Mercedes surprised by the speed of rivalsSeptember 22, 2019
Mercedes lost Ferrari to qualifications in Singapore, but hope to recoup the race …
Lewis Hamilton (2nd): “We did not expect Ferrari cars to be so fast today – they improved something, and it worked, so everything is fair. In the finals after the first attempt, we were inferior to the leaders, I sat in the boxes and asked myself: “How to play the whole second?” All that can be done is to tighten the belts and attack in the corners – so I managed to play for almost a second. I could not have achieved more. Nevertheless, I am very happy to start from the first row and I hope to impose a fight on Ferrari tomorrow – nothing is impossible. ”
Valtteri Bottas (5th): “I am upset by the result – today we had a chance to achieve more. In qualifying I was much more comfortable than in any other session during the weekend. I was pleased with everything after the first part of the qualification and thought that we would be able to compete for the first row, but at Ferrari we gradually increased in speed and improved time, in the end we could not compare with them.
Unfortunately, the qualification final turned out to be chaotic for me – I was not able to properly prepare the tires, because on both laps of the exit from the boxes I got stuck in traffic, and this ruined my fast laps. Tomorrow will not be easy: starting from fifth place is far from an ideal result, but we are preparing for battle on Sunday. Usually the race in Singapore is eventful – you need to use every chance to the maximum. “
Toto Wolff, Team Leader: “Complex qualifications. On the exit circle from the boxes everything depended on the details – it was necessary to correctly position the car and warm up the rubber, but at the decisive moment we could not do it. Ferrari cars were very fast, this time winning back time not only on straight lines, but also in corners.
Lewis starts from the first row, and Valtteri – from the fifth position. Our car is competitive in a long series of laps, and although it is difficult to overtake here, the race is very long, the ability to keep tires in good condition will play a key role. ”
Andrew Shovlin, chief racing engineer: “We could do our job better. Apparently, in order to warm up the tires, we needed to drive laps at a faster pace than the rest, but, leaving the boxes, our racers were behind a group of cars and as a result started a fast lap on not warm enough rubber.
We decided to drive the final attempt late, risking that the yellow flags could interfere, but even then some of the rivals still left ahead of us. We will analyze how it was possible to better deal with this, because both riders could play more time, especially Valtteri, who in all three attempts in the final could not be on time in time.
The pace of the rivals was a surprise for us: Ferrari cars are a little faster than we expected, and Red Bull Racing is a little slower. Ferrari probably solved some of its problems with cornering speed – otherwise it is impossible to win the pole here. However, yesterday we looked good on long series of circles, and our car works well with tires.
There is always a chance here – the race in Singapore is unpredictable, and a lot of things are happening in it. It is necessary to find a balance between the need to create a gap and keep the tires in working condition at restart. I hope that this will give us a chance tomorrow, we would like to leave Singapore, having achieved better results than second and fifth places. ”
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