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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton walks out of post-Japan interview

Lewis Hamilton was in no mood for talking after a disappointing Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton Japan
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Lewis Hamilton walked away from a post-race interview at the Japanese Grand Prix after being asked whether he was jealous of Ferrari's impressive race pace.

The seven-time world champion started in seventh ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who was on a similar strategy to the Briton.

After initially starting on the medium compound, Mercedes switched both Hamilton and George Russell to the hard tyre for the restart on the third lap, following an opening lap red flag after Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon crashed.

Mercedes' plan was to perform a one-stop, a plan which quickly backfired as a result of the W15 having disappointing race pace. Hamilton's pace was actually slower than Russell's, to the extent that he asked the team whether he should allow his team-mate to overtake.

Hamilton was then informed on Lap 14 to "swap positions" with Russell, before complaining shortly after that his "front right is dead".

It quickly became apparent Mercedes would not make a one-stop work, as a frustrated Hamilton insisted the Silver Arrows "change this strategy".

Both Russell and Hamilton were switched to a two-stop strategy and finished in a disappointing seventh and ninth, whilst Leclerc made the one-stop work perfectly thanks to excellent tyre management and race pace.

Hamilton's 2025 team-mate finished in an excellent fourth, behind Carlos Sainz in third.

Hamilton anger

Unsurprisingly, Hamilton was in no mood for talking after the race, which was another setback for the Brackley-based team.

"It was okay," Hamilton bluntly told select media including RacingNews365, when asked for his thoughts on the fourth round of the 2024 season.

The shocking result leaves Hamilton ninth in the drivers' championship, whilst in the constructors' standings Mercedes has fallen to 86 points behind Ferrari in second.

Ferrari is comfortably Red Bull's closest competitor and has made huge strides with its strategies under the leadership of Frederic Vasseur.

With Hamilton moving to Maranello next year, the 39-year-old was asked if he was jealous watching Ferrari perform so strongly, resulting in a punchy response from the 103-time race winner.

"Do you have any better questions?" Hamilton responded, before walking away.

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying