Mercedes: Ferrari dropping out took a bit of pressure off

Mercedes report from qualifying for the German Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Hockenheim.

  • Lewis storms to Hockenheim pole as Valtteri takes P3
  • Lewis claimed his 87th Formula One pole position on Mercedes home soil – his fourth of the 2019 season and third at the German Grand Prix
  • Valtteri will start Sunday’s race from P3 on the grid
  • Both drivers will start tomorrow’s race on the Medium tyre

Lewis Hamilton: “I’m super happy to be on pole, it’s such a special race for all of us. The whole team is dressed up this weekend to celebrate 125 years of motorsport and our 200th race which is really cool.

“We’ve got Ola, our new CEO here from Daimler, so I hope that I can deliver on a weekend where everyone is here. It’s not just unfortunate what happened to Ferrari today, but unfortunate for the sport too because it was building up to be a really exciting qualifying session.

“I don’t know how close it would have been in the end, but they were quick all weekend. I was really happy with my first lap in Q3; I just lost a little bit of time in Turn 8.

“Position on the grid is really important here, so I’m grateful to be starting from pole and hopefully I can try to stay out in front tomorrow.

Valtteri Bottas: “It was not an easy qualifying session for me today, I struggled with the consistency in the braking zones in Turn 2, 6 and 8 – all of the heavy braking events. I just didn’t have a consistent feeling under braking, so I couldn’t really put a good lap together.

“It certainly wasn’t the best session, but starting from P3 tomorrow is not a disaster either. It’s a shame what happened to Ferrari, but I’m sure they will be quick tomorrow.

“There’s also a chance of rain for tomorrow which would certainly make things interesting. It’s still all to play for and I’m looking forward to the race.

Toto Wolff: “It’s a real shame for Ferrari and a shame for Sebastian at his home Grand Prix. We really need him here for the crowd, and you can see that it’s a bit subdued at the moment. We need Ferrari for a strong Championship too.

“I’m happy because the session started poorly for us, we didn’t quite know why we were lacking pace. Over the course of the session it just slowly came towards us. Lewis put in an incredible lap in Q3 and deserves to be on pole. Valtteri was not feeling comfortable in the car, he was struggling a bit more, but he is starting third on the grid and has every chance in the race tomorrow.

Andrew Shovlin: “It’s not been a straightforward day and our pace has been a bit up and down. On our final runs on low fuel in the morning it was clear we’d not made the progress we had hoped for overnight.

“The track warmed up a bit for qualifying, our initial runs weren’t great in the first session and we decided to go again with both cars to cover off track ramp although in the end it wasn’t needed. Qualifying two was a bit better, the pace was closer to where we’d expected to be, and we managed to get both cars through on the medium which was our preferred start tyre.

“Obviously, Ferrari dropping out took a bit of pressure off us in the final session although Max had good pace, so we didn’t expect it to be easy. Lewis did a great lap on run one; Valtteri struggled a bit with the consistency on braking and couldn’t quite match Max’s time in the end.

“It should be an interesting day tomorrow, especially when you consider the risk of rain. We also have much cooler conditions than we saw on Friday which means we don’t really know what the tyres will be capable of.

Hockenheim Qualifying: Hamilton rises as Ferrari falter big time