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Wolff hoping this decision will put pressure on Verstappen: Mercedes have pace

Although Lewis Hamilton started Sprint Qualifying first, the Briton will start Sunday's race second ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas. Toto Wolff believes Mercedes can put pressure on pole sitter Max Verstappen.

Toto Wolff is hoping Mercedes can find a way to put pressure on Max Verstappen in Sunday's British GP given his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez will start from the back of the grid. Lewis Hamilton started the first Sprint Qualifying event first, however he was quickly overtaken by the Dutchman. As a result the Briton and teammate Valtteri Bottas will start Sunday's race second and third, though that gives Mercedes options as to what they can do given Perez retired after running off the track and will therefore start last. "Yes," Wolff told RacingNews365.com and other members of the media when asked if Mercedes can put the pressure on Verstappen. "I think we have pace, if Lewis would have held his position at the beginning I think we would have pretty much had the same race just with a Mercedes in front. "That means we are equal in performance, and with two cars right there you can split the strategies. You can go long, you can try overcutting, you can try undercutting by starting on different tires. That is certainly a big advantage." Bottas was the only driver in the top five to start Sprint Qualifying on soft tyres and Wolff explained Mercedes' thinking behind splitting the strategies. "I think we split the strategies because we wanted Valtteri to give it a go on the softs," Wolff added. "When you start third it is an option to have a good few laps at the beginning and maybe move up a position or two. Also, [we got] to see what the soft does in the race. "[As for the Sprint Qualifying] I think it's entertaining for the crowds at the track. A start is always interesting and good content and obviously [Fernando] Alonso was fun to watch, so I think overall it is a good add on. "I don't see it for every race, I think there is too much randomness. If you see Checo spinning out and then retiring, last is not the is not the place that Sergio Perez should be. It could really work against you if you're one of the front runners, but I think if the next few ones go like this one, I think it has a place in the calendar in a limited form."

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