2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Silver Arrows turn their 50th front-row lockout into their 40th 1-2 victory in Formula One

  • Valtteri claimed his third career victory today and his first race win at the Yas Marina Circuit
  • Lewis finished today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in P2
  • Today’s result marks the 40th 1-2 victory for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows in Formula One and fourth 1-2 of the 2017 season
  • Lewis (363 points) ends the 2017 Formula One season in P1 with Valtteri (305 points) in P3 in the Drivers’ Championship
  • Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (668 points) finishes the season with a 146 point lead over Ferrari (522 points) in the Constructors’ Championship
  • Paul Pezzack, Powertrain Control Development Engineer, today accepted the Constructors’ trophy on behalf of the team

Valtteri Bottas

There was a lot of pressure from Lewis from behind throughout the entire race. I knew that one proper mistake could have ruined it. I had to keep my head down and go lap by lap. I couldn’t be happier to end the season like this. Of course, it would have been nice to get the second place in the championship, but Sebastian had a good weekend as well. Looking at the overall season, I need to perform better; but I’m very pleased with how the end of the season has been going for me. I’m really happy to be part of the team that won the constructors’ championship. Mercedes has given me the opportunity to win a few races and claim a few pole positions, so I’ m a really proud team member. However, I was hoping for an overall better result in the drivers’ point. I’ve learned a lot this season, so now I’m really looking forward to next year. This weekend shows that I can perform, I can be on pole and win races. So now I need to try and do it more often next year.

Lewis Hamilton

A great race, a great battle at the end of the season. I did the best I could, but Valtteri did a great job – very clean and no mistakes. This is one of the harder tracks to overtake; you need to be 1.4 seconds faster than the car in front to overtake. I had a lot of pace in the second stint, but as soon as I got into that window of about 1.2 seconds, I was done. But it was neat that you could push all the way on the tyre, it didn’t seem to drop off that much. It’s really great for Valtteri to have this win, this is a real boost for him to go into the winter with. Now I’m looking forward to some time to sit down with my family and just reminisce about the whole year. It’s been such a strong year, the team have been phenomenal all year long. I’m so grateful for everyone’s hard work back at the factory and for all the support from Mercedes.

Toto Wolff

This was a special way to end a special season: a dominant 1-2 finish in the final race of the season gives us good momentum into the winter. The car was magnificent today – quickest in qualifying and also in race conditions, on both types of tyre. I am really pleased to see the way that Valtteri has worked out of the difficult races after the summer to finish the season like this, two pole positions and the final win of the year. It was simply his race today. As for Lewis, this has been the best performance I have seen in all five years working together – he has become more rounded as a character and just as impressive as a racer. But although we had a strong result today, it’s not the time to pat ourselves on the back. 2018 begins on Tuesday with tyre testing so we must be sure to do our homework well this week and to keep pushing in the factories. We will enjoy this evening – but then get our heads down, push even harder and start preparing for the next challenge.

Andrew Shovlin

This has been the most incredible year and we’re absolutely delighted to have finished it with such an memorable 1-2 victory. Congratulations to the whole team! It’s been a battle since the lights went out in Melbourne and every single member of staff in Brixworth and Brackley has given absolutely everything to fight for both these championships. As for today; Valtteri drove a perfect race managing pressure from Lewis behind from start to finish. He finished his first season with the team in the best possible way. We were optimistic that we’d have a little margin on Ferrari and Red Bull in terms of pace and we established early on that this was the case. We were able to pull a decent gap and it meant we could extend the first stint and wait for others to make the first move. Lewis had a more difficult afternoon, it’s very hard to overtake at this track and once Valtteri had successfully defended the over-cut at the stops, the opportunities for Lewis to attack were limited. Lewis was never going to give Valtteri an easy win but it’s really good to see how much they enjoy racing each other and how well they work together to improve the car. Lewis can be very proud of what he has achieved this year, he has driven superbly over the whole season and has truly earned his place as one of the great champions of the sport.

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Formula One World Champion-elect Lewis Hamilton received a spectacular welcome when he came to celebrate world championship success with his team in the UK

  • Lewis was first honoured at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) in Brixworth, home of the highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units
  • He then headed to Brackley where he was welcomed with a guard of honour from staff
  • Lewis: “Today is something I will never forget”
  • Toto: “I have seen the team go from strength to strength”
  • To download photographic material from Lewis’ visit to Brixworth and Brackley click here
  • To download video material click here

Brackley/Brixworth – With the Formula One season coming to an end in Abu Dhabi this weekend, the 2017 champions took some time out of their busy schedules today to celebrate this year’s achievements. Two weeks before the FIA Prize Giving Gala, which will officially crown Lewis and Mercedes with their fourth world championships, the Silver Arrows team paid special tribute to Lewis today. He first celebrated winning this year’s Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships in Brixworth before marking the occasion in Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honour” as the entire team came out to celebrate its championship success.

Niki Lauda

For the fourth time in a row I’m in the fortunate position to say thank you to the entire team. 2017 has been a challenging year because of the rule change. A rule change always means uncertainty; no one knows what the other guys are doing. We started with a difficult car, but the team was able to consistently improve it throughout the season, which was the key to winning the championships. The team did a fantastic job and Lewis did a fantastic job. I’m really proud of everyone, it’s an incredible achievement. This year was the most difficult one so far and next year it will be even more difficult, but I trust the team 100%!

Toto Wolff

Since I was fortunate enough to join this team in 2012, I have seen it go from strength to strength. I still see many of the same faces who were here when I joined, but also new faces as we have continued to build the strength of this group. We are fortunate to have the right resources, which isn’t always a given, but importantly we have the right people. We have a team that works together in the right spirit and the mind-set of success in Brixworth and Brackley. We have not allowed ourselves to become complacent, but remain motivated and energised. For me, I could not imagine working with a better group of people. I would like to say thank you very much to all of you.

Lewis Hamilton

This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome. Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away. This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance. Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix

Valtteri comes in second as Lewis storms through the field in São Paulo

  • Valtteri took second place today – his 12th podium with the Silver Arrows and best ever result at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace
  • After starting from the pit lane, Lewis finished today’s Brazilian Grand Prix in P4
  • Today’s result marks the 25th podium for Mercedes-Benz Power in the 2017 season
  • Lewis (345 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 43 points from Sebastian Vettel (302 points) in P2, with Valtteri (280 points) in P3
  • With one race to go, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (625 points) lead Ferrari (495 points) by 130 points in the Constructors’ Championship

Valtteri Bottas

I think we lost the race in the first corner. When I dropped the clutch at the start initially, there was less grip than I expected, so I broke the traction and got some wheel spin. Seb got a better getaway and managed to get on the inside. That is unfortunate because the race pace between us and Ferrari was very close today and we had a similar strategy. When we went for the Softs, we tried the undercut and tried to attack with the new tyres, but there was no way to get past. We wanted to attack in the very end again but, when I was trying to pick up the pace again, there was nothing left in the tyres. After the good result yesterday, I had very high hopes for today. But if you look at the positives, it has been a much better weekend for me personally than I had for a while. And it was not a bad result for us as a team looking at the position where Lewis started today, so that’s good.

Lewis Hamilton

I had a great time, I enjoyed the race very much. I had so much pace today, it would have been an easy win this weekend. So on the one side I am disappointed that I put myself in the worst position for today. But yesterday is behind me, today has been very positive, I had fun coming through – it felt like the go-karting days where I would always start in the back in my first year or two. My goal today was really to just try and redeem yesterday’s mistake, to make the team proud and get some points back. I was trying to get back to third, I just ran out of tyres in the end. But I enjoyed the battle today and hopefully that continues to show to everyone that I still have a lot of fire in my heart and many, many more races to go.

Toto Wolff

My first words today must go to our team members. This has been a weekend of extreme and contrasting emotions for us, and then this morning the guys came in again and rebuilt Lewis’ car from the ground up. It has been humbling to see their spirit, resilience and dedication this weekend. And it was matched by our two drivers: Valtteri pushed every lap of the race, hanging on to Sebastian but unable to close in quite enough to claim the lead, at a circuit where overtaking is difficult between cars of similar performance; while Lewis delivered the best fourth-place finish I have ever seen. For Valtteri, the race was decided from the start: he got wheel spin on the start which opened the door to Sebastian at Turn 1. For Lewis, he transformed a pit-lane start into a finish just five seconds off the front; it was one of his best performances of the year and showed that we had the quickest car here by a good margin. He threw everything at it today and it was a champion’s drive. Now we move on to Abu Dhabi and will be aiming to finish our season on a high.

Andrew Shovlin

It was a frustrating result for both of our drivers and for the team, although it’s also a day that is easy to take positives from.  With Valtteri the race win was decided by the smallest of margins, a little too much wheel spin off the line gave up the lead, an undercut that almost worked but in the end we were just a couple of tenths from making it happen.  After a great lap to secure pole, it’s always going to be disappointing to come away with anything less than a win but he has had a very solid weekend and did a good job managing the tyres on a track that was up at 60°C and showed pace in the race that looked every bit as fast as Vettel.  For Lewis, to start from the back and finish just five seconds off the leader is a great achievement but also frustrating that we didn’t quite make it to the podium.  He drove an attacking race but to do so was pushing the tyres to the limits on both sets.  We stayed out on the soft as long as we could but once we started to lose the rears, we had to come in for the super-soft and we couldn’t afford to manage those, so he was pushing hard from the word go, trying to reel in the leaders. We’ve come into these final races with an eye on using Fridays running for 2018 development but our desire to win races hasn’t diminished and it’s a shame to leave here without the win.  However, we can take some comfort in the fact that our car was the fastest today on what was the hottest track of the year, which shows the progress we have made with the W08.  It’s been a tough weekend for the team but we are good at learning from tough weekends.  We are looking forward to Abu Dhabi, it’s a great track that should suit our car and we’ll go there looking to finish what has been a long but amazing season on a high.

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Valtteri storms to pole position in São Paulo Valtteri claimed his third career pole position - his first at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace and third of the 2017 season After an accident in Q1, Lewis failed to set a time and will start tomorrow's Brazilian Grand

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Mexico Grand Prix

#4TheTeam – Lewis wins the fourth title of his career and seals the fourth consecutive Drivers’ Championship for the Silver Arrows!

  • Valtteri finished today’s Mexico Grand Prix in P2 – his best ever result at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez and his 20th podium place in Formula One
  • After an accident in the first lap, Lewis finished today’s race in P9
  • Lewis (333 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 56 points from Sebastian Vettel (277 points) - an unassailable lead with two races remaining in the 2017 season
  • Valtteri (262 points) is a further 15 points down in P3 with 50 points remaining to be scored in the 2017 season
  • After having secured the Constructors’ World Championship last week in Austin, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (595 points) now lead Ferrari (455 points) by 140 points in the Constructors’ Championship
  • Today’s result marks the 290th race on the podium for Mercedes-Benz Power in Formula One

Lewis Hamilton

To be honest, this fourth world title is not even registering right now. There is all this energy from the people around you, but it takes a while for it to really sink in. I am incredibly grateful when I think about everything that was going on this year and everything that had to be in place to produce this result. I didn’t do this on my own, there are over a thousand people back in Brackley and Brixworth who have created this beast that has given me the opportunity to exploit my abilities. I have received such great support from around the world, and I want to thank all of you that believed in me. To do this on Mexican soil, to shine a positive light on a country that has been through such a difficult time over the past few months, makes this really special. It doesn’t matter what happened in the race today. I carry ‘Still I Rise’ on the back of my helmet – it means when you get knocked down, you get back up again and keep pushing as hard as you can. I never gave up, and I kept pushing. Four is a great number – but I want number five now!  

Valtteri Bottas

The right man won the title this year, Lewis absolutely deserves this! He’s my team mate, so I know he’s not only talented, but also a hard worker, and a really nice guy. So even though we’re competing, I’m also happy for him – but I still want to beat him next year. The race today was pretty straightforward after the start. I saw in Turn 2 that Max and Sebastian were side-by-side, and one of them went a bit wide, so I knew Turn 3 was going to be a mess. So I decided to go inside and cut the corner and get a good exit. After that there was not much happening. Unfortunately, we couldn’t challenge Max today, so I drove it home. We saw we didn’t have the pace to win the race, so we have a lot of things to learn. But overall, it was not a bad day for us – I felt I got the most out of the car, it was good to be on the podium after such a long time, and of course Lewis won the title.

Toto Wolff

This was the hardest championship ever, but it was also extremely well deserved. We had quite some up and downs this season with the new cars and tyres. We had to accept the fact that this is the reality now, and to progress was very difficult for the team and really took the maximum out of us. Lewis probably showed the best and most constant performance of his entire career this season, he has made a step forward in every respect and there is no doubt whatsoever that today the right man was crowned world champion today. While the result was good, the race was not what we had hoped for. But I’d like to just look at the positives today and not dig into a controversy that is not necessary at this stage – Lewis won the championship!

James Allison

We knew that the championship arithmetic favoured us going into this race. But that didn’t mean that it was a comfortable afternoon after the melee of the first corner – either for us sitting on the pit wall with all the information at our fingertips but much more for Lewis who had the lonely task of picking his way back through the field from stone-cold last. In truth, as long as the front stayed reliable, this looked like Lewis was safe throughout, especially since Valtteri drove very capably, holding down a very assured second place. But you can’t rely on that and so we were very keen to get Lewis up into 9th place and it was an amazing achievement for him to do that at this track which is so difficult to overtake at. It’s a great feeling for us after sealing up the Constructors’ Championship last week to come here and finish the championship that the rest of the world really cares about and to make sure that Lewis was crowned champion for the fourth time. It’s hard to imagine a season where the champion has more richly deserved the spoils. It’s been a brilliant, competitive, inspiring year of motorsport and Lewis has been the one constant throughout. We couldn’t be happier for him.

2017 Mexico Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Mexico Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 USA Grand Prix

Mercedes fourth consecutive Constructors Championship - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

Sports USPA NEWS - "It is an awesome achievement - and it has been a tough year," smiled Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains. "Ferrari have been formidable opponents and that has been energizing for all of us.

As the team emerges from a night of celebration in Austin, and prepares to recognise its achievements back at base in Brackley and Brixworth, we turned to some of our leading lights to try and capture this incredible, intoxicating feeling in words.

“It is an awesome achievement – and it has been a tough year,” smiled Andy Cowell, Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains. “Ferrari have been formidable opponents and that has been energizing for all of us. Everybody has raised their game, pushed really hard and been driven to make sure that we secure another championship. The effort that goes in at the factories – day in any day out, seven days a week – is very humbling to see, and that’s what puts this total car together and delivers these results.”

While the focus of fans and media is, quite naturally, on the battle between the gladiators of our sport, the fight between the teams for the constructors’ title is just as intense. And while a team’s effort is expressed through the car and engine it produces, the reality is that these machines embody countless hours of creativity, inspiration and diligence by a team of hundreds behind the scenes. They are the expression of a team’s desire and determination to succeed.

“Fans know this is a complicated sport,” acknowledged Technical Director James Allison. “But only the people in the teams really understand how many people have to do their job exceptionally well to make a result like this possible. And you don’t just have to do your job right once, it has to be right every two weeks for the lion’s share of an entire year.”

The challenge of 2017, of course, was magnified by the rule changes coming into the new season. They had the objective of speeding up the cars but also of shaking up the competitive order. So to come out on top after such a test of the team’s mettle is even more rewarding.

“When we set our objectives, it was to win both championships and to be the first team to do it through a regulation change like this,” continued Toto Wolff. “To achieve it here in Austin with three races to go feels unbelievable. The fact is that we have a really great dynamic in the team, we enjoy doing what we do and bringing it home feels just super.”

