Although Max Verstappen could have extended his championship lead at Round 10 of the 2021 F1 season, an overambitious manoeuvre from defending champion Lewis Hamilton saw the Dutchman retire from the race.
After losing out to the Dutchman in the sport’s inaugural Spring Qualifying on Saturday, Hamilton was desperate to retake the lead on the opening lap of the Silverstone race, launching a series of attacks in the first corners after the start.
The seven-time world champion then launched a desperate and overambitious move into Copse, one of the fastest corner of the championship. The Briton hardly braked into the corner and tagged the rear-end of his Verstappen’s Red Bull, sending him into a high-speed, 51G impact with the barriers.
Following an assessment by the trackside doctors at Silverstone Circuit Medical Centre, Max was taken by helicopter to Coventry Hospital for further tests and observation. In the meantime, the red-flag period allowed Mercedes to change the damaged parts on Hamilton’s car, and the Briton was able to win on home turf for the eighth time.
Lewis Hamilton, 1st
“I have been giving my all the past week, working in the factory, just giving it everything to uncover performance in this car with the guys and I am so proud of everyone for continuing to work, even though we had to recover a deficit. Today, as always, I tried to be measured in how I approached the race, particularly battling with Max – he’s very aggressive but I was fully alongside him and he didn’t leave me any space.
“Regardless of whether I agreed with the penalty, I took it on the chin and I just kept working. I was just like, “I’m not going to let anything get in the way of the crowd’s enjoyment of the weekend, the national anthem and the British flag”. I couldn’t have done it without the great teamwork from Valtteri and the amazing effort from the team so I’m very grateful and just so happy to deliver this result for the team and the fans.”
Valtteri Bottas, 3rd
“The main issue for me today was losing a place at the start; it was the same yesterday so it’s something we need to work on. During the race, we only had one option when Lando had a slow pit-stop: we had to pit as well, even though we knew the second stint would be long, and that’s how it proved – it was tough towards the end of the race with the tyres blistering badly.
“It’s good to see every member of the team fighting so hard for this championship. Today there were surprises everywhere – Ferrari looked very strong, McLaren were good on the Medium tyre so it’s great for racing and for the fans. Overall, we’ve improved the car coming into this weekend but we know there is still work to do.”
Sergio Perez, 16th
“I’m very disappointed with my weekend and my performance. I wasn’t able to make as much progress as expected and found myself in a very difficult position with the tyres. As soon as we were in the DRS train it was impossible to overtake people. I think P7 was possible today, with a couple more laps I think I could have got Lance and Fernando but in the end for strategic reasons we decided to stop to take the fastest lap.
“It’s a weekend for us to forget and we lost a lot of ground in the championship, we need to regroup, work hard and come back as strong as possible in Hungary. I need to re-watch the incident with Max and Lewis as I haven’t seen it, but the most important thing that Max is okay.”
Charles Leclerc, 2nd
“We have to look at the positives in this type of situation, despite the disappointment of losing the win in the closing laps. It was a challenging race for me. In the first stint, I had to make some changes on the steering wheel to manage the engine cuts I had. After that, I felt that we had it under control. I managed to pull away from the others and lead for the majority of the race.
“Unfortunately, Lewis was just more competitive on the hards. I could feel his pace as he approached me and there was not much I could do. On the upside, we were quicker than anyone else on the mediums, which we did not expect. It was impressive. On the hards, we had a little bit less of an advantage, but still showed a great pace. I am very proud of how we have been working. The team has done an incredible job and fully deserves this podium. They also deserve a win, so we will keep pushing to make it happen if we get the chance.”
Carlos Sainz, 6th
“Not the greatest race for me, but in general a very good result for the team and many positives to take away. Today our car was strong, the balance was good, and our work with the set up is paying off. Two good starts put me in a position to fight with Ricciardo, but passing the McLaren on track proved to be incredibly difficult. The dirty air through the corners meant I couldn’t get close enough and we were lacking a bit on the straights.
