Mercedes had a surprisingly better start to a racing weekend on Friday. They competed with the frontrunners Red Bull and Ferrari immediately after the start of Friday’s action. Lewis Hamilton seemed to have much better confidence in his near-race-winning performance in Silverstone. The Briton set the third-fastest lap in Q2 at the Red Bull Ring, and the Silver Arrows sniffed an opportunity of securing a pole for Saturday’s Sprint.
Sadly, the day did not end as it started for Mercedes. Lewis found himself at P8 with around six minutes left in Q3 as he started a push lap to get back at the top. But unfortunately, the back end of his W13 stepped out due to strong winds at turn 7. Hamilton was powerful to control his car and crashed into the barriers, causing significant damage to the front end of his W13.
However, things did not end there as Mercedes faced a double blow with George Russell crashing at turn ten moments after the restart, triggering a second red flag. The 24-year-old lost the back end of his W13. He helplessly backed into the barriers ending all hopes of starting at the front. As a result, Russell will start at P5 while Hamilton will be stuck in the midfield with a P10 start on Saturday.
Hamilton Apologizes To His Team For Crashing
After a terrible crash in Q3, Hamilton was incredibly disappointed and apologized to his team for crashing the car. He stated that everybody had worked very hard to put the car together. The Briton added that he never likes to bring the car back in damaged condition. Lewis shared that the Silver Arrows were fighting for the top three, and he had no answer for what happened at the track. He reckoned, “I swapped the back end in Turn 7 and that was that.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton was encouraged by his team’s surprising performance on Friday. He revealed his team was not expecting to be as close, which is a positive for his team. However, the former world champ pointed out he ended quite far back due to the crash. Lewis concluded, “I don’t know what’s possible from there. But we have a Sprint race as well tomorrow, so I hope I can make up some lost time.”
Russell Worried About The Car, Wolff Positive About The Outcome
George Russel suffered a similar fate as his teammate at turn 10 when he crashed into the barriers. However, his set lap time before the crash helped him secure a P5. The Briton was worried about the state of his car as it was recovered back to the garage. Geroge said that his team needed to review that car. Russell was frustrated by his crash and thought he could have done much better in the qualifying.
The 24-year-old said there was nothing lucky or fortunate about a mistake like that, as he could have secured P4. George revealed that he was a tenth quicker on his lap and pushed the car hard as he sensed a chance of getting a P3. His team needed to see how much damage the crash had done. He added, “Sorry to the team and the guys in the garage.”
Meanwhile, the Mercedes team principal was unimpressed by how the Q3 turned out for his team. The former Austrian driver said Lewis and George never beat themselves because of crashing out. He continued that his team gave the two drivers a below-par car for ten races in a row. Thus, the Mercedes boss felt that such situations happen, and you end up losing the car when it works faster. Toto concluded, “But I’d rather have a fast var and then a qualifying like this than not having the pace to be in top four.”