“This regulation change was designed to make it incredibly difficult to win again,” agreed James Allison. “So to do something that no team in the sport’s history has ever managed – to stay in the mix, and to come out on top, after a major rules change – is just the most enormous credit to everybody involved in the team from top to bottom. It is simply not possible to win a championship without their skill, dedication and, in many cases, sacrifice. It is a truly brilliant feeling to be part of a team capable of doing this.”

Not only has this been a year of accomplishment but also of profound learning. We have experienced not just highs like Austin but the lows of weekends such as Monaco. Yet they have proven a source of new strength.

“We have a motto in our team: Difficult days are the days that our competitors will regret,” explained Toto. “The painful experiences just make you so much stronger. If you keep calm, analyse what happened, and try to improve, it’s just adding to your knowledge and adding to your strength. We’ve seen that happening all through the years, particularly this year we’ve had those painful experiences, and they are part of the development of the team.”

“The team effort, the combination of Brackley, Brixworth and all the individual departments and teams, they’re all focused on one thing: making the race car as quick as possible in qualifying and over the race distance,” concluded Andy Cowell. “It is that tireless, relentless obsession that pays off and that’s what binds us together.”

Yet, while the team savours a first championship of 2017, nobody has lost sight of the fact that we have completed only half the job so far. Our ambition – and our clear intention – is to become four-time double world champions and to make sure Lewis seals his own fourth world title in style.

That quest continues in Mexico next weekend…

2017 United States Grand Prix - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - #4TheTeam - Silver Arrows win fourth consecutive Constructors' World Championship!

#4TheTeam – Silver Arrows win fourth consecutive Constructors’ World Championship!

  • Today’s 75th Formula One victory for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows sealed the fourth consecutive Constructors’ Championship for the team
  • Lewis raced to his 62nd career victory today – his fifth at the Circuit of The Americas and ninth of the 2017 season
  • Valtteri finished today’s United States Grand Prix in P5
  • Lewis (331 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 66 points from Sebastian Vettel (265 points), with Valtteri (244 points) a further 21 points behind in P3 and with 75 points remaining to be scored in the 2017 season
  • Mercedes-Benz Petronas Motorsport (575 points) lead Ferrari (428 points) by 147 points in the Constructors’ Championship – an unassailable lead with three races remaining in the 2017 season
  • James Allison, Technical Director, today accepted the Constructors’ trophy on behalf of the team

Lewis Hamilton

Firstly, I want to say big congratulations to everyone in the team – both back at the factory and here. There has been an incredible push for this kind of performance this year. We really pulled together more than I have experienced and seen over the last five years to create something quite special. I’m really proud for everyone, especially going from one era of car to another which is something that has never been done before. It shows the strength of the team and I’m proud to be part of it. The race was great, it was probably one of the most fun races that I have had for a while – and there were quite a few fun ones this year. I didn’t get away to a great start, but I was kind of chilled about it, knowing from the past that I can overtake here. I had a lot of fun trying to get closer and overtaking. Today the wind changed 180 degrees and it made the track so special to drive; the car felt amazing going through the Esses. We have three more races left this season – and that’s three I want to win.

Valtteri Bottas

Today was a tough day for me. In the first three quarters of the race, everything was going quite well and the pace was not bad. However, I couldn’t make the one-stop strategy work with all the fighting with Sebastian and Kimi in the second stint. That was wearing the Soft tyres off quite a bit, they started to go and it simply was not possible to stick to just one stop. I tried everything I could to defend, but it was too late, so unfortunately we had to pit again. I’m still disappointed with my race, and I will need a few moments to get over it. However, I’m also happy for the Constructors’ title. It is amazing to be part of this championship-winning team.

Toto Wolff

The first words today go to our team – in the factories in Brackley and Brixworth, as well as the fantastic support we receive from Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart. I am so proud of what has been achieved: winning across a rule change, something has never been done before in the sport, and doing it because every team member has dug deeper to find performance, been even more diligent on reliability and this has come together in the most special way. We had the quickest car out there in the race today – Lewis did a faultless job, picking off Sebastian and then managing his one-stop strategy to perfection. Valtteri had a tougher time: running in dirty air meant he couldn’t convert his good pace into what would have been a deserved podium finish. But overall, we must be satisfied that we have got half of the job done today; one title down and one more still to win. Our target must to be to keep our foot on the gas and win each of the next three races.

James Allison

You can’t argue with any race where you overtake on track for the lead and then romp off to the win. It was a brilliant drive by Lewis and a very welcome tonic to some of the narrative that had built in recent weeks suggesting that the momentum of the development race had shifted towards our competitors. This car, team and our drivers showed themselves today to be worthy, worthy winners of the Constructors’ title. For a long time, we looked to be on course for a comfortable podium with Valtteri, too. He enjoyed a strong first stint and looked set to take second place from Sebastian for a significant portion of the race. However, in the second stint we were not able to make the tyres last well enough to help the one-stop strategy pay off. Nevertheless, he still scored the points we needed to secure the title at the first time of asking, and he will certainly enjoy even stronger races in the future.

2017 United States Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 United States Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 United States Grand Prix - Friday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 United States Grand Prix - Friday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 United States Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 United States Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis wins in Suzuka, Valtteri comes in fourth

  • Lewis took his 61st career victory today – his third at the Suzuka International Racing Circuit, eighth of the 2017 season and 40th win with the Silver Arrows
  • Valtteri finished today’s Japanese Grand Prix in P4, his best ever finish in Japan
  • Today’s result marks the tenth victory for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows of the 2017 season
  • Valtteri scored the fastest lap of the race, making it the 150th fastest lap for Mercedes-Benz power
  • Lewis (306 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 59 points from Sebastian Vettel (247 points), with Valtteri (234 points) a further 13 points behind in P3 and with 100 points remaining to be scored in the 2017 season
  • Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (540 points) lead Ferrari (395 points) by 145 points in the Constructors’ Championship with 172 points remaining to be scored
  • James Vowles, Chief Strategist, today accepted the Constructors’ trophy on behalf of the team

Lewis Hamilton

The start was okay, although the initial getaway was not spectacularly good, I had a bit of wheel spin. But from then on I had a good start and it was pretty much under control from there. I was trying to manage the pace and the tyres; it was a long way to go, it was the hottest the track had been all weekend, so that was really crucial. With the VSC towards the end, I lost a lot of temperatures in the tyres and waking them up was not so easy. I got stuck behind traffic, I was losing so much time and Max’ car was so big in my mirror. It was very close for a couple laps, but I was able to keep it together. It was not an easy walk in the park today, it was a win that I had to work very hard for. Great race by Max, I enjoyed racing him. It’s almost unbelievable to think we are where we are in the championship. I was excited to race Sebastian today, but he was obviously very unfortunate. It’s still a long way to go, there are still a hundred points. I’m just going to keep my head down and hopefully will continue to be in a form like this.

Valtteri Bottas

It was a close fight; especially in the end I was getting closer to Daniel, but there just was not enough time anymore and the VSC didn’t help either. The pace seemed to be okay, but coming to this race we always knew that overtaking is tricky. The strategy was good for me today. It created a good opportunity in the end, otherwise it would have been really difficult to even get close. The race was close to our game plan, but it would have been nice to be on the podium. We went through all of the scenarios before the race, so when Lewis caught up to me after his pit stop, of course I tried to help him win. I’ve definitely learned a lot again from this weekend. I now want to focus on the last few races, make the most out of them and see where we end up this year. I’m looking forward to Austin. I enjoy the track very much; it’s where I got my first points in Formula One and I always love going back there.  

Toto Wolff

This was another perfect performance from Lewis. He controlled the race from start to finish, taking nothing more out of the tyres and engine than he needed to at any point. It got close with Max at a few points, especially in the closing laps when they came up on traffic and were struggling for tyre temperature, but he kept cool and brought it home to the flag. As for Valtteri, he recovered well from the gearbox penalty to claim P4 and come within a few tenths of a second of the podium. He had strong pace today and never gave up pushing to the end, it was a real battling drive. One look at the points standings might give us some brief comfort but there are still four races to go, 100 points to win in the drivers’ title and, if the past weeks have shown us anything at all, it’s that anything can happen in motorsport. We take no prisoners in how we claim our points – but we are all conscious that we have benefited from our rivals’ misfortune and reliability woes in recent weeks. So nothing changes in our approach: we must take the next races one at a time, push to better understand the car and keep our humble attitude. That is the approach that has worked for us so far and the way we will continue until the final race in Abu Dhabi.

James Allison

Having departed Sepang with a good result but in poor spirits because of a tricky weekend, and having arrived here under a bit of a cloud regarding the performance of our car, it is nice to be leaving this weekend with an even stronger result and also off the back of a fine performance in qualifying and the race. This was welcome on many levels: first, for both championships; second, because we were able to categorically answer the questions regarding the development direction of our car; third because this was the vindication of a team that, even when it takes a blow, can spring right back up and apply itself to the challenge with fresh vigour. We have not exorcised all of our Sepang demons but every result like that is an opportunity to learn and improve. We have seen some of that learning applied here in Suzuka and we will continue to do the same for the remainder of the year.

2017 Japanese Grand Prix - Friday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Japanese Grand Prix - Friday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton

It was a much better weekend than we had anticipated after our Friday, considering the issues we did have with the car this is a good result. But still we have a lot of work to do with the car, some of the corners really magnified the issues we have. These next races are going to be crucial in terms of ironing out some of the creases we have with the car. I was having some problems with de-rates at the beginning of the race, so I was struggling with battery power. Valtteri seemed to struggle a lot more; I was able to pull a little bit more out of it. Naturally, I wanted to win the race, winning the races is still the goal. So even to be second is not that satisfying. Today was a step towards in trying to win the world championship and every point counts.

Valtteri Bottas

Today was difficult. I was trying everything I can, I was giving it all I had, but I was lacking pace and I was sliding around. The start was definitely the best part of the day. It was really good, I could actually attack a little bit and fight for positions. But not long after that I just started to drop down and couldn’t keep up with the others. In the first stint I had quite a lot of understeer, so I was struggling with the balance. The story of the race was managing the tyre temperatures. If I tried harder, then I started to overheat the tyre and slide even more, so I had to manage everything and that’s why I was so slow. We need to analyse the race because the upgrade package should have been quite a step forward in terms of downforce, but I couldn’t really see it. There are still a lot of things we need to try to understand, we need to learn from today. For Japan, we need to make sure we choose all the right bits for the car, and hopefully we will see some cooler temperatures.

Toto Wolff

It was clear after just a few laps that both Red Bull and Ferrari had better cars than us today – but we nevertheless managed to score a good number of points and extend our lead in both championships. After a weekend where we have lacked a significant chunk of performance, we couldn’t have imagined such a good outcome, but we can’t let that distract us from the job we have in front of us. We leave Malaysia with a lot of question marks and we need to find answers to them in the next days and weeks, to ensure that we keep moving forward and racing at the front in the final quarter of this championship. We cannot get distracted by the fact we got lucky again this weekend. Lewis did a fantastic job today to score P2 while Valtteri, just like over the rest of the weekend, struggled to match that pace and brought the car home in P5. We know that gap doesn’t reflect his true level of performance, and it will be a priority for us to put two equally competitive cars on track next weekend in Suzuka. In simple words, there is a lot more work ahead of us if we want to come out on top by Abu Dhabi.

Andrew Shovlin

We expected a tough race today and it was.  We lost the lead to Verstappen very early which was frustrating, but this is a reflection on our pace today which was just not good enough.  We had a similar story with Valtteri who made a great start and did a really good job defending against Daniel for the opening laps but ultimately couldn’t hold him behind.  We have benefited significantly from Ferrari’s misfortunes this weekend but they had an extremely quick car and we are under no illusions that the remaining five races will present us with a tough challenge to keep our noses ahead in both titles.  We will be working hard in the coming days to understand our deficiencies this weekend.  But Suzuka is a very different type of circuit and we will go there fighting to get on top of our problems and back to the front.

2017 PETRONAS Malaysia Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 PETRONAS Malaysia Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

Work to do for the Silver Arrows after the first practice sessions in Malaysia

  • Lewis finished the morning session in P6 with Valtteri in P7 on a damp track at Sepang International Circuit
  • Lewis ended the day in P6, with Valtteri in P7 when the afternoon session was suspended due to a red flag
  • Both drivers ran the Intermediate compound tyres in FP1
  • In FP2, Lewis and Valtteri then used the Soft compound tyres before changing onto the SuperSofts for short and long runs


Lewis Hamilton

It’s been a very difficult day. I’ve been struggling with the car today, so we have to review and try to understand where we have gone wrong with the balance. We’re hoping that we’re able to find our bearings overnight and regroup for tomorrow. I had a great group of people who were in front of my garage today all day long, sending really positive energy. So a big thank you to everyone there and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Valtteri Bottas

Those were obviously tricky practice sessions. We had quite limited running because of the rain in the morning. I also had a bit of an off in FP2 that cost us some time, we lost a few laps because of that. And then there was of course the red flag in the end. We didn’t get all the test items tested today, but I think that is going to be the case with all the teams. We’re definitely lacking some performance, it seems like Ferrari and Red Bull are very strong. So we have some work to do if we want to be on the front row tomorrow. The car balance itself didn’t feel too bad; it’s just a question of overall grip. The key area we are going to need to focus on tonight will be getting the maximum out of the tyres over one lap.

Andrew Shovlin

Overall it’s been a very challenging day. The car wasn’t working as well as it normally has done this year and the drivers were both complaining of very low grip and sliding. The car hasn’t looked strong in any conditions, be it on Intermediates or in the dry conditions we had in FP2. So we’re looking very carefully at the set-up and the configuration of the car just to try and understand what’s gone wrong. We are clearly not getting the most out of the package here. We’re going to be working very hard to unpick what we’ ve seen today and come back stronger tomorrow. But at the moment it’ s clear we’ve got a lot of work to do if we’re to present a good challenge to Ferrari and Red Bull this weekend.

2017 Malaysian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Battle continues with Round 15 of the 2017 season from the Sepang International Circuit Toto Talks Malaysia Featured this Week: Handling the Heat in Malaysia Stat Attack: Malaysia and Beyond Toto Talks Malaysia - The result in Singapore came as a surprise for us all - and the danger of a result like that is to misjudge your own level of performance.

2017 Singapore Grand Prix

2017 Singapore Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Singapore Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

Silver Arrows convert third row start into a double podium in Singapore

  • Lewis took his 60th F1 victory – his third in Singapore and seventh of the 2017 season
  • Valtteri finished in P3, his best result in Singapore and his tenth podium of the season
  • Lewis completed the fastest lap of the Grand Prix in the first ever wet night race
  • Today’s result is 73rd F1 win for the Silver Arrows and the ninth of the 2017 season
  • Lewis (263 points) extends the lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 28 points from Sebastian Vettel (235 points), with Valtteri (212 points) a further 23 points behind in P3
  • Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (475 points) lead Ferrari (373 points) by 102 points in the Constructors’ Championship
  • Paul Mills, Human Resources Director, accepted the Constructors’ trophy for the Team

Lewis Hamilton

What a day – I can’t believe it, I’m so happy! I came in today and I saw that I was raining and I knew that this balances everything out. I love racing in the rain, then everything unfolded in the beginning. Starting on the Intermediates I thought it was going to be much closer pace-wise. These conditions give you the opportunity to really make a difference with your driving. It was the first time for all of us driving here in the rain, so it was a massive challenge. But I love that when you have to rise to the toughest of challenges, that’s the most exciting part for me. Then it was all about staying focused and not making any mistakes. We came to a track that was potentially our weakest circuit and we leave with a win like this and so many points – that’s a very fortunate scenario for us. Valtteri also did a great job, so to have all these constructors’ points is awesome.

