Attention turns to the race after a difficult Saturday in Austria for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team. Lewis Hamilton qualified in P4 and Valtteri Bottas in P5 with the car struggling for pace in Q3. All four Mercedes-Benz powered teams made it through to Q3. Both drivers will start on the Medium tyre compound tomorrow.
This weekend is more of a challenge than it was already last week and we continue to lack pace. We tried everything to get more out of the car but the underlying pace just isn’t good enough at the moment, so we’ve got to really find performance in the following races. I don’t know if McLaren brought an upgrade but they were mega quick today so great job from Lando. We’ve just got to try and improve, we’ve still got a long way to go. In the heat today, Red Bull seemed to step forwards and we stepped backwards so let’s see what tomorrow brings.
I was hoping to fight for the pole but today it was out of reach. It seemed like we went a little bit backwards from last weekend or others gained more than us. I would say we’re missing maybe a tenth or two from where we should have been and clearly McLaren has found something with the C5 compound this weekend, it seems to work well with their car.
I think race pace wise we should be in better shape – all the developing we’ve done with the car setup is aiming a bit more towards the race pace so we need to learn from today and then I’m sure we can get a good result for the team tomorrow. I’m still expecting a big fight with Red Bull in the race.
What started as a good day in FP3 we couldn’t translate into a good qualifying session. The gaps here are very small and our performance in qualifying wasn’t great, and that showed in the final result. We need to analyse whether a slip-stream could have helped us but overall, we just need to continue to develop the performance of the car. Hopefully tomorrow we will be in better shape for the race and we need to take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way.