Lewis Hamilton says he is very pleased that after poor free practice they managed to get a lot more performance out of their car in which he qualified for second place, ahead of the main contender for the title of champion Max Verstappen.
Hamilton and Bottas struggled in all three free practice on the streets of Baku, but on the eve of qualifying in Mercedes they managed to find settings with which the car was better able to warm up the tires for one fast lap, so Hamilton managed to finish second behind the fastest Leclerc.
Bottas struggled a bit more, after giving Hamilton a lee in the first Q3 lap, and in the second lap, in which Hamilton was supposed to give him a lee, he didn't because of Tsunoda’s collision which caused the qualifiers to be suspended.
“Given the difficult circumstances, I’m thrilled that we managed to drive a lap like this, we definitely didn’t expect it and this is such a monumental result because we struggled so hard all weekend that we couldn’t believe it,” Hamilton said.
"We stayed calm and continued to have those difficult conversations in the background, challenging each other and not accepting no as an answer." "We definitely didn't expect this, it was extremely difficult to get the tires to work, this is the biggest challenge we've had lately, to understand our car."
Bottas on his race
"The car wasn't fortunate all weekend, it was a bit disastrous, so being here, and even Valtteri got into the top ten, is a big step forward and it's up to the great work of the whole team."
“We made the biggest step between the third training and the qualifications, we discovered something at the end of the third training and we kept pushing in that direction. It was very hard and we worked a lot in the factory and on the track.
I hope everyone is happy, but we still have a big job ahead of us in the race. ” Bottas says he struggled all weekend and thinks something is wrong because he was constantly on the verge of performance, but he is far from the right speed.
“Something is wrong because I’m at the verge, but far from the fastest,” Bottas said. "If I had pressed harder, I would have ended up in the wall. This weekend it was Lewis’s turn to decide who goes out of the garage first and in the first Q3 attempts he had my lee. I tried to catch Charles' lee in the second attempt, but the red flag stopped my lap. "