Today's post-race press conference with Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton.
Track Interviews - Conducted by Jenson Button
Carlos Sainz, you are a race winner in Formula 1.
Carlos Sainz: I don't know what to say. It's amazing. I mean, my first win, 150 races later, with Ferrari, in Silverstone, I cannot ask for more. It's a very special day, a day that I will never forget. A very special weekend in general. And thank you everyone for the support, for the cheers. Lewis was on it today I heard. It was one of his days, but we managed to hold on and I'm incredibly happy.
And it seemed like one of those races. It threw everything at you. There were difficult times through it, but you stayed strong mentally. And you came through at the end.
CS: Yeah, it was not easy. I struggled quite a bit with the balance, especially on the first stint, with the medium tyre. Max was forcing us to push through the high-speed. I opened the front left, but even with all that, I stayed believing that it could still happen. I needed to stay in the race, like I was trying to, and then all of a sudden the safety car gave me the opportunity to get back on it and yeah, we did it. You can imagine the nerves on that safety car re-start knowing it was my chance and getting it done and then the win.
Well, you missed an epic race behind you!
CS: I heard! There was a lot of going on.
Well, congratulations. That was an epic win. Have you got a message from the crowd here?
CS: Yeah, no, thanks to all of them. Because you know, Silverstone has been a bit of a special place for me. First ever race win here in Formula BMW, back in 2010. First pole position here, back in 2000. And then suddenly, 12 years later I achieved exactly the same but in Formula 1 with Ferrari. So it's a special place for me and I thank the whole crowd for being part of it and cheering me on.
Excellent. Congratulations. Big, big round of applause for this man. Checo! Wow, I did not see that coming. Congratulations. That was a great comeback after a very, very difficult first-lap incident.
Sergio Perez: Yeah, it was a great comeback you know, we didn't give up and we kept pushing. Then the opportunity came there at the end and we just stood for it. It was a great fight with Charles first of all. Then with Lewis, I felt like I had the position and then... It was just epic final laps and it was a good fight between us.
So what happened on lap one, Turn 3? There was a bit of contact.
SP: Yeah, basically I just got squeezed. I had no room to go. Charles was on my inside. Max was on the outside. So my front wing got damaged pretty badly. So I had to pit to change it, went to the last place and yeah, recovered from that.
Well, you gave us some of the best racing we've seen, it was an epic race and congratulations.
SP: Thank you man.
Lewis, I know it must be tough coming away with a P3. It looked like you had a real chance for another home victory. But you put on a hell of a show for us.
Lewis Hamilton: First, I really have to give it up to this crowd because we've had the biggest show-up in history here in the UK. So thank you to everybody for the incredible support. We don't see this anywhere around the world. This is literally the greatest group that we get to see. So I'm so grateful for that. And I gave it everything today. I was chasing, trying to chase down those Ferraris, but congratulations to Carlos. They were just too quick today for us. And, at the end I was in amongst that battle with Checo, Those guys were just too quick on this race for me today. But I'm so grateful for the hard work all the team did to get an upgrade here. We've made a step closer to them. So we've got to keep pushing.
I think everyone here really thought you had a massive challenge for the victory. Your pace when you were chasing down the Ferraris. But the weakness seemed to be when you had new tyres on the customer. It seemed like you struggled to turn them on a little bit?
LH: No, I mean, we lost a little bit of time in the pit stop and then I was chasing and chasing and chasing, but the pace was great on both sets of tyres and at the end there it was just a little bit difficult. Once you get a Red Bull behind you they are so fast on the straights. So, we've got some improvements to make. But this is a huge bonus for us to be on the podium. I am glad everyone was safe from the big crash at the beginning of the day. But yeah, thank you to everybody, as I said. We're going to continue to push. Let's keep trying to be the best we can and send you all positivity.
Carlos, you've dreamt of this moment for years. How does reality live up to that dream?
CS: Well, it hasn't quite sunk in yet, I think, because I'm very happy, but yeah, I'm waiting for the minutes to go by and to realise what has actually happened today, you know. To win my first race in front of this amazing crowd, with Ferrari, in Silverstone, one of my favourite circuits, it's amazing. And yeah, it wasn't easy at all. But it came and I kept fighting for it. And it was about to come one day sooner than later and it was today the day.
