Thursday's FIA pilot press conference


British riders Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and George Russell were joined by Daniel Ricciardo and Antonio Giovinazzi for Thursday's press conference at Silverstone.


Welcome gentlemen. It was announced yesterday that Silverstone has a new long-term deal to stay on the Formula 1 calendar. Would I like to have each of your thoughts on this, starting with Lewis please?

Lewis HAMILTON: Good, good afternoon everyone. It was a nice surprise to know that they had signed again. It wasn't necessarily a surprise. While I talked to you guys, I knew it would happen first. It is clear that Formula 1 cannot exist without the home of motorsport, which is the British Grand Prix. Yes, really, really happy. It's great for the fan base and that's why it's growing continuously over the next few years.

D: Thanks, Lewis. Landau?

Lando NORRIS: It will be my first race this weekend. I ran here in the past. I love driving Silverstone. It would have been a shame to see him go, especially if I had done this race, this year and I hadn't done it again. I'm glad to see him again here and I can't wait to come back every year.

D: Thanks. George?

George RUSSELL: Yes, obviously very happy that it's back on the calendar. I think F1 could not live without Silverstone. It is the home of the British Grand Prix. Formula 1 is a very British sport and overall it's just a fantastic circuit to drive and there is something special about Silverstone when you come here. As you said, I'm not surprised that you continue.

Q: Daniel?

Daniel RICCIARDO: Very happy. It's a fantastic track, fresh atmosphere. It was eight years ago this weekend, it was my F1 debut here, so it's always been pretty personal to me. But I liked it. I don't know how it would feel anywhere else. It looks normal and right here. It looks like the home of British motorsport. I like it. C & # 39; s that real camping atmosphere, that & festival atmosphere. Yes, the English love and we do too.

Q: And Antonio?

Antonio GIOVINAZZI: Yes, it's a track with a lot of history, so it was really good to see that this circuit will be here for another five years. With an F1 single-seater I think it's great to drive here, so I can't wait to start tomorrow and make my first Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Q: Antonio, if we can be with you, you got your first world point in Austria a couple of weeks ago. How did you feel and how safe are you to keep this form of form here?

AG: Yes, it cost me a little my hair! It was for a good reason, I would say. Actually it was a different bet with Fred, because it all started at Paul Ricard and he said: "If you score your first point I'll cut your hair". And then it did not happen and then in Austria we said "so, if I do not score points they will make me my hair", but I scored points, so it's a bit of a mess. Yes, I'm really happy about this. It was a fantastic weekend for me and the team. We went to Q3 with both cars and also the top 10 for me and Kimi. So we just have to keep working like this. We had a good car from Paul Ricard and now we have another update so I hope again that we are on the right track and I hope we can stay there and keep fighting and take a little distance from McLaren as I am still a little in front of us, so we just need to keep working.

Q: You haven't raced in Formula 1 before, so you can tell us a little about your preparations. What did you find out from the simulator, what are your engineers telling you?

AG: Fortunately, I did an FP1, in 2017 in F1. Obviously it will be a completely different story now. Of course I did a simulator, like every driver, I saw some on board from last year, working with the team. But you know, when you're in the car they will be completely different things but tomorrow we have FP1, FP2, so we have a lot of time. It is the track that I have already raced in Formula 3, so yes, I can't wait to race in F1.

Q: Okay, good luck this weekend. Daniel, difficult race for you and the team in Austria. What conclusions have you drawn since then?

DR: Was. It wasn't really fun for us. Obviously we focused very deeply and tried to figure out why we were out of the loop all weekend. We certainly feel we have learned some things with the set-up and I think we have just started in a direction that we have continued to pursue since Friday, thinking that it was the right way to go, but I think that in hindsight it was not. It's probably more a simple set-up mistake we went for than something crazy we found on the machine. I was hoping to find a broken frame or something! I think the car has a bit of sweetness and I think we have been busy over the last few weekends, getting those Q3s and building that trust in myself and that moment, but we moved a little. of in Austria, for reasons that at the time seemed to make sense from the point of view of the set-up and all the rest. I think we moved from something we should have known, but we'll try to bring it back this weekend for Silverstone and get back to what we know.

