Mercedes continue to struggle behind Red Bull in this year's F1 2021 season as defending champion Lewis Hamilton is set to once again start behind championship leader Max Verstappen in Styrian GP on Sunday. The Brit had a chance to claim the pole position during Saturday's qualifying session but things didn't quite actually go according to the plan for Hamilton.
I don't fully understand it: Hamilton on his qualifying session
Hamilton eventually finished P3 with a timing of 1:04:672, around two-tenths of a second behind Max Verstappen. Although the Brit will start on the first row owing to Bottas' three-place grid penalty, it wasn't the best of the sessions for Hamilton who picked up dirt on the tyres on final lap followed by a poor exit down the last corner which completely messed up his final run in Q3.
Reflecting on the session, he said, "It was a difficult session for me. Generally I’ve had a really good weekend so far, of course not as quick as Max but I did a lot of work before the event and the car was feeling great all day yesterday. We’ve just been chipping away at it – each change is just trying to eke out like 10 milliseconds or something. Then I got into qualifying and the car just didn’t feel as great as it did in P3 – I don’t fully understand it."
Hamilton hints that it could be a tricky race on Sunday
The 36-year-old, however, admitted that he gave his everything and considering a long 71-lap race ahead with a possibility of rain, anything could happen on Sunday. "These things happen. We gave it everything and we’ve got a long race tomorrow, so I hope the balance works for us. It’s going to be a tough battle with these guys (Red Bull)," stated Hamilton.
Going into the Styrian GP with 12 points behind Max, Hamilton would certainly be hoping to bounce back in the championship race with a famous win in Austria.