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British Grand Prix: Driver Reaction

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Vettel overtakes Bottas to take dramatic win at Silverstone (3:57)

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel overtook Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in the closing laps of the race to take the win at Silverstone. (3:57)

ESPN rounds up all the reaction from up and down the Silverstone paddock following the 2018 British Grand Prix.

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton (2nd): "It was a difficult race, but I gave it everything and I'm grateful to make it back up to second. It was eventful from the start, but in the final laps we just didn't have the pace of the Ferraris on the fresher tyres. I'm very grateful that the car was in one piece after the incident in Turn 3 and that I could continue the race. I was last at that point, but I still believed that I could win - and I needed that mentality to make it back to where I finished. When the guys in front of me pitted under the Safety Car, it was an opportunity for me to get up into third. It was absolutely the right decision - if I had followed them into the pits I would have come out behind them on equal tyres and I would have struggled to get by them and most certainly would not have been second. The fans have been incredible this weekend and I'm so grateful for all their support."

Valtteri Bottas (4th): "I'm very disappointed, leading the race and then dropping to fourth in the last few laps feels pretty bad. The others pitted under the Safety Car, but we took the risk and stayed out to get ahead of Sebastian. It worked out initially, everything felt fine in the beginning. I was giving it everything I could in the re-starts, I had to push like in qualifying, but with about five laps to go, the tyres just could not take it any more. I tried everything to not give up the lead, but there was nothing I could do at that point to defend against the others on the fresher tyres. We knew a one-stop was not going to be easy, but we decided to take the risk. Unfortunately, that stint on the Medium tyres was just a bit too long today. It's always easy to judge these things in hindsight, but at the point we made the call to stay out I was on the same page. I could have easily taken second place today, but we decided to go for it. I will continue to give it everything and I'm sure that one day it will work out."

James Allison: "This sport is at its very best when unpredictable and we saw that proven today with a thrilling spectacle for the aficionado and casual fan alike. However, as a Mercedes team member, it hurts a lot not to have Lewis on the top step of the podium where his blinding pace today should have put him. Leaving aside the misfortune of the first lap, it is intriguing to speculate how the final part of the race would have played out without the Safety Car. Valtteri was in very good shape on his tyres, and closing on Vettel, who we had seen was more challenged on tyre wear during the race. But it was not to be. Although we have endured a couple of difficult weekends, this has not been because the car was slow but for a host of other unconnected reasons. In the end, pace normally tells over the course of a season, and if we bring it to bear in the next 11 races, we will muscle our way back into a title race that is very much ours to win."

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel (1st): Every race is a team race, but today it was even more important for us to win here, because the last few years had been very difficult to us. This year we have proved to be strong every time on every track so far. The most important thing is that the car is strong and fast. The new updates that we brought here have worked very well through the whole weekend. In qualifying we were just a little bit slower, but during the race it was just great. Today during the first stint I probably pushed too much on the Soft tires, but during the second one I had everything under control. The Safety Car made everything more exciting, but even more tricky. However, the strategy with the tires was great and at the end we got a fantastic win as a team. I really enjoyed this race and I am happy for me and for the team. Also, the start was very important for us and it was great. Now it's important to keep working. I say thanks to the whole team for this win!

Kimi Raikkonen (3rd): My start was not perfect; in turn 3 I locked the inside wheel, lost a bit of grip and couldn't slow down as much as I wanted. So I ended up touching Lewis's rear wheel and unfortunately he span. I had to serve a ten seconds penalty and after that my race was a bit messy. Overtaking was difficult, and I fought against the Red Bulls for many laps. When I was on my own the speed was ok, but once I was behind them, their wake seemed to affect my car a lot more than the Mercedes did; I was losing a lot of downforce and that upset the balance of the car. We were quite a bit faster, but it was really tricky for us to follow them. It was a close fight for quite a lot of times, at the beginning and at the end of the race. Finally we managed to pass them and then I overtook one of the Mercedes. It was not an easy day, but I gave my best and made a decent comeback.

