Lewis Hamilton narrowly missed out on pole position at Zandvoort. In his opinion, Mercedes can get more time out of its car.
According to the British driver, the Mercedes car loses the most time to Hamilton in turn 3 called “Hugenholtz”. The Dutchman, who is on pole, would have been “incredibly fast” there and generally in the first sector.
“That’s been an area we’ve been really working hard at improving with the car balance overnight and through P3 into qualifying, just slowly chipping away. It is a circuit where you need to continue to chip away and build that confidence.”
Hamilton’s final qualifying lap saw him improve significantly, and he said he was “really, really happy with” being on the front row of the grid.
“The third sector was really on the edge. Sou saw the last corner, there wasn’t any road left.
“It’s great that we were able to get that close because obviously they pulled quite far ahead at one point pace-wise. But I still think if we had another session again, we would all go quicker and I think there’s more time to find.”
The new corners at Zandvoort are not good for Mercedes, said Valtteri Bottas, teammate of Hamilton. The British driver agreed and says that these are the key areas where Red Bull makes up a lot of time.
“It is mainly the exit of two they’re a lot quicker and particularly through three they’re a lot quicker. It’s difficult to say exactly what it is but there’s some characteristic of our car that doesn’t like that corner. But still, it’s incredibly fun.”
Another disadvantage for Hamilton was that he did the fewest laps yesterday after his car stopped working in FP2.
“I think also having time in the car to just chip away at it, continue to try different lines – obviously there was a lot of time lost yesterday. I lost the whole session, so I didn’t really get that practice and get the car to where it needed to be.
“Fortunately, Valtteri did some great work yesterday setup-wise, and so that gave us some guidance. But I think we got closer towards the end but still, there’s more time there and I hope that tomorrow we can somehow capture that.”