For Mercedes Motorsport Director Toto Wolff, the next dramatic turn in the title fight is “just crazy”. “Formula 1 is always full of surprises. We had problems and pole was a long way off, Max almost half a second ahead. Now we are first and second,” said the Austrian, summarizing the spectacular final seconds of qualifying.
In the run-up to the race, Mercedes was a big favorite in Saudi Arabia, mainly because of its engine power. “We’re pretty much on par on the straights, but we’re losing in the high-speed corners and in qualifying now also in some slow sections. The drivers are not that happy with the car, everything is there from understeer to breaking out,” said Wolff Mercedes’ difficulties.
Hamilton even sprinkled roses on his outgoing team-mate after qualifying: “Working with Valtteri is just epic. I’m proud of him. He’s definitely the best team-mate we’ve ever seen in the sport. We worked on the setup together to getting the car to where it needs to be, “praises the Briton.
Hamilton still dares to doubt whether it will be enough in the race against Verstappen’s fast Red Bull: “It’s a great result, but we still lacked the pace in qualifying. And this (Red; d. Red.) Bull is just a bit complete here different! They obviously found something with the setup because they were damn fast today. “