Scuderia Ferrari once again proved their superior pace when Charles Leclerc stormed to pole position at the Russian Grand Prix 2019. It would have been a 1-2 if Lewis Hamilton had not put in a last gasp effort to split the Ferraris.
Lewis Hamilton said, “Ferrari are unbeatable on the straights, taking three tenths off us in S1 alone. You won’t be able to catch up on the rest of the lap. What they do is not from this world. They must use some kind of jet mode.”
This sheer pace was backed up by the fact that in spite of Leclerc making a few errors in his final lap, he took pole by 3 tenths. According to Toto Wolff, Mercedes is losing 8 tenths on the straights, which is quite a worrying sign for them.
"That party mode you spoke about us having, they have something else beyond that: jet mode." 🛩
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) September 28, 2019
It actually harkens back to the days when Mercedes themselves were often accused of having a ‘party mode’. With this ‘party mode’, they would often dominate races and romp to the championship.
It was also worth noting that after FP3, Red bull team principal, Christian Horner said, “I think Mercedes’ party [mode] is more of like an afternoon tea now compared to what Ferrari have up their sleeves.”
Coming back to Lewis Hamilton, he told Button that he did not expect to start from the front row of the Russian Grand Prix 2019.
“The last couple of races we’ve behind all the way, but we were fortunate enough to opt for another strategy,” he continued. “The team has done a really good job with putting us in that position.”
“It is a long way down to turn 1, so not always the best for starts on the harder tyres. I am going to try to tow the life out of Charles if I get the chance. But it is going to be hard because they have got good starts as well.”