Mercedes qualifies 1-2 for record 63rd time
Mercedes locked out the front row of the grid for a record breaking 63rd time on Saturday, with Lewis Hamilton leading the way and teammate Valtteri Bottas completing the front row.
Previously tied with McLaren, Williams and Ferrari on 62 front row lockouts, Mercedes continued to lead the way with Lewis Hamilton turning the tables on Valtteri Bottas, the Finn having been fastest throughout free practice and the earlier parts of qualifying.
“It’s not an easy track,” said Hamilton. “Obviously, there’s quite a lot of run off areas, it’s quite technical
(Photo by: LAT)
and Valtteri’s been quick all weekend. I’ve just been chipping away and chipping away all weekend and my last two laps were the ones.
“The last one, I was up half a second but lost it in the second to last corner. I’m happy that I got the potential out of the car and the team did a great job.”
“I think Lewis had a really good lap at the end and it’s been super-close between us all weekend,” said Bottas. “It’s all been about fine details and hundredths of a second. In qualifying, the wind changed completely to the opposite direction and I think there was a couple of moments where my line didn’t work then, so I had to work them out.
Charles Leclerc put in a sold effort to qualify third as his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel suffered a rare off day, managing just seventh.
The surprise package of qualifying came in the form of McLaren. Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz locked out the third row to give McLaren their best Saturday effort of the season. With little to smile about for the team in recent years, this result continues a steady improvement in results across the season.
At least two drivers will start lower than they have qualified with Daniil Kvyat and George Russell both picking up engine penalties. Incidents involving Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo are being investigated and both are in danger of grid drop penalties should the stewards deem necessary.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||1:30.609||1:29.520||1:28.319|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||1:30.550||1:29.437||1:28.605|
|3||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||1:30.647||1:29.699||1:28.965|
|4||Max Verstappen||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:31.327||1:30.099||1:29.409|
|5||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team||1:30.989||1:30.019||1:29.418|
|6||Carlos Sainz||McLaren F1 Team||1:31.073||1:30.319||1:29.522|
|7||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||1:31.075||1:29.506||1:29.799|
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team||1:30.954||1:30.369||1:29.918|
|9||Pierre Gasly||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1:31.152||1:30.421||1:30.184|
|10||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Rome|