As you say, it was busy out there and so much went on. Was it difficult to keep a clear head and to keep a read on what was going on in the race?
CS: Yes, definitely. It was probably, mentally, one of the toughest races, because there was so much going on on the radio, trying to manage both the gap to Charles and Lewis and at the beginning with Max there was a lot of fighting going on. I wasn't completely comfortable with the car. I was struggling a lot with understeer in the high-speed corners, opening a lot the front-left tyre and this was taking me out a lot of pace, but I kept it cool, kept believing, kept within reach all the time. And suddenly when the opportunity came, I grabbed it and it happened.
Now under the safety car, you've pitted for Soft tyres. Your team-mate didn't. Who made that call? Was it you or the team? Or was it a case of you or him, only one of you could pit?
CS: No, I really don't know what happened in front. I knew as soon as the Safety Car came out that it was a great chance to put a Soft tyre for me, because I had been on those Hards for longer. I had the front left on the Hard tyre, which I didn't expect, already opening up with graining. I don't know, for me it was a tyre that I wanted to get out of the way quickly, because it was not a tyre that was giving me great feeling and pace and when the Safety Car came out I was ready to pit as soon as it happened. I took the opportunity and from then on I knew passing Charles was going to be pretty easy at the re-start. I was 100% sure that the opportunity was there. I just wanted to do it in the cleanest way possible without affecting his own race because I knew behind me they were coming a lot of guys on Softs to attack him you know. I tried my best to not affect him and I think he did a great job also to finish fourth.
Carlos after a weekend like this, pole yesterday, victory today. How much are you looking forward to getting back in the car in Austria next weekend?
CS: Good. Amazing. I mean, we've been going through some better weekends recently and my feeling has been a lot better. This weekend, I was very quick in FP2 and I felt like I had the pace to win a race this weekend. But for some reason in the race I struggled... Already in FP3 I struggled a lot more. And in the race, again, I struggled. If anything, I feel like this weekend we might have gone a bit into another extreme of the set-up to try and make me too comfortable with it. And then maybe today I was lacking a bit of front end, but I hope that for Austria we can fine tune it and maybe we can actually fight for that win again and do some good pole positions in the dry and win it in the dry again.
Thank you Carlos, enjoy the moment. Checo, coming to you now. That was an incredible comeback drive to take the 21st podium of your Formula 1 career. What did you think was possible as you rejoin the field in 16th after those first five laps?
SP: Yeah, I was unfortunate, you know, with Charles on the first lap. There was not much room for three cars. And unfortunately, I took the worst part of it. I got front wing damage, which on these cars, they said that it didn't affect that much, but for me, I had no front end. So I was forced to pit and basically I went all the way to last, and just recovered from there, lap after lap. Those Medium tyres were holding on pretty nicely and we got lucky with the Safety Car there at the end, which gave us a good opportunity to fight for the podium. And yeah, those final laps were what a great fight with Lewis. It has been so long since we had a good fight, so I was ready to have him back. And also with Charles. He was very aggressive but fair and I'm sure the fans enjoyed it.
You looked like you enjoyed it as well. You say you got lucky with the Safety Car. You still had to do a marathon stint of 34 laps on the Medium tyre. How difficult was it to keep them alive?
SP: Yeah, it was getting difficult towards the end of the stint. But keeping that pace, trying to open a bit of a window. I was fighting Fernando and Lando, trying to get the window on them. And then when the Safety Car came out, it meant that we were in P4. So then it was a good chance. And then it was epic final laps. Those laps really remind me of the junior series, you know, when we were all racing and having a lot of fun.
Lewis coming to you now, a 13th podium at Silverstone for you, very well done. Can we start by talking about those closing laps? Did you enjoy all that battling as much as Checo?
LH: I definitely did! That was very reminiscent of the karting days. And I feel that that's Formula 1 at its best. The fact that we were able to follow and dice like that, lap on lap is a testament to the direction I think that we've we're now in. I was just grateful that I could be in the battle. Because I've not been in that fight for a while.
Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone here.