Lewis Hamilton explains ‘tough’ struggle in 2024 Miami GP Qualifying

Hamilton is now trailing his 2024 F1 qualifying head-to-head 5-1 to George Russell, before facing Charles Leclerc in 2025

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Lewis Hamilton endured another disappointing qualifying session in his swansong season with Mercedes as he was beaten by George Russell for the fifth time in six races, but it wouldn’t have made much of a different anyway as the 39-year-old described the reality of the Silver Arrows as “tough”, after their upgrades didn’t yield much.

The 103-time Grand Prix winner is used to a different class of racing than scrapping for a handful of points in the midfield, but that’s where Mercedes find themselves rooted as Pirelli‘s tyres and the Miami International Autodrome proved to be remarkably inconsistent on Saturday.

He initially entered the session with hope, upbeat after some extreme racing in the Sprint Race, and impressed in Q2 being just 0.164 off the pace-setting Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. But any optimism turned into desolation 10 minutes later as he lost 0.5 tenths on his Q2 time to line-up eighth, not too far away from being a second off pole.

“The track temperature was pretty similar the whole way through and the grip of the track felt really good,” Hamilton said to Sky Sports F1 post-quali. “These tyres are so sensitive. Trying to get the tyres to work and deliver the maximum potential is something we struggle with.

Lewis Hamilton on track at the 2024 Miami GP | Jiri Krenek / Mercedes F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton on track at the 2024 Miami GP | Jiri Krenek / Mercedes F1 Team

“We had that glimpse of hope in Q2 then in Q3 we were nowhere. Generally, it’s been a much better day. We went forwards in the Sprint and then Qualifying, getting into Q3 was positive.”

Hamilton taking the positives from a bad day

The seven-time world champion did manage to find one positive in all of the set backs with the team he will depart at the end of the season, after 11 years with the works outfit and even longer as an engine supplier.

Qualifying form has been his weakness for over a year now and he has publicly called on himself to step it up, believing it cost him a chance at victory at the 2023 Singapore GP when Russell out-qualified him again. So to be in the final part of qualifying, for him, is a marginal gain after a shocking first-round exit in China.

“Q3 just wasn’t really great but I’m grateful to get into there,” Hamilton added to media. “For us to be eight tenths off is tough.

“We are fighting the Haas and I don’t really know if that’s the true speed of our car or whether it’s the tyres. I think there’s a lot in these tyres that we are struggling to… we have not been able to use them all year.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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