How Poor Mercedes F1 Timing Cost Lewis Hamilton a Front Row Start at Canadian GP

Published 06/19/2022, 5:13 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 10, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during a press conference REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Lewis Hamilton is enduring one of the most difficult seasons of his F1 career. The new regulations have put a dent in Mercedes’s and Hamilton’s plans to fight for both the championships. However, through the bleak first eight races, there have been silver linings for the team and Hamilton.

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The first came at the Spanish GP where the porpoising was at a minimal and Hamilton finished at P5. And now in Montreal, the seven-time world champion has produced his best qualifying result of the season. A P4 is an incredible result for the Silver Arrows amid recent struggles. However, team boss Toto Wolff feels Hamilton could’ve been not one but two places higher on Saturday.

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The Austrian thinks Hamilton could’ve parked his Mercedes W13 on the front row for the Canadian GP. “Lewis did a great job in Q3 to take P4 but unfortunately he was out of phase with the other cars & set his time one lap earlier so he didn’t get the track at its best condition. So potentially it could have been P2 when we look at the relative performance across the field,” said Wolff.

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Despite missing out on a front-row start, the Brit is a cheerful man with his qualifying result. “P4 has never felt so good,” confessed the world champion in the post-qualifying interview.

Whether Hamilton will build on his second-row start in the race is to be seen. But a better and faster W13 is a motivating outcome for everyone in the Mercedes paddock and a step in the right direction.

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Lewis Hamilton shines, but Russell’s gamble did not pay off

Mercedes’s theme for the qualifying was the missed opportunities. Hamilton finished P4 but could’ve done better and Russell’s gamble to get P1 did not pay off. The Brackley-based team was aware of the lack of pace compared to the Ferrari and Red Bull. This led to George Russell trying a different strategy.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 21, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ahead of qualifying REUTERS/Nacho Doce

‘Mr. Consistent’ tried his luck on the slick tires whilst the others were on intermediate tires. It did not work as the tires weren’t warm enough and Russell couldn’t improve on his P8.

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Watch this story: Watch George Russell’s Lonely Moment On Baku Podium Amid Glorious Red Bull Celebration

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Mahim Suhalka

285 articles

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. This Sports Management post-graduate is an ardent supporter of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team and their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton. The fact that Lewis dominated one of the most expensive sports in the world for all these years, despite his humble beginnings, has been a huge inspiration for Mahim and has made him a tenured fan of the competitive sport itself.

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