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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - 2024/05/25: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team on track during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco.

Hamilton: I ‘automatically lost two tenths’ without front wing upgrade

The seven-time world champion arrived in Monaco without the front wing upgrade that George Russell received

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Lewis Hamilton believes he “automatically lost two tenths” without the front wing upgrade that Mercedes teammate George Russell had.

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - 2024/05/25: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team on track during qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco.
Hamilton qualified in seventh (Image Credit: Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The seven-time world champion qualified in seventh, whilst Russell out-qualified him by 0.078 seconds to put himself into fifth for Sunday’s race. Hamilton was quick to point out that he didn’t have a realistic chance of beating Russell due to having different-specification cars.

Russell received a new front wing upgrade. However, Hamilton didn’t, leading to the seven-time world champion believing he had a disadvantage to his teammate.

No chance of beating Russell

Mercedes had looked the quickest they have been this season on Friday. The Silver Arrows were up there for the fight at the front, potentially fighting for pole. However, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was just too quick for everyone. Hamilton explained why he felt he had no chance of beating Russell in qualifying.

“The team have worked really hard back at the factory to bring an upgrade in the last two races and also an upgrade this weekend – but we only had one, which George has,” he told Sky. “I anticipated it would be difficult to outqualify George because he has the upgraded component.”

The 39-year-old went on to say he would “automatically lose two tenths” without the upgrade, making him firmly believe he’d beat Russell with equal cars after only missing out on him by 0.078 seconds:

“Once we get to qualifying, I don’t understand. I already know automatically that I’m going to lose two tenths going into qualifying.

“That’s definitely frustrating and it’s something that I don’t really have an answer for at the moment. I’m not driving any different. The laps are really great. Just, I don’t know.”

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 25: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 and George Russell of Great Britain driving the (63) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
Hamilton felt he had no chance against Russell in qualifying (Image Credit: Peter Fox – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)
Hamilton’s announcement to Ferrari coming back to bite him?

Hamilton suggested that he went into qualifying never expecting to outqualify Russell due to the difference in performance between the pairs W15’s. He also said that he didn’t know what was going on with his W15 on Saturdays.

“Since the start of qualifying, it’s like… I don’t know if it’s a turn-down or something of performance,” he said. “But performance comes away from my car, for some reason. So, a bit frustrating that we’re only seventh.”

The 39-year-old believes that things are not all equal at Mercedes anymore. He believes Russell had the preferential treatment by receiving the front wing before him.

Russell is already contracted to Mercedes next year, whereas Hamilton will be leaving the Brackley team for Ferrari in 2025.

However, the reality of Mercedes choosing which driver ran with the front wing was not a matter of favouritism. There was a risk with having the new front wing as there was no spare, meaning a crash in qualifying would lead to a pitlane start in the race due to changing the car under Parc Ferme conditions.

Despite Hamilton’s frustrations in Monaco, the team has promised both drivers will have the same specification of car in Montreal.

Feature Image Credit: Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images

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