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Mercedes chief lifts lid on Hamilton qualifying struggle

Mercedes chief lifts lid on Hamilton qualifying struggle

Mercedes chief lifts lid on Hamilton qualifying struggle

Mercedes chief lifts lid on Hamilton qualifying struggle

Mercedes chief technical officer Mike Elliott has explained why Lewis Hamilton struggled during qualifying at the Dutch Grand Prix, saying that the team were ‘unlucky’ with how he started his hot lap.

Hamilton could not pull a strong result out of the bag ahead of the Zandvoort race, starting in P13, though he made up for it by moving up through the pack to P6 by the chequered flag.

In a team video, Elliott put the qualifying problems down to a crowded track, which led Hamilton to have to back off and push the following lap, by which point his tyres were past their best.

The Mercedes boss explained: “In Lewis's case he was trying to position himself – and it's always really difficult at Zandvoort because positioning yourself for a fast lap, you have to do that out of turn 12 because you're sort of accelerating through 13 and 14 and onto the start finish straight – and in this particular run, Lewis was really close to [Logan] Sargeant."

Lewis Hamilton made it to P6 from P13 in the Dutch Grand Prix

Elliott: Lewis wasn't able to get the best out of the car

He added: “He managed to jump Sargeant but found himself starting the lap only one and a half seconds behind [Lando] Norris and as a consequence of that, he wasn't able to get the best out of the car and had to back off.

“So that meant he needed to go on his next lap, and on that next lap he probably had already taken the best out of the tyres, he probably was starting to see an amount of overheating towards the end of the lap and therefore just couldn't get the best out of the car.

“And while I think some of that is all about trying to find your right position on the track and dealing with other cars around you, we're just unlucky with how we started that lap.”

READ MORE: F1 expert explains how teams decide when to RISK slick tyres in rain

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