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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton: Mercedes 'knife-edge' behind qualifying failure

Lewis Hamilton failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix.

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Lewis Hamilton has conceded a change in wind conditions at Albert Park led to his Mercedes balancing on a "knife-edge" after being eliminated in the second part of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion has been on pole position in Melbourne on eight occasions and, despite struggles on Friday, had looked much more comfortable with his W15 in final practice ahead of qualifying.

But excessive oversteer on his final attempt in Q2 left him only ninth as the chequered flag fell, only for RB driver Yuki Tsunoda and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll to improve at the death.

"FP3 felt really good for us and I was feeling good and optimistic going into qualifying," Hamilton told media including RacingNews365.

"But then the wind picked up quite a bit, the same as yesterday [in practice], and then the car was on such a knife-edge."

'Lots of work to do'

Hamilton will start 11th on the grid for Sunday's race and asked for his prospects in the grand prix, he replied: "I haven't done a long run so I don't know but the other guys are so fast around us.

"But it is a new day."

Mercedes was hoping for a marked step forward with the W15 having struggled with its two predecessors under F1's current regulation set, which was introduced for the 2022 season.

"It is three years in a row having a similar feeling," conceded Hamilton.

"But there are spikes of 'it could be good' like in the morning and then it kind of disappears.

"If we can work our way, find that goodness in the car and making it more consistent and holding onto that, maybe we can be more competitive.

"But there's lots of work to do."

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