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Lewis Hamilton

Frustrated Hamilton left clueless by 'unpredictable' Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton showed promise during Q2 but could only qualify in eighth for the Miami Grand Prix, held at the Miami International Autodrome.

Hamilton Miami
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Lewis Hamilton has bemoaned the small operating window of his Mercedes, finding it "unpredictable" as he qualified eighth for the Miami Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion safely navigated his way into Q3 and showed solid pace in the second part of qualifying, before failing to get the tyres into the right operating window in the final shootout.

Hamilton and Mercedes did not have a fresh set of soft tyres for his final Q3 hot lap, which he completed on a set of medium tyres.

Several drivers complained after qualifying of their car behaving differently from one part of the session to the next. When this was put to Hamilton by RacingNews365, he put this down to the soft tyre in Miami.

"Yeah, I think it's this tyre," Hamilton said. "All my career, I don't remember ever having such a small window working."

"But it was a better qualifying session. I think Q2 felt pretty good. Q2 was the best the car has felt, and then it just was nowhere in Q3 so I think we're just working in a minuscule window of tyre performance.

"It's probably the most frustrating thing.

"You look back in the day when you had a much bigger working window to work with, and suddenly you can just optimise the balance and then just have good grip throughout the whole lap."

Small tyre window 'frustrating'

One of the biggest issues currently for Mercedes is knowing how its car will behave, something which tends to vary from session-to-session.

This creates the challenge of finding the correct balance, not the simplest of tasks as outlined by Hamilton due to the car always being on the edge.

"I mean, our car has been unpredictable for the past few years," conceded Hamilton. "It's trying to find that balance, you're on a knife-edge all the way through the corners."


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