Toto Wolff says it was a spectacular Qualifying session under the floodlights at the Losail International Circuit on Saturday, with Lewis Hamilton dominating to take his one hundred and second pole position of his career.
Hamilton ended more than four-tenths of a second ahead of title rival Max Verstappen, while team-mate Valtteri Bottas ended over six-tenths back in third.
Wolff, the team principal of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, was delighted with the way Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite not having had the pace in free practice. On the flip side, Bottas appeared to lose pace compared to practice, but he is still in a good place to give the team a strong result on Sunday evening.
And he believes Mercedes have what it takes to carry the momentum from Qualifying into race day as they look to replace Red Bull Racing at the top of the Constructors’ Championship, with Hamilton also looking to overhaul Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings.
“That was a spectacular qualifying session and what a lap by Lewis to take pole,” said Wolff. “This is the result of the hard work both in the build-up and during the weekend on understanding the car and finding the right set-up at this new track.
“Lewis found it today, he wasn’t particularly satisfied yesterday but he had a great car in qualifying to put it on pole and he did so in dominant style. Valtteri was happier with the car yesterday and it wasn’t quite in the sweet spot for him, but nevertheless, we can be satisfied with P1 and P3 on the grid, both on the clean side, for tomorrow.
“Hopefully we’ll take this momentum into the race, we’ve got both of our cars starting at the front, which is a useful result for us, but I’m sure it’s going to be another close one.”