MEDIA RELEASE/Aston martin F1 Team - Photo: supplied Otmar, what does it mean to you…
MEDIA RELEASE/Red Bull Racing – Photo: RBR media
MAX VERSTAPPEN Q&A
Q:Last Sunday was your third podium in a row. Despite the qualifying gap to Mercedes, is it satisfying to get everything out of the car and score so many points for the Team?
MV: Yeah, it is because we’re maximising our results every weekend. I guess even more so actually because we’ve finished second in the last two races so that has been good. Of course we’re still lacking quite a bit of pace to them, especially in qualifying but also in the race on tracks like Silverstone, so we haven’t really been able to fight them for victory but we are keeping the pressure on them. It’s still good to be on the podium and you never know for the upcoming weekend what can happen, the end of the last race was pretty crazy! The tyre compounds this weekend are going to be softer, the weather is going to be warmer and the strategy could be different so I’m looking forward to it. We’ve had a week at Silverstone now so everyone knows what they’re doing around the track, so let’s see if we can learn even more about the car and try to improve it further.
Q:Do you think having back to back races at the same track is beneficial in helping us learn more about our car knowing the early season complexities of the RB16?
MV: It’s always good to be at the same track so you can back to back a few things on the car to see what they do. Of course you still have to be a little bit careful with the conditions as they can be different but overall I think it’s a good thing and I’m sure the engineers like to collect this sort of data.
Q:Next weekend with the different tyre compounds could make for a two stop strategy. Do you hope for a less lonely race?
MV: (Laughs). Let’s see. I hope I’m counting less sheep this weekend though!
Q: You’re only six points behind Bottas in the championship. Is it about keeping the pressure on them and being there or thereabouts in order to capitalise all opportunities?
MV: Yeah, of course we got lucky with Valtteri’s puncture that dropped him outside of the points, but I just keep doing what I’m doing and pushing every weekend. Hopefully we can put the pressure on and there are still a lot of races left this year. We have to be realistic about where we are on pace at the moment and fighting them for victories and the championship under normal circumstances is quite tricky but the car is getting better, it’s more predictable, so if we can keep in touch then there is always a chance. We’ll keep pushing to close the gap and we will try not to make life easy for them.
ALEX ALBON Q&A
Q: Alex you put in an impressive recovery drive on Sunday following your time penalty. How was the race for you?
AA: Yeah the race was ok. The crash with Magnussen just made the race a lot more difficult from thereon. We were a pitstop behind and then we also had a five second time penalty so it was tricky but on paper it wasn’t bad at all. We did a really good recovery and the pace was strong so that enabled us to get through the field. Obviously P8 isn’t where we want to be but I think considering where we were after the opening laps it was a good come back.
Q: This is the second time this season we’ll have back to back races at the same track. What are you looking forward to most about this weekend?
AA: I think this weekend is mainly just about getting more comfortable with the car and getting on top of it. The long run pace is good, it’s just the short run pace we need to work on. The good thing is that we have the same track this weekend so we can directly compare what we learned and what we need to work on. We’ll try and get it dialled in and focus on the areas we struggled with last weekend.
Q: Silverstone is a track you love to drive. Just how fun is it taking corners like Copse, and Maggotts-Becketts in these cars?
AA: Yeah, with the cars getting faster and faster each year, this could almost be one of the quickest times I may ever go through these corners. They just have huge downforce and some corners aren’t even corners anymore which is crazy to think. We’re pretty much flat all the way through Copse and we lift one time into Maggotts-Becketts, so that kind of shows you the speed nowadays.
Q: Tyres proved to be a talking point in Sunday’s race. What will you be looking out for this weekend?
AA: Tyres are definitely a talking point as what happens now we’re coming into week two is we have a softer compound on all three tyres so the hard tyre no longer exists and the medium compound becomes the hardest for the weekend. So I’m sure we’re all going to have to play around with strategy. It’s going to be tough actually and it’s going to be a lot more of a strategy race this weekend. If the change in compound suits us or not, I’m not sure but I think possibly yes because we’re pretty good on our tyres we’re one of the few teams not to struggle with any issues like that.
Q: The weather is meant to be a lot warmer this weekend. Do you think that could play into our hands?
AA: Well we’re good on our tyres and Honda are good at dealing with heat and PU cooling so I think coming into Sunday we’ll have a strong package. I think we just need to work a bit more on our Saturdays and then we know we can have a good one this weekend. Still, we’ll need to focus on ourselves and work on the areas we need to improve. Obviously with the temperatures set to be higher this weekend, Mercedes should come towards us and if we can go towards them hopefully we’ll meet half way.
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