Hamilton shocked by Mercedes’ “big deficit on straights” to Pink Bull

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes’ efficiency in qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix reveals the place they should take advantage of progress.

He took fifth on the grid for Sunday’s race, nearly a full second slower than pole-winner Charles Leclerc. Nevertheless the dimensions of Mercedes’ deficit to Pink Bull on the straights notably issues Hamilton.

Max Verstappen hit 339.1kph on the ending line in qualifying, 3.6kph quicker than Hamilton’s Mercedes. Hamilton admitted that side of Pink Bull’s superiority was sudden.

“I didn’t actually know what to anticipate this weekend,” he mentioned. “I knew that the Pink Bulls can be notably fast. I didn’t realise we’d have such an enormous deficit on the straights.”

Nevertheless that information is “ indicator” of the place Mercedes wants to enhance, mentioned Hamilton. “We’re slower on the straights after which we’re slower within the center sector. So we’ve obtained numerous work to do to rectify that within the automotive.”

Hamilton added the W14 remains to be “not the best one to drive” in the mean time. Nevertheless he believes he might need been capable of to pip Carlos Sainz Jnr to fourth place. The pair had been separated by lower than two-tenths of a second.

“It’s simply timing and moving into the rhythm,” he mentioned. “Actually placing out all the things just isn’t simple on the monitor.

“In Q2, I struggled, I had extra tempo, I simply didn’t get that final lap. My Q3 run one was a extremely candy, candy lap. Sadly I simply wasn’t ready – I simply matched it, principally, on the finish – however I wanted just a bit bit extra time to nip a Ferrari.”

He doubts there might be a lot scope to enhance the automotive forward of tomorrow’s second qualifying session and dash race.

“We are able to’t do any modifications to the automotive. So if that is the tempo that we’ve I’d be capable to eke just a little extra out tomorrow if we will do some finding out tonight. However that is positively place to begin from Sunday.

“Naturally this isn’t the place we wish as a staff, we exist to win, everybody has that profitable mindset and everyone seems to be working as laborious as they’ll. We haven’t had an improve this weekend however we’re working in direction of one that can hopefully put us just a little bit nearer to the battle.”

2023 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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