“I definitely didn’t expect us to be ahead of two Red Bulls” – Lewis Hamilton grabbed his 99th career pole in Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton showed his immense class to beat the Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen to ensure he starts on pole tomorrow in Imola for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. This pole is significant, as he is now just one shy of a century of ‘Saturday victories’ in Formula 1.
“I definitely didn’t expect us to be ahead of two Red Bulls. They have been so quick this weekend. They had 0.6secs on us at some time. But the car was already feeling a lot better from this weekend. Mad respect for the hard work from the team to narrow down the window.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 17, 2021
Hamilton vs Perez vs Verstappen in Imola
Things are not as easy for Mercedes this time around, as Red Bull has made remarkable improvements from last season. Verstappen was already giving strong competition to both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, and now Sergio Perez has joined in the mix, finishing P2 to start alongside the reigning champion tomorrow. No wonder, Hamilton is impressed with the team from Milton Keynes.
“I love it. I love the challenge. I think it’s great finally we’ve got the two Red Bulls there.
“I think it’s going to definitely make strategy harder and it’s going be a real challenge tomorrow because they have got great race pace. I think their pace was strongest on the long run yesterday.
“But I’m just so happy because the first lap was really, really nice, really clean. And there were some improvements on the second lap but it wasn’t quite as good as the first one.”