1 Ė Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes)
2 Ė Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing)
3 Ė Valtteri BOTTAS (Mercedes)
(Conducted by Martin Brundle)
Q: Lewis, your 86thgrand prix victory, just five behind Michael Schumacherís
seemingly unassailable record. You just had it covered. Brilliant drive.
Lewis HAMILTON: Thank you. Believe it or not, still pushing out there,
particularly for the fastest lap at the end, but the managementÖ what I want
to say is a huge congratulations to everyone back at home at the factory,
even more on the engine department at HPP. Those guys have done such a
fantastic job of improving this year as well. Honestly, it was one of my
favourite races to have race and whilst I was on my own for the race it was
just a different kind of challenge. Of course we had great pace but it
couldnít have been without these great guys that are working, that did great
pit stops, great strategy, and right at the end there, because I was
managing those mediums for a long, long time, so right at the end there it
was great to get on the fresh tyre and get the extra point.
Q: Your eighth victory here and youíre back in the lead of the world
championship. Bit of a misfire in round one but youíre right back in it now.
LH: I think round one was multiple different punches that I wasnít perhaps
ready for, but I re-focused, which I try to do between every race, and the
last two have been fantastic and I think this weekend on point throughout
the weekend so I need to keep this up.
Q: Congratulations Max. You went from the barriers on the formation lap
(sic) to splitting the mighty Mercedes-Benz and the fansí driver of the day.
What an afternoon youíve had?
Max VERSTAPPEN: Yeah, it was not how I wanted it in the beginning of course,
ending up in the barriers with the laps to the grid, but the mechanics did
an amazing job to fix the car. I donít know how they did it but yeah,
incredible. So to pay them back with second place Iím very pleased with
that. I think the first lap was very crucial. And from there on I think we
had the right calls and we had good pace so we just kept doing our own thing
and of course to be able to split the two Mercedes cars is good for us.
Q: And how did the car feel? Your mechanics finished it with literally
seconds to spare to get your wheels on to make sure you didnít get a grid
penalty. Was it handling OK?
MV: Yeah, it was good Ė like new! So it was just on time but everything was
working as normal.
Q: At what point did you decide Valtteri was not coming past you?
MV: You never know. I was just trying to do my own pace and I could see he
was catching like a second a lap. Of course following here is quite tricky
so as soon as he was within 1.5 seconds it was more difficult for him. But
then of course on the last lap we also had traffic which didnít make it
easier for me on those old tyres but we managed to hang on and very happy
Q: Does that feel like a sort of victory to you?
MV: I thought I was not going to race so to be second is like a victory
Q: Valtteri, P3, quite an interesting race, quite a challenge.
Valtteri BOTTAS: Yeah, it was a pretty bad for race for me to be honest.
Starting second, obviously you aim to win the race, but yeah, I lost it at
the start. I reacted to a light on my dash that went off. I donít know what
it was something changed on my dash and I reacted to that instead of the
start light and I had anti-stall, so then I had to do the start again, so I
lost it there.
Q: The stewards were obviously happy that you were still in your start box
and not moving when the actual lights went out, so no problem there?
VB: Yeah, no problem, but obviously I lost many places and it made the race
very difficult for me. I was fighting until the end and it was pretty close
to me but still good points.
Q: You needed one more lap and it was worth the gamble to put those tyres on
at the end?
VB: I think it was worth the gamble, yes. I think it really gave me the
difference in the tyre life but it didnít quite pay off today.
Q: Onwards and upwards, two rounds at Silverstone, super high speeds and
your car should be mighty around there?
VB:I think the car will hopefully good there. Yeah, I look forward to
Silverstone but plenty to learn from this weekend to be stronger at
Q: [Question and answer cut off]
LH: Ö. Weíve got as close as weíve ever got before and I think thatís whatís
youíre seeing today. Itís a great team performance.
Q: Lewis, how hard were you pushing for the bulk of that race? And how hard
was it to get the medium tyre to last the distance?
LH: The medium tyre definitely wasnít, I would say, a great tyre, I think.
