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Lewis Hamilton suffers with Mercedes in the Jeddah qualifiers: “I don’t trust the car”

Lewis Hamilton suffers with Mercedes in the Jeddah qualifiers: “I don’t trust the car”

Lewis Hamilton had to accept the next qualifying setback from Saudi Arabia. The seven-time world champion qualified only eighth, while his Mercedes teammate George Russell was four-tenths of a second faster in fourth. This was in part due to the different configuration between the two pilots.

“Of course George did a great job. It was a great result for him,” Hamilton praised, adding: “He was just able to drive the car completely differently than I did.”

Hamilton himself had problems getting performance out of the car. “Mostly I am, but my gear makes the car a little unstable in fast corners,” he explains.

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His composition with his teammate is “a little bit” different, he says, without being specific: “There is one specific thing I did differently, but maybe it will fit tomorrow, at least I hope so.”

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Mercedes chief engineer Andrew Shovlin also spoke of Hamilton’s “constant difficulty in qualifying”, as he “struggled with balance and stability in the first sector”. “It was a very strong morning, so it was a bit of a surprise, but hopefully we’ll see some strong pace tomorrow,” Shovlin said.

And although Jeddah came up with the following unsatisfactory result, Hamilton denied that Jeddah was more of a disappointment to him: “No, not really. The car is what it is and George did a great job. I’m glad he’s up there in the second row.”

“So the car has performance, but I don’t feel connected to the car,” he said. “No matter what I do and whatever I change, I just don’t have confidence in it. I’m just a little lost, but I keep trying.”

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Toto Wolff on Hamilton’s possible departure: ‘I can’t be mad at him’

It was only on Friday that Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff declared he “couldn’t get angry” if Hamilton wanted to explore other options after a difficult two years and left the team. But the Briton himself emphasized when asked: “This is not my focus.”

“I mean, I love this team, and I’m so grateful to everyone who’s been along the way with me on this team. I can’t imagine being anywhere else and I can’t imagine quitting, I don’t feel like one of the slackers,” Hamilton continued.

“But I wouldn’t say it gives me a lot,” he admitted. “I’m trying to be patient and work with the team. That’s all I can say for now. I’m not going anywhere.”

First of all, the race on Sunday has priority in Mercedes’ minds. The team hopes to make up the ground on Sunday and get a better result again. According to Shovlin, the fact that Hamilton and Russell are so far apart gives Mercedes at least a chance to try different strategies.

“We hope to be more suitable for the tires compared to Bahrain,” he said. “We’ve tried to work on preparing for that and we’ll find out tomorrow if we’ve made any progress.”

Read the full article Total Motorsports
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