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Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes offers reason for Hamilton qualifying struggles

The seven-time World Champion has struggled to match teammate George Russell at recent races in qualifying.

Hamilton Japan
To news overview © XPBimages

Mercedes has offered a reason why Lewis Hamilton has been struggled in qualifying sessions, after the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion recently voiced his displeasure.

Prior to the summer break Hamilton managed to beat Russell in six of the seven races, having taken Mercedes only pole of the season at the Hungaroring.

Since Zandvoort he has out-qualified Russell once in the last four races, in Japan, and felt he missed out on a chance at pole in the Netherlands after being knocked out in Q2.

Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director, Andrew Shovlin, believes there is a specific reason when speaking to media, including RacingNews365: "He’s always performed on a Sunday and that's been brilliant because he's always been able to bring home decent points for us," he said.

"The car is a bit fiddly at times. If you don't get it right in the window, you can end up struggling through the session.

"The other thing that makes it difficult is that it is so hard to get through Q1, Q2 these days. A few years ago, we would just do one lap in the middle of the session, it would put you completely safe.

"Sometimes we'd go through two sessions on one set of tyres. If you don't get the right balance, if you get a bit of traffic, can't do the right out lap, all of those things really cost you."

Hamilton sacrificing qualifying for the race

Although Hamilton has been known as being a good qualifier throughout his F1 career, Shovlin believes the tendencies of the W14 have led to him sacrificing more to maximise points in the races.

"The race pace has been good, it says that the car is broadly where you need it to be," he added.

"But understanding the tyres when you're under pressure, when you've got to make sure that you do get the lap in the first session.

"It is difficult and that certainly makes it a challenge for any driver who's not completely comfortable when they roll out in Q1."


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