Hamilton on ‘fun’ P5 at F1 Qatar GP Sprint: “I just need to work on qualifying”

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Photo Credits: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Mercedes enjoyed a double points finish in Saturday’s Qatar F1 GP Sprint. For Lewis Hamilton, it was a Sprint which saw him gain more ground on Sergio Perez in the F1 Drivers’ Championship as the seven-time Champ seeks to prevent Red Bull securing a 1-2 in those standings by season’s end.

The headlines of the day belonged to Max Verstappen as the Dutchman recorded a third Drivers’ Championship in the pinnacle of motorsport. However,  Lewis Hamilton, having started the Sprint in P12 received his own plaudits after crossing the line in P5.

The Lusail Circuit had already been making its own headlines before the Sprint began after concerns around the effect of high frequency oscillations on the tyres caused by kerbing. Due to this, track limits at turns 12 and 13 were amended at the start of the day and a 10-minute ‘familiarisation’ session was held to allow the drivers to get their eye in on the new layout.

“We need some improvement on organisation skills for sure. We ultimately need a better product in terms of the tyre,” Hamilton said post-Sprint of the decision but that was a conversation for another day though as Hamilton had already done his talking on the track.

In the Sprint Shootout, earlier that day, Hamilton had struggled to find the balance he’d enjoyed during Friday’s qualifying hence his starting position of P12. With a 19-lap Sprint ahead of him and a hope of damage limitation, Hamilton started on the used Medium compound, a tyre choice which would be telling in the closing stages.

Hamilton was able to put his more durable compound to good use as the soft compound started to fall of for his rivals at around the 8 lap mark. Having already made his way through the pack, Hamilton jumped from P9 to P5 with just three laps of the Sprint remaining. Most impressive, was the fact that two of Hamiilton’s overtakes came on the final lap: “I was happy to start on the medium, I didn’t think the soft was going to last -, and it didn’t…it was definitely fun.”

As for Hamilton’s story of his Sprint, that was told through the team’s media release post-Sprint:

“I was quite slow at the beginning on the Medium tyre. I knew that the degradation would be high though and that the race would come back to us. Did I know that I was going to be able to get back up to fifth? No, but I was hoping I could the whole time. I tried to position my car the best I could, stay out of trouble and progress one step at a time. The car is still tricky to drive but our pace overall was good. I know I’ve got the race craft on lock. I just need to work on my qualifying!” confessed the seven-time champion.


With a starting position of P2 and P3 to come at Sunday’s Qatar Grand Prix, hopes are high for even more points on race day.

“Tomorrow we start third. That is obviously a much better place to be lining up than we were today. We should be looking to fight to hold that position,” explained Hamilton.

That will be no easy feat after Oscar Piastri won Saturday’s Sprint and by doing so showed the pace of the Woking based manufacturer.

“We know it will be difficult to hold the McLarens behind. They are a little further back though, so we will be doing our best to do that. We will be giving it everything we’ve got as always,” explained Hamilton.

Mercedes’ talismanic driver had earlier revealed Sunday’s target to the Sky F1 cameras as he said: “I hope we can hold position, that would be amazing as a team. I think it will be difficult to beat the Red Bull but the goal is to keep the Ferraris behind and if there’s any way to keep the McLarens behind we’ll do that – but it’s going to be a long race.”

Hamilton also paid tribute to Max Verstappen after the Dutchman’s dominance during this season has now been rewarded with a long expected third title.

“Congratulations to Max too on his third world championship, he has driven a great season and it is a well-deserved achievement. It would be great if we could be in a fight with him tomorrow,”