Lewis Hamilton has expressed his shock and surprise after a strong qualifying performance in Barcelona, where he found himself vying for a front-row start.
Hamilton’s mindset heading into the race weekend had been somewhat cautious, as he believed the new Mercedes W14 car was not delivering the desired gains. However, developments made ahead of the race seemed to have paid off, putting the team in a promising position.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is known for providing a more representative test of a car’s capabilities compared to Monaco, and Hamilton’s qualifying display showcased encouraging signs for Mercedes.
Speaking to Sky F1, Hamilton expressed his astonishment at the team’s performance: “Well firstly, absolutely shocked today to see us like, it was a real surprise to see us so far up front and competing for ultimately the front row.”
“But we did some great work overnight with the analysis. We did a lot of work, I think I was here until like 11 last night trying to figure out where we can find the time.
“I knew when I woke up this morning I was on a mission, but anyway, I definitely didn’t expect us to be fighting for front row and the car really came alive today from [F]P3.
“And I think ultimately just our whole package, big big thank you to everyone back in the factory because it is showing that we are progressing, which I’m so grateful to see and I really enjoyed driving the car today.”
With a strong qualifying performance under his belt, Hamilton now aims to lead Mercedes’ charge on Sunday as they set their sights on overtaking Aston Martin for second place in the Constructors’ Championship, with just a single point separating the two teams.
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell, faced disappointment as he failed to secure a top-ten qualifying position, finishing in P12.
Russell will need to make his way past Sergio Perez of Red Bull and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly if he hopes to score points in the race.