Red Bull

Max Verstappen (15th): "It's not a nice way to finish the triple header but luckily last week was good and the two weeks before were also positive. That's racing sometimes. I've had it many times before and for sure it will happen also in the future, but of course I wish I would have finished fifth or at least collected some points. Because now we have nothing. It was quite weird, because on lap one I had a brake-by-wire issue, the pedal fell to the floor in Turn 3 but then it recovered and everything was going fine after that. Then after the second safety car I braked for Turn 16 and the pedal literally went to the floor, the rear brakes locked up and I spun off the track. We will now start to investigate what actually happened. Even without the brake issue we were just too slow on the straights to do anything today, you could see it even with Daniel when he was attacking Bottas; when we open the DRS we are the same speed as them without DRS, so you just cannot do anything. I think so far this season I have actually been okay with the reliability of our car, so it's just a shame that it happened here. When you know you have a difficult weekend, you of course want to take some points back home. But one positive aspect of the weekend is that I think we actually have a good car."

Daniel Ricciardo (5th): "We just didn't have the legs today. The first lap was fun and a bit crazy for sure, I don't know what happened to Lewis but I saw he was turned around. Then with Max and Kimi we had some good battles. The re-starts were intense but we just didn't have the speed on the straights to do much and behind Ferrari and Mercedes we were just too slow. I think the car in clear air was pretty good, particularly in the second stint on the medium tyre when we were able to pull away from Kimi a bit and then start catching Max. The team then pulled the trigger on a two stop strategy for me and then the safety car came out. We just got unlucky and lost track position. We tried at the end to pass Bottas as he was struggling more with the tyres but as soon as I got really close to him I felt like my tyres were the same age as his, you just lose the downforce and really struggle. It was a bit like last week following Kimi and I really needed him to make a mistake, otherwise on the straights, even with DRS they have a lot more power. I guess since Monaco we haven't really had things going our way. I'll still take the Monaco win but I don't want that to be the last hurrah. I'm very excited to have a week off now, I like racing but I'm just going to put the car away for a week, let it think about itself and then come back in Germany (laughs). I might feed it some Schnitzel in Germany, maybe I said something wrong to the car. But for now, vamos a la playa."

Force India

Esteban Ocon (7th): "I'm really happy with the result today. Seventh place feels good after such a difficult race. The safety car didn't make things easy because the tyres were cold at the restarts and it was not easy to keep Fernando [Alonso] and Kevin [Magnussen] behind me in the last few laps. I feel very tired mentally because it was a really big fight until the end. It's important that we scored more points to add to the good points we picked up in Austria last week. The car is getting better and we are racing well so I have to say 'thank you' to the team for all their hard work. We keep pushing and the results are coming."

Sergio Perez (10th) "I cannot be totally happy about today's race. The incident at the start compromised my race: I lost the rear end trying to avoid the incidents ahead, spun and suddenly I was at the back of the field. After that, our race was pretty strong. We had good pace and overtook a lot of cars. We made the most of the various safety cars and made it back into the points. With two laps to go, Gasly pushed me off track. I gave him enough space but that was not enough: we still made contact and I lost the place. I believe it was an unfair move. I'm pleased that the FIA took action after the race to penalise Gasly, which gave me back the final point. My focus now is to rest after the triple header. We will analyse these races and come back strong for Germany."

Williams

Sergey Sirotkin (14th): "It was a very painful race. The first half didn't look that bad. I think we had reasonable tyre management on the qualifying tyre. Still, it was lacking quite a lot of pace but at least it was all under control. Then, we did quite a late pitstop with the hope to have a good second stint that was shorter and quicker, but then we were facing quite a few blue flags and the safety cars made things difficult for the tyre. Afterwards, I was left with a harder compound whilst all the cars around me had a softer, warmer compound, it was just very painful to be there as a driver and to race it to the flag. All in all, very disappointing."