Q: You say that the car has a weak point. Why is it so difficult to keep it in that area?

DR: I'd like to know. I'd like to know. Sometimes I'm happy not to be an aerodynamicist or an engineer, because it would shake my brain. Because, personally, driving the car, I know where I feel at ease and I know where I like it and when we start to go down in a certain direction, that's where we run into problems, braking or something. C & # 39; is an area in which I certainly feel more at ease and I think the car is better at this stage. I don't know, I'm just racing cars, man! As I said, eight years I've been here and you still scratch your head. But I think it's part of the attraction, because when you do it well and everything works in harmony it's an incredible feeling.

Q: As you said, you made your F1 debut at Silverstone in 2011. How do you summarize the last eight years of your life?

DR: It was fun. I vividly remember the press conference here eight years ago. Actually, I'm ashamed to look back at the pictures, he looked like an idiot – an idiot who needed a haircut. Antonio's own boat! I don't know, it's kind of a vortex, but it's amazing how to do it and feel … Obviously I feel a lot more comfortable here now than I did eight years ago. I imagine that kind of sense of belonging. Eight years ago I was here like a deer in the headlights, is this the expression? You're a bit overwhelmed by everything and it's like & # 39; wow, I'm really here now in F1 & # 39; Obviously, you have a lot of confidence in yourself, but until you really get the results you think you can get, there can always be some doubt. Obviously it has grown well over the years. I still don't feel like one of the older kids, I'm coming, but I still feel young, sharp and looking good.

D: Thanks Daniel. Lando, many congratulations on your new deal with McLaren for 2020. How exciting is the news and what do you and the team get in the next 18 months?

LN: Thanks a lot. I am very excited, I think. It's just good news. Things have been going pretty well lately, so having this news is just a bonus. And obviously knowing that I will be here next year will make it a little more comforting overall, but it doesn't change much later. Looking ahead to the next two years, let's say, there is much progress to be made. I want to run this guy to my right a little more in the next two years, not just myself, but as a team, that's our goal. This is what we are trying to work on, this is what we are slowly kicking, but it will take two years, it will take even longer than most. We will do it step by step and see how we go.

Q: As you say, you're hoping to run Lewis in the next two years, but you've actually run the last time in Austria, com & # 39;

LN: It was nice. I passed at turn 1, which was very nice of her. It didn't force me to anything or anything, it was quite a bit that we did at turn 1. And then he had a better position on the straight, behind Valtteri, in the wake. It wasn't a good fight, I don't think. It would have been nice to wait a little longer than me, but that position is the goal for us, we want to be in P3, we want to fight for the podium. It was nice to be there for a moment, but it didn't have to be. But it's something I'd love to wait for.

D: As with Antonio, I just wanted to ask you about your preparation for this weekend, but looking a little longer in the long run, you ran at Silverstone in the junior ranks of the FIA ​​- Formula 4, F3, F2. I just wanted to ask you how different are each of these categories and how did they help you prepare for this moment?

LN: Well, actually I started competing with Ginette in 2014 but it was on the national circuit, so it has since intensified a little. But they have prepared me more and more I believe. Every lap you do you learn something very small, but you learn something and this always helps. But I imagine the biggest progression is Formula 3: a reasonably high downforce, given the size and weight of the car. So you have a great feeling with Maggots, Becketts, you can really go beyond the limits and see how it is. And it's kind of a similar feeling when you go to F1 – I think, I haven't driven yet – hearing the G-Force, feeling the downforce, it's something you've already started to feel a little in Formula 3 and a little but in Formula 2. Nothing in particular, but every step you take is a step forward and certainly helps.

Q: George, you finished in front of Kevin Magnussen in Austria last time, so it looks like the car is really starting to make progress now. How confident are you of another strong show this weekend?

