A disastrous qualification, as it had not happened since the distant 2009. In Jeddah Lewis Hamilton was even eliminated in Q1a sign of a profound technical crisis experienced by Mercedes at the start of the season that goes far beyond the aerodynamic and power limits of the Anglo-German single-seater.
The seven-time world champion has bet on a balance different from that of George Russell, failing to make the tires work well and significantly improving his times compared to the last free practice session. Result? Practically undriveable car and 16th place on the grid, which later became 14th thanks to Ricciardo’s penalty and Schumacher’s forfeit after the violent bang in Q2.
For this, Lewis and the team will carefully evaluate theoption to radically change the set-up of his W13thus agreeing to starting from the pit lane to play for more chances of recovery and at least focus on the points area. Furthermore, the British would keep himself out of any risks at the start on a circuit as difficult as the Saudi one, which last year gave so many fireworks especially in the first restart after the red flag.
The confirmation came directly from the Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolffwho pointed out how Hamilton experimented “A set-up that turned out to be worse than Russell’s, which resulted in a lack of rear grip”.
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