Lance Stroll (12th): "At the start it was pretty close, especially for Sergey, who was in front of me starting from the pitlane. It was a different experience! I think I was unlucky and our race could have been a lot better, as I pitted on lap 31, one lap before the safety car. This was after I did a good stint on the prime, so it is a bit of a shame as if I had done another lap I would probably have gained some time by stopping under the safety car and we could maybe have finished in the points. Anyway, that is luck in motorsport and it is a matter of hit or miss. The rest was okay and we were following the train today. At the end I could see some cars ahead of me not too far away, so that was good."

Paddy Lowe, chief technical officer: "It was not a great situation to arrive at the British GP on race day with two cars starting from the pitlane. There are not many of us in the team that have started with one car in the pitlane, let alone two, so it was a new experience and involved some special logistics of its own, particularly to time the preparation of the launch. Both cars got away cleanly, emerging into the racing pack and settled down into a race which ran exactly according to the plan that we had set - Sergey on the shorter stint on the soft tyre, and Lance on a longer stint on the medium tyre. The plan was interrupted by the two safety cars but we chose to remain on plan so that the two cars could race each other according to their different strategies. During the second safety car, we gave Sergey the option to take another tyre set as he was complaining of tyre vibration but he chose to stay in the fight with Lance, however he ultimately lost the position in the restart. It was a good job by the team and the drivers to get two cars home, but once again, not in the positions that we would like."

Renault

Nico Hulkenberg (6th): "I'm very happy, that was a positive day. I think it was the maximum result we could ask for here. We had a good start, then a solid first lap straight up to P6. There was obviously some chaos going on in turns two and three where I managed to sneak through and pick up some places. After that it was a case of managing the tyres and the race. We'd elected to go on the Hard tyre, which was maybe a bit slower on pace, but we wanted to go for the one stop. A strong race all in all, especially with picking up another position at the end when the Red Bull spun. I'm happy. Eight points for the team is a good day."

Carlos Sainz (DNF): "I had a great start jumping seven places from sixteenth to ninth. We lost some positions after the first pit-stop but then, after stopping again for the Soft tyre during the Safety Car, we were looking good to get back in the points. It was a shame for it to end like that. Let's look forward to Hockenheim."

Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: "Silverstone is always a tricky track to balance for, as there are some quite low speed corners and some very demanding high-speed ones. Today was, however, a standard Friday. We steadily improved the balance over the first session; we started off with a touch too much understeer, but we made a few set-up changes for the second session. This put more front balance in and the car really started to work. When we did our qualifying sims at the end of the second session, the car was working pretty well. We look reasonably competitive on the long runs but will be looking forward to improve for Qualifying tomorrow."

Toro Rosso

Brendon Hartley (DNF): "I'm not a believer in luck or superstition, but I think it's definitely fair to say that the last few weeks have been unlucky for me. It was all out of my control this weekend - the suspension failure yesterday in FP3, and another technical issue today before we could even start the race, so there's not too much to comment on the past two days. It's disappointing, but I'll hit the reset button now, take a couple of days to relax and prepare for the next race. I've got full trust that all of the people in Toro Rosso will be working hard over the next two weeks, as will I, to improve and show our maximum in Hockenheim."

Pierre Gasly (13th): "I'm super happy to be back in the points! We didn't expect to finish in the top 10 at this track as we struggled quite a bit with some issues and performance. I had a tough battle with Sergio towards the end of the race, I saw one chance in the last chicane which was really tight and we touched a bit, but in the end I managed to make the move. To leave Silverstone on a positive note is a great reward for the team after a difficult weekend, in which they have been working so hard. The car felt good today so I'm looking forward to getting back behind the wheel in Germany."

Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director:"This has been a very tough weekend, particularly for the Honda and Toro Rosso mechanics who had to work so hard in the limited time available, especially on Saturday after Brendon's accident, changing his PU and chassis and on Pierre's car changing the suspension. So it was a great reward for them that Pierre drove a determined race, never giving up, taking tenth place and therefore a point with two laps to go. Unfortunately, on the reconnaissance lap prior to the race, we could see that something was not right on Hartley's car. We tried to fix it and still sent him out, but it was clear there was a problem and we had to retire him. The problem has now been traced to a loose connector on the PU side."