GR: Yes, I think it's a step by step process for us right now. The team has two very difficult years … or a very difficult year last year, I'm sorry. They wanted to change much of the structure and it was almost necessary to take two steps back before taking three steps forward. The land works are really in place right now to try to bring more performance to the car as the season progresses and I'm sure we can do it. But the fact is that it will be another difficult weekend for us and we have to do our week at most, week after week, but yes, it was nice to run with someone who was not just Robert in Austria.

Q: It's been 40 years since Williams won his first race, here at Silverstone, with Clay Regazzoni in 1979. How aware are you of your team's history and how does it make you feel in line with Williams on the grid this weekend?

GR: I am very aware of the story. I've been around the museum a number of times and it still amazes me every time I go and even last week I was showing my trainer for the first time and we decided to jump into some of the machines and it was just a hit think about what these guys were doing then. I could barely get back on my feet and you only have the fiberglass that protects you. But as I say, I'm very, very aware of what the team has achieved, it's an honor to run for Williams and like I said, we're almost getting the mickey with our performance, but it's a longer term project for the team and you could have done a number of things in the short term to be good in the moment, but the team has bigger and bigger things in mind.

D: Lewis, can you just describe how it feels to be Lewis Hamilton, entering the British Grand Prix?

Lewis HAMILTON: It seems quite normal, I would say! Probably the same is heard which is, I would say, for all the pilots here. It is such a privilege to be here against the very few who can be a Formula 1 driver at the top of this sport. The Grand Prix of Great Britain is the most special grand prix of the year, it is that it is … only the vastness of it and only how many people come for the weekend and how many British flags you see here. It really is a spectacular weekend. I'd say it probably looks … I don't know. C & # 39; s excitement, c & # 39; is the adrenaline going on, there are pressures. My whole family will arrive this weekend. It's that weekend where … it's probably the most special in a sense because you have your family, the closest support around you. I have been very privileged over the years obviously to come here and do some spectacular races. I don't know what I won here, but obviously here to try to improve this weekend. We're here to improve this weekend as a team. The last one was a bit difficult for us, but I hope this weekend. I think it will be close but I hope we will have a better shot.

D: As you say, Austria was, in fact, the first time you returned this year, with Valtteri in third place, yourself fifth. Are you sure you did or did you have any doubts this weekend?

LH: I would not say that I necessarily have concerns. I don't necessarily have a weekend necessarily with a negative connotation, but no, I think we are fully aware that the Ferraris and Red Bulls have taken a step forward and the step they took in the last race was great. I think it looked a lot better than … I think we didn't have the problems we had, I think we would have been much closer, it would have been more in the fight. I expect that this weekend will be closer to us all. Also last year Ferrari was super fast, like the Red Bulls. I think the Red Bulls are a bit down but now they have the new engine, I think they will be even faster. So it certainly won't be an easy weekend.

D: And Lewis, you have 79 victories for your name, five of which came here at Silverstone. On Sunday you can be the first man to win six races on this circuit. How seductive is that record and what would it mean?

LH: Well, you know me. I'm not really one for records, so if it happens this weekend it does; if it does not, it is not a big deal for me as I will try to be here for a while longer. Just the fact that it's also a possibility is quite unreal for me. After all, it's really very important to put that crazy thing out of your head and focus only on the job at hand. As I said, it won't be an easy weekend for us. It is just a matter of being diligent, making sure we leave no stone unturned. As Daniel said, these machines all have very sweet spots and are trying to … all those sweet spots don't always work on every track – but this has been a strong track for us in the past. We hope that this weekend will be a sweet spot for us.


Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) Lewis and Daniel, last year Silverstone resurfaced. It was slightly controversial, not all pilots were happy. It has re-emerged again for this year, and there is also a bit more gravel around the place in a couple of areas. It has always been described as a racetrack track. How interested you are to go out and see what changes have been made to the changes.

DR: Yes, I was trying to get out today, at some point, probably only by bike, a little faster. Yes, it was quite bumpy last year but at Red Bull we had one of the softest cars. Many others said it was pretty ugly. So, yes, I will definitely take a look. Normally I don't track the walks or anything, but if it's a change, it's worth seeing it, doing a search.

LH: Same equal but different.

