Hamilton: "Expect Verstappen and Bottas to fly past me during the race"

27-09-2020 07:18 | Updated: 27-09-2020 09:51
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Hamilton: Expect Verstappen and Bottas to fly past me during the race

Lewis Hamilton achieved his 96th pole position in Formula 1 on Saturday in Sochi. He did so after being almost eliminated in Q2, due to the accident of Sebastian Vettel. The Brit had to qualify for Q3 on the softest tyre, but it puts him at a disadvantage in Sunday's strategy. Hamilton therefore expects a fight with the men behind him on the starting grid.

Pole position is not a good place to start at all and I think this year you’re seeing our cars are more draggy and there’s more tow this year than we’ve seen in other years,” explains Hamilton in the press conference after the qualifying session. “I generally expect one of these two to come flying by at some point.” The Mercedes driver therefore expects to suffer a great deal from his tyre strategy.

Battle between Bottas and Verstappen

Hamilton has to start on the softest band, while Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen are both allowed to start on the mediums. “Obviously I’m on the worst tyre to start on the race but generally it’s a good tyre to do an actual start. It has the biggest degradation, ten times more than any other tyre.” The reigning world champion therefore expects the race on Sunday to go between Verstappen and Bottas.

“I don’t know if that puts me onto a two-stop, I don’t know, unlikely because the pit lane is too slow, so I’m just going to have to nurse those tyres as far as I can. These guys, if they get by, they’re going to be pulling away so going to sit down tonight to try to figure out if there’s a different kind of race I can do tomorrow to keep my position,” concludes the Brit.

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