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British GP: Post Qualifying press conference


Parc Ferme Interviews - Conducted by Jenson Button

Max Verstappen, congratulations, another pole position.
Max Verstappen: Thank you. It's been quite a crazy qualifying. It's been quite hectic and also quite slippery in some places. But yeah, we did our laps, and then Q3, I was quite surprised to see them two there, it's great for McLaren to be here as well, and from our side, very happy, of course to be on pole.

I mean, if you look at the just look at the numbers and the position that you finished in qualifying, everyone will say 'well, that was expected' but this whole session, Q1, Q2, Q3, it looked so close between everyone. It was really mixed out there. How difficult was it?
MV: Yeah, especially Q1, Q2, there were still a few damp spots and you had to be a little bit careful. Of course, you push close to the limit, but knowing that we have a quick car, you don't need to go to the 100 per cent limit. And then in Q3, when we just go for it, I think that's where we eked out the gap a little bit. But still, it was not a very big gap today - but for us, great day and looking forward to tomorrow already.

Oscar Piastri: Very, very, very happy. I mean, what a qualifying session -almost out in Q1 and then the car was a rocket ship in Q2 and Q3, I feel like I put a pretty good lap together. Massive result for the team as well. You know, to consistently have both of us up here is a mega result. Now we're just got to try and stay there for tomorrow.

But where did this come from? I mean, we looked at the times yesterday, you guys were outside the top 10, and today, boom! on it every run in qualifying.
OP: I think yesterday, we had a bit of a rough day. I think we were a bit quicker than what we looked, just struggling to get the car in the right window. And I think we did a better job of that today. I think this conditions as well, we do really well in them all the time. Barcelona was a similar story; Monaco; Canada as well. So, we've had a fair few moments like that but yeah, to pull that off in Q3 like that was a mega result and obviously both of us have now got the new bits on our car and they're working very well. So, can't thank the team enough for continuing to push from where we were at the start of the season to where we are now. It's a massive step in the right direction.

Congratulations. It's only Saturday but it must feel so special to get that here in front of the home crowd at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Lando Norris: Cheers everyone, thank you. I was close! I was P1 in Q1, P1 in Q2, I think and close - two-tenths - to P1 in Q3. So, pretty insane. My last lap was a good lap. I could here Zak on the radio on the in-lap, which is the best thing ever. I'm grateful. For us to the second and third was pretty amazing for the whole team.

Isn't if funny that you're second and you were still thinking: 'Almost got P1'.
LN: It's always Max, he always ruins everything for everyone! No, I'm very happy. Big thanks to the whole crowd here. It's been a very special day for us. So, I look forward to tomorrow.

This is a big deal for you guys. The last race was obviously good in Austria. Before that, it's been a tricky year from what you've had in your first few years in F1 - this has probably been the most difficult- but today, this changes it all.
LN: It makes up for everything, you know? All the hard work that we've been putting in, especially here. With the new livery for the home race, for the team, for myself. We couldn't have had a better result today - apart from Max again, he ruins everything - but yeah, the rest was pretty amazing. So big thanks to everyone.

Press Conference

Well done Max, it was an incredibly exciting and unpredictable session. How difficult was it to navigate and to come out on top?
MV: Yeah, I think mainly in Q1. I arrived to Turn 15 the first time, I just went straight off. So, it was very weird because Turn 15 and 16, they were a bit damp and it was very difficult to see where exactly: you could only really feel it. So that took a bit of time to really get on top of. I think in general I was just trying to get the laps in. Of course, we knew that we had a quick car, so you don't risk it all the way to get through, but still, that final lap. Of course I had my little incident in the pits, where I destroyed my front wing.

LN: Oh yeah?

MV: Yeah, had a bit of understeer out of the box. Too much rear grip, so yeah, had to new front wing but that meant of course that I was in the back to start that final run, and that was quite exciting, I think, that out-lap, with passing a few cars here and there, to get the lap in but luckily it was all good enough. But that shows that it can also very quickly fall the other way and you're out. Q2 was just building up, track was getting better and better. So, following the track evolution, and then in Q3, basically the same thing. I think the lap itself was alright, just probably in some places I got caught out a little bit with suddenly, like, an increase in understeer and stuff. But I guess, with the conditions we had, it was anyway going to be quite tricky to have, let's say, a perfect lap out there.

