Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Toto Wolff celebrated their qualification success at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Russell took fourth place and Hamilton sixth, which would not appear to be a dramatic improvement on previous weeks but the team appear to be confident that their race pace will be a challenge for other teams.
Speaking after Saturday’s qualifying in Barcelona, Hamilton praised his engineering team for the work they had done to improve the performance.
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“The team have done such a great job, big thank you to everyone who is pushing back at the factory because we don’t have bouncing on the straight line, which is a huge improvement for us, and the car has generally been nicer this weekend,” he began.
“We do have some bouncing through the high-speed corners, but we just need to keep working away on that and see if we can gain a bit more downforce elsewhere. I am a little bit gutted because I want to be farther ahead, and obviously George has been able to get further ahead than I, but I'll keep pushing.
“Yesterday was like our best race pace we’ve had, if we can start racing with the Ferraris that would be amazing. I think the Red Bulls might be quicker.”
Russell meanwhile hoped that there would be more to come from the car on Sunday compared to the qualifying performance.
“It wasn’t actually our most perfect qualifying session,” he claimed. “We didn’t have the tires in the right window and I felt like there was a lot more lap time on the table, yet we came home with P4.
“With our best qualifying of the season, looking at the pace on Friday, we had a better car than we did a qualifying car so I think we have a real chance against Ferrari, but I think Red Bull, especially Max [Verstappen], is a bit faster. All to play for.”
Team principal Wolff repeated both his drivers’ talking point, that Sunday may suit the car better than a single-lap effort, and that Ferrari could be in their sights.
“I think we have done a solid step in Barcelona, you are trying to keep your expectations realistic,” he stated. “I think this was the best we could have expected.
“I believe that we have a race car more than a qualifying car. I think with Red Bull they have a dependency on being much stronger in the race.”
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