Lewis Hamilton made a pair of late passes at the Silverstone Circuit to secure a second-place finish in the Formula One™ 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, crossing the line one spot ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Lewis Hamilton: “It was a really challenging race out there today. Fair play to Max on the win, Red Bull didn’t seem to have the same tire issues we encountered. I’m just grateful that we managed to bring it home in P2 and score some good points. We didn’t expect to struggle with the blistering to the extent we experienced it. The first stint was difficult, in the second stint I was managing the tires like you cannot believe. I was doing everything I could to nurse the tires, but it made no difference to the blistering. I was pushing so hard in those final laps to pass Charles and Valtteri that it felt like I was racing with half a tire at the end. I don’t know if anyone else struggled with the blistering the same way we did, so we’ll have to see what happened today, but I know this team will get on top of it.”
Valtteri Bottas: “That was a frustrating race today. It’s never great to start from pole and finish P3. I think we were pretty much on the backfoot from the moment I lost track position to Max. We potentially could have gone longer in the second stint, the way Lewis did, to be able to push more towards the end of the race on fresher tires. I tried to keep up with Max, but as soon as I started to push in the final stint the tires just fell apart. We really struggled with the blistering today; as soon as you have blisters, you lose the grip and the performance, and it becomes very tough. It seems like the other teams, particularly Red Bull, didn’t have the same problem, so we’ll have to look into that and try and get to the bottom of it. There’s a lot to learn for us today, but as always we’ll move on and try to come back stronger.”
Toto Wolff: “Congratulations to Max and Red Bull for their first race of the season. For us, it’s been a difficult day in the office. We knew that in certain conditions we weren’t as competitive as we would like to be and that caught us out today. It’s a combination of hotter conditions, a high-downforce car, softer compounds and higher tire pressures that meant that we didn’t have the fastest car today and we were blistering our tires far more than the others. We have a handful of days to find out what exactly caused our issues today, come up with solutions, test them on Friday in Barcelona and then hopefully have a better race on Sunday. It will be challenging, but we’ve had these days in the past and came out stronger and I am really looking forward to Barcelona. These days where we lose are the days where we learn the most.”