Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Imola, 2022

Hamilton says Mercedes “underperformed as a team” after qualifying 13th

2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes “underperformed as a team” after neither of the team’s cars made it into the top 10.

The seven-times champion will start tomorrow’s sprint race from 13th on the grid. He and team mate George Russell were both eliminated during Q2.

“It wasn’t a great session,” said Hamilton after qualifying. “Naturally it’s disappointing.

“We come here with optimism and everyone’s working really hard at the factory and then things just don’t come together. It’s disappointing.”

Hamilton only made it through to the second round of qualifying by four thousandths of a second. He set a time at the beginning of Q2, but the session was red-flagged shortly afterwards, and rain fell which prevented him from posting any further improvements.

“I think we underperformed as a team today,” said Hamilton. “There are things that we should have done, we didn’t do.”

As this is a sprint weekend, Hamilton has the chance to improve his starting position for Sunday’s grand prix in tomorrow’s 21-lap race.

“We’ll work as hard as we can to move up in the sprint race,” he said. “It’s going to be a difficult race, but hopefully tomorrow’s better weather-wise, and who knows, maybe we can move our way forwards.”

At the end of Q2 Hamilton was seen speaking to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, who was visibly displeased. Hamilton did not elaborate on their conversation.

“It’s all internal stuff, I’m not going to share that,” he said. “But we’ll just keep working. It is what it is.”

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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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61 comments on “Hamilton says Mercedes “underperformed as a team” after qualifying 13th”

  1. Fact is Sir Lewis “If you think what you saw at the end of the last year was my best, wait till you see this year” Hamilton lost again to his team mate Russell, this time by a whooping 0.4s. As I said before, managing his overinflated ego will be as difficult as developing the car and it seems Mercedes is failing at both fronts.

    1. @armchairexpert Can’t take issue with your name. You really need to know what setups both were running (they’ve been different over the first races to test the car as much as possible) before leaping to judgment. However no doubt Russell is doing fine.

      1. Bad car or not it’s fairly obvious that George is managing it better. It’s the equipment they have been provided and he’s making more of the opportunity full stop. Remove the times and watch the onboards, Lewis’ traditional late braking is working against him when there is instability into the braking zone.

    2. Noframingplease (@)
      22nd April 2022, 19:29

      @boudi Yes, your reaction shows how your brain is overcooking when comments doesn’t suit your personal opinion

    3. Indeed, agree with noframing that the OP’s comment makes a lot more sense than the 2nd, if you don’t agree with that say why, this tells us you don’t have a counterargument.

    4. The session wasn’t even completed but nice try.

    5. I guess it was always going to be difficult against George, who is one of the more talented drivers out there. Lewis is one of the better drivers but in all fairness his results are also based on having quite the machinery during the V6 Hybrid period. Nobody fares well without a race winning car and all need a race winning car to shine. He got to that race winning car on merit, so that is totally his own doing based on his talent and skill he showed from the get go. Subsequently he had this car for a far longer period than his predecessor champions had, lifting the expectations we have from him.

  2. What was Wolff shouting about in his conversation with Hamilton when he got out of his car in Q2?

    I am sooo curious! Is Mercedes crumbling??

    1. I nipped to the fridge and missed this, commentators were talking about it when I came back in the room and there wasn’t a replay. Is it a ‘storm in a teacup’ or a genuine hissy fit?

      1. Lewis was asked about it in a interview and he said he wont share what they talked about.

    2. We like hearing the Lewis “Blame Game”: “We” … i.e., ‘they [Wolff]’) … shoulda, coulda, woulda done this (or that) … “

    3. I’m only guessing but I would have thought sending both Mercs out on inters when the clear choice was dry. Particularly as rain was not only expected but the Mercs have shown they need a couple of laps before they can light the tyres up.

  3. Most people don’t realize how tricky that Mercedes is to drive. All the experts, Ex F1 drivers say that Mercedes looks the most unstable car on the grid.
    The bouncing is extreme of all cars and because of that their development has stalled. It is understandable that both Mercedes drivers are very frustrated.

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      22nd April 2022, 18:55

      Imagine coping this hard

    2. It’s clearly the third fastest car this year and you insist it’s “the hardest car to drive”. Okay, whatever you say. Of course the AM and William guys are having a lot of fun in theirs.

      1. Do you see the Williams or AM bouncing that violently?

      2. Fair point. That Merc isnt that bad, just look at the championship tables

  4. You’ll never see Leclerc throw his team under the bus like this. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer to support drivers who take responsibility for their own performances first and foremost, irrespective of whether they win 500 races.

    1. What you said is anything but old fashiomed. Humbleness has only come up with the likes of Leclerc.

      Even decades ago, the most successful drivers in F1 were bullies.

    2. Hamilton (Ardently supported by his fans) always took responsibility for his performance…When he was winning. Now it’s the car

    3. Nobody is Boeing ‘thrown under the bus’. @wsrgo

      Did you read the article? Hamilton said they’ve ‘underperformed as a team’ before going on to credit those working hard at the factory. That is not ‘throwing his team under a bus’.

