Lewis Hamilton could not hide his frustration and disappointment with his qualifying result for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with the seven-time champion set to start the race in P11.
Hamilton was knocked out by his teammate George Russell jumping up the timing charts in the dying seconds of Q2, missing out on the top 10 shootout by two tenths, and came on the radio to complain about issues with his car following his elimination.
The Mercedes driver has made no secret of his displeasure around the W14 he has been driving this year, and it was clear after this latest disappointment that he is ready more than most for the winter break after a surprisingly poor session for the team.
Asked if he was relieved that that was his last qualifying in the current Mercedes, Hamilton said:
“I wouldn’t say I’m relieved but I’m definitely happy it’s nearly over.”
Hamilton also had no time for a question asking him if he was disappointed with the result at the Yas Marina circuit:
“What do you think?” He snapped in response in that instance.
He did give a more detailed answer when asked about the balance of the car, meanwhile, and how it appears to have deteriorated for him in qualifying in recent weeks:
“[There’s] more inconsistency than ever before. It’s just up and down per corner from the moment you hit the brakes, turn, hit the apex – it’s massively out of balance and very hard to predict what’s going to happen.”
On the other side of the garage, George Russell enjoyed a better day and he will start the race from P4 as Mercedes look to hold on to P2 in the Constructors’ standings, with Ferrari in close proximity.
To boost their chances of doing so, they’ll be looking for Hamilton to surge through the field – similar to how he did in Las Vegas last weekend.