Aug 6, 2020

Formula 1 Press Conference Transcript August 6: 70th Anniversary Grand Prix Highlights

Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix Press Conference Highlights Transcript August 6
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Formula 1 drivers press conference before the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on August 6. Read the transcript of the press conference here.

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Valtteri Bottas: (00:00)
Since a young kid doing go-karts. When I was five, I decided that Formula 1 is the one thing that I want to focus my energy into. And I want success in Formula 1. So of course, very, very proud. And now as well, extending the contract with Mercedes, feel very proud to be part of the team again for 5th year consecutive and 5th year teammate of Lewis. So it’s proud.

Speaker 2: (00:35)
Just staying on that particular topic. The new contract for 2021 announced today, how much confidence does that give you?

Valtteri Bottas: (00:45)
Pressure is nice to know, what I do next year. There was no really stress about it in any case, but it is nice when it’s done. So yeah, that’s good. I can focus on racing and that’s a good thing.

Speaker 2: (01:02)
Thank you. And on that topic, Lewis, how important is it for the team that Valtteri is staying?

Lewis Hamilton: (01:09)
I think consistency is always a good thing for a team. And Valtteri has had such a positive influence on the team over these five years. He’s trustworthy and does an incredible job on the track, and is a great teammate to all the people within the team. So I think it’s a tribute to all the hard work he’s done.

Speaker 2: (01:38)
Great stuff. Thank you. Let’s go to the video conference next, and to Andrew Benson from the BBC, please.

Andrew Benson: (01:46)
Hi, both of you. This one’s to Lewis. Lewis, have you started to realize the sort of seismic nature of what you could achieve this year? Not just in terms of breaking Formula 1 records, but doing it in a year when anti-racism agendas finally become high profile and in a sort of momentous time for the world. Would it make this potentially the most important championship you’ve ever won, should you do so?

Lewis Hamilton: (02:11)
Well, I think it’s the most important year of my life to date with everything that’s going on. So yeah, it’s a different fight championship wise as to other years. They’re always different, but we’ve had obviously the years where we were fighting the Ferraris or the Red Bulls. It’s a slightly different up until this point.

Lewis Hamilton: (02:40)
But I do think that it is a special year, as I said. And yeah, I don’t take that lightly. And people often ask where we get our motivation from. I think there’s so many things to take inspiration from and to inspire us, and to be fighting for a championship in a time like this is empowering and exciting, with a thought that there could be change.

Speaker 5: (03:13)
Then the tire is worn terribly like the front in Silverstone. How does that feel in the cockpit exactly? And how much information do you get from your guys at the pits? How critical a situation like this is.

George Russell: (03:31)
Yeah, I think it was difficult for everybody last week from within. As a couple of drivers had started experiencing a lot of vibrations, you can sort of see the wheel not looking in the best shape possible.

George Russell: (03:46)
But from our side, and I think as far as I’m aware from the other guys as well who had problems, they weren’t actually in a critical state at the time. So something else seems to have gone on there, coincidence. Whether it’s curbs or debris. I don’t know.

George Russell: (04:02)
So I was actually quite fearful myself. But having analyzed the data afterwards, with our numbers, we weren’t close to that limit yet.

George Russell: (04:14)
So I don’t know. We’ll see this weekend. I don’t expect to experience the same issues.

Speaker 5: (04:20)
Romain, you defended tooth and nail your position in Silverstone. And you got a warning by race control. I wonder, where do we currently stand regulation or gentleman’s agreement wise regarding moving on the braking?

Romain Grosjean: (04:37)
Well, it’s a good question. And yes, I was defending as hard as I could. That’s my job, obviously trying to stay within the limit. So it’s quite interesting, good question, because two times actively move were not on the braking. They were still on the straight line. So I guess we were going into a different regulation.

Romain Grosjean: (04:55)
I had the chance to see the footage and I do agree on Daniel as a move too late. I was always going to give the room for one cover, obviously he doesn’t know that when I’m moving. But I moved too late and reacted to the right, and it was a bit too late.

Romain Grosjean: (05:11)
Carlos, I think he came on the radio and I don’t know. I think it wasn’t that bad, and there were plenty of room and plenty of margin.

Romain Grosjean: (05:18)
So yeah, for us, it’s not everyday that we’re in the top five racing. And as I say, I do my best for the team. I do my best for myself. I felt, as I said, the second one was a bit marginal. The first one, there are plenty of rooms.

Speaker 2: (05:33)
Can you talk us through the accident with Alex Albon on the opening lap on Sunday? Were you expecting him to have a look there and how big a hit did you have with the barrier?

