James Allison says the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team can take satisfaction from finishing second and third fastest in Qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Saturday, particularly after putting in so much work overnight to improve the handling of the W09 after troubles during practice on Friday.
The technical director of the German marquee watched Lewis Hamilton secure a spot on the front row on Saturday, whilst team-mate Valtteri Bottas was not that far off the pace of the reigning World Champion, with Allison also happy the team were able to get through Q2 on the Supersoft Pirelli tyre, opening up the strategy options for both drivers.
“While I am disappointed that our cars were not quick enough to challenge for pole today, we can take a certain satisfaction from a solid P2 and P3, which give us strong starting positions for tomorrow,” said Allison.
“We can also be satisfied that we managed to improve the car’s handling overnight and that this put us in position to enjoy a good race with both cars starting on the Supersoft compound tyre.”
Allison says it is the intention of the whole team to take any opportunity that presents itself on Sunday, particularly if there is as much chaos this year as there was during the same event in 2017.
“This is a track that brings both incident and opportunity for those who are nimble enough to exploit it in the race,” said Allison. “We fully intend to do so tomorrow.”