GRANDPRIX247 Formula 1 News Website Title Partner BCGAME
Hamilton: In my element in the race, qualifying needs to get better

Hamilton: In my element in the race, qualifying needs to get better

Hamilton: In my element in the race, qualifying needs to get better

Lewis Hamilton inherited third place after teammate George Russell crashed on the final lap of the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix, but he admits he needs to up his game in qualifying.

Hamilton was outqualified for the third race in a row by Russell, but during the grand prix, he showed great pace keeping his teammate in sight, even getting too close in the final laps, just before the younger Briton crashed.

In the end, Hamilton salvaged third for Mercedes after Russell’s race-ending error, but despite being happy with the result, admitted he needed to improve his qualifying performance.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, Hamilton reflected: “It’s all in hindsight but I think the thing I was most disappointing with… I mean George was so close to pole yesterday. I should have been on pole yesterday.

“But then we had a good race. The race was kind of textbook. The team did a good job with strategy,” he went on, adding: “I’m in my element in the race. It’s just qualifying needs to get better. George was great all weekend.

“As a team, we risked it at the end and took the chance. I love that the team is doing that. It was a big gap to close up. It was definitely hard to overtake those guys at the end of the race.

“Probably needed another 5-10 laps and I think we would have got them,” the seven-time Formula 1 Champion mused.

“It’s clearly not just the car,” Hamilton said of his qualifying woes. “George was on the front row. It’s me, just my driving style, changes that perhaps I’m making. It’s a lot of different things, so I need to look into that.

“I will naturally keep my head down, keep pushing and will not be satisfied until I get back there,” he vowed.

A fluffy start to the race cost Hamilton

Later on, in Mercedes’ post race report, Hamilton added: “We rolled the dice this weekend and went with an offset tyre strategy. I felt like the race was a two-stop today and the team did an amazing job to get us back up there.”

Hamilton had a fluffy start shortcutting the first couple of corners, he looked back: “Having to give back the two positions from the first corner was a shame, but I kept my head down and kept pushing.

“Overall this weekend, I haven’t felt fully comfortable with the car. Today it was in a better place though. If I had had that same feeling yesterday, I think I could have been fighting for the front-row. That may have changed my race today, but I’m still pleased to get on the podium.

“It was extremely unfortunate what happened to George,” Hamilton commented. “We were pushing so hard to catch the guys ahead and our tyres were so hot. He’s been phenomenal all weekend and I know he will bounce back.

“We’re now looking forward to Japan so let’s see what we can do there,” the 38-year-old concluded.

Hamilton now sits third in the 2023 F1 Drivers’ Standings, with a ten-point-advantage over Fernando Alonso in third, the latter leaving Singapore failing to score points for the first time this season.