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hamilton monaco qualifying 2021

Hamilton: We go back to the drawing board now

hamilton monaco qualifying 2021

Lewis Hamilton could not find the sweet spot around during qualifying for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix, the Mercedes driver will start seventh after one of his poorest qualifying sessions in recent memory.

On Saturday in Monte-Carlo, the championship leader was lacking a whopping three-quarter of a second as he wrestled his car the seventh on the timesheets, while teammate Valtteri Bottas found an extra half-second to finish third.

Hamilton was left scratching his head on Saturday afternoon, at a venue where he has won three times before, he told Sky F1: “The car didn’t feel too bad on Thursday and we made some changes for Saturday.

“We go back to the drawing board now. There is a lack of grip, so that leaves you to overdrive the car and unfortunately it just didn’t improve.

“It’s a difficult one, obviously. Valtteri was able to get something out of it, but we definitely had some problems today. I guess the minimum will hopefully be to finish seventh, and then hope we can get any higher,” he explained.

Later Hamilton added in the Mercedes team report: “The car didn’t feel too bad on Thursday but we made some changes and it felt terrible today, so we’ll have to go back to the drawing board.

“From my point of view, I just had such a lack of grip out there, which then leads you to try to overdrive and start pushing to get more from it but to no end – it just doesn’t improve. So overall, a difficult day.

“Obviously, Valtteri was able to get something out of the car but we have definitely had some problems today. Saturday really is the day. I guess the minimum would be, hopefully, seventh and then we have got to try and somehow see if we can move forwards,” added Hamilton.

Starting from seventh on the grid in Monte-Carlo will be hard to improve on a track notoriously difficult to overtake on and the F1 World Champion will be looking for damage control, as his title rival Max Verstappen will be lining-up his Ferrari on the front row for Sunday’s race.

Hamilton leads Verstappen by 14 points in the F1 drivers’; standings after four rounds this year. The Briton won the Moanco Grand Prix in 2008, 2016 and 2019.