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“We underperformed” – Hamilton expected more of themselves

“We underperformed” – Hamilton expected more of themselves

Row 1 was targeted by the Mercedes team in Austria, and then came the cold shower. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are also hoping for a better continuation.

“It’s not the first place, but I accept it.” – said Lewis Hamilton in unison after qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix. He had a fifth-place start for Mercedes for Sunday’s race, which, along with being 0.428 seconds behind, did not live up to his expectations. So are the team’s expectations.

The star-studded team initially thought the black cars were more capable at the Red Bull Ring than they were two weeks ago in Montreal, but for the time being they were just below the level of the Montrealers. This was also confirmed by the result of George Russell, who had already received a bye in the second quarter and could only start from 11th on Sunday.

“Disappointing overall” – said team leader Toto Wolff. “We expected to fight for second and third places with Ferrari and Aston Martin, but our performance was poor. Of course, the race will only take place on Sunday, so we will wait until the end.”

Lewis Hamilton (Photo: XPB)

Even based on the lengthy stage they’ve had in free practice, Hamilton doesn’t feel Mercedes is better in terms of power. “Our race pace was probably the third fastest. The Red Bulls and Ferrari are the fastest and maybe Aston. So we’re probably only fourth. I don’t know exactly, I’m just trying to figure it out. Today was a very tough practice session.”

“This is not an easy track, our car has not been on this track in the past either. This also showed today. It was a really tough training session, but thank God we made it through.”

The Briton added that they are trying to make a better Saturday. “Depending on the weather and the temperature. Then in terms of starting the race from fifth place, I think it’s a strong starting point overall. Last year I started from the back and it was a tough race. Hopefully we’ll have a better race on Sunday.”

George Russell (Photo: XPB)

His colleague, George Russell, seems to have recently lost a thread. Since Mercedes redesigned his car, Hamilton has a clear advantage inside. He felt helpless against canceling the current time trial.

“I wasn’t fast enough today. I wasn’t happy with the car from the first free practice lap. And on a fast weekend, you don’t have time to make changes.”

“We’ll see what we can do during the night. Obviously 11th is not the best, but we’ve already had some good results from the back of the field this year. All is not lost.” said the one-time winner of the race.

According to him, the Tire Department could offer him a chance on Sunday. “The tire wear was really bad in practice, maybe a couple of races stopped. Anyway, we have to figure out what’s going on because I’ve been struggling a lot lately, especially on Saturday.”

George Russell (Photo: XPB)

He noted that his first sprint at the end of the year also started similarly, but then it turned out to be even better. “In Baku I was eleventh in qualifying on Friday and then fourth on Saturday. Of course, for this reason, unfortunately, there were not as many points as the opposite. In any case, the race in Baku offered more than we saw in the end. Not It’s easy, but it’s going to be a long race on Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Wolf believes that the rate of diffusion of improvements also influences the evolution of the power order. Now Ferrari has innovated and preceded it. “The time differences aren’t huge. We’re talking about a tenth or two here or there, and that makes a huge difference. We’re bringing development to Silverstone and hopefully it will have the same impact that McLaren and Ferrari have today.” announced the Austrian.

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