Lewis Hamilton downbeat after underwhelming qualifying in Zandvoort

After being knocked out in Q2, Hamilton qualified in 13th place

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Lewis Hamilton has ruled out securing a fifth podium of the season at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix following a challenging qualifying session for the Mercedes man.

After already being fortunate to get into Q2 of Saturday’s qualifying, the British driver was eliminated after failing to set a time good enough to avoid being knocked down to 13th place.

Meanwhile his teammate, George Russell, went third fastest in the final session and has given himself an excellent chance for a big result showing the pace that the Mercedes had, but Hamilton ruled out a chance of catching the leading pack.

“I don’t know,” Hamilton said to select members of the press, including Total-Motorsport.com when asked if a podium was possible. “I’m too far from the front.”

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice 2 at the 2023 Dutch GP | @MercedesAMGF1 Twitter

A shocking qualifying

Throughout the weekend, it appeared that Hamilton once again had the upper hand over his teammate.

Coming into qualifying, the seven-time world champion is the Mercedes driver many would have expected to start closer to the front but the Formula 1 veteran said he could not get a good feeling in the car.

“I didn’t feel too great after FP2,” Hamilton added. “It felt great in FP1 and I’ve just not had that feeling ever since, I’m not sure what it is.

“The car has just been difficult, so I’ll try to turn the negative from today [Saturday] to a positive.”

Hamilton did have a few close calls with impeding, notably with both Aston Martin cars, but ruled out the possibility of any cars blocking him on his final runs.

“A few of the others were in the way on the previous laps,” Hamilton continued. “[Yuki] Tsunoda was in the way a little bit, but it didn’t lose me any time.”

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