Lewis Hamilton clinches historic 69th pole, Red Bull penalties mean Lance Stroll becomes youngest driver to start on front row.
Lewis Hamilton: “It’s very hard to find the words to explain how I feel, I’m trying to figure it all out. It probably won’t sink in for a long time. It was an epic day, I feel truly blessed. The Red Bulls really made me work hard for the pole today, which I’m grateful for. The weather has obviously been incredibly tricky for us all. What a day to come here in this beautiful country with the English weather and to be massively challenged. It was very difficult to see out there, and very easy to make mistakes – as always in the rain. The second to last lap was ok at the beginning, but then I backed out of it, hoping that I’d get one more lap. There was a lot of pressure for that last lap – there could have been a red flag, there could have been a yellow flag. There was a lot of risk, but I gave it everything. A big thank you to my team for making it all possible, the guys here, the guys back at the factory for continuing to support me. We’ve got a lot of the sponsors here from Mercedes-Benz and Petronas who have been sponsoring and supporting me for a long, long time, so I’m really grateful for that.”
Valtteri Bottas: “Today was a tough day. In the end, I just couldn’t get the Wet tyre to work. We stopped for a new set, tried to go for one more lap, but I just didn’t find any grip. Initially, in some parts of the qualifying we got everything working well, but it was really on a knife edge with the temperatures of the tyres. With more rain, I could not get the tyres hot enough. However, with the grid penalties for the Red Bulls, I’ll be starting fourth, which is not too bad. And it is for sure good to be ahead of the Ferraris with both cars. We have a long race ahead of us tomorrow; luckily it’s supposed to be dry.”
Max Verstappen: “Qualifying was positive today and I was happy with it. To be second is, of course, a very nice surprise and in the wet I always enjoy it. Q1 and Q2 with the tyre choice was a bit difficult as the intermediates never seemed to work very well. In Q3 on the new extremes I didn’t have a lot of grip, I was sliding around and I never really felt that comfortable. I cooled the tyres for one lap and then my final lap was luckily not too bad, it wasn’t perfect but second was a good result for us. We always knew we had the penalties to take tomorrow and having a good Qualifying means I hopefully start 15th rather than at the back. Let’s hope we can overtake, move to the front and I think realistically the aim will be for fifth or sixth.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “It is, of course, annoying about those penalties here. It would have been nice to start up front especially with some different names up that end and not the usual suspects. It would have been a chance to probably stay in the front for longer but at least I put a good effort into Qualifying and that put me up to 18th for the race instead of 19th. In the end I gained one position for doing a good job and I’ll take that. I didn’t really enjoy Q1 and Q2. Not because of the conditions, we were just slow as I struggled for grip and felt I was a bit like a passenger. As soon as we started Q3, I felt straight away that there was some grip that I didn’t have in the first two sessions. I still feel we left a bit on the table but generally it was a good recovery so I’m happy. I will enjoy tomorrow’s race thoroughly and have some fun. 18th is far down the back so I don’t expect to finish there.”
Lance Stroll: “It feels great. I didn’t expect that coming into today, but racing is full of surprises and you never know what will happen. They were difficult conditions out there, but we really handled it well as a team and pulled it off. I felt confident, felt good with the car and put it all together. Tomorrow is the race and that is where it counts, and I am just going to run my race like I always do. I am starting from a bit of a different position, but anything can happen and we have just got to be on top of our game tomorrow. The car just seems more competitive this weekend. I know the conditions weren’t really normal. We expected coming into this weekend with more straights and less high speed corners we would be a bit more competitive and it just seems to be that way.”
Felipe Massa: “It was definitely a great qualifying for the team. For many years, our car has been difficult in wet conditions and today the car was great, which for me was very important in qualifying. I was happy to be in Q3, but not so happy with my position because for sure I would have been happier to be in Lance’s position. He did a fantastic job, an amazing lap and qualifying. It was great to see what he managed to achieve in terms of laptime. I’m so happy for him. We are starting P2 and P7, so we are in a good position for the race tomorrow and we will try everything we can to have a good race with both cars.”