On Sunday, July 3, 2022, Formula 1 will be back in its birthplace for the tenth round of the 2022 season. The former Royal Air Force airfield in Northamptonshire hosts an event charged of history, with the British crowd as the perfect background for a race that announces itself as very interesting: apparently, the fight for the win could not be limited only to Ferrari and Red Bull, even if the world ranking sees the Dutch Max Verstappen in first place fighting against a not too lucky Charles Leclerc, given the problems encountered in the last few races. The contract for hosting the British Grand Prix in the Formula 1 World Championship calendar, on the Silverstone Circuit, is valid until 2024. Sponsor of the Grand Prix for this edition is, for the first time, the Chinese multinational Lenovo. In contrast to the 2021 calendar, the British Grand Prix this year precedes that of Austria and, after being chosen as one of the three protagonists of the experimentation of the race format characterized by the dispute of the Sprint Qualification on Saturday in order to establish the starting grid for the race, the British Grand Prix returns to be held traditionally. The Sprint format, also confirmed for this season, was also chosen for other Grands Prix, including that of Emilia-Romagna, the subsequent Austrian Grand Prix and the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the only event confirmed for the second consecutive season where to use the format. Four hundred thousand are the spectators expected during this race weekend, and this is an all-time record for the British Grand Prix. Northamptonshire and Silverstone police have issued a warning about Sunday regarding a group of demonstrators who seem to want to invade the circuit in several points with the intent of blocking the race to send a message visible to many people at the same time. As a result, it is clear that the authorities will be on the lookout for actions by particularly enterprising individuals.
On the other hand, there is the real risk for the safety of the demonstrators, as well as the concern of seeing altered the result of a Grand Prix for an event that would force the drivers to suddenly slow down. It is not the first time this year that F1 sees a safety risk event, as a few races ago, in Saudi Arabia, a bomb exploded near the track causing a lot of agitation in the teams before the race, but then everything went on regularly. The first Formula 1 Grand Prix in history took place on 13 May 1950 at the Silverstone circuit, the current place of the race, and it was won by the Italian driver Nino Farina with Alfa Romeo. The circuit has hosted the largest number of editions of the Grand Prix, on different configurations, the most recent of which has been in use since the 2011 season, and is only behind the Autodromo di Monza with 71 editions, and the Circuit de Monaco with 68. The British Grand Prix was also held in two other locations: the Aintree circuit for five editions, between 1955 and 1962, and that of Brands Hatch for twelve, alternated with Silverstone between 1964 and 1986. In 2020, due the problems dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Silverstone circuit hosted, in addition to the traditional British Grand Prix, the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, added to the calendar to replace the other races canceled due to the health emergency. From this weekend, the drivers, who asked the World Body to reschedule the canonical press conferences the day before the action on track, again hold the drivers’ press conference on Thursday: the compressed weekend did not in fact find complete approval. Ten drivers take part in the press conference, divided into two groups of five, instead of 20. At the same time, Liberty Media and the Federation have found a compromise regarding the limit expenditure of the budget cap made available for each team, set at 142 million for this season . The cap is left unchanged and teams that have requested more financial operating margin are granted an advance on the division of revenues.
In the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council some rules of the Championship are changed. The most important change concerns the number of available power units. Teams are in fact authorized to change engines in parc fermé conditions with more recent versions. In addition, the Federation has added a provision to the regulation to allow the temporary repair of the powertrains. Also the rules relating to the limitations of cars for Pirelli tests have been changed and the flex tests have been updated, to verify the flexibility of the rear wings and the rules on the mirrors to improve the visibility. Finally, after some problems encountered in the season, the teams can bring the gasoline to 20 °C during the hottest races: when the ambient temperature is 30 °C or higher, the petrol can always be cooled down to 20 °C. The ambient temperature is recorded by a Federation approved weather service 1 hour before any practice session or 3 hours before the race or Sprint, and is reported on the time monitors. The fuel temperature is that recorded on board by the primary flow meter. From this race, change the technical checks regarding the deformation of the wing’s appendages at the rear. The new tests involve the application of a force greater than the previous 60 Newtons and the new standard provide for the simultaneous imposition of two 150 Newton loads, applied at a greater distance from the vehicle's centerline, thus further increasing the corresponding deformation. The lateral distance of application from the central axis is now fixed at 270 mm, while previously it was between 100 and 215 mm. In addition, the resulting deformation at the rear edge of the beam wing cannot exceed 3 mm, compared to the previous 5 mm. For the main rear wing, under the action of 2.000 Newtons perpendicular to the surface, it can now flex up to 3 mm, 1 mm more than the previous standard.
The Federation also specifies that when DRS is open, the opening must prevent the passage of a sphere of 85 mm in diameter between the upper and lower profile, with a thrust of 10 Newton. Finally, the regulation also includes the monitoring of the deformation of the rear wings in motion, with cameras and adhesive references placed on the profiles, a practice already in use by the 2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. On the previous Canadian Grand Prix’ eve, the Federation has launched an investigation to study how dangerous the hopping of the cars on the straight can be for the drivers, not only for the safety on track, but also for the repercussions on the body. The jolts were particularly pronounced on the long straight of the Baku circuit during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, causing more than one concern for the drivers, in particular for Lewis Hamilton, who suffered from severe back pain caused by jumping. The Federation wants to have a complete picture, consulting medical specialists and collecting data from other series, for example from the rally. They thus decided to issue a technical directive in which it is explained that in the interest of safety it is necessary to intervene to ask the teams to make the necessary changes to reduce or eliminate this phenomenon of hopping. In detail, the World Motoring Body decided to intervene on some points, such as a more careful control of the car bottom and the definition of a metric, based on the vertical acceleration of the car, which provides a quantitative limit for the acceptable level of vertical oscillations. A meeting between the FIA and the teams is also announced. During the Canadian race, the Federation collected data in the third free practice session on Saturday, without applying penalties given the short time left available to the teams. Now, the Federation has informed the teams that the directive will be active starting from the French Grand Prix, scheduled for the end of July.
Another news comes from Alpine: The French team launches the Rac(H)er program, to increase gender diversity in all sectors, from engineering to the training of female pilots to take them one day to the highest category. Ferrari's Sporting Director Laurent Mekies, will not be present at the wall of the team and acts remotely due to his positivity to SARS-CoV-2. At the same time, comes the news that Lewis Hamilton will regularly take part to the Grand Prix despite the extension of the jewels worn by drivers with a deadline until June, established before the Monaco Grand Prix. Subsequently, the British driver announces the removal of jewels and other metal objects before his home race. For this Grand Prix, the FIA appoints the German Niels Wittich as Race Director, while the former Formula 1 driver Danny Sullivan is named Assistant Commissioner for the race. He also held this role in the Miami Grand Prix. It is the British car manufacturer Aston Martin, as in the previous race, to supply the Safety and Medical Car. Pirelli, the sole tire supplier, offers the choice between C1, C2 and C3 compound tires, the harder compounds that characterize the entire range made available by the tire supplier company for the Championship, for the first time since the Spanish Grand Prix. Starting from the 2019 edition of the Grand Prix, the Italian company has always named the same type given the characteristics presented by the English circuit. Record pressures of 26 psi at the front and 23 at the rear are also established. Pirelli also names the tires for the subsequent Austrian, French and Hungarian Grand Prix, all scheduled for July, before the three-week break scheduled for the month of August. About this, Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, declares:
"The British Grand Prix was where the new show car for the 2022 season was displayed last year, to highlight the future direction of the sport that we have embarked on from this season. The latest aerodynamic regulations are designed to allow drivers to follow each other more closely for longer to give more chance of overtaking, as we saw in Canada, while the tires are designed to provide less overheating, more stability, and increased driveability within a wider working window. these aspects will be tested this weekend, on one of the most challenging tracks for tires of the year".
"I'm so excited to be heading back to my home race at Silverstone. Seeing the British fans and all the papaya as we drive round the track is always so motivating and such a boost for the team - nothing beats a home crowd. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in the fan zone and soaking up the atmosphere. We've been working hard on our performance since the last race in Canada and working as a team to understand what we need to do better. We've got a good understanding of that now, and although we know there are no overnight fixes, we'll be doing everything we can to give the home fans something to cheer about".
Daniel Ricciardo fondly remembers his F1 debut, which took place right on the Silverstone circuit:
"The British Grand Prix... let's go! It's a home race for the team and that means we'll definitely feel the support in the grandstands. There was a sea of papaya last year, so I'm excited to head there again this year. It's the race where I made my F1 debut, so it holds a special place in my heart anyway, but it's also a great circuit to race on too, so I can't wait to get out on track. Canada was a difficult one, but we have to learn from it and keep moving forward. Silverstone offers some good overtaking opportunities, so it will be fun to see what we can do in these new regulation cars. I'm excited to get on track and hopefully get back up the pointy end for our home crowd - we have awesome fans so we wi ll do everything we can to deliver for them".
McLaren Team Principal, Andreas Seidl, comments the circuit, and appreciates the happiness with which the fans have welcomed the McLaren team:
"There is nothing better than a home race and the whole team is looking forward to seeing the papaya fans among the sell-out crowd. Of course, as well as being a home race for the team, Silverstone also marks Lando's home Grand Prix, which means we really feel the support from the grandstands. Plenty of our own team will also be at the race, seeing their hard work in action. It's been good to spend some time away from track since Canada. Since then, we've reviewed the weekend, know where we need to improve, and we're now putting our full focus on the weekend ahead of us. The track itself is a fast one. Some of its iconic features such as Maggots & Becketts are a challenge for any driver so it will certainly be an exciting one for the fans. Logistically it's a nicer one for the team as it's a shorter journey to the circuit compared to usual - certainly a perk of a home race. Let's keep going and keep pushing forward, see you soon British fans".
"Saturday was a fantastic day for the whole team as everything was executed well - it's never perfection until you're P1 and P2 - but for where we are, to have the best qualifying result after quite a few difficult weekends, is very good. It was executed by the whole team - drivers, engineers, mechanics - fantastically. It was a very good day. I would say the car in general is pretty good . Where we struggle most is on high-speed circuits, lowdownforce and when it rains, even on a high-speed circuit, it's not as important as when it's dry. I think we just executed it well. The car goes pretty well, and we've got two good drivers, so I don't think we have any big secret about the car going quick in the wet”.
Steiner also comments on the Haas Family Day initiative, which takes now place after a break due to the Covid pandemic:
“It's very good that once again we can do our family event. We haven't had anything since COVID hit in 2020. We were planning our Christmas event but last year we had to cancel it at very short notice because there was a surge in cases in December 2021, so I'm very happy that we can finally have the families around with the team just to enjoy a good time. It is very important because a lot of the team is traveling a lot and it's good that the whole company can show their family what they're doing and why they're working so hard and why they're not always at home like a lot of parents who come home after an 8-5 day. I really look forward to seeing all the family members as there is a record attendance planned".
“It's not about keeping the focus but because we have 22 events , we need to get them in at some stage and I think having them bunched up before the break is better than after the break. It will be pretty intense but hopefully we'll get some good results so hopefully the intensity won't be as bad as when you have not-so-good results. I'm sure the team will be tired after the four but then we have a few weeks to recharge our batteries".
Kevin Magnussen, Hass driver, talks with pleasure about this British weekend and focuses on the single-seaters:
"It feels good. It's the home race of Formula 1 in many ways, it'sa very traditional race and it's an awesome track as well. The circuit is of course a classic so it ' s always great to go there and I'm looking forward to it again. These cars are a little bit slower but it's still going to be fast. They're stiff so cerb riding at Maggotts and Becketts might be a little bit different. That's going to make it more challenging I would say, as the cars are stiff and very low to the ground, but Silverstone is still going to be a great circuit to drive. It's going to be a hard month for the team - especially the mechanics. For drivers, it's a walk in the park so it's not something that I'm dreading at all, I'm actually looking forward to it. If you have a bad race, you go straight into the next one and also because they're in Europe, it just feels so much easier. You can travel to the race on Thursday morning and for a lot of people they're home on Sunday night. It feels easier than having two races in Asia in one month let's say".
"It's great for the team as it also marks the week where all their families come to visit which is something I'm looking forward to as we didn't get the chance last year because of COVID. I will get to meet every single family which is going to be nice. Silverstone has some good and bad memories for me but it always treated me well so I'm excited to go there and it marks the start of all the European races that are coming, which is nice as it means we all have a bit more time without so many flyaways".
"I don't think it will feel like a different type of race weekend but it means it's a different set-up to a race weekend. It doesn't change the fact that we're racing or the approach that I take, but it means that I get to meet some great people and their families so I'm looking forward to it".
Then he devotes himself to a more technical analysis and a reflection on the F1 choice to insert four races in the month of July:
"These new cars are known for getting an increase in downforce , the quicker they go so that usually means that the quicker corners should behave a bit differently compared to last year. Therefore, that section with Maggotts and Becketts I'm sure will be quite fascinating to drive in these new cars. If it will be quicker, I don't know just because of the added weight of these cars, but nonetheless I'm sure it's going to be fun and the bouncing and porpoising won't be as effective as in Baku. It will definitely be very tough. We know anyway how tough a race weekend is and that just means we're going to have a lot of them. For the team and everybody it's consuming, so it's a matter of putting in those moments of extra effort when necessary but also shut off if that helps so you don't run out of energy, because it's a long season to go. Also, in July we have some other cool events linedup including the SVAG CS Classic reigning show at my family's ranch in Givrins".
In AlphaTauri, Pierre Gasly is expected to make a redemption. the French driver knows this, and declares before the race:
"I'm looking forward to this weekend at Silverstone for many reasons, including the fact I know I can now look ahead to a further 18 months with this team. I'm pleased it's been confirmed early, so we now have time to plan a strategy of how to build and develop next year's car. We already know we can perform well together, so I am convinced that if we work well over the rest of this season and develop well, there is no reason why we can't have an excellent 2023 season. For me personally, my goal is to help this team get to the top. Compared to when I first came here in 2017, we now have a lot more experience of working together, we all know and understand one another very well across the team, both in Faenza and Bicester. We work efficiently together, based on our past history and many seasons racing together. I have big ambitions for myself, and I always give my maximum to get the best results for the team. I will continue to push to get the best ever season this team has h ad next year. As for Silverstone this weekend, it's a circuit I appreciate a lot, it's very fast and you get an incredible feeling from the car in some sections, particularly Maggotts and Becketts. But we will have to see how we get on, because being honest when assessing our car, we know we lack a bit of aero and we can expect to have to deal with a weekend that might not be straightforward for us. We will still be doing everything we can to get the most out of the package we have right now, while waiting for some upgrades that will be arriving soon. For now, we must be ready to seize whatever opportunities come our way, even if on paper, Silverstone will be tricky for us. It's a home race for Red Bull Racing and, in a way, also for us as our aero department and wind tunnel are based not far from the track. The atmosphere is quite special here and I'm looking forward to an interesting weekend".
His team mate, Yuki Tsunoda, adds:
"Looking back at the last round, I enjoyed my first visit to Canada, I liked what I saw of the country and the city of Montreal. However, on the track we had another quite difficult weekend. The pace was there, and I was quite happy with my performance, which I felt was better than the previous Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, but of course I had to take an engine penalty. So , I knew from the offset it was going to be a difficult race, but it was going well until unfortunately it ended in the barrier, which I'm very disappointed about, but it is what it is and I just have to consider it as another learning experience. In addition, I now know the Montreal track, which I had never driven before. This past week has been quite busy, firstly I concentrated on my physical training in Faenza, which is extremely important with such a busy schedule and then I headed to San Marino on Sunday for the Red Bull SoapBox race. I've never been to anything like that before, it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed getting to judge all the different entries - the team even had a SoapBox design that looked like my helmet! After handing out the winning trophy, I headed to the UK to the simulator, where I've concentrated on Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring. I know Silverstone well, as I first raced here in 2019 in Formula 3, finishing in the points in one race. The next year, we had four races in Formula 2 over two weekends and I came third in the first Feature Race and won the second Sprint Race. Then last year I scored a point for tenth place, and I remember there was such a great atmosphere as there was a really big crowd. I feel this is a track where I can do well. I'm looking forward to driving this high-speed, old-school track in these new cars. In terms of speed, the new cars will be a bit slower than last year but will produce similar lap times to what we saw in the past. Based on what we saw in Azerbaijan, it might be a little bit easier to overtake at Silverstone this year than in the past. Our aim as usual is to try and make it to Q3 on Saturday and score points, I think it could be a difficult race for our current package but if we have a smooth time in free practice that will help".
