While under normal circumstances Lewis Hamilton might find himself disappointed with a second-row starting position, his approach is certainly very different after qualifying for the British Grand Prix.
After having to remove their iteration of the ‘blown diffuser’ overnight, the team had struggled to come close to its main rivals’ pace and were not considered a prospect for a good result in qualifying. So to qualify fourth, Hamilton contends, is just reward.
”I’m so happy with [fourth], you can’t believe it,” he said. “I’m so proud of my team because we pushed so hard all year, but in the last couple of days they pushed longer and harder than ever to get this update package, which is an improvement, but we just were unable to work it.
“And unfortunately we had to take it off last night. We knew we were a long way off. The Red Bull is a second and a bit ahead and have three teams with the blown diffuser who were ahead of us, and it was really about getting the best last possible.
“I have to say for me this is the best lap I’ve ever had. And I think it’s down to all the fans we have here. The support you have around this track is like nowhere else. British fans are the best by far.
“I think it’s a great position for us,” he added. The race is not over. These guys are clearly faster than us but we can still get a great result tomorrow.”
By contrast, team-mate Jenson Button was left to lick his wounds after a dreadful qualifying session, where he was a surprise Q2 victim and will start from 14th.
"I took so much front end out of it, five or six turns, which is 1.5 per cent, which is just wrong. We had this problem on Friday where we kept having to take front wing off to get the balance,” he added.
“This morning the car felt reasonably good, we have a new front wing which is working really well, but something felt very wrong then. I was getting on with the car this morning even if we didn’t have much experience with the new setting.”
[Original images via AUTOSPORT]