Kevin Magnussen: (05:44)
Yeah, so I got through 10, 17. I got a little bit out of shape there. So I had a bad exit from there. So I knew that of course, but then by the time I saw his nose on my side, it was too late to leave that much room because the corners. Turn 18, the last corner, is fairly tight. It’s just about flat. So if you have to leave a car to the inside on the apex there, it will be tricky to make the corner. Especially if you have to do it that late.

Kevin Magnussen: (06:21)
So I think it was just like, I wouldn’t say he deserved them as a massive penalty for that because I can understand why he would try in that situation. It was just never really going to be possible. And also because I wasn’t looking at my mirror at that time, in an exit of a corner. And so I only saw him when I actually saw his nose on the side of my car. By that time, it was just too late.

Speaker 2: (06:48)
You’re the only driver on the grade who’s raced at Imola before. Can we get your thoughts on returning there and to the two day format that is going to be introduced?

Kimi Raikkonen: (06:58)
I don’t know how it works with the two day. I don’t know exactly the details of it. I’m not a hundred percent sure if it’s the same track exactly. I think they mostly should be, obviously if they changed the curbs and stuff it might change also a bit on that side. But I think it’s missing a [inaudible 00:07:20] in the last part as far as I know.

Kimi Raikkonen: (07:23)
But I always enjoyed. I always thought that’s a nice track to drive. I think the area is good. So it will be nice to go back to Imola [inaudible 00:00:07:38], where we’ve been in the past. I think they’re [inaudible 00:07:40] trucks to go on, a good fun to drive.

Speaker 2: (07:42)
It was a crazy weekend for you last weekend. What was the hardest thing for you to get your head around?

Nico Hulkenberg: (07:49)
Oh, it’s just that every car is kind of different. The seating position, the kind of noises. Every car has a different feel to it and just coming in without any kind of preparation, really getting thrown out there. Obviously I ran into the paddock 10 minutes before FP1 got changed. Did the jump out test, and then it was straight out there. Doing a usual five Friday program.

Nico Hulkenberg: (08:14)
So this together with just learning about the car, and obviously with higher fuel, lower fuel, different engine modes. Obviously everything I did was for the first time with this car. So just adapting to it and then learning as fast as possible.

Lance Stroll: (08:30)
Nico did an incredible job just jumping in the car last minute and doing what he had to do. So we were focused and our approach didn’t change, whether Sergio was there or not. I think we had a job to do, and we tried to execute it at our best.

Speaker 12: (08:52)
I guess, you, together with the team, and probably also with Pirelli. You had a closer look into the accident from last weekend. Can you give us some more details on what happened there?

Daniil Kvyat: (09:02)
Yeah. So there was something gave up on the rear right, and to be honest, we still don’t know the exact cause of it. Investigation is ongoing. Of course we want to understand completely the problem, so it doesn’t happen in the future.

Daniil Kvyat: (09:17)
So for sure we will bring and end to this investigation. And yeah, the fact is that once the puncture happened, I was out of control. I was just a passenger in the situation.

Speaker 2: (09:30)
You describe Grosjean’s defensive driving as sketchy last weekend. In what areas was he sketchy and have you spoken to him?

Daniel Ricciardo: (09:39)
Yeah, so I think sketchy, most people understand, but it’s like, sketchy, dodgy, little bit on the edge. Edgy, probably. Yeah, we were called into the stewards after the race to analyze it. And at that point, I wasn’t aware of his move with Carlos as well. So there’s obviously two times, which are a bit close in the race.

Daniel Ricciardo: (10:05)
So look, he’s been doing it long enough and I think to understand, and I think when he saw the replay from our own board, he understood that it was quite close and a bit late. So I think it’s just about really for us drivers, I think in defense, you make your move. You commit. I think responding to the car behind is always a bit on the edge for the closing speeds and in the slipstream, the closing speeds are sometimes too much to react once they have.

Daniel Ricciardo: (10:38)
So I think if you’re defending, it’s really just about making a move first. Making that clear and then we go from there. So it’s just avoiding that gray area.

Speaker 15: (10:49)
Given the sort of ebb and flow of different levels of competitiveness from the teams and Ferrari struggling a bit, racing point not so [inaudible 00:10:57] capitalize so far. Does it feel like third place is up for grabs this year? Is that a target for [inaudible 00:00:11:02]?

Esteban Ocon: (11:03)
Well, I think we’re not at third place yet. It looks like there are a lot of points to take. At the moment, it looks like everyone is close to fighting to each other, which is good, but that’s not the position we have now.

