'Inconsistency With Car Really Messes With Mind': Hamilton Puzzled By His W15

Saturday, 23 March 2024 at 08:45
hamilton lewis mercedes sambloxham5
Lewis Hamilton shared his immediate thoughts right after the failed qualifying session during the third round of the 2024 season at Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne.
The seven-time World Champion struggled during the first two practice sessions ahead of the Australian Grand Prix weekend on Friday.
Then, come FP3, Hamilton was right on pace with the Red Bulls and Ferraris. He finished FP3 in P4, only 0.092 seconds behind Charles Leclerc in P1.
It seemed like Mercedes finally got the right setup for their car ahead of the qualifying. However, everything was again different from the first lap of Q1. Hamilton told the media after the qualifying session:

"Yeah, it felt great in FP3. It was strange because we were right there with these guys, and we didn't really understand why."

"But then going into qualifying, this inconsistency within the car, it really messes with the mind. But George did a good job today... It is what it is. I just have to try and do a better job tomorrow."

The seven-time World Champion got knocked out of Q2 by Yuki Tsunoda on RB (who went on to score a P8). Consequently, he will start the race from P11. Asked about what he would like his team to fix on the car, Hamilton said:

"I mean there's a long list. I think our car is on a bit of a knife edge. In the afternoon here the wind picks up, the same as P2."

"P1 was a bit better and then when the wind picks up, the car becomes a lot more unstable. And then this morning was nice with calmer wind, and then as soon as the wind picks up it gets a little bit less stable."

The Mercedes driver seemed to be confused by the behavior of his W15 as he explained he wasn't even sure why the car felt better in FP3 compared to qualifying.

"But the other teams picked their pace up in qualifying. I'm not sure why, but the car didn't feel the same in qualifying."

"Even though we had lighter fuel, it felt better in FP3. So it's not a great feeling, for everyone in the team, but we'll just keep cracking away."