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“I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying, particularly this year. But we just gotta keep pushing”, said Lewis Hamilton after qualifying behind George Russell at the Monaco GP. When asked if he’s talking about the whole year, he gingerly replied, “We’ll see”. But why is the 7X champ suggesting this? Why has his qualifying form dropped all of a sudden? Well, Former Ferrari Boss Peter Windsor has all the answers.

Lewis Hamilton has been nowhere near the qualifying pace of his teammate in 2024. Lewis Hamilton has failed to qualify inside the Top 5 this season and has been beaten 8 times by George Russell in the qualifying. Only once has Hamilton managed to beat his teammate and that was in Miami. The 7X champ is known as a great qualifier and his 2023 Hungarian GP pole signifies how he qualified well even with a car that was far from the best car out there.

via Reuters

Peter Windsor suggests that it was always going to be the case with someone like George Russell alongside Hamilton. Windsor in a YouTube video said, “It is because the car’s not very good and I predicted this 2 years ago. If Mercedes was not good, there was no way in the world after what happened at Abu Dhabi 2021 and having George in the other car rather than Valtteri Bottas, there’s no way in the world, on a difficult day with the car, on an edgy circuit, Lewis is going to be as quick as Russell, and he isn’t, as predicted.”

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Peter Windsor further explained how the risk-taking appetite of Hamilton seems to have decreased as he added, “From Lewis’ POV: been there, done that, ‘give me a decent car and I’m still going to win a race for you. I’ll do the best job I can in qualifying, but I’m not going to, on a white knuckle, 5-6th gear corner with crosswind and a bump in the middle, probably not going to take it flat.’ He would never admit that, but I think that’s understandably the case. I don’t think it’s a negative, but why would he?”

However, according to Lewis Hamilton, an issue with the tires is what cost him at the Canadian GP. But what was this issue?

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Lewis Hamilton blames the tire temperatures for poor Canadian GP qualifying 

Lewis Hamilton has a stellar track record around the Canadian GP having won the race 7 times and never qualifying outside the Top 5. However, that changed during the 2024 race as he started P7. During the practice session, the 7X was on the top of his game setting the fastest times on board. As soon as the qualifying started, it seemed like he hit a brick wall and all the pace suddenly disappeared. After the race, Hamilton explained that low tire temperatures off the garage were the reason for his struggles. 

via Reuters

Lewis Hamilton said, “Well, the tires were working throughout the weekend, then we got to qualifying and every time I went out of the garage, my tires were for some reason below on temperature. Every set was two or three degrees lower than it should have been, and you can’t catch it up and I couldn’t switch the tires on after that. That’s something we have to really look at because something went on with the blankets, I guess.”

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What do you think is the reason behind Lewis Hamilton losing the qualifying edge over George Russell?