Lewis Hamilton admits struggles with Mercedes car and vows to keep “keep working hard”

Lewis Hamilton disclosed how he is feeling about his Mercedes car as he qualified in sixth place for the Spanish Grand Prix while teammate George Russell will start the race P4

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F1: Spanish Grand Prix preview

Lewis Hamilton has expressed concern about his struggles with the Mercedes car. The Brit will start Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix in sixth place, while teammate George Russell will begin in fourth position after an impressive final qualifying lap.

Hamilton has an impressive record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, taking four of the last five pole positions and has six race wins to his name. If he wants to claim a victory on Sunday afternoon however, it is going to take a supreme performance.

“I am not really putting my mind to that because I am still way off,” Hamilton said when asked if any improvements to the car can help him become a title contender. “My team-mate is fourth so that means I should be at least third or fourth, and I am sixth. I am still struggling with the car and qualifying wasn’t great for me.

“I don’t know how to get around that. I don’t know what I am going to do, but I will just continue to work hard and try to figure it out.” The 37-year-old has enjoyed a truly dominant period of his career over the last several years.

Since 2014, he has amassed six championships and finished runner-up on two occasions, once to Nico Rosberg and controversially to Max Verstappen last year. 2022 has been a tricky one for Hamilton so far, registering just one podium finish thus far. His third-place finish in Bahrain, the season opener, marks the only time he has finished ahead of Russell, who is in his first season with the Silver Arrows.

Sky commentator Martin Brundle assessed Hamilton’s struggles in comparison to the performances of Russell who seems to be extracting as much as he can from his car. “This car just doesn’t talk to Lewis in the way that he likes a car to talk to him,” he said. “We have had years of Lewis being absolutely precise everywhere and he is fighting, he doesn’t know what the car is going to do next.

Lewis Hamilton is finding it very tricky to adjust to his Mercedes car this year

“Lewis is having to hustle, and that is not how we are used to him driving a Mercedes. George seems to be able to be more precise.” Russell, on the other hand, feels Mercedes’ long-run pace could challenge Ferrari, who have been flying so far this season and also revealed how he expects the Spanish GP to play out.

“Looking at the pace, on Friday we had a better race car than we did a qualifying car,” Russell said. “I think we’ve got a real chance against Ferrari, but Red Bull – especially Max – seem a little bit faster than the rest. So all to play for.”

He added: “I expect a chaotic race. There’s going to be a number of stops, I believe, for everybody. The tyre degradation is huge. It will be one of the toughest races of the season so far in that regard, even tougher than Bahrain. So we will have to think carefully about the strategy and go for the best option.”

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