After being held onto stamp his authority yet again, the seven-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton was able to make his fans happy after out-racing Max Verstappen. Yet the latter was able to bounce back in the historic sprint qualifying session yesterday and managed to take the pole position entering the race day on Sunday. However, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff feels his team holds the strategic advantage over the Dutchman.
With Verstappen heading the pact, it is both the Mercedes drivers who are behind him. And to make matter worse, Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez is most likely to start the race from the last position. Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin said the reigning world champions would try and capitalize on the information learned from Saturday’s sprint qualifying event, especially where tyres are concerned.
Toto Wolff on Mercedes Edging over Max Verstappen in British Grand Prix
“I think we have pace, if Lewis would have held his position at the beginning, I think we would have pretty much had the same race, just with a Mercedes in front,” commented Wolff as quoted by F1i.com.
“That means we are equal in performance, and with two cars right there you can split the strategies. You can go long, you can try overcutting, you can try undercutting by starting on different tires. That is certainly a big advantage.
“It’s set up an interesting Grand Prix. It looks like tyre strategy can play a big part in these temperatures as well. So we will be aiming to fight back strong in the Grand Prix proper.”
Assessing Formula 1’s first ever sprint qualifying, Wolff reckoned it had been a credible maiden trial at Silverstone, although infused with a bit too much “randomness”.
“I think it’s entertaining for the crowds at the track,” he said. “A start is always interesting and good content and obviously Alonso was fun to watch, so I think overall it is a good add on.”