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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Mercedes nonetheless uncovered by F1 qualifying weak point

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes’ W15 2024 Components 1 automotive has an inherent weak point on tyre efficiency that’s solely uncovered when pushing on the restrict in qualifying.

Hamilton certified third on the grid for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona – his finest results of the 2024 season thus far.

The seven-time world champion had beforehand received no larger than seventh in non-sprint qualifying this time period, with notable tumbles from robust follow showings to disappointing qualifying ends in Bahrain and Canada.

After main FP2 at Barcelona, Hamilton was not sure if Mercedes might “see if we will maintain onto the Pink Bulls and the Ferraris and McLarens” in qualifying.

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In that session, he finally completed behind solely McLaren pole-winner Lando Norris and Pink Bull’s Max Verstappen, and ended up forward of team-mate George Russell for the third time of their 2024 GP qualifying head-to-head.

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When requested by Autosport what he felt had made the distinction to keep away from a practice-qualifying dip this time round, Hamilton mentioned: “I nonetheless really feel like I misplaced efficiency going into quali.

“It is all about perspective [though]. Perhaps they only moved forwards, however I positively really feel like there was somewhat bit extra [to extract].

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15, parks the automotive in Parc Ferme

Picture by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“However simply as you begin to push the automotive, it would not prefer it. So, in follow, whenever you go away somewhat little bit of margin, the automotive feels fairly good.

“However it’s whenever you begin to actually lean on it to attempt to get that additional little bit of lap day out the place we actually battle. And I believe it is all within the tyres.

“So, you noticed in P1, I used to be seven tenths down as a consequence of a problem with the blankets. After which we received it sorted for the next periods.

“It places you somewhat bit on the again foot. However yeah, in any other case, the automotive, it is good that we’re up right here and it is the very best qualifying I’ve had this yr, so I am actually grateful for it.”

The tyre drawback Hamilton refers to has been mentioned internally at Mercedes, which has famous it arises when its drivers are actually leaning on the rubber with deeper braking factors when looking for each accessible tenth within the last laps towards the clock.

Hamilton additionally mentioned whereas there was doubtlessly “somewhat bit extra efficiency within the automotive” in Barcelona qualifying, he felt it was “actually on the knife edge” by way of finest dealing with across the tyre weak point.

“So, we have got some enhancements to make to the automotive,” he added.

“However I am actually pleased to be P3. It’s a fairly great place to be in for the beginning with that lengthy straight right down to Flip 1 [for the race start behind the two drivers on the front row].”

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