British GP: Qualifying team notes - Mercedes


Lewis claimed his 76th career pole position, beating Sebastian Vettel in P2 by 44 thousandths - his sixth pole at the Silverstone Circuit and fourth of the 2018 season. Valtteri will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from P4 on the grid.

Today's result marks the 250th front row position for Mercedes-Benz power. Both drivers will start tomorrow's Grand Prix on the Soft tyre.

Lewis Hamilton: That lap took everything out of me, it was the toughest lap I've ever had to do in a qualifying session. I had to go over the limit to get that time out of the car and I could have easily not pulled that lap together, so I'm thankful that I was able to do it. I knew that the fans were right there with me; every time I go out I see them cheering. The support I get at this track is phenomenal; it means the world to me and it really lifts me up. The start and the tyre management will be key for the race; I'm going to see my guys tonight and tell them to keep pushing so that we're as good as we can get tomorrow.

Valtteri Bottas: I'm disappointed - our pace was good today and it was all going well for me, but I lost it in the last two corners. I went a bit too deep into Turn 16, lost a few tenths there and dropped to fourth. Without that mistake I think I would have been fighting for pole today. The Ferraris looked strong yesterday already and it was very close today between us and them, so I expect a similarly close fight tomorrow. It's not going to be easy to pass them tomorrow, but we've seen overtaking on this track before, so there's still opportunity for more. We saw blistering last week in Austria, so keeping the tyres in good condition is going to be the key tomorrow given the high temperatures. It is going to be a long and hot race, a tough battle, but I'm looking forward to it.

Toto Wolff: You probably can't ask for anything more from a qualifying session than to have three cars within a tenth of a second at the front. The atmosphere this afternoon was incredible: every time Lewis passed, you could hear the crowd cheering above the noise of the cars, and that support probably made the difference today. In the end, he was just 44 thousandths ahead of Sebastian - and Valtteri could have been right in the mix as well, apart from a mistake in the last corners that cost him over two tenths. We know already that it will be a tough race tomorrow, and especially so with two Ferraris starting right behind Lewis. There is everything still to play for and we will have to be at our very best as a team if we wish to come out on top.

James Allison: Yesterday's free practice running proved an extremely accurate portent of what we saw today. It looked very tight at the front on Friday and so it proved in qualifying: it needed a very good lap from Lewis to put the car on pole and, save for an error in the final corners, Valtteri would have been just behind. If Friday's running proves as accurate a gauge of tomorrow's relative performance as it did for today's, then we are in for a tight and tough afternoon, when strategy and tyre management will play vital pasrts in who gets to the lift the silverware at the end. The car performed well in the heat on the long runs and we hope we can achieve the same level of performance, or more, when it counts.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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Published: 07/07/2018
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