Hamilton: Pressure "higher than ever" to find time for pole

Tuscan Grand Prix polesitter Lewis Hamilton says he felt "the pressure was higher than ever" to find time around Mugello after Valtteri Bottas topped the opening Formula 1 practice sessions.

Hamilton: Pressure "higher than ever" to find time for pole

F1 is visiting the Tuscany track for a race weekend for the first time after it was added to the re-drawn 2020 calendar as a result of the coronavirus disruption to the planned events.

This meant many drivers – including Hamilton – are making their first visit to Mugello, where Bottas topped all three practice sessions and Q1.

But Hamilton moved ahead with the quickest time in Q2 and then beat Bottas to pole with the F1's latest Mugello track record in Q3 – where the Finn was frustrated by yellow flags flying for Esteban Ocon's late spin.

"In my past I always felt that my strength was learning a circuit quite quickly," Hamilton said when asked about his work to find time after Friday practice, where he had ended the first day of the event's track action with the second fastest time.

"And for this one, we went on the simulator, which I never do, and [I] don't feel like I benefitted particularly.

"But then getting here there was a lot of work that… the pressure was incredibly high.

"Because I'm going out there doing laps and I'm struggling to find the limit in certain sectors. And Valtteri was miles ahead, really, in some of those areas.

"So [it felt like] the pressure was higher than ever because if I hadn't done the work then I wouldn't have got the result that we got at the end."

Hamilton went on to explain the "incredible amount of detail that you have to into" with the engineers for drivers to find time through weekend.

"Last night [was spent] dissecting every single detail basically, each sector – really trying to fine-tune that set-up," he continued.

"As a racing driver there's a real fine line between knowing whether [something is] understeer or oversteer – and whether you're on the limit or not in certain places.

"Because you can be on the limit through one corner but not through the rest of the corners.

"For example, it could be the first one or then not the second one and then the third one you are – and so [it's about] really understanding whether you've got the balance right within yourself and then knowing what you do need.

"For what to request for when you do move towards the limit – to pre-empt what the car is going to do.

"There's a real science to it and that's why I have so much respect for these drivers – because it's not only the ability to drive, but to understand those things and to be engineers at the end of the day.

"You have to work with these geniuses that can balance numbers like nobody else – but we need to be able to do that on the track."

shares
comments

Related video

Bottas says yellow flags in Q3 denied him pole chance
Previous article

Bottas says yellow flags in Q3 denied him pole chance

Next article

Gasly explains reasons behind Q1 exit at Mugello

Gasly explains reasons behind Q1 exit at Mugello
The five factors that won Sainz a British GP he’d twice lost Prime

The five factors that won Sainz a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Why there was no case to answer in Aston's latest F1 copycat saga Prime

Why there was no case to answer in Aston's latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Prime

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Prime

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue.

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Prime

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger .

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022