JULY 8, 2021

Hamilton not expecting exciting sprint qualifying

Lewis Hamilton is expecting Formula 1's first ever 'sprint qualifying' race to be a fizzer.

Lewis Hamilton, Austrian GP 2021
© Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Lewis Hamilton is expecting Formula 1's first ever 'sprint qualifying' race to be a fizzer.

Next weekend at Silverstone, drivers will head into a traditional-style qualifying session not long after a single practice session on Friday.

The fastest driver will then start on pole for the short, 17-lap race on Saturday evening that will determine the grid for Sunday's British GP.

"We won't have much time to prepare for qualifying and the races," said Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto.

"We'll be packing a lot into the practice session on Friday, and we also have the new Pirelli tyres to test on a very different circuit to Austria.

"So we know we are going into qualifying with very little data. After that it is into parc ferme, so it could be a rather chaotic weekend," he added.

Seven time world champion Hamilton, however, is not expecting fireworks.

"Let's see how it goes," said the Mercedes driver.

"But I can imagine it will be a train of cars all following each other. I hope we see overtaking but in all likelihood it won't be very exciting."

On the other hand, championship leader Red Bull seems less worried, even though Max Verstappen is on a run of form with the usual race weekend format.

"We are not afraid of anything," Dr Helmut Marko told motorsport-magazin.com.

"Silverstone was usually Mercedes territory, but we are going to the next race with confidence. We have seen that our car is capable of winning on all of the tracks we have been to this year.

"So if we win at Silverstone, we will be very optimistic about the title," he added.