Hamilton's pace "deteriorated" during British GP qualifying

Lewis Hamilton felt it getting “harder and harder” to extract maximum performance in British Grand Prix qualifying as his Mercedes Formula 1 car’s pace “deteriorated” compared to teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton's pace "deteriorated" during British GP qualifying

Hamilton missed out on the fastest time in qualifying for his home race by just 0.006s as Bottas claimed his fourth pole position of the season.

Five-time world champion and five-time British GP winner Hamilton had complained about the rear stability of his car after Friday practice, and while he said the set-up was improved for Saturday he found it difficult to maintain his pace as qualifying progressed.

“The set-up suited the race trim best,” Hamilton said. "I think yesterday I really did struggle with it on a single lap and tried to improve it throughout the evening and into today.

“It felt great going into P3 and it felt really good at the start of the qualifying session. But it deteriorated as we got through the session, back towards what we had yesterday.

“It was also windy but the race trim was still good and I didn’t want to move the set-up I had too far away.

“Fingers crossed, the strength in the race should be quite good, but it depends on what position we are, the wind, and a bunch of other factors.”

Bottas’s performance moved him clear of Hamilton for number of poles this season, and he now leads his teammate 4-3 on that score.

However, it was his first since the Spanish Grand Prix in May, and Bottas said he felt he needed to improve on his second run after a Hamilton mistake at Brooklands on the first flying laps in Q3.

“There was not much in it with Lewis, but going into the second run there were a lot of places that had margin to improve,” said Bottas.

“It was not a perfect lap, but I doubt anyone did a perfect lap because it was super sensitive to a mistake here or there because of the tarmac and the wind.”

Some of Bottas’s races earlier this year were hamstrung by poor starts, and others by lack of race pace compared to Hamilton.

After identifying his weaknesses compared to his teammate, Bottas believes it is more important improve in race trim after what he described as a natural improvement in qualifying speed for 2019.

“The biggest thing for me is the pure race pace in certain conditions,” he said. “Year by year you re always learning and you get quicker if you work. The main thing is to turn those poles into wins.”

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / LAT Images

shares
comments
British GP: Bottas beats Hamilton to pole by 0.006s

Previous article

British GP: Bottas beats Hamilton to pole by 0.006s

Next article

Vettel "just didn't click" with car in heavy qualifying defeat

Vettel "just didn't click" with car in heavy qualifying defeat
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event British GP
Drivers Valtteri Bottas , Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Scott Mitchell
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Prime

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021