BRITISH GP – QUALIFYING
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Position: 3rd, 1:31.305 (Practice 3 – P4, 1:31.561)
“I think the whole weekend we have been pretty strong and that resulted in a really good Qualifying, the best of my F1 career to date and definitely the best we could do today. Sometimes I have been very unlucky in Qualifying but today has gone well and I was able to show my potential. From now on I will just focus on that and try to keep it up. I’m not focussing on trying to beat my team mate, the points come from the race so that is the important part for me. Silverstone is a great track and I always enjoy driving here. Going through Maggots and Becketts the car is fantastic, no oversteer, no understeer; it feels so nice going through those corners. The car has been performing brilliantly all weekend so I’m looking forward to the race. Hopefully we can maintain this position, it will be important to try and keep up and also keep fighting behind. If it rains we could be a lot closer to Mercedes but if not then we’ll try to just keep position and we will be very happy with that.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 4th, 1:30.618 (Practice 3 – P3 1:31.488)
“As a team result it was definitely important to get the second row lock-out. That was our target and we got that so I think we look good for tomorrow. It’s cool to have both of us in front of the Ferraris. I knew this would be a pretty big fight with them here and we managed to at least fight the Qualifying battle so we’ll try and keep them behind us in the race tomorrow. Obviously, I would have preferred third rather than being fourth but that’s how it is today and tomorrow we’ll aim to go better and as good as we can. It’s going to be cooler tomorrow and you never know what’s going to happen, but I think we’re pretty confident where we sit. The two Mercedes will probably fight at the front and behind them it should be a good battle. For sure Ferrari will give us a bit of a run for our money, so there is definitely that third spot up for grabs. You’ll definitely see a race tomorrow.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A fantastic Qualifying session for the team, to lock out the 2nd row in tomorrow’s grand prix at Silverstone, our local race, is very satisfying. It’s a testament to how smartly all the team are working. Max put in a tremendous lap on his first run in Q3, and the wind seemed to pick up with not many cars able to improve their times, but Daniel came through just a few hundredths behind. To start from third and fourth on the grid in front of our factory staff, who come here to support and see their cars in action, is a real fillip as well as giving us a very strong starting position for tomorrow’s race.”
Road and Track
We ask some of the people who make our team tick to pick out their favourite moments and machines in motor sport and one the road. This time out it’s Chief Engineer, Car Engineering Paul Monaghan.
1. What was the first race you ever attended?
The 1984 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. Senna was in the Toleman I think. It was a V6 Turbo era… they even made a noise!
2. What’s the most beautiful road car ever made?
Because I have limited mental capacity I can think back only for short periods and having seen a Lamborghini Miura at Goodwood a few weeks ago, I’ll go for that. I put an offer on it… don’t tell Christian.
3. What was the first road car you owned and was it any good?
VW Beetle. It was a South African car built in 1972 or 1973 and imported into the UK. It was brilliant fun. I put a tiny steering wheel in it so I couldn’t get round tight roundabouts – that was hilarious. I was 19, it was fantastic fun and I went all over the place in it. I had it for five years.
4. What car do you own now and why did you buy it?
I have a Nissan Juke and I bought it because it was… cheap. It does fantastic handbrake turns but don’t tell Nissan. It’s actually a great little car, just a load of fun. It’s a 1.2 litre, 3-cylinder thing.
5. When you were first getting into motorsport who were you a fan of?
The first driver I followed with any significant interest was Elio de Angelis. For whatever reason, however irrational, I didn’t really take to Nigel Mansell. I thought de Angelis seems like quite a stylish bloke, I thought he was a good driver and I liked the colours on the Lotus. Then they hired this bloke called Senna and had a run at the championship. I thought Senna and de Angelis was a cracking line up.
7. What’s your favourite circuit, in F1 or outside the sport?
Suzuka. Every time I’ve been there it’s a tough place to sort your car out for. Whether I was at McLaren, Renault or Red Bull it was a circuit that presented massive challenges regardless of the car, the era, the type. I went on the podium there in 2012 and it was amazing. The whole grandstand was full and they went mad. The next morning I went into Starbucks and the poor girl behind the counter started bowing and saying “winner, winner” and I got a free latté. I decided at that point that I arrived.
8. Name one thing in motor sport you would most like to achieve but haven’t – you’re not allowed to say another title.
A ride in a two-seater F1 car. At the risk of upsetting all the drivers who’ve had the misfortune to stumble into my path, I’d like to go around with Fernando Alonso because he would deliberately try to scare me – and he’d succeed. I’ve been in a road car with him and it was terrifying. It was around Barcelona circuit and I thought it would be a nice gentle plod, but when I was squashed up against the passenger door I knew it was going to be an interesting lap.
9. What’s the one that got away across your career?
A championship for David Coulthard and for Fernando as well, in 2003. We had a fantastic car and Fernando was driving brilliantly but we just weren’t quite quick enough. With DC it was just always brilliant fun.
11. If you had an Aston Martin for a day where would you take it and who would you be with?
The Cote d’Azur and I would take my son and give him the keys. He’s 18 now. The Cote d’Azur is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Down to Saint Tropez, pose around Port Grimaud, come up past Fréjus, St Raphaël, quick cruise through Cannes into Nice, Monaco and along to Sanremo for dinner. There might be a few fuel stops along the way though!