Lewis Hamilton ‘a little bit gutted’ to qualify behind George Russell for Spanish Grand Prix

The seven-time F1 world champion is pleased with Mercedes’ progress in Barcelona

Dan Austin
Saturday 21 May 2022 18:17
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<p>Lewis Hamilton is behind George Russell in the standings going into the Spanish Grand Prix</p>

Lewis Hamilton is behind George Russell in the standings going into the Spanish Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton is pleased with the progress Mercedes have made at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend, but says he is “a little bit gutted” to have qualified behind team-mate George Russell for the race on Sunday.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton has been unable to challenge for race wins so far this season.

But the Silver Arrows arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona with a raft of upgrades to their W13 car which appear to have increased its performance significantly.

The team had been suffering from intense porpoising, the name given to the phenomenon whereby the cars bounces up and down violently at high speeds on long straights, so far this campaign but the problem was heavily neutered in qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton qualified sixth by the end of the session, with team-mate Russell in fourth, and the 37-year-old was pleased with the effort of the team’s technical personnel to improve the car.

“The team have done such a great job, so big big thank you to everyone at both factories,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We don’t have bouncing in a straight line, which is a huge improvement for us, and the car has generally been nicer this weekend. We do have some bouncing through the high speed corners like Turn 3 and Turn 9, so we just need to keep working away at that and gain a little bit more downforce.”

Hamilton now believes that Mercedes will be able to match Ferarri’s pace on race days, though the Scuderia still boats a speed advantage over a single lap, with championship leader Charles Leclerc once again qualifying on pole position. The optimism of improved performance was tempered by hamilton’s disappointment that his younger team-mate had outperformed him, however.

“Yesterday was our best race pace that we’ve had [in the practice sessions.] If we can start racing the Ferraris that would be amazing. The Red Bulls look like they might be quickest but if we can compete with Ferrari tomorrow that’s a big step for us. I’m a little bit gutted because I want to be a little bit further ahead, and George has been able to, but I’ll keep pushing.”

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