“Once he pitted, my pace in clean air was super strong and I managed to virtually overcut him before my stop. Unfortunately the pit stop was slow. The team has been great at pit stops all year and these things can happen. I tried my best to overtake the McLaren during the second stint but we faced the same problem and in the end we came home in P6. A big congrats to Charles, who nearly managed to secure a win for the team! This race gives us a good feeling for Hungary and for the second part of the season. We keep pushing.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) July 18, 2021
Lando Norris, 4th
“A bit of a frustrating race, but also a lot of positives and in the end I’m happy with the result. I would’ve loved to have a chance to fight for P3 – the pit-stop meant we weren’t able to, but I don’t really think it would’ve changed the end result. A good job by the whole team and thanks to them for giving me a great car this weekend. Fourth and fifth for us is a great result and now for one more race before the summer break. We’ll keep it up and try to do better next time.
“It was lovely to see all the fans in the grandstands – it made it a lot more special, and seeing them all waving and cheering on the in-lap was cool as well. Thanks to all of them for coming out to support and making it a more enjoyable and special weekend – hopefully we’ll see them again soon.”
Daniel Ricciardo, 5th
“From a team point of view, it was a good day, with both cars in the top five. It’s the first time this year that I’ve had a top five, so I’ll take some positives from that – definitely a good day. I did struggle with outright pace. There were parts of the race where I felt I couldn’t do that much more, so I’ve still got areas to work on with myself, and getting the car more to my liking, but nonetheless it was good to hold off Carlos.
“He was a lot quicker! He caught me extremely quickly and I knew that if I was mistake-free, I’d have half-a-chance. From that point of view, I’m super happy to end up fifth. Finally, it was great to see so many fans back in the stands here today. As a driver, it really means a lot to hear them cheering you on. There’s been plenty of McLaren caps in the grandstands too, so that’s awesome to see. I’m definitely feeling the love.”
Esteban Ocon, 9th
“It was not an easy race today with everything going on; the red flag, two standing starts, but we’re back in the points and that feels good. It was nice to be fighting and getting the maximum from the car. Tyre management was challenging today but we did everything well. Of course, you always want more, but as a team, we have both cars in the points today and that’s a great reward for everyone’s hard work.
“We’re back on the pace after three difficult races and we aim to keep this going now through to Hungary. We’ll be preparing and working hard for that, to make sure we back this result up. I’m glad Max is okay after the incident, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Fernando Alonso, 7th
“It was a good result today and I am happy to score more points for the team. It was a very long, hot race so it was very challenging. I thought we managed the temperatures and the tyres in a good way, and we also kept enough of a gap to Lance (Stroll) behind. We made some good calls on strategy and executed everything well. It was a little bit of a different weekend and we’ll have to see if the fans enjoyed it. We now have two weeks until we go again.”
Sebastian Vettel, DNF
“The weekend was looking promising and, without all the problems, I should have finished well inside the points. I am very disappointed to lose the car in a wheel-to-wheel battle with Fernando [Alonso]. I am not sure exactly what happened, but I misjudged it, lost grip, and spun. After that, I was right at the back. In the end we did not finish the race because the team retired the car with a cooling issue.”
Lance Stroll, 8th
“I am really happy with my race because we were able to turn around a tricky start to the weekend by finishing in P8 and scoring four points. We have been working to find the right car balance and we had a breakthrough today, which is a great credit to the team and all the effort everyone has put in. The key to the race was making two strong starts either side of the red flag, where we gained several places each time.
“The strategies were quite similar for the whole grid, making overtaking more tricky, but those starts set us up for a good race. The new format has been a challenge for everyone this weekend, but I think there are positives and we can learn how to maximise the other events with Sprints.”
