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Clive Mason

Hamilton: The W14 ‘has been a nightmare to drive’ as he enters a ‘challenging’ race in Mexico

Mercedes prepare to enter a difficult weekend as the W14 struggles to adapt to the Mexican circuit.

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Lewis Hamilton speaks out about his concerns for the car as he prepares for a race that’s on the ‘knife edge.’

Lewis Hamilton during qualifying. Photo credits: Jared C. Tilton
Lewis Hamilton during qualifying. Photo credits: Jared C. Tilton

The final triple-header of the season continues in Mexico. After the United States Grand Prix last weekend, there was a glimmer of hope for Mercedes as their car showed competitive speed.

Lewis Hamilton finished second before being disqualified after the FIA conducted their post-race inspection on cars. Hamilton was found to have over the maximum wood pannels under his car and therefore lost his podium, paving the way for Carlos Sainz to secure third. Charles Leclerc was also disqualified for the same reason.

Although Austin was left on a sour note, it started to look like the Mercedes problems had been fixed. As the F1 world travelled to Mexico, there was hope that the Austin weekend could be duplicated. However, during Friday’s practice session, Hamilton spoke out about how difficult the car is to pilot and that driving was ‘night and day’ different.

Heading into qualifying, Hamilton topped the sheets in Q2, finishing one-tenth ahead of Max Verstappen. Q3 on the other hand, didn’t go the way of the Brackley team. Hamilton pushed but could only put his car in 6th place, over two-tenths behind pole-sitter Leclerc. George Russell in the other Mercedes finished 8th.

What Hamilton had to say

After the session ended Hamilton headed to the media pen to provide some insight into what went wrong:

“I had been struggling all weekend with this car. The car has been a bit of a nightmare to drive, and to be able to piece it all. It just doesn’t like this track.

“We made some good changes going into qualifying, was much happier with the car. I wish we had done it in the morning, but then Q1 and Q2 weren’t looking too bad

“Q2 second lap was great but the car is just really peaky, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and I just wasn’t able to extract much more from it in the end. In a perfect world, maybe I could have been fifth but that’s about it.

The Brit then went on to stress that it’s going to be a difficult race for the team and he isn’t sure how it will end:

“It’s going to be a real challenge with that car tomorrow

“We are overheating, brakes are overheating, it’s going to be very hard for us to battle. So, I don’t know what kind of race we are going to have but it’s going to be on the knife edge.”

Featured image credits: Clive Mason via Getty Images

 

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