Hamilton: “I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying this year”

Jaden Diaz
25 May, 2024

Lewis Hamilton spoke extensively about the deficit to his George Russell in qualifying. The 7-time Champion was less than a tenth behind his teammate in Monaco, although today’s result brings their 2024 qualifying head-to-head to 7-1 in Russell’s favour. In the remainder of 2024, Hamilton does not expect to outperform Russell in qualifying.

Mercedes introduced more upgrades to the W15 this weekend. The Silver Arrows continued their relatively intended sequence of development with a new floor and front wing in Monte Carlo.

Overall, this seemed to generate a reasonable step forward in performance. Toto Wolff’s drivers managed to compete with the front-runners, with George Russell’s #63 even qualifying one place better than Verstappen.

From a team perspective, this is an encouraging result. Though there is still a long way to go, their trajectory seems more promising than at previous points in 2024.

For Hamilton, however, today was another frustrating session. One limiting factor, the 39-year-old explained to Sky Sports, was that he did not have the same upgrades as his teammate:

“The team have worked really hard in the factory to bring an upgrade in the last two races. And also an upgrade this weekend, but we only had one – which George has.

“So I anticipated it would be difficult to out-qualify George because he has the upgraded component.

“But it’s just great to see that we are bringing upgrades. Once we got to qualifying, I don’t understand. 

“I already know automatically for that, I’m going to lose two-tenths in qualifying.

That’s definitely frustrating, and I haven’t asked at the moment, but I’m not driving any different – the laps were really great.”

Hamilton expects to be behind Russell in qualifying

When giving a more macro review of his 2024 prospects, Hamilton revealed a rather pessimistic outlook about his qualifying chances. Broadly speaking, he aims to focus on race-day performance this year:

“The car, as I said, was feeling great. So much better than previous years. 

“But, um, 3.5 tenths (away from Pole) is still a lot here. That’s still 6 tenths elsewhere.

“So we still are off, pace-wise. We’ve just got to keep pushing. We’ll slowly come closer through the year as upgrades come. 

I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying, particularly this year. But yeah, we just gotta keep pushing – the races are strong.”

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