Lewis Hamilton has said that he struggled to find one-lap pace in a car that’s set-up is far more suited to tomorrow’s race.
The Brit lost out on pole position by just 0.006s, being pipped to it by Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, and he admitted that he has struggled with outright pace all weekend as he doesn’t want to change his set-up and compromise his race.
“The set-up suited the race trim best,” Hamilton told reporters at Silverstone. “I think yesterday I really did struggle with it on a single lap and tried to improve it throughout the evening and into today.
“It felt great going into P3 and it felt really good at the start of the qualifying session. But it deteriorated as we got through the session, back towards what we had yesterday.
“It was also windy but the race trim was still good and I didn’t want to move the set-up I had too far away.
“Fingers crossed, the strength in the race should be quite good, but it depends on what position we are, the wind, and a bunch of other factors.”
The qualifying result put Bottas ahead of Hamilton in terms of pole positions this season, but the Finn says he’s more concerned about race pace.
“There was not much in it with Lewis, but going into the second run there were a lot of places that had margin to improve,” said Bottas.
“It was not a perfect lap, but I doubt anyone did a perfect lap because it was super sensitive to a mistake here or there because of the tarmac and the wind.”
“The biggest thing for me is the pure race pace in certain conditions,” he said. “Year by year you’re always learning and you get quicker if you work. The main thing is to turn those poles into wins.”