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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton blames weather for Q3 struggle

The Mercedes driver starts from fifth on the grid for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix behind Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and both Aston Martins after a storm cut short the end of qualifying.

Hamilton Brazil
To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton has blamed the sudden change in climactic conditions at the end of São Paulo Grand Prix qualifying as the reason why he failed to challenge for pole position at Interlagos.

The Mercedes driver's best lap was only good enough for fifth quickest, his effort finishing 0.742s off the pole lap set by Max Verstappen.

Hamilton and his rivals had only one attempt due to the impending storm, which hit the track midway through Q3 and triggered red flags with 4:12 left on the clock as dark clouds, heavy rain, and thunderstorms battered the venue.

Both Aston Martins will start ahead of the Silver Arrow after getting in their laps earlier than Hamilton, as did Charles Leclerc, who locks out the front row with Verstappen.

Hamilton not satisfied with lap

Mercedes had secured a one-two finish in this event last season but a repeat result looks far from likely after the qualifying result.

When asked if he was satisfied with his lap, Hamilton said: "Fifth is never that good [to start from], but hopefully we have a good race.

"The car was showing signs of decent performance, but we're generally a couple of tenths off the top guys.

"The circumstances at the end... the conditions probably meant we were further back."

F1 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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