Mercedes driver hopes to make ‘steps forward’ at Miami GP after showing ‘mega’ pace in qualifying

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton qualified seventh and eighth and will share the fourth row of the Miami Grand Prix grid, but the team’s performance was mixed after a difficult weekend.

In the sprint qualifying held 24 hours before Grand Prix qualifying, both Mercedes qualified from the second segment, with Russell and Hamilton qualifying in 12th and 16th for Saturday’s sprint. Hamilton engaged in a fierce battle with Kevin Magnussen’s Haas before regaining his place through a penalty. final position. . Mercedes was able to change cars before qualifying (the team revealed a small update package for the W15 this weekend), but there were changes in pace afterwards, with Hamilton finishing Q2 in third place. .

However, in Q3 the team was more than eight-eighths off the pace of the leaders, with Russell pushing Hamilton into seventh place, with the two Mercedes cars trailing only Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg and RB Yuki Tsunoda. He surpassed it and entered the top 10. “Of course, we all have higher standards than that, and we hope, and we are waiting for more, but we have to admit that we are now as a team,” said Russell. “I think we know where the problems are in the car, and we have to make some big changes to resolve it. Unfortunately, this won’t happen overnight.

Russell on the W15: “The issues are becoming clearer and what we need to do to speed things up.”

“Sunday is always better for us than Saturday, so I think we can make a step forward with the car we have now. But I think our problems are becoming more and more clear and it’s becoming clearer what we need to do to move things faster. »

Meanwhile, Hamilton admitted that although the W15’s pace improved in Q2, it slowed again in Q3.

“I thought the first two segments of qualifying were good overall,” he said later. “The second quarter…I felt like the car suddenly went mega mega in the second quarter, then went into the third quarter and disappeared again. I think this is the first time we’ve really seen this in action in the second quarter of the year.

Hamilton confused after ‘mega’ Q2 feeling in Miami disappears in Q3

When asked if he understood what caused his drop in pace in Q3, Hamilton replied ruefully: “To be honest, we really don’t know and can’t say.

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