Lewis Hamilton is preparing for a “battle” as he laments Max Verstappen’s speed ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix.
On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton has promised to bring the ‘fight’ to Red Bull.
After title leader Max Verstappen achieved pole position ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday, Lewis Hamilton has promised to give Red Bull a battle, but concedes Mercedes lacks the “pure pace” to overtake them.
The Dutchman clocked a 1:03.841s lap around the Red Bull Ring, two tenths faster than Bottas, who clocked a 1:04.035s, and Hamilton, who clocked a 1:04.067.
Despite dominating free practice three on Saturday morning, Hamilton appeared to struggle for much of the three qualifying sessions.
The Mercedes driver was quick out of the pits at the start of Q3, which is unusual for a driver in his position, but he could only manage third place, behind teammate Bottas, who will drop to fifth after earning a penalty in practice.
“First and foremost, congratulations to Max; he did an incredible job. They’ve been moving so quickly this weekend, and I’ve been giving it my all, but it wasn’t the best of sessions.
“But we’re still on the front row, obviously because of the penalties, but I did everything I could, and we’re ready to battle tomorrow.
Tomorrow, Hamilton will start on the medium tyre, 12 points behind championship leader Verstappen, as he attempts to narrow the gap at the top of the standings.
“They’ve had a quarter-second advantage on us all weekend, and I think we’ve gotten closer in qualifying, but not in race pace yesterday.
Most of the time, we’ll be 45 minutes ahead of schedule, so it’ll be fascinating to see if we can keep up.
“I don’t believe we have the speed to overtake them,” says the driver. But it’s possible that I’ll be able to keep up.
“Obviously, we’ll give it our all, but I’m just talking about sheer pace,” she says. “But maybe tomorrow, we’ll be shocked, maybe it rains.”
Lando Norris also shone for McLaren, finishing third on the grid for Sunday’s race, overtaking second-placed Red Bull Sergio Perez, with Bottas’ penalty dropping him to fifth.
Hamilton confirmed before of the weekend that contract talks with Mercedes for next season and beyond had begun.
Despite recovering from two difficult weekends in Monaco and Baku, the 36-year-old confessed they still have a lot of work ahead of them. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”