2019 Austrian Grand Prix Team Talk
The 2019 Austrian Grand Prix was a great race. Even starting with an unusual grid line-up and judging by Qualifying, it was set to be a good day.
With Charles Leclerc starting on pole following his fantastic qualifying session, he had a brilliant start as did the two Mercedes’.
Max Verstappen however went into ‘anti-stall’ mode and didn’t get off the line in the best way – much to his teams disappointment.
With one Ferrari in the lead, Sebastian Vettel started to make his way through the grid.
The weather was a major factor in this race – unusually hot and considered to be one of the hottest races in recent years. The drivers were all managing their tyres before the first lot of pit-stops.
Fast forward to Valtteri Bottas coming into the pits, the Ferrari crew also brought in Vettel however they weren’t ready for him and delayed his pit-stop, allowing Mercedes to get ahead.
Lewis Hamilton came in for a pit stop, changing his front wing due to damage and continued in the race.
One major standout however was Max Verstappen – making his way through the grid and showing the true performance of his Red Bull Racing car.
Easing his way past even though at one point, he mentioned that he was losing power with the team telling him to “clear” settings on the car.
Suddenly, he picked up even more pace and pole was in view for the driver.
Quickly catching up – the last few laps were the ones that mattered the most. Verstappen set his sights on Leclerc who had remained in the lead throughout the race.
Finally making a move – Max Verstappen went on to win the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix much to his fans delight.
About 50,000 fans turned out for the driver wearing orange shirts and in respect of Niki Lauda, people were also provided with red caps as a sign of respect for the driver who was from Austria.
You can see the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix Race Recap with post-race interviews and photos.
Below, you can see what the drivers had to say to the media following the race.
RED BULL RACING – 2019 Austrian Grand Prix Team Talk
Max Verstappen: “It was an incredible race and I’m so happy to take the Team’s second victory at our home Grand Prix. It was a shame at the start as I triggered anti-stall and dropped back to seventh. From there onwards the pace was really good, I stayed calm and kept pushing hard. The second stint was decisive for us as the car really came alive. Once I passed Valtteri I thought I could have a go for the win as our pace was so strong but you never know. I just kept pushing, drove flat out and didn’t give up.”
“We passed Charles with a few laps to go so I’m extremely happy. The move was close racing and if you can’t make moves like that I think it is better to stay at home. I want to say a big thank you to everyone at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, all weekend we have been working really well and the upgrades seem to have worked. Thank you to all the crew here, everyone at the factory and of course Honda, it’s not been easy for them over the past years but to win for them today is just incredible.”
Pierre Gasly: “It was a tough race and a difficult day. I didn’t have great pace on the soft tyre in the first stint and then I was stuck behind the cars in front. On the second stint, I pushed too hard at the beginning and destroyed the hard tyre after only a couple of laps which left me with massive blisters, so from there I was just slow and I didn’t have the pace to catch Lando.”
“Overall, it’s nice to see the new upgrades are working with Max. He did a fantastic job so this is positive and we now look forward to Silverstone. On my side, I’m not very happy with my performance and I could have managed the race a lot better. I’m a really competitive guy and there is work to do. I haven’t found exactly what I want from the car so we will keep pushing, but it’s good to see the car is working and I think we have a good direction for the upcoming races. I have a lot to learn and take from having Max next to me. I want to deliver more and I know I can, so now we need to work.”
MERCEDES – 2019 Austrian Grand Prix Team Talk
Lewis Hamilton: “It wasn’t the easiest day, we knew already before the race started that we might be in trouble here. Overheating proved to be a fairly big issue for us today. I think we had good pace, the car felt good, but we just couldn’t race due to the overheating.”
“It seemed to be a limitation of our car this weekend and the other cars didn’t seem to struggle quite as much as we did, so we’ll have to look into this and try to fix it. There’s going to be more hot races coming up like Budapest, so we’ll need to get on top of this, otherwise it could be a difficult few races for us.”
“I also damaged my front wing on the kerb, so we had to change it, which cost us a bit of time as well. It’s just one of those bad days in the office, but at least I still got some good points with fifth place.”
Valtteri Bottas: “I think we made the most of it today. We expected this race to be tricky, but it turned out to be even more difficult than we predicted. We had to do lots of lifting and coasting and couldn’t use all engines modes to keep the engine from overheating.”
