Lewis Hamilton termed driving his Mercedes W14 a bit of a “nightmare” to drive after qualifying in sixth position for the Formula 1 Mexico City Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton expressed frustration after qualifying in sixth place for the Mexico City Grand Prix despite being one of the favorites for the front row.
The British driver needs to put in a lot of effort on raceday in order to accomplish his goals before Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, as he struggled to advance throughout qualifying.
Mercedes’ performance wavered during qualifying, with Hamilton finishing seventh in the first qualifying round and then taking the lead in the second. However, at the end of the third round, Hamilton only finished sixth with teammate George Russell finishing even further back in eighth.
Speaking following the qualifying session, Hamilton was visibly frustrated by his car because he had to battle his way into sixth position in Mexico City.
“I’ve been struggling all weekend with the car and it has been a bit of a nightmare to drive,” said the seven-time world champion. “We’ve had to try and put the performance together piece by piece, and we made good changes going into qualifying so that I was much happier with the car.
“Q1 and Q2 weren’t looking too bad – especially the second run in Q2. But the car is just really peaky – sometimes it’s in the window, sometimes not.
“And I couldn’t squeeze anything more out of it on that final lap.
“The race is definitely going to be a challenge: we will be overheating the tyres and the brakes, so it won’t be easy to battle the cars around us.
“I don’t really know what kind of race to expect but it’s going to be on a knife edge.”
With his Q3 finish, he has now qualified outside of the top three in Mexico for the first time, capping a run spanning nine seasons since 2015—the year the event was reinstated on the Formula 1 calendar.
Hamilton still has a chance to make up ground tomorrow given the changing course conditions and the strategy battle that needs to be played out.
The British driver can take some comfort in the fact that he qualified ahead of teammate George Russell, who is slated to start seventh tomorrow.
Russell concurred with Hamilton, saying, “We showed signs of a strong pace at certain points, but we fell short when it mattered most.”
“We lacked consistency today – some runs we were strong, others not, so it was a confusing picture.
“On the final run, we had one set of new tyres and tried something different on the out lap, and it didn’t work and the tyres weren’t in the window.”