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Hamilton expected Red Bull to be six tenths faster

Hamilton at Imola. Credits: Daimler.

After a thrilling qualifying session, Lewis Hamilton still seems under the shock of his “surprise” pole position as he did not expect to be able to beat the Red Bulls today.

In a post-qualifying interview, Hamilton admitted that Mercedes was worried before the start of the qualifications, as they believed that Red Bull was up to five-tenths faster than them on a flying lap as Verstappen showed it in FP3.

“I definitely didn’t expect us to be ahead of two Red Bulls (…) They have been so quick this weekend. There were times where they were six tenths ahead, and we didn’t really know where we would be.”

It was already pointed out by Helmut Marko that his two drivers made mistakes during their last lap, depriving them of the pole position. Nonetheless, the W12 also seemed more stable than it was in Bahrain. 

Bottas already mentioned having spent hours in the simulator in order to find the right setup for the car. Having a snappy car around the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari would have been a real ordeal, considering its extremely sinuous layout. Hamilton is, therefore, very thankful to his team for their hard work.

“But the car was already feeling a lot better from the beginning this weekend. So I have a huge amount of respect to the team for the hard work to really narrow down the window,” said the Briton.

The seven-time world champion is very excited about tomorrow’s race where he will be alone against two Red Bulls that should have a slight advantage over the British champion, considering that Perez should be able to give slipstream to his teammate at the start of the race.

“I think it’s going to definitely make strategy harder and it’s going be a real challenge tomorrow because they have got great race pace. I think their pace was strongest on the long run yesterday.”

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