Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Hamilton will do a “dry dance” for Saturday to avoid sixth-place start

2020 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton is concerned he will be locked in to starting sixth on the grid for Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix if heavy rain prevents any track running from taking place tomorrow.

Very heavy rain is forecast for the Red Bull Ring on Saturday. Ahead of second practice today some teams acknowledged the possibility tomorrow’s running could be disrupted and second practice times would be used to form the grid.

If that happens Hamilton would line up sixth on the grid, one place lower than he was for last week’s Austrian Grand Prix following a three-place grid penalty.

“If we have to start [there], that would definitely suck if we didn’t get to qualify,” he said. “[Second practice] wasn’t great. I’d be starting further back than I was even last week.

“So it would definitely make it challenging. I’ll try to do the ‘dry dance’, if there’s a dry dance.”

Team mate Valtteri Bottas was second-fastest in this afternoon’s practice session, less than five-hundredths of a second behind Max Verstappen. Hamilton said he hadn’t been entirely happy with his car.

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“It felt relatively normal but it was quite far off. So there’s more work that needs to go on in the background to try and figure out why.

“I was feeling good in practice one and the start of [second practice] felt pretty good. Then it started to drop off. Others out there are obviously quick and Valtteri’s obviously got good pace so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.”

Both Mercedes drivers were warned during last week’s race to use the kerbs as little as possible to minimise the stress on their cars. The team was concerned about an electrical noise problem which is aggravated by vibrations and can cause gearbox failures.

Asked whether the team have addressed the problem so that he can use the kerbs more aggressively this weekend, Hamilton said: “Not that I know of. I think you still have to be careful.

“You can still damage the car quite badly over the kerbs. Whether or not it’s going to be as harsh as it was on Sunday we’ll find out.”

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2020 F1 season

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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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15 comments on “Hamilton will do a “dry dance” for Saturday to avoid sixth-place start”

  1. Only benefit of that rain would be much cooler race conditions and no clean and dirty side for grid.

  2. I have a suspicion that Lewis set his car up for the wet conditions in anticipation and is not being open about it. If it doesn’t rain then he’ll be pretty much screwed.

    1. Or set the car up for the cooler conditions on Sunday. Today’s running wasn’t going to be particularly representative by all accounts given the differential in forecast temps.

      1. This makes more sense 😊

  3. Look, Qualifying will either take place normally (because current forecast is just for sporadic raining, nothing critical) or on Sunday morning.

    Temperatures will be much lower on weekend, they raced here just a week ago – even before P1 there were talks that there will be no sense in running at all on Friday.

    But here we are.
    With Media, Racefans included, already reporting that, OMG, Hamilton will start P6.

    *facepalm*

  4. A “dry dance”? Perhaps Lewis is not as woke as he thinks?

  5. I think there’s should be natives Styrian ritual to make sure the rain still falling.

    1. Yes, naked women and human sacrifices!

  6. Hamilton giving his rivals the traditional seasonal head start…
    TBH I’d prefer to see some qualifying in some mid-range rain, seems ages since we had any.

  7. If there is heavy rain tomorrow and qualifying gets disrupted, wouldn’t it just be scheduled for Sunday morning like they’ve done in the past?

    1. @kevincucamest I don’t think there’d be room for qualifying on Sunday due to the F2 and F3-races. F2 and F3 haven’t been part of the Japanese GP-schedule, so with Suzuka, this has been a possibility, but European events are a different matter with the regular support-categories that are F2 and F3.

      1. @jerejj I didn’t think about that, but thinking about previous times, I guess they were all at Suzuka, Melbourne, and Austin. Has the grid ever been set by FP2 times?

        1. @kevincucamest Not AFAIA. At least, not during my time of following and watching F1, which started back in 2004. The Japanese GP of that season is one of these races along with the 2010 and 2019 events, and so are the 2013 Australian and 2015 US GPs.

  8. More than Hamilton, his detractors like you are getting more desperate to find a way to twist the reality to match their narrative.

    1. Yeah, I’m not a Hamilton fan but let’s be honest here – either somethings not right with that car or he’s gone for a setup that will suit the race more. I can’t remember him ever being this far off the pace for no valid reason

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