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P3 and P8 for Lewis and Valtteri in Qualifying at Spa

P3 and P8 for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in a challenging Qualifying session at Spa-Francorchamps

Conditions were changing and evolving throughout the Qualifying session, with both the Wet and Inter tyres being used on Saturday.

Lewis finished the final segment of Qualifying in third place, to qualify on the second row of the grid for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Valtteri was eighth fastest in Q3 after struggling with tyre temperature on his final lap. With his five-place grid penalty from the last race in Hungary, he will line up P13.

There was a lengthy red flag period during Q3, after an accident for McLaren’s Lando Norris at Raidillon, which halted the session.

Lewis Hamilton

It’s been a very difficult day for everyone, just trying to stay positive, focused and calm. Max put in a strong lap so well done to him, and George also did a great job. For me, my first lap was really good, but I lost some tyre temperature on the slow lap in between my runs, so I think there was a little bit left on the table with that final lap. You live and you learn, and I gave it everything I had today. But we’ll look to move forward tomorrow. I’m hoping for better weather and a dry day, that’d be great for the fans and also interesting to see where everyone stands with the wing level. We’ve tried to find the right balance between straight-line speed and downforce. It might not have been the best for today, but we’ll see tomorrow exactly how good it is. Nevertheless, we’ll do everything we can.

Valtteri Bottas

It was definitely a challenge out there and of course, I hoped for a better result. I think overall the session was okay and there were opportunities to get into the top three, but on the slow lap before my final attempt, I had some traffic coming through. So, I had to back off and lost the tyre temperature. From the very start of the final lap, I was locking the tyres because of the lack of temperature and the car felt on a knife-edge. Obviously with the grid penalty, it means tomorrow won’t be easy, but I’ll be fighting hard. If it is wet, there will be many opportunities, and if it is dry, we have a competitive car. It’ll be a big challenge but as we have seen, anything can happen.

Toto Wolff

That was a very exciting and dramatic qualifying. It was a difficult session, and it is always tricky to predict the weather here, especially when it is coming in and out so fast. In the end, we can be satisfied with P3 for Lewis and everything is to play for tomorrow. We have a strong race car, perhaps more set up for the dry. If the weather is like this, we might struggle a bit more, but otherwise I think we should be in for a good race. Valtteri will be starting outside of the top 10. He did pretty well through the session, on par with Lewis, but he struggled for tyre temperature on that last lap. So, it will be more a race of damage limitation for him tomorrow but with plenty of opportunities to score good points. It was a brilliant day for everyone at Williams, with Nicholas in P12 and George showing his talent in P2. And it was fantastic to see Lando was able to climb out of his car, after his scary accident.

Andrew Shovlin

It was quite a messy qualifying session by our standards; we didn’t always read the conditions right and in the second session we could have managed the risk better as at one stage, a double yellow or red flag would have seen both cars bumped out. We still had it all to play for in the final session, but we dropped a bit too much tyre temperature on the slow lap and lost a bit of grip. It does look like a number of cars have moved more towards a wet set-up than we have, particularly in terms of downforce level. Despite that our performance in the middle sector was good and our straight-line speed is strong, so we’re not unhappy with our set-up decisions given the forecast. But if we could choose, we’d like at least a bit of dry running at some point tomorrow.