Lewis Hamilton played down the impact of his Q2 collision with Mercedes team-mate George Russell in Spain, though did feel it left him with a W14 which was “pulling to the right”.
Hamilton would pick up a slipstream behind his team-mate on the run down to Turn 1 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, both drivers seemingly on a push lap as Hamilton then moved alongside his fellow Mercedes driver.
From there though Russell would move across slightly and collide with his team-mate, leaving Hamilton with a damaged front wing which would need replacing before Q3. For Russell it did not matter as he would be knocked out in Q2.
Hamilton did then progress to the final qualifying stage, but having threatened to contend for pole up to that point, he was ultimately forced to settle for the fifth-fastest time, half a second down on Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in P1.
And though Hamilton said his W14 “didn’t feel massively different” after that contact, he did sense that it was “pulling to the right”, which of course would not have helped his cause.
“The car didn’t feel massively different,” he told Sky F1 on the subject of how the W14 behaved after that whack from Russell.
“I think afterwards the car was pulling to the right, so I don’t know, obviously I put wheels on the grass.
“But it was just a miscommunication thing. Generally on the lap it was feeling okay, so I think we will be alright.”
The main source of disappointment for Hamilton though was that he felt he was on for a front-row start all the way up to Turn 10, at which point a snap of oversteer knocked him off course.
That being said, there is no eighth title on the line for him this season it would seem, so he is not “killer disappointed.”
“I was basically front row all the way until Turn 10, going into Turn 10 I got on the power and the car just snapped into oversteer,” said Hamilton.
“I’ll have to see exactly what happened, but that’s where I lost two tenths.
“I’m not like killer disappointed, maybe if I was fighting for a World Championship I would be, but I’m more just really encouraged to see the car is where it is and hopefully tomorrow I can progress forwards.”
And Hamilton is a driver who very much knows the way to victory at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, having taken six wins at this venue in his F1 career. Only Michael Schumacher can lay claim to the same number of successes.