Robert Kubica (POL) Williams Racing FW42. British Grand Prix, Sunday 14th July 2019. Silverstone, England.

After a British Grand Prix that saw plenty of drama throughout the field, here’s what the drivers said.

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

Lando Norris – 11th

“I had a really good start. A little bit of contact in Turn Three 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.”

Alexander 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.”

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

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.”

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