Lewis Hamilton reveals key make-or-break to Mercedes’ Austrian GP success

Lewis Hamilton could only manage P5 in Qualifying for the 2024 Austrian GP

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Lewis Hamilton identified the key to his 2024 Austrian GP as he insists he has to clear Carlos Sainz quickly in order to bring his race to life after another underwhelming performance for the seven-time F1 world champion.

Hamilton had made some balance changes heading into qualifying but still complained about understeer as he seems unable to wrestle his car under control, so the Mercedes legend will line up in fifth-place at the Red Bull Ring as he stares firmly at the rear wing of his teammate before the lights go out.

But it’s the red Ferrari to his right on the inside line and it’s to the right where he believes his race is as he emphasises the urgency on passing the fourth-placed Spaniard as Hamilton explains the key to his 2024 Austrian GP.

“We made some progress with the balance,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 post-qualifying. “I should have probably started the weekend with this balance. The middle sector was down.

“My pace this morning wasn’t good, but we’ve improved the car. I need to get past the Ferrari as quick as possible.”

It comes after a tough Sprint Race on Friday, June 28 for the man with 103 career wins, although none since 2021, as he was trapped in a DRS train by the driver he will replace at the end of the current season.

Whilst his teammate, George Russell, managed to sneak ahead into fourth in the mini-race, Hamilton couldn’t execute the same decisive overtake leaving him haplessly stuck behind the Ferrari until the chequered flag on Lap 23.

If he can get by Sainz, as Ferrari do seem to be slower overall in Spielberg, then his race can come alive if he can release the full potential of his black Mercedes around the second-shortest circuit on the F1 calendar.

Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Austrian GP | Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Austrian GP | Mercedes

Hamilton’s qualifying woes continue

When Lewis Hamilton got ahead of George Russell at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the 2024 Spanish GP, that was just the second time he’s beaten his teammate this season as his bizarre qualifying slump continues.

He is now 9-2 down on Russell for the season in what is the fourth-worst record on the grid behind Sergio Perez vs. Max Verstappen (0-11), Zhou Guanyu vs. Valtteri Bottas (0-11) and Logan Sargeant vs. Alex Albon (0-10).

Hamilton earlier in the season suggested he doesn’t expect to be ahead of Russell much for the remainder of the year, before revealing his tyre blankets were several degrees under the optimum temperature when leaving the pits.

That was before an apparent in-house email was sent to key F1 and FIA personnel alleging that Mercedes are sabotaging the Brit, although it’s something they deny and requested police matter over.

Brandon Sutton
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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