Hamilton: Mercedes never discussed Q3 F1 towing tactics

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes never discussed using towing tactics in qualifying for Formula 1’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 
Hamilton: Mercedes never discussed Q3 F1 towing tactics

Max Verstappen beat Hamilton to a crucial pole for their winner-takes-all title showdown by nearly 0.371s, with a tow from Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez providing him with a key boost on the straights. 

Hamilton was the lead Mercedes driver in both Q3 runs and therefore did not benefit from a slipstream behind teammate Valtteri Bottas. 

And Hamilton confirmed such tactics were never part of the plan for Mercedes. 

"No, it wasn’t discussed,” Hamilton said when asked if Mercedes had considered carrying off a similar strategy. “We’ve never ever really done that.” 

"I mean I’d like Valtteri to focus on his [lap], we work as a team,” he added. 

“Valtteri needed to get the best job done for himself to have both of us as high up as possible, it’s not something we discuss or work on and I don’t believe we should have either.” 

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12.
© xpbimages.com

Despite being beaten to pole by Verstappen and starting Sunday’s title-deciding race on harder tyres than his main rival, Hamilton believes he is still in good position to fight for the win and ultimately the championship. 

“We just couldn’t answer to that lap, that was a fantastic lap from him,” Hamilton conceded. “But we’re in a good position, I’d like to think, with our tyres for tomorrow and I hope that we can have a good race.

“You saw the first lap, I dropped a little bit of time in turn five. But the last lap was nice and clean, I just couldn’t go any quicker.

“I don’t know if it’s tyre prep, in terms of the out-lap but nonetheless, I couldn’t beat that time that he did today, he fully deserved the pole.

“I’m still on the front row, we’ve got the difference between the tyres and I’m grateful I can see where he is. And then we can try and navigate from there.”

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