Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Hamilton’s aborted Q2 lap led to his six-tenths deficit to Bottas – Wolff

2019 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton qualified six-tenths of a second slower than team mate Valtteri Bottas partly because he aborted his final run in Q2, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has revealed.

Hamilton ended qualifying 0.634 seconds slower than Bottas, who took his third consecutive pole positions of the season.

“It was a bit of an unfortunate session for Lewis because we couldn’t charge the battery properly because he pitted in Q2,” Wolff told Sky. “Therefore his first run in Q3 was a bit compromised with traffic. So he started on the wrong foot but Valtteri’s in good form and deserved to be on pole.”

Hamilton aborted his final run in Q2 at the end of his lap because yellow flags were being waved. Because of this he was unable to charge his battery back up, and teams are not allowed to charge them in the pits.

This meant he needed to charge his battery on his out-lap at the start of Q3. But the cars needed to be driven quickly to charge the battery, and Hamilton had the conflicting need to back off to prevent the soft tyres from overheating. Right up until the end of his out-lap his race engineer was urging him to back off.

Hamilton therefore wasn’t able to charge his battery fully, and his first lap was considerably slower than Bottas’s.

By the time he came to do his second lap the track conditions had worsened considerably, as Wolff explained.

“It could have either been track temperature or a lot of dirt,” he said. “You can see that in one of the corners there was massive gravel and you saw the last sector was really down for everybody.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Hamilton’s aborted Q2 lap led to his six-tenths deficit to Bottas – Wolff”

  1. The need to defend Lewis.. Who would have thought that.

    1. It is not a defense.
      Fans and non-haters are curious what has happened.
      Now we know.

      You may hate further
      Where’s your favorite driver finished today?

    2. Always. Need to prop up the fragile ego.

      Notice how Toto didn’t feel the need to come out and explain why Valtteri was a half second down in P3.

      1. NeverElectric
        11th May 2019, 23:47

        Emerging out of the woodwork, are ya? Lol

        1. Dale’s pathetic hatred is showing again and he crawls out of the woodwork at every opportunity he gets to take a pop at Mercs, Toto and one of the best drivers on the grid.
          I’m a Lewis fan, as well as a few others and the bottom line here is that Valtteri simply did a better job than Ham, who had one of those really scruffy laps that happen from time to time.

          1. But he’s right they always need to massage the fragile ego and walk around on eggshells when lewis not on top. Its laughable. Cue salty Ham fans attacking me or anyone else who says it.

  2. So why didn’t he just finish the Q2 lap, even if that lap was compromised, so he could charge the battery? Seems like something they should’ve thought of.

    1. But with the waved yellows, it is quite possible he wouldn’t be going fast enough to properly charge it anyway.

      1. @bosyber There weren’t waved yellows in Q2, though. Only in Q1 for Hulkenberg’s off.

  3. Thank you for the clear explanation – I had various questions (“charging in the pits”, “charging on the out lap”), and they were all covered with explanations.

    1. Indeed. Good way to take away any questions about how Lewis can suddenly be this far back @phylyp.

      1. And, he simply almost never lags that far back when he does trail. I’m trying to be cautious criticizing any drivers these days, given the fickleness of things like the tires and their unfortunate narrow window, as well as battery states, etc.

  4. Yeah yeah yeah Toto.
    We all know you like to play the mind games but it is obvious that Lewis is finished.
    Spinning Seb is closer to Lewis than Lewis is to Venerable Val by the timing so don’t try making excuses.

    I predict that Valiant Val will humiliate the entire grid tomorrow and Lewis will be seen crying to Lance Stroll about how he needs a drive for next year!

    Maybe to much red wine for a Saturday here folks, I might go lay down …..

    1. Easy with the Lewis is finished. He is always stronger in the second half of the season. I’m curious how that plays out. But at least there is a nice battle between Lewis and Valteri.

    2. Get a grip. Hamilton made a mistake. It’s a sign of how supreme he is that you’ve only got that to talk about.

      1. Red wine or not, I’m pretty sure @nullapax has loaded up on irony in that comment.

        1. Poe’s law applies :)

    3. Well, this drivel didn’t age well

  5. There is always have to be an excuse when “his majesty” underperforms.
    Ok, this is getting really boring ans soooo predictable.

    1. The only thing getting boring and predictable here are the pathetic hate comments, why is it people like you never seem to have anything constructive to say.

      1. More like predictable HAM fan spew at anyone whom calls it what it is…like what you have done here.

        1. Hey Mr G, you read my earlier post and if you read it properly you will see that I said that I am a fan of a few drivers including Hamilton, and believe me, I am not by any means a salty Ham fan, the hated shown not just to Ham but Seb and Max amongst others is pathetic and shows no respect for their talent and achievements.

      2. @foggy So, basically, whoever writes something you do not like or approve it ALWAYS has to be hatred. According to you, people have no right to be satirical or ironic. Ok buddy. I do not wonder why things like the Inquisitions occured in the planet.

  6. Great lap by Bottas.

    But Pirelli has to do something about these tyres. Just a few degrees of temperature change and these tyres suddenly start working or stop working for some cars and drivers.
    Horner said recently that they spend millions gaining small improvements to their cars and in the end the tyre temperatures play such a big and decisive role.

    We have seen so many drivers running wide and crashing due to these confusing tyres which repeatedly fall in and out of the already narrow operating window.

    Q3 is perfect example. For the first lap the tyres were in the window and then suddenly for the second lap as temperatures changed little bit the tyres not performing as they should. Top 3 couldn’t improve their times.

    Lewis is definitely struggling more getting on top of these tyres and Bottas has been lucky so far in terms of tyres.

    1. Tires really are a problem. But I do not think luck had anything to do with it.

      1. When will the FIA and Pirelli wake up and realise that pathetic tyres and tyre management is ruining the sport, motor racing is supposed to be about RACING, not looking after the tyres. I admit that some degree of tyre management is required but it has become so critical it is farcical and is spoiling the racing for the fans, especially those fans that spend mega bucks going to the tracks .

    2. ‘Bottas has been lucky with the tyres’……far out some of you HAM fans are rude and somewhat delusional.

  7. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    11th May 2019, 16:49

    hamilton made mistakes that can’t have been due to battery issues. Even if this problem did cost him anything (which i’m not at all convincd), he was still really comfortably beaten. It does seem that reasons for Hamilton being out qualified seemed to be talked about significently more than other drivers.

  8. his lap was scruffy anyway.

  9. Another Finn challenge Hamilton..

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