Valtteri and Lewis lock out the front row of the grid for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team at the Nürburgring
It feels great to be on pole position here and I really enjoyed that session. It’s such a nice feeling when you get it with your last chance in Q3. That final lap was spot on. I was struggling a little in the first sector beforehand, but I managed to get it right in the end. Obviously, it was pretty tricky with just one practice session and the cold conditions, so getting the tyres in the sweet spot on the outlap was really important and I managed to get them in the window. It’s a new day tomorrow and is going to be an interesting race, especially with the lack of running we’ve had here and the temperatures. I’ve only got one goal for tomorrow, so hopefully I can have a good start and we’ll see what happens from there.
This is an amazing circuit and it’s great to be back here, but it just wasn’t my day today. The car felt good in Q2 but in Q3, I lost a little bit of pace so we’ll look through the data to see where I could find more time. Valtteri did a great job out there so congratulations to him. I think there will be lots of opportunities in tomorrow’s race, we’ll need to see what happens with the weather and what the temperatures are like. How the tyres behave will be crucial, as will the start and if there are any Safety Cars. It’s still all to play for, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I’ll get my head down tonight to make sure we’re in the best shape possible.
We couldn’t ask for much better than a one-two on the grid at the Nürburgring, in the Baltic temperatures that we are all experiencing this weekend. It was very close with Max and at some stages during that Qualifying session, it looked like they may have had the edge over us. But it was a perfect performance from Valtteri around here, he did a brilliant job to secure pole position for tomorrow and Lewis wasn’t far behind to lock out the front row. It puts us in a good position for the race, but there are still some unknowns due to the limited running we’ve had and these cold temperatures. So, that should make tomorrow a fun race and I’m excited to see how it plays out.
Well done to Valtteri for a great pole lap, he certainly saved his best till last. It’s great to be able to start with both cars on the front row. Lewis was putting in some really strong laps earlier in the session, but like Max, his best was in the second session and he wasn’t finding the same grip when it really mattered in the final session. It’s been a busy day for us; the morning programme was pretty packed with a mix of long runs at high fuel and low fuel work. Both drivers were happy with the car balance, but the cold conditions were making it quite a challenge to generate the tyre temperature we need on a single lap. That remained one of the factors in Qualifying that was causing the pace to jump up and down a bit. The race itself will be a bit of a voyage of discovery, we don’t know how fast our competitors are on a long run and we don’t really know how the tyres will perform. The Soft at least seemed to hold up pretty well this morning, so we’re happy to be starting the race on it but we’ll be looking at degradation during the first stint to understand whether it’s a one or two-stop race.