At Aston Martin, Lance Stroll comments on his single- seater, the AMR22:
"After the outliers of Monaco, Baku and Canada, I am looking forward to seeing how the AMR22 will perform around Silverstone. We've been finding performance at each race as we learn more and more about the car and we are really making progress. The midfield is incredibly tight right now, so it would be great if we could take another step forward this weekend. The British Grand Prix is a huge event for the whole team and I am really looking forward to driving in front of the fantastic Silverstone crowds".
Sebastian Vettel, after many Silverstone Grands Prix, says he is still amazed from the affection and the enthusiasm of the English fans:
"I have enjoyed many race weekends at Silverstone, and I am always struck by the enthusiasm and appreciation that the British crowd shows to the teams and drivers. It is such a fantastic event. The mix of corners should give us a better understanding of some of the key performance characteristics of these 2022 cars and should also help us to further improve and refine our understanding of the AMR22. The Silverstone weekend is always pretty intense, but I hope we can have some fun and score some solid points in front of our home crowd".
After the podium in Canada, the fifth of the season, Toto Wolff comments on the improvements made by the Mercedes, result of a great work of the whole team:
"Canada was our fifth podium of the season, and we were happy to collect solid points. While we can be pleased with the flashes of speed that the W13 showed, there's still a mountain to climb. A lot of work is needed to get to the front, but we have a clearer direction now. We're focused on finding more and more performance as the season progresses. Silverstone is next, and it's always a highlight of the year. The fans are so passionate and knowledgeable. It's also our local event, with Brackley and Brixworth close by. Our team members will be trackside on Friday watching from the stands and seeing the results of their hard work in action, which is incredibly exciting. We know the top two teams have a considerable advantage. Our challenge is to close that gap. Silverstone has been good to us in the past; we have some improvements coming; and it's a smoother track. We're aiming to make another step forward".
Dave Robson, Williams’ Head of Vehicle Performance, talks about the improvements brought to Silverstone, which will be fitted to Alex Albon's car:
"The British Grand Prix is one of the highlights on the Formula One calendar, as well as being a traditional part of the British sporting summer. The Silverstone track is largely unchanged from last year and still presents a huge challenge for the cars, tires and drivers. The track is characterized by its high-speed corners and regular short straights, and the exposed Silverstone site means that the wind can have a dramatic and often unpredictable effect on the cars. We have an updated aero package for this weekend, which will run on Alex's car only as we look to check its behavior and confirm that it is working as intended. The bodywork and floor form the basis of the upgrade and are intended to efficiently increase the downforce of the car. We are looking forward to our home race and to understanding the new parts; they are likely to change the balance and the handling of the car and it may take a little bit of time to harness them so that the drivers can get the most from them. With next week's race in Austria being a Sprint Event, we will be looking to get as much learning done this weekend as possible".
Nicholas Latifi continues:
"I'm very excited to be heading to Silverstone. It's the team's home race so it's going to be a special weekend in that regard. Silverstone is an incredible circuit, especially with the huge turnout from the fans and the atmosphere they create . It's always been one of my favorite tracks on the F1 calendar with the high grippy tarmac, high speed and flowing nature of the circuit. I can't wait to hit the track and hopefully we'll have a solid weekend".
And Alex Albon concludes:
"Silverstone is a home race for the team and half for me too! It's a special circuit made better by all the fans who come out to show their support. Silverstone is also where I first got my karting license at 8 years old, so it's really where it all began for me. It has to be one of the most enjoyable circuits for a driver and I think it'll be pretty fun in these cars".
One more that appreciated technical comment comes instead from Pat Fry, who declares:
"Silverstone is a fantastic circuit for Formula 1 as the majority of corners - famed ones at that - like Copse, Maggotts and Becketts are taken at high-speed, which is thrilling for drivers and spectators alike. In the early races of the season, the A522 performed better in the higher speed corners relative to the lower speed but the developments we have been bringing have helped balance this. The main question mark in Silverstone is often the weather but, rain or dry , we have the ability to be competitive. Everyone at Enstone has been working incredibly hard to produce and deliver a reasonably big upgrade package - including a new floor and top-body - in time for this race. It's been a big effort by the team to have this upgrade prepared, so credit to those involved for maintaining the intense plan of car updates so far this season".
In Alpine Esteban Ocon hopes to continue the pursuit of McLarens to take fourth place in the constructors' standings:
"We left Canada with a sense of pride after scoring good points in the race. We had the car to score double points and the goal was to swing the momentum in the fight for fourth in the Constructors' Championship, and we did just that. Now we look forward to the next round with the objective of fighting further up the grid. We are bringing some upgrades to Silverstone, so hopefully we can have a good couple of weeks. On my side, I've used the last week or so to recover from what was an intense double-header, but more importantly prepare for the next races in Silverstone and Austria. I was in the factory this week dissecting the last race with the engineers and getting ready in the simulator. I can feel the whole team looking forward to Silverstone, one of our two home races".
ANd Fernando Alonso adds:
"Silverstone is a classic race on the calendar. I've had multiple podiums, pole positions and wins. It's a real racer's track and it often provides good on track action. It's usually unpredictable with the weather as well. Sometimes you get very hot Summer days and then other times it 's heavy rain and the winds can be quite high at the circuit. Whatever the weather, it'll be a fun weekend I am sure. far for me. We seem to be consistently inside the top ten and on some occasions punching a bit higher, especially over one-lap pace. However, we've run into a lot of bad luck it seems so far in 2022. We ' ve had reliability issues but also very badly timed incidents and Safety Cars. There's more to come and we've seen the potential is there. I'm excited to see how we do over the coming races".
Alfa Romeo’s Team Pincipal, Frédéric Vasseur, hopes the Swiss team's good momentum can continue at Silverstone:
"The result in Canada was a good one, and it is proof of what we can do when we have an issue-free Sunday for both cars. It is a result that still took a lot of hard work and two inspired performances from Valtteri and Zhou, but it's something we can aim to repeat in the next few rounds. We need to keep working hard and not let ourselves be carried away: we know we're locked in a very tight fight and each qualifying and race will be decided on small details. On paper, Silverstone should be a challenging track for us, but we've been able to be in the fight on every circuit so far, so there is no reason we cannot do it here as well. This is a place that means a lot to us, with a lot of history, and it would be great to continue our good run here".
Valtteri Bottas adds:
"Silverstone is a place that needs no introduction: the British Grand Prix is one of the great races in motorsport and you feel the meaning of this event from the moment you step through the circuit gates. The fans here are incredible: there's so many of them, they love the sport and know it so well and there's a true festival atmosphere from Thursday onwards - it's contagious. Of course, once you're in the cockpit, your focus is all on the job at hand and you don ' t think about anything else, but it's a good boost nonetheless. I am confident we can have a good weekend to continue in the vein of what we did in Montreal: the key for us will be to make the most of every session to fine- tune the car to the characteristics of this track, with its fast corners in which so much time can be gained or lost . If we do a good job setting our car up, we can have a lot of fun this weekend".
Zhou Guanyu concludes:
"I'm really looking forward to being back in the car this weekend. The result in Canada was a big confidence boost after a few races in which we weren't able to show our true value, and to bring home my best F1 result so far shows in a concrete way the progress I have made in the nine races since my debut: now I want to continue building on this and to keep bringing points to the team. Driving in Silverstone will be quite special: it's one of the historical tracks in the calendar, one that I've always wanted to drive in an F1 car as it's really a place that gets the best out of these machines. It's also a circuit with some really good memories for me - three podiums in Formula 2, including last year's win in the feature race: I'd love to add some more happy moments this weekend. I think we have all it takes to have another good result but, as always, we will need to execute our weekend perfectly to be ahead of our closest rivals".
During the last Grands Prix, Ferrari has certainly not benefitted from such tenuous, but indispensable, luck. The strategies have been much discussed, identified in common opinion as the cause of missed podiums for the Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc. Ravin Jain, Scuderia Ferrari Race strategist, analyzes the circuit from a technical point of view:
“Silverstone is a very technical and high-speed circuit characterized by quick changes of direction, such as the famous Maggotts - Becketts - Chapel sequence of corners which are some of the fastest on the F1 calendar. This fast-flowing nature with a lack of many slow speed corners means it is one of the least demanding circuits for brakes. However, being located in the middle of the English countryside, the track is quite flat with little elevation change but is very open and exposed so the wind often plays a role in affecting the balance of the cars around the lap. The newly resurfaced tarmac is now 3 years old and is smooth with high grip which means drivers can push their cars to the maximum".
Then, he discusses the possible strategies for this new race weekend:
"Because of its fast flowing nature, Pirelli have brought their hardest tires to Silverstone with the C1, C2 and C3 compounds. Nonetheless, we expect tire degradation to play an important role in determining how many stops there will be on Sunday. With a unique pit entry that cuts out the last couple of corners, the time lost for a pitstop is quite short and, coupled with two DRS zones, overtaking is possible so we expect to see some different strategies at play on Sunday. The British summer is also famous for some capricious weather, with it not being uncommon to see rain, sunshine and everything in between during a weekend! Teams and strategists have to be on their toes to react to any type of weather".
Finally, he thinks about its own role and lists the emotions associated with this professional position:
"I am proud to work for Scuderia Ferrari, an iconic Italian team, but also a place where many nationalities work together to represent the Cavallino Rampant all over the world. As a young British engineer, coming back to Silverstone is always special as it is the place that I first saw a Formula 1 car in person many years ago. There is a rich history of British people working for Ferrari: in fact, the first British world champion, Mike Hawthorn, won the crown in 1958 driving for the Scuderia , and I am proud to add my name to that long list of drivers and engineers . And suffice to say that I would be very happy to hear the Italian anthem ring out over the podium come Sunday afternoon".
The Race Direction sets the track limits for the circuit: the drivers will have to be careful not to run too wide out of Turn 9, the famous Copse corner, a very fast right-hander which Formula 1 cars can almost make flat-out. Besides, a special rule will involve the start/finish line and the handing of potential penalties. In fact, since the pit-lane entry allows a shortcut compared to the track (with the cars forced to run through the longer Vale and Club corners), the drivers will have to cross the line on the proper racing track and not in the pits to finish the race or complete a lap. This will prevent drivers, for example, from crossing the finish line before serving a penalty on one of their garage spots, which are all placed after it, repeating what Ferrari did back on the last lap of the 1998 British Grand Prix, after brilliantly exploiting a grey area of the sporting regulations. The British weather does not disappoint expectations and the teams are welcomed by heavy rain, with Lance Stroll having the worst experience of all the twenty drivers. In fact, the Canadian driver spins at Turn 9 and sends his Aston Martin in the gravel. As the track begins to dry out, but not completely, the conditions in the first free practice session become more and more enigmatic, since they suit neither the slick tyres nor the intermediates. Therefore, half the grid refuses to go out on track, as the session is deemed useless to collect any data.
Among the remaining ten drivers, it is Valtteri Bottas to find the best compromise. The Finn comes out on top with a time of 1'42"249 set on intermediate tyres. Bottas is followed by and incredible Lewis Hamilton, capable of losing just 0.532s on soft tyres with the whole middle sector of the track still wet. The seven-time World Champion had the fastest intermediates in sector 1 and 3. Third and fourth the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz (+0.718s) and Charles Leclerc (+1.552), preceding Mick Schumacher, Guanyu Zhou, Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda e Sebastian Vettel, all on intermediate tyres. A dry FP2 finally allows the teams to put to the test their updated cars. The wind disturbs the drivers in their attempts to find the limit, leading to some lock ups, like with Verstappen and Russell at Turn 3. Others, like Sainz and Hamilton, complain about the bouncing, despite being among the fastest for the whole session. It is in fact Carlos Sainz who tops the timesheet with a lap in 1'28"942, followed by Lewis Hamilton (+0.163s), Lando Norris (+0.176), Max Verstappen (+0.207s), and Charles Leclerc (+0.462) closing the top 5. Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull all seem very close also in terms of race pace, and this could result in a very interesting race. This time the Silver Arrows appear to be quite competitive, showing that the updates have brought a tangible improvement. A redesigned floor and sidepod inlet, a new front suspension and a new rear wing all seem to have had a positive effect, as Andrew Shovlin points out:
"It's great to be back at Silverstone and fantastic to see the grandstands so packed. This was our best Friday for a few races. We've still got a lot to improve but the car is working much better at this track than the last few street circuits. It's really hard to evaluate whether the updates are doing exactly what we'd expect, especially in the windy conditions, but we've not seen anything worrying so we'll continue with this specification for the rest of the weekend. George had a trickier session than Lewis but we had the Hard tyre on his car for the start of the second session and the double compound step made it difficult for him to get the most out of the Soft. Saying that, his long run pace was encouraging. Lewis put in a strong lap on the Soft compound but we expect the fast teams to have plenty to come tomorrow so we need to work hard to iron out a few of the balance and bouncing issues. Lots of work to do overnight but a reasonably encouraging start to the weekend".
Improvements that do not pass unnoticed by Lewis Hamilton, who seems a bit more relieved. Nevertheless, Friday has not been that easy for the seven-time World Champion, who still needs to find the perfect trim for qualifying and race, hoping to get some extra boost by the amazing home crowd:
"It has been a good day, we managed 10 laps in FP1 which was better than most, so I was happy with that. We're bouncing a bit still, not on the straights but through the corners so we've still got work to do. It does feel like a small step forward but we've got to keep working. With this car you can't drive the tracks the same as you used to, with how stiff it is and the ride characteristics, but it's still fun through Maggotts, Becketts and also Stowe - it's mega, my favourite corners. It was difficult to feel the upgrades because you're coming from such a different track - slow speed corners in Montreal to the medium and high-speed corners here. The track is smoother than we've had recently which is much better but in general, this track is just the best, it's still hair-raising to drive. Our long run pace isn't as good as some of the other guys but it isn't far off. The crowd give me hope, it's so good to see them here and I appreciate the support so much".
George Russell agrees with his teammate. The difference in performance is there, both thanks to track and updates. The young Briton also hopes for a good race in front of what is also his home crowd and is confident with the race pace of his car:
"I struggled on the low fuel compared to Lewis, he put in a very strong lap. The high fuel was definitely more promising compared to the McLaren which was also on the Hard. By the time our tyres warmed up, we showed good pace to the Ferraris and were improving lap after lap. Some positive signs there but definitely room to improve. We need to understand why our race pace is so much stronger than our single lap pace, the McLaren is very strong on a single lap but we just can't get the tyres working over a single lap. Over the course of a race, we're in a pretty good window but it's always a balance, you can't just put your eggs in one basket for Sunday. It's a very different circuit to Montreal and Baku, we knew the car was going to be a challenge through the high-speed corners and that proved true through Copse, Maggotts and Becketts, the car was bouncing around, so we need to try and understand that. But we aren't bouncing down the straights which is positive".
The only team not to bring updates this weekend sees its drivers close their Friday in 16th and 18th position. Yuki Tsunoda is involved in a little misunderstanding at Luffield with George Russell, as the British driver finds the young Japanese in his way during a flying lap. Tsunoda is clearly enjoying the track, even though he has to improve his performance:
"I enjoyed driving the new car here for the first time today, it’s always a challenging circuit with high-speed corners but with the new car it was really exciting – especially through Maggotts and Becketts, you can push even more than last year’s car and you slide around a lot. Overall, it’s been a bit of an unusual day compared to most race weeks, as we had almost no running in FP1 with the rain. I feel like we’ve only really had one session, so it’s a bit weird, but we still managed to complete all the running we needed to this afternoon. We’re currently struggling a lot with the car and we’re quite far away from other teams at the moment. We were always expecting it to be more difficult this weekend, but we’ll need to take a big step to be able to be competitive in Qualifying. It looks like the conditions will be tricky tomorrow, so we need to look at all the data tonight and be able to adapt to whatever the British weather throws at us".
