'My Mistake': Hamilton Takes Blame For Underwhelming P18 In Qualifying

Saturday, 20 April 2024 at 16:21
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Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton was blamed for the Q1 knockout in the qualifying session during the fifth round of the 2024 season at Shanghai International Circuit.
In contrast to the Sprint Shootout session, where teams had to run their cars on medium-compound tires, everyone was permitted to use soft-compound tires in qualifying on Saturday.
While that meant Mercedes no longer struggled with generating tire temperature, other problems prevented the team from achieving a better result.
In Lewis Hamilton's case, it was apparently a combination of a new and difficult setup and the seven-time World Champion's driver error.
The Mercedes driver's sector times showed he should comfortably make it into Q2, but then he lost more than half a second (according to the words of the Mercedes team principal) by going wide in turn number 14.
The 39-year-old, who qualified in second place for the Sprint race and brought home a sprint podium for his team, told the media after underwhelming qualifying:

"I woulda, shoulda got through easy. It was my mistake. I just struggled I think to stop the car in Turn 14, it just kept locking. Maybe I needed one more lap."

Failing to get through to Q2 means the seven-time World Champion will have to start the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix from the 18th spot on the grid.
On the one hand, the Shanghai International Circuit offers many good overtaking opportunities. On the other hand, Hamilton still needs to do a lot of work to at least get to the points.
The Briton showed that damp conditions suit him much better, so he suggested (with a smile on his face) that the only thing that remains for him is to pray for some raindrops during the race.

"I hope it rains tomorrow now. The rain dance – I need everyone to do it!"