Spanish Grand Prix polesitter Lewis Hamilton says he followed Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Nico Rosberg’s set-up direction after a ‘wasted’ first day of practice.
Hamilton was unhappy with his car on Friday, saying he and Mercedes had to work to solve “lots of problems.” But the world champion hit back in qualifying, taking his third pole position of the season.
“I had a problem yesterday with something on the car so it was not the easiest of days, it was a bit of a waste of a day,” said Hamilton after qualifying. “I was starting from scratch today, and the car felt great from the get-go once it was rectified. Nico was comfortable with the car, so we went more in line with the direction he was going.
“We weren’t very far away. To have the car beneath me again was a real relief.”
Rosberg admitted he was disappointed to lose out to Hamilton, but he also remarked that the order behind Mercedes, with Red Bull beating Ferrari to the second row, was a shock.
“We’re surprised to be so far ahead,” said Rosberg. “We’re also surprised at how close Red Bull is. It’s changing around a bit; the only constant is us. We have a gap to whoever is second. That’s impressive to see – every track we manage to keep the car working.”
The closest Ferrari got to Hamilton was in the pits, when Kimi Raikkonen was released into his path.
“I found it quite unusual,” said Hamilton. “I was pulling out and suddenly he appeared. I thought he was going to hit me, it was a bit of an unsafe release. I had to brake or at least lift, but it wasn’t the race …”