Valtteri Bottas

Today shows that anything is possible - that is racing! I think under normal circumstances it would have been extremely difficult for us to be on the podium. But today, everything really came to us, and we got very lucky. In the dry, the car was performing better than expected and the pace was very good for Lewis and me; in the wet, I struggled a bit more than him. It’s nice to bring a trophy home after what has been a tricky weekend for me. But all in all it was a nearly perfect race for us as a team. There are still six races to go so everything is still wide open. We have been struggling quite a bit this weekend, so we need to make sure we learn from it for the future.

Toto Wolff

We woke up this morning talking about little else than damage limitation; we leave Singapore this evening with a bigger lead in both championships. This was one of those days that reminds you what an unbelievable sport motor racing can be. And reminds you, too, that the points are only scored on Sunday. Of course, it goes without saying that we got a big slice of luck today. Not only did we avoid the chaos at Turn One but we also escaped without damage to both cars. After that, though, we had to make the most of the opportunity that had been presented to us – and out-race a very fast Red Bull. Lewis did that brilliantly, showing good race pace on both types of tyre, while Valtteri picked his way back through the field to the podium. So the emotions tonight are very different to what we felt 24 hours ago - but this result doesn’t change a thing in the big picture. If anything, it’s a stark reminder that there are six more opportunities for the luck to go against us this season, just as it happened to Ferrari today. We will celebrate our result this evening but, after that, it will be full focus on the next challenges ahead.

James Allison

In the two weeks since the last round of the championship, and in all the hundreds of hours worked and thousands of simulations made, nothing pointed to a result quite like this one. Formula One is incredibly complicated, but days like this remind you that it is still a sport – and that you never know what might happen. After a difficult weekend prior to Sunday, the manner in which the cards all fell so right for us in the opening corners gave us a massive lift. But after that huge dose of luck, it was a relief to show that we had good race pace to justify our good fortune, and we couldn’t be more delighted with the way Lewis and Valtteri made the most of it. This is a brilliant result for both titles and, of course, we leave Singapore with a spring in our step. But there is still a very long way to go in this championship race.

2017 Singapore Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Singapore Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Italian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton
This is obviously an incredibly exciting season; the last two races have been really strong for us as a team. The way things have come together in the second half of the season is exceptional. Today, the car felt fantastic, particularly on that first stint. As we had a bit of breathing room behind us, it was easier for us to extend the life of the tyres. Valtteri did a fantastic job to get through and get this one-two. It is amazing to have the first back-to-back wins in a long, long time and claim the lead in the championship. But the fight will continue, the Ferraris have been really quick this season, especially on the high-downforce tracks. It will continue to be really close between us, so it will be ‘ beast mode’ all the way to the last chequered flag.

Valtteri Bottas
Starting fourth, finishing second – I’m quite happy with that. What I’m really happy about is the one-two for the team! From my side it was a good race, even though I lost one position at the beginning. Luckily, I got it back quite quickly and could then overtake the Williams and the Force India. After that the pace was great and I was really enjoying it – the car war so strong today. It was amazing to be on the podium. Monza is definitely one of the best – if not the best – podiums in Formula 1. It’s such a great atmosphere, so much noise, so many people – I wish everyone could experience it. Looking forward, we know that we still have a lot of work to do, the races ahead will be a close battle with Ferrari.

Toto Wolff
I’m absolutely delighted with a one-two finish here in Monza, at such an important and historic race. The main thing is we took 43 points for the constructors’ championship and 25 points for the drivers’ today – Lewis is now in the lead, but ultimately it’s the positions in Abu Dhabi that count. But every bit of momentum matters, and we’ve had a good seven days in that respect. Lewis delivered a perfect weekend – from the impressive pole position to a faultless race drive today. As for Valtteri, he bounced back from the disappointment of Spa in a great way; racing hard against Kimi, then picking off Stroll and Ocon, before pulling away from the field for a very strong second-place finish. We have made the most of our opportunity this weekend and it was important to do so because we know Singapore will be more like a case of damage limitation for us. We will approach the next race with healthy scepticism, leave no stone unturned and aim to deliver every bit of performance that we can. If the Team delivers another perfect performance like this weekend, that will be a very good starting point.

James Allison

This season has been an exhilarating rollercoaster ride and we have won races by the skin of our teeth, others where we have lost by similar margins. But this was the most comprehensive of our eight victories so far this season. It was a 1-2, flawlessly executed by the team, a dominant performance and delivered on the home turf of our main competitor; all that makes it a pretty memorable day. Aside from the emotion, though, these points count the same as any others and put us in the lead of the drivers’ table for the first time as well as building our lead in the constructors’ standings. We know that sterner challenges await us in the races to come, so we need to bank these points, move on and make sure that we don’t relinquish either championship lead from now to Abu Dhabi.

2017 Italian Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Italian Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Italian Grand Prix - Friday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Silver Arrows set the practice pace on Friday Lewis finished the morning session in P1 with Valtteri in P2 at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza Valtteri ended the day in P1 in the afternoon session with Lewis in P2 Both drivers ran the Medium (Install), Soft and SuperSoft

2017 Italian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Battle continues with Round 13 of the 2017 season from the Autodromo Nazionale Monza Toto Talks Italy Featured this Week: Power Sensitivity Stat Attack: Italy and Beyond __________________________________________________________________________ Toto Talks Italy We said before Spa that it's dangerous to make assumptions this year and the race weekend demonstrated why that's the case.

2017 Belgian Grand Prix

USPA News - Lewis wins the 200th race of his career  Lewis took his 58th career victory today – his third at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and fifth of the 2017 season 

Valtteri finished today’s Belgian Grand Prix in P5 Today’s result marks the 71st victory for the Mercedes-AMG 

Silver Arrows in Formula One Lewis (213 points) closes the gap on Sebastian Vettel (220 points) to seven points in the Drivers’ Championship, with Valtteri (179 points) in P3 

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (392 points) lead Ferrari (348 points) by 44 points in the Constructors’ Championship Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director, today accepted the Constructors’ trophy


Lewis Hamilton 

It’s amazing to come back into the season and start on the right foot. The Ferrari was very strong today and they put on a fantastic fight. We were both pushing every single lap and there was no room for error or mistake. The Safety Car was driving so slow that keeping tyre temperature was very difficult. On the restart, Sebastian got a good tow, it was very close. It is fun to be racing against another team and Sebastian at his best and the car at its best – that’s what racing is all about. I want to thank the team, I would not have been able to win today without them.  


Valtteri Bottas 

Today’s race and result were a big disappointment. It’s been an all-around difficult weekend for me. It would have been nice to at least be on the podium and score good points for us as a team. After the Safety Car restart I was on the Soft tyres, but the guys who overtook me were on the UltraSofts. I was on the back foot, struggled with grip and could not fight them. In the race the Softs are working well for us, but during a Safety Car restart there’s always a risk that other guys might have softer compounds. In a normal race we would have had an optimal tyre strategy. This has been the most difficult weekend for me, so I need to learn a lot from it because I wasn’t quick enough. I need to analyse my mistakes quickly, and then hopefully come back stronger next week in Monza.  


Toto Wolff 

That was a fantastic drive from Lewis to finish off a perfect weekend from him. It was a great result for the championship and a faultless performance. He defended well on the opening lap then it was a battle lap by lap to stretch out the gap to Sebastian. After the pit stop, we saw a small blister on one of his rear tyres and we had some question marks about whether they would last to the finish. Then the Safety Car came out and made the decision easier for us. We had a discussion about which tyres to fit – we didn’t have a new set of UltraSoft remaining, and the team on the pit wall knew that the Soft would be the better tyre over the stint – if we could defend in those first laps after the restart. As Lewis showed, it was the right decision, and he delivered a great win. From Valtteri’s side, we struggled with his car this weekend, and especially in traction as you could see on the TV pictures at the restart. We need to find out what happened there – and likewise, he will be the first to be self-critical about losing the positions after the restart. Now we move on to Monza. Ferrari were very strong here and we can expect exactly the same at their home race. Our job is to keep pushing, keep bringing performance to the car and to make sure we deliver all of our potential at every race from here to the end of the season.

2017 Belgian Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Lewis to start the 200th race of his career from pole position Lewis claimed his 68th career pole position - equaling Michael Schumacher's all-time record Valtteri will start tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix from P3 on the grid It is Lewis' seventh pole of the 2017 season and

2017 Belgian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Belgian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Silver Arrows end the last race before the summer break in P3 and P4 Valtteri came home in P3 today with Lewis finishing in P4 Lewis (188 points) remains P2 in the Drivers' Championship,14 points off Sebastian Vettel (202 points).

Silver Arrows end the last race before the summer break in P3 and P4

  • Valtteri came home in P3 today with Lewis finishing in P4
  • Lewis (188 points) remains P2 in the Drivers’ Championship,14 points off Sebastian Vettel (202 points). Valtteri (169 points) is a further 19 points back in P3
  • Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (357 points) leads the Constructors’ Championship by 39 points from Ferrari (318 points) in P2
Valtteri Bottas
It was really tricky today. The pace was not so much a problem. But once you get within 1.5 seconds to the car in front of you it becomes so difficult to close the gap. And that track position was a big benefit for Ferrari today. Even though Sebastian was struggling, no-one could pass him. We tried as a team to swap positions, but Lewis couldn't get past them either. We didn’t gain any points but I’m glad we tried it. I was promised that Lewis would let me back if it didn't work out. I was struggling with the back markers so the gap to Lewis became bigger than I wanted. But Lewis and the team kept their promise and we swapped positions back in the last lap. I don't think every team-mate would do that in a championship fight, so I think that was really nice of him and it shows that he is a real team player. Our situations still is not too bad with regards to the points and the championship standing. Lewis and me are still in the fight.

Lewis Hamilton
I tried my best out there. It's tough when you push so hard and you work so hard and you end up in the same place that you started. When the radio didn't work, I was thinking that the team was worried about the tyres not going the distance. So maybe they were going slow so that they could speed up later. I was pushing and I had all this pace, but I was stuck behind Valtteri and I couldn't tell the team because of the radio. But in the final laps, I kept my word. I said that if I couldn’t pass Kimi then I would let Valtteri back. I have said through this year that I want to win this title in the right way – and perhaps I will look at it in a different way if, at the end of the season, I lose out by a small margin – but I believe in doing the right thing and that when you put good things out there, they come back to you. I was 20 points behind before, but down to one, and now back to 14. We have lost quite a few points in the first half of the year – but I know that we can win it, once we come back even better after the summer break.

Toto Wolff
Today was a tough day for the team but one that showed the values that we hold high. First of all, we cannot ultimately be satisfied with third and fourth places; we managed to limit the damage to Ferrari, and were fortunate that Red Bull accounted for themselves on the opening lap. So it’s positive that we didn’t lose too many points on a circuit where Ferrari had the upper hand. But it was also a great day for the team because we saw our ethos played out for everybody to see with great respect between Lewis and Valtteri. First, for Valtteri to let his team-mate past to put the pressure on Ferrari and try to challenge Kimi; second, for Lewis to sportingly give the place back in the final corner without losing any position to Verstappen. These are the values that helped us win six championships and, in the long term, it is the approach that will win us many more titles – even though it was a tough call to make and it’s not a great feeling afterwards. But we stick to our principles and our word. The race was made more challenging by problems in the garage that cost us radio comms with the cars at points during the race and also affected the data we had in the garage. That particularly affected our communication with Lewis and perhaps had an impact on the outcome today, as we could have played our strategy differently if the comms had been working properly. But now we have the time to take a step back, recharge the batteries and come back with renewed energy in the second part of the season. There is still everything to play for and both championships are wide open.

James Allison

We would have preferred to head into the summer break on the back of a result like the one we enjoyed in Silverstone, but in its own way this was a race that demonstrated many of the truly great things about this team. For the drivers to treat each other with such a degree of respect, that they both could have a go at attacking the Ferraris but then reverse the positions under intense pressure, was both extremely challenging and required a great deal of trust. To do it in such a professional manner, with the looming threat of Verstappen running right behind Valtteri, was a great thing. After a well-earned summer break, we will look forward to resuming the fight in this intense and intriguing championship, and all our focus will be on ensuring that, come the end of the season, the Mercedes flags are flying high.

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Hungarian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - USPA News

Battle continues with Round 11 of the 2017 season from the Hungaroring

  • Toto Talks Hungary
  • Featured this Week: Keeping Your Cool
  • Stat Attack: Hungary and Beyond

Toto Talks Hungary

We have reached the halfway point of the 2017 season and both championships are very much in the balance right now. The points tables show that we have a small buffer in the constructors’ race and a small deficit on the drivers’ side. But that’s not important at this stage – there are no prizes awarded for the half-time champions.

Our approach is to take it weekend by weekend, to build our performance at each circuit in a calm and logical way and to keep pushing. The time for worrying about the points will come later. What I see when I walk the corridors of our factories is an energy and determination like never before. It is inspiring to see how our team is tackling this championship battle.

The first half of the season was a mixed one for us. From the first test, it was clear we had a real fight on our hands with Ferrari – and soon we could see this might become one of the classic seasons. It was a bumpy start for us as we didn’t quite find the right set-up window to make our car function. Then we had a bad weekend in Monaco – like always, you learn much more from your defeats than your victories. We used that learning in the right way and, from that point, we started to turn things around.

Our drivers have been one of our biggest strengths so far. Lewis has delivered some consummate performances this year in China, Canada and Silverstone in particular. The win in front of his home crowd was emotionally charged and I am sure he is carrying that energy with him right now. As we see almost each weekend, he is equalling and matching new records in our sport’s history – and building a legacy as one of the sport’s greatest drivers. Budapest has always been a good circuit for him but, as he knows better than anybody else, the past is no guarantee of future performance. It’s all about the right preparation, hard work and delivering on the day.

In the other car, Valtteri has embodied Finnish resolve and fighting spirit. He has a fierce work ethic, steely approach and a great natural talent. He threw himself into the challenge of switching teams and we are now starting to see his full potential reveal itself. I have the feeling he is getting better with each passing weekend and is already a more complete driver than at the start of the season. I’m excited to imagine how he will continue to develop for the rest of the season.

So now we head to Budapest for the final race before the summer break. We enjoyed a fantastic weekend in Silverstone but it is now something nice in the history books. We have to do the job again beginning with first practice in Hungary. Our rivals will be determined to fight back strongly – and we have to anticipate that. There is no complacency at all at Mercedes, just a resolute determination to get the job done.

Featured This Week: Keeping Your Cool

Formula One cars are fickle beasts, built to operate at high speed and withstand G-Forces that test them to the extreme. They rank among the most advanced racing machines ever conceived. But a seemingly simple foe remains one of their biggest threats – heat. F1 cars have a prime temperature operating window, which they can be coaxed towards by adjusting cooling capacity to suit ambient temperatures. Slip outside of that bracket, however, and the problems begin to mount up. Fluids become critical, brakes cook and both engine and gearbox are punished.

On the surface, the solution to overheating is straightforward. Open up the bodywork and increase the mass flow of clean air in through the radiator ducts. On average, F1 cars suck in a massive five cubic metres of air through the radiators every second at 300 km/h. But that’s the first challenge of keeping a modern Grand Prix car in the right operating window, as any effort to manage cooling requires some sacrifice of aerodynamic performance. Opening up the bodywork costs around 300 milliseconds per extra 0.5 cubic metres of cooling air, as air is diverted into the radiators rather than over the rear-wing or under the car and through the diffuser. Teams must find the right balance between cooling and aerodynamic performance – especially with a raw performance sacrifice which can be up to a second per lap at aero-sensitive circuits.

