Two to zero. Let’s not talk about football, but about score in qualifying for this start of the season in the world Mercedes. George Russell was able to beat Lewis Hamilton twice in the lap exercise push. If in Bahrain the distance was minimal, here a Jeddah The gap it opened up considerably. That’s almost three out of tenths that the seven-time world champion paid on the 6174-metre Saudi track. T1 and T2 the areas of greatest suffering, with a T3 in which Russell paid a few cents.
Situation perhaps the result of a slightly different set-up, given that the third segment is the fastest stretch of asphalt. This could be an answer, but that’s not what he reported Lewis Hamilton after the qualifying round. The pilot’s analysis of Stevenagewho just this weekend announced the sporting divorce from the historic collaborator Angela Cullenwas very lucid and not devoted to facade justifications.
Mercedes W14/Hamilton: a marriage already in crisis?
The reality is that Hamilton is the W14 they do not take. “I feel like I struggled with the car in the high speed corners. I don’t feel the car under me. I just don’t feel connected to this car and don’t know how to get over it. So I really don’t know what I’m going to do about it. It’s tough, I’m giving absolutely everything. I stay here as late as possible every day, I prepare as best I can but then I get in my car and I can’t connect“.
“I really don’t know what to say about it, but it’s good that George had a good run; so we can hope to score some good points for the team. I will try to recover”. Words, those of Hamilton, which almost taste of surrender, even if in the end it leaves open a faint hope that the situation can be put back on track. On the other hand, in recent years, Lewis he always manages to give his best in the long run. And seen that Jeddah it’s a race that always presents unexpected events, the weekend could turn suddenly.
However, the difficulties that the former world champion is encountering remain evident. A difficult technical adaptation, certainly, but perhaps also a psychological problem affecting those who had hoped that the 2023 single-seater could give concrete chances to fight for the title. The mocking thing, in hindsight, is that if the Red Bull, Mercedes it wouldn’t be that bad after all.
Russellin fact, is very close to the Aston Martin Of Fernando Alonsois not far from Leclerc and managed to keep the other behind rather easily Redthe one of Carlos Sainz. Self Lewis so talk about willingness to recover without setting a clear goal, George aims directly at the podium, therefore to set up an attacking race, clearly favored by the absence of both Leclerc what about Verstappen who, however, could probably come back from the rear and become dangerous in the last stages of the GP.
Mercedes: Hamilton hopes for update to restart momentum
Hamiltonwho is a born fighter, can’t afford to lose too much ground from the top and teammate. The particular conditions that have arisen due to the technical problems of Leclerc and Verstappen could help keep the field closed. This situation could make it possible to contain the damage at a time when there was no explosion between the car and the pilot feeling Right.
Toto Wolffalways very protective of the English champion, said yesterday that Lewis has the right to shop around if Mercedes will not be able to offer him a competitive car. Expressions that seem a bit strange at a time when the parties are discussing the two-year contract renewal.
Hamilton’s will is to remain under the protective shadow of the Three Pointed Star. But the intent must be corroborated by the team’s ability to provide him with a vehicle that is equal to the situation. However be within a group of competitor cohesive is a positive fact when a Imola will come a very revolutionized version of the W14. A “restyling” that should allow you to find those performances to try to disconnect Ferrari And Aston Martin and to try to get in the wake of the Red Bull.
The possibility of reopening the championship must be the springboard for the 38-year-old from Stevenage to rediscover those stimuli that seem to have weakened a bit these days. Maybe you just need the triggering event, that detail that rekindles the fire in a driver who doesn’t want to allow that Russell escape in the standings with the arrival of a more effective car on the horizon. So, for that very reason, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix assumes a very important value in the economy of the 2023 season Hamilton.
Self Lewisas he himself reported, is working day and night to improve the W14, then he must believe that this can progress significantly so that he can give him the opportunity to feel more comfortable in controlling it. Formula One is a sport of details where even the smallest element can make a very big difference. And be in your own comfort zones piloting is something that helps bring out the potential of a vehicle that does not seem to have too much. Russell he succeeded yesterday, we need to understand if Lewis he will be able to do it in the 308 kilometers of today’s grand prix.
Author: Diego Catalano – @diegocat1977
Photo: F1, Mercedes AMG