Lewis Hamilton stated that Mercedes’ slow pace in the Belgian Grand Prix qualifying “doesn’t make sense”.
Hamilton and George Russell were 7th and 8th respectively in Saturday’s qualifying at Spa-Francorchamps. Hamilton’s Q3 lap time was 1.8 seconds slower than Max Verstappen’s. Nevertheless, the Mercedes drivers will start Sunday’s race 4th and 5th as grid penalties have been applied to several drivers in front.
After the session, the Briton admitted that the gap to the leaders is worse than he expected.
“It doesn’t make sense. I tried everything. I put everything on, I put everything off, changed wings, changed set-up. I’ve done everything this weekend, tried a lot of things. And it’s surprising to see us – maybe they’ve moved forwards, I don’t know if they’ve got upgrades or not, but it’s difficult,” Hamilton said.
“I never thought we would be two seconds off. It’s way, way worse than I thought.
“I don’t want to use the word ‘disappointment’ because you’ve got to remember there’s 2,000 people back at the factory who are working so hard to get it right.
“Of course, I wish that we’d got it right and we brought upgrades that brought us forward. I wish we were fighting at the front, but it isn’t the way it is.
“It hurts, believe me, it hurts. But at this point, you’ve just got to laugh it off and say, ‘I’m not fighting for a championship’. If I get too serious and too low, I’ve got a responsibility to try and keep morale high. You’ve got to keep pushing. You can’t be discouraged. Yes, it sucks and it’s slow.”