Pierre Gasly finishes FP2 behind his teammate and struggles to find something to smile for:
"We damaged some parts of the car quite early on today, which made things even harder for us, but generally we’re just lacking quite a lot of pace. We’re struggling in high-speed corners and unfortunately this is a track that has many of them. Based on these track characteristics, this weekend was always going to be tough, but we’ll work hard tonight and see what we can do to improve. We need to be on top of our game and try to make some steps forward, so that we can be in the best position for Sunday. It’s also maybe raining tomorrow, which wouldn’t be a bad thing for us, we obviously can’t rely on this though, so we’ll work hard tonight to find a bit more performance for Quali".
Jonathan Eddolls, Chief Race Engineer, sums up Scuderia Alpha Tauri’s Friday:
"Today we enjoyed some typical British weather, with two thirds of the track wet and one third close to dry in FP1. This meant overall it was too dry to do any decent running on an Inter without killing it, but it was equally too wet for a dry tyre. So, there was little to learn in FP1, which meant we needed to compress all our planned running into FP2. We split the cars in terms of tyre allocation with the view of understanding the best tyres for the race. In FP2 we struggled with both cars in terms of overall grip and balance - neither driver was happy, and we could see some issues in the data. These issues were confirmed when the cars came back to the garage with extensive damage to various aero components. We were able to survive and keep the cars on track, but the performance was far from where we were expecting and where it should be. We have a lot of work ahead of us tonight to confirm the reasons for this and to make the relevant changes for tomorrow. Currently it’s also looking like the weather tomorrow could be mixed, so potentially we have completed all of the possible dry running we will get ahead of Qualifying and the race. We therefore need to put everything together and focus on supplying the drivers with a more competitive car from FP3 onwards".
Besides a revised floor and a new front suspension, Alpine makes heads turn especially for its new engine cover and sidepods, which present an excavated design similar to the one adopted by Ferrari. FP2 witnesses Esteban Ocon finish in 13th position (+1.296s):
"It’s always a pleasure to drive around this iconic track in front of so many passionate fans who were cheering us on all day. On our side, we had very limited running in FP1 due to the weather, so it was nice to get some more laps in the afternoon session. We did, however, spot a small crack in the bodywork towards the end of second practice and we preferred to play it safe and not push too hard at the end. We arrived this weekend with a few upgrades on the car, so it was key for us to see how the car performed today. I would like to thank everyone again at the factory who worked so hard to get these upgrades ready for our home race. Preliminary data suggests they are working well, and we are looking forward to hopefully extracting more performance tomorrow".
Fernando Alonso cannot complain about the 6th position he is in at the end of the second free practice session, but still holds a grudge against the bad weather which has limited the amount of work that was much needed to test the new components of the A522:
"It was very difficult for everyone today with the wet session in FP1, which limited any meaningful running. We only had FP2 to complete any proper driving and I think we have some further evaluations to make on our package here at Silverstone. We would love to have more hours on-track but it’s the same for everyone! We’ll need to do some extra work tonight, so that we can be in the best position possible for tomorrow’s final practice and Qualifying".
Matt Harman, Technical Director for Alpine, describes in detail the new parts that the French team has brought to Silverstone in order to improve the performance of their car. By how much is difficult to say, especially for the mixed conditions of the day, hence more evaluations will be needed before Saturday:
"We’ve brought some upgrades this weekend, mainly around the floor and the bodywork, which has brought some visual differences to the A522. The main changes on the floor are around the diffuser tunnel and edges, while on the top body we have a more pronounced gully to enhance flow to the rear of the car. So, it’s been exciting to see those new parts being developed and then seeing them on the car today and credit goes to everyone involved in pushing to deliver those on time. In terms of our on-track running, this morning was very much stop-start with the mixed conditions, and we weren’t willing to take too much of a risk with such limited chance of learning anything about the car. For second practice, we were able to put together some dry running, which has given us enough data to run through to make some assessments for tomorrow. We are now carefully analysing the upgrade components and data to confirm our specification for tomorrow".
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance for Williams, complains about bad weather and some bad luck which prevented the team from collecting all the data they needed to analyze the behavior of the new parts for the car brought here in Silverstone. In fact, the team from Grove is the one who has invested the most in terms of development for the British Grand Prix, introducing what could be seen as an almost B-version of the FW44. A new floor, a revised halo, a new diffuser, new front and rear corners, a new front suspension, a new front wing, a new engine cover, new cooling louvres, and a new sidepod design which clearly takes inspiration from Ferrari’s cooling inlets make up Williams’s new package, which should hopefully help the British team make a good step forward towards more pleasing positions:
"It is a bit frustrating that the weather prevented us from doing anything useful in Free Practice 1 but at least it was dry for Free Practice 2, allowing us to start the evaluation of the new parts. We have a lot to get through tonight but there are some positive signs, despite the windy conditions. Unfortunately, Alex suffered some kerb damage to the rear of his car and whilst this was completely independent of the updates, it did prevent him from getting his high fuel running done. We still need to understand how to modify the setup to take advantage of the new package and this will be our main job overnight. However, it looks likely that the weather will dominate tomorrow’s running and so we will also need to focus on preparation for wet qualifying".
Alex Albon brings home a positive P14 after FP2 but still calls for more work to be done in order to be ready for when it really counts. The young Thai driver makes sensation during free practice spotting a unique pink livery on the right sidepod due to the aerodynamic study conducted with flow-viz. Here are his thoughts on Friday:
"We had a limited day with the wet Free Practice 1, so didn’t get as much running as we’d like to with the new aero package. As Free Practice 2 goes, we do need track time and despite having pretty much none of it, we’ve got a car we can drive that is a step forward from the previous car, so it’s positive. We have a bit of fine tuning and changes to make but we have a good base so can start from there and see how we go tomorrow".
Despite finishing in P20, Nicholas Latifi seems quite satisfied with the work done in the only free practice run:
"The first day at Silverstone wasn’t very eventful, with no running in Free Practice 1 because the conditions were not representative to learning anything, with other teams in the same boat. It meant Free Practice 2 was more important as it might be the only dry running we get before qualifying. We completed our programme with very little issues. It was extremely windy which I think is making it tricky for everybody. We’ve got some good data and direction to go to overnight, so we’ll see what we can do tomorrow".
Like AlphaTauri, Haas has gone conservative in Silverstone, bringing just a new front wing endplate. And just like the Italian team, they struggle in the only session done, finishing in 17th and 19th position. However, it is so tight in the midfield that the American team cannot be completely ruled out of the competition for championship points, as Kevin Magnussen (17th with a gap of 1.538s from Sainz but just 0.142 from Tsunoda in front of him) points out:
"It’s always hard to read into competitiveness and positions after these practice sessions. FP2 was basically our FP1 because the real FP1 was wet, with one installation lap. I’m still optimistic, it’s very tight so it won’t take a big improvement to go many places up the order. I’m really optimistic and looking forward to tomorrow - let’s see what the weather does".
The Danish driver’s words are echoed by his teammate Mick Schumacher, who is still chasing the first point finish of his career:
"It wasn’t quite as easy as we imagined it would be - some teams have brought a few upgrades - but we’ll see in qualifying. We know what we have to do, we have a clear direction in terms of set-up and there was a lot of lap time left in my lap around Turn 15, so there’s still more to come and we still have stuff to unlock on our side".
The driver’s optimism is also shared by their Team Principal, Guenther Steiner:
"FP2 was pretty good for us. We got all our laps in, we did all our work and we know what we’ve got to do. Even if our position doesn’t look the best, we’re still very positive for tomorrow. FP1 obviously wasn’t very relevant - we just got out there to make sure the car was working as it should - but with the changing conditions there was no real progress made on the set-up of the car".
Alfa Romeo is sporting a new nose, which should help increase the aerodynamic efficiency of the front end of the car. Valtteri Bottas closes FP2 just outside the top 10, 1.058s behind Sainz. The Flying Finn is ready to rumble, also acknowledging the competitiveness of the midfield:
"It hasn’t been a bad day: the first session wasn’t that useful, with half the track dry and the other half wet, but we were able to do plenty of laps in FP2, as many as anyone else, and try some high-fuel runs. It’s clear that the midfield is very tight once again; a couple of tenths more or less can mean a shift of a lot of places. We’ll need to make a good improvement tonight but I think we can look forward to qualifying. There’s still a bit to do to balance the car, especially in the high-speed corners, but I am confident we can make a step forward".
Zhou Guanyu’s statement is on the same page as Bottas’. The Chinese driver is not far off his teammate (+0.271s) and from the rest of the midfield. Thus, his 15th position is not that indicative. Furthermore, since this is his first time in Silverstone driving a Formula 1 car, there is more room for improvement:
"It’s been quite a smooth Friday overall. We couldn’t learn much during FP1 due to the weather: driving out there was quite tricky and it was challenging to find the right balance, so FP2 was the first clean session of the day. I can consider myself happy, the field is super close again, as we expected, and the car seems to be working much better, with just a few things that we need to adjust for tomorrow. Having the complete package of updates for the whole weekend is always good, especially for rookies like me, so I’m looking forward to getting into more action tomorrow and improving even more ahead of qualifying".
After trying to model their car after Red Bull’s RB18, Aston Martin is ready to bring even more updates to improve the performance of the AMR-22, which has given its drivers quite a hard time. Despite being fast sometimes, the car has often proved difficult to drive and not on the level of the other single seaters. After only one practice session, the British team seems to have found good pace, and Sebastian Vettel has closed FP2 in 12th position, 1.115s behind Carlos Sainz, after even suffering some damage to the new floor:
"A busy day with mixed weather: some rain just before first practice and the usual windy conditions you expect at Silverstone. All of that limited what we could learn when the track was wet or drying out. We also had some downtime this afternoon with a few small issues that we had to repair during the session. So limited track time, and we have not done all the work we would normally do on a Friday. That is a little frustrating because we have quite a few updates this weekend, so we will try to play catch up tonight and tomorrow morning to be ready for qualifying".
Lance Stroll is in front of his teammate and closes the top 10 with a gap of one full second from Sainz. Even though the team from Gaydon has had little time to test the new components, which also include a new beam wing and rear corner, seem to have had some positive effect. The Canadian driver says:
"I think we completed some solid running today, despite the weather. I got a good feel for the car and my first experience of the upgrades was positive. I think there are some small improvements to make as we optimise things, but we will keep pushing tonight and tomorrow morning to be ready for qualifying. It is the usual stuff - a bit of understeer here, a bit of oversteer there, but we will try and sort it out ready for tomorrow".
Ferrari is showing again good pace despite following a conservative approach in car development like their engine customer Haas. In particular, the fast and flowing nature of Silverstone circuit requires a fine aerodynamic tuning, hence the Scuderia has brought a new engine cover with narrower cooling louvres to allow a better circulation of the airflow. Furthermore, some work has also been done on the rear wing. Carlos Sainz sets the fastest time in FP2, even though he has encountered some difficulties, like running wide out of Copse due to an unstable rear end and the bouncing that still annoys the drivers:
"A busy second session after the lack of running in FP1. We had to put together an intense run plan for FP2 to properly check both the short run and the long run pace. It was quite a challenging session. The wind made it tricky to get the right balance for the high-speed sections and the correct compromise for tyres in the low-speed ones. Overall we were quick, but it felt like there is margin to improve. Qualifying tomorrow could get interesting due to the weather, so those few laps in wet conditions in FP1 were also useful. Let’s see what tomorrow brings".
A hard-working day for Charles Leclerc, who ends with a 5th position, a bit overshadowed by his Spanish teammate, but still able to collect crucial data to find a good set-up for every condition:
"We didn’t run much in FP1 today, but we did a few laps in wet conditions to have some data should there be a wet qualifying tomorrow. Once the rain stopped, we put on a set of Soft tyres but we weren’t able to complete any laps on them due to a red flag. FP2 was a bit cleaner and I could tell that our performance felt good in the car. I am confident that we will be competitive and it will be a matter of putting everything together".
Red Bull has brought some important updates in order to stay in front of Ferrari in the championship battle. A new front corner, a visibly different engine cover in the coke zone, a new floor edge and new floor fences should be able to improve performance, even though Sergio Pérez is not very impressed. The Mexican closes his FP2 in 7th place, as he has encountered some balance issues along the way:
"It wasn’t a great session today, from the preparation I had on the simulator, the car is miles off that. We suspect the issues are related to the aerodynamics but I can’t go into too much detail until I see the data properly and then we need to understand the problems. Because of that we had a very short long run which impacted running at the end of the session. It’s not a great start to the weekend, we are a bit on the back foot now and we need to look into it in more detail now. It will be difficult to catch up, but we have done it before and as long as we are able to get things in the right place we should be good. You need confidence around these tough corners here, so as long as I can get that back, things should be alright. Ferrari look strong and I hope we can match them tomorrow come qualifying".
Max Verstappen, 4th with a gap of 0.207s from Sainz, seems strong and will be a threat for Ferrari on Sunday with his race pace. However, prior to the race comes qualifying, and since rain is expected, the young Dutchman could make a difference as usual in these conditions:
"It’s always a bit tricky when you don’t run a lot in FP1, it means there’s a lot more guess work in FP2. I think we know what we need to work on and we’ll do that overnight. It looks like it’s going to rain during qualifying tomorrow, so there’ll be different conditions compared to our sessions today. I got a few laps in with high fuel on the softest compounds, the tyres wear quickly here with all the high-speed corners, so it’s always going to be quite tricky to manage the tyres on this track. Overall it went okay today and I’m looking forward to qualifying tomorrow".
Even though McLaren has brought only two updates, which are the rear wing and new cooling louvres designed to better suit the fast nature of Silverstone. Both drivers are performing well and they could fight for some interesting positions on Sunday, especially with a revived Lando Norris, who soaks in his home atmosphere, and finishes 3rd his FP2:
"A decent day, very tricky in the wind conditions we have here. It’s strong gusts at high speed, so the car is difficult to drive, changing every lap, it’s inconsistent. But it’s the same for everyone. From our side I think the car’s performing in a reasonable area, little bit better than maybe we were expecting, so hopefully that can continue into tomorrow. We can make a couple of changes and small improvements in a few areas and continue the pace we had today into tomorrow".
The young British talent remains realistic, but his performance sure helps show where the car can be. This boosts the motivation of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who is 9th with a gap of almost eights tenths of a second from Norris:
"This morning wasn’t busy, just because of the weather, so didn’t have much running. But then the afternoon session was better, and we got a lot of laps. Initially on the Hards it started well in terms of feel, and we got up to pace pretty well with that, however we struggled with the Softs quite a bit. To be in the top ten is positive, and looking where Lando is, is also positive. So, I think there’s certainly a lot more to get out of the car. I think we’re in a decent place, we’ll learn a bit from both cars, make a few little different set-up changes and have fun tomorrow".
Even McLaren's Racing Director Andrea Stella seems satisfied:
"The mixed weather conditions today at Silverstone presented us with an opportunity to study the car on both a wet and a dry track, which was useful because the weather is likely to continue in this unsettled vein across the remainder of the weekend. It was also quite windy today, which makes the car a little unpredictable and tricky to drive - especially in the high-speed corners. Overall, we’re happy that the car seems to be performing better here than we saw in the last two races. We hope to glean as much as we can overnight from the data gathered today, and be as prepared as possible for qualifying and the race".
Evaluating tyre performance and trying to elaborate a strategy for the race in such mixed conditions is not easy both for teams and tyre supplier, who lack the necessary data. The only good thing, as Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, points out, is that this could be useful in case the same scenario is replicated on Sunday. Still, the situation remains quite unpredictable:
"When will we have a Friday that allows two free practice sessions to take place exactly as they should? I’m sorry that the spectators, who are always amazing here, didn’t get the chance to see so many laps in FP1, but one consolation is the fact that the track, which was wet at the beginning of the session, gradually dried out lap by lap, allowing the drivers to experience the crossover point - which could be very useful information for the rest of the weekend. At Silverstone the weather will be a determining factor, with the performance gaps between the compounds - and therefore the strategy - being quite dependent on track temperature".
It is Saturday, July 3, so it is time for the Final Practice session in Silverstone. The track is dry and the conditions are not bad but everything can still change and rain is expected during the day. The air temperature is 17 degrees and the track one is 25 degrees. Green lights are on and the FP3 starts. Stroll is among the first drivers to get on the track, together with his teammate Vettel. Lewis Hamilton just gets into his car, so it seems that there is no rush in the Mercedes garage. Alonso is the first to start: on soft tyres he gets 29.876 in the first sector, 1'08"238 in the second, and completes his first lap in 1'34"524. However, his teammate Ocon is a little faster with 1'33"068, establishing the pace for FP3. Ricciardo, on medium tyres, gets a purple in the second sector compared to Ocon’s one and crosses the finish line in 1'33"058, taking P1. However, it lasts a few as his teammate Norris takes P1 in 1'31"939. Leclerc on soft tyres jumps up into P1 with 1'29"452 although he risks losing his car on the sand and crashing against the barriers in the last sector. His teammate Sainz, on soft tyres, takes P2 (1'29"817).
"The problems from yesterday in the high speed are not better".
Says the Spaniard on the radio to his team, as he bounced a lot during his lap. Currently, there are the two Ferraris, the two McLarens, and the two Alpines in the top six positions. However, the two Alfa Romeos jump into P3 and P4, with Bottas at +1.149 and Zhou +1.469 to Leclerc. Vettel on medium tyres starts his first lap: he gets +3.66 in the second sector compared to Leclerc’s second sector (1'04"765) but he raises his foot from the pedal to try it again later. Perez on soft tyres starts his lap. He gets +0.012 in the first sector, +0.024 in the second, and completes in 1'29"629, being the second quickest. Hamilton on soft tyres starts his lap with the floor of his car touching the track and making sparkles. He gets +0.130 in the first sector, a purple in the second sector (+0.076), and goes third (+0.329) behind Perez. Russell on soft tyres completes his lap in 1'29"757 in P3 at +0.305 to Leclerc. Ricciardo on medium tyres tries again, getting +1.620 in the second sector and crossing the finish line in 1'31"744 in P9. Perez tries again and completes a new lap in -0.350 compared to Leclerc’s time, so he takes the lead in FP3, while Hamilton has the fastest second sector (36.184) and crosses the finish line in 1'29"228 in P2. However, it lasts a few as Leclerc has a very quick track speed and very quick corners. He improves both the first two sectors, with 36.169 in the second sector, and completes his lap in -0.081 compared to Perez’s time. He takes again P1 with 1'29"071. The team radio warns him that they expect rain in the next 15 minutes and that it can last for 5 minutes. Vettel tries again and gets +0.359 in the first sector, +1.176 in the second, and completes in +1.846 at P9. Verstappen gets a purple in the first sector, -0.388 in the second, and crosses the finish line in 1'28"541, overthrowing Leclerc. No bouncing, says Russell to his team after he has complained about this issue since the beginning of the season. Norris starts a new lap. He scores +0.908 in the first sector, +1.752 in the second, and completes the lap in P13 at +2.463. Sainz’s car bounces through the second sector, where Carlos gets +0.319, crossing the finish line in 1'28"882 in P3, behind his teammate. Vettel’s team radio says to the driver:
"We don’t expect any rain for the next 30 minutes".
Alonso climbs to P7 (+1.001), while Haas’ Magnussen completes his lap in +1.902 in P11, slower than his teammate in P9 at +1.529. Verstappen improves his time with 1'28"498, and Hamilton gets a purple in the second sector and crosses the finish line in 1'28"697 in P2. Vettel tries again and completes a new lap in 1'30"491 in P12. At the same time, Verstappen improves more by -0.112 compared to his previous time (1'28"386). From P2, Hamilton tries again, getting a purple in the last sector, but this does not change his position, so he is still in P2.
"Next time let me know that Gasly is coming a bit sooner".
Says Vettel to his team radio. Perez tries again: he runs a good first sector, scoring +0.410 in the second, and completes in 1'28"928 without improving his position and time.
"I have some small drops of rain on the back straight".
Says the Mexican Red Bull driver to his team radio.
"It’s blowing over. Just a few spots that will be it":
From P20, Ocon completes a new lap in 1'29"552, jumping to P8, while Russell tries again, and scores +0.118 in the first sector, +0.201 in the second, and crosses the finish line in1'28"550 in P3, behind his teammate. Leclerc is back on track, scores -0.057 in the second sector compared to Verstappen’s one, and closes his lap in 1'28"338 in P2, behind Verstappen. At the same time, the reigning World Champion scores a purple (28.146) in the first sector, -0.325 in the second (35.623) and scores a new best with 1'27"901. Albon from P18 completes a new lap in 1'30"033 in P13. Perez is back on track again, scores +0.231 in the second sector, crossing the line in 1'28"311 in P2, making Leclerc slip one position. Russell scores +0.355 in the second sector and climbs in P4 (+0.525), while his team mate Lewis Hamilton is back on track on a set of used soft tyres. Tsunoda climbs to P16 with 1.30.039 (+2.138) and Leclerc scores 1.28.348 remaining in P3. Ten minutes to the end of FP3. Russell discusses with his radio team how many warm laps Verstappen has done, as he is struggling with tyres temperature. At the same time, says Hamilton to his team radio:
"Rear is bouncing a lot".
Alonso tries again, gets +0.712 in the first sector, +1.695 in the second, +2.499, does not improve in time lap and takes P10. Yuki complains to his radio team that he has the front side sliding: he starts his lap and gets +0.721 in the first sector, +1.966 in the second but he gives up, as he was not improving. About two minutes to the end of FP3 and none is making a new try. Time runs out and the FP3 session ends; Verstappen is the quickest with 1'27"901, followed by his teammate Perez (+0.410). Leclerc is in P3 (+0.447), followed by Russell (+0.525), Hamilton (+0.587), Sainz (+0.788), Norris (+1.201), Bottas (+1.284), Schumacher (+1.609), and Alonso (+1.619). Ocon is in P11 (+1.692) and, at his behind, there is Vettel (+1.692). Zhou is in P13 (+1.851), followed by Albon (+1.879), Gasly (*1.984), Stroll (+1.991), Tsunoda (+2.138), Ricciardo (+2.392), Latifi (+2.588) and Magnussen (+2.622). The rain finally arrives on the circuit and it would likely continue through the qualifying. At 3:00 p.m., Q1 starts. Leclerc is on intermediates and goes particularly slowly, because he risks sliding on the track. However, he manages to hold the car and starts his first lap in Q1: he gets 34.836 in the first sector, being slower than Albon in the first sector. He scores a purple with 1'18"130 in the second sector and completes in 1'47"521 taking the lead in Q1 temporarily. Albon is in P2 (1'49"914), followed by Schumacher (1'51"311) and Latifi (1'52"555). Sainz on intermediates starts his lap and completes it in 1'49"642 in P2. The yellow flag starts to wave in the first sector for track hazard but it disappears and everything comes back to normality. Hamilton scores a purple in the second sector, he takes P2 in 1.47.880, splitting the two Ferraris. Russell crosses the line in 148.896 in P3, behind his team mate, while Norris climbs to P7 in 1'49"953. Rain would likely stop in the next ten minutes but the track will remain wet nevertheless. Verstappen scores a purple in the second sector, and a purple in the third. He overthrows Leclerc with 1'45"743 and starts to establish the pace. His teammate Perez takes P5 in 1'48"956, making Sainz slip one position.
Albon from P9 climbs to P2 in 1'46"991 while Latifi is P5 (1'48"021). Schumacher climbs to the top three in P3 (1'47"361), while Leclerc takes back P1 in 1'43"028. From P16, Bottas crosses the finish line in 1'47"850 in P7. Stroll climbs to P9 after a decent lap (1'47"990) while Gasly from P17 flies to P3 (1'46"807). His teammate Tsunoda takes P7 at +4.502 to Leclerc’s time. Ricciardo with 1'46"827 goes fourth and Hamilton climbs to P2 after an amazing third sector, followed by Russell (+1.940). Norris climbs to P4, making Verstappen slip to P5. Checo Perez tries again a new lap. From P16, he improves and jumps to P3, behind Leclerc, as Verstappen took again the lead with 1'42"814. However, it lasts a few as Leclerc takes back P1 in 1'42"129. Ten minutes to the end of Q1. Sainz comes back to the top 3 in P3 (+1.334) but Hamilton manages to steal P3 from him. Ocon from P19 improves a bit with 1'47"715 and takes P18, while his team mate Alonso from P18 climbs the rank to P11 in 1'44"695. Stroll manages to exit the drop zone but he is not completely safe, as he takes P13 (+3.165). Tsunoda takes P11 (+2.484); Ricciardo is approaching the finish line and scores 1'44"552, taking P12. Russel from P5 scores a new best, taking the lead of Q1 with 1'41"743, with Leclerc at +0.386. Vettel is at risk in P15 with 1'45"741. Verstappen gets a purple in the second sector (40.995) and takes again the lead in Q1 with 1'40"453. Leclerc scores a purple in the second sector, driving quicker than Verstappen (50.867), while Schumacher completes his lap and saves himself from the drop zone in P14. Latifi from P17 climbs to P11, managing to exit the drop zone. Ocon takes P7 with 1'43"248 putting his team mate at risk in P15. Magnussen from P19 climbs to P10 and Stroll manages to exit the drop zone in P15 but he is not completely safe. Gasly takes P14, with 1'43"772 while Vettel does not improve enough and remains in the drop zone in P17. Leclerc scores the fastest first sector (31.414), the fastest second sector (40.743), and completes his lap in 1'40"530, behind Verstappen. Ocon from P9 tries again, does not improve, and remains in P9. Zhou from P11 has a decent lap and climbs to P5, behind Russell. Vettel tries again to save himself from the drop zone: he scores 1'43"088 in P10 and manages to save himself. Tsunoda is making the same try: from P18 he jumps to the top 10, in P9 (1'43"014).
Verstappen scores a new best in 1'39"975, while his team mate takes P4 (1.464), behind Sainz. Currently, the two Red Bulls and the two Ferraris are in the first four positions. About three minutes to the end of Q1 and the drivers in the drop zone are Gasly, Latifi, Stroll, Ricciardo, and Schumacher. Hamilton climbs to P2 in 1'40"460 and Albon moves down to P12. Ricciardo tries again: he gets -0.591 compared to Magnussen’s first sector (32.764), the last driver to qualify for P15 temporarily, +2.472 in the second, and takes P13 with 1'43"001. Latifi from P18 goes quicker than Ricciardo and takes P10 with 1'42"309, managing to exit from the drop zone. Schumacher and Magnussen are approaching the finish line: Mick scores 1'43"174, improving a bit but not enough to exit from the drop zone, as he takes P17. Magnussen takes P10, making Ricciardo slip to P15, at high elimination risk. Gasly from P19 jumps to P8, getting into Q2. Vettel exits from the drop zone but only in P15, so he is not completely safe. Indeed, Tsunoda from P18 climbs to P12. Ricciardo, who slipped to P18, climbs again in P13. Leclerc takes again the lead with 1'39"846. Ocon tries his best but he is struggling a bit, but he manages to get a P9 and qualifies temporarily for Q2. Latifi improves a bit but continues to be at elimination risk in P15. Schumacher from P19 climbs to P18 so he will not drive in Q2. Sainz takes P3 with 1'40"190. Finally, Albon from P19 climbs to P16, while his team mate Latifi makes it to qualify for Q2 for the first time during this season. Q1 stops and it starts raining again on track. After the checkered flag starts to wave to stop Q1, Verstappen is in P1 (1.39.129), followed by Leclerc (+0.717), Russell (+0.899), Sainz (+1.061), Hamilton (+1.299), Perez (+1.392), and Zhou (+1.662). Bottas is in P8 (+2.267), followed by Norris (+2.386), Alonso (+2.469), Gasly (+2.551), Ocon (+2.601), and Tsunoda (+2.764). Ricciardo saves from the drop zone in P14 (+2.804), followed by Latifi (+2.869). The drivers who will not take part in Q2 are Albon (+2.949), Magnussen (+3.030), Vettel (+3.537), Schumacher (+3.579), and Stroll (+4.301). Not again, Not again, says Sebastian Vettel to his team when they explain to him that he will not be in Q2. Abon complains to his team that he did not have grip during Q1:
"The conditions were actually okay today despite the rain, with the car feeling good but there was less grip on the 2nd set of tyres”. He explains the difficulties he has experienced in Q1, after having had a good FP3. It’s been a bit different to drive with the new updates but in Free Practice 3 I was feeling quite comfortable with the car, even in the rain in Q1, it felt ok. At the end of Q1 we opted to do a cool down lap but we lost too much tyre temperature. The track was starting to dry, and everyone was starting to get faster, but I just couldn’t find enough grip. It was a tight call but in hindsight, I don’t think the cool down lap was the best choice, but we’ll see what we can do with tomorrow. We do have a good car, so we need to go back and analyse it".
Sebastian Vettel finds that:
"A Saturday performance like this makes Sunday really difficult. But all we can do is turn the page and see what we can do tomorrow. We did not have the pace today and we know we can do better. We need to learn our lessons, understand where we are losing out, and improve for next time".
Lance Stroll explains the mistake the team made by using a new set of intermediate tyres at the end of Q1, whiich made it difficult to him to reach a good tyres’ temperature:
"At the end of the session, we tried a new set of Intermediate tyres, but I had a terrible out-lap getting caught in traffic and it was really difficult to generate enough temperature at that point. With only one push-lap at the end of the session, my tyres were not warm enough to be able to put in a respectable qualifying time. I am disappointed to be starting at the back of the grid, but hopefully the weather will improve and we will have a more successful race".
Aston Martin Team Principal Mike Krack is disappointed by today’s performance despite the team’s work:
"Today we did not do a good enough job. The rain made things tricky, but that was the same for everyone. To qualify 18th and 20th for our home Grand Prix is a big disappointment, especially as the team had worked so hard to ready our aero upgrades in the short time available. Tomorrow it will be difficult to score points, obviously, but we will do our very best".
According to Kevin Magnussen, today’s main issue was the car’s lack of pace in wet conditions:
"Mick was looking good in FP3, I didn’t have a good one, but I could see what the car could do so I was confident. Then it rained, and that made me even more confident but for some reason we just didn’t have the pace today in the wet. It’s interesting, we’ve been quick in the wet a couple of times this year, but it’s been on very different tracks to this one. There’s something to learn from that so we’ll try again tomorrow and see if we can fight our way back into the top-10".
Mick Schumacher says that they had issues with the car, as the steering was not right:
"Unfortunately we had an issue with the car, it seemed like something with the steering wasn’t right which is the last thing you want, especially in these changing conditions. We’ll analyze what happened, but I think that was a big reason why we didn’t make the step-up into Q2. I’m down for any conditions tomorrow, whether it’s wet or dry - it’s fun in any conditions - so I’m looking forward to it".
Haas’ Team Principal Guenther Steiner is agrees with Magnussen that Mick went better in FP3 compared to Kevin. He also adds:
"It wasn’t a smooth day today. In FP3, Mick did a very good job but Kevin couldn’t find the balance in the car. In qualifying in the rain, we just had too much understeer and we wore the front-left tire out. We just couldn’t get the car to turn so we were out in Q1 and on Mick’s car, his steering wheel was off about 10 degrees which obviously is not ideal when you’re out in these conditions trying to qualify. Now we’re regrouping to get the best out of tomorrow".
Q2 starts, and Lewis Hamilton says to his team:
"I have vibration on these tyres, man".
