Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes wouldn’t take the risk that Ferrari have taken this season, the latest of which cost Charles Leclerc a place in qualifying.
Despite Leclerc being outside the top ten in Q1, Ferrari opted not to send him out for a final late run.
And they did so well aware that other quick drivers, most notably Sebastian Vettel, were behind him on the timesheets and looking to progress.
Vettel put in a 1:11.434 to top Q1, his time pushing Leclerc down into 16th place and out of qualifying.
Hamilton says that is all about “preparation.”
The pole sitter added: “It’s really a formality. We sit down and we talk a lot the plan – even until going into Q3, we were talking about the timings and the preparation and what we were going to be doing.
“The communication is constant. That relationship is so, so important. We’ve got great, great people within our team that are just not making mistakes and they’re delivering on their word, as we are.
“Sometimes it happens, y’know? They’ll have a minimum time, the knock-out time. They’ll say the least time is this, and they’ll predict that the track is going to improve a certain amount.
“You go out, you do a lap, and they say you’re safe. My first lap, they said I was safe – but I could stay out and do more. I decided to stay out and better my time and see the track improve.
“I’ve, in the past, been sat in the garage and they’re like: “we’re on the edge, we might go out again, we might not.”
“They chose to risk it. We don’t really take many risks like that.”
Leclerc will start Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix 15th on the grid while Hamilton is up on pole position.
Mercedes are chasing a sixth successive 1-2 result for this season.
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