Aug 1, 2021
F1 2021 Hungarian GP – Post-Qualifying Press Conference Transcript
Full post-qualifying press conference of the F1 2021 Hungary GP from July 31, 2021. Read the full transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:00)
It’s time to welcome the top three qualifiers for the 2021 FIA Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix. In third place, Max Verstappen. In second place, Valtteri Bottas. And taking the 101st pole position of his formula one career, and his third of the 2021 campaign, our poll setter, Lewis Hamilton. Many congratulations, Lewis. Your eighth poll here in Hungary as well. How pleased were you with your first run in Q3?
Lewis Hamilton: (00:31)
Thank you. Yeah, the first run, the lap was, it really felt beautiful. It was a real buildup of a lot of qualifying sessions. You sometimes get your best lap in Q1 or Q2 or something like that. And it’s never goes always to plan. As where today I got the best app Q3 run one. So I was really happy with it. And I had the song, YMCA just on my mind, the whole session. I’m not really sure why I haven’t really been listening to it, but that was what’s the motivates today. And I guess it bodes well for the weekend.
Valtteri Bottas: (01:10)
You going to sing it? It’s a great song.
Speaker 1: (01:13)
Well, Lewis, that was a brilliant lap. Looking at your second running Q3, it was a very slow out lap. Did that compromise your preparations in any way? Because we did see you lock a tire just into turn 14.
Lewis Hamilton: (01:28)
Yeah. So prep lap’s difficult. And obviously we were behind a lot of, well, I think with the last three cars or whatever it was on the track. So it lost three, four cars and yeah, it definitely wasn’t perfect. And I’ll say it right towards the end, just probably lost too much temperature in the tires in the front. And so yeah, the start of the lap just wasn’t great. And didn’t really seem to get better later on through the lap. But I’m really grateful that the team worked so hard to get the car where it is today. Bottas did an astonishing job today also, really boosting the team into the front row, which is honestly, we’ve not had that for, I don’t remember the last time we’ve had a front row together. So super positive. And so down to the amazing work, the fact that the factory and the men and women here are doing a phenomenal job. So keeping with everything going on around us in the outside world and everything, people just staying focused, staying centered. So I’m really proud of everyone.
Speaker 1: (02:35)
Did you expect to be so much faster than Red Bull here?
Lewis Hamilton: (02:38)
Definitely not. This is a track that they’ve been very strong at for a long time. And given the improvements they made earlier on this year, we thought that we obviously close the gap a little bit in the last race, but we thought that they would still have a little bit of an edge. We saw today that they changed from the big wing to the smaller wing today, whether or not that’s epidemic. I don’t know. But yeah, it’s definitely a real surprise to see us have that sort of pace on them. But of course we’re happy with that.
Speaker 1: (03:12)
And Lewis, you’re going for your ton. If you win tomorrow, it’ll be win number 100. What would that mean?
Lewis Hamilton: (03:18)
I don’t know. And I don’t like really to think of it. There’s a lot of, this is not even, I guess half the job or whatever, but tomorrow’s a long race. We don’t know what weather is around us. It’s such a challenge in circuit and the whole team, the whole top four will not be easy to beat. And so we’ve got a long run down to turn one. So it’s going to be challenging tomorrow, especially if the temperatures are like this. So it should be an exciting race.
Speaker 1: (03:52)
Great. Thank you, Lewis. Well done. Valtteri coming to you. Your fourth consecutive front row here in Hungary. You’re consistently fast. Just how pleased were you with your fastest lap?
Valtteri Bottas: (04:06)
To be honest, not a hundred percent pleased. I’m pleased as a team we got to get the front row. Like Lewis said, we really haven’t had that four for a while. So that shows that the hard work is paying off and Lewis did amazing lap on in the Q3 run one that I just couldn’t quite match. And for me, the issue was I lost a bit the rhythm in Q2 with a medium tire. So I really didn’t feel that comfortable with the rear end of the car. So then it does not easy to go back on the soft and really attack it fully. So it was not so clean. So definitely not my best laps off of the weekend, but still good enough to get to the front row. So that’s good.
