- Lewis today took his 46 career victory – his 1st in Spielberg and 3rd of the 2016 season so far
- Nico Rosberg came home in 4th position
- Nico Rosberg (153) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 11 points from Lewis Hamilton (142) in P2
- MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS (295) lead Ferrari (192) by 103 points in the Constructors’ Championship
I was in a good position, head down and targeting as many points as possible today – The opportunity to try for the win came on the final lap when Nico ran wide out of Turn 1. I was then able to get a good run on him and went down the outside, leaving as much room as I could. I was surprised to make contact with Nico and then from there I just tried to push as hard as possible, passing him ahead of the next corner as he slowed due to the sparks coming off his car. This is motor racing and the team allow us to race and it’s the aim for both of us to win races – this was just an unfortunate incident today. I’m looking forward to getting to Silverstone to catch up with my fans and hopefully I can get another good result there.
It was disappointing to lose the race like that. It got quite difficult on the final few laps as I had to manage my brakes and I was confident that I could bring the victory home. I had the inside line and we both went into the corner a bit long. I was surprised that Lewis turned in and it ultimately meant that we came together – that’s how the sport goes sometimes but it’s really difficult to lose the race in that way.
It was incredibly frustrating for the team to see a one-two finish potentially become a double DNF on the final lap of the race – and to see us lose points again as a result of a collision between our two cars. We let our drivers race and we trust them to do so – but colliding team-mates is not what we want and this is something that needs to be stopped. If we need to reconsider our philosophy, and to take some unpopular decisions, then we must be prepared to keep that option open. It had been an intense race until that point: we tried the one stop with Lewis, anticipating that Ferrari would do the same, but converted early to a two-stop for Nico. However, as the race unfolded, our predictions began to show that Nico would come out on top, so we converted to a two-stop strategy with Lewis as well to give him the best chance of the win. Lewis was running our preferred tyre, the soft compound, in his final stint but Nico did not have any soft sets left, so took super soft to the finish. The drivers were also right on the limit with the brakes, having raced hard all the way through, and Nico’s brake by wire system went into passive mode on the penultimate lap. As for the collision, I am not going to try and put blame more on one side than the other; it always takes two to tango and, as we have said before, this should not happen between team-mates. We will now let the emotions settle before we sit down and discuss our next steps.
It was a very eventful race as we had predicted given the quite unusual starting grid and the different tyre options in play. Our plan was fairly straightforward for Lewis as we had him on our baseline one-stop strategy; ultra-soft, soft. Nico had a rather difficult first stint as his ultra softs went off quite quickly so we reverted him to a two stop strategy and he made fantastic progress through the traffic. In Lewis’ case we stayed out to cover the Ferraris who were also clearly doing a one stop. By the time it had all shaken out it was clear that Lewis’ one stop was perfectly viable to beat everyone else but not his teammate because Nico’s two-stop was faster than predicted. We therefore elected to also stop Lewis for another set of soft tyres and Nico changed onto the super softs as he didn’t have another set of soft tyres. Towards the end of the race Nico ended up running towards the limits of brake wear. We did our best to manage this but by the last lap his brake system had defaulted to a ‘passive mode’. This allowed Lewis to launch his final attack and unfortunately this didn’t end as we would have liked. Ultimately we’re happy to come away with a win for the team. The car performed very well all weekend and our team performance was very strong so congratulations to the team at Brackley and Brixworth for the continued great work.