Lewis Hamilton expressed his disappointment in himself after he crashed out of qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix.
After making an encouraging step forward in performance at Silverstone, Mercedes are looking strong again in Austria, although they could not take full advantage of that in qualifying.
Hamilton crashed out of the Q3 session, losing the rear of his W13 and slamming heavily into the barriers.
Met by cheers and celebrations from the Dutch fans, Hamilton fortunately climbed out of the car unhurt, the Briton later confirming he was fine.
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 8, 2022
“I’m okay, it was a big hit but I’m okay,” he told reporters after the session.
Mercedes face a major repair bill ahead of the sprint as George Russell also crashed out in Q3 soon after the session had restarted.
Hamilton did not try to hide his disappointment, offering an apology to the Mercedes team for the crash.
“Incredibly disappointed in myself,” he said. “And so sorry to the team. Everyone worked so hard to put this car together and I never like to damage it, bring it back damaged.
“We were fighting for top three. I don’t have an answer for it, I just lost the back end in Turn 7 and that was that.”
Hamilton is now set to start sprint qualifying from P9, but given the pace that clearly resides in the W13, a car that often thrives in race trim, Hamilton hopes he can undo some of the damage and improve his starting position for the Austrian Grand Prix.
Last season in Brazil, Hamilton showed exactly what he is capable of in a sprint race, going from last place to a P5 finish.
Asked if he can take encouragement from the pace of the W13, Hamilton replied: “Am I encouraged? For sure, I’m encouraged of course to see our performance. We weren’t expecting to be as close as that today, so that’s a huge positive for the team.
“Already quite far back so I don’t know what’s possible from there, but we have a sprint race as well. So I hope tomorrow I can make up for some lost time.”