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British GP: FIA Drivers Press Conference

NEWS STORY
30/06/2022

Group 1: Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Mick Schumacher, Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel.

Q: Let's start with the home hero, Lando Norris. First up, did you beat Justin Rose at golf yesterday?
Lando Norris: What do you think? No! I tried. I'm definitely getting there. But no, not even one hole.

Q: Well, better luck this weekend at Silverstone. Just give us a flavour of how you're feeling coming into your home race, and what a wonderful track Silverstone is.
LN: I mean, of course extremely excited. Lovely to be back here, back at home. Already see a lot of the fans come into the circuit today and obviously, especially for tomorrow. So yeah, just happy to be back. It's a very enjoyable weekend, and I loved it last year from start to finish. It's busy, it's tough, but it's such a memorable experience by the end of it. So, yeah, I'm hoping the weather can be good for everyone. Bits of rain on the radar for the next couple of days, but hopefully not too much, and everyone can have a good and fun weekend.

Q: Fernando coming to you. You're a two-time British Grand Prix winner. What sort of a welcome do you get when you come here?
Fernando Alonso: It is one of the best weekends I think, for everyone, when we come in Silverstone. A lot of great races happened here, all Formula 1 community is based in the UK basically and there is a lot of understanding about our sport. So yeah, I feel a lot of respect, always, when I come here. And normally, Silverstone provides a lot of action as well on track. So, I love to come here.

Q: Alpine showed so much promise in Canada. How confident are you about your on-track performance?
FA: I'm curious to see how we can perform here. I think after three street circuits - or semi-street, like Baku, Canada and Monaco, we come back to more normal place. Let's see how we can perform here - but I'm reasonably optimistic.

Q: Mick, coming to you now. When are you going to score some World Championship points. Canada was so brilliant on Saturday. Just how do you reflect on everything that happened that weekend?
Mick Schumacher: Obviously Sunday seemed like it was the day and we were, I think, in the mix with most people and it seemed also pace-wise we were there. So yeah, hopefully, with no issues this weekend, we might be able to clinch our first point.

Q: How competitive do you think the car will be?
MS: I think it'll be better here. I think we should be pretty good with the medium downforce setup and stuff. So yeah, I think that should be a good direction for us.

Q: Checo, coming to you now. Looking through your British Grand Prix results, you need a good result here at Silverstone!
Sergio Perez: Yeah, thanks for the reminder! I do! It hasn't been nice to me the last races around the UK. So, I really hope that I'm able to put it together this weekend and get to know the podium here.

Q: And what do you think about the car's performance through the high-speed sweeps here?
SP: Yeah, I think should be good. We should be in a good place. But we'll see. I think, definitely, the competition will be close. So, we have to make sure, and always with the weather here, you know, it can play a big part in it.

Q: And have you put your order in for the RB17 Hypercar?
SP: I've been told I'm on the list, so yes!

Q: Sebastian, you're a two-time Silverstone winner as well. You've been on the British staples of Top Gear, Question Time, you're doing a Nigel Mansell demo run on Sunday before the race. Does this feel like a home race to you?
Sebastian Vettel: In many ways, it does. Obviously, the passport doesn't show so, and flying in, the queue is a bit longer than it used to be. So not the nicest welcome, travelling now. But indeed it is a very special place. You mentioned the history here. And you know, our team is just from across the road and we certainly win the competition, who is closest because you know, it's sort of everybody's except two teams - three teams maybe - everybody's home Grand Prix in a way. But definitely, I think, racing for Aston Martin, a British brand with a lot of heritage, and being across the road, I think everybody sees our new facilities coming up every time they get in. So, yeah, it is a very, very special weekend for us. And we're very much looking forward to it. And there's other reasons why as well, as you mentioned, so I'm looking forward to Sunday to drive Nigel's car from '92, 30 years later. So that should be thrilling. Lots of things to look forward to.

