Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2023

Hamilton concerned he may miss cut for Q3 again in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton feels he has a fight on his hands to make the cut for Q3 in qualifying tomorrow after failing to reach the third phase at the previous round.

The Mercedes driver failed to reach the top 10 in qualifying by less than three hundredths of a second at the Las Vegas Grand Prix. His start to the weekend in Abu Dhabi was compromised today as he sat out the first session while junior driver Frederik Vesti took over his car, and two red flags in the second session limited Hamilton to just 16 laps.

“It was not the greatest of days,” he admitted afterwards. “I only got four timed laps so that’s not a lot in terms of your knowledge of the car and the track. But the car doesn’t feel bad.”

Hamilton has failed to reach Q3 three times this year and admitted he isn’t feeling confident about his chances this weekend.

“I’m just going to try and see if there’s a way to get into Q3,” he said. “We’ve had difficult qualifying sessions and getting out of Q1 into Q2 for example has always been a tough battle and even getting into Q3 is a challenge.

“The work tomorrow morning has to be just making sure that we can try and get into Q3 but I think it’s going to be close.”

Isack Hadjar, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice in pictures
He said his team mate George Russell, who headed the first practice session, may have a better chance of reaching the final 10. “I think George is looking good,” said Hamilton, “he might be in a better place, but he didn’t miss P1.

“But I’m not going to make any excuses, I’ll just try and get on it tomorrow.”

Mercedes have tended to be more competitive in race trim than they are in qualifying. Russell expects a similar situation this weekend.

“Obviously in FP1 there were a lot of young drivers in the cars, so it was difficult to gauge where the pace of a car was at,” he said.”FP2 was very interrupted but I felt happy, I felt good out there. The long-run pace seems that seems good, which is going to be the most important.

“I think it’s going to be close out there with the likes of Lando [Norris] and maybe Charles [Leclerc]. We always know obviously Red Bull have got a little bit more in their pocket.”

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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...

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6 comments on “Hamilton concerned he may miss cut for Q3 again in Abu Dhabi”

  1. I have the solution for you.

    Guaranteed to take you to Q3

    Just. Drive. Faster.

    1. Another solution for you: just be smarter, and dont try to directly address drivers here. lol

      1. MadMax defending Diva. What else.

  2. Poor Lewis. Lowering expectations already to make sure he will not be criticized when not reaching Q3, or even better, he will be praised for qualifying 8th in such a bad car.

    1. THIS reaching Q3 maybe his greatest “Triumph”.
      I still hold the best thing to come out of Stevenage were Vincent’s. 🏍️

  3. Hes being smoked by Russell so far this weekend. Pathetic from. 7x champion and apparently he’s the GOAT?!

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