; albeit some behind the Safety Car. The race was very much influenced by the Safety Car, with the second one prompting a pit stop for nearly everyone, leading to a very long second stint. After a complete analysis we will be able to understand fully what happened, which will obviously be very valuable information for next weekend."