Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg claimed another one-two placing during the qualifiers of the British Grand Prix, while Max Verstappen will start in P3 in Silverstone tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton: “Firstly, I want to say how grateful I am for all the amazing fans that we have this weekend. Right from Thursday through to today, it’s been the biggest crowd I think I’ve ever seen here. The wave of energy they send is just mesmerising, so a big thank you to everyone out there. It wasn’t the cleanest qualifying session. We had great pace all the way through – but I ran a bit wide on my first Q3 lap and had that time taken away. I just touched the kerb and it really pulled me out there. I didn’t even feel like I was going to be running wide until the car bottomed out and I just bounced outside the line, so then there was a lot of pressure on my final lap. I was just sitting there in the garage thinking “I can’t let these guys down”. The second lap didn’t feel quite as good but I was a bit more cautious – making sure I got the lap on the board. I’m grateful that I managed it and grateful to the team too for all their hard work in giving us the performance we have this weekend. The fans give me more than enough motivation. Tomorrow will be a tough race, as always, and it’s important we do our due diligence tonight and tomorrow morning to make sure we’re on top of tyres, strategy and so on. But my long run pace yesterday was strong and I feel like I’ve got the car in a good place underneath me in terms of balance for the race. I can’t wait to see everyone out there again tomorrow!”
Nico Rosberg: “The team has given us an incredible car. It really was a pleasure to drive out there today – especially through these spectacular high-speed corners where it’s just awesome. It’s like the car is on rails, which is just what you want as a driver, so a big thank you to everyone for that. It wasn’t my day out there today – but congratulations to Lewis, who did an awesome job. Tomorrow is the day and it’s all to play for and it will be a great battle between Lewis and me. There are some chances at the start and it will be interesting how the tyre degradation will influence the strategy. Recently I’ve had good starts, so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll definitely still be pushing for the win.”
Max Verstappen: “I think the whole weekend we have been pretty strong and that resulted in a really good Qualifying, the best of my F1 career to date and definitely the best we could do today. Sometimes I have been very unlucky in Qualifying but today has gone well and I was able to show my potential. From now on I will just focus on that and try to keep it up. I’m not focussing on trying to beat my team mate, the points come from the race so that is the important part for me. Silverstone is a great track and I always enjoy driving here. Going through Maggots and Becketts the car is fantastic, no oversteer, no understeer; it feels so nice going through those corners. The car has been performing brilliantly all weekend so I’m looking forward to the race. Hopefully we can maintain this position, it will be important to try and keep up and also keep fighting behind. If it rains we could be a lot closer to Mercedes but if not then we’ll try to just keep position and we will be very happy with that.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “As a team result it was definitely important to get the second row lock-out. That was our target and we got that so I think we look good for tomorrow. It’s cool to have both of us in front of the Ferraris. I knew this would be a pretty big fight with them here and we managed to at least fight the Qualifying battle so we’ll try and keep them behind us in the race tomorrow. Obviously, I would have preferred third rather than being fourth but that’s how it is today and tomorrow we’ll aim to go better and as good as we can. It’s going to be cooler tomorrow and you never know what’s going to happen, but I think we’re pretty confident where we sit. The two Mercedes will probably fight at the front and behind them it should be a good battle. For sure Ferrari will give us a bit of a run for our money, so there is definitely that third spot up for grabs. You’ll definitely see a race tomorrow.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Fifth and sixth is not what we want, we are not happy with where we finished today, but this is the best we could achieve. We know our limits on this track and where we struggle, the circuit layout and the conditions don’t make it very easy for us and we are a bit stuck with the things we can do. This afternoon the car felt the best it has been in the whole weekend, but obviously we were not fast enough. In Q2 I made it very difficult for myself, I spun at the start of my run with the first new set, and then locked the front wheel on the next one. At my last attempt I was able to make it through to Q3, but these things shouldn’t happen. Race conditions are always different and can change a lot here, usually we are stronger in the race and hopefully tomorrow will be the same. We’ll try to make a good start, make the tyres work and take the right decisions.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I’m not happy with my lap, the car was better than this morning. I was in a very good lap but I lost the car at Stowe in the first run, trying a bit too hard, then in the second one I went wide in Turn 1 and lost the car from there. On this track it seems we are a bit behind, I think we have done good steps in the past, but probably not enough, also compared to other people, so I think there’s a lot of catching up for us to do. We need to make the car quicker, to put more downforce in it, make it more efficient at the same time, and add a bit of power. Replacing the gearbox is something we have to accept, and we did accept it going into the session. It’s not something that is in your head when you start a race, I look forward for a good one tomorrow, the pace is there, we don’t belong where we start the race, and that’s why I’m quite sure we can make good progress. I hope for a good start, a good first lap and then we’ll see. Maybe we’ll have some rain, anyway we need to keep our head down, keep calm and just go racing and enjoy.”