Lewis Hamilton downbeat after being outperformed by team-mate George Russell in qualifying again
Lewis Hamilton left frustrated after being overtaken by Mercedes team-mate George Russell in qualifying again, admitting ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do’
- Lewis Hamilton was beaten by teammate George Russell in qualifying
- The seven-time champion is frustrated that he regularly loses to Russell.
- He has admitted that he is still struggling to get to grips with his car this season.
- Hamilton has admitted he doesn’t know how he’s going to get back to normal.
George Russell is the best performing Mercedes driver at the moment. Don’t take my word for it. Take a bewildered Lewis Hamilton.
Russell, 24, underlined the fact with an excellent qualifying performance under a scorching Spanish sun, two places and a tenth of a second ahead of the seven-time world champion.
Neither came within six tenths of polesitter Charles Leclerc of Ferrari, but both were happier with their machinery following major updates aimed at remedying the rebound phenomenon that has made driving their car akin to riding a wild horse. . The surgery worked in part, as Russell underlined in posting the fourth fastest time of the afternoon.
Lewis Hamilton was beaten by George Russell in qualifying again on Saturday
Hamilton was only able to finish sixth in qualifying, two places behind his teammate.
Hamilton has regularly finished behind Russell in the early stages of the season.
Hamilton, so often a one-lap master, put on a somewhat disconsolate figure in his post-session interviews. The 37-year-old released defiant and desperate notes, saying: “My teammate is fourth, which means I should be at least third or fourth, and I’m sixth.” I am still struggling with the car and qualifying was not good for me. I don’t know how to avoid that. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’ll continue to work hard and try to figure it out.’
Asked if the upgrades put him back in the championship mix, Hamilton said: “I’m not really thinking about it because I’m still a ways away.
That is undeniable. He is 68 points behind leader Leclerc and, perhaps even more painfully, 23 behind Russell. Of the changes to the car, a revised floor and a new front wing, Hamilton was still cautiously optimistic.
“We still had some bounce in Turns 3 and 9, so we still have some improvements to make, but it’s a step forward,” he said. “Now we have a better idea of the direction we need to go and we’re just waiting for the engineers and aerodynamicists to come up with a few more parts so we can progress.”
Hamilton is still hoping to turn things around after a rocky start to the season.
Russell is playing a short, medium and long game. Brief: expressing reverence for his senior partner in every statement. Medium: Showing his pace and consistency from the start. Long: Taking over, he awaits, as the de facto number 1, a process that may not be complete until Hamilton is removed from the grid for good. He is 3-3 in qualifying results with his teammate and 4-1 ahead in the grands prix. He also outsprinted him.
It should be noted in Hamilton’s defense that he has endured moments of bad luck when the safety cars favored Russell in Melbourne and Miami. Russell, who predicted a chaotic race, was keen to dodge annoying internal comparisons, saying: “I just focus on myself and try to do the best job I can and I’ll revise from there.”
“Obviously I believe in myself but I don’t feel like I’m really optimizing the package and compared to Lewis I have room to improve in a number of ways. I guess I’m excited to see what I can offer a little bit later in the season.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen qualified second best after complaining of losing power in hour 11. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was third.
George Russell is excited for the future after again beating his teammate in qualifying
Leclerc will have to be on his guard at the start of Sunday’s race as Verstappen has done brilliantly to win the last two rounds and is 19 points behind the Monegasque on whom fortune has smiled most widely so far.
There was disappointment for the home crowd when Alpine’s Fernando Alonso went out in Q1. The two-time world champion fell behind McLaren’s Lando Norris and was unable to cross the finish line in time for another fast lap. He is doomed to start 17th. Norris, who had his lap time dropped in Q2 for exceeding track limits, qualified 11th.
Both Aston Martins failed in Q1, despite accusations from Red Bull that they had copied their car through possible illegal possession of their intellectual property. If so, they might try to copy more.