Norris is the first to start: he gets 32.734 in the first sector, 1'16"505 in the second, and completes his lap in 1'47"157 in P6. Alonso climbs to P1 with 1'43"121. Perez scores 32.624 in the first sector, gets a purple in the second (1'14"091), -0.608, taking P1. Sainz scores 1'15"637 in the first sector, +2.321 in the second, and climbs to P5, while his team mate Leclerc goes third with 1'43"617, behind Alonso. Verstappen gets two purple in the last sectors and decides the pace in Q2 with 1'41"486. The two Mercedes are back on track. Hamilton completes his lap in +1.196 in P3, followed by Russel in P4 (+1.608). Zhou climbs to P3, making the two Mercedes slip one position. Ocon from P15 climbs to P13 in 1'45"430, while Norris gets a purple in the second sector and crosses the finish line in 1'41"821, jumping to P2. Ricciardo takes P12 with 1'44"355. The two Ferraris try again. However, Sainz raises his foot from the pedal and does not complete his lap. His teammate from P8 goes quicker and takes P1 with 1'41"247, but it lasts a few as Verstappen scores 1'40"655. Hamilton crosses the finish line in 1'41"062 taking P2. His teammate from P7 takes P4 in 1'41"725. Latifi jumps to P9 with 1'43"273. Sainz scores -1.811 in the second sector, he slides a bit in the corner but manages to hold the car and completes the lap in 1'41"602 in P4. Bottas crosses the finish line but does not manage to exit from the drop zone and remains in P12, with +0.959 to Latifi’s time lap (1'43"273), who is in P10. Leclerc asks his team whether someone is making a better time or not, to decide to stop his tries in Q2.
"It is getting too bad. Aquaplaning a lot".
Says Norris to his radio team and also Bottas complains that he cannot see anything. Ocon tries to score a best under these conditions as he is in P15: he improves in the first sector but not in the second one, so decides to raise his foot and give up. Q2 ends without improvements. Verstappen is still in P1 with 1'40"655, followed by Hamilton (+0.407), Leclerc (+0.592), Sainz (+0.947), and Russell (+1.070). Norris is in P6 (+1.166), Alonso (+1.554), Perez (+1.858), Zhou (+1.985), and Latifi, who for the first time qualify for Q3. The drivers who are eliminated are Gasly (+0.429), Bottas (+0.959), Tsunoda (+1.038), Ricciardo (+1.082), and Ocon (+1.917). Pierre Gasly finds this week’s practice sessions extremely difficult:
"It’s been extremely hard this weekend in the practice sessions. We came here knowing we’d struggle on this track, we haven’t been able to find many solutions, but our Quali was well executed, and we need to be content with P11. Obviously, we can’t be fully happy with such a performance, we want more than that, but that’s where our car is currently on this kind of tracks. I’ll be doing a rain dance tonight and hoping we can have anything other than dry conditions to help us out the most in the race tomorrow".
Yuki Tsunoda is overall happy considering the difficulties his team had:
"We expected it to be difficult to get through to Q2 today, based on the performance we had in free practice, so I’ll take today’s result. The conditions were tough out there, but the team did a really good job and I’m happy with how we finished, I think it’s a big positive for us considering the weekend we’d been having so far. I’m hoping we won’t have rain for the race tomorrow, as my car is set-up more for the dry, so hopefully it stays dry, and we’ll be able to put it altogether to aim for the points. I’m looking forward to the race, it’ll be difficult, but I think we can still have a good opportunity tomorrow".
AlphaTauri's Technical Director, Jody Egginton, recognises the difficulties they had this weekend:
"It’s fair to say that this weekend has been a difficult one up until now, with neither car looking strong. However, some good work from the drivers and team in Qualifying allowed us to take advantage of the wet conditions and get the cars a bit further forward than we were looking capable of in the dry up until now here in Silverstone. Obviously, we are not happy with the level of performance shown here, but the guys are continuing to work hard, and we will be looking to maximise any opportunities that come our way in tomorrow's race. We have various aero updates working their way through now and as such we are looking forward to being able to move the package forward with these new parts in the next few events".
Esteban Ocon finds that today was tricky:
"It’s been one of those tricky days for us today. A battery-related loss of power at the beginning of Q2 stopped us from being competitive in the session and we were out in fifteenth, which is not great ahead of tomorrow’s race".
Nevertheless, he stays positive for tomorrow:
I’m still positive, though, as we’ve started from further down this year and scored points, so the goal will be the same tomorrow. We’re looking into the issue now and I trust that the team will get on top of it, and we’ll be in good shape for the race. We can overtake here at Silverstone, so we’ll have to take all available opportunities to have a decent result".
Daniel Ricciardo is disappointed with today’s performance, as he did not manage to get into Q3:
"I’m obviously disappointed with the result in the end today. I think in hindsight I needed the lap to be put in early because the track was at its best early-on but then I struggled to get the lap in when it counted. I think the driest lap I found, I went off, so there was a dry line there, I just caught some of the wet and lost the lap. For the most part, it felt just like I didn’t get the lap in when the conditions were at their best and that’s what cost me more than anything else today. So, that’s on me. It’s put us quite a bit back on the grid, so we have a lot of work to do tomorrow but we will come out swinging".
Finally, Valtteri Bottas explains that today was challenging for him because of changing weather conditions:
"It’s been a challenging day for me: conditions were tricky, changing all the time and it felt like every lap the track was a bit different. Q1 was good, but, once I got into Q2, with more water on track, I struggled to get enough temperature in the tyres. That was a bit of a downward spiral - I was sliding around and the car kept snapping, which made me lose even more temperature. Still, we are in P12 and the points are not too far away: we expect a dry race tomorrow, and I am confident we can make some gains. Our car is quite strong in the races, so we can put up a bit of a fight".
The rain suddenly gets slow and the last ten drivers are ready for Q3. Possible shower right at the end of Q3, says the radio team to Sainz. The Spanish driver will be the first to go to the flying lap. Team mate Leclerc gets 36.559 in the first sector, 1'20"139 in the second, and crosses the finish line in 1'50"297, taking P1. Verstappen makes a mistake before starting his lap, so it is not a good start for him, but manages to hold the car. He scores 34.386 in the first sector and 1'18"418 in the second, but in Turn 18 he has a big spin of 360°: fortunately he does not damage the car, and crosses the finish line in 1'51"332 in P3, behind Sainz (1'51"022). Zhou climbs the rank and takes the lead in Q3 with 1'49"454, while Norris takes P2 in 1'49"971. Hamilton completes his lap in 1'52"633 in P6 while his teammate puts his car in P5 (1'51"166). Perez starts his first lap and scores 1'50"326 in P4. Alonso also starts his first lap, scores a purple in the second sector, and takes the lead with 1'46"227 after getting a purple in the third sector. Sainz tries again, scores a purple in the second sector, and crosses the line in 1'46"098, overthrowing Alonso. Leclerc improves in the second sector and completes his lap in 1.254 less than his teammate, taking P1. Verstappen is quicker in the first sector and in the second, but he does not improve in the third and takes P2 1'44"887. The radio team tells Perez that the track is improving and drying up; the Mexican driver goes fourth (+0.663). Verstappen tries again and scores a purple in the first sector, -1.652 in the second sector, and gets -1.848, taking the P1 in 1'42"996.
Norris completes his lap in 1'44"319 taking P2, while Hamilton gets a purple in the second sector -1.291 and completes his lap in 1'43"250 stealing the position off Norris. Russell scores a purple in the second sector too and crosses the finish line in 1'43"896 in P3. Perez takes P5 in 1'44"809, making Leclerc slip to P6. Full rain is expected. Just keep pushing, says Lambiase to Verstappen. He tries again, scores a purple in the first sector, +3.902 in the second, but gives up to try later. Leclerc takes P2 in 1'43"246, followed by Hamilton (+0.254). However, the Mercedes driver manages to go back to P2. Alonso takes P3 with 1.43.118. Sainz climbs to P1 with 1.42.101. Leclerc and Verstappen try again at 2 minutes to the end. The Ferrari driver runs a good first sector but does not improve, in contrast to Verstappen who gets a purple in the first sector. Leclerc scores -1.233 in the second, while -1.306 in the second and crosses the finish line in 1'41"298, taking P1 from Sainz. Verstappen goes faster, and completes his lap in 1'41"055 in -0.243 less than Leclerc. Norris climbs to P3 at 30 seconds to the end of Q3, while Alonso completes his lap in 1'42"116 taking P5. Sainz scores a purple second sector (-0.020) compared to Verstappen’s 1'12"727, and overall 1'40"983, in -0.072 less than the Dutch, temporarily taking the pole position for tomorrow’s race. However, Verstappen starts his final lap, goes faster in the first sector, scores -0.131 in the second, but does not improve and remains in P2. Q3 ends and Sainz is in pole position for the first time with 1'40"983, followed by Verstappen in +0.072. Leclerc is in P3 (+0.315), with Perez at his behind (+0.633). Hamilton is in P5 (+1.012), followed by Norris (+1.101), Alonso (+1.133), Russell (+1.178), Zhou (+1.736), and Latifi (+22.112).
"P1. P1 confirmed".
Says Riccardo Adami to Carlos Sainz:
“P1 confirmed, baby. Good job".
"I didn’t expect that one".
He gets off his car and waves to the public. Verstappen goes to give a congratulation to him on his first pole. Leclerc and Sainz shake their hands and get ready for their interview. Carlos Sainz is extremely happy with today’s result as he got his first pole in tricky conditions:
"I’m extremely happy today! Securing my first pole at Silverstone in the wet is something special that I will never forget. The whole qualifying was very tricky, and every lap was a new adventure because of the track conditions. Finding grip and traction was a huge challenge and every lap you had to adapt. On the very last attempt I went for it and managed to put a good lap together that gave us pole. The confidence for tomorrow is high and hopefully we can bring our good pace from Friday into the race. It will be a very tight battle with our competitors, but I’m ready for it and I’m sure we can put together a strong race and fight for the win. Let’s race".
Charles Leclerc is disappointed for his performance:
"Unfortunately, I spun on that last lap in Q3 and didn't put it together as I wanted to, so I am disappointed, but I am happy that Carlos finished on pole. I felt confident in the car and we were quite competitive, even in these conditions which is where we struggled quite a lot for the past two years. It's good to see that we've found some consistency in the wet. Strategies will be different between teams tomorrow, so whether it will be one or two stops, I hope we can gain something by making good moves and fight for a 1-2 for our team".
Ferrari’s Team Principal Mattia Binotto is satisfied with today’s results, especially for the pole. On Carlos, he finds that he stayed focused enough to success:
"It’s very satisfying to come away with pole position and third place in the difficult conditions we faced in today’s qualifying. It was a day where what mattered most was to stay focussed and Carlos certainly succeeded in that. So, he fully deserves this result. Securing his first pole position at such a demanding track and in these extreme conditions is the best possible confirmation of how Carlos’ confidence in the car has grown over recent races, especially after Canada. Now we turn our attention to the race, the most important part of the weekend. Charles also had a good qualifying and he can move forward from his start position. However, it’s going to be a hard race tomorrow with many variables coming into play. We will now work on preparing to convert this pole into the best possible result tomorrow".
Max Verstappen expresses himself about today:
"It was a good qualifying, I felt comfortable out there. It was obviously very slippery on track, my 360-degree spin in Q3 was a new tyre warming technique [laughs], but overall I think we did a good job, we have a great race car".
He finds that Q3 was uncertain, especially with these weather conditions, so he could not improve, also due to the yellow flag:
"I think that cost me pole position today. As you can see it's all very tight at the front at the Ferraris are very strong. It will be a close battle tomorrow but hopefully we can finish ahead of them. The car is good in the wet and the dry, so if the car is working well during the race tomorrow then we should have a good chance of winning".
Sergio Perez recognises that his result is good with these conditions even if he wants to improve:
"In these changeable conditions, today was a good result for us. I obviously wanted more and I am not fully satisfied but we can fight from there and I look forward. It wasn't ideal but on the other hand I am not too disappointed because towards the end of Q3 I had Stroll right ahead of me, so my last two laps were not ideal and maybe there was a bit more in it without that hold up. We found the issue in the car that was troubling us on Friday and in the race we will be a lot more competitive. It will be important to stay in the mix and have a strong pace in the race tomorrow, then things can look very different. We have made good progress so I will be confident hopefully we are able to give a hard time to the Ferraris, it is going to be tough but we will fight hard".
For Christian Horner, Red Bull’s Team Principal, today both drivers had a good performance:
"It was a good qualifying today from both drivers, in very tricky conditions. We got a bit unlucky with the yellow flags which meant Max lost around three or four tenths but we're pleased to be on the front row with Checo up there on the second row, in a session like that, it's a good place to be. If tomorrow is a straight dry race, then strategy and tyre deg are going to be crucial, this year, we've seen our cars can follow closer which is going to be critical through Becketts, but if the beautiful British summer continues tomorrow it could all change so quickly, hopefully we can take the fight to Ferrari. Congratulations to Carlos today, he's always been fantastic in the wet even when he was a junior for us, he did a great job and deserved the pole".
Lewis Hamilton finds that his team worked really hard to update the car, in particular the new aero furniture.
"The team have worked incredibly hard to bring updates to the car and we have a bunch of new aero furniture around the car and it has improved. But we still have bouncing in the high-speed corners which is where, particularly the Red Bull, is pulling away from us. In the rain, we were fighting for the front row; all the way until that second to last lap we were up there. We backed off to charge the battery and go into a racier mode for the final lap but that was just when the rain started to fall heavier and it cost us. I was so hopeful because we have this incredible crowd and we were in the fight, I was feeling great. We've got a great race car and fifth isn't the worst place to start, in previous races I'd have been happy with P5 but it's the British Grand Prix, you're hopeful for more. I'll try and pull something special for tomorrow, I really appreciate the support here - the fans were amazing".
George Russell experienced some issues during all the qualifying, so he clearly did not have a good qualifying session:
"In Q1 I was feeling really well in the car, very confident but in Q2, it felt slightly worse and then in Q3, I struggled for confidence in the car, made a mistake and it was tough to recover from there. It was tricky for everyone out there but I'm slightly disappointed we didn't have a better qualifying session, we didn't expect to fight for pole but more was possible. In FP3 we looked very strong with good pace in the dry and we felt like we made good progress. We know that we have a much faster race car than qualifying so let's see what we can do tomorrow, starting P8 puts us on the back foot so we need to get through those midfield cars as quickly as possible. In the dry and in race pace, we feel we have a car than fight Red Bull and Ferrari so we'll be giving it everything tomorrow".
Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff finds that the team made important steps into the dry and they managed the session well in the rain, setting competitive laps. He explains that both drivers had difficulties in Q3:
"It felt like we had made a good step with the car in the dry in FP3, and that we could be in the mix for qualifying. Obviously the rain came and we managed the session well, setting competitive laps as the rain ebbed and flowed. But in Q3, the final laps didn't come together - George had a lock-up on his penultimate lap, and Lewis struggled with a split on brake temperatures and losing some tyre temperature. So it's a little disappointing to be only P5 and P8, and to not have extracted the full potential today. The silver lining is that we had strong long runs yesterday - we have improved the car since then - and it's race pace that matters round here. I'm looking forward to watching it all play out in front of these fantastic fans and another packed house".
Andrew Shovlin is disappointed with today’s result, as they were closer to the first position in Q1 and Q2:
"We're disappointed with the final positions as we were closer to the front in the first and second session but ultimately we didn't get the laps together when the conditions were at their best. We'd backed both cars off on the penultimate lap thinking we'd push at the end but the rain picked up a little and we just didn't have the pace. However, we have seen signs of progress with the car over the weekend that are keeping us encouraged. We made a few changes overnight and the drivers were both much happier with the high speed performance in final practice earlier today. Our long run was decent on Friday but it was the high speed corners where we were losing, so hopefully the improvements have carried through from low fuel to high fuel. So, not quite the grid positions that we had hoped for but we're still optimistic that we can bring home some good results tomorrow. The fans have been brilliant all weekend and we'll hopefully be able to give them something to celebrate tomorrow".
Lando Norris is satisfied with today’s result, as it is the best he could achieve today:
"I’m very happy. P6, is the best we could have done today. I kind of messed up my last lap, but I was still very happy with P6, and it’s been a good job by the team. I’m happy with how I did today, I think I got the laps in when I needed to, and P6 is ahead of at least one of the cars we know is quicker than us. It’s a good position for tomorrow and hopefully we can stay around there for the race".