      It seems you’re creating a fictional version of events to suit your own narrative.

  5. …. and it’s only the 4th GP weekend!

  6. TBH this is a team fault not a driver one. Mercedes have started badly and are getting worse not better. I doubt Hamilton was the only one expecting more. Poor stuff from Mercedes so far.

    1. Agreed. I think they got too overconfident with their minimalist sidepod design.

      They should just work on a B spec car.

      1. They kind of had one, I guess, given they ran another spec in Barcelona. The claim is that the sidepods don’t affect the purpoising – or rather the extra downforce from them exacerbates a problem that the car would have anyway. Maybe so. But I’m somewhat puzzled by the lack of more radical attempts to solve the issue, especially as aspects of some of the other cars hint at solutions (e.g. the Ferrari nose). A slightly higher rake on the Red Bull, which maybe helps too, is presumably beyond Mercedes this season (or forever given their unerring commitment to long, flat cars, yawn).

        1. It is quite possibly because of the budget cap.

    2. This is team fault as much as all the titles were team success. I’d say team is 95% responsible, if not more, for either.

      1. Yeah, driver seems to get 95% of the glory when things are going great and the teams get 95% of the blame when things are going badly. It should be equal blame and credit.

        However, while drivers get too much credit when things are going great, I think they often get too much blame when things are going badly. I would say right now, people who hate Hamilton are jumping all over an opportunity to blame him. I am not a fan of Hamilton, but it’s beyond dispute he’s a great driver. So, I consider anyone reveling in his results as proof he’s not great clowns.

        1. Some people have waited a very long time to see Merc and Hamilton struggle, and the gloating we are seeing now is unpleasant, but entirely predictable.

          It is quite funny to see the premature writing off of Hamilton though as if what we’ve witnessed from him for the last 30-odd years doesn’t count for anything. I don’t recall having seen such a keenness to discredit any other driver in the 45 years I’ve been watching F1. It’s very strange.

  7. Why they wasted Barcelona testing with diff car? Let launch real car.. understand as early as possible.. not sure what they earned

    1. not sure what they earned

      Every team tries to hide their concept until the last moment, not to be copied by the other teams. Unfortunately for them, not much to copy from this Mercedes I guess… ’cause even they don’t know for sure what’s working and what not.

    2. It was quite curious that Merc came out with the B version so quickly. Maybe it was not ready when the test started. I guess they are convinced they can make this one work better eventually.

    3. Good question. If it was quick adaptation to a concept that didn’t seem to work then it is admirable. If it was a deliberate attempt to fool others and they shot themselves in the foot, it is hilariously arrogant.

  8. Hardships shows your real self. He has had easy years with the fastest car. He is a good driver but his temperament in a slow car is not very good. I wonder if he will stick in F1 like Fernando despite hardships or retire.

  9. Lew, you can take driving lessons from my granny. You need them, she’s pretty good, and surely you can afford the price

  10. It’s always the team’s fault, never himself…

    1. Apart from the previous qualifying to this where he said he left something on the table?

      1. Yes, because ‘they’ tried something different with his car setup.

  11. I wonder whether Toto told Hamilton off for getting out of the car before the end of the session? Would seem odd to do that as he wouldn’t have had direct knowledge of the weather forecast, unlike the engineers. But historically Hamilton has been prone to giving up prematurely. In Canada 2011 he retired a car which was intact except for a tyre off its rim. He could have easily won that one, considering Button won from running last at the halfway point. I think he did something similar in Baku roughly 6 years later, sorry, I forget. But it’s definitely a weakness of his. And his reputation is now repeatedly being damaged by Russell. Hamilton certainly enjoys a challenge, but it seems only if he can overcome it to win every race.

    1. Wasn’t there suspension damage on hamilton’s car in canada 2011? And if I recall, it was a 4h race, how long time did they have to fix the car before the race resumed?

  12. Hamilton has as many titles as Prost and Senna and more wins and more poles than them put together. Yet he’s struggling to outperform a guy with no wins, no poles and no WDCs. I thought he was the GOAT guys? What’s going on?

    1. He isn’t and he’s never been, the car is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too important for us to say the one with most wins is the best, russell is one of the best new talents along with leclerc, verstappen and norris and it’s showing; as for age, on paper you should start losing the edge over 35 and lose even more after 40, but that shouldn’t stop hamilton from being competitive, look at alonso.

      1. Yep your right

        How has he done this?

        You know, across 14 years… wins on all tracks, poles on all tracks, podiums on all tracks.

        Ridiculous, I mean his body of work is worthy of nothing.

        I mean look at MV 20 wins in 140 races and a whole handful of poles and LH only in the hundreds after 250 races…

        I mean, what is he thinking?

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          23rd April 2022, 4:37

          @drgraham Best post I’ve read in a while :-)

        2. Kinna, sorta, exactly what @esploratore1 is saying. Best Team, Best car by Far for a long time, along with a very good driver will set all kinds of records. There are many Drivers that would have matched Ham’ given the same situation. Same can be said for many of the Greats of the past. This game is not just about being a good driver, you need to be in the right place at the right time to make the most of talent.
          Everyone has their favourites, but no one Driver can claim the title of GOAT, most successful Yes, GOAT No, there is a difference.

