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British GP: Thursday Press Conference Part 1

NEWS STORY
13/07/2017

Valtteri, we'll begin with you. Second win and, more importantly, in the last four races Hamilton 53 points, Vettel 67, Ricciardo 70, Bottas 73. You must feel you've got some real momentum now in your campaign to be World Champion.

Valtteri Bottas: Definitely got some good momentum now. We've been having strong races - as a team - and the car seems to be getting better and better and I feel the same, the same for me really. It's still my first year with the team and always getting to know the team better. It always helps with everything and, of course, every single lap you get more comfortable with the new cars etcetera. So just try to continue the good run with a good weekend here.

Jolyon, F1 Live London yesterday, you were there in your Renault retro getup celebrating the 40th anniversary of the company's F1 debut. What did you think of the event and what it says about Formula One and its place in this country?
Jolyon Palmer: It was awesome. So many people there, in my home city as well so it was really cool. I think it was the first time anything like that has been done. It was great to see almost all the drivers there. So many people, different cars through the eras as well, it was great fun for me to drive up there. So, it was great. I'm sure it was such a success that, from my point of view, there'll be a lot more of it in the future.

And the retro look?
JP: I liked it. It was 1977 car and wearing the retro overalls. It was nice to try something different as well, try different cars.

Lance, three straight points finishes including, of course, the podium in Baku. How much did the afterglow from that podium help you to feel really settled here in Formula One?
Lance Stroll: It was a great result, yeah the last few races have been good. Just getting more experience in the car, feeling more comfortable every time I get in the car. I think it's really just been a good three races. The podium was the highlight of the season, that's for sure. Crazy race, we just stayed in it all the way until to the end and took home a great podium. It's given me a lot of confidence for sure, knowing that I can be there and fight. It was a great day - but got to keep going.

Romain, another great result in Austria, built on strong qualifying and a fantastic start. So the car - and you - are capable of the results but what will it take to find consistency.
Romain Grosjean: Afternoon. I don't really know. I think a lot of people don't know, when things happen in a bit of a strange way - like Williams in qualifying in Austria, where they were in Q1 when they are normally always in Q3. We went well. We got everything to work. Tyres, we know we've got a good platform. I guess experience is the key and we're only 28 grands prix in our life for Haas F1 Team. There are things we need to improve and understand but when everything is working well we've got a very strong package.

Questions From The Floor

(David Croft - Sky Sports F1) A question for Lance, Romain and Jolyon after Valtteri's brilliant start in Austria seven days ago - how many of you think he anticipated the lights and got away with it and how many think it was an absolutely brilliant reaction from him and could you do any better?
RG: He didn't jump the start. Did he anticipate the start? For sure. 100 per cent.

JP: It sure looks like a jump but I'm sure he anticipated it perfectly.

LS: For sure it was on the limit - but he got away with it. So, it's all good.

Valtteri, your right to respond.
VB: Waiting for the lights to go out. I don't know. With starts, doing starts and starts you just kind of know always, more or less, when they're going to go off and, you know, sometimes you can try and be a bit more risky and this was definitely a risky one but it paid off because it's an absolutely perfect start. Nothing more to say.

(Phil Duncan - PA) Valtteri, how did it feel to be the only Mercedes driver yesterday at the London event. Were you disappointed that Lewis wasn't there with you?
VB: I think everyone has the right to decide which kind of events you attend to and, you know, I'm not really the one to answer that - I don't really know his schedule. So, for me, it's absolutely fine. And although I was the only team member there it was still all good. I did enjoy the event myself, it was a great event in general, especially for the fans to get so close to F1 and see, in a different way, Formula One. And also a great experience for me, y'know? Never drove a Formula One car before in Central London so that was really cool. So yeah, even though I was alone it was really good for me.

(Peter Windsor - F1 Racing) Valtteri, I'm amazed to hear you say there's a risk element to the start. Are you saying that there's a little bit of a gamble, that you might actually jump it, you do try to anticipate it? Or do you actually... are you talking about a risk of how quickly you can react to the lights going out? What do you actually mean by that?
VB: Well, having a start like that definitely you need to gamble a little bit. If you're moving exactly at the same point the lights go off you definitely need to be a bit on the risky side rather than safe side. Everyone is obviously free to try and kind of guess when the lights go off.

(Graham Harris - Motorsport Monday) Question for Romain. You're into your second year with Haas, last year we talked about the possibility of you perhaps trying a NASCAR. Now that you're cemented in the team and you've got a month's break coming up and there's Watkins Glen road course coming, any chances of you going on holiday in the States...
RG: No. The schedule's getting tight. I wish we'd had a NASCAR yesterday in London. We didn't have a car so it would have been fun to drive a NASCAR around London - but to be fair, if we do it, we need to do it properly and I need to get a test before, get used to the brake, for example, and see how it goes.

(Rob Harris - AP) Question to Valtteri. You said on the London event that everyone has their own right to decide whether to attend or not. First of all, why did you decide to attend when obviously Lewis Hamilton didn't. And do you think that drivers have an obligation to go to these events, particularly at a time when the sport says it's trying to reach out to new fans, and one of the biggest names in the sport in this country thought he'd go on holiday instead?
VB: Well, basically, when I first heard about this event and that it was most-likely going to happen, they asked all the drivers to attend and I immediately said yeah, I could attend - and also my team was asking me to attend, so I knew it was just before Silverstone, in the same country, so for me it was all OK.

(Rachel Brookes - Sky Sports F1) To all four of you really. I know you get a lot of call on your time anyway as it is - but an event like that, the day before Silverstone, has that given you guys a lift? Are you glad you went to it? The looks on your faces look like you really enjoyed it - so has it given you a boost coming into the weekend?
LS: I think it was a great event for everyone. For the fans, for us drivers something different. I don't think it gives us a boost but I think it was a good day and I'm fully on board with more of those days to hopefully come in the future.

JP: I think it's nice. It's my home crowd as well so it's probably especially nice for me. It's a bit like Goodwood really. You see fans up close to the cars, they're all very happy and it kind of makes you happy as well. It was fun.

VB: Like I said before I thought it was great. Great event and I was happy. Happy that I could make it. It was good fun.

RG: Same thing. I was very happy that I was there. We didn't have a car but I enjoyed the show, seeing others cars, seeing the McLaren, the Renault, the old V12, the old V6 and then some of the Red Bulls, and donuts in London! Then I was pretty amazed when we went on stage, to see so many people. It was just a great show. Good to see that most of us went.

(Ben Hunt - The Sun) Question to anyone who wants to answer really. Back-to-back races, it's quite important, I thought, to get momentum. Any of you taken a holiday in between back-to-back races - and do you think it's a good idea.
JP: No and no.

RG: My kids are on holiday - so it's no holiday for me at all.

Lance, obviously it's a fairly new experience for you. How does it feel to have consecutive weekends?
LS: Yeah, sure, it's a busy week. The London Live on Wednesday - but I took a few days to myself, Monday, Tuesday.

(Ysef Harding - Xiro Xone News) To all of you, to the previous question about Wednesday. What other places would you like to see the F1 Live events held? Lance? I guess you're going to say Montreal...
LS: Yeah, that would be great. I think the big cities. Wherever we go where there's a good crowd and people can turn up. I think it's good for everyone.

RG: Paris would be good - especially with the French Grand Prix coming back next year - but I guess New York, L.A. Could be some pretty amazing cities to have an event.

Valtteri? Helsinki?
VB: Nastola, Finland! My home town. If I could choose.

JP: Drive down to Clapham! Just shift it down.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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