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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Hamilton ‘as shocked as everybody’ by Mercedes’ Mexico F1 entrance row lockout

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Mercedes entered the race weekend on the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez anticipating to path Pink Bull for outright tempo, with the excessive downforce necessities of the observe taking part in to the strengths of the RB16B automobile.

Pink Bull took a snug 1-2 in last apply, however Mercedes hit again when it mattered in qualifying by topping all three levels, finishing a entrance row sweep in Q3.

Valtteri Bottas scored pole position forward of team-mate Hamilton, who will begin Sunday’s race one place forward of title rival Max Verstappen.

Hamilton completed over two-tenths of a second away from Verstappen, whereas Bottas loved a margin of 0.350s over the lead Pink Bull.

Requested what had modified to end in such a giant hole to Pink Bull, Hamilton replied: “I actually do not know.

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“They had been like six-tenths forward at some stage, after which four-tenths forward.

“However no matter occurred, as soon as we received to qualifying, abruptly we had higher tempo.

“I am simply as shocked as everybody. However we’ll nonetheless take it.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The end result serves as a lift for Hamilton’s championship hopes after shedding floor to Verstappen on the final race in Austin, slipping to 12 factors behind the Pink Bull driver.

Hamilton stated on Thursday he anticipated Pink Bull to be “fast” in Mexico, however will now look to capitalise on his qualifying benefit over Verstappen.

Hamilton was filled with reward for outgoing Mercedes team-mate Bottas, hailing an “wonderful job” by the Finn to take his third pole place of the season.

“I am so pleased with Valtteri, I feel he is been driving so effectively in the previous few races,” Hamilton stated.

“It is actually nice for the group. They have been working so onerous.

“We did not suppose we had the tempo this weekend. So to lock out the entrance row is fairly particular, and clearly provides us a very good struggle with the others tomorrow.”

Hamilton added that whereas he would “like to be” in Bottas’s place on pole, he acknowledged that his team-mate “did a greater job right now”.

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