        3. @drgraham but the GOAT with 100 plus wins and poles and 7 WDCs is not beating the guy who has zero wins, poles and WDCs. What’s going on? How did he lose to Max last year in similar machinery and better luck when his record is so much better? Has it always been about the car?

          1. If you believe he lost last year due to a better car and not the most ridiculous officials decisions in the 40 years I have followed the sport, then I really cannot help you.

          2. @drgraham I think you are the one who needs help here. And if you followed the sport for 40 years, you are showing your age and being rather forgetful. You are forgetting for Verstappen, the tyre blow out in Baku, being shunted out in Silverstone and Hungary by Mercedes costing him 60 plus points. Abu Dhabi should have been irrelevant.
            Also one of those incidents was caused by Hamilton sending Verstappen to hospital whilst getting a very generous penalty which saw him drop only to fourth whilst a red flag allowed his car to be fixed. He got a time penalty when an early drive through penalty would have been more appropriate.

            Even with ALL that luck, the “GOAT” couldn’t win. Looks like those wins and poles and even the WDCs are misleading. Verstappen ONLY has twenty wins and handful of poles in comparison.
            Personally any sympathy for the Abu Dhabi decision is in short supply as it would have been a travesty if Verstappen lost the WDC.

  13. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    22nd April 2022, 18:56

    #BestTeamEver #Blessed

    1. Enjoy it, poppet.

  14. Team under performed is the right message. If the car was perfectly stable with no issues and drivers struggle to get out of Q1 then it’s clear cut. To compound this if Hamilton has no confidence in the car I don’t expect him to perform well, that goes for any driver on the grid. With limited practice (sprint weekend) this was always going to be a difficult weekend for them.

    And for the record if Hamilton messes up he does hold up his hands and is accountable for his performance and/or mistakes.

    George I think is being given the more forgiving setups but not taking anything away from him, he is making the best of a bad situation.

  15. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    22nd April 2022, 19:54

    Well I guess it is a step forward from last year Monaco where he claimed to do everything perfect and that the team screwed up. It seems he now at least take some responsibility for this disastrous qualifying.

    Lewis was very very lucky to make it even into Q2, he was only 0.004 quicker than 16th and Ocon would have been faster if not for gearbox problems.

    Quite funny that Toto last year claimed that Red Bull was sacrificing 2022 by going all out in 2021 while in reality Mercedes spend far too much time still on 2021 car and screwed up with the 2022. It ain’t helping that Lewis is failing as a leader and a driver to pull the team forward, seems he forgot how to drive if not driving the best car of the field.

    Again prove that Lewis is only a 7x WDC because of Mercedes hybrid domination. Schumacher was able to lead a team and drive them to victory, Lewis seemingly is not.

    Clearly Lewis is not on the same level as Schumacher, Senna, Lauda or Fangio.
    Very good at driving a fast car, less good at driving a team to develop and improve a car.

    1. I agree in general, but I don’t see senna as being any more exceptional than hamilton, senna also didn’t lead a bad team to victory, he was a qualifying ace but not as effective in races (while still being very fast), and made more mistakes than other top drivers.

      I actually liked how the mercedes drivers both risked to be eliminated in q1 but got out just in the end, that shows imo they have a very bad car (at some tracks, bit better at others) but a good driver pairing, in fact considering how close it was in q1 it was impressive that russell got within 1 place from making it to q3, even though the gap to bottas was big.

    2. Yep well your name gives us a clue

      At least he does not go off in a huff on the podium after getting away with the worst sportsmanship I have seen in 40 years.

      Come back when your boy has won a championship properly along with 100 plus poles and races and then finds himself in a dog of a car and see how your lad reacts.

      That of course is even if he gets there.

      1. Noframingplease (@)
        23rd April 2022, 6:57

        @drgraham So you mean fans of verstappen can’t have an opinion when it doesn’t suit the british glorification of sir Lewis H?

        1. Of course they can but do not expect incorrect and innacuratevstatements to pass by in the vein hope we will forget how he won last year. Denigrating Hamilton simply makes Max look far far worse given how he won last year

    3. I’m confused. So Lewis is no good because he only won championships in the best car but Fangio is the best because he won his championships in the best car. It’s OK to acknowledge Lewis is a great driver.

      1. Just to clarify that Fangio won his championships driving 4 different cars: Alfa Romeo (1951), Maserati & Mercedes-Benz (1954), Mercedes-Benz (1955), Ferrari (1956) and Maserati (1957). Was he so lucky that during his seven years in F1 he always drove the best car? I doubt it.

  16. People hearing Lewis’ use of “we” and not hearing Lewis in that “we” are just looking to be angry.

  17. He’s not wrong. Mercedes is looking very mediocre. I was thinking the wet conditions might help them but it seems to have had the opposite effect. It must be very demotivating for Lewis. Less so for George given it’s still a step up from Williams. As the season progresses, I’m more and more convinced we won’t see a Lewis victory for the first time.

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