James Key finds that the McLaren behaved better in Siverstone than in the previous track:
"Our car is better suited to Silverstone than the last couple of circuits we have been to so it’s nice to see a stronger performance so far this weekend. Set-up changes overnight were largely fine-tuning, and we made further refinements after a dry P3 session, but also to account for the increasing likelihood of a wet qualifying session this afternoon. A great job by Lando and his team to keep an extremely tricky session together and put us on the third row for tomorrow’s race, a good and well-deserved result from a quick and controlled drive in unpredictable conditions. Daniel’s run in Q2 was a victim of circumstance and the changing conditions. The track was getting slower as more rain fell throughout the session and effectively fixed the order at an early stage. I have little doubt that Daniel would be much higher up the order if the conditions had remained constant. It’s a real shame, but we know he will fight to score points tomorrow. We have good opportunities here, with some close competition around us, so we are looking forward to the race tomorrow and hope that we can maximise our potential and score some good points with both drivers".
At the end of the quali, Fernando Alonso says:
"There was more to come today and unfortunately we didn’t maximise our last laps in Q3. On my first lap in Q3 we were in first, so it was going pretty well. Then, we crossed the line for our last lap with the battery nearly empty, so we couldn’t unlock the full potential. I feel like we could have perhaps qualified inside the top five today. Tomorrow, we don’t know if it will rain or not, so let’s see if we can maximise our position and score points. The car feels good in the wet and dry and all of the data from the factory shows we’ve made a good step forward with our upgrades this weekend".
Alpine’s Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer is not completely satisfied with today’s result:
"It’s been quite a challenging weekend in Silverstone so far with the mixed weather conditions. Today, we feel slightly disappointed in our qualifying result as, not only do we have two drivers who relish wet weather, but also a race car that has proved in the past to be competitive in the rain like we saw in Canada two weeks ago. Fernando probably had the potential to be a couple of places higher with Q3 a matter of being on a fast lap at the right time, while Esteban was unfortunate with the battery being too cold for optimal performance".
He finds that Alonso could have taken a better position in Q3, while Ocon had issues with the battery being too cold:
"That said, we always look forwards and points are awarded on Sundays and we have a long race tomorrow, which will no doubt provide some good opportunities for both cars to progress. We’re happy with the upgrades on the car, we’ve managed to gather some further understanding and data on those with the dry running we’ve completed at times this weekend. We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s race where the aim will be to have both cars inside the top ten at the chequered flag and I can see no reason why that aim is not achievable".
Nicholas Latifi is extremely happy for today’s result:
"A very special day in tricky conditions. To get through to Q2 was a great achievement and a nice confidence boost, and then Q3 was more than we could’ve hoped for. Straight out of the pits things felt good and I was getting into a rhythm. The team did a great job in Q1 and Q2 of putting me in the right place on the track when I needed to. We saw how important that was for Q2 getting that lap in at the right time before the track got worse with the weather. Coming off in Q3 was frustrating but overall a great team effort and a satisfying day. We have to be realistic going in tomorrow as we’re out of position with faster cars being behind us. We need to be very strategic in how we approach the race. It’ll be a race of attrition with how we manage the tyres. Anything is possible so we’ll focus on our own race and maximise any opportunities that may come our way".
Dave Robson, Williams Head of Vehicle Performance, recognises that today’s conditions were extremely insidious but Latifi drove well and got some good laps:
"As expected, the weather played its part today and with the rain intensity varying, it was a difficult session to manage; aligning the tyre condition to the track state was tricky. However, Nicholas drove well throughout qualifying and was able to get in some good laps at crucial times. We had nothing to lose in Q3 and so took the opportunity to complete a reconnaissance lap on used tyres before pitting for the new set and getting position on a clear part of the track. Unfortunately, some car damage meant that Nicky couldn’t set a competitive lap time. Nonetheless, he had an excellent session and starts the race tomorrow in a good position. Alex was unfortunate to just miss out on Q2 by a tiny margin, which is very frustrating as he would also have had a good opportunity to get into Q3 today. His car was working well but he couldn’t get as much from the second set of tyres as he did from the first. We’ll look over the data to see if we could’ve done something better for him, but at least we got some useful information on how the new package works with the Intermediate tyres and how we need to balance the car in those tricky conditions".
Zhou Guanyu is satisfied with today’s result, as it was his first time in F1 in Silverstone with challenging conditions:
"Qualifying was a challenge, but I would say I didn’t do too bad for a rookie! It was my first time driving in F1 in Silverstone in the wet, the conditions were very different from yesterday but today has been good, I felt like I was progressing and improving my time lap after lap. It was particularly tricky out there between Q2 and Q3, when it was getting damp and there was a lot of standing water, but I managed to keep the car on track and reckon I was able to maximize everything I had today, so I can consider myself satisfied of the job done. It feels amazing to score two back-to-back Q3 appearances, I feel like I’m growing as a Formula 1 driver and I am really happy about that. I am looking forward to tomorrow, the track conditions should be dry, and I think we have the opportunity to score some points, which is always our main target. We have good potential, the grid will be super close, but I reckon we are looking good and both cars will be able to challenge for points tomorrow".
Says Alfa Romeo’s Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur, about the good job made by Zhou:
"The conditions of the track were very challenging, as the intermittent rain made it really tricky to assess just where the limit was. Zhou delivered a very mature performance, despite this being just his second wet qualifying in F1, and made it to Q3 for the second time running. His P9 is a career best and he is in a great position to bring home points tomorrow. Valtteri had a slightly more complicated day: he looked good in Q1, but getting the tyres into temperature in Q2 proved difficult and he had to settle for P12. Still, we know how strong our car is in the race and we expect to make up some ground tomorrow, especially if it’s dry. The objective is to put both cars in the points once again".
Finally, Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director explains today’s choices of the teams regarding the strategies and the tyres:
"Even though the intermediate tyre was not designed to cope with aquaplaning situations, it coped very well with the conditions today, allowing the drivers to reach nearly 300kph in wet conditions with comparatively long stints as the surface dried out. This is a track that puts lots of energy through the tyres, allowing a dry line to emerge. In the dry conditions of FP3, most drivers ran the soft tyre, and we expect the medium to be the main race tyre tomorrow if conditions are dry - which is not entirely certain - with a two-stopper being the best strategy".
It is Sunday, July 3, so it is the day of the 2022 British Grand Prix. After Sebastian Vettel delighted the audience with a run in the 1992 Williams FW14B, it is time for the real race to begin. After a wet qualifying on Saturday, the weather seems better today, even if cloudy. The risk of rain is at 20%, but soon after the clouds dissipate. Max Verstappen starts from P2 with soft tyres, while the pole-sitter Carlos Sainz is on the mediums. Lights out and Verstappen takes the opportunity to go first, leaving the Ferrari behind, while at his back Lewis Hamilton overtsakes Charles Leclerc, taking the third position. But there is immediately a twist: an incident occurs at Turn 1 involving George Russell, Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu, followed by another one involving Sebastian Vettel, Esteban Ocon, Yuki Tsunoda, and Alex Albon. This causes an early red flag, with Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu and Williams' Alex Albon both taken to the medical centre. At the same time, it is found that on the Wellington straight there are same protesters who are putting in place an environmental protest, in a dangerous way. A group of men managed to evade the security systems of the circuit, going on track during the first lap, fortunately when the race was already interrupted. There are at least three men on track, with the marshals who try to take them out. According to the last news, the protesters are immediately taken outside the track and delivered to local law enforcement. On the Grand Prix’s eve, there already was fear of a protest and Tom Thompson, Northamptonshire Police Chief Inspector, tried to dissuade protesters from invading the track:
"We have received credible intelligence that a group of protestors are planning to disrupt the event and possibly invade the track on race day. First of all, I want to appeal directly to this group of people and strongly urge you to not put yourselves, the drivers, as well as the many marshals, volunteers and members of the public, at risk. Going onto a live racetrack is extremely dangerous - if you go ahead with this reckless plan you are jeopardising lives".
When it is found that both drivers are conscious, the FIA announces that the race will restart with the grid reset to its original positions. Charles Leclerc asks to his track engineer to go to his car, because he has some questions to ask about the team’s strategy. After a 45-minute stop, the cars go back to the grid. When the lights go out for the second time, Sainz immediately takes the lead over Verstappen, now on mediums. Behind, Perez and Leclerc make contact at Turn 4 in a fight for the third position, and this causes damage to the Mexican’s front wing, while Norris overtakes Hamilton to take the fifth position. Leclerc, after passing Perez, tries a move on Verstappen into Brooklands, but the Dutch defences himself and Leclerc runs off track; the Stewards see the incident but decide not to issue a punishment. Perez is forced to dive into the pits on lap 5 for a new nose and another set of medium tyres: this stop drops him from fourth to sixteenth position. At the front, Verstappen attacks Sainz: He’s a bit quicker, says the Ferrari driver to his team. Then, he makes a mistake on the exit of Maggots/Becketts and goes off track, allowing the Red Bull an easy pass. At this point, Leclers says on the radio to not lose time if Carlos is struggling with the car. At the same time, Tsunoda loses the back end of his car at Turn 3 and hits teammate Gasly, both spin and is given to Tsunoda a five-second penalty for causing the collision. Gasly is later forced into retirement. On lap 12, Sainz is back in the lead: Verstappen, fearing a puncture, goes slow and straight into the pits. The two Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc are now in first and second position, while a new set of mediums is mounted on Verstappen’s car and he emerges sixth. The Red Bull team says that the Dutch driver’s car has a bodywork damage, while he says that the vehicle is 100% broken. With Verstappen out from the battle at the front, the real fight is now between the Ferrari teammates Sainz and Leclerc. Sainz is soon under pressure from Leclerc, because, despite his damaged front wing, the Monegasque driver reduces the gap to 0.9 seconds by lap 14. Leclerc insistes that they are losing time while his enginees says:
"We have to save the tyres in the high-speed corners".
Asks the Monegasque to keep attention to the tyres. Then he asks the team what to do to save his race, while Hamilton’s Mercedes is getting nearer to him. At the same time, Sainz’ engineer informs him about Hamilton’s lap time and insists on the radio:
"You have to push more. Hamilton turns at 32.9 seconds".
The Spanish driver says that he is pushing but Adami keeps saying:
"You have to push more, if you can".
So Sainz answers:
"Don’t say it to me anymore".
Xavi Marcos tells Leclerc:
"It has been said to Sainz that the target lap time is 32.9, and the driver insists that he is quicker than his teammate, so asks the team to do something, while his engineer informs him that Sainz has been ordered to push and, despite this, he will pit on the following lap".
On Lap 20, Sainz is called to pit for new hards, so now is Leclerc to lead the race, while the Spaniard emerges in third position just ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. On lap 25, Leclerc pits and emerges third behind Sainz, while Hamilton takes the lead of a race for the first time in 2022. On lap 28, the Ferraris are in second and third position, and Xavi Marcos tells Leclerc that he and Sainz are free to fight. He also says that Sainz’ lap time is 32.2 and if he does not improve they will change position. Leclerc says: we are losing time; 32.3 is not enough, and his engineer tells him to take P2 at Turn 6. The same is for Sainz, after his track engineer has told to him to reach a lap time of 32.2, but he did not manage to improve. Leclerc is now in second position, while Hamilton is called to pit for hards on Lap 33. Because of an issue on the rear-left, the pit lasts longer than normal and so it ends up being a 4.3 seconds stop that makes him emerge third, 4 seconds behind Leclerc and Sainz. Sainz has been warned he needs to save fuel, so the gap between the two Ferraris is 3.5 seconds at the end of lap 38. Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon, after having overtaken Verstappen for the eighth position, slows down before Copse and brings out a Safety Car. Sainz and Hamilton are immediately called to pit, so Leclerc leads the race on his used hards. Xavi Marcos tells Leclerc to stay out, because even if Sainz and Hamilton have pitted, there is no time for him to pit anymore. All drivers except he and Magnussen pits: Ferrari has chosen to leave the Monegasque out on his aging hards. Leclerc says on the radio that it will be difficult for him to mantain the lead, while the engineer reassures him:
"We think that the softs will be faster for the first lap, than they will have more degradation".
Meanwhile, the team says to Sainz that the priority is defending on Hamilton, who is behind on softs. The restart tour takes place on lap 43 and Sainz, ordered to:
"Leave a distance of ten cars from Leclerc, a breathing room".
At the restart, ignores the instruction, saying:
"I am under pressure from Hamilton! Please don’t ask me this. Please. Please".
And attacks and passes Leclerc into Brooklands to retake the lead. Perez passes Hamilton through The Loop for the third position. On lap 45, with Sainz is ahead by 2.3 seconds, Leclerc slips through Luffield and Perez is on his tail, then he makes a dive on the inside line at Stowe, they go side-by-side and, when Perez seems to go off track, Hamilton passes both running onto the Hamilton straight. Perez passes Hamilton into the Village Complex, with Leclerc going past the Mercedes too; while Sainz crosses the line 3.779 sconds up on Perez and takes his first Formula 1 win after 150 races disputed, Leclerc brilliantly overtakes Hamilton through Copse, but he then loses his position at Stowe.
"Vamos. Good work".
Says the track engineer on Sainz’ radio. Also Team Principal Mattia Binotto congratulates the Spanish driver: “It’s a beautiful and deserved race Carlos. I am so happy for you”. “Thanks, Mattia. Thanks. I did everything I could, thanks. Also for the team” the Spanish driver says. Perez is happy for his brilliant recovery from the sixteenth position, while people celebrate Hamilton, who takes the third position in his home race. Leclerc has to settle for the fourth position, and he says on the radio:
"The amount of time we lost in this race is…oh my God. The only good thing about today is Carlos’ victory, but guys…anyway, enjoy the victory".
Fernando Alonso ends in the top five and Norris takes the sixth position in front of his home crowd. After fighting with Mick Schumacher, Verstappen takes the seventh position, while the German scores his first F1 points. Vettel and Magnussen end in the top 10, so Haas takes double points. Stroll makes it up from P20 to P11, ahead of Latifi, with Ricciardo P13 after a difficult afternoon. Tsunoda is 14th and last. So, after 150 races, Carlos Sainz is a winner in Formula 1. The Spanish driver on Saturday took his first pole position and gained the victory. Anyway, it was not an easy afternoon for Sainz, who often struggled for pace and was ordered to let his team mate pass. Then, the Safety Car gave Sainz the chance to pit for new soft tyres, with which he passed Leclerc and gained the lead:
"Smile? Yesterday I had to contain them, today I can smile. It was a really difficult race, as has always happened to me in my career. Things are never easy, they are always complicated but they come in the end. You keep believing and fighting if things don't go. You don't give up, then things come. Today was not easy. We have to understand where the pace went on Friday, because on Friday I was the fastest rider on the track, whereas today I was not. But even so we won. You have to be there to take the chance and we took it. As a team we managed well. Me and Charles? As soon as the team asked me to let him pass I let him pass. I was trying to make the pass the team was asking me, I was destroying the tyres to make that pass. Today in the fast corners I had understeer that we had to figure out where it came from. It was killing my front tyres. That's why I couldn't go the way the team wanted. As soon as they asked me to let Charles pass, I let him go. He was going, then I tried to follow him. I was 3-4 seconds away to see what happened. Eventually there was an opportunity and we took it. Overtaking him? It was the cleanest overtaking possible. We were fighting for a one-two, after all, we couldn't afford any mistakes. I knew I had the grip, but I didn't want to get him off the track. I knew I was going to pass him 100 per cent but I wanted to do it in such a way that he didn't lose time. I was maybe even too calm with him: he almost overtook me again at Turn 6, because I didn't want to do too much damage to him. How do you celebrate? I'm going back to Maranello tonight with the whole team, it will be fun for sure".
