Lewis Hamilton admitted that he was ‘a little bit gutted’ after being out-qualified by George Russell ahead of this year’s Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. The 37-year-old was beaten by his Mercedes team-mate yet again on Saturday but will be hoping to put things right by climbing up the order and challenging for a podium finish at the very least over the course of the 66-lap contest at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Hamilton has been outperformed by Russell in qualifying on three separate occasions so far this season and will be desperate to beat the 24-year-old by producing a strong showing when the five red lights go out to start Sunday’s race. He revealed after Saturday’s session that he was slightly disappointed to have finished behind his fellow Mercedes driver once again but thanked his team for unlocking some much-needed pace with their hard work at their Brackley headquarters over the last two weeks.
“The team have done a great job so a big, big thank you to everyone for keeping pushing back at the factory,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.
“We don’t have bouncing in a straight line which is a huge improvement for us and the car has generally been nicer this weekend. We do have some bouncing through the high-speed corners so we just need to keep working on it and see if we can gain some downforce elsewhere.
“I am a little bit gutted because I want to be further up ahead. You have obviously seen George is able to put it up further ahead than I but I will keep pushing.
“Yesterday was our best race pace that we have had so if we could start racing with the Ferraris, for example, that would be amazing.
“I think the Red Bulls look like they might be quickest, but we look like we could maybe compete with the Ferraris tomorrow and that is a big step for us.”
Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether Hamilton will be able to pip Russell, who will start Sunday’s event from fourth place on the grid, to the chequered flag and secure a welcome haul of points over the course of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff went on to draw similarities between his team and the likes of Red Bull by insisting that both drivers are likely to fare better over an entire race distance than on a single lap.
“I think we have taken a solid step into Barcelona,” explained Wolff. “You try to keep your expectations at a realistic point and I think where we slotted in today is somehow the best we could have expected.
“My belief is we have a race car more than a qualifying car, but we’re going to see tomorrow how it went for the others. I think with Red Bull, they always have the tendency of being much stronger in the race than the Ferraris.”