Lewis Hamilton hoping Mercedes have resolved tyre problems

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The Q2 session began with both Ferrari and Mercedes on "ultra-soft" tyres before Red Bull, on "hypers" took top spot through Verstappen.

Fans witnessed history during Saturday afternoon qualifying, as Sebastian Vettel posted an outright track record lap time of one minute, 10.776 seconds to claim the pole position.

It was a far more polished performance than two weeks ago at the Monaco Grand Prix when Verstappen crashed in final practice and started the race from the back of grid. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 178 points, Ferrari is second with 156 points and Red Bull is third with 107 points.

"Our dad liked it and we got into it", said Colwin Whitaker a young Formula One fan.

"It was a special feeling pulling out of pit lane - I had a big smile on my face", said Latifi. Picture: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

"In previous years we would run a low downforce setting here, whereas now it's kind of normal, so the auto feels great through the corners". "Gilles Villeneuve, the favorite driver of Enzo Ferrari, and I think his charisma, his character that he brought to Formula One, to racing in general, is still alive today".

"We extracted the best we could out of qualifying", he said.

As a result, neither Hamilton nor Bottas set any times on the pink-striped tyre during the qualifying simulation programme and instead stuck to the ultrasoft and supersoft options.

Hamilton was unusually out of sorts on a track where he has excelled so many times and a series of mistakes left him struggling to keep up with his rivals. Look out for Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz tomorrow. Sebastian simply did a better job when it counted in Q3.

"So we should be there or thereabouts". Thanks to the team; thanks for fixing the auto yesterday after I hit the wall a little bit.

"Happy with the progress we made today", Verstappen tweeted.

"No, we didn't. It was a very smooth session, to be honest".

Verstappen topped the times in all three free practice sessions and was very impressive in qualifying, clearly having replaced his confrontational mood with a clear sense of determination to succeed. Picture: Steve Etherington for Daimler AG.

"For this weekend, we have a new power unit so there's a lot of preparation that's been going into this race from the team side", Vettel said. "But it showed in Monaco that we have a great auto".

"The vehicle felt good straight out of the garage". But I just struggled in the session and wasn't able to pull it through.

"The auto balance has been good from the first run so it has just been a case of small balance tuning to keep the vehicle in the right window as the track grip came up". I have always been quick every single weekend.

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