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Hamilton: Impeding made no difference in "too slow" Dutch GP F1 qualifying

Lewis Hamilton says rivals impeding him in Formula 1's Dutch Grand Prix qualifying didn't make a difference to his elimination from Q2.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Dom Romney / Motorsport Images

Hamilton only qualified 13th at Zandvoort after struggling to replicate his early Friday pace in his Mercedes W14.

The seven-time world champion was caught out by several drivers blocking him on his flying laps, first by both Aston Martins in Q1 and then by AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda in Q2.

But afterwards, Hamilton conceded that his Mercedes was just too slow regardless of traffic, missing the cut to Logan Sargeant's Williams in 10th by a mere 0.084s.

"It didn't make any difference," Hamilton replied when his moment with Tsunoda had cost him a spot in Q3.

"A few of the others got in the way on the previous laps. Tsunoda was in the way a little bit, but it didn't lose me time. I was just slow today."

Hamilton had already flagged on Friday night that the car had gone in the wrong direction from an encouraging FP1 to a more difficult FP2.

Overnight work on the set-up did not allow Hamilton to regain the feeling he had in the car on Friday morning, while team-mate George Russell qualified third with a last-ditch effort.

"Honestly, the car didn't feel too great after P2," Hamilton explained.

"It felt great in P1 and I've just not had that feeling ever since, so not really sure what it is."

"It's just... the car has been difficult. I'll try and turn the negative from today to a positive tomorrow. I'm too far from enough for a podium probably."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

Photo by: Erik Junius

Wolff: Stewards "must be harsh" with impeding penalties

The Q1 incident of Fernando Alonso impeding Hamilton wasn't deemed to warrant further investigation, possibly because the Spaniard was stuck behind other slow cars himself.

Following post-qualifying investigations, Tsunoda was docked three places on the grid, while Stroll escaped without further action.

Speaking before those two verdicts were announced, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff said he felt the stewards must act stronger on penalising clear impeding offences, to force teams and drivers to take greater care to avoid them.

"The answer is penalise, penalise," he said. "If you know you don't go to prison when you cheat at tax, you cheat at tax, so I don't understand why these things are not penalised.

"It was a clear impeding with some drivers in Q1 and Tsunoda, he's a nice guy, but he impeded Lewis on his quick lap, he didn't move from the dry line.

"You could say yeah, he dived into the inside and it didn't look like it cost much, but going from a dry line into a wet line, that can cost [time] and I think a tenth would have put him into Q3.

"So you need to be harsh with penalties and then people will again look in their mirrors."

Additional reporting by Matt Kew

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