Mapping out cooling requirements starts early in a new car’s life, with radiator design – both shape and size – all linked into chassis design. Underestimate the task here and the angle grinders will soon need to be deployed on a cold-winter morning in Barcelona, as the crew set to work opening up the car’s bodywork.

Teams run complex simulations ahead of a race weekend to prepare for the various cooling requirements presented by the 20 different circuits on the Formula One calendar. The narrow, medium speed layout of the Hungaroring, for example, requires a different level of cooling to, say, Monza with its long straights. For each level of cooling added, some aerodynamic performance will be lost, sacrificing lap time.

To combat overheating, teams take a war chest of parts to each race to cover any potential issues that can be created by anything as simple as a misjudged ambient temperature setting. Most cars carry a series of louvres alongside the headrest which can be swapped out to offer different levels of cooling, as well as specially shaped rear bodywork for those extra-challenging races.

When FP1 arrives, teams should already have an idea of what to expect and can offer feedback on any potential issue to the driver – for example, if the brakes are running hotter than expected. This is where drivers can directly make a difference, running through engine modes or lifting and coasting to manage temperatures. When a car is seen dipping out of another’s slipstream, that’s a sign of a driver struggling with a hot car or hot brakes.

Temperature management itself is an art, as teams balance cooling across key components – including in-car fluids, such as engine water, gearbox oil, as well as the brakes. F1 teams run brakes right to the limit – up to 1,200°C – so it’s not uncommon to hear a driver complain that his brakes are cooking. Charge air – the compressed air from the turbo – also needs to be cooled before it passes back through the engine to avoid damaging components and to maximise power output. With the introduction of KERS in 2009 (and more prominently since the advent of the Hybrid era in 2014), another factor also came into consideration – regulating the temperature of the ERS Energy Store.

Mexico and Hungary present arguably the greatest cooling challenges – but for quite different reasons. Mexico is tough because it’s situated at high altitude. The resulting lower air density – 783.3 millibar, at over 2,000 metres – means that less mass air flow passes through the car’s radiators. To combat this, the engine compressor must work harder, creating more internal heat, which in turn requires extra cooling.

Hungary presents a different challenge thanks to its high ambient temperatures – averaging 32°C and peaking at 35°C across the past five seasons – and the nature of the circuit layout. The tight, twisting track is not heavy on engine duty, but the lack of long straights – plus heavy traffic caused by a lack of overtaking opportunities – means cars struggle to find the clean air they need for cooling.

So, what does overheating actually result in? Simply put, a loss of performance. Sochi was a prime example of this, with Valtteri able to win in clean air out front, while Lewis struggled with fluctuating temperatures behind Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari. What’s more, if the car is pushed too far, it will eventually grind to a halt – often quite spectacularly. A failure of the Control Electronics on both Silver Arrows – just a single lap apart – cost the team a 1-2 at the 2014 Canadian Grand Prix, forcing Lewis into retirement and leaving Nico to bravely nurse his car home in second.

Next stop, Hungary. With luck, the team will avoid any toasty encounters, as everybody tackles the challenge of keeping cool in the baking Budapest sunshine…


Stat Attack: Hungary and Beyond (click on image below to enlarge)

2017 British Grand Prix

Lewis leads home Valtteri for his fifth British Grand Prix win

  • Lewis took his 57th career victory today – his fifth at the Silverstone Circuit, and fourth of the 2017 season
  • Lewis scored his fifth career Grand Slam, claiming pole, the victory, fastest lap and leading every lap of the Grand Prix
  • Valtteri came home in second to secure the Silver Arrows' second 1-2 of 2017
  • Today’s result marks the 70th victory for the Mercedes-AMG Silver Arrows in Formula One
  • Lewis (176 points) closes the gap on Sebastian Vettel (177 points) to just a single point in the Drivers' Championship, with Valtteri (154 points) a further 23 points back in P3
  • Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (330 points) lead the Constructors' Championship by 55 points from Ferrari (275 points) in P2

Lewis Hamilton
I’m so happy… this has got to be one of my sweetest wins here. I was gunning for this victory. There was so much negativity ahead of the race, with people questioning how I prepared for the race. But this weekend has been one of my strongest of the weekend. I made a solid start and then after that I managed the car and the balance, and the boys did a fantastic pit stop. I really can't find a fault at the moment. The team did an exceptional job this weekend and Valtteri obviously drove a stormer today - I’m proud of him. It's great to have him in the team. I’m surprised to see the issues the Ferrari had because I didn’t see any debris. I did not expect to come away from this weekend just one point behind Sebastian. This result really opens up the championship – and we go to Hungary next, where I’ve always gone well. Every time I came around Turn 7, I could see the fans cheering every single lap. It was really reminiscent of 2008, my first Grand Prix win here. I've got some great supporters here, not only in the crowd, but in the garage as well. I've got my brother here, some of my aunties and family has come too. There's this amazing young kid who's come from South Africa, Michael, who is fighting cancer. It was amazing to see him. And Billy Monger is with us, who is just such an inspiration.

Valtteri Bottas
What a race! I’m really happy for us as a team, to get the second 1-2 of the season. Of course I would have liked to win, but I’m happy anyway because that was definitely one of my best ever races. I had to fight hardcore out there a couple of times, but I ended up in a good position. We could actually go longer than expected in the first stint on the Softs and the tyres were really good. In the last stint the team told me to just take care of the tyres, because we saw a few failures out there for some other teams, but for me they were fine. We’re just at the half-way point of the season and it could definitely be worst. It’s still just my first year with the team and I’m still right in the championship fight. As a team we did a really good job today. The strategy right from the start of the race worked really well. It was a flawless race for us and the 1-2 was our prize – the team really deserve this. We definitely got lucky with Kimi's puncture in the end, to take P2, but that's racing and today luck was on our side.

Toto Wolff

I think that was probably the best race I have been part of since joining the team in 2013! We are so delighted for Lewis: he prepared for the weekend in the way he knew was right for him, then came here and delivered in qualifying and the race. He got pole, led every lap, won the race and also set the fastest lap; it was a perfect performance. And then Valtteri rounded it off for the team by climbing all the way from P9 to P2, with a little bit of good fortune along the way but applying consistent pressure on every lap of the race. He picked his way through the field, kept the performance in the tyres at the right time and he richly deserved his second place finish; it was a brilliant drive. We are now at the halfway point of the season with 250 points still to score. There will be a lot of talk about the championship standings but not within the team. We have our eyes on one thing only and that’s the next race in Hungary, so we can go into the summer break in an even stronger condition. Well done to everybody in Brixworth and Brackley for this result – it’s a true credit to the amazing work you have done so far this year.

James Allison, Technical Director

This is a sport that asks so much of the people who compete in it, drivers and teams alike, and it is on days like these that it repays every tiny bit of effort one hundred fold. They are beyond description in the degree of pleasure, satisfaction and joy that they bring us all. Lewis has all but wiped out the deficit to Vettel in one hammer blow and the team has taken another big leaps in the constructors’ race thanks to a tremendous display from Valtteri, whose work this afternoon completely erased the gearbox penalty he was forced to take this weekend. It feels like we are starting to build some good momentum in recent races and hopefully we can deliver the same sort of performance in two weeks’ time before heading into the summer break. Our work in the next fortnight will focus on optimising every single detail so that we arrive in Hungary prepared for all of the challenges that race can throw at us.

2017 British Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Lewis storms to his fifth British Grand Prix pole at Silverstone Lewis claimed his 67th career pole position - his fifth at the Silverstone Circuit and sixth of the 2017 season Lewis' fifth British Grand Prix pole equals the great Jim Clark' s long-time British GP pole

2017 British Grand Prix - Practise - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 British Grand Prix - Practise - Daren Frankish - USPA News

2017 British Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Battle continues with Round 10 of the 2017 season from Silverstone Toto Talks Great Britain Featured this Week: 2017 Aero, Put to the Test Stat Attack: Great Britain and Beyond Toto Talks Great Britain The British Grand Prix is one of the highlights of any Formula One season.

2017 Austrian Grand Prix

Valtteri Bottas 

That champagne tasted good! The first win is obviously special, but this is only my second win, so it’s a great feeling to get it. It’s been my best weekend yet with the pole and the win and I hope we can continue from here. The start was absolutely perfect – definitely my best start ever. And you saw how close it was with Sebastian at the end, so today I needed it. The car was so good this weekend, so I knew we could still do it. I got a massive blister on the rear-left in the second stint after just five laps, which made the car tricky to drive. I was losing more and more performance, but it wasn’t my first time having to keep Sebastian behind me. I kept my focus and managed to finish the race without any mistakes. It would have been tricky to keep Sebastian behind for much longer, so it was good to see the chequered flag. I’m still in the title fight and I’m only going to get better. We’re growing all the time.  


Lewis Hamilton 

It’s been a difficult weekend, but I can take heart that I limited the damage to Sebastian in the points and that I went forward through the field. The car was great today, I could push the entire race on the tyres and I gave it absolutely everything out there. I really don’t think there was much left in the car at the end of the race, but I was probably a bit too kind in my fight with Daniel – and left him too much space. I won’t do that again. We’ve slipped further behind Sebastian again, but there’s a long way to go. I’ll keep battling and I’ll never give up. Valtteri did a great job all weekend and thoroughly deserves the win. He’s just 15 points behind me now and he’s very much in this title fight. I’m really looking forward to Silverstone - I’ve got a few days to put this weekend behind me. I can’t wait to see the home crowd again and start with a clean slate. I hope I can use Silverstone as a springboard for the second half of my season.  


Toto Wolff  

That was a perfect day for Valtteri. He made a sensational start – although we had a few nervous moments when we heard it was under investigation. But after that he showed great pace in the first stint, then was able to manage a blistered tyre to the finish in the perfect way on his second stint. It was the perfect result for him and also for Lewis, to score maximum points. As for Lewis, he had a glimpse of P3 on the final laps but today it wasn’t quite meant to be. It was an afternoon of damage limitation for him and, in the final result, these are 12 points won and not six lost to Sebastian. He has had a tough run with the headrest problem in Baku and then the gearbox penalty here but he is still right in the fight. It’s not even half time in the championship and there are 275 points still to be won. Our target will be to let him fight back in the best possible way in Silverstone.  


James Allison, Technical Director 

It was a brilliant day for Valtteri whose pace in the first stint was absolutely mighty. The second half of his race was hampered by a blister but he drove with great poise to score his second win. Lewis came achingly close to the podium in the final laps, probably half a car length away from passing Ricciardo. We are sorry about the gearbox penalty he suffered but he tackled the situation as he always does: he got his head down and made the most of it. This was a good race for our Constructors’ Championship position, extending our slender advantage over Ferrari, but we need to make sure we give Lewis the equipment he needs at the next races to make sure he doesn’t start Sunday afternoon on the back foot.

2017 Austrian Grand Prix - Saturday

Valtteri Bottas 
What a special feeling. It’s only the second pole for me and hopefully there’s more to come. It was a good lap in Q3, if not quite perfect. Today was all about building up the confidence in the car. I got it set up nicely and it’s great to get the second pole position of my career. I’m going to focus on my own race, rather than looking behind me tomorrow, but we will not underestimate the Ferraris. It’s going to be close and should be an interesting fight. Hopefully Lewis can fight back and we can score strong points for the team. The weather could be important tomorrow but starting first, I won’t complain if the rain stays away. The car feels great, especially on high fuel, and I’m ready to win. That’s the only target. It’s been too long since Russia.  

Lewis Hamilton 
It’s been a frustrating day for me. I had a chance to be fastest today and I didn’t quite put it all together on that final lap in Q3. I’m disappointed with my performance in Q3: it would have been great to do a better lap but it obviously wasn’t meant to be. Valtteri did a fantastic job though to take pole. The gearbox issue hasn’t played on my mind during the weekend but after qualifying you realise you’re starting further back. I think it will be tough to make progress tomorrow. The pack is a lot closer than in 2014 when I fought up to P2. But perhaps the weather can come into play. I’ll work as hard as I can to recover and try get as many points as possible. We still have great pace and the car has been fantastic here, so I know I’ve got the car to do the job. Let’s see how it all plays out tomorrow.  

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport 
Mixed emotions after qualifying today. Valtteri did the perfect job this afternoon – he built up his performance through the session and his second pole position is a good reward. He has lost out on positions by tiny margins this year, so it’s great to see him claim pole by a few hundredths this time round. As for Lewis, we knew he had a bit of a mountain to climb with the grid penalty for the gearbox change. His pace in Q2 on the super soft tyre showed that he is in good shape for tomorrow – but unfortunately he lost some time in Turn 1 on his final lap and that meant he finished the session P3. But he will start the race on the super soft tyre, so he has options for the race. I think all the pieces are in place for a really exciting Grand Prix, with a chance that the weather could mix things up as well. 

 James Allison, Technical Director  
If I am completely honest, we had hoped for a little more this afternoon, but it seems churlish to be anything other than delighted by a splendid pole position for Valtteri and third place for Lewis, whose performance in Q2 showed that he has plenty of race pace to unleash tomorrow. It will surely be an interesting Grand Prix, dodging the possible rain showers and making the most of our potential at this deceptively tricky track.
2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
n P1 and P3 today, so we need to learn our lessons and keep pushing for the next race in Austria.

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Lewis storms to Azerbaijan Grand Prix pole, as Valtteri completes a front-row lockout Lewis claimed his 66th career pole position to move into second on the all-time pole list It is Lewis' first pole in Baku, the fifth of the 2017 season, and his seventh in 10

Lewis storms to Azerbaijan Grand Prix pole, as Valtteri completes a front-row lockout

  • Lewis claimed his 66th career pole position to move into second on the all-time pole list
  • It is Lewis’ first pole in Baku, the fifth of the 2017 season, and his seventh in 10 races
  • Valtteri will start from P2, as the Silver Arrows took a second front-row lockout of 2017
  • Lewis completed a single run in both Q1 and Q2, then two runs in Q3 – all on the SuperSoft
  • Valtteri did one run in Q1, two runs in Q2 and two in Q3 – exclusively on the SuperSoft
  • Lewis Hamilton
    My pole lap in Montreal was pretty special, but I think this one here tops that. My first run in Q3 was actually really good, but I was a bit greedy into the last corner, locked up and cost myself time. After the red flag, there was a lot of pressure on that final lap. All weekend we’ve struggled to switch the car on over a single lap, but it was an all or nothing moment so I just gave it everything I had. Valtteri was on a great lap as well, so when I came across the line and saw that I had pole, it was such a good feeling. Even if that time had only been enough for P2 it was a lap to be proud of. We were struggling yesterday but we made a lot of changes overnight. A big thank you to the team who stayed late last night to get the car to where it is today – they did a fantastic job.

    Valtteri Bottas
    It’s disappointing to lose pole as that was the target today. It was looking good before the late red flag, but Lewis produced a great lap and mine just wasn’t good enough. That final run in Q3 was the first time we had tried to do a flying lap on the first lap, because of the temperatures, and I couldn’t get them to work as well as Lewis did - I just couldn’t find that grip out there. But what I’m most proud of today is the huge effort the team put in overnight to switch on the car. We were quite lost on Friday but we made some changes and turned the weekend around. Going into the race we have a fantastic starting position and I’m expecting a good fight with Lewis.

