Lewis and Nico Talk Belgian GP Quali!
Q: So Lewis, your sixth consecutive pole. You must be pleased – particularly with the way you achieved it. But I guess also, after Hungary, a little cautious about its significance with the race coming up tomorrow?
LH: Yeah, really happy today with the performance of the car and the performance of this team. They’ve been doing a fantastic job and the car’s been feeling great on the circuit. This is a circuit where if you can get the right balance and it’s definitely one of the most fun to drive. Of course, I’m very conscious that pole position is a great thing to have but it’s a long race and it’s a long, long stretch down to turn five. But I’m just happy with today. My goal today was to get pole position and in qualifying Nico was very close. My last two laps were the two best laps I had all weekend, so I’m very, very happy with them. And again, just really grateful for the big effort, the big push the team continue to put in to give us the car that we have.
Q: What was very noticeable in the final part of qualifying was your performance in sector two. That’s what really made the difference today over Nico – you nailed it.
LH: Sector two, I would say probably in the past, has always been a weak point. I know all the lines but could never really put the corners together. Definitely, particularly on those two laps, that was a very, very strong area for me.
Q: Well done. Nico, you were on top on Friday and going into qualifying but Lewis came out on top at the end of qualifying. Are you disappointed with that and the margin? And the same point about sector two – where was it getting away from you there?
NR: Yeah, for sure disappointed. I lost it a bit this morning in free practice; we went the wrong way on setup. Then it came back really nicely though and I had a good balance in qualifying, so I was happy with that. A good team effort, so thanks to the team for that – for helping to get my balance back so I could push well. Lewis was just too quick in the end. He Just found that little bit, or quite a lot, extra which I didn’t have in my pocket. That’s it, so of course disappointing. But then again, with the new starts where we're having to do everything ourselves now, there’s a lot more opportunity tomorrow. And then there’s the run down to turn five – you know that there it’s possible to overtake as we’ve seen many, many times, so my hopes are for sure still high.
Q: I have to ask you… obviously yesterday was a very frightening moment with the tyre issue – have you fully understood it?
NR: Well, the problem is that we don’t really understand it. There are theories but there’s no real evidence so that’s a bit worrying. But we’re keeping a very close eye on it, done the best we can and now just hope it all works out and stays together.
Q: Coming back to you Lewis, Nico referred a moment ago to new start procedures for the Grand Prix where it’s much more down to you. The last two races at Silverstone and Hungary have seen you guys not making the best of starts with the old system. Have you had a chance to prepare to the level of satisfaction you wanted and how do you feel about the starts tomorrow? Is it going to help you or hinder you?
LH: Well, the team have done a lot of analysis and I’ve been in factory, the same for Nico, practicing and getting ready on the simulator. Then we’ve been working on it all through this weekend – so we are as prepared as we could possibly be. I think we feel relatively good about it. It should be the same for everyone, so I hope that it’s good for us and provides an exciting start for the fans to watch.