It was a surprising turn of events for the Mercedes team, who had struggled in pre-season testing and had encountered issues with their new car. But in qualifying, they managed to turn things around, with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton securing P2 and P3, respectively.
According to Bottas, the team had learned from their mistakes in testing and had made significant improvements to the car. “We analysed everything with a fine-tooth comb and found some solutions,” he said.
Meanwhile, Hamilton credited the team’s hard work and determination for their improved performance. “The guys back at the factory have just been working so hard to rectify the issues that we had,” he said. “It just shows the great strength in depth that we have as a team.”
The Mercedes team also benefitted from the new aerodynamic regulations, which had leveled the playing field and made it easier for the team to catch up to their rivals. “The cars have become a lot closer in terms of performance,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
Despite their improved performance in qualifying, Mercedes remains cautious about their chances in the race. “We know that tomorrow is a different day,” said Bottas. “We’ll just focus on doing everything right and hope for a good result.”
For Hamilton, the key to success will be to stay consistent and avoid any mistakes. “For me, it’s about finding that balance and not overdriving, while also pushing as hard as I can,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough race, but I’m looking forward to it.”