“We continue to lack pace” – Lewis Hamilton gives up hope of winning the race in Austria tomorrow, predicting a cruise for arch-rival Max Verstappen.
Tomorrow could well be the beginning of the end of Mercedes’ unprecedented dominance in the sport’s turbo-hybrid era. Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton did not just miss out on pole, but a top-three finish altogether.
He will start P4 in the Red Bull Ring tomorrow, behind the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez and the quite sensational Lando Norris of McLaren. No wonder, he has already conceded defeat of the race, and potentially the world title.
“In terms of pure pace, it is definitely out of the question. Those guys [Red Bull], firstly, have got two cars in front and they’ve got three-tenths [of a second on us].
“They’ve improved their car again this weekend so I would say that is an easy cruise win for Max. For us, it is to see if we can get ahead of at least Perez and try to limit the damage this weekend.”
Russell into Q3. In a Williams. On mediums. The same day Hamilton’s contract extension is announced…
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McLaren the quickest Mercedes
Hamilton is concerned with Mercedes’ underlying pace, especially over the last few races. But today was a big blow for the works team, with customer McLaren beating them, via the standout performer of the season, Lando Norris.
“[It is] even more of a challenge than it was already last week. We continue to lack pace. We tried everything to get more out of the car and it is just the underlying pace. That is where we are at at the moment.
“So we have got to really find performance in the following races. I don’t know if McLaren has brought an upgrade but they were mega-quick so great job from Lando and we’ve just got to try and improve.”