Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit of the Americas, 2022

Hamilton disappointed by deficit to pole position after car upgrades

2022 United States Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton was disappointed to qualify over half a second off pole position at the Circuit of the Americas after Mercedes introduced another batch of upgrades for its W13 this weekend.

He and team mate George Russell qualified fifth and sixth respectively but will share the third row of the grid due to the grid penalties Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez have incurred.

But having been pleased with the balance of his car in practice, Hamilton was dismayed to end the session 0.591 seconds slower than pace-setter Carlos Sainz Jnr.

“The fact is we’re over six tenths off,” he said. “So given that everyone’s worked so hard to bring upgrades this weekend and the gap’s the same, that’s difficult for us.”

He said the balance of his W13 changed noticeably between final practice – where he was also fifth and off the pace by a similar amount – and qualifying.

“All weekend it’s been feeling really good,” he said. “I was feeling great in the car yesterday in P1 and then even in P2 with the tyre test and then this morning.

“Then we got into qualifying and the thing went massively to oversteer. So I was just battling, catching the rear a lot of the time. We went rearwards mechanically, just one step, it’s tiny, but it seemed to make a huge difference with maybe the temperature drop.”

However Russell felt the team’s qualifying performance compared adequately with their form over the season so far.

“Six tenths off pole is not something to be sort of celebrating,” he said. “But if you take the season as an average and you look at the length of this lap, it’s probably better than the majority of the qualifying sessions.”

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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...
RJ O'Connell
Motorsport has been a lifelong interest for RJ, both virtual and ‘in the carbon’, since childhood. RJ picked up motorsports writing as a hobby...

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11 comments on “Hamilton disappointed by deficit to pole position after car upgrades”

  1. Agree with the last paragraph, 6 tenths is relatively little, sometimes they’ve been 1 sec behind, especially on long tracks.

  2. He and team mate George Russell qualified fifth and sixth respectively but will share the third row of the grid due to the grid penalties Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez have incurred

    isn’t that suppose to be second row

    1. oh nevermind I don’t know how to use the

  3. Mexico will be better, considering the drag of W13. I can go along with George on this one. They have a serious fundamental problem that cannot disappear just like that. They can develop the car around it trying to minimize its effect but without car redesign it cannot go away. Consequently, they carry this issue into every single corner and still qualify in the second row. Lotus with similar issue in 2014. would qualify last. I think they have a chance of winning this race because tire deg is huge on this track.

  4. So, just taking notes here, it’s not a given that if you spend extra money on upgrades you are suddenly faster than everyone else?

    1. Not unless you have an underlying issue. But you can gain massive advantages with upgrades if the competition is tight…. Alao depends on how often those upgrades come. And what upgrades the competition bring.

      1. And more time in development before you have to produce a working chassis and car is another matter (think only of the Brawn car which was the result of enormous amounts of Honda money).

    2. Look at McLaren, they are a disaster.

    3. Sorry Wayne and @bosyber, I was just kidding. Of course more updates can and will help you forward, especially if you have good knowledge about your car’s strengths and weakness.
      The only small side note is that the step forward and the size of the step is not a given. Sometimes calculations are off or other teams bring updates too.

  5. Pretty sure he’ll get PP in ”F1 22”… the game.

  6. Well, drive faster, Sir

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