Lewis Hamilton: “Red Bull’s race pace looks strong”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Toto Wolff and Andrew Shovlin give their comments on the Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying.

Lewis takes pole position for the Spanish GP, with Valtteri completing a front-row lockout for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team

  • Lewis scored his 92nd pole in F1, his fourth of the 2020 season and fifth at the Spanish GP
  • Valtteri missed out by just 0.059s, but secured the team’s 68th front row lockout
  • Today’s result marks the 200th pole position in F1 for Mercedes-Benz power
  • It also marks the 150th front row place for Lewis in F1
  • Both drivers will start the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix on the Soft tyre
Lewis Hamilton

This is a great result for the team and I’m grateful for everyone continuing to push. It was very hot and quite gusty out there which made for a tricky session. We changed a few things overnight, made a good step forward and I was pretty happy with my first laps in each Qualifying session. The first Q3 lap was really solid but there was still a bit of room for improvement. But my second lap wasn’t particularly great and I just couldn’t go quicker. In the end, it was very close with Valtteri out there, he’s keeping me on my toes and every millisecond counts. Tomorrow is going to be challenging, as the race scenario is completely different. Over a single lap, we seem to have the edge, but Red Bull’s race pace looks strong and the run down to Turn 1 is very long, so I’m expecting a tough battle.

Valtteri Bottas

I knew it was going to be close with Lewis, but he did a really nice and clean lap on that first run in Q3. Particularly in sector three, where I’ve been struggling a bit all through today. The balance of the car wasn’t quite right for me in that sector, but it kept getting better and better through Qualifying. In the end, it just wasn’t quite good enough, which is a little annoying. Lewis did a good job and it’s been another really strong performance as a team that we can be proud of. Looking to tomorrow, my long runs have been competitive but the person at the front always has the best chance, so that long run down to Turn 1 at the start will be my best opportunity and I’ll try to get there first. The Red Bull looked very strong in the long runs, so I’m sure they’ll be quick tomorrow as well.

Toto Wolff

It was a good day in the office, and we can be pleased with today’s result. Again, we were able to put in a strong Qualifying performance, but we know that tomorrow is what counts. It’s expected to be as hot here as it was at Silverstone last weekend, and we saw what happened there – the Red Bull was clearly the fastest in race trim. Looking at the long runs on Friday, they’re expected to be the benchmark tomorrow, so we need to have a clever race, manage it from the front, knowing the quickest car on track will likely be behind us with Verstappen. We’ll be pushing hard to get the most points we can and take the win, but if that’s not possible then it will be focusing on the best damage limitation in these tricky conditions.

Andrew Shovlin

Well done to the drivers and the team on a very solid front row lockout. Whilst it’s nice to have both cars at the front, the last race was a stark reminder that the points are handed out on Sunday and it doesn’t matter how much you are on pole by, if you haven’t got race pace you are in for a difficult afternoon. We collected good data from Friday and as far as we can tell, we looked pretty similar to Max on the long runs. The drivers were both happy with the car balance on a long run, but it’s still tricky to keep the tyre temperatures in a good window with the track hovering around 50°C. We’re under no illusion that tomorrow will be a long and hot race, but we’ll work hard tonight on the strategy plans and understanding how to get the most out of the tyres, to put ourselves in the best possible position to turn today’s front row into a strong result.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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