Pole and second place were a surprise for MercedesApril 28, 2019
Valtteri Bottas won qualifications in Baku and will start the race from pole position for the second time this season. His partner Lewis Hamilton showed the second time, which allowed Mercedes for the third time in the season to win the entire first row of the starting field. Both pilots will start a race on Soft tires.
Valtteri Bottas (1st): “It’s great to win the pole. Today the whole team did a great job. At the beginning of qualifying Ferrari were very fast, as throughout the weekend, but in the final we were able to squeeze the most out of the car and tires. As the asphalt cooled, the car behaved better and better — it was great that we managed to put everything together when it mattered.
It’s great to start from the first row, but so far nothing has been decided – only tomorrow’s result matters. In the past we have seen that anything can happen on this route, so it’s important to avoid problems.
On this route is relatively easy to overtake. I think we are waiting for an exciting race – the pace on a long series of laps at the leading teams is very close, so it should be fun. Since last year, I still have unfinished business in Baku, so tomorrow I will do everything I can. ”
Lewis Hamilton (2nd): “We did not think that we could occupy the entire first row on this route. Charles LeClair was especially fast this weekend. We added and thought that due to this we would play one or two tenths, but in reality everything turned out differently. I am very proud of everyone in the team for the work done.
It was one of the most difficult qualifications of the season on a difficult track, but I like these challenges. In the past I had problems on this track, so I am glad that I will start from the first row. Today I was close to pole – my first lap in the final turned out to be good, but in the second I lost three tenths in the first two turns. I was able to play most of the lost time, but this was not enough for the pole. From this point of view, I am pleased, but on the other hand I am disappointed, because I could show it at first.
Tomorrow I will try to fix it. The start is very important, our pace in the long run looks decent, but here the safety car often leaves, anything can happen in a race. ”
Toto Wolff, team leader: “The longer the qualification lasted, the faster we drove. It was difficult to bring the tires into the working range – with this we have problems throughout the weekend, but when at the end of qualification the temperature of asphalt decreased, the car began to behave much better.
We looked good in the course of qualifying, but when the time came for the final, the alignment of forces changed. We did not expect that together with us on our attempt so many cars would go at the end of the third part. We were behind them, and the circles of departure from the boxes of Lewis and Valtteri were spoiled. As a result, they both had problems, and Lewis lost time at the beginning of his final round, but the result was enough to win the entire first row.
In Baku it is enough just to overtake, tomorrow the pace of racing will be of key importance. ”
James Ellison, Technical Director: “We really like to come to Baku, but what kind of stress it is! Yesterday, at the end of the second workout, it seemed that we were losing a half second to Ferrari and Charl Lecler, and today we won the entire first row in qualifying. We were confident that the car is able to show a good lap time, but the team and the racers had a hard time getting the tires to work.
Today’s qualification showed how difficult the track in Baku is – several riders were victims of its inexorable walls, so we are grateful that our pilots completed the session. They both performed flawlessly, forced the car to go and won the first and second places at the start. We are really glad that our cars are in good shape before tomorrow’s race. ”
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