Valtteri Bottas: (04:45)
But I also want to add, I don’t normally say about these kind of things or what I think, but I had a lot of booing at the end of the golfing and I don’t understand it. I would like the people to question themselves, their behavior because I don’t think it’s fair. We are here as an athlete to give every single bit we have for the sport we love. Like Lewis hit it, amazing lap at the end, and then you get booing. So I think that people, just question yourself. I think maybe this is not right. It’s not fair. And we don’t want to see these kind of things.
Speaker 1: (05:23)
Thank you Valtteri. And just final question about the performance of the car, like Lewis, you didn’t improve on your second run in Q3. Where did the pace go for you?
Valtteri Bottas: (05:32)
I don’t know. It was a bit weird. I lost a bit in, in sector one, sector two. I improved it in sector three. It just didn’t feel like the same grip level towards the end, then it seemed same for everyone. And it’s not the first time we’ve seen this season that a Q3 run one has been better.
Speaker 1: (05:51)
Okay. Thank you Valtteri. And well done to you too, Max. First up, can you talk us through Q3? Were you expecting more pace from the car?
Max Verstappen: (06:01)
Well, basically I went a bit backwards compared to my Q2 lap. Of course. So it just didn’t have the same grip over the lap. I don’t know if it was track related or tire related, but I just didn’t have the same balance in the car to push. So then yeah, naturally around here the corners follow up really quickly. So if you don’t feel good in one corner, the next one won’t be great. So just lost a bit of, of lap time. But nevertheless, I don’t think even with that, we could have had Paul. So not the greatest weekend so far, I think in general, just always been a bit behind and we just need to analyze why that is. I think so some is still quite strong. Of course. I know they brought new bits again to the car, so we just need to of course work on ourselves and then try to improve the situation because of course we can not be happy with this.
Speaker 1: (06:56)
Was your final running Q3 compromised by the slow out lap of the two Mercedes in front of you?
Max Verstappen: (07:02)
Well, I don’t know. Of course the tires were a bit cold. I wouldn’t have gained four tents if the tires would have been a bit warmer.
Speaker 1: (07:11)
And do you feel your pace is closer to Mercedes in race conditions?
Max Verstappen: (07:15)
I have no clue. I didn’t have a representative long run, so we’ll find out tomorrow.
Speaker 1: (07:21)
And Max, can we just get your thoughts please on the booing towards Lewis just as he was getting out of the car there at the end of qualifying?
Max Verstappen: (07:29)
I was in the garage. I didn’t pay attention to what was happening outside.
Speaker 1: (07:32)
Okay. I got a question for both you and Lewis now. There’s been a lot of talk about what happened on the opening lap at Silverstone. If you two end up wheel to wheel after the start tomorrow-
Max Verstappen: (07:44)
Now, can we just already stop about this? Because we had so many questions about this. It’s just ridiculous. Honestly, the whole Thursday we’ve been answering this all the time, so could we just stop about it please?
Speaker 1: (07:58)
Max Verstappen: (07:59)
We are racers. We will race. And of course we’re going to raise hard, but fair. So we just keep pushing each other.
Speaker 1: (08:06)
Lewis, anything from you? Okay. Thank you guys. Let’s open this to the floor please. And we will start with Andrew Benson, please. The BBC.
Andrew Benson: (08:20)
Thanks Tom. Max this is for you. Could you just run through the process of how you ended up on the setting of time on the soft tire at the end of Q2? Because obviously you could have gone out on the medium again, if you wanted to commit to the medium. I know that it’s normal to go for a soft tire sort of guarantee lap and then back out of it. And I know why you didn’t do this time. I was just more interested really why you didn’t go for a second run on the medium.
Max Verstappen: (08:46)
We talked about it and they told me that they wanted to go on the soft instead and then keep the medium new, so we went out and quite a lot of people actually improved their lap time. At the end of the day, it would have been safe to go through. But only with like two or 300. So I don’t think you want to risk it that much. So that’s why they told me to finish the lab. So it is what it is. We’ll find out tomorrow how the tires are going to behave.
Speaker 1: (09:14)
Okay. Thank you, Max. Let’s go next please to Alex Keller Norcross Autosport.
Alex Keller: (09:20)
Thanks Tom. Question to Lewis, please. Just about the final warm up lap tactics. I know you’ve spoken about it earlier on, but it looked like you were going a little bit slowly down the pit lane and then the exit as well. So I wanted you to just talk us through what was happening there. Thank you.
