Lewis Hamilton issues grim reality check for Mercedes after Miami GP sprint qualifying disaster

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell continued Mercedes' dismal 2024 F1 season at the Miami GP


Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes are seven-tenths off the pace in 2024 after he and George Russell were dumped out of SQ2 at the 2024 Miami Grand Prix to continue to their woeful start to the campaign.

Hamilton‘s picked up just 19 points in five races to constitute his worst-ever start an Formula 1 season apart from 2009 – and that exception is only due to the lower points structure in place at the time.

He made several errors in the tricky sector three of the Miami International Autodrome on his final SQ2 lap, but teammate George Russell also missed out behind the tenth-placed Haas of Nico Hulkenberg.

“The car felt really good in FP1 and then, I mean it didn’t feel terrible, we’re just seven-tenths off,” Hamilton told F1TV. “That’s just the pace of our car I think.

“I think the sprint race is going to be tough. I mean, we’re in P12. So don’t expect a huge amount from there to be honest. It’s not an easy circuit to overtake on or to follow. So just trying to step into the points somehow if we can.

“This weekend we’ve just been, no more experiments just trying to make the car work. So I feel like we extracted everything from the car. And that’s just our pace. You know, we just have to accept it for the moment that we’re seven-tenths off.”

Russell: We can improve for qualifying

George Russell takes in the paddock at the 2024 Miami GP | Jiri Krenek / Mercedes F1 Team

It’s not just Hamilton that’s hit a historic low in 2024 – it’s the Brackley team’s worst start to an F1 season since they raced as Honda in 2008.

Russell has beaten Hamilton in every single grand prix of the campaign and his fifth place at the season-opening Bahrain GP remains Mercedes‘ outright best result of the season so far.

However, while admitting they were well off the pace in qualifying, Russell believes they can turn things around in Miami and are broadly on par with the rest of the pack behind Red Bull.

“In practice, the soft tyre was really good on our car. The pace was good,” Russell added.
“Just on the medium, we couldn’t get sweet spot. We found ourselves on the wrong side of it, it was tight out there, we shouldn’t have been in the position to be that close to the cut-off.

“We need to work overnight and make some improvements for the main qualifying, I’ve got no doubt we will move forward in the sprint. We need to try and get on top of our qualifying woes.

“It’s always difficult to fight with the cars ahead when we have started on the back foot.
Everyone brought updates to this race, McLaren have brought a big upgrade, Aston Martin had something last week, we’re kind of in the same boat as everyone else. Today it just wasn’t working for us.”

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 -


Conor Daly during Indy 500 Qualifying | Penske Entertainment: Karl Zemlin

Team Penske dominate Indy 500 Qualifying with VeeKay serving up a dramatic finish

Team Penske continued its march toward the IndyCar 2024 Indy 500 on Saturday during the first day of Qualifying,...
Nico Hulkenberg at the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | Haas F1 Team / LAT Images

Hulkenberg admits helping Max Verstappen secure Imola pole position

Nico Hulkenberg has confessed to intentionally providing Max Verstappen with a slipstream during the final laps of Qualifying, assisting...
Sergio Perez during qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sergio Perez dispels Red Bull myth despite Imola struggles compared to Max Verstappen

Sergio Perez rebuffed suggestions that his Q2 exit at Imola while Max Verstappen took 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix...
Oscar Piastri during practice for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP | McLaren

McLaren star Oscar Piastri hit with grid penalty for Emilia Romagna GP

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri has been handed a three-place grid drop by the FIA stewards for the Formula 1...
Carlos Sainz during practice for 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

“…So I gave him the finger” – Verstappen, Norris and Piastri recount bizarre shared...

Max Verstappen revealed he'd flipped off an Imola fan in qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix with...

George Russell blames ‘sandwich’ for costing Mercedes in Emilia Romagna GP qualifying

George Russell joked that having a large lunch at Imola cost him a chance to move further up the...
Lando Norris speaks to Max Verstappen ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi GP | Clive Rose / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lando Norris hits out at ‘stupid’ Max Verstappen critics after Imola pole

Lando Norris has called out Max Verstappen's critics for being "a bit stupid" after the Red Bull driver continued...
Max Verstappen after securing pole position for the 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

How Verstappen and Red Bull reversed uncompetitive Imola form to take surprise pole

Max Verstappen revealed he would've been happy with fifth place in qualifying for the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix...
Carlos Sainz during practice for 2024 Emilia Romagna GP at Imola | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 Emilia Romagna GP 2024 Qualifying: Highlights and reaction

Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com F1 blog for Qualifying at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, coming to you from the paddock at...
Max Verstappen during final practice ahead of the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen defies Imola woes and McLaren to secure stunning Emilia Romagna GP pole

Max Verstappen defied Red Bull's struggles throughout their 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix to take a scintillating Imola pole...
- Advertisment -