The Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS drivers had very different results at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Lewis Hamilton taking his fifth win of the season but championship leader Nico Rosberg retired for the first time this season while leading.
Hamilton was delighted to take his second British Grand Prix win to add to his 2008 triumph. The British driver thanked his team, family and fans for the support he received at Silverstone. He was unhappy with Rosberg’s retirement despite the fact the German’s retirement helped cut the gap at the top of the championship to just four points.
“Winning in front of your home crowd is just the best feeling,” said Hamilton. “We really do have the greatest fans here and thank you so much to everyone for your patience after yesterday. To see the support all around the track is just amazing. I said before that I’d never give up but it was a tough qualifying and I really needed to dig deep and come back positive this morning. A huge thank you to my family and all of the fans for pushing me on – I couldn’t have done it without them.
“Nico had a pretty big gap at the beginning of the race but I kept pushing and was happy with my pace. After extending my first stint, we switched to the prime tyres and I honestly couldn’t believe the pace that I had and was closing up to Nico. Of course, he then had a problem and I saw him pull over. It’s a shame for the team and I never want to see a team-mate fall behind – I always want to battle it out – but I’m sure we will get to do it again in the future.
“It’s been a rollercoaster weekend and to come away with the win after a day like yesterday is fantastic, so thank you to everyone in the team for all their hard work. I’m proud to have done it for them here – so close to our factories in Brackley and Brixworth.”
After arriving at Silverstone with a twenty-nine point lead, team-mate Rosberg has seen that gap in the championship cut to just four points after seeing his 100% finishing record come to an end with a gearbox issue. He was disappointed to lose the advantage to Hamilton, but understands that these things happen having seen Hamilton himself retire twice in 2014.
“It’s a pity what happened today as I lost a lot of points in the Championship,” said Rosberg. “We are always aiming for 100% reliability but unfortunately that didn’t work out for me today. I had a small issue in the installation lap but the car felt great in the beginning.
“By lap 20, though, the gearbox started to become a serious problem and from then it got worse. I tried to get it into some safety settings, let Lewis through and just keep going until the end of the race. But there was nothing we could do so I had to stop the car. All I can do is accept that these things happen and work with the team to find out what went wrong.
“It’s a shame for the race in a way, as it could have been a great battle against Lewis, but congratulations to him for the win. Now we are heading to Germany with the quickest car and I’m looking forward to a home Grand Prix for both Mercedes-Benz and myself.”
Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff was delighted with Hamilton’s win at Silverstone, but was saddened by Rosberg’s early retirement. He praised both drivers for their professional approach to the race.
“It was a day of two halves for the team – a fantastic result for Lewis at his home race and disappointment for Nico when he had to retire,” said Wolff. “First, the positive aspect: Lewis drove a faultless race today. He made up positions at the start and in the opening laps after the restart, then it was shaping up to be a big battle until Nico started to suffer the gearbox problems.
“But what I want to praise most of all is Lewis’ approach today. He had a bad qualifying session but he arrived at the circuit this morning in such a positive frame of mind and determined to perform – and he did that for his home fans. It was a great performance that showed his mental strength. Nico was doing a great job leading the race today and handled his retirement like the professional he is: he understands that this is part of motor racing and that we still have a long way to go this year.
“For our team, it’s great to win at Silverstone for the second year in a row, so close to our factories in Brackley and Brixworth. And for Mercedes-Benz, it’s a special day too – to win on the 60th anniversary of the company’s first victory with Juan Manuel Fangio. It’s a proud day for all of us.”