Formula One: Hamilton expects another tough battle with Verstappen

Paola Ditto
Agosto 16, 2020

The six-time world champion, who is 30 points clear of Red Bull's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix victor Max Verstappen after five races, lapped the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona with a best time of one minute 16.883 seconds.

"I couldn't go quicker on my second lap".

Hamilton says he had the idea that the first round could be better in some places and has no idea why that didn't work out in the second run.

"I was here with my guys until 10 o'clock (2000 GMT) last night just looking all the details and how to improve because the Red Bull guys are super fast". "I know it's very hard to overtake around here, but we're going to do everything we can to be close to them and try to make it a bit difficult". "The start will be my best chance".

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third, ahead of the Racing Points of Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll. "I think we're going to see an exciting start and an exciting race".

McLaren will occupy the fourth row of the grid, with Carlos Sainz set to start ahead of teammate Lando Norris.

On a hot summer's day at the Circuit de Catalunya, the air temperature was 30 degrees celsius and the track a sweltering 50 degrees as Q1 began with the Williams drivers leading the way. Kevin Magnussen finished 0.1s ahead of Grosjean but his time was not enough to escape the elimination zone.

Team-mate Bottas concurred with Hamilton and doesn't expect to suffer with the same blistering as in Silverstone but thinks Red Bull will once again hold the advantage when it comes to tyre management.

The second run was preceded by desultory preparation laps, as they preserved their soft tyres, before in the final seconds Gasly jumped to fifth and, in the process, dumped the luckless Sebastian Vettel out of the top 10 shoot-out by 0.002 seconds.

Also eliminated in Q2 were Alpha Tauri's Daniil Kvyat, Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen and Renault's Esteban Ocon. "But it's just a bit more tricky", he told Sky Sports.

Mercedes were once again in a league of their own over one lap - Verstappen was 0.708 seconds behind in qualifying, although the Dutchman showed good race pace in practice on Friday and the world champions are wary of him.

Although a few people improved their time, the lack of fast laps in the second flying lap was a trend during this qualifying session.

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