A brief respite from the misery as we see success in cycling, tennis and Formula One as home race heroics from Lewis Hamilton followed for the third time by Nico Rosberg complete a Silver Arrows 1-2 at Silverstone.
In the words of the boys…
Lewis Hamilton: “Best weekend of the whole year! I couldn’t believe it started raining at the beginning of the race. I thought: ‘are you serious?’ It makes it so much harder for everyone when that happens. I couldn’t really see the safety car either. It was going really slowly and my rear brakes were getting way too cold, so I was trying to heat them up and before I knew it I’m heading straight for the back of the thing! Thank goodness I could turn!
“Luckily it was okay and from there I was feeling great in the wet conditions. A huge thank you first of all to the team for doing such an amazing job. Our performance this weekend has been outstanding. The engineers and mechanics did a great job, so big thanks to all of them once again. And then the crowd… I mean, where do they all come from? It’s absolutely amazing! Nothing we see in any other country even comes close – and that for me just shows the passion us Brits have for sport, regardless of the weather. It’s pouring down and these guys are just like ‘yeah, we love it!’
“This is beyond my wildest dreams, honestly. When I was younger I didn’t see the other stuff that comes with being a Formula One driver. I was just in awe of the racing and it wasn’t until I grew up that I started to understand. I’m just trying to bask in the glory and enjoy it because one day I’ll be watching someone else, hopefully a young Brit, winning here and I want to make the most of these moments. For now though, it’s my time – our time. Thank you so much to everyone out there today. It’s just been unbelievable.”
Nico Rosberg: “Lewis did a better job over the whole weekend and deserved the win, so congratulations to him. I was happy to have finished the race as my gearbox issue at the end was really serious and I almost had to retire the car – but luckily I got it fixed. Generally, though, it felt great out there and I had a great pace on the medium tyres. The battle with Max was good fun. It took a bit of time but I managed to overtake him on the outside. Over the whole weekend the atmosphere here at Silverstone was really outstanding.
“Okay, I recognise that some guys out there don’t like me as much as Lewis. But that’s normal in his home country and I felt that the majority was very supportive of me. That’s why the British fans are the best and most passionate racing fans in the world, so thank you to them for making it a really great event. Now I look forward to the last two races before the summer break including my home Grand Prix in Germany.”
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “This afternoon was Formula One at its best: probably the best fans in the world, a wet-dry race, loads of incidents and overtaking, and a fantastic home winner at the end of it all. On days like this, Lewis is unstoppable: he pulled the gap in the early laps, we made the perfect call on the strategy, then he controlled the race from there. He was calm all day, had everything under control and just nailed the race. Brilliant.
“For Nico, it was a bit trickier: running in the spray in the wet always costs lap time, then he had a long battle with Max. He lost out on the intermediates, but then was able to hunt him down after switching to the dry tyres and pulled off a great outside move in to Stowe, one of the fastest points on the circuit. In the final laps, he was stuck in seventh gear, which was clearly a critical problem that would have resulted in failure.
“Our understanding of the rules is that this kind of message is allowed – it’s not the kind of driver coaching the rules were designed to prevent – so we gave him the necessary information and he did a great job to hold his position and bring the car home. It’s an amazing feeling for the whole team to win a fourth British Grand Prix in a row, in front of so many of our colleagues from our factories in Brixworth and Brackley. It will be a big celebration with our families this evening and then back hard to work in the morning. After so much drama already in 2016, it’s amazing to think we haven’t yet even reached the halfway point of the season…”
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical): “A fantastic race result as the home Grand Prix for everyone at Brackley and Brixworth. We haven’t had a 1-2 since Russia, so it’s great to have both drivers up there on the top two steps once again. Our congratulations first and foremost to Lewis on a third consecutive home victory – his fourth in total thus far – and a really perfect weekend overall. We were spared the variability of a standing race start with the last-minute downpour. From there, we had two clean rounds of pit stops – benefiting nicely from a convenient VSC period for the switch to intermediates. Both were double-stops with the drivers arriving in quick succession, which is never an easy task, but were immaculately executed by the crew, so well done to them.
“As the race settled down from there, it was clear that Lewis was in control while Nico had a battle on his hands with Verstappen. The Red Bull was strong in the wet – likely due to their choice to run with a higher wing level over ultimate top speed. It was a great duel between the two of them, with Max managing to make his car very wide indeed but Nico eventually pulling off a fantastic move around the outside at Stowe corner to take the place.
“A crisis then developed six laps from the end when Nico’s gearbox got stuck in seventh gear. To finish the race with minimal use of that gear while also fending off the advances of the Red Bull behind really was a great piece of driving, so we applaud him for that. A huge thank you and congratulations to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth for bringing us such performance from the car and the result today. A proud day for the team in front of a truly fantastic crowd.”