Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton will start on pole for the 92nd time in his career

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Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team / LAT Images

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will start on the front row, making it six poles out of six for the team.

Hamilton finished each qualifying session in first place and Bottas was the only driver to really test Hamilton.

This pole also marks the 150th time Hamilton will start on the front row. 

Even though Mercedes have been strong all weekend, they’re still expecting a tough race from Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

Hamilton added “This is a great result for the team and I’m grateful for everyone continuing to push. It was very hot and quite gusty out there which made for a tricky session. We changed a few things overnight, made a good step forward and I was pretty happy with my first laps in each Qualifying session. 

“The first Q3 lap was really solid but there was still a bit of room for improvement. But my second lap wasn’t particularly great and I just couldn’t go quicker. In the end, it was very close with Valtteri out there, he’s keeping me on my toes and every millisecond counts. 

“Tomorrow is going to be challenging, as the race scenario is completely different. Over a single lap, we seem to have the edge, but Red Bull’s race pace looks strong and the run down to Turn 1 is very long, so I’m expecting a tough battle.” 

Valtteri Bottas only missed out on a first-place start by 0.059s, proving that the Mercedes cars are still just as close as ever.

The Finnish driver had been on Hamilton’s toes all weekend but couldn’t quite turn that into a pole and had to settle for second.

Bottas thinks his best opportunity to take first will be the long run into Turn one.

“I knew it was going to be close with Lewis, but he did a really nice and clean lap on that first run in Q3. Particularly in sector three, where I’ve been struggling a bit all through today. The balance of the car wasn’t quite right for me in that sector, but it kept getting better and better through Qualifying.” Said Bottas 

“In the end, it just wasn’t quite good enough, which is a little annoying. Lewis did a good job and it’s been another really strong performance as a team that we can be proud of. 

“Looking to tomorrow, my long runs have been competitive but the person at the front always has the best chance, so that long run down to Turn 1 at the start will be my best opportunity and I’ll try to get there first. The Red Bull looked very strong in the long runs, so I’m sure they’ll be quick tomorrow as well.” 
Toto Wolff, CEO and Team Principal, is proud of his team but know qualifying is only half the job and the team need to put in a performance if they want to finish in the same positions.

Wolff added “It was a good day in the office, and we can be pleased with today’s result. Again, we were able to put in a strong Qualifying performance, but we know that tomorrow is what counts. It’s expected to be as hot here as it was at Silverstone last weekend, and we saw what happened there – the Red Bull was clearly the fastest in race trim. 

“Looking at the long runs on Friday, they’re expected to be the benchmark tomorrow, so we need to have a clever race, manage it from the front, knowing the quickest car on track will likely be behind us with Verstappen. We’ll be pushing hard to get the most points we can and take the win, but if that’s not possible then it will be focusing on the best damage limitation in these tricky conditions.” 

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