Lewis Hamilton believes the yellow flag he encountered at the end of qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix cost him a chance of starting on the front row of the grid.
Hamilton ended the session fourth, three-tenths of a second off pole position. While team principal Toto Wolff suggested pole might have been possible without the yellow flag, Hamilton wasn’t sure.
“I think that’s highly optimistic,” he said. “I think that was still a bit too quick. But I think front row was possible.”
However Hamilton is pleased Mercedes are in far more competitive shape at Zandvoort than they were at Spa-Francorchamps a week ago.
“We’re much happier coming in this weekend to have a car that’s potentially fighting for a front row,” he said.
“I don’t understand [how] one weekend it can be so far off and the next weekend, all of a sudden, we’re right there. So I think it’s confusing for sure.
“But lots of positives to take from today. I think if we hadn’t had the yellow flag we’d have been hopefully potentially fighting for the front row, so that’s really positive.”
Mercedes’ improved performance in qualifying raised Hamilton’s hopes they will be more competitive in the race. “I hope that [as] we closed the deficit in the single lap, if that can then reflect to our race pace, that’ll be awesome.”
Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and
2022 Dutch Grand Prix
- Ferrari’s season of missed chances led to “difficult” criticism for Binotto
- How many victory chances did Hamilton have in his first winless F1 season?
- Why F2’s role as F1’s sustainable fuel guinea pig ‘isn’t going to be a reliability issue’
- Straight-line speed deficit will continue to “bite” Mercedes in qualifying – Wolff
- Verstappen achieves his longest winning streak with second home victory