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Hamilton's Resolve I Gave It My All' at Suzuka

Hamilton Finds Groove, Energized by Progress at Suzuka

06/04/2024

Lewis Hamilton outqualified his Mercedes teammate for the first time this season at Suzuka, expressing newfound understanding and confidence in his car’s capabilities.

For the first time this season, Lewis Hamilton qualified ahead of his Mercedes F1 teammate at Suzuka, securing the eighth spot. The seven-time world champion expressed satisfaction in beginning to understand his car and relished the opportunity to exert such effort.

“I gave it my all, every single time! Trust me!” Hamilton exclaimed. “The team did an excellent job last week adjusting our settings. This is actually the first weekend I haven’t gone crazy with the settings and haven’t been testing too many things, so I’m a bit more back to normal.”

“We brought the car into a much wider operating window, making the driving really enjoyable. It’s just that the guys in front are a bit faster.”

“Last year, we were a second or a bit more behind Red Bull, and seven tenths is an improvement. Maybe if we had done something slightly different, we could have been a tenth faster, perhaps, but that was it.”

“What this brings us to is that I know exactly where the car isn’t strong enough, I can feel it in the car, and I now know to tell our guys to push in this particular area or that. But I’m hoping for a better race tomorrow.”

Hamilton is convinced his team is starting to really understand how to exploit the W15: “Personally, I believe so, yes. What we’ve noticed is that from track to track, it has been really very difficult to get the settings right, and it was so far off each time.”

“At some circuits, we felt like nothing we could do would put the car in an ideal position. But this weekend, it’s much more in the ideal position, so I hope this continues in the upcoming races. Then, we just have to add performance.”

“I expect it to be better in the race”

George Russell also understood why his W15 wasn’t ideal to drive this Saturday. Finishing ninth in qualifying, the British driver thinks the worst is over for Mercedes this weekend.

“It’s very tight between us, McLaren, Aston Martin, and Ferrari. If you nail the lap, you’re ahead of the first group; if you don’t, you’re behind with the second group. We knew this circuit would be a slight challenge for us. We know our limits would be the high-speed corners,” Russell said.

“When you get to qualifying, you’re going through every corner faster. This sector 1 is fast; you’re going 10 to 20 km/h faster than yesterday, and it pushes us towards the car’s weak point, so I expect it to be better tomorrow in the race.”

“I think a lot can happen, and everyone has quite different tires available. There will be a lot of different strategies and a lot of opportunities.”

“I think it will be a good race. It’s so tight between everyone. If you do a good job and you manage it, you’ll gain three, four, five places whereas last year, it would only mean one place.”

Hamilton’s Resolve: ‘I Gave It My All’ at Suzuka’. Hamilton’s Resolve: ‘I Gave It My All’ at Suzuka’

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