Lewis Hamilton set the sixth fastest time in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, but the Mercedes F1 driver could have been better placed, according to him, if all the drivers had respected the delta time of the lap exit from the pits. An accusation that could lead to investigations, and which expresses frustration after seeing progress.
« Yes, for sure. I’m disappointed with the result » explains Hamilton. « You’re making progress, which is good. But on the one hand, there’s a rule that says you have to stick to a delta time, and with these tyres, if you do a very slow lap, you saves temperature and you save a lot of time on the lathe. »
« There were several cars ahead of me that didn’t respect that delta, like Pérez who was eight seconds slower than the delta. That’s five degrees of temperature, and that’s an advantage, just with the delta. «
« So it’s frustrating, and I haven’t managed to do better, but the car has performance. George was a bit slower on his warm-up lap, and he had a bit of an advantage. We did good job, but I’m in the same position as usual, which is frustrating. »
Hamilton would like to fight against Ferrari in the race
The seven-time world champion is however happy to see the progress of his Mercedes W13, in terms of feel and performance. He salutes the work done on the car and hopes for a race pace close to that of the Ferraris.
“The team did a great job, big thanks to everyone for keeping pushing at the factory, as we no longer have straight line porpoising, which is a huge improvement for us, and the car was generally more enjoyable this weekend. »
“We have a bit of porpoising in high-speed corners like Turns 3 and 9, so we have to keep working on that and see if we can gain some downforce elsewhere.
“Yesterday we had our best race pace so if we could start racing with the Ferraris for example that would be great. The Red Bulls seem to be the fastest but it looks like we might be able to compete with the Ferrari tomorrow and that would be a big step for us. »
Russell scores best Mercedes F1 qualifier this year
George Russell finished fourth in qualifying, and it’s the first time this season that a Mercedes has been on the front two rows of the grid. The Briton thinks he could have done better, but he too hopes to play close to the top teams in the race.
« It wasn’t really a perfect qualifying session » Russell said. « We didn’t put the tires in the right window and I felt like there was a lot more time to find. But we still finished fourth, our best qualifying of the season. »
« Looking at the pace from Friday, we have a better race car than qualifying, so we have a chance against Ferrari. Red Bull, especially Max, are going a bit faster than the others, but anything is possible. »
Russell, who complained of back and chest pain after the Miami GP, also confirmed that porpoising was less prevalent: « I don’t feel as tired after this session compared to what I’m used to. »