“So, we couldn’t really race properly, and I had to manage temperatures for the majority of the race. It made both defending and attacking very difficult. But you have to look at the positives – I got some good points out of this weekend and I don’t think there was much difference in terms of race pace. So, it isn’t all bad. We’ll investigate and hopefully come back stronger at Silverstone.”
MCLAREN – 2019 Austrian Grand Prix Team Talk
Carlos Sainz: “What a race! I’m really, really happy with how we recovered from a tough weekend, and from P19 on the starting grid. Up until yesterday, I had this feeling of frustration due to the [PU] penalty, but this morning I turned all that frustration into motivation for the race.”
“I think we executed a very strong race today, with a long stint on the Medium tyre and then pitting for the Hard compound in the right moment. From that point onwards it was overtake after overtake, and I made my way into the points.”
“The only setback of the day was that my front wing got damaged 10 laps from the end when I was starting to attack Gasly. With the pace I had, I think I could’ve taken P7, but I really had to drive the car carefully to avoid any mistakes and finally managed to stay ahead of Raikkonen. Very happy for everyone in the team. Great race, great comeback and congrats for another double points finish.”
Lando Norris: “It was a fun race! A good start, managed to go forwards and battled the Mercedes and the Ferrari for a lap or so, but had to concede those positions and think of my own race. The Alfa got past me on the first lap, around the outside at Turn Four. Not much I could’ve done and dropped back to fourth and then fifth, then had Max behind me for a little bit, so I was in there.”
“I saved my tyres for the first few laps, had it under control then pushed and did what I needed to do, pulled a gap, boxed, and managed the pace from then on.”
“I was on the Medium, so was a little bit unsure about what we could do, or what the tyres would do towards the end of the stint. Gasly was pushing me for the last few laps, but I was just doing what I had to do in terms of saving the tyres and not taking any risks – there was a lot more in it if I really needed to push.”
“A massive thanks to the McLaren team at the circuit and back at the factory. Looking forward to my home race now!”
FERRARI – 2019 Austrian Grand Prix Team Talk
Charles Leclerc: “It was a positive weekend overall. Unfortunately, it did not end as we would have liked it to. My first stint was good and our pace was there. We pitted early to prevent losing our track position to Bottas. This made the second stint longer and more challenging than expected, as the rear tyres degraded quite a bit towards the end of the race.”
“Second place is not what we wanted, but we gave it our all and made good a step forward this weekend. I am convinced that this will bring further progress for the next few races and allow us to achieve the success that we want.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I’m always positive and today the team gave me a great car to drive and I think this was a better weekend for us, maybe like in Canada a few weeks back. I’m disappointed about how things went for me yesterday but today’s race was fun for me from the cockpit and I enjoyed some good wheel to wheel battles, pushing throughout.”
“I’m also disappointed for Charles as he did an excellent job and was very strong all weekend. All in all, I’m happy in one sense but unhappy in another, because we could have had both cars on the podium this weekend, one of them on the top step.”
“As for the car, we know what’s needed: we need more downforce. We are strong at tracks like this and the one in Canada and we know what we have to do to improve the car, but it’s not easy and it can’t be done in just one day.”
“I’d like to thank all the team in Maranello because all of them are very passionate about this and are working like mad to improve the car. This year’s Ferrari is definitely good enough to win races.”
Mattia Binotto – Ferrari Team Principal
“Every race has a tale to tell and today’s was a great one, featuring some exciting battles. For our part, we have shown that we are continuing to improve. Charles drove a really strong race from start to finish and indeed he was fantastic all weekend.”
“Seb also had an excellent race: on the hard tyres he attacked and pushed to the maximum even if in doing so, they wore quickly. From that, it’s clear his two stop strategy was not planned in advance, but adopted as his race evolved. There’s obviously disappointment for the radio problem we had at Seb’s pit stop. Not all the mechanics heard the call and that cost him precious time.”
“With regards to the decision of the stewards, we fully accept it, even though we don’t believe it is the right decision.”
“They are the judges and we have to respect that. However, even though I am first and foremost a Ferrari fan, I think it’s time for F1 to turn the page and to look ahead.”
“As we often say, we should leave the drivers free to fight, as overall this will be good for the sport and good for F1. So ‘bravo’ to Verstappen, he drove a fantastic race today as did Charles.”
“There will be new opportunities for us in the future.”