Mercedes AMG Petronas drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualified in second and fifth positions respectively for tomorrow’s 2013 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix.
Nico will start from P4 on the grid after penalties have been applied. Lewis qualified P2 after making two option-tyre runs in Q3, having come through Q2 with a single run. Nico suffered a puncture on his first run of the session in Q1 which forced him to use a set of option tyres in Q1. He recovered strongly to clear Q2 running used option tyres and was able to secure P5 on the grid. Nico will start from P4 once grid penalties have been applied to other competitors.
I’m really happy with second position today as it felt like I got everything out of the car today. The guys have done a great job to get the package as it is here: we came into the weekend knowing that Red Bull had an advantage, so to be as close as I am in terms of performance is a real positive. Hopefully we have closed the gap a little bit. Our long-run pace yesterday looked good and pretty close to theirs but there will be threats all around us in tomorrow’s race. A couple of years ago, I was on pole and Seb got past me at the start, so I’d like to repay him on that one! I need to make sure we get a good start, position the car as well as possible and when there’s a gap, I’ll be going for it. We know that the weather will change a bit for tomorrow and I don’t mind how it turns out. I’d prefer dry conditions but we’ll see what the day brings and roll with it.
I haven’t found the right car balance all weekend so far and that’s the reason why I’m a bit disappointed with today’s result – even if my actual starting position of fourth place is pretty good. The first sector of the track is good for overtaking, so hopefully that will give us some opportunities in the opening laps, but Red Bull still seems to have the edge here overall. If I get a good start like I managed in Singapore, then a podium finish is possible based on the performance we were able to show in the long runs on Friday.
It was a workmanlike performance from the team this afternoon and we can be happy to have both cars starting on the front two rows tomorrow, which is a fair reflection of our basic competitiveness at this circuit. Lewis was happy with the balance in qualifying and got pretty much everything out of the car today while Nico wasn’t quite as comfortable, which was reflected in his ultimate lap time. Our high-fuel performance in Friday practice looked pretty strong and I am sure we can have a reasonable race on that basis. The weather forecast is currently predicting showers in the morning and cooler temperatures, but dry conditions, for the afternoon. We will see how that turns out and take any opportunity that comes our way.
Source: Mercedes AMG