Hamilton: Win is "going to be a while" if France F1 form continues

Lewis Hamilton believes it is “going to be a while” until Mercedes can fight for Formula 1 wins if its France form continues after qualifying over eight tenths off pole.

Hamilton: Win is "going to be a while" if France F1 form continues
Listen to this article

Mercedes arrived at Paul Ricard hopeful of taking a step toward front-running rivals Red Bull and Ferrari thanks to the smooth surface and track layout that was tipped to play to the strengths of the W13.

But Mercedes failed to get in the thick of the fight at the front through practice before Hamilton and teammate George Russell could only manage fourth and sixth places respectively in qualifying.

Hamilton said he felt "really good" on his final lap in Q3, calling it a "beautiful lap", only to end up 0.893 seconds off Charles Leclerc's pole position time for Ferrari.

"For whatever reason, we seem to be a lot further off this weekend, but then the whole pack is really," Hamilton said.

"The top two teams are in their own league really. But considering I missed FP1, which definitely does put you on the back foot, I'm really happy with the progress we made, and everyone back at the factory was working really hard with us to make progress.

"We took a step back today, but into qualifying I managed to turn it up."

Mercedes is yet to finish a race any higher than third this year, but Hamilton has been adamant the team will be able to get back into the fight for victories before the season is out.

Asked if he could pinpoint when that win may arrive, Hamilton replied: "Honestly, I came here this weekend hoping that we were going to be within three tenths of them, and we're a second [off].

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"So with the three tenths that I was hoping for, and if at the next race we can close a couple of tenths, then we'll be in the fight in Budapest.

"But if it's anything like this, then it's going to be a while. But it's not impossible."

Hamilton put the gap to Ferrari and Red Bull down to loss on the straights, noting that his first sector time on his final Q3 lap was "just as quick as those guys."

"But then it's all down the straights, we lose a lot," Hamilton said. "I don't know what the time is, but it must be at least half a second probably just down the straights.

"And then all through that high-speed section, the last few corners, they're pulling chunks on us. It's like they have less drag and more downforce through the corners."

Read Also:

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff echoed Hamilton's concerns about how far off a win may be, saying the team had arrived in France "thinking we would race for victory" only to end up "further off than we were before."

"I hope at the other [tracks] we can have the same swing the other direction," Wolff said.

"We will find out what happened here and if it's clearly something fundamental, and then [we can] race for victories this year.

"This needs to be still the target because we need direction for next year."

shares
comments

Related video

Leclerc surprised at Ferrari strength in French GP qualifying
Previous article

Leclerc surprised at Ferrari strength in French GP qualifying

Next article

Why McLaren has abandoned its original sidepod concept

Why McLaren has abandoned its original sidepod concept
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Prime

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains Ben Edwards, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car.

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Prime

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Prime

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

Stuart Codling charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Prime

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded Maurce Hamilton of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Prime

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination.

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Prime

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023, which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall Prime

The surprise biggest indicator of Ferrari's 2022 F1 points downfall

Looking back to the early races of 2022 and Ferrari’s challenge to Red Bull and Max Verstappen was going better than many expected. But it has lost so much ground a surprise rival can even pip Charles Leclerc to runner-up in the standings if given the chance

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2022
The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos Prime

The F1 podium-finisher that gave Jordan stability in a year of chaos

The Hart-powered Jordan 194 gave the team hope that the good times were just around the corner. Its 1994 steed wasn’t the start of a move up F1’s pecking order - even if the car did earn the Silverstone team a first pole position. But, as STUART CODLING explains, it did provide a platform for Jordan to become a manufacturer-supported squad.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2022