After scoring his 94th career pole position Lewis Hamilton was understandably satisfied with his and the team’s performance.
“It wasn’t too bad,” said Hamilton after qualifying.
“Fantastic performance from the team today in terms of timing when they put us out on track. It was not the easiest – you saw how close it was between us all – and it really demanded a clean lap.
“I think I did that on both, so I’m generally really happy. I’m happy with the laps I’ve done. Bottas was very close.
“I made some bih changes going into qualifying, so I was a bit nervous whether it was the right thing to do, but it worked just fine.
“In the years that I have driven here before, I had less downforce. There was a lot of grip with the temperatures here.
“The speed is incredible,” concluded the Briton.
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Despite finishing second, his team mate Valtteri Bottas was also relatively happy with his performance in qualifying.
“It was really close as I was expecting,“ said the Finn.
“I was running first this weekend. Not sure with the tow, I obviously didn’t have any, expect in Q2 at the end and it felt a bit of a benefit.
“In the end I was on my own, it’s not too bad a place to be, but obviously I didn’t get any gains on the straight line. My long-run pace was good compared to Lewis.
“Still all to play for,” concluded Bottas.
Team boss Toto Wolff was also pleased with today’s result that showed Mercedes didn’t lose a lot, despite the FIA instituting the engine “qualifying mode” ban.
“We will see the satisfaction in the next races,” Wolff told ORF.
“First race post party mode and our distances have remained the same or even better than some of our competitors, who may have pushed this issue. Now let’s see if we can bring this across just as well in tomorrow’s race.
“We should actually be much faster in the race over the whole race distance,” the Austrian concluded.
Now that Mercedes’ “party mode” has been banned, the team will be able to use extra power on race day.