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Lewis Hamilton

Italian media criticise Hamilton after qualifying: What are you doing?

The Italian media have strongly criticised Lewis Hamilton's performance so far at the Russian Grand Prix.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

The Italian media have lambasted Lewis Hamilton following qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix, after the seven-time World Champion broke his front wing in the pit lane and spun into the wall on his final flying lap.

Hamilton was favourite for pole position until the closing stages of Q3 when eventual pole-sitter Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz and George Russell jumped ahead of him as the track dried out and the C5 Soft tyre became the optimal tyre.

In Italy's biggest sports newspaper, the Gazzetta dello Sport, the headline on Sunday read: "Lewis, what are you doing?"

They continued: "It remains remarkable to see Hamilton make mistakes in decisive moments this season. On Saturday during qualifying for the Grand Prix of Russia, Hamilton broke his front wing.

"Despite the damage being repaired, the seven-time F1 World Champion lost his rhythm and with it his chance at pole position. A big setback, as competitor Max Verstappen will start from last place.

"It's crucial for Hamilton to take the win in Sochi, but it's not certain that the Mercedes driver will succeed. Overtaking is not easy in Russia and so it remains to be seen whether Hamilton will take advantage of this ideal opportunity.

"On Saturday, the Briton made yet another mistake this year, after he also made mistakes at Imola, Baku and Monza. All in all, Lewis has to thank [his] luck this year."

Hamilton will start from the second row of the grid and is still in a strong position to win due to his superior car advantage at the Sochi Autodrom.

Nevertheless, the Corriere della Sera also criticised the Mercedes driver for his "unrecognisable" performance on Saturday.

"A second starting row for Hamilton that is unrecognisable," was the headline from the Corriere della Sera.

"Hamilton now has to pass a number of drivers to take advantage of this ideal opportunity in the championship, but that will not be easy.

"Finally we see a McLaren, Ferrari and Williams at the front of the grid. It [was] 2004 that we saw these teams all at the front of the grid again."

La Repubblica described Hamilton's qualifying as a "missed opportunity" but believe he can still win the Russian GP, which would be his 100th victory in Formula 1.

"It was supposed to be Hamilton's day on the Saturday in Sochi, but it wasn't," wrote La Repubblica. "It was a day of amnesia for the 36-year-old driver. A missed opportunity for him and Mercedes.

"Hamilton got nervous throughout the session and therefore made a mistake, a disastrous mistake even. But we are still talking about Hamilton. With his talent, he can still win in Russia."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Russian Grand Prix

The latest news about the Russian Grand Prix straight from Sochi

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