Questions From The Floor

Q: (Craig Slater - Sky Sports News) A question to Sebastian and Lando, relating to Lewis Hamilton, because you Sebastian and Lewis have shared a lot of support in different causes and because you're obviously a fellow British driver, Lando, I just want to get your thoughts on how you feel about what Lewis has been through over the last few days, relating to Nelson Piquet's comments, Nelson's subsequent apology, and also the statements from the FIA and F1 about the matter?
SV: Well, I think... where to start? I think it's more than just the recent days, if you are very honest. It is probably what he has been through, and his family has been through, his entire life. Now, any form of abuse, I think, is wrong. So, I think it was great to see that there was so much response from all of the F1 community and so quickly, people, responded and expressed support on the matter, towards Lewis. I don't think that there should be any room for this kind of comments, and we still have to do a lot. I think we've come a lot further than maybe years ago but it doesn't help when there's still these things out there. And people still using inappropriate language and saying wrong things. So, I think it is very important to talk about it and continue to talk about it because, as I said, it is not gone, and it won't be gone overnight - that would be great - but it is a bigger matter and F1 in that regard has a responsibility to carry and address these issues, which I think we're trying to. We have the campaign We Race as One, which, you know, is very clear where we are going and where we want to go in the future. And more than language, and things that we are trying to do, I think is how we behave and how we include everyone there is, no matter which colour you are, no matter what type of partner you have, what's your sexual orientation. So any community is welcome. And we should always respond in that way, very quickly, and make it clear that, we are open to anyone because, kindness matters, people matter, and, it was, like I said, bad to see what was going on.

Q: Lando, please?
LN: I think Seb gave a pretty perfect explanation. And like you said, in the beginning, I don't think this is something Lewis has had, just recently, or just now. It's something that something that he's had to live with and deal with for a lot of his career, since he started. He's said that many times, so I think we all know how strong-willed a person he is, and how we can get through these times and things like that, because it's, it's definitely not a not an easy thing. But, first of all, I think, as Seb said, there's no room for these kinds of comments, or people bringing these comments to Formula 1, and about people - especially on such a public stage. It's never a nice thing. As Formula 1, we want to be always create positive change. And although we are Formula 1 drivers, and that's what we love and want to do the most, we still want to make things better in the world and we want to create changes and always good ones. And it highlights that. We still need to continue to do this. And although we work on different areas, and different things, and climate change, and whatever, there's still the more simple and obvious ones that need to have our continued support and continued voices to speak openly about it. It's tough. Obviously, everyone feels and supports Lewis as a person and as a driver, I'm sure he's a strong guy and can get through these times. But Seb gave a much better answer than I'll be able to give.

Q: (David Croft - Sky Sports F1) Lando, your comments lead me on to your own personal struggles which you've documented this week in a newspaper interview. Are you a strong guy? What has helped you through the last year? Because you've probably suffered more than most of us in this room would have ever thought, before you raise the issue and rightly raised the issue.
LN: Yeah, I think... I don't think it's just me. Maybe I've been more open than a lot of probably other drivers, speaking about it, on certain topics and certain things, especially from the online abuse side of it. Especially because that's how I've grown up. I've grown up on these platforms, and Instagram, Twitter, Twitch, whatever. So, it's just something I love being kind of part of, and I'm very involved in - but of course, me and I'm sure, pretty much every other driver gets a lot of hate and abuse and things like that. And I guess from a mental state of it, it's never an easy thing to continue to go through. And, there's just no need for it, whatsoever. And the point of it literally just coming from a person who's sitting behind their phone, or a computer, whatever it is, I just find it odd that someone's wasting their life doing something like this, you know? They're not trying to go out and have fun and spend time with their friends and create memories. They're trying to bring people down, which I think is a waste of our lives here. A very limited time that we get, so it's a shame. Of course, it's never easy for me to speak about it. But it's something that, especially with the comments you get back, and the change that people say I've had in their lives and the impact that I've had on their lives. No matter if I'm confident or not to talk about it, the impacts you can have overrides any of that. So, if there's any things that I can ever help on - I'm sure every driver wants to help on - then when you have that change, and you can potentially save someone's life. That means more than anything.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Silverstone here.

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