Formula 1

“It’s our best qualifying position as a team this season” – George Russell

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Credit: LAT Images / Daimler AG

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s George Russell qualified fourth ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix— his best qualifying result this season. He did, however, believe that there was even more performance to be found, as his tyres weren’t in optimal condition for his final run.  

“Today was a good step in the right direction. It’s our best qualifying position as a team this season, ahead of one Red Bull, and a positive session for us as we’ve finally got a good baseline. The pace gap to Ferrari on pole is still big, but there was more potential for us, too – the tyres were not in a perfect window and that made it tricky, especially in Q3.”

Russell predicted that he will be in a “better place” on race day, and is unsure of how surrounding cars will fare in comparison. Ultimately, he was pleased that the team found a “good baseline” that they can further improve upon as the season continues. 

“There’s a long race ahead tomorrow and I think we’ll be in a better place then – while some of the cars around us are a bit of an unknown. And on the development, we’ve finally now got a good baseline, and we need to continue this path and find more performance.”

“We are getting closer to the front” – Lewis Hamilton

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton was pleased with the improvement in performance the cars have shown this race weekend, which has translated in another step “closer to the front” with both Mercedes reaching Q3. 

“We’ve made steps forward this weekend and I’m very proud of the team for all the work they have done. The car is on longer bouncing on the straights, but we still have some in the corners, so we need to keep working. Overall, it’s a positive step to be in Q3 with both cars, and looking at George’s time, we are getting closer to the front.”

Hamilton found the qualifying to be “confusing”, as some cars did not follow a guidance regarding out laps in which drivers were required to meet a particular delta time– those who did not comply ended up having a relative advantage to those who respected the rule. 

“It was a confusing session out there as we had been given a delta time to respect in qualifying for the out laps – and not everybody was doing so. The cars that followed the guidance had a performance disadvantage as the tyres were hotter starting the timed lap, so hopefully that will be examined properly.”

When it comes to race day, Hamilton said that based on his performance doing long runs in practice and the conditions expected, his goal is to put pressure on the Red Bulls and Ferraris ahead and attempt to break the top five. 

“Looking ahead to the race, we had decent long runs yesterday, and we know the conditions will be very hot – my target will be to go forward from P6.”

Credit: Sebastian Kawka / Daimler AG
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Formula One Writer and Student Journalist based in Illinois, U.S.A.
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