DR: Different but equal

Q: (Livio Oricchio – Daniel, when you see what Max did in Spielberg and see your team's performance, you have some regrets about changing teams. Also, with regards to the asphalt, you expect a big impact on the performance of the car. I mean, any big change from what was seen in the last few races?

DR: To answer the first part: no. Honestly without regrets. Actually … part of me was happy enough for them, and for the F1 it was a good race. It went through … yes … quite a lot … I'm trying to think of a better word. You know the word I'm thinking of, it's a word I can't really say! She was subjected to a careful check after France, so it was great only for sport to have a good race. But no, honestly, if I look back at that time last year, Red Bull had three victories; that was the first course. I am obviously behind this moment, absolutely, you are right but I was expecting it and, really, if I had stayed at Red Bull, I would have won a title and, surely, they won last weekend but they are still a way right from the title. And this is not digging, this is just reality. So I don't think I would necessarily get anything else than what I was already getting there, so for that, yes, no regrets. Obviously we are trying to build something here with Renault and there is still a lot of work to do – but at the same time it is quite satisfying when we get a result a little and Montreal was one of those moments when , in a sense … even that result alone made the first seven races worthwhile. The bit of struggle and ups and downs. So yes, but for the sport, honestly, I am very happy that the last race went like it did and I hope there is something more. I hope not to run in 12th place, or wherever I was, because even this is not fun, but it is hoped that the battle ahead will come closer and end.

And the asphalt?

DR: I will let others respond. It is dark, yes, the asphalt. Heat conductor.

I think we want to hear from the other drivers. George?

GR: I won't know until I guide you. Obviously ran F2 last year, I didn't feel a big problem. He adds a bit of character, I think, even when it's bumpy. It is as it is. It's the same for everyone. You have to adapt to the situation. Sometimes, if it's too perfect, it's almost easier to drive – but obviously they had to do it more for bikes than for us.

Lando, have you been watching the asphalt?

LN: Yes, I've filmed before. It just looks darker than normal, I guess. It depends. I don't know what kind of asphalt it is. Obviously in Paul Ricard we had the most recent asphalt patches and it was much more slippery, or less like the old bits. So, it depends. We'll find out tomorrow.


AG: Yes, I am in agreement with George and Lando. It's nothing. You need to adapt a little.

Q: (Julien Billiotte – AutoHebdo) Question to George. George, timing is all in Formula One. When you see someone like Lando, who beat Formula Two last year, achieving excellent results, enjoying a strong momentum at McLaren, aren't you afraid of losing bigger opportunities? Because you could drive the best race of your life at the moment and nobody, or not many people, would take care of you.

GR: Yes, thanks for that! No not at all. At the end of the day, I know there are only a small number of people that will make a difference in my career and this is Claire and the best people from Williams and Toto and the best people in Mercedes. At the end of the day, those kids are fully aware of the situation. They know exactly if I've had a good weekend or not. And even in myself, I came out of some races that I know I did well, and I came back satisfied and other races came away knowing that I could have done a better job, even if it ended up in the same position. So, but as I said, I'm also happy for Lando and Alex: the younger generation that sticks to the expert kids and shows that we can do it. I think, you know, I'm happy for them and if they are doing a good job, I think it's nice too.

Q: (Giles Richards – The Guardian) Lewis, you did extraordinary things in sport, in what has been a very long career – but I was wondering if you could try to think back to when you started in Formula One and remember which ones were your most high hopes and aspirations – what did you think you could get when you started?

LH: I don't remember much then. I think of course you just want to excel and succeed in everything you do, and just … every driver here has great confidence in their abilities and we all have before us a kind of platform and opportunity and it was just how to maximize the opportunity we have, no matter which team we are in, what position we are in. And just like George was saying, this is really the key. You know if you are doing the job and the lessons you are facing are huge in the early stages. And these guys are doing a great job, especially in the early days. Daniel and I were just saying, we have to represent ourselves for the 30 members of the crew. It was extremely special, but it was a huge learning process for me, as it is for all of us in the early stages. No substitute for experience. This comes over time. Of course I wanted to win world titles, I think in my first year I wanted to win the world title, which was immediately. Super-ambitious – in particular against a two-time world champion, but it wasn't a moment when I doubted myself, that I could do it. I think in the end it's what we all have – that self-confidence.

