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Miami Grand Prix: FIA Drivers Press Conference


Today's press conference with Sergio Perez, Oscar Piastri, Logan Sargeant, Valtteri Bottas, Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton.

Q: Logan, great to have you with us. It's your home race. Just tell us how excited are you? How busy are you? Has the past week been for you?
Logan Sargeant: It's been busy. I obviously have three of these, which is nice, but this one's home. But they're always busy weekends leading up to the race. But it was nice. I got the full day off yesterday just to hang out with friends, family, get out on the boat for a little bit. So, yeah, I feel relaxed and excited to be racing at home for the first time in a while.

Q: A little bit more pressure performing at home?
LSa: I don't think so. I think, you know, every race in Formula 1 has a lot of pressure behind it. If anything, it just feels like more relaxed weekend, you know, staying at home, being able to eat whatever I want when I'm at home, have my friends, have my parents there. And, yeah, it just feels a little bit different, different to normal, but in a good way.

Q: And in terms of performance Do you think the circuit will play to the cars strengths?
LSa: Well, look, I mean it's been extremely tight from the bottom of the midfield to the back, but generally this track should definitely suit us better than China, which is a good step in the right direction. But, you know, we have our work cut out. It's a Sprint weekend, which always makes it tough. We need to nail it right away, and hopefully if we do that a little bit better than others we can put ourselves in a good position. But that's how it is most weekends now. So we just need to try and execute a clean and good weekend best we can and hope that leaves us in a good spot.

Q: Alright. Good luck with that. Thank you, Logan. Checo, can we come to you next? You started this race on pole last year. Just how much confidence do you have coming into the weekend?
Sergio Perez: I think the last few weekends have been good. I think the upgrade we introduced in Suzuka should perform better in these sort of places. It will be also quite interesting to see on a very different circuit to the ones we've been. We're still in the early stages of the season, so it will be interesting to see where we are relative to everyone else in this place. Last year, qualifying went all right, so I believe that we can be alright here.

Q: What about off track now, Checo? News broke this week that Adrian Newey is leaving Red Bull Racing. Can we start by getting your reaction to that news?
SP: Yeah, it's obviously, I would say, not ideal. Someone like Adrian has been tremendous to our team, to our organisation. And he's obviously a very good friend of mine as well in this time that we spent together. But at the end of the day, there are times in life... I think he spent like 20 years at Red Bull. I think he probably wants to do something else. And it's fair. I think Red Bull, it's in a great place. It has a very good, very strong organisation with Pierre, with Enrico, with Ben. I think the whole aero group is very strong and we're just looking forward to the future. I think you've seen in the past with these big teams, big names, when they leave they will always exist, it doesn't matter. It's not down to one single individual, it's a whole organisation and I think Christian has done a great job in sort of preparing for the next generation of what's going to happen to Red Bull.

Q: OK, thank you for that. Lewis, can I bring you in on this Adrian Newey news? He's a free agent this time next year. How much would you like to see him join you at Ferrari in 2025?
Lewis Hamilton: Very much.

Q: What do you think he would bring to Ferrari?
LH: Well, I mean, Adrian's known for... He's got such a great history, track record. And, you know, he's obviously just done an amazing job through his career in engaging with teams and the knowledge that he has. And I think he would be an amazing addition. I think they've already got a great team. They're already making huge progress, strides forwards, their cars quicker this year. But yeah, it would be a privilege to work with him.

Q: And on a personal level, how excited would you be to work with a man of his experience?
LH: Very.

Q: Alright. Look, what about this weekend, Lewis? In China last time out, it was a weekend of extremes for you. Do you think you're going to find a little bit more consistency with the car this weekend?
LH: Yes. The team have been working hard. We've got an upgrade here, a small upgrade here this weekend. So excited to see developments coming through. And I think hopefully we'll have a car in a bit of a better working window. So no doubt it will still be a challenge. But really excited to be here in the States. The weather is incredible. It's going to be a challenge for temperatures and tyre deg and all that sort of stuff. But, yeah, we welcome it.

