JEDDAH, March 19 — Lewis Hamilton explained he does not “feel connected” with his Mercedes vehicle following an underwhelming overall performance in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on Saturday.
The 7-time world winner qualified eighth when teammate George Russell took fourth, but both of those drivers will get a location on the grid on Sunday mainly because Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc faces a 10-position grid penalty.
“I just struggled to extract the efficiency,” reported Hamilton, who has complained about the team’s new W14 car or truck this season and whose potential has been a topic of speculation this week.
“The auto is the place it is… I indicate, George did a excellent career, he’s appropriate up there on the second row. So, the car’s obviously got performance.
“I just don’t feel connected to this car. No matter what I do, no make a difference what I alter, I just cannot get confidence in it.
“At the moment, it undoubtedly feels like I just could not get any more out of the motor vehicle.”
Russell admitted that he envisioned Pink Bull’s defending world champion Max Verstappen to have minor problem in progressing from 15th on the grid, obtaining been eradicated in Q2 when he endured a driveshaft failure.
His Purple Bull crew-mate Sergio Perez took pole place forward of Leclerc and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.
“Red Bull are just performing an outstanding position, the hole to the rest of the subject is greater than we’ve noticed in anybody for 6, seven, 8 a long time, so it is really impressive,” said Russell.
“I think Max is likely to arrive as a result of rather effortlessly unless of course there are any incidents.”
Mercedes ‘can struggle for podium’
Verstappen gained the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix soon after a grid penalty.
“We observed past 12 months what Max did in Spa, wherever he started off 15th, and this calendar year he has a speedier motor vehicle,” included Russell.
“But, we can certainly fight for a podium. It appears to be nearer right here with Aston Martin and Ferrari, who perhaps have a tenth or two on us, but we’re setting up ahead of them, so there is no purpose why we just can’t battle for a podium.”
Alonso, who had been hoping for a possibility to safe his first pole in 11 decades when Verstappen was eliminated, will be trying to get his 100th job podium complete.
“It’s been a incredibly great weekend for us,” he explained. “Qualifying was a weak spot or a weak point in Bahrain, but now the vehicle seemed to execute extremely well on just one lap.
“So, let us see what we can do from here! Of course, with Charles obtaining a penalty, we start from the entrance row so this is just going to be wonderful.”
He conceded that it would be tricky to gain the race.
“We are not in that situation but. In pure speed, Crimson Bull is in a further league so I imagine we have to focus on the other groups behind and, if a thing comes about, we will try out to just take the prospect.
“Formula One is not precise mathematics, you know! So everything can come about, like now. It takes place occasionally.” — AFP