"Verstappen ruined my race"

“Verstappen ruined my race”

Find the drivers’ reactions at the end of the Austrian Grand Prix, won by George Russell ahead of Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz Jr.

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) – Winner

” It’s incredible. It was a tough battle to keep third. And I saw on the screen that Max Verstappen and Lando Norris were fighting hard for victory. The team gave everything to be able to fight at this level. I can’t believe I was this close to Lando Norris and Max Verstappen. We always dream of these kinds of possibilities, I’m so happy to be back on the top step. The team has worked so hard, we have made great progress, the last few races have been incredible and there is better to come. There is no secret that Red Bull Racing with Max Verstappen, and McLaren with Lando Norris, are still a little ahead. But I managed to get level with third place in the last few races. And if something happens ahead, we can take advantage of it. I’m proud of everyone, it’s a great time for us. We are riding the wave at the moment, the last three races have been superb. We could have realistically won in Canada if I hadn’t made any mistakes. So I’m happy to be back on the top step. »

Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren) – 2nd

“There are a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’ since yesterday (Saturday). This is my fourth podium in F1, but I am very close to winning. We are scoring good points, and I am happy to get another podium, but it was very close. Silverstone will be McLaren’s home Grand Prix. We have good memories there from last year, and we hope we can be at the front again. I didn’t see what happened between Lando Norris and Max Verstappen but it was close at the front. It’s a circuit I like and I am looking forward to it.”

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) –
3eme

“It was a lively race up front, not for us. I was trying to stay close to George Russell, we knew the Mercedes had an advantage today (Sunday). I tried, but Oscar Piastri came back at the end of the race. I finished third, which is a good result, we can be proud of it because the weekend was not easy for us. These are happy days for Formula 1, we see great battles ahead and it’s lively. Unfortunately for us, we’ve had a few difficult races and we’re no longer fighting for victory, but we’re trying to do what we can to come back from Silverstone, and make sure we can fight. The podiums are good news and we give everything to stay in the fight. »

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) –
4eme

“It wasn’t the cleanest weekend for me. I suffered some damage early on as Carlos Sainz Jr and I touched, there’s a mark there and that’s why I went off. It unfortunately compromised my race. Congratulations to George Russell and the team. Everyone at Brackley and Brixworth really deserves this result. They’ve worked so hard to improve the performance of the car and we’re starting to get closer and closer to the front. We’ve put in so much effort and to get a result like this is a well-deserved reward for everyone’s efforts. We now look ahead to Silverstone. It’s always a very special weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans there. It’s a track that will hopefully suit us a little bit better than here in Austria, so let’s see what we can do.”

Max Verstappen (PBS/Red Bull
Racing) – 5eme

“I’m as upset as Lando Norris. Of course, incidents can happen, even if you don’t want them to. At times, he came from quite far away, a bit uncontrolled. When he came from the outside, our rear wheels touched. I didn’t really expect that in that corner. If you look at the race as a whole, we made mistakes as a team, on the pit stops or on the strategy. I could also stay home. I’m here to win, not to finish in second place. When you’re fighting for the win, you have to fight hard. That’s how it is.”

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine) – 10th

“I didn’t have a very good start, and I had to recover in Turns 3 and 4. I think we had a good race. There were key moments in the race, where we had to make the right overtakes in the right places, try not to lose time. I think it was good, we really gave it our all. At the end, I had no more tires to get closer to Daniel Ricciardo and he managed to get the DRS from Kevin Magnussen. He didn’t miss much, we only finished two seconds behind Magnussen who is 8th, so we will have to review the race. I am sure we could have gone for those two seconds that we missed. But it’s the fourth time in the points in four races and when you look at the start of the year, you have to manage to see the positive. We found consistency and we have to continue to work in that direction.” This is Formula 1, we are here to race, we are here to fight. I think it is good, there are no team orders and we fight on the track. Yes, it was a bit heated for sure, but it went well. We managed to win a point and we will see if there was better to do.

Charles Leclerc (MCO/Ferrari) –
11eme

“Of course the collision at the start didn’t make the race any easier, but we started too far away and there was no safety car intervention. There is a virtual safety car at the end but it doesn’t allow us to win or get closer to the guys in front. I have to see the images again but I have the impression that it’s a racing event. I have Sergio Pérez inside trying to overtake, I have Oscar Piastri outside and I’m trying to stay between the two. But I was sandwiched and I lost part of the front wing. It’s disappointing but today (Sunday) the performance was not good. I think there were two things. We did a stint behind Lando Norris who had old tires, but I felt that I didn’t have enough performance to start if I passed and I would have taken a blue flag after one lap. I tried once, we locked the wheels and went back behind. We lost one or two points, it’s not huge but you have to take them when they are there. And I think that today (Sunday), in addition to the thing at the start where we had nothing to do with it, there was better to do on the strategy. »

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine) –
12eme

“It was a battle like any other. There are two cars fighting for the same position. Nothing to report, it was a normal battle, nothing serious about it. It’s clear that we struggled with speed today, we were very slow. We couldn’t keep the pace of the Top 10 ahead. It’s clear that something went wrong. »

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) –
Abandon

“On the first two attempts, it was already on the limit and rough. There was no incident but I had to avoid it on the brakes. He reacted after my maneuver. It was tricky, because once I’m on the brakes, I can’t change lines. Max Verstappen should look in his mirrors. That’s what I expected from him, but he went too far. He looked a little desperate and reckless. I think I had a good race and I wouldn’t change anything about what I did. He received a penalty, but he still ruined my race. I don’t have much to say to him. I expected a difficult battle, that’s what you expect with him, to be on the limit. The first two attacks were, but it was good racing. On the other hand, the last maneuver was stupid and he didn’t need to crash into me like he did. He’s far ahead in the championship, he doesn’t care, it wouldn’t have changed anything for him. »

Sources: official Formula 1 interviews, Canal+, Sky Sports

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