As for Leclerc, Ferrari chose not to pit him during the Safety Car, when he was leading the race, and left him vulnerable with old hard tyres, when every driver mounted softs:
"Could it have been done differently at the Safety Car? I don't know. Obviously it's still a race where the final result is not there. I did everything, I think it also showed in the defence at the end. I don't know what more I could do. However, I was the car in front at the time of the Safety Car. The team decided to diversify the strategies, not stop the car in front and stop the car behind. For me it was obviously not the right decision, but that's how it is. Clarification? I am no one to ask for clarification from Ferrari. It was a frustrating race. I have the impression that I lost time (behind Sainz, ed) in the first stint. Today is Carlos' victory and I would not like the focus to be shifted to my disappointment, but to his first win, it is a special moment for him. But for my part I cannot hide my disappointment. Missed opportunity in terms of the World Championship? I think that's pretty obvious".
The Scuderia Ferrari celebrates a victory arrived after three months and the first success in Formula 1 for Carlos Sainz. The F1-75 showed its potential, but the joy for the success is contrasted by the regret for the points lost by Leclerc after the restart from the Safety Car. Ferrari’s Team Principal Mattia Binotto, explaines the decisions taken during the race:
"It was a very intense race. Charles had a good pace, while Carlos started to suffer degradation and so we decided to stop him early, leaving Leclerc out. However, we were always monitoring the gap to Hamilton, to make sure that when he stopped he would be behind us. When we saw that the margin was minimal, we asked to swap positions because we believed, and I think it was correct, that Charles had more pace. Also, having passed Carlos helped him a bit with the slipstream and the DRS. I think we did well as a team, also on the drivers' side, because there were no arguments he orders were carried out straight away. We were clearly leading the race and obviously there is a bit of frustration for Charles with the Safety Car at the end, with Ocon stopping in the middle of the track, when I think he could have done it elsewhere. What happens at that point is that we have two cars very close together and we have to make a decision. We were the only ones with two cars fighting for position, while the others only had one and that makes the decisions much easier. We saw that there wasn't enough margin to stop both of them, because the second car would have lost time and retreated back onto the track. We decided to stop Carlos because Charles had the track position and was leading the race, because he was on fresher tyres than Sainz, who also, by coming in second, could have protected him in the first few corners, which are the most critical when restarting on hard tyres. Furthermore, we expected the soft tyres to degrade more, but this did not happen".
He also explains the reason why they did not made a double stop in the end, even though there was sufficient time:
"It's true that the gap was three or four seconds, but pit stops take a bit longer, because you have to consider the overall stop. This means that by the time Charles stops in the pit lane, makes his three-second pit stop and restarts, Carlos is behind and stationary in the meantime. At that point he only needs to lose a couple of seconds and Hamilton and Perez are ahead of him. It wasn't a prudent choice. There wasn't physically room to re-enter with both of them without losing positions. If we had stopped Charles instead of Carlos, the others would have stayed out: that's what we would have done too, because whoever is behind acts according to who is in front. At that point Leclerc would have lost more than one position and he would have had to make more than one overtake, which was not a given. In those moments you have to make a choice and we stayed out with Charles who still had his tyres in good condition, while Carlos put him right behind. If you analyse this race with lucidity, when it was time we stopped Carlos at the first pit stop giving Charles a free track. When it was time later we reversed positions and no driver batted an eyelid. I think this is a demonstration of the drivers' ability to manage the situation and to give Charles opportunities, so much so that Leclerc easily found himself in the lead and without the Safety Car he would have won by a margin".
Then, the number one of the Scuderia explains why the choice for the pit stop fell on Carlos Sainz:
"If we had stopped Charles to put on the softs, as the race leader, the others would have stayed out and that point Leclerc would not necessarily have recovered. We were the only ones with two cars in a close position, the others only with one. If the leader stays out it is automatic that the others stop and vice versa, if he had stopped, he would have automatically lost positions. I think the choice made was the right one. In hindsight the soft tyres didn't degrade and Charles finished fourth, but all this happened because there was the Safety Car at the moment when he was leading, without us being able to stop both cars, otherwise we would have done it. If you look at the facts, today before the Safety Car it is Charles who is winning the race, thanks also to a team choice by reversing the positions at a certain point. What we aim for is always first and foremost the victory of the Scuderia. I have always said it and I repeat it: what we try to do is win. Charles was faster today, we asked for a swap and Carlos immediately did so. I don't think any other team would have been able to do that".
Binotto’s advice is to focus on the victory rather than on the positions lost by Leclerc:
"I understand the disappointment, because it is a missed opportunity today for Charles with Max having problems. But the fact remains that today we have to celebrate Carlos' first win, which he deserves, as well as a Ferrari win. We did everything we could to win with Charles and we were even managing it before the Safety Car, but after the neutralisation there was little we could do at that point. Not only are we fine with that, but we are also very happy with how he performed today, because for example when we asked him to swap positions a few laps earlier he did it straight away, without hesitation. Then when we told him to take space on the restart after the Safety Car, he said he didn't want to do it, because the drivers behind would be very aggressive, and he asked us to leave the situation to him. I think he understood what the intention was and also behaved very well".
He also comments on the dialogue he had with Leclerc immediately after the checkered flag:
"I know Charles is frustrated, which is understandable, because he was clearly leading the race before the Safety Car and because it was an important opportunity in terms of the championship. When I met him I knew he was disappointed, but I told him that once again he had an incredible race. He did some great early laps battling and then also the way he drove and protected his position after the Safety Car restart was incredible and amazing. I simply told him to stay calm, because he drove fantastically. Was it a difficult weekend for us? I don't think so. We took pole and victory here at Silverstone. We know that the battle with Red Bull is certainly very close, it has been since the start of the season and it will be in the coming races too. Maybe they are a little bit faster at Silverstone and now Mercedes seems to be back in the fight as well. We knew they would come in and solve their problems sooner or later. Will they be competitive at all tracks and in all conditions? I don't know, in qualifying in the wet they finished 1.2 seconds behind, although maybe in the dry they would have been closer. But I think it's good for the championship to have Mercedes back".
Max Verstappen immediately passed Carlos Sainz during the first start, but the red flag put him back to his P2. He overtook Sainz again when the latter ran wide in the opening stages, but a few laps later a puncture dropped him down to sixth and the damaged floor made him struggle all afternoon:
"Seventh place is a good result considering the damage I had on the car and with Checo on the podium, we've scored some good points for the Team. I, of course, had hoped for more but today was just unlucky. I had a look at the car during the red flag and the whole of the underneath on the left-hand side was ruptured. I hit a huge piece of debris; I think it was carbon. As I was driving it felt like a puncture as I had no balance and a lot of oversteer. The car was a handful to drive, I tried to find a good aero balance but it was difficult. I understand that Alex is having precautionary checks at the hospital, so I hope that he's okay. It's never nice to see these things and today proved once again that the halo is a massive improvement for safety, I think without it Zhou would have been in a different state".
Sergio Perez pitted early for a new front wing after contact on the first lap, but then he recovered positions battling with Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton in the closing laps:
"It is a good day for us and the Team after such a messy weekend for us. Physically I wasn't one hundred percent this week and after lap one I was last, so to come away with second place is a great result. I was so unlucky on the first lap making contact with Charles, I broke my front wing and had to drop to the back. So we had to fight for it and it feels good to have a result like this. I am also very happy for Carlos and to share his first win with him is a nice moment for him and his family. I enjoyed the racing today a lot, we were fighting hard and fair and it felt like my karting days. Everyone was pushing really hard and going wheel to wheel, my heartrate was pretty high on those last laps. It was a race where it was important not to give up".
The Red Bull Racing Team Principal, Christian Horner, reflects after the race:
"It was a phenomenal performance today from Checo after the damage he sustained to the front wing end-plate on the first lap, we had to change the nose and his drive back through the field was just sensational. He benefitted from the safety car which enabled us to put on a fresh set of tyres, but his pace and race-craft was just exceptional. For Max, he'd taken the lead and was in a commanding position but unfortunately some debris did a lot of damage to the floor of the car which lead to a massive loss of downforce. It was unfortunate because I think it would have been a fantastic race for him today, but every point counts and he fought as hard for P7 as he would for the win".
The Red Bull’s number one admits the biggest result of the day was both Zhou Guanyu and Alexander Albon escaping injury in what was a huge crash during the opening lap of the race:
"The biggest result today is that all drivers are in reasonable shape considering the scale of the crashes we saw today and we hope to see Alex and Zhou fighting fit in Austria next week".
He also expresses his surprise for Ferrari’s strategy. He thinks that the Scuderia Ferrari could have done a double pit-stop to mount the soft tyres on both cars:
"The call I understood least was not to pit both their cars or certainly Charles for the soft tyre. With the tyre advantage that Carlos had at that point, he’s got 13-lap-old hards versus a brand new set of softs. So I actually thought he did very well, Charles, to hold off Checo and Lewis as long as he did".
However Horner says that Ferrari faced a difficult decision over whether to pit Leclerc as doing so would have offered his rivals the chance to stay out and pass him:
"It’s the hardest thing in the world to pit from the lead".
With the changes done in the W13, Lewis Hamilton gained the podium in his home race:
"I gave it everything today! I was chasing, trying to get those Ferraris, but congratulations to Carlos. They were just too quick today for us and at the end I was in amongst that battle with Checo. Those guys were just too quick on the straights for me today, but I'm so, so grateful for all the hard work the team did to get an upgrade here, we've made a step closer to them, so we've got to keep pushing! We lost a little bit of time in the pit stop, and then I was chasing, and chasing, and chasing, but the pace was great on both sets of tyres and then at the end there it was just a little bit difficult. Once you get a Red Bull behind, they're so fast on the straights. We've got some improvements to make but this is a huge bonus for us to be on the podium. I'm glad everyone was safe from that big crash at the beginning of the day. Thank you to everybody, we're going to continue to push".
Retirement for George Russell, who was caught up in the accident on the first lap. He immediately jumped out of his car to check on Zhou Guanyu, and his team did not manage to repair his car on time:
"I'm glad to hear that Zhou is OK after this horrible accident, we gambled by starting on hard tyres, but there was no grip and I was swallowed up by all the cars immediately after the start. I was touched from behind, I saw the onboard and it's very difficult that scenario, because a lot of things happen all at the same time. Seeing Zhou's car fly away was scary, I immediately went to see if he was OK. When he flew into the crowd it was scary. We know the dangers of motorsport and they were highlighted today. Shocked? Yes. I have a lot of emotions on me. It was my home race. I was really excited to race at Silverstone".
Mercedes Team Principal, Toto Wolff, evaluates on what was a mixed afternoon for the team:
"A great race today for the fans who all came out with such passion. We had some light at the end of the tunnel in Barcelona and then struggled on three street circuits so I don't want to talk us up too much or be too pessimistic, I'd rather be cautious. We still had our persistent ride issue all three days which is a key focus for us to tackle but we showed strong pace this weekend which is pleasing and our updates seemed to work well. In Austria, there will be a couple of corners which haven't made our car happy in the past but it's a constant learning process for us. This year is going to be a pretty tough one to win but we just need to get our house in order to be properly on top of the car's performance. It was disappointing for George not to be in the race because the car pace was good but that's the regulation so it is what it is, unfortunately. Lewis drove a strong race, we had the win right in front of us before the safety car and were chasing the Ferraris down but then after the safety car, we were never quite in the position to challenge for the front and lost a little momentum. I'm glad it's a quick turnaround for Austria, another chance for more information which is more learning".
The Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, explains that Russell’s starting tyres were one of the reasons why he was involved in the crash, after he too looks back on the race:
"It's difficult for the team to know how to after a race like that. On one had its frustrating to only come away with a third place as with two cars and a bit more luck we could have been fighting for the win and a good haul of points. On the other hand, we can be pleased that we were fighting at the front after a very tough start to our season and a lot of hard work from everyone in Brackley and Brixworth to recover a huge performance gap. George's race didn't last long. We knew the hard tyre would be a risk but didn't anticipate us losing so much ground off the line. That clearly was the contributing factor in George being part of the accident at the start which ended his race but at least no one was hurt. Lewis on the other had a great start moving to 3rd so it was a shame that he was put back into fifth for the restart from where we dropped a further position. Even so, there were plenty of times where it looked like we might be able to get back into the fight for the win but sadly it was not to be. Even so, we can take a lot of encouragement from the progress this weekend. We brought a significant update to the car and it looks to have delivered what we expected. Now we know what works for the car, we can find more. We've got a couple of days to regroup ahead of the Austria sprint race so plenty to do in a short space of time but we're excited to be going there with some hope of fighting at the front".
It was a good start for Fernando Alonso, who moved up from seventh to fifth place, just a second behind Charles Leclerc's Ferrari. He ended fifth:
"It was a fun race today and we are happy to finish in fifth position. I was hoping there would be some drama at the end, and we might have sneaked a podium with all of the action, but it was fun to be fighting amongst it inside the top five places. I think our final position should realistically be fourth because I saw Charles [Leclerc] weaving multiple times in front of Lewis [Hamilton] and, compared to what happened to me in Canada, I guess it’s not allowed and should be a penalty. Looking back at the weekend as a whole, I think the car was very good and I felt more competitive than in any other races so far this season. We executed our race very well and showed consistent pace. I’m expecting us to keep this up and hopefully maintain our competitiveness again over the next few races. I must say congratulations to Carlos [Sainz] on his first win and, also, I’m glad Zhou is OK after his incident at the start. It shows how far safety has come in modern Formula 1 racing".
Esteban Ocon did a good race, but was then forced to retire due to a fuel pump issue, bringing in the Safety Car:
"The most important thing to take out of this race is that Zhou is OK after that massive crash. It happened right in front of me, and I was lucky to avoid most of it, but then I sustained damage on the right side of the car from contact with Alex [Albon]. I have to say, the guys did an incredible job getting the car repaired and ready for the race restart, so thanks and well done to them. We did well at the restart and the pace in the car was good. A fuel pump issue on lap 38 ended our race unfortunately and we had to retire the car. All in all, it wasn’t a smooth weekend with some of the car issues in Q2 and today during the race, so we’ll need to look into all of this closely. It was a weekend with a lot of learning and I’m happy for the team with the solid points from Fernando today. Onto the next race in just a few days’ time".
Alpine’s Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, comments on today’s race:
"First of all, it’s good news that the drivers involved in the incident at the beginning of the race are OK. It’s testament to the extraordinary safety standards and implementation in Formula 1 that everyone was OK after a quite frightening incident. From there, this afternoon, we’ve witnessed a quite brilliant Grand Prix, which, for Formula 1, is a great advert for the exceptional entertainment of this sport. We’re very pleased with Fernando’s fifth place. He drove a well measured race and credit to the team for the pit-stop under the Safety Car, which allowed him to importantly jump Lando [Norris] and fight at the front towards the end. On Esteban’s side, he too was driving superbly well after sustaining damage early on in the race. The team did a great job in repairing his car and then he put himself into contention to score good points. Unfortunately, a suspected fuel pump issue forced him to retire, and we will get on top of these issues quickly in order to ensure we achieve our goals. We leave here with ten points, a strong haul, and we’re looking forward to going to Austria this week ready to score double points".
Lando Norris had a great start and managed to get ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Then he was passed by the Mercedes but put in place a good performance and finished sixth in his home race:
"Firstly, it was great to see Zhou, Alex and George get out of their cars safely today, it's never nice to see an accident like that, so I'm glad the safety equipment did its job properly. On our side, a decent race. I felt like we deserved P5, but unfortunately we lost out at the final pit-stop under the safety car. I think we drove a good race. We did a lot of things very well today and we had reasonable pace in the car, it was just maybe a late call with the pit-stop and that cost us one position today. I'm not annoyed, I think we still got some good points, but it could have been one more place. Finally, it's been great to see the British fans this weekend, they've been amazing all weekend come rain or shine. I had a really great run on the second restart and could see the fans cheering for me in the stands, which was awesome to see. I already can't wait to come back next year".
