Mercedes: A very tough qualifying session and certainly not what we were hoping for

A tough qualifying session at the Circuit of the Americas this afternoon saw Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg qualify in fifth and 14th places respectively for the United States Grand Prix.

  • Lewis ran the following tyre strategy: Q1, New Prime/New Option; Q2, Old Option/New Option; Q3, New Option
  • Nico qualified outside the top ten for only the second time in 2013 after his P11 start at the German Grand Prix
  • Nico ran the following tyre strategy: Q1, New Prime/New Option; Q2, Old Option/New Option

Lewis Hamilton

That was a really tricky session this afternoon so I have to be pleased with fifth place although, of course, I’d rather have been fighting for a position on the first two rows. The car was quick out there and I had a good balance but we just couldn’t get the tyres to work. The track was completely different from the final practice session this morning and it was really gusty round the back which affected our car quite a lot. In practice, the car has felt really strong this weekend so I hope we have a good set-up for tomorrow. I need to have a good start in the race and, if we can achieve that, then there is still a lot to play for.

Nico Rosberg

I had real problems getting my tyres into the right working window today and it’s so disappointing to have not gone through to Q3. It was all about finding the right compromise in the conditions which saw very hard tyres on a very soft track surface, and we saw a lot of surprises today as a result. Tomorrow should be warmer which will improve the situation for us but starting so far back is not ideal. We’ve worked a lot on our race pace so the car should be strong tomorrow and I’ll be pushing really hard to move forward, overtake some guys and score good points.

Ross Brawn

That was a very tough qualifying session and certainly not what we were hoping for. Our car appeared to suffer more than most in the prevailing conditions: the blustery wind was upsetting the car and it was also tricky to bring the front and rear tyre temperatures into the right window in harmony. However, conditions are predicted to be very different tomorrow, and I am optimistic that, with the set-up we have on the cars, we can achieve a decent race result.

Toto Wolff

A very disappointing afternoon for the team. The main challenge was to get all four tyres into the operating window with the front and rear sets working well at the same time. We clearly didn’t do that as well as our competitors, which is reflected in the grid positions. But tomorrow is another day where the warmer conditions should bring the track towards us so we are optimistic that the race could play to some of our strengths.