Lewis Hamilton explains heated qualifying discussion with Toto Wolff

Hamilton will start Saturday’s Sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 13th

Philip Duncan
Friday 22 April 2022 18:11
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<p>Hamilton will start Saturday’s Sprint race 13th </p>

Hamilton will start Saturday’s Sprint race 13th

Lewis Hamilton was involved in a heated discussion with Toto Wolff after a poor qualifying performance ensured he will start Saturday’s Sprint race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix 13th on the grid.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton scraped out of Q1 by just four thousandths of a second before Carlos Sainz crashed out and then the rain arrived in Q2.

The newly-damp track meant Hamilton could not improve on his sole lap, leaving him with a woeful grid slot for Saturday’s 21-lap dash around Imola – the finishing order of which determines the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell also failed to make the top 10, ending a run of 187 consecutive races where both Mercedes cars have not contested Q3. Russell lines up two places ahead of his team-mate in 11th.

Hamilton’s frustrations were evident as he bobbed up and down in his unruly Mercedes machine.

“How far are we off, man?” he yelled after only just making it out of Q1. “This is crazy.”

Hamilton is already 43 points behind Charles Leclerc in the championship standings and looks set to lose, perhaps irreparable ground this weekend, with points also awarded to the top eight for Saturday’s Sprint.

The British driver, still wearing his helmet, was seen having animated talks with Mercedes boss Wolff at the back of the team’s garage.

“It was all internal stuff,” said Hamilton. “I do not want to share what was said.

“You come here with optimism – you know everyone is working really hard at the factory – and when things just don’t come together, it is disappointing.

“We underperformed as a team today. There are things we should have done which we did not do but we will work as hard as we can to move up in the Sprint race. Hopefully tomorrow is better weather wise and we can move forward.

“We will just keep working hard, but each weekend is a rescue (effort).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start Saturday’s Sprint from pole with championship leader Charles Leclerc second in his Ferrari.

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