Daniel Ricciardo struggled during the afternoon and finished thirteenth:
"Firstly, I’m glad to hear the drivers are OK after that first lap incident. For our race, the car just didn’t really seem to operate at the same level of grip as the others. I could just feel it through the tyres as well, trying to carry speed. It was just a bit odd, so we have a bit of investigating to do. Then we had an issue with DRS which meant I couldn’t use it after lap 31 which was also a bit of a shame. Obviously, it’s tough to overtake with that as well - but simply we weren’t really quick enough anyway today. It was a bit of a lonely afternoon".
The McLaren Team Prinicipal, Andreas Seidl, says that, despite the positive signs, there is still a lot of work to do:
"The most important thing is that all drivers involved in accidents today, F1 and Formula 2, are doing well. Motorsport works hard to improve safety and what we saw today demonstrates why that is essential. For us, the positive we take away is that we had a more competitive car this weekend and we’re back in the points after two difficult races. Lando looked competitive all day but unfortunately lost out to Fernando in the final pit-stop, behind the Safety Car. Daniel’s weekend didn’t go to plan, which will need careful analysis over the next few days. He wasn’t in a position to deliver competitive lap times yesterday and today. In addition, he experienced a DRS failure that required an additional pit-stop mid-race and required him to run without the DRS in the second half of the race. So, some positive signs and, as always, a lot to learn before we get going again five days from now in Austria, on a circuit where we’ve had tremendous results in recent years. Before then, I have to say thanks to the entire team here at the track and back at the factory, together with our colleagues at HPP, for all of their efforts this week. I also want to thank Silverstone and the fans that made it special. The crowd has been massive, the atmosphere exceptional, and it’s wonderful to experience together with a lot of our colleagues from the factory who were cheering for us as well on the grandstands".
Good day for Haas as both cars finished in the points for the first time this season, with Kevin Magnussen in tenth position and Mick Schumacher in eighth. Magnussen is satisfied:
"I don’t think we could’ve hoped for anymore. I think on the first stint we didn’t have great pace, at least compared to the second stint where the pace picked up. I lost a few positions in the first stint, annoyingly, because then we got the safety car towards the end. We were advised to pit both cars and I took the decision to stay out - I don’t know if it was right or wrong - but if it was wrong, it was my decision. Two cars in the points though, you have to be super happy with that, to get a decent amount of points at this stage in the year, it’s very good. We go away from here with a big smile on our faces and with big motivation for the races ahead".
Mick Schumacher finally scored his first ever Formula 1 points. It could have been even better for the German, who battled with Max Verstappen in the closing laps:
"We’re really happy. Coming back from P19, I said we have the speed to go forwards and we definitely showed it today. It’s great for the team, a double-finish in the points, so that’s obviously very helpful in the constructors. For me, I’m happy now to focus on what’s really important and that’s the racing and the driving".
Happiness for Guenther Steiner, Haas’ Team Principal:
"I’m very happy for the whole team to have scored double-points today. We deserved it - it wasn’t by luck - starting from P17 and P19 and ending eighth and tenth, we couldn’t have wished for more. The cars were fast, the guys did a good job, the pit-stops were good, so what we need to do now is a very good qualifying and a very good race and then we’re back in the game".
Sebastian Vettel he was out in Q1 in qualifying, so started in eighteenth position. But today he gained two points after fighting his way up the order to finish ninth:
"It is nice to score points on my birthday and in the team’s home race, especially when you consider where we started [in 18th]. Overall, I think it was a decent race and a good recovery. The first start before the red flag was very chaotic. I made a really good getaway and it launched me into a gap nearly alongside Alex [Albon]. Then I got squeezed and everything backed up as a reaction to the accident ahead. I braked but could not avoid making contact with Alex. The most important thing is that everybody involved is fine".
Also team mate Lance Stroll had a bad qualifying session and started last on the grid. He too made up ground in the race to finish eleventh:
"I thought we had a reasonably positive race. The cars showed much better pace than yesterday, so it is a shame I was not able to score some points. We are still learning and understanding the upgrades but, based on the race today, I see potential for the races to come. I am glad Zhou [Guanyu] and Alex are okay after the crash at the start".
Aston Martin’s Team Principal Mike Krack is so pleased to having scored points:
"The most important thing today is that Zhou and Alex are alright after the accident at the start, which once again demonstrated how safe the FIA has made our sport. If you had told me after qualifying yesterday that we would score two points today, we would have been pleased to hear it. However, we did not manage Sebastian’s and Lance’s races perfectly and we need to analyse that in detail. Next up is Austria, a circuit whose characteristics should suit our car better than Silverstone, and where we have to do a better job overall".
On Saturday Nicholas Latifi celebrated his first Q3 appearance, but on Sunday he finished P12:
"From lap one we were always fighting an uphill battle. At the beginning I was surprised at how much I could stay with the cars ahead but in reality, there was a little DRS train that was keeping me there because the cars behind were much quicker. It felt really nice to be properly racing in the pack. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the basic pace in the end alongside managing the car towards the end of the race. The car’s lacking downforce compared to the others with us missing pace in the high-speed corners, which wasn’t helped by some floor damage today. We put up a good fight, but it wasn’t meant to be today. Frustrating in the end but overall a positive weekend".
Alex Albon was one of the drivers caught up in the first lap’s crash. He was taken by helicopter to Coventry Hospital for precautionary checks, but was later given the all-clear:
"I’m very glad that everyone else involved in the first lap incident is okay. Thank you to all the medical staff at the track and Coventry Hospital. It’s a shame our race ended before it began today, but we are already fully focused on Austria. Bring on the next one. I am fine, and so are the animals. Above all, I am happy that Zhou is also well".
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, is very sad for Albon, and looks forward to Austria:
"Following the incident at the start of the race, we are grateful that nobody was seriously hurt. It was a shame that Alex suffered contact as a result of the crash ahead of him, and that this put him out of the race after just a few corners and before we had a chance to see how the new upgrades were working. However, Nicholas backed-up his strong drive yesterday with a very good race today. He showed good pace and took advantage of opportunities that came his way, including the late safety car. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite have the pace at the end to challenge for the final points position, but he raced hard until the end and put up a strong fight against faster cars. When he ran wide at T9, he did some damage to the floor, which harmed his pace in the crucial period after his first pit stop. We will get Alex’s car repaired and then we’ll head to Austria with some useful momentum and a plan to further exploit the new package. The Red Bull Ring has some similar characteristics to Silverstone and probably similar weather too and so we should be able to pick-up where we left off this weekend".
Bad race for AlphaTauri. Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda made contact in the race at Turn 3, with both cars spinning. Tsunoda received a five-second time penalty and finished fourtheenth:
"The collision I had at the start of the race was completely unavoidable, a car came in front of me sideways and there was nothing I could do. Luckily, I only damaged my front wing and was able to get back to the pits with the red flag and continue to race with the restart. Unfortunately, I then had contact with Pierre later on. I need to review it properly but at the moment, I think I could've waited for another opportunity to pass him. My speed was good going into the corner so I thought I could make it through, I also didn't expect Pierre to close the door quite as much as he did, so this is a mistake from my side. Mainly, I just want to say sorry to the team. After that, I had damage to the car, it was very tricky to drive and that made the rest of the race very difficult for me".
Gasly's car suffered wing damage in the incident and he was forced to retire:
"From a difficult weekend we actually made it quite a bit better with Qualifying, then after the race restart today I was running in seventh, we were in a great position. Following the incident with Yuki I had damage to the rear wing, so we had to retire the car. Every point is valuable, especially in a season like this, so I'm disappointed with the end result today, as it was an unnecessary collision. The accident with Zhou was really scary at the start of the race, it was shocking to see him upside down but I"m glad to hear he's ok, that's the most important thing".
The AlphaTauri Technical Director, Jody Egginton, is very disappointed about the race, because the drivers worked hard to extract the maximum from the cars in order to fight for points:
"It's very frustrating to have thrown away a likely points finish on a weekend where the team and drivers have worked so hard to extract the maximum from the package and get the cars into a position to fight for points. Contact between teammates is never good but in this instance, with both cars suffering extensive damage one of which we had to retire, there was really no way back. As a team we will sit down and have the necessary discussions, as the move Yuki made today was not the best and needs to be avoided. In parallel, the guys will be flat out getting the cars repaired and ensuring we are as prepared as humanly possible for the next race".
A day to forget for Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, with the car pitched upside down, over the tyre wall and into the catch fencing in a terrifying first lap crash. Fortunately, once he was extracted from the car and checked over by the medics he was declared fit and uninjured:
"It was a big crash and I’m glad I’m ok. The marshals and the medical team at the track were fantastic with their quick response, and I also owe my thanks to the FIA and Formula One for all the work they have done, and they keep doing, to improve the safety of our cars: the Halo saved me today, and it goes to show that every step we take in improving our cars has real, valuable results. I’m keener than ever to get back on track and do what I love: I’m fit and I’m looking forward to Austria next week".
Bottas retired from the race with mechanical issues on lap 20:
"First and foremost, the main thing today is that Zhou is fine. It was a big shunt, and I’m glad that nothing serious happened and that he has already been cleared by the FIA. Today, we got additional proof on how the Halo is one of the greatest innovations in F1, and how safety has improved in recent years. For what concerns my race, we had a lot of opportunities after the restart, but we had an issue with the gearbox, so I ultimately had to stop to prevent further damage. It was unfortunate because we had good pace and we could have scored a big amount of points. Even though it’s been a tough weekend, we can still draw some positives: the pace we showed on track was a good sign, and I think we can be competitive in Austria next weekend".
The Alfa Romeo Team Principal, Frédéric Vasseur, talks about the importance of safety in Formula 1:
"I think we can all agree that the most important thing today is seeing Zhou come out of such a huge crash without any injury. What we witnessed were dramatic scenes, and once again we have to thank the great improvements in safety spearheaded by the FIA and Formula One for a positive outcome. The work to improve safety in our sport is never done and today reminds us of just how important this is: Zhou is ok and fit to race in Austria next week, and this is the big victory of the day”.
Then, he comments on Valtteri’s race:
“Overall, we had a tough race in which we also lost Valtteri with a gearbox issue, when he was running in P8 and eyeing a really strong result. It’s a shame to miss out on the opportunity to score points, but this is racing. We can take comfort from the pace we showed while we were in the race: we can look with optimism to next week’s event in Austria".
Mario Isola, Pirelli Motorsport Director, defines the race as one of the most thrilling races in recent memory, so it is clear that the new cars improved the show:
"First and most importantly, we are all incredibly relieved and grateful that the drivers involved in the scary first-lap crash are OK: a testament to the incredible safety standards in the sport. After then, we saw one of the most thrilling races in recent memory, with battles all the way down the field and tyre strategy providing a key element. For anyone still asking if the 2022 new package of cars and tyres has improved the show and helped overtaking - here is your answer".
After the race, the Northamptonshire police announces the arrest of seven protesters. Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 President and CEO, unhappy about this fact, says:
"Everyone has the right to speak out on issues, but no one has the right to put lives in danger. The actions of a small group of people today were completely irresponsible and dangerous. We thank the police for their great work, and we shouldn't be complacent about the risk this posed to the safety of the drivers, marshals, fans and the individuals themselves".
Also Tom Thompson, Northamptonshire Police Chief Inspector, expresses his opinion:
"I'm really disappointed that this group of people ignored our warnings prior to race day and made the incredibly dangerous decision to enter the track. We offered to facilitate a peaceful event at the circuit, but they instead chose to put the lives of the drivers, marshals and volunteers at risk".
The Northamptonshire police knows that protesting is a human right, but when on Friday they knew that some people were planning to protest on track, they urged anyone involved to not create excessive risk for themselves and the other’s life:
"Thankfully we had plans in place for an eventuality such as this and the group were swiftly removed and arrested by our officers. All seven are currently in custody where their details are being ascertained. Finally, I would like to thank all of the officers and staff, as well as our partners, who have worked tirelessly on this policing operation. Generally, we have had very low crime rates, today's incident was dealt with effectively and efficiently, and I could not have asked for more".
Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton says he supports the cause of environmentalist group but not the fact to invade the track during the British Grand Prix. On Twitter, he expresses his thought about what happened:
"As we've seen today, this is a very dangerous sport. I wasn't aware of the protests today, and while I'll always support those standing up for what they believe in, it must be done safely. Please don't jump onto our race circuits to protest, we don't want to put you in harm's way".
The day after the 2022 British Grand Prix, on Scuderia Ferrari’s official website, is released an interview of the Team Principal Mattia Binotto, who is asked to explain what were the reasons that led the Maranello pit wall to make certain strategic choices in the key moments of the British race. He first talks of his feelings about Carlos’ performance in Silverstone:
"My feelings haven’t changed since yesterday, I’m very pleased with Carlos’ performance, not only in the race, but throughout the weekend. His confidence is growing steadily and he handles difficult conditions well. His first win was only a question of time, we’ve known this from the start and, it was not only fantastic for him, but also great for us as a team to see him on the top step of the podium".
Ferrari’s Team Principal also understands Charles Leclerc’s disappointment after the race:
"When you’re comfortably leading a race with just a few laps to go and you don’t win, then it’s natural to feel disappointment. But Charles’ disappointment is also our disappointment - we win together and we lose together. We’re as frustrated as he is about his result, because the way he drove yesterday was amazing and showcased once again how strong a driver he is. Charles thoroughly deserved to win the race, if it wouldn’t have been for the safety car".
Binotto says that Ferrari did not ask Carlos to give up his position to Charles during the first stint because it was not necessary to do it at that point and there was still a lot of time to make that decision:
"Our priority is always to maximise the situation in order for the best team result. Only when this goal is under threat do we need to act. We did this during the second stint and swapped cars when Carlos was not fast enough and our opponents were catching us".
The Safety Car caused a lot of controversy. As Binotto says, at that moment the goal was to prioritise the lead car by protecting track positions:
"There’s nothing unusual in this strategy, we always prioritise the lead car and therefore Charles in this situation. He was on fresher tyres at that point, and if he had pitted, our opponents would have done the exact opposite and gained track position on almost new hard tyres. Just think of Lewis Hamilton at last year’s season finale in Abu Dhabi when he stayed out on track. At the same time we decided to put Carlos on the opposite strategy in order to cover all opportunities. If we wouldn’t have done that split strategy, we would have risked losing the race and handing the win to our opponents".
Ferrari’s number one specifies that Carlos Sainz was not ignoring the team orders, but was just protecting himself against the pressure from behind and in doing so, he was protecting the goal to stay ahead. Everyone inside the team was alligned:
"Without this insider information I can see how this could be perceived as Carlos not being a team player. But a few laps before he swapped positions without any hesitation or complaints, clearly demonstrating that he puts the team first".
Then Mattia Binotto looks forward to the next upcoming races:
"There are three more challenging races coming up before the summer break, and as Silverstone showed again, each race this year is absolutely unpredictable. We will make sure that we have our cars ready for the challenge and present ourselves as a strong team and a strong unit".
On Wednesday, July 6, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, looking at the race, says that Max Verstappen worsened his situation, already compromised by the damaged floor, because his first set of mediums could still be used. Marko hits back at the Dutchman for “screwing up” his set of medium tyres in his anger:
"Verstappen drove into the pitlane so fast and angry that he screwed up his good set of medium tyres when he put on the brakes when entering the pitlane. As a result, that set could no longer be used. That was a mistake made by Verstappen, but in the situation it was understandable".
The Red Bull advisor then, commenting on his team’s situation, says that nothing is decided yet and they are open to both the drivers. He continues that if Perez wants to gain the world title he will have to beat his teammate and that is not their concern. When asked about Perez’s performance in Silverstone, Marko defines him an incredible Mexican fighter:
"After the restart, he suddenly realized that he could still win, and the Mexican woke up with an incredible fighting spirit and was the fastest. He lost the fastest lap because we saw that when Hamilton reached the third place; he couldn’t wait to recharge his battery; which gave additional power, and that’s why he managed to take it. An incredible Mexican fighter, it has definitely been the best race he has given us in that final part".
Anxious wait for the next weekend, July 8-10, as the fight for the World Championship will take place in Austria. As the circuit name suggests, this is Red Bull’s home: what will happen? Will the Bulls prevail on the track nestled in the Styrian Alps?