Q: Good luck this weekend. Lance, just coming to you now. It was a good race for Aston Martin here last year. How confident are you coming into the weekend?
Lance Stroll: Yeah, I mean, I hope we can be stronger this weekend. You know, for sure, the teams ahead of us have been very strong the first part of the season. But yeah, I hope we can have a good result.

Q: And a quick one, just throwing it back to China. It was a controversial incident behind the safety car. Daniel Ricciardo in particular, not happy. Can you give us your take on what happened?
LSt: Yeah, I mean, you know, it's history now. I'm focused on this weekend. I don't really want to go too much into detail about it. It was unfortunate, for sure. You know, I was also trying to have a good race, and it was a very unfortunate ending to it, but just focused on Miami now.

Q: Have you spoken to Daniel?
LSt: Not for this room. Those things are done behind closed doors.

Q: Alright. Good luck this weekend. Thank you, Lance. Valtteri, coming to you now. First up, you have a new race engineer this weekend in Miami. What's the reason behind the change?
Valtteri Bottas: I think that's more a question for the team. Yeah, it was quite a sudden change. Obviously, it's a Sprint weekend, so working with a fresh guy will be not easy, but obviously trying to make the most out of it. But yeah, he's getting a lot of support. But yeah, it's quite a sudden change.

Q: Just to be clear, does this change have your blessing?
VB: I think it's part of the kind of reconstruction for the team. There's some people leaving, some people joining. And obviously, yeah, many of those decisions, they are not in my hands. And yeah, so I don't do those decisions.

Q: OK. And since we were in China, Nico Hülkenberg has been confirmed as one of Sauber's drivers for 2025. What was your reaction when you heard the news?
VB: Of course, the timing is quite early and a little bit surprising, but the driver market is starting to move, obviously, and it also kind of makes sense. He's German, and Audi has made it pretty clear that they want a German driver, so it's all good. Let's see what happens next.

Q: And what does happen next for you?
VB: I don't know. Obviously, speaking to multiple teams, some talks have advanced more than the others. So we'll see.

Q: OK, thank you. Good luck this weekend. Oscar, thank you for waiting. McLaren are running some updates this weekend. How excited are you by them?
Oscar Piastri: It should be a good step forward, hopefully. That's always what you want from updates on the car. Obviously on a Sprint weekend, it makes it a little bit more difficult to get the most out of them, because you've only got one practice session, but yeah it should hopefully be a decent step forward. I think last year we had some upgrades in Baku, which was the race before Miami, and then we had a shocker here last year. So we'll have to wait and see if this track kind of suits us, because last year we chopped and changed quite a bit. But yeah, hopefully it does what it's supposed to do and that would be good.

Q: What is it supposed to do? How big a jump do you think it'll be?
OP: I think it'll be a decent step forward. I think, you know, trying to stay on the trajectory from last year is what we're aiming to do. But, you know, obviously as you get closer and closer to the limit of these cars and these regs, it becomes harder and harder to do. So we'll see. But yeah, I think the upgrades we pulled off last year always worked well. So yeah, hopefully we can have a similar kind of effect this year.

Questions From The Floor

Q: (David Croft - Sky Sports F1) Lewis, let's come to you, if we may. When you sat down with John Elkann and he said 'come and join Ferrari', and persuaded you to come to Ferrari and said, 'what would your wish list be?' If he did say what would your wish list be. Was Adrian Newey part of that? Did you ever think that there would be that possibility? And sitting here now, what do you think the chances are that you could partner with Adrian Newey in the future?
LH: I mean, this is all private conversation stuff. So if I was to do a list of people that I'd love to work with, he would absolutely be at the top of that.

Q: (David Croft - Sky Sports F1) What are the chances?
LH: I mean, I don't know. We'll see.


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