Styrian Grand Prix news - 'We're lacking' - Lewis Hamilton rates chances of beating Max Verstappen after qualifying
Lewis Hamilton insists Mercedes are still in the fight after Max Verstappen finished top in qualifying at the Styrian Grand Prix. Verstappen was simply too quick for his rivals and Hamilton admitted Mercedes was 'lacking performance' as he rated their chances on race day. “But still we’re lacking performance. It was so hard to match his time today. We’re still in the fight," he said.
Third place qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks on from parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Styria at Red Bull Ring on June 26, 2021 in Spielberg, Austria.
"Well done to Max. They have been so fast this weekend,” he said after the race.
“I’ve been giving it everything this week. It’s been a long week for me. Pushed and got generally everything from the car, I think I advanced the team forward. But still we’re lacking performance. It was so hard to match his time today. We’re still in the fight.”
"Generally they had a quarter of a second on us all weekend,” he added.
We’ve managed to eek closer in qualifying but they’ve been .25 ahead of us most of the time. It’ll be interesting to see if we can manage it.
“I don’t think we have the raw pace to overtake [Red Bull]. But we might just be able to keep up. I’ll be giving it everything.
“I’m just talking about pure pace. Maybe we’ll be surprised tomorrow. Maybe it rains.”
Verstappen too felt he could have got more from his performance despite finishing first.
The 23-year-old will be the favourite to extend his lead over Hamilton in the driver rankings, but Verstappen is expecting a big fight from his Mercedes rival.
"It has been a very good weekend,” he said.
"Again in qualifying the car was really good to drive. It's not easy to deal with the traffic in the last few corners to get a clean run, but that first lap in Q3 was good enough in the end. A good first sector.
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"Super happy to be on pole here at home. It's always nice to see a Red Bull car first here."
He continued: “When you look at the track you think there aren’t that many corners but actually the corners on the track are quite difficult.
Even in turn one, breaking into turn three, the crest and breaking downhill into fourth. It’s definitely a small track but it’s really hard to get a good track on it.
“That first track in Q3 wasn’t perfect but was good enough”
“It’s never easy,” he added. “I wish sometimes it was easy, but it’s good for racing.
“I’m sure again tomorrow it will be very tight, so hopefully again it will be as interesting as France.”