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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Leclerc F1 conflict injury derailed Japanese GP hopes, says Hamilton

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The Mercedes driver had gone into the Suzuka race hopeful that the group might construct on some promising potential shown in practice with a brand new set-up path for the W15.

However he was placed on the again foot virtually instantly from the restart of the red-flagged race after a minor conflict with Leclerc within the opening sequence of corners left him with automotive injury.

That meant he suffered from extreme understeer, and defined why he was so joyful to maneuver over for team-mate George Russell, who had closed on him within the first stint, just a few laps later.

Chatting with F1 about whether or not the automotive had not delivered what he’d hoped for within the race, Hamilton mentioned: “I imply, the automotive is rarely what I might [have] hoped it will be. It is by no means what we might hoped it will be.

“I bought some injury within the first stint within the restart with Charles, and I had large understeer, like enormous, enormous understeer. In order that’s why I made a decision to let George by, as a result of he appeared faster.

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“I simply could not flip the automotive, and it took us two stints to lastly dial increasingly more wing in to make up for that loss. Final stint I used to be higher, but it surely was too late. I had 10 seconds to regain.”

Whereas Hamilton had been massively inspired by a new-found confidence within the W15 that Mercedes’ recent set-up path had given it, he was clear he was not leaving Japan feeling too upbeat.

“I do not know should you can take many positives from the weekend,” he mentioned.

“I imply the automotive has completed, which is nice. However we’re like you already know seventh, eighth, ninth quickest…”

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin mentioned the squad’s weekend had successfully been wrecked by its poor qualifying efficiency, the place neither driver had been capable of extract as a lot from their automotive as they might have favored.

“We weren’t fast sufficient in qualifying so had been beginning too far again to problem for the rostrum,” he defined. “Early within the race, our tempo was merely not ok, too.

“We might determined to go to the exhausting tyre on the purple flag as we felt there wasn’t a lot risk from behind, and it was our greatest technique to offset and take a look at one thing totally different.

“In the direction of the tip of that stint we had been actually fighting low grip. We could not cease early as there was an excessive amount of visitors within the window, so we stayed out till we had cleared it.

“Sadly, by then, we had misplaced a piece of time. The second and third stints had been extra encouraging, however we might misplaced an excessive amount of time by that time to get again into the combo. 

“We all know that we aren’t fast sufficient in the intervening time, so we’ll proceed [to] work exhausting to enhance that.

“Regardless of the difficult end result, it has been a helpful weekend to be taught extra about our automotive and develop our understanding of the W15.”



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