“That created performance differences” — Hamilton says new front wing gave Russell pace advantage in F1 Monaco GP qualifying

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
Spread the love

Everything was falling into place for Hamilton in the Free Practices of the Monaco Grand Prix with a P1, P2 and P3 for the Brit.

Hamilton entered the Qualifying session with a 1.11.528, putting him P3 on the timing sheets for Q1. Half a tenth separating him from the top of the sheets taken by his teammate George Russell.

He then improved his time to a 1.11.056 but pushed him down to P7 on the timing sheets in Q2, 3 tenths off Lando Norris.

Hamilton set a timing on 1.10.975 in his first flying lap of Q3 which dropped him to P8 as multiple drivers gained on their first attempt. His final flying lap was a 1.10.628, 3 tenths faster than his previous lap but only managed to place him P7 of the timing sheets.

The 39-year-old was left confused by the sudden downturn come qualifying.

“So, yesterday was really strong.

“As soon as we started qualifying, it’s like, I don’t know if it’s a turndown of performance, but the performance comes away from my car for some reason, so it’s frustrating we’re seventh.”

Hamilton who was three and a half tenths behind of pole sitter Charles Leclerc is disappointed with his results as Russell took P5 with Verstappen separating the two Mercedes.

The Brit added he is not surprised and that he does not forsee outqualifying his teammate this year. Russell has the new front wing on the W15 this weekend, with Hamilton not wanting it as only one was available as Mercedes continues their upgrade push.

Russell has outqualified Hamilton 7-1 in Grand Prix sessions this season.

“I already know automatically that I’m going to lose two-tenths going into qualifying.

“I don’t anticipate being ahead of George in qualifying, particularly this year.

“I was driving the same through yesterday and today, and the car was performing pretty well, yeah… small difference between the two cars, George has the upgraded front wing, so that created performance differences, particularly in the high speed.

“But otherwise for some reason once we got to qualifying I had no more.”