You say the track ramped up through Q1 and Q2. At what point could you trust the grip levels?
MV: In general, like in most places, you could. Just the last sector, 16, 17 was still not like FP3 or whatever, FP2 - but it was good enough. There was definitely a bit more of a dry line coming lap after lap.

How much are you looking forward to lining-up alongside Lando Norris tomorrow?
MV: It's great to see both of them up here. Yeah, great result for their team. And also, where they started off in the year, to see them here it's quite impressive as well. So yeah, very happy for them and hopefully of course they can also have a very strong race tomorrow.

Thank you Max. Lando, coming to you now. For a few moments you had the Silverstone crowd on its feet when you held pole position. Did you think at any point that you could beat Max?
LN: I mean, I was watching... There are a lot of TV screens around the circuit so I was trying to watch every single one possible and I was surprised how long I was up the top for but it just kind of depended on when Max was going to cross the line so... I guess I'm a little bit surprised. I wasn't expecting for us to be here or for myself to be here anyway. I think we're very happy with the result. But it was more if Max made a mistake rather than if we were quicker than him. He's doing a very good job. The team are doing a very good job from his side. I put a good lap in. No mistakes. It was a much cleaner run than my Q3, run 1. But it was a good Quali, you know. I think P1 in Q1. I think P1 in Q2 and almost P1 in Q3 but not quite. But I'm so happy with that.

You say you're surprised to be here. What were your expectations coming in to qualifying?
LN: I don't think expectations were low. And I guess in Qualifyings like this, when it's wet/dry, it's always very difficult to anticipate what's going to happen in the whole thing. Some quicker cars were knocked out earlier on, so I think that opened up some opportunities for us to be sitting here. But my Friday just wasn't that great. FP3 was obviously a bit tricky with the conditions, so I didn't have the most confidence all weekend but I managed to pull it out when it matters so I'm happy with it.

You were quick in Qualifying in Barcelona, yet you struggled in the race there. Are you more confident about your race pace here at Silverstone?
LN: We don't talk about Barcelona anymore, OK! I think if we look to Austria, Austria is a very different circuit to this. But in Austria we performed extremely well in Qualifying and we managed to back it up a reasonable amount in the race. So I want to be hopeful. I'm not normally hopeful going into a Sunday, because of how this year has been and how things normally go or certain tracks come Sunday. But yeah, I've got some reasons to believe and some hope after our pace today, and how we were on Friday and some [of our] times, then we can have a good race tomorrow. Probably not enough to race this guy, but enough to put up a fight for, hopefully, a top five.

Alright, very well done to you. Oscar, your first British Grand Prix, and you're in the top three on the grid. Just how special is this moment for you?
OP: Yeah, it's a very special moment, to be in the top three. It's been a couple of years since I've been to one of these press conferences, so it's nice to be back. But no, it's been a great day. Even this weekend, I think, you know, we thought we could get into the top 10 at least, but yeah, when the conditions were looking like they were, it's generally been pretty solid for us previously. So you know, I think we went in quietly confident that we could pull off something pretty special. And we've managed to do it. So yeah, very nice to be back. And yeah, happy with the lap I did. There wasn't too much left out there. So I'm happy to be in the top three.

You're a rookie, you're inexperienced, just how difficult was it to navigate a session like that?
OP: It's always tricky. I think we've had about four of those sessions this year. So I think we're all getting good practice with it. But, you know, those conditions, I think most drivers really enjoy them. They're always tricky to get right. You need to find where the grip is on the track. Like Max was saying, sometimes you couldn't see where the grip was, you just had to kind of pray that you were on a dry bit of track. But I really enjoy those conditions. And so does our car it seems. So, yeah, I think we did a good job managing on the team side, I think when it comes to Qualifying, nine times out of 10 we do a very good job with that. So, full credit to the team for the calls today and also for the car as well. Clearly it was working well today.

And what are your goals for the Grand Prix tomorrow?
OP: I mean, firstly, stay in the points, that would be good. I think we'll have to see what our race pace is like, you know. Lando showed last week that we can hang on in the races now to a much better extent. So hopefully we can try and do the same tomorrow. Of course, staying in the top three will be tricky with quite a few quick cars behind us. But definitely a solid points score can be on the cards.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone here.


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