Q: (Oliver Brown – The Telegraph) Lewis, Christian Horner raised a few eyebrows at the beginning of the week suggesting that if you and Max were in the same car, he would have liked Max to prevail at the moment. ; year you won six of the nine races, the one on your part seemed pretty bold. I have just asked you your answer to this and, more generally, on how you and Max are at the height as pilots.

LH: Well, first of all I don't compare to anyone. It is not necessary. I don't have an answer to his statements. Eventually someone needs some attention and … yes … I think Max did a great job and really, really exciting to watch. I think the last race was really fantastic and it will be really interesting to see how they go on.

D: (Rob Harris – Associated Press) Lewis, the new Silverstone agreement is until 2024; do you think you'll still be driving or what are you going to do in F1? And on Sunday we could have England in a World Cup final, just as you run. Do you think you need to produce something special to attract national attention? Don't tease anything for them today …

LH: What I don't understand is why the organizers put the race on the same day as all these other big events – Wimbledon – I really don't understand it. But I hope they put it on stage in the future … this is such a special weekend, it needs all the focus of the whole country and not a small amount. I think people will change channel between Sunday, not knowing what to watch. But of course I come here … there are quite a few Brits, but we come here to raise the flag and make the country proud, so I'll try to do my part.

2024? Jesus, it seems very far away. I wonder if I'll still be here at that point, but if I don't, if I've stopped running, I won't be here any other way.

Q: (Graham Harris – Motorsport Monday, Motorsport Lando, now that you and Carlos have been confirmed next year at McLaren, what it will do for you and possibly speaking on behalf of your teammate, to know that everything is settled, you don't have to go through these endless questions from us asking what you will do next year? Does it give you an advantage? How do you feel and do you think you made the right decision?

LN: Yes, I think I made the right decision. It wasn't something I was worried about or wondering about this, I was pretty confident in the work I was doing so far this season and because I wasn't necessarily worried or wondering in any way, because they come along with me and confirm it, so yes , made me a little happier. With me I'm not worried, it's not something I don't think … or it won't be something that changes the way I think about it, it won't necessarily make me safer or anything. I had all my trust in the team. I would like to say that they too had everything. From all this, we will continue to work hard, we will continue to try to progress and I am sure that Carlos and I will have many more battles and sometimes together.

Q: (Ben Hunt – The Sun) Lewis, & # 39; 92, talks about Mansell's mania and the crowd that comes to see him. We have a similar situation, Silverstone will be absolutely sold out on Sunday, partly to come and see you with all the success you are having. Now there is no doubt about the support you have with F1 fans, everyone loves you and thinks you're great for what you're doing, the titles you're winning. Sometimes you've even struggled to win over some of the other non-F1 British fans. Can you put your finger on it, rightly, because you don't have the same universal adulation as Nigel Mansell, for example?

LH: I really don't … I don't know. I generally don't feel it, but people have the right to choose who they support and what I can say is that … I remember growing up in Stevenage. I never thought that in a million years I would have had a single supporter besides my mother and my father. I feel really privileged in the mere fact of having one, but many people come here and I am so grateful just for that, which is more than enough for me, so the more we are the better. I imagine that the more and more time I spend here, I imagine you have more and more opportunities to transform people's opinions. But in the end, as I said, I am grateful for what I have.

LN: Maybe it's the mustache!

LH: Mustache? What, the fact that I can't really grow much!

LN: Well, I can't do much better either. Mansell's was fine.

LH: Mansell had a nice mustache. It could be that, I'm not able to grow. This is like how far it goes. And he also had good eyebrows. Maybe a weekend I'll try to attack them and see if it makes a difference.

Q: (Phil Duncan – PA) Lewis, the two chaps to the left of you have an age of 40, if my math is right. I was wondering if you …

LN: (Having laughed) Don't worry, it has nothing to do with your question.

GR: It's definitely not for you guys.

DR: I didn't think it was so funny.

