Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff could be seen clasping his hands in frustration at so narrowly missing a front row lockout. And although the engineering station was spared a Melbourne-esque thumping, there can be no doubt about the fight we have on our hands tomorrow.
“Qualifying is a very different experience this year!” Toto mused. “I find it incredible that you can invent a brand new set of rules, the same for everybody; that the teams go away and do so much work; and still we end up fighting for thousandths of a second to decide positions on the front row.
“It was a very tense end to Q3 and with everything coming down to that final run. Both drivers improved on their final effort: Lewis did a brilliant lap to convert his provisional pole into the real thing and Valtteri found 0.4s. He had a great final sector but lost out to Vettel by one thousandth – or just under 6cm in distance.
“It’s a great battle with Ferrari and we are putting everything on the line each time we go out on track. For tomorrow, it will be a bit of a voyage into the unknown: the conditions are predicted to be cooler, perhaps wet, and we don’t have any Friday data points to work with. So we will need to see if we have anticipated things correctly.”