Lewis Hamilton admitted that he would not be prevailing at the Brazilian Grand Prix following a challenging battle during the Sprint.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton acknowledged that his Mercedes felt horrible as it consumed up the tyres during the sprint and does not have high expectations for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Hamilton had a strong start to the brief race, just like teammate George Russell. Despite using up most of the good in his soft tyres, he easily overcame his rival Sergio Perez in the initial stages of the race.
Hamilton started the 24-lap sprint from P5, and he moved up a position by passing the Red Bull driver. However, things didn’t go well after that.
Perez eventually edged out the Mercedes, and Hamilton found himself under pressure from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Leclerc ultimately consolidated his advantage over the Brit in the final laps, before AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda overtook Hamilton relegating him to P7, ending his sprint campaign with frustrations.
Mercedes did not perform particularly well in the first lap at Interlagos, but there was more confidence in race setting since the W14 usually grew stronger in this type of competition—the sprint, however, did not materialize.
“It was horrible. It was not enjoyable whatsoever,” he said. “I had a good start and then, after that, I just struggled with the balance.
The seven-time World Champion also comes to the conclusion that he must have made a mistake in his setup choices at some point.
“A lot of understeer and then a snap of oversteer. I was just fighting the car from very early on. And then I had no tyres in the end. I don’t really know how I’m going to fix that for tomorrow.
In light of this, Hamilton does not anticipate having a good time at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
“It’s going to be a long afternoon, that’s for sure,” he added. “I can only assume I’ve got the setup wrong.
“It is what it is. I’ll fight as hard as I can [in the Grand Prix], but I won’t be winning that’s for sure. I’ll just be trying to manage the tyres a bit better.”
In the sister W14, George Russell also got off to a great start, but Lando Norris overtook him twice while Perez also managed to get through as the Mercedes duo battled to remain in contention.
In light of this, Hamilton does not anticipate having a good time at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The seven-time World Champion comes to the conclusion that he must have made a mistake in his setup choices at some point.
Russell did a little better, crossing the line in fourth place. However, he also suffered by the fact that in the first few laps, his soft tyres overheated. He trailed Max Verstappen by 25 seconds at the conclusion of the 24-lap race.
Given that Perez appears to be returning to form at Interlagos, this weekend may prove to be crucial for Hamilton’s hopes of challenging Perez for P2 in the Drivers’ Championship.
With a P3 sprint finish, the Red Bull driver has already somewhat increased his lead over Hamilton, extending his points margin over Hamilton to 24.