For sure it was a better tyre than the soft for the stints. I would probably
say the hard tyre definitely had more legs on it. But, obviously, to start
on that tyre wasÖ what we had done in qualifying was strong. Once I got in
the lead I got that gap and I was able to manage those tyres and match Maxís
times, which was positive. Then he had a couple of drops in time at some
stage and I was able to maintain that while still managing those tyres. Iím
constantly trying to improve how Iím managing those tyres through that
stint. We donít know when theyíre going to go off. But they actually lasted
really long and even to the end of that stint on the medium they were still
performing quite well, they still had some rubber left. But they pitted me
after Max after had done his stop and after that again it was just trying to
manage that gap. It did happen to be growing during the time. Being that is
it quite cool today, you canít really back off a lot because you lose
temperature in the tyres so it was still important that I stayed on top of
it, otherwise when tyre temperatures drop and thatís when they degrade more.
Q: Max, it hasnít been a straightforward weekend for you or the team here in
Hungary. Itís a painful memory, but could you just talk us through the
incident on the way to the grid?
MV: Yeah, so I basically locked up and I came off the brakes, tried to brake
again, locked again, and I just went straight on. I was already struggling
the whole lap for grip and then basically just locked up and I couldnít get
out of it so I just went straight into the wall. I thought the race was over
but I managed to reverse the car out of the wall. And yeah, itís like a
Ďnever give upí mentality, still. Bring the car to the grid and see what
happens, right? I could have jumped out there and say itís over but clearly
you could see that after the mechanics, they did an amazing job to repair
that car and I was just very happy to start the race. The first lap was
really good and from the onwards we made the right calls with strategy, when
to box and what tyre to put on, and to be able to split the two Mercedes
cars in the race after such a difficult weekend for us is a great result and
something we definitely didnít expect.
Q: Valtteri, how worried were you after the start that you might get a
VB: I didnít really think about it because it doesnít really change anything
if your start to worry about it. Itís done and the start was ruined anyway.
I was just really focused on the race and the situation and trying to get
back to the front as quickly as possible and maximise every situation. Then,
for a while, when you donít hear anything, yeah, you think ĎOK, it should be
fineí and I guess youíre still within the limits. Obviously a pretty odd
situation and quite disappointing because it really compromised my race.
Q: (Alan Baldwin - Reuters) Max, amazing drive. Some words about what you
were thinking for those minutes when your mechanics were working on the car.
You went off for the anthem and everything else. You seemed very calm, but I
guess it was the opposite. Can you let us know what you were thinking at
MV: No, I was very calm. I was like Ďletís see if they are going to make ití
and if not then thatís it, thatís the race done, and the whole disappointing
weekend would have been completed, you know. But they did an amazing job, so
I was really fired up to get back in the car and show them that the effort
was not for nothing, letís say it like that. Yeah, crazy. It was a crazy 10
to 12 minutes.
Q: Max, what did the team management say to you? Helmut Marko, Christian
Horner, people like that?
MV: Nothing. I didnít speak to them. I just shook hands before the race once
I sat in the car, when the car was prepared Ė repaired. I mean, what can you
say? You can have a whole conversation but I hit the wall, there is damage,
try to fix the damage and then weíll see.
Q: (Andrew Benson Ė BBC) Question for Lewis. Obviously the fastest lap at
the end is always a bit of a risk. What was the thinking behind that?
Obviously itís extra points. Are you thinking itís a close championship with
Valtteri this year and heís the only opposition and youíre going to need
every point youíve got, looking back to 2016 and things that can go wrong
and that sort of thing? Just talk us through what the thinking behind that
was and the risks that you might have been going through in your head.
LH: Good question. Well, ultimately we have to weigh-up the risks andÖ I
mean I didnít push so much that I was going to make a mistake and go off. So
it was a fully controlled lap. Look, Iíve lost World Championships in the
past by one point, so I know how crucial it is to maximise on every moment
and weíre in a year when you donít know what reliability is going to be
like; you donít know how long the seasonís going to be. So, yes, Valtteri
had a great, particularly, first race. At the time he had the fastest lap, I
had the gap, and felt that it was necessary to get that point, particularly
as I felt that Iíd earned the gap that I had. But things like the extra pit
stop, coming in, all these different things do add to the risk factors. But,
look, weíre a professional team and so long as we continue to doÖ yíknow,
keep our heads on, stay focussed, I believe it was the right decision to
Q: (Christian Menath Ė motorsport-magazin.com) Question for Valtteri. Can
you explain the problem you had at the start? More in detail? Which lights
did you see on the steering wheel? The shifting lights or the display? And,
following up for Valtteri as well, you talked a lot about consistency last
year, that youíre still missing against Lewis. Do you think today was a day
when you missed this consistency again?
