Mercedes: Understatement to say we have mixed emotions

6 July, 2013

Lewis Hamilton took his second consecutive pole position this afternoon at the Nürburgring and his third of the 2013 season.

  • It is the first Mercedes-Benz pole position at the German Grand Prix since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 at the Nordschleife
  • This was Lewis’ 29th career pole position, which brings him level with Juan Manuel Fangio on the all-time list
  • Lewis used one set of prime tyres and three sets of options in qualifying; he will start on the option tyre tomorrow
  • Nico qualified in P11 after the team misjudged the track improvement during Q2 and did not complete a second run
  • Nico used one set of prime tyres and one set of options; he has a free tyre choice for tomorrow’s first stint
  • Lewis’ pole position was the team’s sixth in the past seven races of the 2013 season

Lewis Hamilton: I’m very proud to put the car on pole for Mercedes-Benz today. I have been with Mercedes for a long time and it’s a great result for us to achieve pole here in Germany. I’m a little bit overwhelmed, to be honest, because I have been struggling since first practice this weekend. We were so far off this morning that we took the set-up back to where we started, tried to analyse everything and just worked really hard to improve it. I’m so grateful for the work the engineers and mechanics did for me, and it’s all down to them really. But we don’t get any points for today and the real hard work comes tomorrow. It’s a shame what happened to Nico this afternoon, we got caught out there but hopefully he can still have a strong race.

Nico Rosberg: I was really shocked when I saw the times falling in Q2 today and realised that I was in P11. I didn’t see it coming and we just underestimated how much the track would ramp up in terms of grip and lap time. I could have been on the front row today and that’s why I’m so disappointed. It’s been a tough day but sometimes that’s how racing is. I will be doing my best to climb up through the field tomorrow but it won’t be easy.

Ross Brawn: It’s a little bit of an understatement to say that we have mixed emotions after qualifying. Lewis put in a superb lap to take pole position. He hasn’t been comfortable with the car since his first run yesterday but I could sense a quiet determination as he went into the session and he absolutely delivered. With Nico, we misjudged how quickly the track was improving and got caught out: he clearly had the pace to qualify at the front today but found himself on the wrong side of the top ten by half a tenth. Ultimately, the final decision on the pit wall rests with me and it’s clear we could have done a better job today. For tomorrow, the only silver lining for Nico is that he has a free tyre choice for the first stint, although unusually there is a real mixture of tyre choices within the top ten as well. Looking at Lewis, we go into the race with some question marks, as we haven’t done any representative running with the set-up we now have on the car. Hopefully, he will find the balance he needs and we will be able to give Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus a run for their money.

Toto Wolff: The team is on an upward slope at the moment and we saw that with Lewis taking his second pole position in a row. But I’m super sorry for Nico. We got things wrong in Q2 and not only did he have the pace to fight for pole today but he has also been instrumental in getting the car right since yesterday. We win as a team and we take our setbacks as a team too. Decisions have to be taken and we made the wrong one this time. But tomorrow is another day and hopefully Nico can have a strong race from P11. As for Lewis, everything is open for him. He put in great qualifying laps today after some tough practice sessions. We know that it will be a hard race in the hot conditions, so let’s see what we can achieve. (Mercedes)

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