    Toto Wolff
    This is a fantastic qualifying performance after a tricky start to the weekend yesterday. The team did some great work overnight to put the car right in the sweet spot – and both drivers put in a strong performance. We had planned to do one long run in Q3, because that looked like the best way to get the maximum from the tyres, so the pressure was really on after the red flag with just one timed lap possible. That was the big pressure moment and both guys delivered – Valtteri found a quarter of a second then Lewis produced one of those hammer laps to take pole. Tomorrow, though, is another story again. The race pace is a bit of an unknown after some scrappy sessions yesterday, but we are in the best starting positions. Now we need to make a clean getaway then make the most of our opportunities in the race.

    James Allison, Technical Director

    A diva our car might be but the engineering team and drivers are gradually learning how to talk to her. This was a pretty impressive performance with both cars, and especially the performance on the last run, when we were able to set a competitive time on the first lap using tyres which have been tricky to warm up sufficiently during the rest of the weekend. This is not an easy track, and it has not been an easy weekend so far, but today’s result is a good indication of the steady progress we have made through each session. We will be aiming to build on that tomorrow.

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Friday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix - Friday - Daren Frankish - USPA News

More work to do in Baku

  • Lewis was fifth fastest in the morning session, with Valtteri in P6
  • Valtteri ended the day with the second fastest time in the afternoon session, with Lewis P10
  • Both drivers ran the Soft, SuperSoft and Medium compound tyres in FP1
  • Both drivers then used the Soft and SuperSoft in FP2

Driver

Chassis No.

FP1

FP2

Valtteri Bottas

F1 W08 EQ Power+/03

19 Laps

1:45.737

P6

32 Laps

1:43.462

P2

Lewis Hamilton

F1 W08 EQ Power+/05

16 Laps

1:45.497

P5

23 Laps

1:44.525

P10


Valtteri Bottas

Practice one was quite tricky: we were struggling with the setup of the car and it wasn’t so well balanced. Today, we needed multiple laps in a row to generate the temperatures we want for a good balance. FP1 wasn’t a happy session, but we made some changes ahead of FP2 and the car definitely felt more comfortable. We are moving in the right direction and hopefully we’ll make another step this evening. We’ll work hard and if we can find those gains we’ll be right up there fighting for pole position.

Lewis Hamilton
It was a difficult day out there. This circuit is a tough one and we had a few challenges that we tried to work through today. We’ve clearly still got lots of work to do ahead of qualifying, but Valtteri’s time in FP2 looked promising, so there is obviously pace in the car, which is encouraging. Now it’s just a case of getting our heads together tonight to work out exactly how to extract that pace across the entire weekend.

James Allison, Technical Director

It was a scrappy day punctuated every few seconds by dozens and dozens of off-track frolics. The associated yellow flags interrupted the rhythm at a circuit where it is quite challenging to get temperature into the tyres, especially the fronts, and that as much as anything dictated your position on the leader board today. However, we have work to do overnight to make the car’s handling sweeter, as both drivers were struggling to get temperature into the front tyres and, as a consequence, suffering with front locking. There is going to be a lot more lap time to come from all of the front runners as the track rubbers in and the drivers gain in confidence. It’s already close at the front, so I expect that those who work well overnight, and keep a cool head tomorrow, will be rewarded in qualifying and the race.

USPA NEWS - Battle continues with Round Eight of the 2017 season from the Baku City Circuit.  

Toto Talks Azerbaijan -   
Seeing all the analysis that had been done after Monaco come together so well in Canada gave us great satisfaction. Now, it’ s about maintaining that momentum.  That’s the nice bit and also the difficult bit in Formula One. The last race doesn’t count any more. You’re being benchmarked constantly on the current performance. Public companies issue reports four times per year. We do it 20 times, on a very public platform – the race track.  When you have a bad day, you can either be downbeat about it or pull yourself up and start to act on it. This is what we have done. We moved on – and these are the days that make you progress much more than the good days. Like the old saying goes, success is a lousy teacher. Every time we’ve had a difficult weekend we have come back stronger. And that speaks volumes for the people in this team.  In this season, where it’s so close, you need to take it one race at a time and try to have the best package at each race – chassis, Power Unit, and drivers. This is how we are approaching it and that’s the only way.  It’s a long Championship. There will be weekends that are good and ones that are not so good. It’s about making the best out of it each time – maximising the points that are on the table during the difficult times and bringing the trophies home when everything does come together.  Lewis is in the best place I have seen him during any of the last five years since he joined the team. Not only because he had a great weekend in Montreal – but because he is coping so well with the difficult days. This is what the very best are made of. When the fight gets tough, they get over it quickly and maximise their opportunities.  Likewise, Valtteri is in a strong position. You would never think he joined the team very last minute over the winter and, after, seven Grands Prix, he has exceeded even our expectations. He’ s been on pole, won a race and challenged Lewis on both Saturday and Sundays. For him, it’s now just about putting it all together every single weekend and I have no doubt he will do that.  In terms of the car, we’ve joked about it being a bit of a diva. But it’s a good car – though sometimes it can be difficult. This is something we have to accept so that we can understand and appreciate the many positive characteristics that it has. I believe our car is the fastest on the grid and I wouldn’t want any other.  It’s always interesting to discover new places and I really didn’ t know what to expect going to Azerbaijan for the first time last year. They’ve done a great job with the circuit, the city centre is beautiful, the infrastructure works well and our hosts look after us well, so I’m looking forward to going back again. 

Featured this Week: 
Tackling Track Surface -   The bond between driver and race car might be the most prominent in the paddock. But just as important a relationship is that between the cars, their tyres, and the black stuff below – the track surface. And it’s an important one too. It’s those chunky Pirellis that connect the car to the circuit, and the interaction between tyre and track surface that generates grip.  Barely a Grand Prix media session passes without mention of track surface in relation to car set-up – usually in reference to the eternal quest for the perfect balance. Different track surfaces completely transform the grip generated by a tyre, influencing everything from set-up to strategy. So, naturally, it’s crucial for teams to understand how that interaction will develop each weekend. On a particularly ‘smooth’ track (as seen in Baku or Mexico City, for example), the surface is less abrasive, tyre wear is expected to be lower and it’s generally a lot easier to look after the rubber – aside from under extremes of temperature – meaning that softer compounds are a viable option. This is due to the fact that, when the tyre is compressed into the track surface under load, there is no part of the rubber moulding into the ground.  When tarmac is laid, it contains stones and bitumen. Initially, the bitumen serves as a layer over the stones, making it very smooth. But, as time continues to pass, the surface becomes increasingly worn. This natural evolution of a track surface creates significant variations in tyre behaviours.  Bahrain and Barcelona are both examples of what engineers would term a ‘rough’ circuit, where the peaks and troughs of the aggregate on the surface can be seen. When a tyre runs over this surface it stresses the rubber, which not only has an effect on grip levels but also increases sliding – which in turn increases the wear rate of the rubber. Circuits which feature high-speed corners, high cornering loads and old tarmac are particularly aggressive on wear – Suzuka being a prime example.  Ultimately, Formula One engineers aren’t phased by either type of surface. What matters is that they understand what type of surface they’ll be racing on so that they can then set the car up to generate the right kind of grip. Even at two similar circuit configurations, running a car with an identical set-up would yield a completely different balance at each venue if the tarmac were different. And in terms of strategy, the nature of the track has a significant influence on wear and degradation. The other notable multiplier in the mix is temperature. New tarmac is typically very dark in colour. And because it’s so dark, it reaches a very high temperature in direct sunlight. In Baku last year, for example, track temperature peaked at 55°C – approaching the point at which it starts to become extremely difficult to keep the tyres under control. As the surface became too hot, teams began to struggle with a loss of grip, which directly hurt wear and degradation and subsequently influenced strategy calls on the pit wall.  Extremes of temperature don’t always affect tyre performance in the same way on different track surfaces, however. In fact, even the fundamental science behind such calculations can’t explain every aspect of the relationship between temperatures, tyres and the track surface. It’s a constant learning curve for every team in the pit lane – and one which will need to be mastered for a successful weekend in Baku. 
2017 Canadian Grand Prix
Lewis leads Valtteri in stunning Silver Arrows 1-2 in Montreal 

 Lewis took his 56th career victory today – his sixth at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, and third of the 2017 season. Lewis scored his fourth career Grand Slam, claiming pole, the victory, fastest lap and leading every lap of the Grand Prix. Valtteri came home in second to secure the Silver Arrows’ first 1-2 of 2017 Lewis (129 points) closes the gap on Sebastian Vettel (141 points) to just 12 points in the Drivers' Championship, with Valtteri (93 points) a further 36 points back in P3.  Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (222 points) lead the Constructors' Championship by eight points from Ferrari (214 points) in P2.

Lewis Hamilton - 

It’s been such an incredible weekend.  I just couldn’t be happier with how it’s gone and I’m so grateful for this result. We came away from Monaco and we were scratching our heads, but we pulled together and look what we achieved. We came here with a much better understanding of the car and we delivered a real blow to the Ferraris. Valtteri did a fantastic job too and this is our first one-two finish together. We’ve scored a big load of solid points and it’s well deserved. It’s crazy to think I had my first pole and win here 10 years ago. The race actually felt very reminiscent of 2007, in terms of how it unfolded. It’s a long race here, especially when you’re out there on your own, but I knew the car would hold together and it did perfectly.  

Valtteri Bottas -

I’m so happy for us as a team to bounce back the way we did this weekend. It’s so impressive to see how the team has reacted in the last two weeks – how it’s worked and improved. I’ve never seen a group of people so determined to win and to get back on top, so to get the one-two finish today, it’s amazing. I tried my best to be aggressive and to get ahead of the Ferraris off the start and it worked, but I had a bit of a lock-up there which compromised my first stint. I lost some time behind the Red Bull and then the Force India after the stop, so we went for the Soft tyre for the second stint, but I didn’t quite have the pace. But I brought the car home for some great points.  

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport -

 That feels absolutely great. We have finally taken a 1-2 finish and done so at a track that we expected would be difficult for us – and which certainly was for us last year. Lewis delivered a stellar performance this weekend: a pole lap that was almost scary when you watch the onboard, then a totally dominant race. Likewise, Valtteri struggled with the car yesterday but he got everything right today to complete a perfect day for our team. Ever since Monaco, the guys and girls in the factory have been flat out. There was no weekend and people working 24/7 to better understand our problems – credit goes to so many people. So to bounce back in this way shows the calibre of the group that we have in the team. But the secret to this weekend was to keep the ball flat, stay calm, analyse our problems and come up with solutions. So this is the time to keep our feet on the ground, keep working hard and take it one race at a time. We saw some encouraging signs today but we need to working in just the same way to translate them into more success in Baku.  

James Allison, Technical Director - 

 Not every Grand Prix win can deliver the same breathless cut and thrust of the race we saw one month ago in Barcelona – but this is nonetheless an extremely satisfying team result after the disappointment of Monaco a fortnight ago. We came racing back on all cylinders here and made important headway in both championships. It’s our first one-two finish of this season and will allow us to approach the next race in Baku with a spring in our step.

2017 Canadian Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Lewis storms to Canadian Grand Prix pole to equal Ayrton Senna's career total. Lewis stormed to his 65th Formula 1 pole position to equal his hero Ayrton Senna's long-standing pole total. It is Lewis' sixth pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and his fourth of the 2017 season.

Lewis Hamilton
Honestly, I’m so happy. Montreal has been very good to me over the years. It was such a close battle with the Ferraris - they have been so quick this weekend. I dug down deep… It was a great lap, a sexy lap! I can't quite believe that it all came together so well. After such a tough time in Monaco, we learned from our mistakes. I owe this one to all the team back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth. I was just shaking when I was presented with Ayrton’s helmet. For many of you, Ayrton was your favourite driver. He was mine too. To receive this and match his record is a great honour. 

Valtteri Bottas
Firstly, a big congratulations to Lewis for his 65th pole position today. It’s a great achievement to match Senna. I was really trying hard, but it was a tricky day for me. I struggled with the balance of the car and wasn’t really happy in FP3. We made some changes and the car was much better in qualifying, but then in Q3 when it came down to getting those last hundredths and tenths, the car became unstable again. I just couldn’t get that lap together. The long runs seem okay though, so once again, I’m expecting it to be very close in the race with Ferrari. It’s all about tomorrow. 

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
I’m very pleased indeed with how the team has worked this weekend. We have improved the car from session to session, made good decisions with the set-up and, with a sensational lap from Lewis on top, pole is the reward. We spent the first half of qualifying working out which timed lap was the optimum for tyre performance and, in the end, settled on the first timed lap. It was all on the line for Lewis in that final run, so to find three tenths was very impressive; it takes him to a very significant milestone in his career, level with Ayrton Senna in terms of pole positions, which I know means a lot to him. For Valtteri, third on the grid is a strong starting position but he wasn’t as comfortable with the car today. It was very closely matched with Ferrari and I’m sure we will see more of the same tomorrow. I am always the skeptic when it comes to making predictions – but that’s the mind-set we need to cover all the bases tonight and have a strong race. 

James Allison, Technical Director 
This is another race weekend where we knew that we were right in the fight – but had no idea if we had enough performance to put our car on pole position. What makes it such a sweet feeling is to see two immaculate laps and a really commanding performance from Lewis. Valtteri was unable to improve on his final run, but nevertheless retained a strong P3 which puts us in good stead for the Grand Prix. The feeling of being on pole is absolutely fantastic but, of course, we have it all to do again tomorrow.
USPA NEWS
Silver Arrows back on song in Montreal. Lewis topped the morning session with Valtteri just 0.237s shy in P3. Lewis ended the day with the second fastest time in the afternoon session, with Valtteri fourth quickest. Both drivers ran the SuperSoft and UltraSoft compound tyre in FP1. Lewis then used the SuperSoft and UltraSoft rubber in FP2, while Valtteri ran on the Soft and UltraSoft tyres.

Lewis Hamilton - 
It’s been a pretty good first day for the team. The Ferraris are looking fast here and as the times show, it’s super close at the top right now. I feel like we are still just a little bit behind the red cars at this early stage of the weekend, but we’ll be pushing as hard as we can to close the gap ahead of qualifying on Saturday. After a tough weekend in Monaco, the main thing is that our car is already feeling a lot better around Montreal. It should be game on for the rest of the weekend.

Valtteri Bottas - 
After Monaco it was really nice to start this weekend with a positive feeling from the car. I think that we are looking quite competitive here, but it’s only practice. After practice two, it’s clear we still have a bit more work to do with the UltraSoft tyre to get more laptime out of those. But the car felt good on the Soft tyres that I tried. We’ll focus on finding that edge of extra performance from the UltraSoft and fine-tuning the set-up overnight. Otherwise I really enjoyed it and had good fun out there, but it’s the next two days that count.

James Allison, Technical Director - 
We had a trouble-free day with both cars which allowed us to get through our planned practice programme. As always on the first day in Canada, conditions were tricky owing to the low grip levels and the circuit seemed particularly dirty today. That factor, plus the number of cars on a short lap, made it difficult to put together consistent and meaningful running. Nevertheless, what we have seen so far suggests that we will have another ding-dong battle on our hands, like at the first six races – and it is very hard to predict who will come up with the goods on Sunday.

2017 Canadian Grand Prix - Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - 2017 Canadian Grand Prix - Preview - Battle continues with Round Seven of the 2017 season from the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Toto Talks Canada "Yesterday's home runs don't win today's games, so said Babe Ruth and he was right.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix

2017 Monaco Grand Prix - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Valtteri just falls short of the podium, as Lewis fights back to seventh. Valtteri came home in P4, behind Daniel Ricciardo, but ahead of Max Verstappen, after an intense battle with the Red Bulls in Monte Carlo. Lewis battled from P13 on the grid to claim seventh at the chequered flag.

