(Conducted by Jenson Button)
Q: Lewis, I know it must be tough coming away with a P3. It looked like you had a real chance for another home victory. But you put on a hell of a show for us.
Lewis HAMILTON: First, I really have to give it up to this crowd because we’ve had the biggest show-up in history here in the UK. So thank you to everybody for the incredible support. We don’t see this anywhere around the world. This is literally the greatest group that we get to see. So I’m so grateful for that. And I gave it everything today. I was chasing, trying to chase down those Ferraris, but congratulations to Carlos. They were just too quick today for us. And, at the end I was in amongst that battle with Checo, Those guys were just too quick on this race for me today. But I’m so grateful for the hard work all the team did to get an upgrade here. We’ve made a step closer to them. So we’ve got to keep pushing.
Q: I think everyone here really thought you had a massive challenge for the victory. Your pace when you were chasing down the Ferraris. But the weakness seemed to be when you had new tyres on the customer. It seemed like you struggled to turn them on a little bit?
LH: No, I mean, we lost a little bit of time in the pit stop and then I was chasing and chasing and chasing, but the pace was great on both sets of tyres and at the end there it was just a little bit difficult. Once you get a Red Bull behind you they are so fast on the straights. So, we’ve got some improvements to make. But this is a huge bonus for us to be on the podium. I am glad everyone was safe from the big crash at the beginning of the day. But yeah, thank you to everybody, as I said. We’re going to continue to push. Let’s keep trying to be the best we can and send you all positivity.
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Q: Lewis coming to you now, a 13th podium at Silverstone for you, very well done. Can we start by talking about those closing laps? Did you enjoy all that battling as much as Checo?
LH: I definitely did! That was very reminiscent of the karting days. And I feel that that’s Formula 1 at its best. The fact that we were able to follow and dice like that, lap on lap is a testament to the direction I think that we’ve we’re now in. I was just grateful that I could be in the battle. Because I’ve not been in that fight for a while.
Q: Could you hear the roar of the crowd from inside your cockpit?
LH: You can’t imagine it. It’s so loud in the car with our earplugs in, but I could feel it. I could feel it, all weekend from Thursday, I could feel the incredible support here in the UK. And so, I am just incredibly grateful to everybody for showing-up and showing-up in full form and full energy. This is the biggest crowd we’ve had here, so I really hope everyone had a great day.
Q: And Lewis, what about the performance of the W13? How good was it? How encouraging is the pace this weekend for you and the team?
LH: I think it’s hugely encouraging that, as I said, we were in the fight. There were times… I mean, for a good period of time, I was matching the Ferraris’ pace, and even better at some stages. And we got the quickest lap at the end, for example, which is… I don’t think we’ve been able to do this year. We had an upgrade this weekend and I think the race pace was definitely improved. That’s been our strongest part of our car, I think, this year in general. But it’s definitely helped us get a little bit closer. We’re not… I don’t think we’re in a winning position yet. But we’re not far away.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: (Alex Kalinauckas – Autosport) At what point did it become clear to you that you had the pace that you could match with the Ferraris? And do you think without the Safety Car, you might have got back to them? Thanks.
LH: I think I was… What was question Did I have? Yeah, I offset myself as much as I could. And I was hoping that in that second… Once my tyres were, and I was getting quicker and quicker as the tyres were getting stronger and stronger and I was slowly starting to eat into that gap and yeah, if we didn’t have a safety car, I think I would have been able to battle these two at the end. But it wasn’t meant to be.
Q: (Phil Duncan – PA) Also I just wanted to ask about the protesters and how alarming that was to see when they were invading the track on the first lap. Thank you.
LH: Yeah, I mean I don’t really have anything to add they answered it very well. I didn’t know what the protesters were, so…
Sergio PEREZ: Yeah, what was that?
Carlos SAINZ: I thought the red flag was for that because as soon as I came out of five, I saw three guys running towards me
Q: Onto the Hangar straight. There were some protesters on the left-hand side.
CS: Lap one of the red flag.
LH: Big up those guys.
SP: Luckily we had Seb driving!
Q: (Lennart Bloemhart – Volkstrand) Lewis, I believe this was the first time this season that you’ve led a lap and this is the first time in your career that you haven’t won a race in the first ten races of the season. Pretty special statistics. Is this a strange feeling for you and do you feel that this race gave you the spark you needed this season?
LH: It’s not a strange feeling at all. These things happen. I’ve had plenty of years in my career, probably whether or not… Maybe not plenty, but I’ve definitely had years in my career where I haven’t had wins for a period of time. But yeah, this has given… The progress that we’ve made over the past couple of races has definitely given us hope that there’s more to come. There is potential in this car and we just have to keep doing our due diligence, keep our heads down and stay focused and not give up.
Q: (Graham Harris – Motorsport Monday) [To Sainz] Have you spoken to your father yet?
CS: Yeah, I called him for ten seconds after the podium, just a quick because I knew my Mum and him were going to be on the phone nervous for the call and it was 10 seconds: Hi, Mum, hi Dad, thank you, bye.
LH: You should have said I love you too, no?
CS: I did but I didn’t want to sound… Yeah, yeah, we did. We did. Kisses, love you, bye.
Q: (Alex Kalinauckas – Autosport) You’ve all spoken about how much you’ve enjoyed the racing today, the close fights up and down the field as well. I wondered how much do you feel that was down to the new cars? It’s the first time that Formula 1 has raced with these new ground effect cars on a really high-speed track. Could we perhaps say this was the best example of racing in this new era?
LH: I think they answered it well. But yeah, it’s great, really, really great racing. And just to follow was awesome.
Q: (Andrew Benson – BBC) Lewis, you made a remark there sort of half off-mic about environmental protesters. I just wondered if you could clarify exactly how you felt about that because it’s obviously a complex situation. It’s a subject that’s close to your heart. It’s a subject that Formula 1 is also trying to make progress on but obviously some people will have questions about the wisdom of the method that they chose today.
LH: I mean, I didn’t know what the protesters were for and so I just found out and I just said the protesters, I love that people are fighting for the planet and we need more people like them.