Lewis Hamilton said he didn’t feel connected to his Mercedes car after a stunning performance in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The seven-time world champion qualified eighth while his teammate George Russell was fourth, but both drivers will gain a spot on the grid on Sunday as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc faces a 10-spot penalty.
“I was just struggling to get the performance out,” said Hamilton, who has complained about the team’s new W14 car this season and whose future has been speculated about this week.
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“The car is where it is… I mean, George did a great job, he’s up front on the second row. So the car obviously has power.
“I just don’t feel connected to this car. No matter what I do, no matter what I change, I can’t build trust in it.
“Right now it definitely feels like I just can’t get out of the car.”
McLaren’s Australian driver Oscar Piastri. Image: Giuseppe CacaceSource: AFP
Meanwhile, Oscar Piastri will be hoping to continue his scorching form of recent times after qualifying ninth after a stunning turnaround, with the Australian starting eighth due to Leclerc’s penalty.
Piastri was the second slowest driver in practice two but surpassed all expectations by overtaking teammate Lando Norris by 10 places in just his second F1 race.
Russell admitted he expects Red Bull’s defending champion Max Verstappen will have little trouble progressing from 15th on the grid after retiring in Q2 when suffering a driveshaft failure.
Verstappen falls out of the top 10! | 01:57
His Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez took pole position ahead of Leclerc and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.
“Red Bull are just doing an excellent job, the gap to the rest of the field is bigger than we’ve seen anyone in six, seven, eight years, so it’s pretty impressive,” said Russell.
“I think Max will get through pretty easily if there are no incidents.”
Verstappen won the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix after a starting penalty.
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Source : www.foxsports.com.au