Following on from Hamilton’s win on home soil, there was much to discuss as drivers endured a difficult British Grand Prix. Mark Webber rued his early spin that cost him dearly, Fernando Alonso ran well despite losing out by remaining on the same set of tyres and David Coulthard departed his last British race early with a coming together with Sebastian Vettel. Rubens Barrichello was over-the-moon at claiming a podium for Honda and Nick Heidfeld hopes his recent lack of form is now behind him as he took second for BMW.
The last time a Briton won at Silverstone was in 2000, that year the race went to David Coulthard. Hamilton has now become the eleventh (twelfth if you rightly include Tony Brooks) British winner of the British Grand Prix and it was the McLaren driver’s seventh victory in Formula One; the team’s 159th.
It is definitely and by far the best victory I’ve ever had. It was one of the toughest races I have ever done. I was thinking out there if I win it it will be the best race I have ever done, not just because of the home crowd.
On the last laps I could see the crowd starting standing up, and I was praying, praying ‘just finish’. You can imagine the emotions going on inside and I wanted to get it around. Lewis Hamilton.
Nick Heidfeld has been suffering in qualifying lately and the German driver has been complaining of temperature problems with his Bridgestone tyres. However, yesterday Heidfeld put his BMW in fifth and today he brought it home in second, consoling the team after team mate Robert Kubica retired.
It was a good race. I am happy with second place because today it was the best I could achieve. Qualifying went well and in the race we did everything right. Obviously it was crucial to make the right tyre decisions.
At the first stop we were wondering if we should stay with the used set of inters, but luckily we then decided on new tyres. We were expecting a small shower, but when I drove down Hanger Straight and saw a black wall in front of me I thought I should expect more than that.
The most difficult moments in the race were when cars were overtaking me who had been lapped, but were just on better tyres for the conditions at that time. There was so much water and I couldn’t see where it was lying. Once before Abbey I almost spun, but just managed to keep the car on the track. Nick Heidfeld.
Rubens Barrichello gave Honda something to shout about as the most experienced driver in Formula One finished in third after starting the race in sixteenth. Barrichello drove a mature and outstanding race and for me, is the driver of the day. While Lewis won, he had the car underneath him to do just that, Rubens has a dog under him – his qualifying position proving that. But the Brazilian drove superbly in the difficult conditions and fully-deserves his podium.
I never lost the belief I have in me with the speed and everything. It was obviously a lucky day and it seemed to happen to me. I love the wet weather conditions but it was a perfect race.
We had a minor problem on the pitstop. I thought I had the fuel already but they didn’t let me go. But that was a minor problem because it was the right decision for us to take extreme wet tyres.
I was passing people from inside to outside, it was just magic. So I thought that was a good decision because I went off at Club and nearly hit the wall. It was Club and Abbey that were the most difficult ones. I said I am coming in and coming in for the extremes.
I have this great feeling, it is like I am young. I am smiling to the problems and I am working more. I love the sport, I love the speed and I cannot live without it. Rubens Barrichello.
Ross Brawn, Honda’s team principal, paid tribute to Barrichello’s drive as well, praising his driver and remembering the times they spent at Ferrari together.
Rubens had a great race. He really pushed when he had to, and the middle of the race was fantastic. It was a bit like old days. The team did a great job as well. Some great calls during the race and we had the right tyres at the right time.
We had a problem with the fuel rig which really probably cost us second place, so that’s frustrating, but we shouldn’t be too greedy. Ross Brawn.
David Coulthard, competing in his final British Grand Prix, lasted all of about two minutes. The Red Bull made contact with the Scuderia Toro Rosso and both slid off onto the the grass. It wasn’t Coulthard’s finest moment from his 15 year career, but the Scot put his hand up, accepted blame and apologised.
I’m extremely disappointed and sorry for the team. I’ve taken out two Red Bull cars so that’s obviously the worst case scenario. You have to take your opportunities when they come in a race like this and I thought I saw a gap. Unfortunately it turned out it was a bad decision.
The visibility was incredibly bad as you can imagine. I was very close to Sebastian after Abbey, as he had a wobble coming out of there. There was a clear gap down the inside, but unfortunately it was closing as I made the move.
I’m sorry for him that we made contact and went into the gravel, I’m sorry for Red Bull too, as it was two cars out in one hit. I’m extremely disappointed for this to happen at my last British Grand Prix. David Coulthard.
Coulthard’s team mate, Mark Webber, had a better weekend, the Australian qualifying on the front row. However, his race was almost over sooner than David’s after Webber spun on the opening lap, undoing all his hard work from Saturday. Even though Webber would go on to drive a very well-managed race and reclaim many of the lost positions, it so easily could have been much, much better.
Unfortunately I dropped it on the entrance to Becketts on the first la. I was quite close to Kimi [Raikkonen] and just got on the white line. I lost the car on the exit and had to let the field go past, so it was clear to spin back round.
After that it was about making the right call for the right conditions. It was a difficult day to go car racing and it just didn’t go our way today. The guys did a good job all week and it’s a shame we couldn’t convert our good qualifying performance. Mark Webber.
Fernando Alonso was upbeat after the race, despite losing out for being on the worn tyres rather than getting a new set at the pit stop. The decision cost the Spaniard a lot of time and he may have even lost a podium because of it. However, the conditions at Silverstone were difficult and Alonso was just happy to have added a few points towards his campaign.
Like every time it rains, anything can happen and that was the case. There were times when you had the right tyre and others when you had the wrong one and you had to keep the others at bay and try to stay on track because you knew it would be a good result.
It’s not bad. It’s a good feeling. Sixth position is three points that are good for the drivers’ and the constructors’ championships. We missed a chance because Barrichello finished on the podium and maybe we could have been there, but it’s okay. Fernando Alonso.
On the final lap Kazuki Nakajima lost seventh place to Jarno Trulli, but despite this and all his spins, the Japanese driver still managed to collect one point for Williams after a weekend the team will want to very quickly move on from.
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It was good to score a point again, but it was a shame to lose seventh place to Jarno on the last lap. His tyres were in a better condition than mine, though, and he was just a bit quicker than me in the final laps when the track was drying out.
It was enjoyable out there today, although a little hard to control the car in the opening and closing stages. The team made a really good decision to put me on the extreme wets at just the right time and so I was able to manage the car well in such wet conditions. Kazuki Nakajima.