Hamilton: Mercedes ‘fell back a little’ through practice, qualifying

Lewis Hamilton found qualifying for the United States Grand Prix to be “a bit of a struggle” after missing out on pole to Formula 1 title rival Max Verstappen in Austin.

Hamilton and Mercedes set a blistering early pace in practice on Friday at the Circuit of The Americas, but Red Bull hit back on Saturday as Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez took a provisional 1-2 in Q3.

Hamilton was able to improve on his second run in Q3 to take provisional pole away from Red Bull, only for Verstappen to find more time and secure pole position by two-tenths of a second.

Perez fell 0.015 seconds shy of Hamilton’s time at the end of the session, ensuring the Mercedes driver clung on to a front-row start for the race.

Hamilton was heard apologising over team radio to Mercedes after the session, but was told by engineer Pete Bonnington: “We can do something from there, definitely.”

“I gave it everything today,” Hamilton said in the post-session interview in parc ferme with ex-NASCAR and IndyCar driver Danica Patrick. “It was a bit of a struggle through qualifying. I think from Q1 onwards, we kind of fell back a little bit.

“And those guys [Red Bull] were incredibly quick through qualifying. So I was happy with my last lap. Of course there's always areas that we can improve, but I think that was pretty much everything we had.

“We will just work as hard as we can, tomorrow, it is good positioning for tomorrow so hopefully it will be a good race down to Turn 1.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Hamilton will enter Sunday’s race at COTA looking to reclaim the lead of the drivers’ championship from Verstappen, who sits six points clear with six races remaining this season.

But the Mercedes driver will be without the support of team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the head of the pack as the Finn needs to serve a five-place grid penalty.

Bottas qualified fourth, three-tenths back from Hamilton, but will start from ninth place after Mercedes took a fresh engine ahead of the race weekend.

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen feared late drizzle would scupper US GP pole chance
Previous article

Verstappen feared late drizzle would scupper US GP pole chance

Next article

F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen takes US pole

F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen takes US pole
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022