Lewis Hamilton qualified for the Spanish Grand Prix in P5, but throughout the session he was a strong candidate for the front row.
Afterwards he was really happy with the W14’s performance.
“Firstly, absolutely shocked today to… It was a real surprise to see us so far up front and, ultimately, competing for the front row,” the Briton said.
“We did some great work overnight with the analysis. I was here until 11pm last night trying to figure out where we could find the time. When I woke up this morning I was on a mission.
“I definitely didn’t expect us to be fighting for the front row. The car came alive today from Practice 3.
“Our whole package, a big thank you to everyone at the factory, this shows we are progressing, which I’m so grateful to see. I really enjoyed driving the car today.
“I was basically front row all the way until Turn 10. I’ve got into Turn 10, got on the power and the car snapped into oversteer.
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“I have to see exactly what happened. That’s where I lost two tenths. I’m not killer-disappointed. Maybe if I was fighting for a world championship I would be.
“I’m more encouraged to see the car where it is and hopefully tomorrow we can progress forwards.”
In a different post-Quali statement, Lewis said Mercedes’ big upgrade package, first introduced last week in Monaco, has “definitely worked”.
“Either way, we couldn’t have competed with the Red Bull,” he said.
“They’re still in their own league. But we’re coming. I think we’ve made some really great progress with the car.
“Today, for us to be fighting for P2 was a big surprise. We did some great work overnight, and the car really felt so much better this morning. I just had so much more confidence in the car.
“These upgrades have definitely worked,” Hamilton concluded.