Welcome at RacingNews365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
Sign in
Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton explains cause of worst qualifying in seven years

Lewis Hamilton has said substantial changes were made to his Mercedes ahead of qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, with Mercedes suggesting those choices may have contributed to his costly, qualifying-ending mistake.

Lewis Hamilton
To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton has explained how "massive changes" made to his car played a part in his early exit from qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

The 39-year-old locked up heading into Turn 14, the hairpin in the final sector of the Shanghai International Circuit, making him run wide and costing over half a second in lap time, which was perhaps in part due to those changes, as confirmed to RacingNews365 by Mercedes.

This left Hamilton out in Q1, qualifying in P18 for Sunday's grand prix after a successful sprint portion of the weekend, where he had qualified and finished second, and led a sprint for the first time in his career.

It is Hamilton's worst qualifying result since the 2017 Brazilian Grand Prix when he crashed on his out-lap.

Under new rules introduced for this season, changes are permitted between the sprint and the main qualifying session, with parc ferme relaxed, something both Hamilton and team-mate George Russell took advantage of.

The 103-time grand prix winner explained to media including RacingNews365 after the session that he had wanted to "experiment", which was corroborated by his team.

“Basically, we made massive changes going into qualifying – we just wanted to experiment," he said.

'Shit happens'

Hamilton's approach diverged from what Russell elected, with the latter navigating Q1 successfully, reaching Q3 as expected. He will line up in eighth for Sunday's race.

"George decided to go one way, much different to what he had, because we both had pretty much the same before, and I went this other direction just to see if we can find something," he added.

“It didn’t feel terrible, I just couldn’t stop the car," he contended, referring to his moment at Turn 14.

“Shit happens, you know. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don’t. This car is on a knife-edge as we know, so it can easily do what we’ve had.

“But I’ll have some fun from there – I’ll come back.”

Join the conversation!

LIVE 2024 F1 Monaco Grand Prix - Free Practice 3