Lewis Hamilton reveals where he lost out in Spanish GP qualifying

The seven-time world champion looked on for the front row but made an untimely mistake in Q3 for the Spanish GP


Lewis Hamilton has pinpointed the corner that cost him crucial time in the final part of qualifying for the 2023 Spanish Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion struggled in Friday’s practice sessions but emerged as the only real threat to Max Verstappen when qualifying began.

Hamilton topped Q1 and looked odds-on to book a front row grid slot alongside the world champion until a disappointing final flying lap around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya left him fifth.

“I’m generally really happy, I think we’ve made some great progress with the car,” Hamilton told select members of the media, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“Today, for us to be fighting for P2 was a big surprise, we did some great work overnight and the car really felt so much better this morning.

“Just had so much more confidence in the car, so these upgrades definitely worked, so a big thank you to everyone back home.

“It’s massively encouraging. If we were fighting for a championship, maybe I’d be a bit more frustrated that I lost two tenths in Turn 10 but I’m not and I’ll try get it back tomorrow.”

The circuit has been revamped for 2023, with the slow-speed chicane at the end of the lap replaced by a high-speed final corner that should make it easier to overtake down to Turn 1.

Hamilton heaped praise on the changes and also set his sights on challenging Verstappen for the victory come Sunday in Spain.

“It’s mega without it [the chicane],” Hamilton added. “The track was mega before it and it’s still good with the chicane, it was like a go-karting section.

“But now we have these two fast corners that are epic. You’re going in flat out and you don’t know if you’re going to make it – it’s so exciting.

“I’m trying to go chase Max.”

Lewis Hamilton on track during the second practice session of the 2023 Spanish GP
Lewis Hamilton during 2023 Spanish Grand Prix practice | Mercedes F1 Team/Wolfgang Wilhelm

Hamilton explains Russell incident

The session wasn’t without incident for Hamilton, who bizarrely came together with his teammate on the run down to Turn 1 in Q2.

The coming together caused the 38-year-old to abort his lap after sustaining damage to his front wing, while Russell went on to be eliminated in 12th.

Hamilton described Russell’s actions as “dangerous” over team radio at the time but was more measured when he explained his version of events at the end of the session.

He said: “We were sent out at much different times. I was being given my times on my out lap.

“Everyone is starting from that Turn 12, so when I came round Turn 12 there no-one ahead, so I got on the gas and started to pick up the pace.

“I came round Turn 13 and George looked like he was going into the pit lane so I kept going and then all of a sudden he cut back across, which was obviously a bit confusing because I didn’t even know he was there.

“I think he had bailed out his first lap, so then I was towing him, just in case he was giving me a tow and then he moved to the right so I was like, ‘Ah he is giving me a tow’ so I went to do my lap and then he cut back across.

“It was just a misunderstanding. I had front wing damage and I don’t know if there was any damage to the floor, but either way we couldn’t have competed with the Red Bull.”

Andrew Wright
Andrew Wrighthttps://total-motorsport.com
Sports Journalist for Total-Motorsport.com
- Advertisment -


Christian Horner hits back at Sergio Perez as he’s drawn into Carlos Sainz contract...

Christian Horner has praised Carlos Sainz as a key player in the 2025 Formula 1 driver market while dampening...
Lando Norris during 2024 F1 testing | McLaren F1 Team

Why Lando Norris’ Chinese GP sprint pole lap was reinstated by FIA

Lando Norris experienced the highs and lows of qualifying all in the space of a few seconds after seeing...
Charles Leclerc during the 2024 Australian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Charles Leclerc vents frustration after Ferrari sprint qualifying failure

Charles Leclerc has lamented his latest error in qualifying after the Ferrari driver experienced a frightening near-miss ahead of...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen gives Hamilton and Norris Chinese GP sprint hope with twin Red Bull worries

Max Verstappen conceded he could struggle at the start of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix sprint race starting on...
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, practice | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham

Lewis Hamilton at odds with Toto Wolff despite Chinese GP sprint shock

Lewis Hamilton believes he maintains a chance of winning the F1 Sprint at the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand...
Lando Norris during 2024 Japanese GP | McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris rides rain and fire to take chaotic Chinese GP sprint pole

Lando Norris took the latest of pole positions as carnage ensued in sprint qualifying, with a rain-soaked SQ3 coming...
Grass at the Shanghai International Circuit caught fire during FP1 and Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese GP | Sky Sports F1

Chinese GP struck by fires as Shanghai Circuit burns on Friday

Formula 1 Sprint Qualifying was thrust into chaos on Friday morning when fires hit the Shanghai International Circuit as...
Sergio Perez of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Chinese Grand Prix 2024 – Sprint Qualifying Results

Lando Norris clinched a dramatic Formula 1 pole position during the rain-affected sprint qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand...
Max Verstappen of Red Bull during Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024 Sprint Qualifying – Highlights

Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com live blog for Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, coming to you directly from the paddock...
Lance Stroll during practice for the 2024 Chinese GP | Aston Martin

Chinese Grand Prix 2024 – Free Practice 1 Results

Lance Stroll led the first free practice session of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, outpacing McLaren's Oscar Piastri and...
- Advertisment -