Lewis Hamilton says that his decision to overtake several drivers in the last fast lap in the decisive part of the qualification cost him ideal tire preparation and that he tried too hard after that, which is why he failed to improve his time.
After the fastest time in the third free practice, Hamilton was the closest escort to Verstappen after the first Q3 laps, and unlike all other drivers, the Briton decided on three fast laps instead of the usual two. The short Red Bull Ring allows for such tactics, and Hamilton managed to reduce the gap behind Verstappen from three to two tenths in the second lap, while on the eve of the last, third lap he decided to overtake several slow drivers because he was afraid of tire temperature.
But because of that decision, Hamilton soiled his tires by driving outside the ideal trajectory, so he did not have the ideal preparation for a fast lap, which is why he was already far behind after three corners and was eventually overtaken by Bottas.
“First of all, a job well done for Max, they were so fast this weekend and they had two-tenths compared to us in every session. I did my best, but for me, these were not the best qualifications." "But we’re still in the front row after the penalty [for Bottas] so we’re here somewhere with Red Bull and we’ll see what we can do, ”Hamilton said.
Hamilton explained his mistake
Asked if the decision to overtake several drivers on the eve of the last lap cost him ideal tire preparation, Hamilton answered in the affirmative. “Yes, definitely. I knew everyone was going to go so slow and I was worried I wouldn’t warm up the tires.
But I went on dirt paths, picked up a lot of dirt on the tires, and then I had a bad way out of the last corner. ” "Already by the first corner I was a tenth late, and by the third corner, I was 0.2 s behind. So I didn't stand a chance.
" "After that, I tried to drive too fast to make up for a lost time, but it didn't work." Verstappen drove his fastest lap in the first attempt, and in the second he was the last in a series of drivers which is why he had underheated tires so he failed to fix his time.
“I was the last one on that train so I think my tires were a little too cold,” Verstappen said. Verstappen’s second lap would also be enough for him for a pole position.