Lewis Hamilton said McLaren‘s side profile is very similar to that of Red Bull after Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri secured second and third in qualifying for the 2023 British Grand Prix.
Hamilton could only manage seventh, one place behind teammate George Russell, as both Ferrari cars also qualified ahead of Mercedes. Though Hamilton said he wasn’t shocked by McLaren‘s success.
“I’m not surprised, if you look at the car, it makes sense,” Hamilton told select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com. “If you just put it alongside a Red Bull, it looks very, very similar down the side and it’s working.
“And I’m really happy for them, you know, they’ve had such a bad run for so long. So to be to be back up there is really, really great to see you.”
Hamilton was the last McLaren driver to win the British Grand Prix, in his championship-winning season with the team in 2008.
Norris briefly went into provisional pole with a scorching lap at the end of Q3 – after he’d topped Q1 – but was pushed into second by Max Verstappen who went a quarter of a second faster.
Hamilton pessimistic over British GP chances
Hamilton promised to try for a British GP podium but admitted it’d be a tall order from sixth on the grid.
The Austrian GP was Mercedes‘ first trophyless race since the end of May, but he’ll have to overhaul four of Russell, Verstappen and the McLaren and Ferrari pairs to secure a podium and delight the home crowds.
There were roars around Silverstone when Hamilton got through to Q3 but Norris was the home favourite by the end of proceedings.
“I will try to be optimistic and do our best, but realistically, I’m not sure,” Hamilton added. “We’ll find out on Ferrari. It was difficult to get past the two Ferraris and then the two McLarens now there, it’s going to be a tough race.”