Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monza, 2023

Hamilton struggling with “hard to optimise” Mercedes at Monza

2023 Italian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton said he found it hard to get the best out of Mercedes’ car in qualifying after taking eighth on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix.

He will start tomorrow’s race four places behind his team mate George Russell, though there was less than two tenths of a second between them in Q3.

“I lost it all in the second or last sector,” Hamilton admitted. “I was up in the first and a bit of the second, but I was just struggling with the car.”

He said yesterday the car hasn’t responded the way he expected to set-up changes. “Our car in general is very hard to optimise,” said Hamilton, “there’s nothing easy about this car.”

The Mercedes has appeared less competitive on low downforce tracks this year. Hamilton took a surprise pole position at the Hungaroring, which requires higher downforce levels, three races ago.

“Before, up until Budapest, it was looking quite good,” said Hamilton. “Then tyres play a big factor, and these past two [rounds] we’ve just been so-so.”

“This qualifying session was definitely harder than normal,” he added.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said previous races had indicated they wouldn’t be as strong at Monza as some other circuits.

“We were 1.2 seconds off last year,” he said. “We knew that low-downforce wouldn’t suit us after Spa and Baku.

“The car should be quick everywhere but these were the problematic tracks and considering the time gap from our quicker car to the front guys, I think we have more reason to be semi-satisfied.”

However he admitted the W14 is “just too draggy for this kind of high-speed race track” which cost them time on the straights.

“When you look at the top speeds, I’ve just looked at the sheet, we’re bottom-end pretty much everywhere. But you can still be high drag and not fast on the straight and still put out a good lap time. But overall generally I think we have been too draggy for Monza, definitely.”

Bringing the F1 news from the source

RaceFans strives to bring its readers news directly from the key players in Formula 1. We are able to do this thanks in part to the generous backing of our RaceFans Supporters.

By contributing 1 per month or 12 per year (or the equivalent in other currencies) you can help cover the costs involved in producing original journalism: Travelling, writing, creating, hosting, contacting and developing.

We have been proudly supported by our readers for over 10 years. If you enjoy our independent coverage, please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter today. As a bonus, all our Supporters can also browse the site ad-free. Sign up or find out more via the links below:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2023 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2023 Italian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

10 comments on “Hamilton struggling with “hard to optimise” Mercedes at Monza”

  1. Boo hoo … or tee hee?

  2. Tifoso scuderia
    2nd September 2023, 20:36

    Hamiliton struggling with a lot of things lately…
    anyone seen the interview on Sky sports?

    1. Struggling with the speed Russell delivers with the same car too

      1. The same Russel that’s 50 points behind Hamilton past his prime and got outqualified by him multiple times out of q3? Yeah I thought so.

        1. + 1. Yes how soon people forget. They keep trying to write-off Lewis.

        2. I think tifosi is talking about Lewis saying Verstappens teammates weren’t as good as his.
          But today he is behind Sainz, Perez, Albon and his own teammate.

    2. Sprezzatura is not even a notion for Sir

  3. someone who says that this season isn’t thrilling is because is not closely following Mercedes turning into a truly midfield team. it’s fascinating.

  4. Maybe he should do what Russel did and that is accepting the cars speed…

  5. What’s up with Mercedes? How much are they getting paid to be incompetent? It must be a lot because Champions don’t take going incompetent with a grain of salt. Don’t they realize they are impeding Hamilton’s fight for a new championship record? Mostly tongue-in-cheek. This is like when the Montreal Canadians stopped winning after being the winningest professional sports organization in history. :-)

Comments are closed.