Sunday , July 25 2021

Post-race FIA ​​press conference – Brazil

Winner: Lewis HAMILTON (Mercedes), 2. Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull), 3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (Ferrari)

(Performed by Paul Di Resta)

T: Max, can you tell us what happened?
Max Verstappen: I don't know what to say, I mean, you do everything well, you pass the field, we have a great car, and then by such a fool, you are taken out when he is tied up. I have no words.

Q: What is that fight. I don't think anyone is hoping for that after yesterday. I mean, the movements that you made from the beginning, are very brave to enter Turn 1, push your way and use everything you have.
MV: I think it's better than expected today. The car works brilliantly today. The team also gave me the right strategy, we could run very well at supersoft, so we did a long enough task. But, yes, I don't know what to say. I am still happy with both, but we should win today.

Q: Yes, as you say, it's almost a back-to-back victory, does that give you confidence in the next year that something will come from this machine?
MV: We must have more power, so we will get better.

T: All the best. Kimi, it's a late push from Daniel, but is a good race from you?
Kimi Raikkonen: Yes, that's good. It's not easy, but there are some who are struggling, so it's fun. Of course we hope it's better but not the easiest.

Q: The choice of Ferrari tires doesn't seem to work in the end, these people look very strong at the start, of course Max at supersoft. Do you think that is wrong?
KR: I do not know. My tires are good, but it's hard to get through and takes a long time to pass. You can't play back on another tire, so we don't know.

T: Lewis, that is the 2018 Constructors champion too. And you can see what that means for Toto Wolff – obstacles have fallen twice at Parc Ferme, which is unusual. Lewis, what does that mean for the team?
Lewis Hamilton: To be honest, these people have worked very hard for the past six years and it was an extraordinary journey for them. This is what everyone works all year long, you know. Everyone gets up and goes to work every day and tries to bring the best out of themselves and they really work together as a unit. I always tell you how valuable it is to drive a car for them, and this is the best style we can do, because we are struggling. We have a problem with the engine. He also passed us like we were sitting ducks at one stage, but obviously they made a mistake and that brought us back to the fight. I am very proud of everyone. Everyone returns home, thank you very much for your ongoing efforts. For all our partners, for all our sponsors, who without us will not be here, have the power to win in Brazil. So, God bless you, thank you.

Q: What comes to your mind when you see Verstappen spinning? Do you know he will come back with charges and be strong?
LH: I saw that happen and it was not something … I was not surprised or something. I saw them race but they did not race for the same position. In my mind, I will be in a different frame of mind. Luckily he could continue walking, no one was hurt, and they kept on going, it was a racing incident I thought. Max is an active person and every now and then bites you. But I'm really, really proud; I don't care about other people.

Q: I have one last question for you. Big credit for you, that's 49 wins in the Formula 1 turbo-hybrid era. That's 50% of all races. Many owe you, right?
LH: I keep telling you, I'm just a gap in the chain. They gave me tools and I tried to do the best I could. I am proud that sometimes I can bring a little more than is needed or able, but that is the purpose of my life.


T: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) Max, I can only imagine frustration, emotion at the end of the race for you. Can you explain what happened between you and Esteban after the race? We see your fight. Does he do something to antagonize you and will you try and talk to him at once when emotions have subsided later?
MV: I don't really have a lot of comments about that, except that she's having pussy.