Q: (Phil Duncan – PA) The question was, in any case, if Lewis had any advice for the guys on his left and what did he think of the work they were doing?

LH: I don't think I need to give them any advice. Obviously they have gone through ranks similar to me and are doing an exceptional job. Both have completely different challenges with George, of course, in a team that has suffered for a while, but it's part of their help to improve and I really hope … I'm a big fan of Frank and that team and what they achieved in their history, so really really … I think it's a team that must be at the top with the rest of them. It's amazing to see McLaren doing so well. They have also had very difficult years. We had a little bit of a race in the last race and just looking at the progression of Lando is incredibly impressive, to be so young at such an early stage, he's coming and keeping a level of lead and delivery in the end week, even against a pilot who has more experience than he I am personally excited to continue to see these two and the trials and tribulations that they will face growing and I hope that we will be able to compete together, as I said, representing the Thirties.

D: (Stephen Camp – Motorsport Monday, Motorsport In recent weeks, if not months, there has been talk of making life more difficult for drivers at the wheel. I was wondering if there was something in particular that some of you would like to see … maybe the power steering taken away, the downforce reduction? C & # 39; is something in particular that you would like to see make your lives more difficult?

AG: Of course, I think I want better races but less downforce, better to follow people but yes, it doesn't differ much from my side. We will see what happens after 2021 but yes, for now it is not my decision. We need to see what happens.

DR: Yes, I guess the racing thing is a big thing, just to be able to … of course if everything was a little closer, it's great, but it's just the ability to follow. I guess it's double now. You get closer to another car, you lose a bit of downforce, but then your tires also start to overheat, then lose an extra grip, so you're fighting those two, say, negative forces that don & # 39; t help. Power steering? Honestly, with the load and the actual downforce we have now it would literally be impossible. I had hydraulic failures; it's when you lose your power steering and you can't turn. As brave as I would like to say that I am and however destroyed, it would not be enough. Maybe a ride but not fifty.

LH: I am of agreement. I think what's really important right now is that the drivers are unified for the first time since I've been in the sport. Siamo tutti insieme come una specie di unione e un po 'di collaborazione con la FIA e speriamo di avere un impatto positivo sulle regole nel 2021. Quindi dobbiamo essere sicuri di rimanere aggiornati e rimanere parte di esso. Ci sono sicuramente dei piccoli cambiamenti che possiamo fare per rendere l'auto un po 'più fisica di quanto non sia. Non è affatto facile per noi guidare e sicuramente non prendere il servosterzo lontano non sarebbe la chiave ma penso che potremmo probabilmente ridurlo se dovessimo farlo. Al momento abbiamo la possibilità di farlo ma non ce n'è bisogno perché in realtà non fa davvero la differenza per noi. Ma sì, penso che ci siano molti altri aspetti e alla fine, come ha detto Daniel, se la gara fosse più vicina migliorerebbe davvero le gare, quindi è la chiave per noi, credo.

LN: Niente (non udibile). Niente in particolare. Penso che ovviamente la cosa principale sia la corsa che è probabilmente la cosa più importante per tutti noi. Gli attributi fisici, non mi dispiace, per essere onesti. Ho sofferto molto dopo il karting, con le mie dimensioni e tutto il resto, non avendo idea di cosa fare quando ho iniziato il kart, quindi ho sofferto in ogni categoria: F4, F3, F2 – non tanto F2 ma ho dovuto kind of play catch-up quite a bit and in some ways, F1 was a bit nicer with power steering. F2’s much harder, physically on the arms and almost on the whole body than F1 is. So it can change but I don’t really mind, it’s how it is to be honest, I don’t think that’s the priority of F1 right now.

GR: Yes, as the guys said, obviously to be able to race each other closer is the number one priority but I think also allowing us to drive flat-out every single lap, qualifying laps for 70 laps would be pretty cool and that would make the physical demand greater. If you’re constantly lifting-coasting or saving the tyres in high speed corners or doing whatever else, it’s obviously not as a tough as it would be if you’re going flat-out. So those two together would be my idea of what we want.


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