Lewis Hamilton says W15 F1 car inconsistencies ‘really mess with the mind’

Lewis Hamilton explains his worst qualifying in Australia since 2010 as he continues to be frustrated by his Mercedes F1 car.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Mercedes AMG F1 Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3…

Lewis Hamilton says the inconsistencies in his Mercedes F1 car “really messes with the mind” after a disappointing Australian Grand Prix qualifying.

The seven-time world champion was only 11th fastest as he suffered a shock Q2 elimination in Melbourne, marking his worst qualifying result since 2010 at a track he usually excels at.

Mercedes teammate George Russell snuck into the final part of qualifying and went on to take seventh as he out-paced Hamilton for the third successive race in 2024.

"It felt great in P3. It was strange because we were right there with these guys and we didn’t really understand why,” Hamilton said after his shock Q2 exit.

“But then go into qualifying, it’s just another inconsistency within the car, it really messes with the mind.

"George did a good job today. It is what it is. I just have to try to do a better job tomorrow.”

When asked what he is missing from Mercedes’ 2024 challenger, Hamilton replied: “I mean there’s a long list. I think our car is on a bit of a knife edge. In the afternoon here the wind picks up, the same as P2.

“P1 was a bit better and then when the wind picks up, the car becomes a lot more unstable. And then this morning was nice with calmer wind, and then as soon as the wind picks up it gets a little bit less stable.

"But the other teams picked their pace up in qualifying. I’m not sure why, but the grid didn’t feel the same in qualifying. Even though we had lighter fuel, it felt better in P3.

"So it’s not a great feeling, for everyone in the team, but we’ll just keep cracking away."

Hamilton had started the weekend by rowing back on his previous criticism of the W15, insisting Mercedes’ latest F1 challenger is an “amazing car” and “definitely not an evil sister” of its predecessors. 

But Hamilton's mood quickly changed after Friday practice, when he admitted he had never felt less confident in the W15 as he does in Australia. 

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