Lewis Hamilton admits his Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport team “weren’t quite quick enough” as he qualified second behind Sebastian Vettel for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Hamilton trails Vettel by nine points in the drivers championship and will line up alongside the Scuderia Ferrari driver on the front row.
“We weren’t quite quick enough today to beat Ferrari today, but it was super close,” said Hamilton. “No athlete can be satisfied with second, but it’s nice to be back up on the front row after an exciting session.”
Mercedes had looked a little off the pace on Friday but Hamilton appreciates the effort his team has put in to close the gap to those at the front.
“The team did a great job overnight to make a step forward after what was a tricky Friday,” admitted the defending World Champion.
“On our long runs we’ve been down, losing out in the middle sector, and the Ferraris have been quite a bit quicker than us, so we’ve still got a bit more ground to make up yet, but it’s great to be there in the fight.
“We worked hard to get the car in a better place, so we need to maximise the result now tomorrow.”
The other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas lines up third and Hamilton is ready to try and put Scuderia Ferrari under pressure on Sunday.
“Let’s try and make some trouble for Ferrari,” said Hamilton. “It’s definitely going to be another interesting race.”