Although it was a hair’s breadth to be knocked out in Q2, Lewis Hamilton, who could start eighth this year at the Formula One Russian Grand Prix, took the 96th pole of his career with a lap record. Though Valtteri Bottas seemed to have a realistic chance of kicking the ball, the Finn fell short, and even Red Bull Max Verstappen jumped over him, separating the Mercedes.
Stoffel Vandoorne, a Mercedes Formula 1 test and reserve, full-time Formula E driver, conducted the interviews after the time trial with the fastest.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, 1.): “It was one of my worst time trials so far. It was hard work, it was crazy, my heart was pounding in my throat. I wanted to stay outside, but they called me in for new tires, and then came the red flag. Due to the loss of time, I also widened the track, for the first time during the weekend. ” The Mercedes pointed out that the measured range had been taken from him in the second stage of the qualification. “It was risky, but I ended up moving on, but I’m starting on soft tires, which isn’t good. Even though you have the pole, it’s the worst here because of the high clamping force of the cars. There is no doubt that I will have a hard time tomorrow if I want to win. ”
Max Verstappen (Red Bull, 2.): “We suffered a bit from finding the right balance for the car, the track is quite slippery. I wasn’t really happy this morning either, but it looks like we managed to hit the balance during the time trial and the last Q3 nail wasn’t bad. I didn’t expect a second start, but I’m happy with it. If you manage to start well, the wind shadow effect can be quite large, so who knows what will happen until the second turn. Tires may also be of interest tomorrow. ”
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes, 3.): “I can start from a good place, and I’m also on good tires. I really believe that with medium tires I can take the lead and fight for victory. ”