Lewis Hamilton disagreed with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff over the German manufacturer’s new upgrade package for the United States Grand Prix. Hamilton admitted that he was “expecting a little more” from the new parts after claiming that he had performance problems in qualifying.
The seven-time champion was fifth fastest in Q3 but will start from P3 due to grid penalties for the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez after the pair took on new engine components.
Hamilton said: “It was a very, very difficult qualifying session. I felt so optimistic all weekend, the car had felt good. Everyone at the factory had worked very hard to bring an update.
“I had high hopes that we were going to be a lot closer than we were. Once we got to qualifying, I don’t know if it was because the temperatures dropped or because of the wind, but the car was suddenly a problem. I expected a little more. I think that in pure rhythm they are just [too quick]. Regardless of what updates we bring, the gap remains the same.
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He explained: “I think the update works. We had a lap in us that was three tenths faster, but the car is very difficult to drive. I think tomorrow we can be a part of some exciting games.”
Asked by Ted Kravitz if the new parts had worked as planned, Wolff emphasized that they were definitely pleased with their performance. And he added: “Yes, it is. I think Austin was never great for us in the past and it has worked well here. We were six tenths away, but it could have been three”.
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