Formula 1 drivers took part in the traditional Thursday pre-race FIA news conference ahead of the 2014 British Grand Prix on Thursday, July 3. According to Formula 1, among the drivers taking part were British racers Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, Jenson Button of McLaren, and Max Chilton of Marussia. Also in attendance was Felipe Massa of Williams. The TV schedule for the 2014 British Grand Prix has also been released by NBC and is included below the drivers' comments from the press conference.
According to Formula 1, as the driver competing fiercely for the championship with his own Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, Hamilton was asked about his thoughts for the weekend, "It’s always a special weekend or week for us British drivers. Coming here, seeing the fans, already having been at Goodwood and seeing how many people were there and the support that’s coming into this weekend. It’s very exciting for us and the feeling of being at home is really a great feeling. And the support, as I said, for me and Jenson and the guys here, it’s unlike any other place we experience. I’m really excited to see everyone and I hope that we can put on a good show and that the weather stays good."
This weekend's 50th British Grand Prix at Silverstone puts perhaps an additional pressure on British drivers in Formula 1 to bring home a win on their home turf. The British racers were asked if they feel this particular pressure, especially given that England was eliminated out of the World Cup early on this year, and British player Andy Murray's chances at Wimbledon are also over.
Jenson Button replied, "I personally feel all the pressure is on Lewis!"
Lewis Hamilton, "I think it’s the other way around!"
Button: "He’s in the best car, c’mon, make it happen! For us, for Max [Chilton] and I suppose a little bit for myself it’s going to be tricky to get on the top step of the podium and, yeah, it would be amazing to have a British victory. The crowd would go absolutely wild. So, I’d love to see that. For us, as I said, it will be difficult but Lewis has got a shot so hopefully that will be the case."
Hamilton: "I was going to say exactly the same thing about Jenson, I think we should hand the baton over. No, at the end of the day we’re both, all of us, are going to do our utmost to try to represent and perform for the country. You never know how the weekend’s going to go, you never know how people have developed, improved - but of course, us as a leading team, hopefully we’ll have a good shot this weekend and I’ll do everything I can to bring at least a little bit of joy and add to the great success that some of the top athletes have."
When Button was asked about Ron Dennis's reported "try harder" comment, he replied, "I think Ron’s practicing to be a motivational speaker maybe. I think when we’re in the position that we have been in for 18 months, it’s not easy. For anyone within the team. It’s very, very difficult. So, no, I think we all need to work harder as a team. I don’t think we should be pointing a finger at any individual within the team. I think we’ve got ourselves into this situation and we’ve got to fight our way out. I don’t do things in half-measures. I have the experience in Formula One to know that you need to give 100 percent and I always do every time I’m in the paddock, at the factory, on the phone to my engineers. Everything is 100 percent."
About his own home race, Max Chilton commented, "I’m just obviously looking forward to another home Grand Prix. Last year was pretty special. Your first ever home Grand Prix is something you won’t ever forget. I’m probably a little bit biased, but I’d like to think that it is, if not the biggest grand prix of the year, then certainly one of them...I just hope we can put on a good show for them this year."
This race will be Felipe Massa's 200th grand prix. Asked about the milestone, Massa said, "Yeah, I think it’s a fantastic race to celebrate [at]. I think it’s an important achievement. It’s already a long time, when I started in 2002. It’s really a great feeling to have 200 races, in a great team, Williams-Martini home Grand Prix as well, at a great track, fantastic fans. So I hope we can have a very strong race, like we had in Austria, so I hope we carry on fighting [and we are] competitive. So I’m really happy and I’m really happy with the team I’m celebrating 200 Grands Prix [with] as well, so I hope we have many races in front. It’s a great placed as well. Everybody knows everything about Formula One, everything about racing cars here. Sometimes you just see pictures and you have no idea how fans have amazing pictures like that to sign, that are very close to us. It is a great feeling."
NBC reports that it will cover the 2014 British Grand Prix. According to NBC, broadcasts will follow the schedule below across the designated properties.
All times listed are Eastern.
Friday, July 4:
5 a.m. Practice #1 -- Live Extra -- Streaming Live
9 a.m. Practice #2 -- NBCSN
Saturday, July 5:
5 a.m. Practice #3 -- Live Extra -- Streaming Live
8 a.m. Qualifying -- CNBC
Sunday, July 6:
7:30 a.m. 2014 British Grand Prix -- CNBC
The British Grand Prix is the ninth race in the 2014 season of 19 races. Going into the popular British contest, Germany's Nico Rosberg of Mercedes is the leader in the Formula 1 drivers' championship so far with 165 points. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton is second in the standings with 136, and Red Bull's Aussie driver Daniel Ricciardo is third at 83.
In the constructors' championship, Mercedes is of course leading with 301 points; second and third are Red Bull Racing-Renault with 143 and Ferrari with 98.