Lewis Hamilton says he’s ready to take the fight to Max Verstappen

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton line up in P2 and P3 at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix, reviving the team’s hope for success.

Mercedes has bounced back in Australia after a rocky start to the 2023 season, securing the spots behind pole sitter Max Verstappen after a tricky qualifying session.

George Russell qualified in P2, while Lewis Hamilton managed P3, with the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso lining up behind them in P4.

The strong performance from Mercedes has buoyed the spirt in the team’s garage, with Hamilton claiming that the qualifying result was “totally unexpected.”

“I’m so happy with this,” the seven-time world champion said, adding that he’s “really, really proud” of what the team has achieved. 

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“To be up on the two front rows is honestly a dream for us.

“To be this close to the Red Bulls is incredible…I hope we can give them a run for their money,” Hamilton added.

Showing his desire to claim victory for the first time since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Hamilton told Sky Sports that his goal is “to get to first,” setting up a fight with his teammate en route to the Red Bull driver.

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Crossing the chequered flag, Hamilton told his engineers “Amazing job lads. What a result. Let’s keep pushing tomorrow,” with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff responding “Good job Lewis. Coming back slowly but surely.”

Speaking after qualifying, Wolff stated the team has “grinded away” and managed to get it together over the race weekend.

“I think we learned through the session. We’ve been open minded. We changed the plan,” he explained.

Wolff feels there’s nothing between his two drivers but fears Russell and Hamilton could struggle to chase down Verstappen, claiming the Dutchman is in “a league of his own.”