Lewis Hamilton doubts Mercedes has raw pace to pass Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton doubts Mercedes has the "raw pace" to overtake Red Bull in Sunday's Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix after being beaten to pole by Max Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton doubts Mercedes has raw pace to pass Red Bull

Hamilton entered the race weekend looking to bounce back from a late defeat to Verstappen in France last Sunday, but struggled to match his pace through practice on Friday.

Hamilton managed to top FP3 for Mercedes, only for Verstappen to hit back in qualifying as he produced two laps good enough for pole position, ultimately finishing two tenths clear of the field.

Valtteri Bottas took second for Mercedes, but will drop back to fifth thanks to a grid penalty, promoting Hamilton onto the front row despite the Briton's mistake on his final lap that saw him run wide at Turn 10.

Hamilton said after qualifying that he was unsure Mercedes had the outright pace to fight to Red Bull in the race, but hoped he could keep pace with Verstappen at the front.

"They've been so fast this weekend, so we have been giving it absolutely everything," Hamilton said.

"It wasn't the greatest of sessions but, nonetheless, we're still on the front row after the penalty so we're going to race tomorrow for a fight.

"They generally have a quarter of a second on us all weekend. And I think we've managed to eke closer in qualifying, but in race trim yesterday, they were one quarter of a second ahead of us most of the time.

"It'll be interesting to see whether or not we can manage it. I don't think we have raw pace to overtake them, that's for sure. But might just be able to keep up."

Read Also:

It marked only the third time since the start of the V6 hybrid era that Mercedes had been beaten to pole at the Red Bull Ring, following Williams' success in 2014 and Ferrari's 2019 pole.

Hamilton has failed to win any of the last three races, causing him to slip 12 points behind Verstappen at the top of the drivers' championship.

"I will be giving it everything, obviously, but I am just talking about pure pace," Hamilton said.

"But maybe tomorrow, we'll be surprised. Maybe it rains. Who knows?"

shares
comments
Styrian GP: Verstappen beats Bottas, Hamilton to pole

Previous article

Styrian GP: Verstappen beats Bottas, Hamilton to pole

Next article

Verstappen would 'print out' proof Red Bull gains not down to engine

Verstappen would 'print out' proof Red Bull gains not down to engine
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021