VB: Yes, so at the start, the best way I can describe it Ė Iím still
slightlyÖ I donít know in detail what kind of lights went on but yes, I was
looking at the start lights and, there was the five lights on, so really
just waiting for them to go off, and just before when the lights went off,
something either turned on or off, I believe it was the main page of the
dash changed to different colour or something Ė a pretty bright colour.
Thatís all what needed for me to react. I thought the lights went off, and
anyway, I was kind of half-seeing the start lights because of the Halo and
the position I was, so yeah. It was an odd situation. Thatís all what I can
explain now. Iím sure weíre going to review onboards and what exactly
happened and I will make sure that nothing is going to be changing on the
dash any more just at a crucial moment Ė because we donít want any
distraction like that in a sensitive moment. That obviously made this
weekend one of those inconsistent weekends that you try to avoid. But it has
happened, so what can I do? Learn from this, move on, still very much in the
game, itís just one bad race and if you end up on the podium in a bad race
for you, thatís still OK, and nothing is lost yet so thereís no point for me
take any hit in the confidence on anything that Iím doing. I think otherwise
it was a strong race from my side. Just a bad weekend. Not going to let it
affect. Move on and try to gain some points in Silverstone.
Q: (Edd Straw Ė The Race) Question for Max. Obviously you said itís been a
difficult weekend. Thereís car problems, parts going on and off. Itís clear
the teamís looking for answers. Do you have those answers, and are you
confident thereís a short-term development direction that can make this the
car you know it can be Ė or are you concerned that, given the opposition
youíre up against with a couple of great drivers and a great car at
Mercedes, youíve lost too much time and youíve got too much to make up in a
short amount of time?
MV: Yeah, I think it will be very hard, of course, to beat them but I think
itís important for us now to understand where it went wrong and then, of
course, correct it and try to learn from it and try to get it back on track.
And as soon, of course, as you head into the right direction, then of course
very quickly you can put a good amount of parts on the car Ė but first we
need to really understand where the main critical problem is in the car.
Max, how close have you got to understanding what that problem is?
MV: Weíre getting there, yep!
Q: (Phil Duncan Ė PA) Question for Lewis. I know you probably wonít care but
do you think thereís a danger of this Championship becoming a bit of a
procession, given how well youíre driving and good the Mercedes car is this
LH: Not from my seat position, no! Weíre working our arse off, and weíre
going to continue to do that. Look, I mean, I donít know whatís going to
happen over these next races. Would I like more battle from other teams?
Absolutely. But, thatísÖ I think the Red Bulls have been doing a great job
and I think, Iím sure at some stage theyíre going to make some improvements
as we get into the season. The race that we had last year, for example, was
fantastic, and I enjoy particularly battling with other teams. I did expect
this weekend the Red Bulls to be very, very strong but Iím not quite sure
what happened through qualifying, what it might be but, again, in the race,
they definitely were stronger. But I think it was a pretty flawless effort
from the team this weekend. In all areas, really delivered. So I think it
was a little bit difficult for sure to compete when you are bringing that
100 per cent. But Iím hopeful we will still find some challenges up ahead.
So, we shall see.
Q: (Alex Kalinauckas Ė Autosport) Question for Lewis. After the sort of
reliability concerns early on, particularly race one and then obviously you
had pressure from Max in race two in Austria, youíve come here to Hungary,
there was a massive gap in qualifying, everyone up to fifth is lapped, you
had a pitstop in hand over Max to be able to take over at the end there, and
a minute to Stroll in fourth place. So, have we seen everything that your
2020 car has to offer now?
