Mercedes locked out the front row in qualifying for the sprint qualifying. But they could not capitalize on their positions as Lewis Hamilton made a poor start to fall back to P5. Although Valtteri Bottas won the sprint qualifying, he will start from the back of the grid as he had to take his engine penalty.
Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin mentioned that they might have to progress in the race through strategy and pit stops. He also expressed his concern, as Hamilton could not get past McLarens in the sprint.
As reported by MercedesAMG.com, while giving his reports on how the sprint qualifying went for them, Shovlin stated it was a mixed result for the team. He also congratulated Bottas on taking the win and responded to how they will manage Lewis’ race tomorrow.
Adding his grim outcome for Hamilton, he said, ” We’ll have a look at strategic options for Lewis tomorrow, but the reality is that if we struggled to overtake the McLarens today, we’ll face the same situation tomorrow, and that’s going to hand Max a very easy win. “We need to look at every possible opportunity as it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t happen, and it can often be an eventful race here, but we can’t afford to drop back in the first stint at the rate we did today.”
Lewis Hamilton will start the race in P4 on Sunday. He mentioned he hopes for a different outcome in the main race than sprint qualifying and hopes to limit the damage. “It’s not the outcome we wanted for today and we can’t afford days like these, especially when it is this close in the Championships. We have work to do to analyze today’s race and prepare for tomorrow. I hope we will be able to limit the damage, and I know Valtteri and I will come out fighting,” said Hamilton.