After a tough race, Sebastian Vettel stayed behind with a group of fans to help the clear-up at Silverstone ❤️pic.twitter.com/16EIzzHVAL
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 19, 2021
Pierre Gasly, 11th
“Honestly, I have no words. We were in the points right until the end, then unfortunately I had a puncture and had to box with five laps to go. It’s very frustrating to be coming away with no points after today’s race. There are still some positives to take away though, as after quite a difficult weekend, the pace when I was alone in the middle of the race today was quite good, once I’d managed to clear the traffic.
“We obviously want to continue to fight for better positions, so we’ll work hard to understand the areas we’ve struggled with this weekend and hope to be more competitive again in Hungary.”
Yuki Tsunoda, 10th
“I’m quite happy to have come away with a point today. I tried to stick to the plan, really focus on tyre management, and I think I achieved that well. I’ve struggled a bit throughout the weekend and the different format has made things slightly more difficult for me as a rookie, so I’m pleased to have come away with an all-important point for the team.”
George Russell, 12th
“P12 was the maximum today for us. We made a poor getaway initially on the first start but a really good one on the second. Sadly, we had already lost a few positions. When you have 50 or 60 laps in a race the true pace of the car comes out and realistically, we are still slightly slower than Alpha Tauri, Alpine and Aston Martin right now. Defending from those teams was always going to be difficult but we’ve been racing in the top-12 in the last four races, fighting for points in three of them, so we are making some good progress.
“It has been an amazing weekend here at Silverstone with a strong weekend and the support from the home crowd. I wish it was like this every weekend! I am so grateful, and I hope as a team we can continue to perform and give them something to cheer about.”
Nicholas Latifi, 14th
“It was a very hot and physically challenging race. It was all about managing the tyres, and we moved forward after two poor starts off the line so that is a positive. I think we overmanaged the first stint on the tyres, but then had to box to prevent an undercut.
“The last stint felt OK but it was difficult at the end to move forward and get close to other cars in the dirty air. I am happy overall with my performance and I think it was a decent race for the package we had. There are some positives to take away from the weekend and I’m now looking forward to Hungary.”
Kimi Raikkonen, 15th
“It wasn’t too bad a race until the contact with Perez. We knew it would be a difficult afternoon but we had a good start and were able to run in the top 10 for a while. I had a nice battle with Sergio, we went side by side in quite a few corners but suddenly the space was gone: I am not sure what happened but I spun and that was it.
“In the end, we had to do a lot of defending, we were still missing something to be in the points until the flag. Hopefully the next tracks will play a bit more to our strengths and we can be more competitive.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, 13th
“It was a long race and not an overly exciting one for me, we had good pace but we couldn’t put it together when it mattered. We were in front of Tsunoda before the stops, but got stuck behind Russell and couldn’t get through. This wasn’t a track where overtaking is easy, and it’s quite a disappointment when you see that Yuki eventually finished in the points. We’ll need to learn from this and focus on Hungary. It’s a track with slow corners and no long straights, so it should fit us a bit better.”
Mick Schumacher, 18th
“It wasn’t easy. Unfortunately, we were struggling with tyres and the approach that we had. We were trying not to overheat the tyres over the first few laps, and it seems like Nikita was pushing a bit harder in the first few laps and still managed to keep his tyres in the window. I will have to analyse how as there was a lot of margin for me to go faster. We will have to learn from it and try and get back stronger in Budapest.”
Nikita Mazepin, 17th
“It was tough – very hot! The weekend has been positive. I was very happy with the balance that we managed to extract out of the car, but we were slow compared to other teams – we were not able to fight anybody today. We obviously weren’t able to change the car as much as other weekends, but I think we found a very good set up early on in the weekend, which perhaps wasn’t ultimately the best thing in qualifying but then worked quite well on a track that was degrading like this.
“I had to push very hard in the beginning to try and get in front because you know that this track is difficult to overtake on, and I used a lot of my tyres but then I put in probably my best overtake in the last three years.”
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