Lewis Hamilton’s qualifying woes; 1-6 down to George Russell heading to Monaco

"Maybe Lewis is placing more emphasis on his car’s race set-up?"

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8, Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo, Monaco,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 8,…

Lewis Hamilton’s poor qualifying results have been debated as F1 heads to Monaco.

The F1 Monaco Grand Prix is infamously often ‘won on a Saturday’ with qualifying around the street circuit more crucial than ever.

But, Hamilton has outperformed Mercedes teammate George Russell just once in seven qualifying attempts this season.

“That’s a question for Hamilton,” Sky Sports’ Carig Slater said in Monaco.

“He is 6-1 down to Russell in qualifying this year.

“Does it reflect where Mercedes are at, at the moment? Maybe Lewis is placing more emphasis on his car’s race set-up?

“Does it reflect, maybe, that Formula 1 these days isn’t so dependent on qualifying? These new cars are much more capable of overtaking?

“Should we also reflect on the races before last year’s summer break...

“Lewis had a run of six qualifying victories - if we can call it that - over Russell in a season which ended, ultimately, with both drivers on parity.

“Or, is it a sign that at the age of 39, Lewis is less of a great qualifier and maybe more of an expert racer, these days?

“Maybe his skills are more over a race distance.

“It’s an interesting question…

“Qualifying is vital here. This hasn’t been the happiest hunting ground for Lewis.

“Only three victories in what has been such an illustrious career.

“He has more points at Monaco than any other driver. Even if you convert previous points systems to the current one, he still comes out on top.

“It is going to be interesting this weekend. It would give him great satisfaction, not only to outqualify Russell but to qualify as high as possible. It is always key to the race itself.”

Hamilton endured particular struggles in qualifying at the Miami round.

But heading into this weekend’s showpiece event (which is also a home race for Monaco residents Hamilton, Russell and Toto Wolff), he will be keen to lay down a marker to his younger teammate.

With overtaking notoriously challenging on a Sunday at the Principality, Hamilton must address a key flaw to his season if he has any chance of a result worth celebrating this weekend.

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