In the early stages, Seb’s SF71H was clearly the quickest car on track, while Kimi was right up Verstappen’s
exhaust pipes. However, after seven laps, the Stewards hit the Finn with a 10 second penalty for the collision
at Turn 3, while the driver was radioing the team asking about suspected front wing damage. They decided to
bring him in on lap 13 to change the tyres and take the penalty. He rejoined tenth, between Sainz and
Magnussen. He immediately dealt with the Renault and set the fastest lap. The aim was to stay ahead of
Hamilton when he too would have to pit.
At one third distance, Kimi had moved up to sixth and Red Bull called in its drivers to avoid finding themselves
behind the Ferrari. At the end of lap 20, Seb pitted switching from Soft to Medium tyres. He emerged ahead of
Hamilton, as planned. Obviously, at that point, Bottas was told to pit, but Sebastian still found himself
leading, by the same margin of 4”4, as before the stop. However, now it was time for tyre management.
Hamilton pitted on lap 26, but surprisingly, Ricciardo hung on for a further five laps before handing fourth place
to Kimi. With 20 laps to go, Ericsson crashed into the barriers at the first corner and the safety car came out,
which changed the shape of the race. Ferrari pulled off a double pit stop, switching back to Softs, but the
Mercedes duo stayed out, so that behind the Safety Car, Bottas led the way, from Vettel, Hamilton,
Verstappen and Raikkonen.
At the end of lap 37, the race resumed with Seb maintaining position and Kimi fighting with Verstappen. But
almost immediately there was another crash, this time involving Sainz and Grosjean at Copse. So once again
the Safety Car appeared, coming back in with ten laps remaining. The first three tore off and behind them,
Kimi got the better of Verstappen and set his sights on Hamilton. The next two laps were incredible with four
cars fighting it out. Then, on lap 47, Seb concealed his move to the very last moment and dived inside Bottas
at turn 6. He was first! And for the second time in this race, those behind switched places. Only three laps
left, but there was plenty of excitement still to come. Kimi attacked Bottas and passed him decisively at turn
6. First and third “here at their home” said Seb on the radio.
“This was a well deserved win, mainly down to a great job from the team at the track and back in Maranello
and I congratulate them. Winning here is not easy as England is home to the Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren,
Force India and Williams and others. That makes winning here all the more special. Sebastian drove a great
race, fighting like a lion despite the pain in the neck he has suffered with since Saturday. Kimi also had a
strong race proving once again what a fighter he is. The SF71H confirmed its strengths as it has done on
other tracks already and the Pirelli tyres were a perfect match for our strategy. Tomorrow we will have our
debrief and right from the afternoon we will start preparing for Sebastian’s home race, the German GP.”
“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!”
“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
"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."
"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
Freìdeìric Vasseur, Team Principal
"It was a tough race for us. We had a good start, with both of the drivers putting in a strong performance.
Everything was going well, with Charles advancing to P7 and Marcus steadily catching up with the midfield.
Unfortunately, things took a turn after Charles' pitstop. There was an issue and he had to retire from the race
immediately after. Then, Marcus lost the car in turn 1. It is a tough outcome for us, but we have to stay
positive. Despite the final result today, we have made another step forward since the last Grand Prix
weekend, and are in shape to come back stronger for the next race at Hockenheim."
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.
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.
That was an incredible race – thrilling right to the finish and full of drama. For Lewis, it was an awesome
fightback to second after running dead last on lap one; and for Valtteri, we gave it everything to try and claim
the win – and he arguably would have done so without the first Safety Car period, as he was closing fast on
Sebastian at that point. First of all, we need to look at our own performance and what we can improve from
today. We clearly have work to do on our starts, as we lost ground once again to Ferrari. But after
yesterday’s very close qualifying session, it was encouraging to see the underlying pace of the car – and that
we had better tyre usage than our competitors. We made the right call to leave both cars out under the Safety
Car: we had planned to do the opposite to Ferrari, as it was our best chance to win, so when they pitted we
stayed out on track with both cars. We took the improved track position and knew it would be tough to hold
on. Valtteri defended like a lion but just couldn’t hold off Sebastian as the tyres were dropping away – and still
did a great job to take P4. For Lewis, on fresher tyres, it got him back to P2 and maximum damage limitation.
Overall, though, we are left with the feeling of “what might have been” after one of our cars was taken out for
the second time in three races on lap one. In the past three weekends, we have lost points through our own
mistakes and those of others – now we need to get our heads down, keep developing and put the
performance to good use in the next 11 races. It’s all to play for.
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.
... Chassis Numbers >>>