Lewis Hamilton says he’ll be relying on strategy to score points after being eliminated in the second round of qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix.
He brushed the wall at turn 17 during Q1 while swerving to avoid Kevin Magnussen’s Haas. Hamilton was on his way into the pits at the time, having decided he wanted a steeper angle on his front wing after locking up and running wide at the same corner the lap before.
He secured passage to Q2 but got no further. His last effort left him a quarter of a second outside of the top 10. It is the second time in as many races one of the Mercedes drivers has failed to reach Q3, George Russell having been eliminated during Q2 in Baku last week.
“That felt way too late, guys,” Hamilton told race engineer Peter Bonnington after his final run. He explained the team had sent him out of the pits too late at the end of Q2, leaving him in traffic and complicating his effort to optimise the temperature of his tyres.
“It started out okay,” Hamilton told media including RaceFans. “There was a couple of decent moments throughout the session.
“We generally have struggled to have the true pace to get into Q3 today. We were just right on the cusp of maybe not getting in.
“Then right at the end we’ve just gone out too late. I was at the back of maybe seven cars and I started my lap with just not enough temperature in the tyres.”
Hamilton said the Mercedes is lacking pace “everywhere” at the moment compared to their rivals. “If you look at the Red Bull, for example, they can use a a small rear wing and they’re fast on the straight and fast through the corners.
“For us we have to have a bigger wing to get anywhere near them in the corners. So I think we’re lacking rear downforce mostly.”
“We’re not where we want to be,” he added. “I wish we had a car that we were able to contend for wins. So it’s tough for us. But we just keep our head down, I’ve just got to keep my head down and keep pushing.”
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