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Mercedes: 'Gap between Hamilton and Verstappen above our expectations'.

Mercedes: 'Gap between Hamilton and Verstappen above our expectations'.

20-11-2021 17:21
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GPblog.com

Mercedes engineer Andrew Shovlin looks back on Saturday. Lewis Hamilton managed to take pole position in convincing fashion and Valtteri Bottas finished third. The team is more than happy with the result, but doesn't expect an easy race.

"A very impressive lap by Lewis to take pole, we felt that this was within our reach today but a margin of over 0.45s was beyond our expectations. It's also great to have Valtteri up there in P3," Shovlin said in Mercedes ' official press release.

After the practice sessions on Friday, Hamilton was not satisfied with the balance of his car, but Bottas was. In qualifying on Saturday, the roles seemed reversed.

Overtaking will be difficult

"Lewis has had a really solid day and he's been much happier with the car. Valtteri's session wasn't as clean, we really struggled to find him clear track for his out laps and that was the case on each run," the Mercedes engineer continued.

"However, it's a close call between whether you'd rather be second on the dirty side or third on the clean side and we'll not find out which is best until tomorrow. It's hard to know what to expect for the race having not been here before, the tyres seem to be behaving quite well although they are no doubt going to be running hot and overtaking is likely to be difficult," added Shovlin.

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