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Hamilton hints at pit lane start after struggles with 'undriveable' car

Lewis Hamilton caused a shock after failing to get out of Q1 in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, and the Briton has now given an insight into the strategy he may take in the race as he attempts to fight back.

Lewis Hamilton has suggested that he may opt to start Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from the pit lane after a difficult qualifying session left him down in P16. The Briton failed to get out of Q1 for the first time since 2017, and believes that an issue with the car set-up was behind his difficulties. "It's not where we want to be," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365.com . "Unfortunately [we] probably went the wrong way with the set-up." He added: "I just didn't feel the car underneath me in qualifying, so I just struggled with the balance. The car was very nervous, and so we were just nowhere."

Hamilton: I just don't understand it

Hamilton was surprised by how different the car felt in qualifying in comparison to the previous Free Practice sessions. "The car just wasn't underneath me today in this session. It was in practice, it was okay, but not [today]," the seven-time World Champion explained. "I just don't understand it. It was just difficult to drive all of a sudden, so way more difficult than ever before." The issues were so bad that Hamilton says the W13 was "undriveable" during qualifying due to his choice of set-up. "it was undriveable with the set-up that I chose," he said. "I think it was my decision. I made some set-up changes, I don't know if that was everything to do with it, but it was very unstable. "I don't know how it's going to be tomorrow. It's a long, long way back."

Pit lane start may be an option for Hamilton

In terms of how he will approach the race, Hamilton admits that he may start from the pit lane. "I don't know whether starting from where I am is going to be worth it," the Mercedes driver stated, before going on to explain that he may look at changing the set-up as part of this. "It's not going to be one of my hardest races ever. It's just going to be a so-so race, it's probably not going to be that great. "Maybe I'll start from the pit lane and change the car again, [to] make sure it doesn't handle the way it just did." Despite this, Hamilton is still not expecting to make great strides through the field. "I've got the same car as I had in qualifying, so I don't anticipate moving that far forwards, but I'll give it everything," he added.

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