Valtteri just falls short of the podium, as Lewis fights back to seventh.

 Valtteri came home in P4, behind Daniel Ricciardo, but ahead of Max Verstappen, after an intense battle with the Red Bulls in Monte Carlo Lewis battled from P13 on the grid to claim seventh at the chequered flag. 

Sebastian Vettel (129pt) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 25 points from Lewis (104pt) in P2 Scuderia Ferrari (196pt) lead the Silver Arrows (179pt) by 17 points in the Constructors’ Championship


Valtteri Bottas 

Missing out on a first Monaco podium is painful. It’s been a long week and we’ve worked so hard, so it’s disappointing to miss out. I was stuck in the traffic while Daniel [Ricciardo] was running in free air and ultimately, that cost me a place on the podium. It’s been a really tough weekend for us and we’ve just been missing pace. Ferrari were very strong this weekend and for whatever reason, their car seems easier to operate, so we have work to do. We have to learn from this, but there’s a long year ahead. Hopefully this will be our worst weekend this season. Canada should be a different story. 

Lewis Hamilton 

I’m really, really happy that I was able to fight back to seventh. The strategists said P10 was probably the maximum today, so it feels great to have beaten that target. To score six points, considering where I was on the grid after a disastrous day on Saturday is a good recovery. Today it was impossible to overtake and I tried everything to get past Carlos [Sainz] at the end! I’m just grateful to have ended up in P7. I went on the radio at the end there to make sure the team know that this battle isn’t over. We’ll be sure to push those red cars hard next time out in Canada. We’ve got a real fight on our hands, but there are still 14 races to go.  

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport  

Ferrari dominated the race today and first of all we must congratulate them for that performance. But our job is to analyse what happened to us this weekend and then to understand it. Today was a day of damage limitation and the drivers did that as well as they possibly could have done. Valtteri drove a controlled and consistent race. He was unfortunate to lose P3 at the pit stops but, with two cars, Red Bull had the chance to pincer him and they made that work. We successfully covered Verstappen but then Ricciardo was able to unleash some lap times that we just couldn't match. As for Lewis, he did a great job to take every opportunity that came his way and climb to P7, which was the maximum of our expectations for him today. There were also glimpses of competitive lap times during the later part of the race on the super soft tyre. But the reality is that we were in and out of the working window of the tyres this weekend and that made our performance too inconsistent overall. We have limited the damage and need to work hard to understand our weakness and come back much stronger in Montreal in two weeks' time.  

James Allison, Technical Director 

 Both drivers did their utmost today to gather as many valuable points as possible for the championship ahead. But it is clear that this weekend we didn't give them the equipment necessary to do better. This has been a tough week for us and we now need to go back to the factory and make sure we do everything in our power to ensure it remains our weakest result of the year - and that we can return to form in Canada.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix - Saturday - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Valtteri scores P3 in Qualifying, as Lewis misses out on Q3. Valtteri will start tomorrow's Monaco Grand Prix from P3, after missing out on pole by 0.045s in a tight-fought Qualifying. Lewis completed a single run in Q1 and two runs in Q2 - like Valtteri, all on the UltraSoft.

Valtteri Bottas 
This weekend has been a bit tricky for us. We started well in FP1 before getting a bit lost with the set-up in FP2. Then it was difficult to get a lap together in Qualifying as well. It takes two to three laps to build the temperature up and find the right balance and feel for the car. It was very close today but Ferrari seems to have the upper hand here – they were very strong this afternoon. Of course it would be nice to start on the front row but anything is possible from P3 on the grid. It’s difficult to overtake here but it’s definitely a race of opportunity. Tomorrow is Monaco, where anything can happen.  

Lewis Hamilton 
 I really struggled with the car today and I just don’t think the opportunity was quite there for me. It was a little bit unfortunate with the yellow flag, but it doesn’t really matter now if I could have gone faster. I think that lap may have just got me into the top 10 but I would have struggled to make it into the top five with the pace that I had. Valtteri didn’t have any struggles today so I’m a bit confused and I can’t pinpoint the problem at the moment. I’m feeling pretty deflated right now but I’ll try again tomorrow. It’s great that Valtteri extracted a good lap. We just need to identify why I wasn’t able to be up there too. Onwards and upwards.  

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport 
Two very different qualifying results today for Lewis and Valtteri. With Lewis, you could see even from the TV pictures that he was struggling with the car and nearly lost it a couple of times in qualifying. We don’t know at the moment what went wrong: we took a false turn with the set-up on Thursday and, since then, although we tried to retrace our steps, we never got it back on track for him. Of course he was unfortunate with the yellow flag for Vandoorne in Q2, as he was on course to make it through the session, but the car never felt good for him after FP1 and that made it tough to put together the laps. Tomorrow’s race will clearly be a case of damage limitation for him and trying to maximise his points score; but he will fight to the last lap. For Valtteri, it was quite a different outcome. The result he achieved didn’t look possible for much of the session but he really pulled out a fantastic lap on the final run in Q3 – and came just a few thousandths shy of a place on the front row. Ferrari are clearly in the driving seat for tomorrow but we will be in the hunt, too. 

James Allison, Technical Director  
That was an excellent lap from Valtteri who wrung every last drop of performance out of the car this afternoon and gave us a fighting chance in the race with a P3 grid position. Clearly we have a significant job of work on our hands to understand why the car was so difficult to drive for Lewis – and to figure out what we can do with the limited adjustments we can make, and the slightly greater freedom in race strategy, to recover as good a result as possible tomorrow.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix Preview - Daren Frankish - United States Press Agency News (USPA News)

USPA NEWS - Battle continues with Round Six of the 2017 season from the Circuit de Monaco Toto Talks Monaco Featured this Week: Monaco - One of a Kind (Includes Driver Video) Stat Attack: Monaco and Beyond Toto Talks Monaco "It's always good to come away from a race weekend with a points advantage, no matter how small.

USPA NEWS - Battle continues with Round Six of the 2017 season from the Circuit de Monaco  Toto Talks Monaco Featured this Week: Monaco – One of a Kind (Includes Driver Video) Stat Attack: Monaco and Beyond

Toto Talks Monaco 

“It’s always good to come away from a race weekend with a points advantage, no matter how small. But the gap is just that: very small. We are in a massive fight with Ferrari. On one side, this is very exciting and challenging. But on the other side, it is going to stretch us to our limits. You cannot base your current assessment on the balance of power on just Barcelona. “It was painful to lose 15 valuable points with Valtteri retiring from P3. We’ve identified the root cause of the problem, which was the turbo. We haven’t seen that defect before, which shows you that you need to be double diligent. This is a technical sport and if you stretch your limits, you’ll encounter technical problems.  “If you look at the results, both Pascal and Esteban had a really good weekend. Pascal made the one-stop strategy work and could have been P7 – but P8 is still very good for him and very valuable points for Sauber. I’m happy to see how Pascal has fitted into the team. He speaks highly about the team and is on a great learning curve. “As for Esteban, Force India have been very successful in scoring regular points. Esteban is making a good contribution to that. He will really need to stretch himself to beat Checo (Pérez), who is the benchmark for him, but I’m interested to see how that battle develops. They’re pushing each other to new levels and Force India will be the beneficiary. “We expect Monaco to be a completely different ball game to Barcelona. The circumstances, working environment and driving challenges are completely different to anywhere else – and you need to get everything exactly right if you want to perform to your maximum around those streets. Not every factor is under your control, either, so you need to turn fortune in your favour at the right time if you want everything to come together.  “Monaco is also one of our busiest races. We welcome many guests, executives and partners, who all contribute to our success in different ways. It’s extra special to have this group cheering for us, so we look forward to their support at the track. “Every weekend will push us to the limit; this is the new reality of Formula One in 2017. The last three years were extraordinary. But this season I have re-discovered why I love the sport. I love the intense competition. This competition means that you won’t be winning easily – but that you’ll have a fierce fight on your hands. Because of that, the feeling is even greater when you manage to come out on top, as we did in Spain.  “If we get the job done in Monaco, I’m pretty sure we’ll bring down the garage roof. We’re all properly fired up for this fight, so let’s see what we can do…” Featured this Week: Monaco – One of a Kind  Monaco is a race like no other. You don’t need to be an F1 aficionado to know that much. The tight, twisting circuit that threads its way through the famous streets of Monte Carlo is a one-of-a-kind throwback to the eras of Fangio or Caracciola. And even now, decades later, this remains the crown jewel of the Formula One calendar.  It’s the race every single driver on the grid wants to win – or win again, in Lewis Hamilton’s case. But victory in the Principality isn’t quite like winning anywhere else. The greatest Grand Prix of them all offers a unique challenge not only to the drivers but the teams as well. Monaco is the ultimate drivers’ circuit – a track all about precision. Drivers spend hours at the factory ahead of the race studying and preparing for this one race. Some go even further…  “I’ve been doing this for a long time now,” says Lewis. “I spend a lot of time at the factory with the engineers to understand past races. Just the other night, I was driving around the track in my Smart car, visualising the circuit. It’s not so easy, though, when there are lots of cars around!” As Lewis explains, racing at Monaco is all about peaking at exactly the right moment. A driver must feel his way into the weekend, building up confidence and momentum as the track develops. From the moment they turn left out of the garage on Thursday morning in FP1, this process begins. They’ll push that bit harder, flirt that fraction closer with the barriers and brake a touch later, as they find more time from within themselves.  “The most important thing is that you have to learn to walk before you run,” says Lewis. “You have to build up to the pace so that, by the time you work up to that second run in Q3, you’re at 100%.” You’ll often see drivers who are quick in the earlier sessions crash out on Saturday morning in FP3 where they’ve pushed just that bit too much, too early. Monaco is not a circuit that forgives. If you misjudge your braking or your turn-in point even by a matter of millimetres, you’ll end up in the barriers. And if you lose a session in Monaco, you’ll struggle to recover from it.  “It’s one of those weekends when you really need to be on the top of your game,” explains Valtteri. “You need to be so focused on what is a mentally exhausting weekend. You need to be focused on every single car of every single lap, because one mistake will cost you.” Then there’s the added challenge of 2017’s wider, heavier, faster cars. “We have new cars this weekend which are wider and faster, so that’s going to be a massive challenge,” says Lewis. “In trying to push the car as close as you can to the limit, it’ll be a real test of your awareness of where the car is. I’m sure there will be some brushing of the barriers…”  Monaco is the one race of the year when the Grand Prix can almost feel like a side show to the main event. Amongst the boat parties and the superstar celebs, having a distraction-free weekend is a huge part of the challenge for the drivers. To combat this fatigue, the engineers spend a lot of time ensuring that their drivers are able to break up their time and switch off. It’s tough, with Monaco a busy weekend from a media and marketing perspective. But this is crucial in allowing the drivers to relax and get away from what is a very intense weekend, with immense pressure.  “It’s a circuit which is all about mental strength,” says Lewis. “You need to be sharp and clear. Experience counts here too – that helps massively in setting the car up.” Ultimately, Monaco is a weekend all about compromise, from the engineering setup to the cars themselves. The pit wall, for example, sits one story above the compact garages rather than overlooking the start finish-line as it does at every other circuit.  While engineers don’t necessarily need to see the cars to engineer them these days, instead relying on bespoke software for strategy and live feeds for visual aids, they do like to be able to see the garage. In Monaco, the occupants of the pit wall have to rely on cameras to show them what is going on. It may seem simple – but good communication becomes even more important in that environment. Logistically, too, Monaco is tricky to say the least. A distinct lack of garage space means the engineers share their office with front wings, floors and hydraulic systems. The frequent support races during the weekend mean they also have to deal with a near constant level of noise, as cars fly past while important debriefs are underway.  There’s not much space downstairs either. The tyre technicians, for example, have to work down in the harbour – carrying all of the tyre sets up to the pit lane as and when they’re needed because there is simply not enough space in the garage. These factors heap extra pressure on what is already a tough weekend for the team. Track position takes on an even greater level of importance and must be considered in any strategy move here. When you’re in the lead of the Monaco Grand Prix, it’s all about protecting that position and managing the advantage. The last thing you want to do is offer the trailing car clean air and an opportunity to pass through strategy. .  In fact, you’ll often see the leader driving within their means through fear of storming into a lead, only to see their advantage wiped out when they’re left on worn tyres later in the stint. This year’s tyres offer a new challenge, as teams expect to be able to complete the entire race distance on either the UltraSoft or SuperSoft. That low degradation rate means a smaller delta between the tyres, which will only make it trickier to pass.  All these factors converge to make Monaco the stiffest test a driver can face in F1. Amid the yachts, glamorous guests and VIP events, it all comes down to mastering those 3.337 km of undulating tarmac. “Monaco is always a great challenge,” smiles Valtteri. “We live for these kinds of challenges.”
2017 Spanish Grand Prix
Mixed emotions after tense Barcelona battle, as Lewis claims victory but Valtteri retires. 

Lewis took his 55th career victory today – his second at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, and second of the 2017 season. 

Valtteri experienced his first retirement as a Silver Arrows driver with a mechanical failure on lap 39 Lewis set the fastest lap of the race for the third time this season – the 50th Formula One fastest lap for the three pointed star. 

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (161 points) lead the Constructors’ Championship by eight points from Ferrari (153 points) in P2 Lewis (98 points) closes the gap on Sebastian Vettel (104 points) to just six points in the Drivers’ Championship, with Valtteri (63 points) a further 35 points back in P3


Lewis Hamilton 

It’s been a really good weekend and a great way to bounce back from Russia. It was the rawest fight that I can remember having in a long-time. I loved it, this is why I race. This is what made me get into racing in the first place. This is what the sport needs to be like every single weekend. To have a close battle like that with a four-time champion is awesome. I lost out on the start and had to watch Sebastian fly by. He was so fast out in front and it was such a push to keep in touch with him and not let him pull away. I was able to manage my tyres in the first stint and keep relatively close, then it was tricky to keep up on the Medium tyre and then after the second stop. We came out so close together which was super tight into Turn 1. He didn’t give me much space, it was close! I thought Seb would get me at the end of the final stint but I was able to do it. I have to congratulate my team today, with the strategy and the pit stops, as well as everyone back at the factory that has worked so hard to deliver these upgrades, enabling us to be so close in this fight with Ferrari.  


Valtteri Bottas 

It’s been a tough weekend. We had problems straight from practice, when we had to swap to the old engine on Saturday morning. Then today we had an engine failure in the race. We don’t know any more than that at this stage. We knew it was a risk switching back to the old Power Unit in terms of the mileage but we didn't if we wanted to qualify yesterday. At least we got more points than Ferrari today in spite of the retirement. The first corner was very tight. I had a good start but there was no were to go. I tried to avoid the collision but I touched Kimi. Lewis was on a different strategy while I was running long. We tried to execute a one-stop which is why I was lapping slower at that point. It could have been a rewarding strategy but with the Virtual Safety Car the guys in front had a free pit stop. We should have both been on the podium today. It’s always disappointing when you don’t finish but we’ll pick ourselves up and move on.  


Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport  

That was an epic Grand Prix. Racing simply doesn’t go more wheel to wheel – and we were treated to some fantastic racing for the win. Today’s win was one for the whole team: an amazing drive from Lewis, great calls by our strategy team, good defensive driving by Valtteri, the fastest pit stops of the race and a quick, consistent upgraded car. Everything clicked and came together for us. It wasn’t an easy race after we lost position at the start: we were on the back foot, so when Vettel covered the early undercut, we sent Lewis long and took the medium tyre – to give us options at the end with another set of softs. Then we made perfect use of the VSC and took a risk to run nearly half the race on a set of softs: we thought it would work out but it was always going to be tight. After that, it came down to some brilliant driving and then managing the tyres and engine just right to the final lap. But it was not a perfect day: we lost one car with a technical failure and Valtteri struggled with a damaged car after the contact at Turn One. In spite of that, he drove well and the one-stop approach could have worked out for him until the VSC happened. But it was a day when only one Ferrari finished, so in spite of the retirement, we built up our championship lead. But this was Lewis’ day with a supreme drive. People have been asking me if Lewis is now back. The truth is he has never been away – and today’s showed it.  


James Allison, Technical Director  Grands Prix

 like that are why we go motor racing. Winning is always lovely. But when you win a proper 12 round heavyweight fight in this kind of style, and along the way answer all sorts of questions about tyre degradation, following other teams and the car’ s handling – and then see a driver at the peak of his craft like Lewis was today – there’s nothing better than that. It was a body blow not to get our second car home and we will be looking carefully at what happened to Valtteri. But the sweetness of winning is some compensation for the bitterness of that retirement.

2017 Russian Grand Prix
Valtteri claims his first Formula 1 victory with Lewis fourth in tense Russian Grand Prix.

 Valtteri took his maiden Formula One victory today after jumping the two Ferraris off the start, then edging out Sebastian Vettel in a nailbitting, race-long battle.

Lewis produced a battling drive to finish P4 after struggling with overheating throughout the race.

 Today’s result marks the 400th podium finish for Mercedes-Benz Power in Formula One.

 Lewis (73pt) is P2 in the Drivers' Championship, 13 points behind Vettel (86pt) in P1 Valtteri is in P3 (63pt), with Kimi Raikkonen fourth (49pt) Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (136pt) lead the Constructors’ Championship by a single point from Scuderia Ferrari (135pt).

Valtteri Bottas -

It’s going to take a while to sink in. Normally I’m not that emotional but hearing the Finnish national anthem was very special for me. It’s all a bit surreal, the first win and hopefully the first of many. It was definitely one of my best races ever. The pressure from Sebastian wasn’t too bad; the main issue was with the lapped cars, trying to get past those. It was tricky to pass them without losing time. I also had a lockup with about 15 laps to go that hurt the pace, but it was manageable. I asked for a bit of radio silence just to get on it and focus. I’m sure this victory will give me lots of confidence going forward. I knew I could do these results, I always trusted my ability, but this result confirms it.  


Lewis Hamilton - 

A big congratulations to Valtteri. He did an exceptional job today and he really deserves it. He’s been fast all weekend and he’s done such a good job for the team. He’s a fantastic teammate to work with and it’s such an amazing feeling winning your first Grand Prix. For me it was a very tough weekend. I just wasn’t quick enough. I’ve never had cooling issues like that before but it meant I was out of the race from the get-go. I think I had the pace to fight with Kimi, but the car just kept overheating. Ultimately, if I had better pace then I would have been further up. At least I got some good points for the team. I’m just hopeful that I can pick up the pace at the next race.  


Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport - 

A fantastic first win for Valtteri this afternoon and an amazing day for him. He controlled the race perfectly: a great start, then a perfect restart after the Safety Car and a fantastic first stint where he built the gap on the UltraSoft. But then it got tense: we stopped, didn't quite have the pace on the SuperSoft, hit traffic and it needed nerves of steel to handle the pressure in those final laps with a four-time champion closing in. But in the joy of Valtteri's first win, the result was also a reminder that we still have work to do. Lewis had to manage temperatures from very early on, which meant he couldn't unlock the potential of the undercut around the stops. After that, it was a question of managing the race and collecting the points. But it's clear we didn't give him the car to do the job this weekend and it is a priority for us to sort this out before Barcelona.  


James Allison, Technical Director - 

 We’re all so pleased to see Valtteri on the top step of the podium. A driver’s first win is always very special but especially when it comes like it did this weekend, off the back off some difficult sessions. That makes victory all the sweeter. Our happiness is tempered though by the fact that we couldn’t get Lewis into a position where he could be properly competitive. It’s a reminder to us that we have more work to do before we can put a car on the track for both Saturday and Sunday that we know is going to absolutely top rank competitive, which is what we’ll need to do in this, such a hard-fought and competitive season.

SATURDAY

Scuderia Ferrari edge the Silver Arrows in tense Sochi Qualifying shootout. Valtteri Bottas claimed P3 on the grid, with the top three cars covered by just 0.095s . Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow's Russian Grand Prix from P4. Both drivers completed a single run in Q1 on UltraSoft tyres, a single run on the UltraSoft in Q2, then two runs on the UltraSoft in Q3. 

Valtteri Bottas -
I think we can see Ferrari were quicker today. We were close in the end, but not close enough. All weekend they've had the upper hand and they've managed to extract more out of the tyres. They are looking very strong here and, as we’ve seen so far this year, Ferrari have a good race pace and we expect it to be the same tomorrow. We made an improvement from yesterday: it wasn’t quite enough but I think the changes we made overnight should help us in the race. Tomorrow is where it counts and starting on the second row is still not a bad place to begin the race. There’s a very long run down into Turn 2 and a lot of slipstreaming. Ferrari is ahead today, but hopefully not tomorrow.  

Lewis Hamilton -
I just wasn’t quick enough today. It was all in the last sector, I was losing half a second there. I’ve been struggling there all weekend with the balance and it’s been tough to utilise the tyres. We’ll go back to the drawing board tonight and try and improve. Ferrari did a great job. They look quick on race pace and my race runs weren’t great yesterday, so it’s going to be tough. But we’ll give everything we’ve got. Sochi isn’t the easiest track to follow on, but there are long straights which should offer the opportunity to move forward. That’s our goal. I’m on the dirty side of the grid so I haven’t done myself any favours off the start. But that was the best job I could do today. We’ve got a real race to look forward to. There’s no point being upset; we’ll channel our positive energy and hopefully Sunday will be better.  

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport -
Today’s result showed that, while Ferrari and ourselves are a long way ahead of the other teams, it’s still a work in progress for us to get the car into the right window and performing consistently. We made a good step compared to yesterday but this afternoon, the top three were covered by less than a tenth of a second and Valtteri could even have been on pole with his final lap until a small mistake in the last sector. As for Lewis, he hasn’t been happy with the car, finding it tricky to drive, and this is a place where you need to feel good with the car to hook it all up. So we start from the second row tomorrow and now it’s our job to look forward and see what the race can bring. As the hunters and not the hunted, maybe we have some different cards we can play to chase the race victory.  

James Allison, Technical Director -
It always hurts when you’re not at the front and even more so when the gaps are so small. After struggling yesterday in practice, we did a good job to unlock the performance of the car overnight and made a good step forward relative to our competitors and Ferrari in particular. However, it wasn’t quite enough to get either car on the front row. We will knuckle down this evening, prepare thoroughly and look forward to a strong race tomorrow in what are expected to be broadly similar conditions.  Valtteri Bottas It’s been an interesting day. It’s a very different situation here with the asphalt and the temperatures compared to what we experienced in Bahrain. We were learning about the tyres on long runs and short runs and it seems like over one lap we still have work to do to get the maximum out of the UltraSoft tyre - that’s our focus tonight. But we can’t forget how important the race is.  We have started the weekend in the right way. The car feels good and the balance is there. A good start but we definitely need to work hard to find some lap time for qualifying.  Lewis Hamilton Bit of a difficult day for us. We managed to complete everything that we needed to do on our runs, but in terms of the balance of the car, the Ferrari seemed very, very fast on the long runs, so we need to work out how we can improve our pace. But there’s still everything to play for. The tyres feel very peaky, so it’s easy to drop out of the window of performance. But when they’re working they seem to be good. 

James Allison, Technical Director -
We enjoyed plenty of useful running with both drivers having untroubled sessions – completing our planned programme. But it’s pretty clear from both the long run pace and the set-up runs that we have got a bit of work to do to be on equal terms with Ferrari. As normal we will set about cutting that gap overnight and hopefully we will have a car that is able to get the job done on Saturday and Sunday. There are clear avenues that we need to work on to make sure we are properly competitive tomorrow. If we get that right it’ll be close just as it has been all year.
FRIDAY

Valtteri Bottas -
It’s been an interesting day. It’s a very different situation here with the asphalt and the temperatures compared to what we experienced in Bahrain. We were learning about the tyres on long runs and short runs and it seems like over one lap we still have work to do to get the maximum out of the UltraSoft tyre - that’s our focus tonight. But we can’t forget how important the race is.  We have started the weekend in the right way. The car feels good and the balance is there. A good start but we definitely need to work hard to find some lap time for qualifying. 

Lewis Hamilton -
 Bit of a difficult day for us. We managed to complete everything that we needed to do on our runs, but in terms of the balance of the car, the Ferrari seemed very, very fast on the long runs, so we need to work out how we can improve our pace. But there’s still everything to play for. The tyres feel very peaky, so it’s easy to drop out of the window of performance. But when they’re working they seem to be good. 

James Allison, Technical Director -
We enjoyed plenty of useful running with both drivers having untroubled sessions – completing our planned programme. But it’s pretty clear from both the long run pace and the set-up runs that we have got a bit of work to do to be on equal terms with Ferrari. As normal we will set about cutting that gap overnight and hopefully we will have a car that is able to get the job done on Saturday and Sunday. There are clear avenues that we need to work on to make sure we are properly competitive tomorrow. If we get that right it’ll be close just as it has been all year.


USPA NEWS

PREVIEW

2017 Russian Grand Prix Preview 
Battle royal continues with Round Four of the 2017 season from the Sochi Autodrom. The 5.848-kilometre (3.634 mi) circuit is the third-longest circuit on the Formula One calendar, behind Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and Silverstone in the UK.

Toto Talks Russia 
"You need to be able to draw a line under a tough weekend. It’s very painful to lose a race like that. There were too many marginal losses that we encountered and these cost us the victory. But they are down to us to fix. You need to be careful not to spend too much time thinking about these setbacks, but rather work on solutions for the future. That’s important.  "Of course, you need to keep both feet on the ground. Second and third place is definitely not a disaster. But if you have a car and two drivers capable of winning races and it hasn’t materialised, then it feels painful – and this is how it should feel. "We know what weaknesses we need to tackle and where we need to be even more diligent for the coming races in order to win. You have to confront each issue, analyse it properly and come up with a plan for how to avoid repeating those mistakes in the future. This is an exercise which we have done a number of times over the last few years.  "I’m delighted for Pascal and for how he bounced back in Bahrain. He’s still not completely pain free but, considering that fact, he had a brilliant weekend. He had a great qualifying and a really solid race. It’s just a matter of time until he scores his first points for Sauber. I’m very happy about that. He’s proven all of the critics wrong. As for Esteban, he has a very strong teammate in Checo Perez to benchmark himself against and that is exactly what he’s doing at the moment. He’s on the right trajectory.  "It’s very good to see people talking positively about Formula One. Clearly, the close fight between Ferrari and Mercedes is something that is interesting for the fans. It’s interesting for us too. This is why we go racing – because we’re racers and we thrive on the competition and the battle.
"It’s a totally different kind of track this weekend in Sochi and, in this season with these new regulations, you can’t take anything for granted. The trophies of previous years don’t guarantee that we’ll be winning in Russia when you have a very fierce competitor like we do in Ferrari. We’ll take it one step at a time, start the weekend well and hopefully have a good result on Sunday." Featured this Week: 2017 Race Starts  It’s no secret that the new era of cars introduced for the 2017 Formula One season are tougher to handle out on track. But a lesser-known, if equally significant challenge is getting these mighty beasts off the line.  New restrictions governing the influence of engineers over race starts is the latest move to reduce so-called ‘driver aids’. For 2017, there are new limits on clutch control, as well as the movement and location of the steering wheel paddles. The target? To make the relationship between what the driver does with the clutch and the amount of torque that gets transferred through to the racetrack much more direct. Drivers still use a single clutch paddle. But, unlike previous years, clutch control is now a linear relationship. Gone are the clever engineering maps to help find a clutch position – that special sweet spot for the perfect getaway. Previously, a driver only needed to drop the clutch in the wide zone – a launch map setting predetermined by an engineer – for a clean start. Now, they have to control the torque themselves with the steering wheel paddle, making it a very direct relationship between what the driver wants and what he gets.  To that effect, the rules have been tightened on teams using any kind of steering wheel reference to assist drivers with race starts. The movement of the clutch paddle is limited to 80mm and it is forbidden to set a position in the motion of the clutch paddle that feels different, or where the driver can hold it in a particular position to get a specific torque. This has been achieved through the introduction of a significant exclusion zone around the paddle, meaning the driver can’t access anything else whilst using the clutch. Fundamentally, the driver operates the paddle by himself without any external reference.  It’s now completely up to the driver to position his hand and feel the torque of the car as it accelerates. Those drivers who have a feel for modulating the torque to the rear wheels, keeping the wheel spin under control and accelerating smoothly will get better starts. Those who are a bit too aggressive will get wheel spin. It’s all down to the men at the wheel. Given the extent of the challenge, it may therefore come as something of a surprise to see how little variability there has been between drivers and teams over the first three races of 2017. The biggest single loss off the grid so far this year has been by Sergio Pérez, who dropped three positions in the wet start in China – the weather adding another variable. In contrast, the two McLarens were quick off the line in Shanghai, both gaining three spots each. The Silver Arrows have lost just one position in three races thus far – Lewis dropping behind Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari in Bahrain under braking into Turn 1. In the same race, Pascal Wehrlein was shuffled down the pack on his first full race start of 2017, before battling his way back through the field to P11 by the flag. So how has this been achieved? Simply put, a major contributor is that drivers are doing more practice than ever before. It’s the typical Formula One case study – present a set of world class athletes and the world’s very best engineers with a challenge and they’ll rise to it.  Being the world’s quickest racing driver does not automatically equate to being able to pinpoint release a paddle to nail that perfect start. Practice makes perfect.  More so than ever in 2017, a driver’s start is a result of hard work over pure luck. Teams have reimagined starts into a science through systems, technology and practice. And the perfect start is a result of hard work and dedication from the drivers, continuously working with their engineers to perfect this procedure. The outcome of a driver’s race can be determined by what they do in those first three seconds. They now have more control over this aspect of racing, so they’ve taken on more responsibility. And as the early data shows, they’re stepping up to the challenge – just as one would expect the world’s best to. However, looking ahead to Sochi this weekend, the long run down into the braking zone at Turn 2 – the scene of last year’s opening lap accident – provides another new challenge. 501m covers the sprint from pole to Turn 1 in Bahrain; 458m in Shanghai and, for Melbourne, a relatively short 383m dash before sweeping into the first corner. Sochi on the other hand is a 1,029m stretch from pole to the Turn 2 apex. This brings with it some entirely different challenges. Factor in the increased drag of the 2017 cars, for example, which will affect each car on the long run into the first braking zone. The man on pole will take a big hit to those following from the second row and further back, who can make use of the tow to take advantage of, or even negate the effect of, a poor start. With a run down into Turn 2 at twice the distance of Bahrain, the opening seconds of the Grand Prix may prove the most exciting and variable we have seen so far in 2017...
2017 Bahrain Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton -
It’s been a challenging weekend. The start of the race was OK but Sebastian was in my blind spot so I didn’t know where he was and I lost a position there. It was really hard to follow but we generally had similar pace. Under the Safety Car, I just misjudged it myself the situation; that was my fault, so my apologies to the team. I had good pace in the second and final stints and we honestly thought we could catch Sebastian. But the five second penalty made that twice as hard. I believe it was the right choice to go with the Soft in the final stint. I think that was the best call as I still had a long way to go. Our guys have been making good calls all year so far. I tried my best to recover from the mistake but it wasn’t quite enough. We still come away with good points.
Valtteri Bottas -
Not a good day. We had an issue with the tyre pressures at the start. I don’t know what it was but I could really feel it in the first stint and was sliding around as early as Lap 2. The pace wasn’ t good and Sebastian put us under real pressure. I tried to extend the first stint but I couldn’t keep up with the pace. The second stint was better but I was still struggling with oversteer and then I couldn’t get the rear-end to work in the last stint. Under the Safety Car at the first stop there was a problem and we lost some time in the stop; maybe otherwise I would have just been in front but I know that the team will investigate the issue. I had some good racing with Sebastian after the restart but unfortunately it was just for a short moment. I’ve not had the race results that I’d been hoping for so far, but will be targeting a strong weekend in Sochi. 