Lewis Hamilton: (09:36)
Yeah. As I said, we were one of the last cars out. I knew that ahead of those guys, ahead of Valtteri and whoever’s ahead of him would all bunch up towards the end of the lap. So I try to make as big a gap as possible. And then even still with that at the end of the lap we still had to pull back off and wait for everyone to get going. So just trying to make sure that I had the best lap, the best gap ahead of me, but ultimately I think none of us probably had the best tire prep for that lap. Cause everyone was going slow.
Speaker 1: (10:14)
Thank you. We’ll go to Phil Duncan next, please. PA.
Phil Duncan: (10:17)
Thanks, Tom. Lewis, obviously just going back to the booing that you got from the fans and it was obviously quite strong reception. So I just really wanted to get your thoughts on that. There’s also a few banners out there. One says I’m a cheat, calmer is on its way. So there’s obviously a bit of a negative attitude towards you against some of the fans. And just max, I know you asked about the brewing there, but when you won the sprint rates at Silverstone, I don’t think you received a such poor reception from the British crowd. So I just wanted to get your response to your fans giving a booing Lewis. Thank you.
Lewis Hamilton: (10:52)
I don’t really have anything to say to it. You know, like people have a right to the sport, right? And people act wild when it’s sport is competition and I don’t take it to heart. I must be doing something right to be up front and yep. It’s pretty good for me otherwise.
Speaker 1: (11:24)
Max Verstappen: (11:28)
Yeah. Well, when you want me to say? I mean, it’s not correct, of course but in the end of the day I think we are drivers. We shouldn’t get disturbed by these kinds of things. You should anyway just focus on what you have to do and that’s deliver in the car. And luckily we, of course we wear helmets actually, when you’re driving, of course, where it matters, you don’t hear anything. That’s maybe a bit different to other sports. So probably we’re quite lucky with that, but yeah, like I said of course it’s not nice, but it shouldn’t influence any of us. I think we’re all very professional and know what we have to do on the track anyway.
Speaker 1: (12:04)
Christian Nimavol, please motorsport.com.
Christian Nimavol: (12:08)
Thank you Tom. The question is to Lewis. But if any of the other drivers wants to answer, I’m happy to get that as well. About those tactics in ahead of the last lap in Q3, we’ve had that a couple of times already this year and Christian Horner said in a television interview that it was a bit of gamesmanship, but basically it was your right to do it. Lewis, because you had track position and the Roman Garages tweeted immediately that it was not pretty if it was done on purpose. So I guess the question is, was it done on purpose or is it legitimate tactics to do if it was?
Lewis Hamilton: (12:40)
I mean, it’s so silly, man. I mean, everyone was going slow. Do you not watch everybody else? I don’t understand. Do you think I could have gone quicker and then been just closer to about three? I mean, everyone was doing it so out lap. So it was no different really to any other lap. Of course, each time we’re going out, we’re trying to prepare the tires and keep them cooler because they get so hot throughout the lap. So I wasn’t playing any tactics. I don’t need to play no tactics, man. I know what I’m doing in the car and fast enough, I don’t need to add tactics. So those that are making the comments really don’t clearly know anything about the job that we’re doing here, which is probably why they’re not driving now.
Speaker 1: (13:22)
Thank you, Lewis. Ed Stroll, please. The Race.
Ed Stroll: (13:26)
Yeah. Question for Max. Given the fact that the pace of the car hasn’t been as you’d hoped, is that actually a positive for you to be on that alternate strategy even though probably in an ideal world that the medium start is the preferred side or at least the less you do something a little bit different, to maybe make something happen.
Max Verstappen: (13:43)
Yeah. I mean, I knew I didn’t have a representative long run, so of course I know it’s going to be super warm tomorrow. So naturally a soft tire won’t last as long as the medium tire. But maybe it gives it a little bit of an advantage in the start who knows? And I had to finish my lap. Otherwise it would have been super close. So we’ll find out of course, tomorrow after the race if it was right or wrong. And then again, we’ll learn from that and we’ll take that into account for future races. But at the moment, I can’t really say if it’s good or bad.
Speaker 1: (14:14)
Okay guys, thank you. We’ll leave it there. Best of luck in the race.