Lewis Hamilton confused by Mercedes’ Qatar GP pace

Mercedes qualified second and third for the 2023 Qatar GP after both McLarens suffered deleted laps in Q3.

-

Lewis Hamilton admitted he was baffled by Mercedes‘ qualifying pace at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, as he initially finished fifth but moved up to third after both McLarens had their final laptimes deleted.

Lando Norris and George Russell were the only drivers to get within half a second of polesitter Max Verstappen, before the McLaren driver was dropped to the back of Q3 after he exceeded track limits on both his laps in the final session.

That, alongside Oscar Piastri‘s demotion to sixth for the same offence, means Russell and Hamilton line up second and third in the grand prix after the seven-time champion topped Q2, but was only 14th in Q1.

“It’s confusing because we were nearly out of Q1, which is incredibly frustrating in that moment, but then we get into Q2 and all of a sudden we’re right up there,” Hamilton told the media. “So it’s very, very strange. But it’s really great for all the team for us to be up there and George did a great job today.

“So for us to be so close is pretty awesome. I mean, for me, it was a relatively average qualifying session – Q1 and Q3 particularly. I was able to put together the lap but it came too early, in Q2 so I wish I had that for Q3.”

Not thinking about Perez battle

Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez on the podium at the 2022 British GP | Clive Mason/Getty Images

Mercedes‘ qualifying result was inflated by the late relegations for McLaren, but Hamilton still took a useful step in his battle for second in the Drivers’ Championship.

He trails Sergio Perez by 33 points with six races to go in 2023, but the Mexican was a surprise elimination in Q2 after he also suffered a deleted time for track limits.

That dropped him down to 13th and Hamilton will have a golden opportunity to put a sizeable dent into the deficit on Sunday’s Qatar GP.

Before that, he’ll have the sprint shootout and race to get more of a handle on Mercedes‘ pace, but he said he won’t be considering the fight with Perez.

“No, I’m trying to win the race. It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting against,” Hamilton added.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

F1 2024 Monaco GP – Practice 2 Results

0
With Free Practice 2 complete at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was fastest in the...
Max Verstappen during practice ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Monaco GP 2024 : Free Practice 2 – Highlights and updates from Monte...

0
Good afternoon and welcome to Total-Motorsport’s coverage of Free Practice 2 at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. This year...
Max Verstappen during practice ahead of 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 Monaco GP – Practice 1 Results

0
As the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix race weekend got underway, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton found himself top of the...
Sergio Perez of Red Bull during 2023 Monaco GP practice | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Monaco GP 2024 Free Practice 1 – Hamilton tops FP1 as Red Bull struggle!

0
Good morning and welcome to Total-Motorsport’s coverage of Free Practice 1 at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. This year...
Lance Stroll leads Aston Martin teammate Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Monaco GP | Pirelli

Monaco Grand Prix: Five radical ideas to make F1’s iconic race great again

0
Everyone agrees the Monaco Grand Prix is sacred, unique and simply cannot be forced off the F1 calendar. The...
Sergio Perez ahead of the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez demands extreme punishment for drivers causing red flag in Monaco GP qualifying

0
Sergio Perez calls for Formula 1 to kill any gamesmanship at future Monaco Grand Prix’s by deleting the fastest...
Lando Norris during 2024 F1 testing | McLaren F1 Team

Lando Norris has a simple message to fans complaining about boring Monaco GP

0
Lando Norris has slammed fans who are criticising the quality of races offered by the Monaco Grand Prix, stating...
Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas unveils new helmet for the 2024 Monaco GP

All the new F1 driver helmet designs for Monaco GP 2024

0
Ayrton Senna is immortalised once again at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix as Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri remember...
Monaco weather | Total-Motorsport.com

Monaco GP Weather: Latest forecast for F1 2024 race in Monte Carlo

0
The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, scheduled from May 24-26, is set to feature unpredictable weather conditions. As one of...
Kevin Magnussen in action at the 2023 Monaco GP | Simon Galloway / LAT Images

Where to Watch F1 Monaco GP 2024 on TV and Streaming

0
The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix is one of the marquee events of the Formula 1 season, taking place on...
- Advertisment -