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Lewis Hamilton Can’t Guarantee a Good Performance Due to W15 Being on ‘Knife’s Edge’

Anirban Aly Mandal

Lewis Hamilton Can’t Guarantee a Good Performance Due to W15 Being on ‘Knife’s Edge'

Mercedes’ lack of form seems to continue as Lewis Hamilton endured yet another disappointing outing during Qualifying in Imola on Saturday. He will start Sunday’s race only from eighth on the grid. After qualifying, the seven-time world champion went on to express his concerns about the balance of the W15 as he ruled out the possibility of delivering a good performance during the race on Sunday.

Speaking after Q3, Hamilton told Sky Sports F1, “If the balance is like that, I don’t know,” when asked about his chances in the main Grand Prix. He added, “Our car is on a knife edge. We are making the smallest changes from session to session, trying not to do the big changes we have done in the past.”

Mercedes brought their first upgrade package of the season to Imola. They seemed to have a promising start on Friday. But as Hamilton explained, the car felt completely different during Qualifying on Saturday.

He mainly stressed about the lack of rear-end grip. According to him, the rear tires on the W15 were heating up quickly, which resulted in the rear feeling loose and sliding constantly by the time he reached Sector 3.

Despite the track temperature being a whopping 42 degrees during qualifying, this inconsistency in performance has plagued the Silver Arrows throughout this season. The car’s feel and balance seem to change with every session.

This has made the W15 a handful to drive for Hamilton. Even the engineers have realized that the car has a very narrow operating window on the track.

That said, it is not the end of the world for Mercedes. Their main competition this season is with Aston Martin for P4 in the Constructors’ Championship.

And while both Hamilton and his teammate, George Russell, made it into Q3, the Aston Martins did not. Fernando Alonso was knocked out in Q1 (19th) and Lance Stroll was knocked out in Q2 (13th).

Are Mercedes’ struggles finally getting to Lewis Hamilton?

As Lewis Hamilton explained, the team is now focusing on making minor adjustments to the car rather than going drastically in one direction. This is owing to the very erratic nature of the W15 and how it responds to setup changes generally.

Hamilton has his teammate and Yuki Tsunoda ahead of him on the grid for Sunday’s main race. Beyond that, the likes of Ferrari, McLaren, and Red Bull seem a bit out of reach for the Silver Arrows. Therefore, Hamilton would be expecting a lonely fight in the midfield if he gets the jump on Russell and Tsunoda at the start.

The developments within Mercedes and the lack of progress would surely make Hamilton’s move to Ferrari for 2025 an even more appealing prospect for the 39-year-old.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Anirban Aly Mandal

Anirban Aly Mandal


Anirban Aly Mandal is an F1 writer at The SportsRush, with over 1000 articles under his belt, Anirban's love for F1 started when he discovered a copy of F1 2014 on his computer. With over half a decade's worth of time spent religiously following the sport, he’s dived deep into the world of motorsports. However, Anirban's expertise goes beyond just writing - he has also written several academic papers focused on the domain of motorsports and the law. His passion for the sport is so immense that he aspires to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world someday. When it comes to Formula 1, Anirban finds great pleasure in re-watching classic races and idolizes the likes of Ayrton Senna, Nigel Mansell, and Sebastian Vettel. His top picks include Brazil '91, Silverstone '92, and Germany '19. Outside of the sport, Anirban is an avid sim racer, often found racing on titles like Assetto Corsa, F1 22, and Automobilista. Apart from his interests in gaming, Anirban has a keen interest in philosophy, literature and music.

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