2022 F1 Bahrain Qualifying – Much more delicate qualifications for Lewis Hamilton. The Briton only signed the 5th time in Q3 while his teammate George Russell will start in 9th position for his first steps with the German firm.
George Russell explains he “wanted to try something different” in his last Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying run, but it didn’t work.
George Russell had been quicker than seven-time world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton in all three practice sessions (going fourth fastest each time) and in Q1, albeit with the caveat that they were on different programmes most of the time as Mercedes worked to find solutions to the issues keeping it off Ferrari and Red Bull’s pace.
George Russell had a disappointing Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying, as he only managed to qualify in P9. After the session he explained what happened in his botched final flying lap.
“I think the third row was a minimum,” Russell explained.
“But we’re not here to accept the third row, and I had one shot and I wanted to try something different.
“I wanted to try a much harder out-lap to see if that changed the feeling of the car to give us a shot to fight for the second row or the front row.
“But clearly it didn’t and it was totally the opposite. Obviously I’m disappointed with myself to have made that error and obviously lining up ninth is far from my expectations.
“It was a real shame. I’m glad I tried something. But it’s easy in retrospect.
“We’re not where we want to be, obviously P9 is much lower than where the car is.
“But we’re doing everything we can to get the car to the front and fighting the Ferraris and the Red Bulls.”
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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff felt Russell should be absolved of blame for that qualifying strategy.
“It was probably us misguiding him in his last outing because we advised him to push on the out-lap even stronger and he probably had no edge anymore to the new tyre,” said Wolff.
Russell said Mercedes’ current plight was such it was a long way from doing usual race weekend detail work.
“I feel like we’re going one step forward, two steps back,” he admitted.
“We feel like we’re making progress and then suddenly we’re back into the same issues as we faced.
“It’s difficult because we’re so focused on solving the overarching issue of the car that it’s difficult to nail down on the details and finetune the thing.
“This is what it’s about at the moment. We want to be fighting for victory and we need to be trying everything we can to get to that.”
Hamilton was more upbeat about his qualifying result, feeling fifth was a reasonable outcome given the car has been “a bit of a nightmare to drive” so far and that Red Bull and Ferrari are “in another league”.
“But that’s how the game goes and the race is tomorrow,” the Briton concluded.
2022 F1 Bahrain Qualifying 2022 F1 Bahrain Qualifying
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