Lewis Hamilton unhappy with “average” Qatar qualifying

Mercedes W14 - Lewis Hamilton.
2PFJ0HH 44 HAMILTON Lewis (gbr), Mercedes AMG F1 Team W14, action during the Formula 1 STC Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2023, 2nd round of the 2023 Formula One World Championship from March 17 to 19, 2023 on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - Photo: Florent Gooden/DPPI/LiveMedia

Lewis Hamilton is frustrated with his performance in Qatar despite the reasonable performance shown by the W14.

There were concerns heading into this weekend about Mercedes. In previous weekends, the Silver Arrows have required a few practice sessions to optimise their package and find their feet.

Ferrari has been able to capitalise on this, with the Scuderia scoring more than any other team since Monza. However, the Losail circuit is proving more friendly to the W14 than anticipated.

2nd and 3rd on the grid, albeit amidst penalties for the McLaren duo, is a welcome starting combination for the German constructor. However, 7-time Champion Lewis Hamilton is unhappy with his final effort in Q3:

“Not massively. But it’s great for the team to be on the first two rows, second and third, I think is great for the team,” he explained post-session.

FP1 Qatar

“Difficult at the beginning of the session, but tricky conditions out there with the wind, but ultimately, it was a pretty average session for me.

“No one really did any long runs, so it will be a bit of a first for all of us.

“I have no idea. I’m just going to give it everything and try and bag those points. It’s great that we are ahead of the Ferraris, which is really, really key, so I’ll try and back up George [on Sunday].”

Hamilton mentioned a few weeks ago that he was growing frustrated by his speed in qualifying. Although the British driver’s record is still impressive, Hamilton described his efforts over the last couple of seasons as average.

He still enjoys a noticeable edge over Russell in race trim, but on Saturday (in this case, Friday), the field is closer together.

In any case, with Hamilton starting on the cleaner side of the field, starting the race from 3rd could be an advantage for the first lap in Qatar.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang