Lewis scores an impressive P3 for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team at an action-packed British Grand Prix
- Lewis took his 13th podium at Silverstone to set a new record for the most podiums at a single event, while George suffered an early DNF.
- A horrific multi-car incident on the opening lap saw ZHO’s upside-down Alfa Romeo skid into the barriers and the race was red-flagged immediately.
- George sustained a puncture in the melee and his race was over once he exited his car to run to check on the Chinese driver who thankfully later received the OK from doctors.
- The race restarted under the original grid order and Lewis moved up to P4 which shortly turned to P3 after an issue for VER in those early laps.
- Lewis stalked the two Ferraris up ahead, gaining on them with every lap. SAI pitted to unleash Lewis in the hunt for LEC and the W13 showed strong pace before LEC boxed to leave Lewis in the lead of the race for the first time this season.
- Lewis slotted into P3 after emerging from his own stop on lap 33, yet a safety car on lap 39 presented the opportunity of a switch to Soft tyres.
- A scarcely believable safety car restart passage saw Lewis, PER and LEC battling back and forth over several laps with exquisite car control to the delight of the sell-out Silverstone crowd. Lewis lost out to PER but took LEC’s third place to score his 185th podium.
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I gave it everything today! I was chasing, trying to get 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 the straights for me today, but I’m so, so grateful for all the hard work the team did to get an upgrade here, we’ve made a step closer to them, so we’ve got to keep pushing! 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 then at the end there it was just a little bit difficult. Once you get a Red Bull behind, they’re so fast on the straights. We’ve got some improvements to make but this is a huge bonus for us to be on the podium. I’m glad everyone was safe from that big crash at the beginning of the day. Thank you to everybody, we’re going to continue to push.
We started on the Hard tyre because I made a mistake in qualifying and we thought that risk gave us the best opportunity later in the race but there was just very little grip at the start. It’s the hardest compound, it’s cold out there and I got swamped by all the cars. Next thing I know I got touched, I was in the side of Zhou, and that was it. I jumped out the car to see if Zhou was okay and I saw it was red flagged straight away but when I came back to the car, I couldn’t quite get it started for whatever reason, so I ran back to the team to check. I asked the marshals to leave the car and next thing, when I got back, the car was on the back of the flatbed which meant I couldn’t restart. It was obviously frustrating for my race because the car just had the puncture and there’s no doubt we had the pace to come back to P6 today but I’m just glad that Zhou was OK.
A great race today for the fans who all came out with such passion. We had some light at the end of the tunnel in Barcelona and then struggled on three street circuits so I don’t want to talk us up too much or be too pessimistic, I’d rather be cautious. We still had our persistent ride issue all three days which is a key focus for us to tackle but we showed strong pace this weekend which is pleasing and our updates seemed to work well. In Austria, there will be a couple of corners which haven’t made our car happy in the past but it’s a constant learning process for us. This year is going to be a pretty tough one to win but we just need to get our house in order to be properly on top of the car’s performance. It was disappointing for George not to be in the race because the car pace was good but that’s the regulation so it is what it is, unfortunately. Lewis drove a strong race, we had the win right in front of us before the safety car and were chasing the Ferraris down but then after the safety car, we were never quite in the position to challenge for the front and lost a little momentum. I’m glad it’s a quick turnaround for Austria, another chance for more information which is more learning.
It’s difficult for the team to know how to after a race like that. On one had its frustrating to only come away with a third place as with two cars and a bit more luck we could have been fighting for the win and a good haul of points. On the other hand, we can be pleased that we were fighting at the front after a very tough start to our season and a lot of hard work from everyone in Brackley and Brixworth to recover a huge performance gap. George’s race didn’t last long. We knew the hard tyre would be a risk but didn’t anticipate us losing so much ground off the line. That clearly was the contributing factor in George being part of the accident at the start which ended his race but at least no one was hurt. Lewis on the other had a great start moving to 3rd so it was a shame that he was put back into fifth for the restart from where we dropped a further position. Even so, there were plenty of times where it looked like we might be able to get back into the fight for the win but sadly it was not to be. Even so, we can take a lot of encouragement from the progress this weekend. We brought a significant update to the car and it looks to have delivered what we expected. Now we know what works for the car, we can find more. We’ve got a couple of days to regroup ahead of the Austria sprint race so plenty to do in a short space of time but we’re excited to be going there with some hope of fighting at the front.
Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team