Lewis Hamilton nervous about qualifying as the F1 legend reckons the top 10 could be difficult
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton mentioned that he was concerned about his one-lap pace and might struggle in the qualifying session at the 2023 Spanish GP.
In the first two practice sessions, it was a struggle for the seven-time world champion as his heavily upgraded W14 looked a handful to drive and was going sideways in most of the corner exits.
Speaking to F1.com, Lewis Hamilton analyzed his Friday and said:
“It’s okay, we’re fighting as hard as we can. I would say it was a difficult day one, P1 and P2, just getting on top of the tires and the deg. Our car feels like… the car. We’re just focusing on… I think the long-run pace didn’t look terrible, we’ve just got to work on trying to figure out how we can extract more on a single lap.”
"I think from the pace that I had today, it’s a struggle for me currently to get into the top 10, but hopefully we’ll do some changes overnight. I think it’s very, very close between us and that middle kind of… After P5 back to kind of P10. It’s really, really close between us all and it’s impressive to see all the improvements that everyone seems to have made all around us.
“I’m just going to try and do the best job I can tonight to make the right set-up changes" - Lewis Hamilton
The Briton analyzed his pace compared to the competition around and stated that he will try his best to find the correct setup overnight for the qualifying.
Lewis Hamilton said:
“If you look at [Esteban] Ocon, the Alpines are doing great. You saw the Aston Martin [of Fernando Alonso] in second, right behind the Red Bull [of Max Verstappen], which is really, really impressive. It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure. I’m just going to try and do the best job I can tonight to make the right set-up changes. There’s definitely improvements I know I can make with the set-up, so I’ll get on top of that.”
His teammate George Russell chimed in and added:
“I think we learned a huge amount, and we’ll dig into the data tonight. I think definitely we can find some gains. There’s a few surprises out there today, but I’m sure the story will be slightly different tomorrow and again on Sunday, and as we know, we score points on Sunday, so that’s what we’re targeting.”
It will be a fascinating to see where Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at the end of the qualifying session on Saturday.