Lewis Hamilton says qualifying at the Belgian Grand Prix was a “guessing game” for drivers after limited running in FP1 due to wet weather.
The sole practice session of the race weekend saw a heavily saturated track throughout the 60 minutes of running.
Hamilton managed just seven laps ahead of qualifying, which took place this weekend on Friday amid the sprint format.
The seven-time World Champion ended qualifying in fourth place but will advance up to third for the start of Sunday’s race due to a time penalty for Max Verstappen.
Hamilton has set his target to holding onto a position inside the top three after a difficult qualifying from Spa-Francorchamps.
“I guess I have Max behind,” he said, when asked if a podium was a realistic goal.
“But that will be the goal, of course, to chase those guys down. I think with the FP1 no one really got any running.
“It was wet running and getting the setup ready for qualifying today when eventually it went to dry, it was just like a big guessing game.
“And so I’m hoping that the car is decent in the long run tomorrow in the race. But so far, it’s a good start.”
However, prior to the grand prix, the sprint will take place on Saturday with further wet conditions forecast for the day.
Hamilton pointed to the middle sector as Mercedes’ biggest challenge during the weekend but is hopeful he can mirror his Friday result.
“It didn’t feel bad today. It was just…it was generally the car was doing pretty decent,” he said.
“It’s just middle sector, we’re losing a second. So, I’ve got to go and study to try and figure out where that is.
“And if there’s any way with the package that I have whether I can close that, but we obviously need to work on making some improvements.
“And yeah, but I’ll give it absolutely everything I got tomorrow and hopefully next qualifying will still be as good.”