Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

Mercedes “looked faster than we were” and haven’t taken a step forward – Hamilton

2022 Miami Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes’ strong performance on Friday in Miami flattered their car after taking sixth on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

His team mate George Russell, who was quicker in second practice yesterday, failed to reach Q3 and will start from 12th on the grid.

“It’s a bit confusing with yesterday’s pace,” Hamilton admitted. “We don’t know why we were looking faster than we really were.

“Today was a bit of a surprise, to see us in P3, we were quite far back. So it was a bit nerve-wracking going into qualifying. We’ve not really taken a step forward or anything. We’ve just got to keep on working.”

Hamilton was at risk of being eliminated during Q1, but secured a place in the next stage on his final lap and went on to claim a third-row starting position.

“I’m generally really happy with the job that I did today,” he said. “I did the best I could with the car that I have. It’s a very hard car to drive.”

Mercedes brought revised front and rear wings this weekend aimed at reducing drag. Team principal Toto Wolff said these initially appeared to have improved the porpoising problem they have struggled with all season.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Miami International Autodrome, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Miami Grand Prix qualifying day in pictures
“It seemed yesterday that the low-downforce set-up worked and helped for the porpoising,” he said. “But obviously the track gripped up, there was more wind today and it looks like it didn’t cure the porpoising.”

Nonetheless Wolff believes the team saw the potential of the W13 on Friday. “Yesterday we had a glimpse of the performance that is in the car if we get [it] in the right spot,” he said.

“The main thing was again managing the porpoising. That was good yesterday and then we tried something that didn’t seem like a big change in and affected the car badly. We went all the way back and at the end in qualifying the drivers suffered again with the bouncing.

“The bouncing has such an effect on on the braking zones on what the tyres are doing. The consequence is that we are ending up sixth and 12th. The learning is exponential but exponentially tough at the moment. But we would have hoped for better today.”

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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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9 comments on “Mercedes “looked faster than we were” and haven’t taken a step forward – Hamilton”

  1. Mercedes are doing a lot of experimentation. It is amazing how Redbull cured the porpoising so effectively and so early.

    1. Have you not heard of the guy that can see air flow? He’s called Adrian Newey. :-)

      1. So many smart engineers in so many teams but only one man could figure it out.

      2. How wonderful it must be to work in a team where one guy gets, and happily takes, all the glory for building a fast car.. “see air flow”…

        1. I’m not sure about the “taking” as he seems to be a pretty modest guy from his public interactions but even those team members acknowledge his genius.

          That said, John Owen completely bossed the past 8 years and very few even know him.

  2. Oh Danny Boy you need to get it together ,or offer your seat to Oscar if you have been spoilt by the money and the fame..we need a hungry Aussie in F1

  3. Hamilton’s lap in Q3 really was lovely and smooth. But many people might have been faster but just did not hook up all the sectors in a single lap.

  4. The varying performances of the Mercedes cars only proves they are using the practices, and in some cases the races, to test various theories on Porposing.

    Its obvious practice 3 was another failed experiment, so they reverted to the setup from test 1 and 2. Even so Hamilton barely made qualification out of Q2, as Russell proves its more luck than judgement.

    Its a shame the Sky having picked up on this, as they allow pundits to root Hamilton’s performance difference to Russel, on his mental health.

    Let see if Mercedes fair any better in the race.

  5. Just realised RB13 was also a stinker of a car, maybe 13 is cursed

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