Esteban Ocon: (11:18)
Of course we are aiming to move further up. We want to do the kind of weekends and score good points race by race. But yeah, I think it’s going to be a long season. There’s going to be opportunities to take. And I think if my climb is third at the moment, it’s very decent, and we are fighting with those guys on tracks. But we are behind at the moment, so we need to catch them up.

Speaker 2: (11:44)
How did you see Grosjean’s driving on Sunday? Was it over the limit?

Carlos Sainz: (11:49)
Yeah, personally, I think it was unacceptable from the driver’s point of view when you’re behind someone, doesn’t matter if you leave a gap on the right hand side, as he claimed he was leaving. I think you cannot react to a movement of the driver behind you. I think you need to commit to your defense, to your line, and not react to the driver that is coming behind.

Carlos Sainz: (12:12)
And he was clearly waiting for me to make a move to cut me off the track. And I think that is unacceptable. If I have a chance, I will tell him. I think he will agree if he would have been in my position, although he probably will not admit it on the media. But we all know with the speeds that we’re doing in Formula One nowadays, and he probably knows that what he did is not correct.

Speaker 2: (12:34)
Has the bonus point for fastest lap been a good addition to Formula One? Without it, would there have been a stronger temptation for you not to pit on Sunday and potentially win the race?

Max Verstappen: (12:46)
Yeah. But that’s always afterwards, isn’t it? That potentially it would have won the race. Maybe I would have had a puncture in the last lap as well. So because looking at my tire after the race, it was also not that great.

Max Verstappen: (12:56)
So I don’t want to speculate about it. I look forward to this and I’m happy with second. It was already a gift because normally I would have been Petri. So I think we did everything right to pit, to be sure that we wouldn’t get a puncture. And then an extra bonus was that extra point.

Speaker 19: (13:17)
It was the second time this season you’ve had a collision with another driver while attempting an overtake. The first one in Austria was deemed to be Louis’s fault. Have these instances made you think any more about your approach when it comes to overtaking on track and maybe timing moves? Kevin suggested that if you’d of been a bit more patient, that you’ve got the move done fairly easily anyway.

Alexander Albon: (13:38)
No, I wouldn’t change how I’ve approached my racing. There’s been a circumstance with Lewis, but that’s just racing incident. And even to me with Kevin’s one, it could be the same thing. It’s also to me, part of the crash itself. Kevin made a mistake and he left the door open.

Alexander Albon: (14:00)
So there’s definitely, of course, to me, they’re both facing incidents. But how would it effect racing? No, I think all this patience stuff, we were trying to get points and we’re trying to go through the field. So I could be patient and wait three laps to get past him or I could do it when I know I can and I would fit. It didn’t work, but I wouldn’t regret doing it again.

Speaker 2: (14:25)
Formula One photographer, Mark Sutton, revealed this week that he saw you and Otmar Szafnauer leaving the track together after last Sunday’s race in Otmar’s car. Is that correct? And if so, where were you guys heading?

Sebastian Vettel: (14:39)
That’s correct. We’re heading to the fuel station.

Speaker 2: (14:43)
And after the fuel station?

Sebastian Vettel: (14:45)
After the fuel station, he was going home and I continued to going somewhere else.

Speaker 2: (14:52)
But you were in his car?

Sebastian Vettel: (14:53)
Yeah, I was. It’s a nice car. It’s a Ferrari Pista. And I remember years ago he was talking about that car. Now he obviously got one and he said that he’s “running out of fuel.” I said, “Well, where are you going?” And we’re heading in the same direction. And then yeah, I was going with him to the fuel station and then went somewhere else.

Speaker 2: (15:16)
Christian Emmerval at Motorsport.com has asked, “Is it fair to assume that racing for Aston Martin in 2021 is still very much a possibility?”

Sebastian Vettel: (15:28)
Well, I’ve got lots of possibilities, maybe not so many in Formula One. As you can do the math and see what seats I’ve taken. But I think as I’ve always mentioned, I think the most important is that I’m happy with my choice and time will tell what the choice is, and then go from there. So I’m not too stressed about it.

Speaker 12: (15:50)
It looks like the pace isn’t the only issue with this year’s car. It looks like it’s pretty difficult to get it into the sweet spot. One weekend, one driver’s pretty fast. The other one is pretty slow. The next weekend, it’s the other way around. So is it more difficult to get this year’s car into the sweet spot than it was in the previous years?

Charles Leclerc: (16:07)
I don’t think it’s harder than other years. I was personally not very happy with the way I worked with a buildup in the Budapest weekend. But overall, otherwise, apart from my mistake in Austria, the second race, I don’t think the pace was so different in between the cars. So, no, I don’t think it’s any more difficult.