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Hamilton still losing performance in qualifying

Hamilton explains why he is losing performance in qualifying

22 June at 20:23

Lewis Hamilton still sensed a performance dip going into qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix. The seven-time World Champion achieved his best result in qualifying so far this season and ended a losing run against his teammate George Russell.

In fact, Hamilton will start a Grand Prix ahead of his teammate for the first time since the Japanese Grand Prix at the start of April. Russell's dominance often left Hamilton feeling downbeat. After qualifying in Monaco, Hamilton even admitted to thinking he wouldn't qualify ahead of Russell for the remainder of 2024

Why is Hamilton losing performance in qualifying?

Hamilton proved himself wrong in Barcelona, with a strong lap to place him in third. Still, the Brit believes more could've been possible following his experience in practice. 

"I still feel like I lost performance going into qualifying, but I definitely feel like there was a little bit more. As you start to push the car, it doesn't like it, so in practice, when you leave a little bit of margin, the car feels quite nice. But when you start to really lean on it to get that extra bit we really struggle," Hamilton said in Spain.

"I think it's all in the tyres. In FP1, I was seven-tenths down due to an issue with the blankets, we got it sorted, and I'm on the back foot a bit. Otherwise, the car is good. It's the best qualifying I've had this year so I'm really I'm grateful for it."

Hamilton topped the second free practice session but ended up over three-tenths behind Norris' pole position time. Max Verstappen had a similar gap. Hamilton doesn't think pole position could've been possible but has strong expectations with the upcoming Mercedes upgrades.

"It probably could have been two-tenths, but they have a slight advantage still. For us to be that close on the track like this is a real good showing of that. We're going in the right direction. We've got some improvements that we need to bring over the next few races for us to be in range of those guys," Hamilton added.