Haas

Romain Grosjean (DNF): To come

Kevin Magnussen (9th): To come

Guenther Steiner, team boss: To come

McLaren

Stoffel Vandoorne (11th): "It was a very tough race for us, difficult to close up the gap with some of the competitors in front, and disappointing not to come home with points. From the start, I had the same feeling in the car as yesterday, so the conditions out there were really tricky. On the positive side, the pace was probably a bit better today. We were able to stay with some of the points-scoring cars like the Force India and the Renault, and were more or less matching their pace. The team looked over everything to try to find the cause of the issues we were having, but obviously in parc fermé you can't really change anything unless you want to start from the pit-lane. It's been a tough triple-header, everyone is a bit tired at the end of these three races, so the mechanics deserve a good break. I'm sure they'll check over everything and we'll turn up in better shape in Germany."

Fernando Alonso (8th): "It was a great race today, and a great show for the fans with a couple of Safety Cars that always mix things up. In a normal race, eighth would be great, but with the Safety Car and the yellow [Soft] tyres we decided to put on - and the others who didn't pit - we had a clear tyre advantage at the end of the race, but couldn't capitalise on that because we were stuck behind traffic. Kevin [Magnussen] pushed us off the track at Turn Seven, and without that I think we could have probably been fighting with Esteban [Ocon] and Nico [Hulkenberg] for P6. However, no penalty was given so we had to fight back, and overtook Kevin on the last lap. We have more points for the team, which is great, but hopefully we can reach that position in the future thanks only to our own performance. Saturday seems to be the lowest point of our weekend in terms of performance, but then on Sundays we are in the same group as Renault, Force India and Haas, so we definitely need to find more performance in qualifying."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "It's good to head home after the British Grand Prix with more points. We decided to go for an aggressive strategy on both cars to put the drivers in the best position to fight. Fernando put in a great, gritty drive to come home in P8. After a difficult Saturday, Stoffel regained some pace during the race, however he was still dealing with a lot of the same issues, and investigations will continue. Regardless, the focus continues on stepping forward at every event. Ultimately, the last part of the race after the Safety Car was very close. Hopefully the fans enjoyed all the on-track action. Finally, I'd like to acknowledge the immense effort from the whole team during this tough triple-header. They've all put in many hours of hard work with little rest, and I hope everyone enjoys a well-deserved weekend off before we head to Germany."

Sauber

Charles Leclerc: "It is disappointing that I did not finish the race today. It was going really well, we were following the strategy plan and had a good first stint. Then, the second stint also started well, and we were waiting to become stronger through the race. Unfortunately, I had to retire following my crash in turn 1. The DRS was open, and I lost the car. The positive is that we made further progress and I look forward to fighting back at the next Grand Prix in two weeks' time."

Marcus Ericsson: "It is a pity that I had to retire from the race today. The start was exciting and I was able to gain a few positions during the opening laps. The car felt good, our pace was competitive, and things were running smoothly. Unfortunately, there was an issue during the pitstop, and we had to retire straight after. In any case, mistakes can happen, and the team has been doing a great job with the pitstops in the past races, so we will move on from this and go into the next race weekend feeling positive about the progress we are making."

Pirelli

Mario Isola, head of car racing: "We saw a thrilling and unpredictable grand prix featuring a variety of different strategies and all three compounds being used. As well as the very different strategies based on soft and medium tyres that made up the first five places, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg made up six places by stopping once, from medium to hard. The race was obviously affected by safety cars that put many of the pre-planned strategies into question, but all the drivers were able to fight hard from start to finish on every compound at one of the season's most demanding circuits. This culminated in a thrilling finale that perfectly showcased the spectacular nature of Formula 1, at Pirelli's 350th grand prix."