LH: To this point of the year, yes. I definitely didnít leave anything on
the table today, I would say. The thing is, we all go back now and the way
we work is that weÖ thereís a couple of minutes of everyone smiling and then
everyoneís dead serious Ė if not already theyíre dead serious. You get in
there and sometimes you really have to ask them: ďare you guys happy?Ē and
then like: ďYeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.Ē And then we get back to work. We get
our headsets on and we talk about the car. And when we talk about the car
itís not Ďeverything was greatí, itís Ďthis could be better, this could be
better, that could be better.í Valtteri is really great with his input and I
think we try to push the team forwards, and everyone is just working to see
how they can improve. No matter if there is or is not a gap between
ourselves and another team, we just keep pushing and keep elevating and I
think for me thatís the most impressive thing about this team.
Q: (Laurence EdmondsonĖ ESPN) Valtteri, you were closing in on Max towards
the end of that race after taking on new tyres, were you confident, when you
started that final stint that you would catch him, and do you see it as a
missed opportunity or was it actually quite good that you got as close as
VB: Of course, I need to see more data from the race and the big picture of
the race. Iím sure the team is going to analyse in theory what was the best
thing to do. At that time it felt like a good thing to do because the tyre
difference between me and Max was quite minimal. If I would not stop and
everyone knows how difficult it is to overtake on this track so yeah, I was
quite happy at that point, to stop, because I knew there was a bigger tyre
difference at the end and it nearly worked. Obviously there were quite a few
backmarkers I had to go through, lost a bit of time during that and in the
end it was a matter of one extra lap or two laps whatever so pretty close.
Yeah, you can see the big picture but yeah, it was obvious in the end I was
quite a bit quicker, obviously thanks also to fresher tyres but that was not
quite enough but everything will be analysed, for sure.
Q: Max, if I can just ask you: how concerned were you by Valtteriís pace at
the end of the race?
MV: I was a bit like last yearÖ I was just trying to focus on my own pace. I
canít suddenly go half a second faster so I was just trying to manage the
tyres. It was all looking quite good, of course but then at the end there
was a bit of traffic and as soon as you get within like three seconds you
get the disturbed and especially when you are on older tyres thatís not very
nice so yeah, the last three laps were quite tricky but we managed to hang
on so of course very happy with that. Yeah, the tyres still felt pretty OK
towards the end.
Q: (Andrew Benson Ė BBC) To both Max and Lewis: Lewis you made something
like eight seconds in three laps on the rest of the field and Max, you were
up to third on the first lap. In tricky wet conditions like that, can you
both explain how you judged the conditions, the risk versus reward, whatís
going through your mind in those sort of situations and what youíre thinking
about when youíre gaining that sort of advantage on other people?
LH: Yeah, good question I think. Every time we do those starts, sometimes
people are on your tail and you feel like youíre on the limit and obviously
youíre slightly wooden or the other person is finding more grip and then
there are sometimes you just pull these gaps and the others are Ė I donít
know Ė caught sleeping or just not as comfortable, whatever you want to say.
I think, me personally, it was, as I said, very, very slippery in those laps
to the grid, really helped me gauge where the track was but already when we
started that lap it dried quite a lot even from doing those laps to the grid
and we waited, just in 15 minutes or whatever, it had dried quite a lot and
there is this balance of going over the limit and easily risking it, itís
not a sprint, itís a marathon race, you know, so youíve really got to be
cautious not to throw it all away and of course when youíre in the lead, you
donít have any turbulence from the car ahead so it makes it a little bit
easier to manage it and try and find the right balance. When youíre behind
other cars like Max was itís a lot harder but we were just talking just now
how great his start must have been to go down the outside of everyone and
notÖ I need to watch it back because I donít know what everyone else was
doing on the inside to leave a gap completely open for Max but I know what
that feels likeÖ I think my first Grand Prix in Melbourne, everyone was on
the inside and I went round the outside and so I empathise and know what
itís like to see that window and go for it and he obviously did a great job
to recover from the laps to the grid.
MV: Yeah, I think itís like a bit of feeling instinct. You canít plan this
before you go into a race like never. Every start is different. Of course
you can look at previous starts or whatever, gives you an idea of what can
happen and what can go wrong but every start is different. Of course, every
year youíve got different cars around you so just anticipating and then
yeah, the start itself was pretty decent but then I at one point going to
the inside so I knew of course there was going to be a bit of kind of a
traffic jam into the corner so I was going round the outside, I know there
is grip anyway, I think Iíve done enough wet laps around here that I know
there is grip there and it worked out. Everybody was focusing on the inside,
trying to block each other and yeah, I could just go around the outside.
