Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Zandvoort, 2023

“I was just slow today” admits Hamilton after failing to reach Q3

2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton said he just wasn’t quick enough after failing to reach the top 10 shoot-out in qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was eliminated in Q2, where he finished 12th, less than one tenth of a second away from reaching the final round.

Qualifying took place on a wet but drying track. However Hamilton said the conditions “weren’t difficult to judge” and he encountered other problems. “There was obviously a lot of people in the way, but generally we were just slow out there.”

Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll are both under investigation for impeding Hamilton during the session. “There was a few of the others that got in the way on the previous laps,” said Hamilton. “Tsunoda, he was in the way a little bit, but it didn’t lose me time.”

“I was just slow today,” he admitted.

Hamilton had been more upbeat about his car’s potential following the two dry practice sessions on Friday. He admitted he was puzzled by his slump in performance on Saturday, after his team mate George Russell qualified third.

“I really don’t know,” said Hamilton. ”The car didn’t feel too great after P2. It felt great in P1 and I’ve just not had that feeling ever since. So I’m not really sure what it is.”

He believes he is “too far from the front runners” to challenge for a podium finish in tomorrow’s race and said he isn’t feeling confident about his chances. “The car has just been difficult. I’ll try and turn the negative from today into a positive tomorrow.”

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2023 Dutch Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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18 comments on ““I was just slow today” admits Hamilton after failing to reach Q3”

  1. The beginning of the end …

    1. Yeah, he’s done. Needs to retire at the end of this season. Sad after how 21 ended but he’s never been the same since. It would have made a strong statement had he retired directly after the race, but now he’s just causing damage to his reputation.

      1. Well, him driving a second best car did show that he’s not THAT good as some people wanted to believe, as he can’t do miracles or outperform every driver. But he IS outperforming his highly regarded teammate (Russell is kinda disappointing lately, like ever since the first half of the last season though, but I’ve no doubt he’s fast). He’s probably not in the form of his life, and he’s not so young (but Alonso did render this argument kinda relative), but Hamilton’s winning the inter-team battle almost with ease this season. That doesn’t look like “time for retirement”. He’s doing fine, and he’s not driving a 2019 car or whatever. I don’t expect Lewis would beat Verstappen even if he had the same car, but I’m sure he’s among top 4-5 drivers, if not better (hard to say, hard to compare to Norris for example, we’re all guessing all the time). After all, Hamilton’s pretty consistent this season, relative to Russell, but also guys like Leclerc, Sainz, Perez… For some reason, people either idolize this guy or consider him almost a fraud. That’s why I prefer not to be a fan of drivers and teams, just racing.

        1. Obviously, I meant Hamilton winning against his team-mate, not inter-team battle, but I’m tired… Forgive my typing and even logical mistakes. :)

      2. I disagree with that, he got a pole in hungary this year for example, after the first races no one managed to beat verstappen to pole apart from him.

        And also, I don’t see how his reputation would take damage if he continues racing, it’s not like his win ratio makes him the best of all time because he had so many years in a dominant car, if anything this season he’s been better than russell and that’s an achievement at his age.

    2. Do you work for a tabloid or just read them?

  2. “The car has just been difficult”… Right, Lewis…

  3. Is the fire going out?

    Respect for being open and honest Lewis.
    Keep trying man, You have quite a few wins left in you yet I reckon.

    1. Sure thing, the Beer Can Regatta was still open, last time I checked.

    2. Lewis fails to make q3 once: is the fire going out?!

      George fails to do the same multiple times and trails Lewis in the standings by 50 points despite not being past his biological prime: *LOUD SILENCE*

  4. These comments are hilarious. Thank you for the laugh though :)

    Endless comments like these the first half of last season. Then silence this year when Lewis is near best after the redbull, while George is struggling to make q3…

    One bad qualifying session for Lewis and the people that contribute to his bills are out the woodwork in force.

  5. Some very, very strange comments here.

    The most successful driver in history has one difficult session, in the middle of a very strong season, and a bunch of internet geniuses decide it’s all over.

    It used to be better than this here.

    1. Absolutely, I’m surprised, I think one of those criticising hamilton here was even a fan usually, a bad quali and it turns around, very strange, if anything hamilton drove very well this season overall.

    2. Some of the article titles and their thrust may have something to do with that.

    3. Tiaki Porangi
      27th August 2023, 5:11

      They’re generally the usual lot though. Anything Hamilton-related attracts them in droves. Best ignored.

  6. Not entirely on topic, but whilst I wouldn’t write off Lewis yet (and – full disclosure – I am a big fan), I am coming to believe that regardless of whatever car may be dominating at the time, Max may well be proving himself the better driver. I say this because in the past there were a number of reasons I doubted that view, but he seems to have shed many of the attributes that had me questioning it in the past.

    That said, I am not 100% certain, and I am unsure it will ever be proven one way or the other. Nor does it diminish LH’s achivements in the sport to date.

    Nor does Max’s achievements make him any more likable in my personal opinion.

    1. Verstappen is having a run very much like Seb Vettel in 2013. He’s not having to race anyone, really. Perez is hopeless, let’s face it.

      When Max has some competition again we will see if he’s taken some kind of massive step.

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