Lewis Hamilton: “For us to be on the front row tomorrow is incredible”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton, George Russell, and Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin give their comments on the Sao Paulo Grand Prix Sprint Race.

A thrilling Sprint in Interlagos saw George take the win and Lewis finish P3 after both drivers made strong progress through the field.

  • After a strong start, George enjoyed better tyre degradation on the Soft compound to overtake Magnussen and Verstappen for the Sprint win.
  • Lewis also made swift progress through the field, gaining five positions from his P8 starting position to take P3 just behind the Ferrari of Sainz.
  • Once a five-place grid penalty has been applied to Sainz, George and Lewis will start from the front row for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.
  • With a race start time of 1500, hotter track conditions are expected on Sunday than in today’s Sprint, which could see swings in tyre performance and the competitive order.
George Russell

That result just goes to show all the hard work that everybody is putting in and the progress that we have made as a team. The car has been feeling great since we brought our last update to Austin, but I wasn’t expecting to have that much pace. Obviously, it’s difficult to know how Max would have got on had he been running the Soft tyres – but it’s still a great feeling to come out on top. It was a nice battle – in the Sprint, you’re always managing the balance of risk and reward, and I didn’t want to take too many risks and end up starting at the back – but I also wanted that victory. Lewis did a great job coming from P8 and it’s crazy to think we’re both starting at the front, it’s going to be exciting. I’m sure Max will be flying tomorrow, but we’re in the nice position where we can maybe split the strategies and go for the win.


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Lewis Hamilton

I’m so happy to be standing here – it’s been an incredible week so far. It was a difficult qualifying for me but the crowd at the circuit today has been amazing. First, congratulations to George – my race was all about working my way up from P8, and this result goes to everyone back at the factory, everyone here at the track, they have just been working so hard this year. For us to be on the front row tomorrow is incredible: from there, we should be able to work as a team and hopefully hold off the cars behind. We’re going to be pushing as hard as we can and if we can have good tyre degradation and hopefully some good weather, then we will have a nice fight on our hands.

Andrew Shovlin

A fantastic drive from George to win the Sprint and a great recovery from Lewis to join him on the front row tomorrow. After such a lot of hard work over the season by the drivers and the entire team in Brackley and Brixworth, today was a fine reward for those efforts. We were no doubt flattered by being on the right tyre against Max but we can also look at the fact there were two Ferraris and Sergio on the soft and we clearly had pace on them. We’re certainly not expecting an easy fight tomorrow; Max has a slight tyre advantage with a second new set of Soft but having both cars on the front row gives us the best possible opportunity to control the race from the front. We’re all excited for the race and hopefully the conditions won’t be too different to what we just had!

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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