Lewis Hamilton will start tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix from P3 on the grid. Valtteri Bottas came home fourth and will start the race from P4. Both drivers will start tomorrow’s race on the Soft tyres.
I really enjoyed Qualifying and it was great to see the progression for us over the weekend. Congratulations to Charles, he did a great job and deserved to get his first pole today. We’ve seen strong pace from the Ferraris all weekend long. We’ve worked very hard to narrow that gap, but they were really fast on the straights and that’s ultimately where we lost a lot of the time today. Our car felt okay today; I think this track has never particularly suited our car in the past for whatever reason, but I think we got it into a quite good place today, so hopefully it feels good tomorrow as well. It will be a very hard race, physically challenging and tough on the tyres, but our race pace was good last year, so I’m hopeful it will be good again this year. I love that it’s a close and exciting battle, that’s really how it should be.
P4 is not a very satisfying result, but it’s not a disaster either. I was only a few hundreds off of Lewis and I think Ferrari was just quicker today, so Pole was probably out of reach for us today. Ferrari showed strong pace throughout the weekend, but it didn’t really come as a surprise; they clearly found the solution to the issues they had in Melbourne. We made some good steps forward over the weekend, but they kept the upper hand. However, it’ s the race that matters. Our race pace looked quite strong and I think we’re there or thereabout when it comes to the tyres, so the race should be exciting – I think we’re going to be in the fight tomorrow.
P3 and P4 is a bit disappointing, but not surprising after the Free Practice sessions this weekend; we were not fast enough to fight for pole today. Ferrari have been quick all weekend so we knew it was not going to be easy and that was how it turned out. We are lacking in straight-line speed compared to them at this circuit, so we have to dig deep and analyse the cause. We start tomorrow’s race from the second row and we think it will be a close fight; our long-run pace looked reasonable yesterday and the tyre management will be key to tomorrow’s result.
Source: Mercedes AMG F1