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport -
Today’s race reminded us once again that we are in a very different competitive situation this year, racing against Ferrari – and I am confident that this is a challenge we will rise to as one team. After a winter of massive regulation change, we have been in the hunt for race wins at every weekend and that is the big positive for us. But today was another reminder that we need to get everything right in order to deliver. That’s a challenge we relish as sportsmen and women. Ultimately, this was a day of marginal losses which cost us the win – however, as we saw particularly with Lewis, the pace was there in the car at the times when we were able to extract it. Our first loss came on the grid when a generator failure left Valtteri with too high starting pressures; that limited his pace in the opening stint, meaning we could not open a gap to the field and, with Lewis running behind Vettel, our strategic choices were pretty limited. We were on the back foot and then Ferrari played the undercut perfectly to come out ahead. We got lucky with the Safety Car which gave us an opportunity to recover but a problem with the wheel guns meant we lost time and positions with both cars. With the cars running different tyre compounds, we had to make the tough unpopular call for Valtteri to let Lewis pass; it’s not something we like to do but, when the moment comes that the race win is in danger, we will always do what we need to in order to get it. After that, we offset Lewis’ strategy as much as possible to give him the chance of closing down Sebastian in the final laps, but after he had served the five-second penalty, it left him with too much to do. We leave Bahrain with a lot more learning and still more work to do, in order to perform at our best and convert the car’s speed into race wins. 

James Allison, Technical Director -
It’s always disappointing when you don’t convert your grid positions into a result. We had a handful of small setbacks which collectively cost us. In a season where the battle is very close on race day, these errors meant that we didn’t manage to convert our opportunities into the victory that we’d hoped for. But the important thing is that the pace is there in the car and now we’re just looking forward to getting to the next race in Russia and the opportunity to make good on what we didn’t manage to achieve tonight.
2017 Bahrain Grand Prix - Saturday
Valtteri Bottas I’m really happy with my first Formula One pole. It’s my fifth season in the sport now, so it took a few races. But we got it and hopefully it is the first of many. It feels good. I didn’t realise it’d been nearly 10 years since a Finn was last on pole. I’m very proud as always to drive for Finland and represent my country. It’s not an easy track to get everything right. It’s quite a technical and there are a few tricky corners. But I I’ve been getting more and more comfortable with the car and managed to get the lap together. Thankfully it was good enough for pole. I just want to say a big thanks to the team for giving me this car. It’s great that we’re both starting from the front row.  We’ve done a really good job this weekend to focus on the evening conditions and really maximise the lap time in the car.  We’ll enjoy this for a short period of time – but the main focus is the race tomorrow. There is no point to start dreaming just yet. It’s all about getting the maximum out of the race. As a team we can be really strong tomorrow.
Lewis Hamilton

A big congratulations to Valtteri. He’s been working so hard and he’s gelled so well with the team. Today he was just quicker than me and did the better job, so hats off to him on his first pole. My lap felt great but it was so close out there. I was losing quite a bit of time through the first sector, which is unusual as it’s usually a very strong sector for me. Overall it was a great battle and that’s exactly how close qualifying should always be. It forces us to be on the absolute limit. I’m happy with the job I did and it’ s great for the team to lockout our first front row. Today we had a bit of a margin over the Ferraris but generally in race trim they seem to be a bit quicker, so we expect them to be closer tomorrow. It’s definitely going to be tight. Looking after the tyres is difficult, so whether it is a one or two stop race will be interesting to see. Hopefully we’ll have a great battle tomorrow.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport -
That’s a fantastic result in a really close qualifying session with some great competition between the drivers. I’m very pleased for Valtteri. It was a tough race last weekend in China but he has been chipping away at his qualifying performances and he did a great job this evening, finding the last few hundredths on his second run in Q3. As for Lewis, he couldn’t quite improve on that final run – but for the first time this season we have both cars on the front row of the grid. The gap to Ferrari looks pretty good here but their drivers were complaining of understeer, so perhaps they have gone with more of a race set-up in mind. And then there’s Red Bull. You always have to have them on the radar because they have all the resources they need to be fighting at the front. Tomorrow’s race will be all about surviving on the tyres and making the right decisions in terms of strategy. We’re starting from the best possible positions and we now need to get the heads down and work hard to convert it into podium finishes tomorrow.

James Allison, Technical Director -
A first pole for Valtteri and it feels excellent. It’s lovely to have a front-row lockout and it’s a great reward to Valtteri for three excellent laps in qualifying today. We are all really happy. The gap to Ferrari is a little larger than in the first two races but rather than being surprised we’re just grateful for that small bit of breathing space. It will be different again tomorrow when everyone has their cars full of fuel – then we are sure to have our work cut out. We’re expecting the weather to change a fair bit for tomorrow, both windier and cooler. But it will be normal fare for Bahrain – tough on the brakes, tough on the drivers. It’ll be a long, hard toil, but hopefully we’ll end up at the front. It’s going to be super tight.
2017 Bahrain Grand Prix - Friday
Soaring temperatures, searing competition on opening day in Sakhir.
Lewis ended the morning session in P10 with Valtteri P14.
Valtteri set the second fastest time in the afternoon session with Lewis fifth quickest Both drivers ran the Medium and Soft compound tyre in FP1, the Soft and SuperSoft in FP2
Valtteri Bottas Today overall went well. Obviously, it’s difficult to learn much in FP1 with the extremely high temperatures, as the main sessions are under the lights in the evening when it’s much cooler. But we got some good data out of FP2 with short runs and long runs. The car was feeling good. We can definitely make it better but it was a positive start and I’m looking forward to qualifying. It was very hot today and the track normally improves quite a lot as you lose some of the sand, so I’m sure tomorrow we will go a lot quicker. How quick, we will find out. It’s definitely tougher than before, driving in the heat with these new cars. But I’m used to being in a Finnish sauna, so it’s no problem! It seems like the same trend continues here with it being so close with Ferrari. But Red Bull are looking good too and the whole pack is pretty close, if you look at the top six particularly. It looks like every little thing that we are going to be fine tuning today with the setup and anything extra we can find is going to be crucial for qualifying and the race.

Lewis Hamilton -
A pretty normal Friday, really. It was incredibly hot early on, with some of the very toughest conditions – both physically and in terms of working with the tyres. We got through that and then it was much cooler in the afternoon, giving us a much better representation of what qualifying and the race will be like. I was able to get a much better understanding of where the car is in FP2. It was very close, with Ferrari fastest. In race trim they seem a couple of tenths quicker, so I’m expecting a great battle tomorrow and then again on Sunday. We’ll work as hard as we can to try to close that gap. I have a great group of fans here and I tried to wave to them every time I went out. Their smiles really make a big difference.

James Allison, Technical Director -  
This is a pretty tough circuit at the best of times. But it is unseasonably hot this year, which made it a brutal day for both the cars and the drivers. Despite the heat, we had a very good look at the car this morning on a really hot track, before running through our normal FP2 programme in conditions more like those that we expect to see during qualifying and the race. I think we can see that it is going to be another really tight weekend between ourselves and Ferrari – a weekend where the smallest of mistakes could make the difference between the outcomes. It’s so exciting to be part of this fight, which is so tight and fought between two great teams. I hope that we can get everything together so that we are the ones that come out on top.

Daren Frankish - Daimler AG.
© 2017 Daimler AG. All rights reserved.

Lewis claims first victory of 2017 with Valtteri sixth in topsy-turvy Chinese Grand Prix

  • Lewis took his 54th Formula One victory today – his fifth at the Shanghai International Circuit, his first of the 2017 season and the third Grand Chelem (pole position, race win, fastest lap, leading every racing lap) of his F1 career
  • Valtteri produced a battling drive to finish P6 after a slow stop followed by a spin on cold slick tyres in wet conditions relegated him to P12 in the early stages
  • Today’s race marked the 150th Formula One start the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows
  • Lewis (43 points) holds a joint lead in the Drivers’ Championship with Sebastian Vettel, while Valtteri (23 points) sits P4 after two races – two shy of Max Verstappen (25 points) in P3 and one clear of Kimi Räikkönen (22 points) in P5
Lewis Hamilton -
My pole lap put me in a great position and then the start was just fantastic. I’m really happy with my starts right now so I want to keep that up! During the race I needed to keep my composure in some really tricky conditions out there. After the pit stop under the Safety Car the speed was low and the tyres were very cold, so it would have been very easy to make a mistake, so I’m just grateful that I didn’t. In those final 20 laps Seb and I were just pounding around as fast as we could, exchanging fastest lap times, that’s what racing is all about. In the future there will be times when we don’t have a Safety Car and we won’t have that gap. I’m excited for that. It’s very close and there were times when it was hard to match Sebastian. It has been a fantastic weekend and I’m so grateful for the effort the team has put in for us to be where we are today. It’s very overwhelming when you have a weekend like this, because I’m just a single link in the chain and there are hundreds of people who are involved to put me up here on the top step. Big congratulations to everyone, especially those back home, I hope they’re celebrating and feeling the spirit and the fight. 

Valtteri Bottas -
I’m very disappointed with today. I made a good start but it didn’t go so well from there. Yes, we lost some time in the pit stop but it was nothing compared to what we lost with my mistake. I was trying everything I could to get temperature in the tyres behind the Safety Car but went too aggressive and lost control of the car. It was entirely my fault. I’m really sorry for the team and the points we lost today. It took few laps to get the tyres working after the spin but in the end my pace was okay. I think we made the right choice sticking with the Soft tyre for the second stint. The car was good today – a winning car, obviously. But the laps were running out as I was getting closer to the cars in front and I couldn’t recover enough of the time I lost. I’m leaving for Bahrain tonight and I’m glad the next race comes soon. Once you’ve done a mistake it’s done, so you try to forget it and do everything you can to make up for it next time, so I will take a look in the mirror at myself and come back stronger. 

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport  -
This was a great drive by Lewis and a great result. Pace-wise, things looked pretty good out there today in all conditions, although there wasn’t much between us and Ferrari when we were running in free air. For Lewis, it was a pretty drama-free afternoon: he was managing the pace in the right way, our strategy was spot on and, on an afternoon when there was lots of scope for making mistakes, he didn’t put a foot wrong. As for Valtteri, his spin behind the Safety Car was unfortunate and cost him a lot of time. Mistakes like this happen but it was encouraging to see he had the pace in the car after that and could at least battle back to the position he held before the spin. Now he needs to forget about it and concentrate on the next race. Overall it’s now 1:1 for us against Ferrari and the development race is on. This is just the beginning… 

James Allison, Technical Director  -
Every single victory in Formula 1 feels great but this one is particularly satisfying after coming away from Melbourne without the win - it’s nice to get that monkey off our back. Our strategy calls were all tidily executed in what was a complicated race early on with the wet-dry track. Lewis drove faultlessly today but Valtteri unfortunately paid a heavy price for a small mistake behind the Safety Car. He raced well from that point forwards but his Grand Prix was heavily compromised by his early spin. We head to Bahrain on a high but we know we will be back to square one in terms of fighting a very strong opposition. We know that we will have to be absolutely on top of our game to do well there. All focus now on the next race and trying to repeat this great result.

Daren Frankish - Daimler AG.
© 2017 Daimler AG. All rights reserved.
Formula One back with a bang, as Silver Arrows score double podium in Melbourne.  Lewis Hamilton came home in P2 at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit to claim his 105th Formula One podium finish. Valtteri Bottas completed a double podium for the Silver Arrows in P3 on his debut for the team, taking his career tally of top three finishes into double figures. Lewis (18) sits P2 in the Drivers' Championship, seven points shy of Sebastian Vettel (25), with Valtteri (15) a further three points behind in P3 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (33) trail Scuderia Ferrari (37) by four points in the Constructors' Championship

Lewis Hamilton -
A big congratulations to Sebastian and Ferrari. I know this win has been a long time coming for them. This shows we’ve got a real race on our hands this season and it’s a challenge we will relish. It’s going to be great for the fans. We had a really good start which is fantastic. It was nice to get a good getaway. But I was struggling with grip from the get-go. Sebastian was able to always answer me in terms of lap time and just go quicker. Towards the end of the first stint I caught some traffic and that overheated the tyres. I struggled for grip to the point where I needed to come in, plus the gap was closing up and I was sliding around a lot. We made the call to pit, because otherwise I think Sebastian would have come past me anyway. After my stop I got caught in some traffic which was unfortunate but that’s motor racing.
Valtteri Bottas -
There are always things that could have gone better on the day but it’s a good starting point for my journey driving for Mercedes. As a team I think we did a really good job with the car we had. But Ferrari were quicker today, there’s no doubt about that. They’ve obviously done a great job over the winter. From my side the main issue was the first stint. I felt like I was always sliding around on the UltraSoft tyre - missing front and rear grip - especially after 10 laps. That wasn’t easy. But once we stuck on the Softs I had a great feeling with the car. It was behaving really nicely and it felt really nice to drive. It’s a shame it was just a bit too late. But overall this race wasn’t a disaster. It’s good to start with a podium with a new team and every position is important for the Championship. There’s a long season ahead. I have my points and I’ll do better next time. I’m looking forward to China.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport -
 Some races you win, some races you lose, and when the days come where another team has done a better job, you need to accept that with humility and recognise their performance. Today, Sebastian and Ferrari were well-deserved winners. From the early stages of the race, it was clear that Sebastian was very quick because Lewis wasn’ t able to pull away. Sebastian came into the window where the undercut was possible and we had the feeling at that point that the tyres were not lasting. It was the team’s impression on the pit wall looking at the data and Lewis’ in the car, too. So that was when, with all the clear risks of coming out in traffic, we took the decision to come in. We were between a rock and a hard place, really, and we went for it. But Ferrari played it very well – and they had the quicker car today. After that, we seemed to pick up in performance on the Soft tyres. Lewis managed everything perfectly and I must compliment Valtteri, too – he showed really good pace, made no mistakes through the whole weekend and got his first podium with the team in his first race. Now, the job for us is to learn the lessons from this race, understand why we didn’t perform to our maximum today and keep working hard to improve the car in every area.
James Allison, Technical Director -
 If it wasn’t already clear after qualifying, then it’s certainly clear now that this is going to be a season of very small margins. We got a good getaway from the flag. But credit to Ferrari today, they had a very quick car and we just weren’t quite good enough to stick with them. We won’t panic, though. It’s race one of a long season and we scored some very good points with both cars today. We’ ll be determined to come back stronger in China and make sure those small margins go our way next time.

Daren Frankish - Daimler AG.
© 2017 Daimler AG. All rights reserved.


© 2017 European Media