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70th Anniversary GP: Post Race press conference

NEWS STORY
09/08/2020

Today's post-race press conference with Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Track Interviews - Conducted by Martin Brundle

Q: Max Verstappen, great victory, your ninth in Formula 1. You must have enjoyed that so much?
Max Verstappen: Yeah, I mean, I didn't see it coming but after the first stint it seemed like we were really good on tyres. Of course then there was a question mark over how Mercedes were going to go on the hard tyre. But we had a lot of pace in the car. I didn't really have a lot of tyre issues at all. Yeah, we just kept pushing. An incredible result of course to win here and yeah we just had a great day. Everything worked out well: we had the right strategy, everything was running smooth. So yeah, of course incredibly happy to win.

Q: Red Bull back in business. There was a pivotal point in the race where you were asked to look after the tyres pretty early on and you said: "no, no, no, I'm not going to drive like grandma." No disrespect to grandmas, they can be pretty speedy, but "I'm going after these guys to put pressure on them". That for me was a key moment.
MV: Yeah, we so far didn't have the opportunity in all the races to push them, and I could see we were pushing them. I tried to put the pressure on, they had to pit and from there onwards I could do my pace and basically build that advantage to the end.

Q: We're off to Barcelona next week. Do you think you have a Mercedes-beater underneath you now?
MV: I don't know. I think we do need to use soft tyres, that seems to suit our car, but we'll see again in Barcelona. For the moment we are just very happy that we just won.

Q: Second placed man Lewis Hamilton. Well, that was a bit of a challenging race with the tyres but you came through in the end to P2.
Lewis Hamilton: Yeah, a massive challenge. Firstly, congratulations to the Red Bull team and to Max. You look at their tyres they don't have the problems that obviously we had today. Definitely unexpected to have the blistering as hard core as we experienced it, but I'm really grateful to have progressed and managed to just get my way through the race. I think I had blistering right at the end again, but I had been pushing pretty heavily to catch the guys in the lead.

Q: Is there anything in particular as to why the Mercedes was blistering more than the Red Bull do you think?
LH: Not that I know of at the moment, but I'm sure the team will be working as hard as they can because we've not had that before. I would imagine, it's most likely... Obviously, Pirellis were struggling with tyres failures last week so then weekend on, weekend on, they just put the pressures up and up. They're balloons now. They're they highest pressures we've ever had at a track like this. I wouldn't be surprised it was an affect for us but I don't know if anyone else struggled with blistering we had. But it's something we'll look into.

Q: The key for you was that you had to carry a set of tyres that looked horrible. You were clearly worried about them. And then you attacked the pit lane speed limit line as well, absolutely right on the edge. There was a phase there where it was getting quite difficult for you.
LH: That middle stint was... even the first one actually, the first stint was really difficult I started to fall back to Max... And then that second stint I was managing like you couldn't believe. I was managing to the best of my ability but it didn't make a single difference to that blistering. At the end I was just driving with half a tyre basically. If you looked in the mirrors, one half is bald and the other side is OK. It held together but I was nervous it was going to explode.

Q: Onwards and upwards. Valtteri, third place, another podium, but probably a race that could have been; a bit frustrating for you?
Valtteri Bottas: Yeah, very frustrating, starting from pole and finishing third is not ideal. I think as a team we were sleeping at some point, when Max managed to get ahead of us, and my strategy was far, far from ideal, so lots to learn from today I think.

Q: That was the key point I think. You pitted 10 laps earlier than Lewis for the set of hard tyres and then you were nursing some very difficult tyres at the end of the grand prix.
VB: Yeah, of course, I was trying, if there was a chance to keep up with Max. But as soon as I started to push towards the end the tyres just fell apart. Lots of blistering in the tyres today for us and it seems like Red Bull had none so they clearly had an edge over there.

Q: Explain to us what it feels like with those blisters?
VB: The tyre just overheats. It's basically boiling. You get holes in the tyres and then you just lose grip. Once you start to have those blisters in that particular tyre you just lose cornering griup and you go slower and slower.

Q: Onto Barcelona and better luck next weekend.
VB: We'll move on. Disappointing day but we'll move on.

Press Conference

Q: Max, what a race - sensational. You had no tyre issues, but were you surprised at just how easy your car was on its tyres today?
MV: Well, yeah, I didn't expect that. I had a good start first of all, so I was straight away into P3, and that helps. Then I knew that the first few laps maybe it would be a bit more difficult to follow, but then I could see both cars in front of me were both having trouble with their tyres, which of course is quite normal when the tyres are so soft. I closed the gap and then once they pitted I could pick up my pace and do my own laps, and basically until I pitted it just felt really good. I never really had any struggles and I could extend that first stint, which I think was key. My stop was not great, one wheel was a bit slow, so I came out behind Valtteri but then I had the softer compound, so I had a lot more grip, so I got past Valtteri. Then the gap stayed at like 2.5 to 3 seconds after that and then of course we pitted together. Then of course there's a question mark of who's going to the fastest to the line. But I think straightaway the car felt good on those tyres again and I never really had any trouble with the tyre today and I think that was the key today.

Q: Is this the first time this year that we've seen what you and the car are capable of?
MV: I guess so if you win the race.

Q: Lewis, there was some speculation in the middle of the race that you might try a one-stopper. Was that ever on the cards?
LH: I was trying to go for a one-stop at the end but there was a lot of vibration with the tyres that we had and I didn't know if the tyre was going to last if I'm being honest. Not just with the rubber but I just a rear tyre blow-out through a corner was too big a risk to take; that would have been end of race, so I think it was a good decision by the team. I was trying to keep going but there were a lot of laps to go and Max, I think at the end, was doing 28s, 29s and I couldn't do that on the tyre old tyres, so congratulations to him, he did a fantastic job. And it was an exciting race for me with the struggle we had, keeping the car on track and not losing my cool and bringing it home and getting the points, so really happy with it.

Q: Had you got through Q2 on the Hard tyre yesterday, do you think the hard tyre might have been different today?
LH: It's all hearsay. Hindsight's always a good thing but I really don't know. Maybe we wouldn't have fallen back towards Max but even on the Hard tyre we had blistering. A lot of blistering. So even with a lot of management. His tyre didn't look like it had anything on it so there's something quite wrong, obviously, with something that we've done and we'll analyse it and try to fix it for next time.

Q: "Analyse it, try to fix it for next time." But Valtteri, what does the team need to do to improve its performance on the softer tyre at these high tyre pressures?
VB: I don't know. There's obviously something that we need to improve compared to Red Bull. I saw Max's tyres at the end of the race and they looked perfect and mine and Lewis' were pretty badly blistered, so there's a difference there that, at least, I don't know yet what it is. And also we really had to manage in the high-speed corners. We required quite a bit of management and it seemed Max was pretty comfortable in the high speed corners. So, unknown reason for now.

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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