That also makes your race because if I would have stayed in seventh then
suddenly youíre really in for a struggle to try and get past those cars so
once I got into third I could see I was faster than the Racing Points so
they boxed and I continued one more lap and I think that was a good call, to
jump them. Because also you donít want to go too quickly to a slick, you
donít want to be the first one and risk that when you are in the top three
and so doing one extra lapÖ it never really hurts that bad.
Q: Max, on the topic of risk versus reward, your first flying lap through
turn 12 after your incident, were you a little bit more reserved?
MV: No, no. Like the first lap you go round anyway looking a bit around, OK,
everything is settled but I just had really cold tyres on the lap to the
grid and I locked up and just went straight so I knewÖ OK, Iíll go a bit
rearwards on the brake bias just to make sure thatís not going to happen
again but itís not like youíre going to drive through that corner like a
granny, you know. You have to keep on pushing.
Q: (Alan Baldwin Ė Reuters) Lewis, youíre now leading the championship and
youíre heading for home with two races at Silverstone. Normally that would
be (in front of) tens of thousands of fans there, waiting to cheer you on,
but thatís not going to happen this year. You spoke at the beginning of the
week about what a lift it was just to have a few fans at the airport waiting
there cheering you. I just wondered if you could speak about what itís going
to be like at Silverstone, home race, no fans, what you can maybe give the
fans in way of compensation?
LH: I donít want to be a debby downer or be negative but it is, unfortunate,
the circumstances around the world. Iím just so grateful that we are back at
work and we are so fortunate, all of us here, to be back at work and have
our jobs and be able to compete again, but absolutely, the atmosphere for
me, itís night and day different. Here, itís usually great weather most of
the time and then thereís such a fantastic crowd here and obviously
Silverstone, particularly, is justÖ thereís nothing like it. The whole yearÖ
itís the highlight of my year, the support is insane. It grows every year
and I get to interact with the fans differently on that weekend and itís
such an honour and privilege to be able to perform well and win a Grand Prix
in your home country. I think people will be watching and I definitely know
that the fans that go every year are going to miss it terribly. We did a
test there before the first race and it was so empty and thatís what weíre
going to experience when we go back but weíve just got to remain focused and
not get distracted by that or get down by it either. Iíve also felt that
fans give you extra time because they just give you so much energy and it
really lifts you up and youíre bubbling, youíre walking on a cloud.
Obviously we wonít have that but I do interact with my fans and I donít know
what the solution is moving forward to have a better way of interacting with
them, particularly during this time but I guess thatís something I will try
to discover as we go along. But I just always want to send positive messages
up to my fans and then to really encourage people out there. I see so many
people who are not taking Covid period as seriously as others and some are
really taking it seriously and I just want to encourage everyone to continue
toÖ hopefully, I think, we are doing really great as a sport, showing
everyoneís wearing a mask. Thereís for sure, more we can do because thereís
probably a little bit too much waste with all these re-useable masks but
itís great to see everyone taking the precautions, keeping the gaps, the
distances and we have to encourage the rest of the world to do the same.
Q: (Alex Kalinauckas Ė Autosport) Max, just going back to the very very
start when you were on the grid and getting in the car again after the
incident. What had you been told about what needed to be repaired, and what
were you thinking of doing on the warm-up lap, just to make sure everything
was OK and obviously how it felt around the first lap?
MV: Yeah, like the track rod was broken I think, the pull rod was broken so
not the easiest things to quickly change but they did an amazing job to do
LH: They did that in 12 minutes?!
MV: Yeah, 12 minutes they managed to repair that, which is crazy. I was
sitting in the car, I could see the mechanics screaming at each other like
ten seconds, five seconds, put the wheel on, everything. I donít know if
final piece of tape on the suspension to make sure it was sticking. I put my
thumbs up and they were like, yeah, yeah, itís fixed, so I said OK, well
then here we go, letís see. I was doing the formation laps, I was checking
the wheels, I was like this feels alright, yep and during the race, nothing
happened, nothing weird happens so it was fully repaired. So yeah, crazy.