After achieving yet another front-row lockout in Qualifying on Saturday, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff is understandably “very satisfied” with the silver arrows’ performance so far.
With Lewis Hamilton on pole position and Valtteri Bottas starting alongside him for Sunday’s British Grand Prix, The Austrian entrepreneur expressed his delight over Mercedes’ result, albeit acknowledging the resentment it may have earned them from the other nine teams.
“We can be very satisfied with our Qualifying session today although I guess we’re not making many new friends out there. “
Wolff continued, “Our car was working very well today, it was really in a league of its own and the performance shows all the smart work that has gone into it at the factories just down the road from here. Both Lewis and Valtteri really delivered today.”
Despite his early struggles in both practice and Q2, Hamilton was also very pleased to secure another 1-2 for the team. The Briton spun in the second part of qualifying and brought out a red flag, however it’s evident his trip across the gravel did not damage his confidence as the day progressed to see him secure his ninety-first pole in Formula One.
“[The] feeling never gets old, that’s for sure! We made some changes to the car going into Qualifying and it felt worse, so it was a real struggle out there in the first two sessions.”
“Qualifying is a lot about building confidence and after that spin in Q2, I had to take some deep breaths, compose myself and mentally reset – especially knowing Valtteri was putting in fast lap after fast lap.“
“Q3 started off well, the first lap was nice and clean, but the second one was even better. A big thank you to everyone at the team.” Hamilton concluded.
Understanding it may well be one of his last years in contention for the World Drivers’ Championship, Valtteri Bottas is desperate to beat Hamilton in as many instances as he can- yet the Finn was once again pipped to the post. Although he attained a well-earned second-place start for tomorrow’s race, Bottas admitted he was ‘disappointed’ after being out-qualified by his team-mate for the third race in a row.
“I just couldn’t quite catch him. He did a really good job today and deserves to be on pole. It was a pretty smooth session and I had some clean laps in Q1 and Q2 – the car felt pretty good out there.”
Bottas is, however, confident he has a chance to make up for Saturday in the race, citing: “Tomorrow is what counts and I think my long-run performance has been really good this weekend. I believe there will be opportunities, and everything is still wide open, so I’m looking forward to it.“
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