Mercedes waiting for the battle with Ferrari and Red Bull RacingApril 13, 2019
The fight in the qualification of the 1000th race in the history of the World Cup, the Grand Prix of China, turned out to be very sharp, but Mercedes managed to take the entire first row of the starting field …
Valtteri Bottas (1st): “It’s nice to be on the pole. I think the fight will be very tight, so it’s good to start the race from the first position. From the very beginning this weekend we looked quite strong, great to continue in the same vein in the first session, which is important.
However, ultimately, in qualifying, it doesn’t matter how good your weekend was to this – all that matters is whether you can drive a good lap. I’m glad I managed. On the straight we are still a little lose to Ferrari, but we look better in the corners, and in the end won there more than lost on the straight.
Tomorrow we are waiting for a difficult race, to win will require a good racing pace and the right strategy. I need to start well to keep the lead, because Lewis and Ferrari racers will attack. But I was quick the whole weekend and I want to achieve my goal tomorrow. ”
Lewis Hamilton (2nd): “The amazing work of the team, I am very glad that we have taken the whole first row. Valtteri worked great, he was a little faster, but I also managed to drive a few good laps. I did not know what positions we would be in, but we showed good form.
In the course of the weekend I had a lot of difficulties, I struggled with the balance up to the qualification, so I am very pleased with how everything ended up – better late than never. I will try to start well tomorrow, tire monitoring and strategy are also important.
Here you can overtake, the race should get interesting. I am sure that tomorrow I will have several opportunities, and I will try to be on the best possible position in order to fight for the victory. ”
Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes Motorsport: “It’s great to see both of our cars on the first row of the 1000th Grand Prix. In the Ferrari did everything they could, and again were very fast on the straight, but we were faster in the turns, and, ultimately, stayed ahead.
Our car is very good in terms of downforce, but you need to add in speed on the straights. It always depends on the combination of power and drag, so we have to optimize the chassis and powerplant to recoup.
Valtteri was strong throughout the weekend and in qualifying drove some very good laps. Lewis did not have enough traction, in the morning he was a few tenths behind, but he managed and was able to recoup when it mattered.
The alignment of forces varies from weekend to weekend, even within the same team – this makes the season very interesting. Valtteri played in his league in Melbourne, then faced difficulties in Bahrain, but returned to the peak form here. Lewis, on the contrary, had problems in a race in Australia, but was very strong in Bahrain. If you look at Vettel and Leclair, then they have about the same.
This makes the race unpredictable, and I am sure that tomorrow we will also see an exciting race. Our pace on the long series yesterday looked good, but we expect a close battle between Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and us, so we need to continue to attack. “
Andrew Shovlin, chief race engineer: “Great performance from the team and both pilots. My congratulations to the Valtteri with one more pole. In the morning session, we worked with the Soft and Medium trains, because we wanted to test them before qualifying and see how realistic it was to go to the Medium for the final.
The wind, as compared with Friday, increased and changed direction, so it was important for us and the riders to understand how the balance would change. Valtteri after the third workout was pleased with the machine, and Lewis lacked soft tire adhesion on the fast lap.
Qualification is always the most intense session, but this year the pressure is even greater, as the teams of the middle of the peloton approached. It took Lewis some time to find the maximum grip on his tires, but his second attempt in the second part of the qualification looked very good, and in the final our pilots were extremely close.
This race will win the fastest car. Ferrari and Verstappen start on the same tires, so that we are not amused by illusions. Tomorrow’s race will be very difficult. However, everything goes to what awaits us an exciting fight. We hope that the 1000th race will be remembered for a long time. ”
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