Hamilton couldn't recover from "shocking" first corners

Lewis Hamilton says a "pretty shocking" first two corners made the difference in qualifying for Formula 1's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, after being beaten to pole by teammate Valtteri Bottas.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10

Bottas led a Mercedes one-two in Baku, helped by an interrupted qualifying session that included post-practice favourite Charles Leclerc crashing out in Q2.

Read Also:

Hamilton, who will line up second, said he never recovered from a "pretty shocking" first two corners.

"Valtteri did an exceptional job, it was a great result for us as a team," he said. "Coming into this weekend it didn't look like we had the pace. Our race pace looked good but the pace in qualifying didn't look as close as we'd like to the Ferraris.

"We worked on the car, improved it today. Unfortunately my first two corners were pretty shocking, I had a small moment in Turn 1 and then Turn 2. Already by Turn 4 I think I was three tenths down. I recovered that in the next two sectors but unfortunately it wasn't enough."

The Mercedes drivers had trailed Ferrari by more than a second in final practice.

Asked if it was unexpected compared to his first pole of the season in the previous race in China, Bottas said: "You could say so yeah, definitely.

"After the practice yesterday and this morning we definitely saw Ferrari was extremely quick. Also Red Bull was quick. Going into qualifying it felt kind of out of reach, but you never know what can happen so we don't give up. In the end Charles went off and it was down to one lap at the end."

Bottas said the constant delays – after Robert Kubica had also crashed in Q1 in similar fashion to Leclerc in Q1 – meant conditions changed throughout qualifying.

Having snatched pole right at the end of Q3, he said: "Because everything was delayed and it was a lot cooler so the tricky bit was to get the tyres to work.

"And when it comes down to one lap on this kind of track the tow effect is quite important. I managed to get a pretty good gap to the car ahead. Also, it feels good to have a good lap when it matters."

shares
comments

Raikkonen got "too close" to Hamilton on Q3 lap

Verstappen: Tows "critical" with "draggy" 2019 F1 cars

Why F1’s quest for more isn't always better

Why F1’s quest for more isn't always better

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

Why F1’s quest for more isn't always better Why F1’s quest for more isn't always better

Why the end of F1’s design divergence is nothing to be sad about 

Why the end of F1’s design divergence is nothing to be sad about 

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Jonathan Noble

Why the end of F1’s design divergence is nothing to be sad about  Why the end of F1’s design divergence is nothing to be sad about 

Why Mercedes may be wrong to be so cagey on new F1 expectations

Why Mercedes may be wrong to be so cagey on new F1 expectations

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Alex Kalinauckas

Why Mercedes may be wrong to be so cagey on new F1 expectations Why Mercedes may be wrong to be so cagey on new F1 expectations

Is this F1's most underrated driver of 2023?

Is this F1's most underrated driver of 2023?

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Spanish GP
Jake Boxall-Legge

Is this F1's most underrated driver of 2023? Is this F1's most underrated driver of 2023?

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2023

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2023

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Spanish GP
Jake Boxall-Legge

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2023 Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2023

Why Verstappen's 2023 Spanish GP win wasn't as simple as it looked

Why Verstappen's 2023 Spanish GP win wasn't as simple as it looked

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Spanish GP
Alex Kalinauckas

Why Verstappen's 2023 Spanish GP win wasn't as simple as it looked Why Verstappen's 2023 Spanish GP win wasn't as simple as it looked

How F1 teams manage the punishing reality of F1’s relentless schedule

How F1 teams manage the punishing reality of F1’s relentless schedule

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
GP Racing

How F1 teams manage the punishing reality of F1’s relentless schedule How F1 teams manage the punishing reality of F1’s relentless schedule

Why handling misfortune well could make Red Bull invincible in 2023

Why handling misfortune well could make Red Bull invincible in 2023

Prime
Prime
Formula 1
Monaco GP
Jonathan Noble

Why handling misfortune well could make Red Bull invincible in 2023 Why handling misfortune well could make Red Bull invincible in 2023

Subscribe