Q: (Rodrigo Franca – Revista VIP) From the driver's perspective, how do you see the future of Formula One to attract young audiences as self-driving cars and electric cars being developed so fast? And if you see a better future between Formula E and Formula One?
LH: That is difficult because I am in conflict. The gas we emit with our car is not very helpful for the climate and for the world, so on the one hand it worries me but on the other hand, as a racing fan, I am the head of gasoline and I will always be the head of gasoline. There will never be a time when I head electricity. I hope, at least, in my time frame, it will always be a fueled car with at least some kind of V-shaped engine, with some sort of sound. I think this is amazing what Formula E does and this is a good start, it's great to see all the top brands – Audi, BMW, Mercedes – all get big investments because, especially on the road – just come here, for example – you see traffic every day, there are thousands of cars on the road. There is something similar in every country you go to, so the sooner we can get rid of the majority of these cars and then turn them into hybrids, then I think that will be a big difference, but there are many other things we can do around the world with businesses to help emissions that is. But I don't think you will compare Formula One and Formula E. Maybe in five, ten years maybe, but the technology we have, it's far enough compared to what they will have and they are slower than Formula Ford today so they have a way long to catch up with the speed of a Formula One car. I don't know if it's their target, but I think it's very impressive. I have watched their cars on social media and they look really cool, so I hope they are all the best and look forward to their progress.

MV: I think the boss clearly said about Formula E that they don't want to compete or be seen competing against Formula One so I think that's enough. It's just a different category. It seems even more interesting, of course, with all the major car manufacturers joining but now I'm happy where I am and I might be one of the last people in the world to try and buy the last barrel of oil.

KR: There's nothing to add, really. Formula E looks good but …

Q: (Livio Oricchio – Max, you have more opportunities to talk about incidents with Ocon in a broader way. Do you think that only one stop and ten seconds, against the work of 900 people on your team, is this punishment enough?
MV: I thought in the end it didn't really matter what punishment he got. I have received a penalty for not winning the race so even if you disqualify it, give it two drive-throughs or whatever, it won't make a difference to our race. I don't know the right punishment, but, as I said, of course they have the right to break away but you have to be careful. I think that always happens.

T: Max, can you tell us how badly your car was damaged after the incident with Ocon?
MV: So, you know all the cut-outs that you have on the side of the floor, the whole area, so I think that this width (around 15-20cm) is completely gone so it's very bad. I lost a lot of downforce. I have to lock a lot of tools on the steering wheel but that is still not enough. But still the car is fast. We can be faster, for sure.

Q: (Dario Coronel – Gran Premioweb) Lewis, today your celebration is very emotional. Why?
LH: I think it might be the explosion of the last race in Mexico to win the World Championship … I didn't really feel the celebration there because I knew that we still had another championship to win and I really needed to stay focused for the team and I was right right come here, to build here, just really focus on making sure that I can give it to them. Of course the desire to win is very high for everyone and the stakes are high. In the end, you can make mistakes and all these different things, but we don't do it or I'm not on the track, for example, so to come and see the people I have come to with this great journey with us and we have had a lot of success but we are still fierce and competitive and I think our relationship is better than the one that has been so bonded, it's just a great big moment, plus it's a very difficult race. I was constantly, like, talking to cars: "come on, go on, move on" because we have this engine problem and I know I can see Max only in my mirror so I do a qualifying lap every lap to keep him behind, how should racing must really. Unfortunately that didn't happen much time this year but … We just won the World Championship for the fifth time so that's real history in the making for the team and if I have to stop today, for example, Mercedes will always remember today and that I am part from that, and that's cool.

Q: (Arjan Schouten – AD) Max, for the past few days, you have told us many times that this is not a circuit for Red Bull, winning is not an option. Ended 1.6 of the winners, with rounds, what did you say about your chances in Abu Dhabi in two weeks?
MV: I don't know, because this is far better than expected to be honest. I was expected to be good in the race but not as good as this. We have to wait and see.

Q: (Mattheus Sacramento – ESPN Brazil) Max, there was a similar incident – not exactly the same – but in 2001 in Brazil with Jos Verstappen and Montoya. You're too young, I'm not sure if you've heard of it. Montoya was in first place and Jos 16 I thought and they had an accident. I just want to know if you know that or does it return to your mind in some ways, which has an impact on how you look at Ocon?
MV: Well, I think it's really different but yes, that happens. I do not know what you want me to say, it is always bad when you are expelled from the leader.

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