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Distrustful Hamilton doesn't 'feel connected' to Mercedes W14

Lewis Hamilton admits lacking confidence in Mercedes’ W14 car in Jeddah and unable to “feel connected” with his machine.

Hamilton and teammate George Russell reached the final segment of qualifying without any issues, but the latter outpaced the seven-time world champion by 0.366s to finish P4 in the running order while Hamilton ended the session P9.

However, both drivers will move up a spot on the grid as a result of Charles Leclerc’s 10-place grid penalty.

“Of course, George did a great job,” said Hamilton when asked by if Russell’s performance had at least been an encouraging sign for Mercedes.

“So, great, great result for him and he was able to get the car in a different place than me.

“I just struggled to extract the performance from the car. It’s mostly me. And yeah, a little bit in the high-speed the car is a little bit unstable, my set-up.”


Hamilton revealed that Russell and himself had slightly different set-ups for the Saturday evening session, although he insisted the difference was marginal, and that it hadn’t succeeded in instilling confidence in his machine.

“It’s a little bit different, yeah,” he noted. “There’s just one particular thing I did differently, but maybe it’ll be okay for tomorrow. Let’s hope so.

“I think the car is where it is. I mean, George did a great job, I’m pleased that he’s right up there on the second row.

“The car’s obviously got performance. I just don’t feel connected to this car. No matter what I do, no matter what I change, I can’t get confidence in it. Yeah, I’m just at a bit of a loss with it.”

  • Read also: Wolff sheds light on Hamilton-Cullen split

As Mercedes attacks its troubles head-on, the team’s game plan is to roll out a significantly different car by mid-June.

In the interim, Hamilton’s frustrations may persist, but the Briton reiterated on Saturday his commitment to a team he feels is his family.

“I mean, I love this team, I’m so grateful for everyone that’s been on the journey with me with this team,” he said.

“I don’t envisage being anywhere else, and I don’t see myself quitting, I don’t feel like I’m a quitter.

“But I wouldn’t say that it’s giving me a lot. You know, I’ve been there and done that, bought the t-shirt many times.

“But I am trying to be patient and work with the team to get us to a good place. That’s all I can say right now. I’m not going anywhere else.”

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