Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Hamilton: Mercedes "more inconsistent than ever" in F1 Abu Dhabi qualifying

Lewis Hamilton said his Mercedes felt "more inconsistent than ever before" as he dropped out of Q2 in qualifying for Formula 1's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

In a tight Q2 session, Hamilton could only muster 11th and reported on the radio afterwards that "there’s something not right with this car". Meanwhile, team-mate George Russell went on to qualify fourth in Q3.

Hamilton and Russell have been plagued all year by a capricious Mercedes W14 that is hard to trust.

Hamilton felt it was worse than ever on Saturday on the Yas Marina Circuit, which started with final practice in the daytime heat and a twilight qualifying session on a cooling track.

“It's more inconsistent that ever before,” he said. “It's just up and down per corner from the moment you hit the brakes, the moment you turn, the moment you hit the apex.

“It's massively out of balance and very hard to predict what's gonna happen.

“It's just a very unpredictable car. But it's been the same all year.” 

When asked if he was relieved that he will no longer have to qualify the W14, he replied: “I wouldn't say I'm relieved, but I'm definitely happy it's nearly over.” 

Team boss Toto Wolff said he was tired of discussing why his car is wildly inconsistent.

“I’m fed up with having explanations for why it didn’t go well,” he told Sky Sports F1.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

“We were good in the hot, we weren’t in the cold. The previous days, it was the other way around.

“I’m happy that this was the last qualifying of the season and we are going to come [next year] with a new car.” 

Russell said the fluctuating gaps between him and his team-mate tell the story of how difficult it is to get the W14 working in the right window.

“We're joint on qualifying performances, but we're never the same pace. Either I'm four tenths ahead, or he's four tenths ahead,” Russell explained.

Read Also:

“So, it just shows how difficult it is to get it in the sweet spot. So all eyes on next year, and I'm confident we can rustle up something better.” 

Expanding on the 2024 car to Sky, Russell added: “There's a lot of small things we're changing with the car, I've seen it in the wind tunnel.

“We'll be making some steps forward, no doubt. But Red Bull are so far ahead at the moment. They stopped development months ago, so they're going to make a huge step again.

“But I'm confident we'll be in a better place come Bahrain than we were in the last two years.” 

Be part of Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Hulkenberg: Lack of Haas F1 team progress “disappointing and upsetting”
Next article McLaren must investigate whether F1 upgrades have introduced bad handling traits

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe