Lewis Hamilton: “I was excited for the last run”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Lewis Hamilton says he was “excited” for his last run in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Qualifying, before it was cut short when the session was red flagged.

As Lewis Hamilton was preparing for his last run in the final moments of quali, the session was cut short due to both Yuki Tsunoda and Carlos Sainz crashing in the barrier.

After the session Lewis said he thought he could have improved his time in his final lap.

“ I think there was a little bit more to come, so I was excited for the last run,” said the Briton at the post-qualifying press conference.

“I think it would have been close but I can’t say that I would have been quicker than Charles [Leclerc], but I definitely think there was time left on the table.

“I think I was a little bit too close to Valtteri [Bottas] on that first lap. So, I struggled. I was a bit down in the middle sector because I was just too close to the car ahead – but anyways, I will take it.

“We’ve got a long race tomorrow. It’s very difficult race here but just really, incredibly proud of the guys, the whole crew for the amazing work. For everyone just being open-minded.

“We’ve made a lot of changes, there’s been so much work back at the factory overnight, and then obviously even during today, so, I hope everyone’s happy and we’ve still got to do the job tomorrow.”

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Lewis also explained how the team managed to turn around their car’s performance to allow him to qualify in P2.

“I mean really kind of hard to explain the emotions that we’ve run through for the past day.

“And when we’re talking about the set-up changes, none of us… it’s difficult for us firstly to understand why we are in the position we are in because we’re trying lots of different things and we don’t always get the results that you’re expecting to get and no matter what we’re doing, we couldn’t really fix it.

“So, from my point, I’m pushing the guys – I want to try this, I want to try that – and naturally when you do that, I had a lot of anxiety because you don’t know if you’re going to get it right or get it wrong, and it means that you’re out of top ten, like we were earlier this morning and then yesterday.

“So yeah, eventually just had to let it go, literally ten minutes before the session we finished… We were here last night until 11 ‘o clock.

“Again, just before the session, ten minutes, just before, we were still making small changes and just had to shake it up and go for it and just go all out. It’s an amazing feeling. I think we’ve got the right balance with the wing.

“Do we have the perfect wing? I’m sure you could always say you could have a slightly better balance but it did the job today so…

“I think for a race pace we weren’t as quick as the Red Bulls, I think, but we were in the mix, so I think tomorrow we should be close to these guys, hopefully.”

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