Lewis Hamilton’s grim outlook on Dutch Grand Prix prospects after Q2 exit

Oliver Harden
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) en route to a disappointing 13th in Dutch Grand Prix qualifying at Zandvoort.

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) en route to a disappointing 13th in Dutch Grand Prix qualifying at Zandvoort.

Lewis Hamilton admitted he has no hope of a good result in the Dutch Grand Prix after his early qualifying exit at Zandvoort.

Having been a fixture in the top five throughout practice in the Netherlands, the Mercedes driver will start no higher than 13th at the seaside venue after a difficult qualifying session in changeable conditions.

Hamilton was the victim in a number of traffic incidents in his shortened session, with Aston Martin drivers Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso as well as Yuki Tsunoda being investigated for impeding the seven-time World Champion at various points in Q1 and Q2.

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His latest early elimination means a Mercedes car has failed to reach Q3 in eight of the 16 qualifying sessions, including sprint shootouts, held so far in 2023.

Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell went on to secure third on the grid, missing out on a front-row start by less than two tenths.

Asked if he was confident about his prospects for the race, Hamilton told media including PlanetF1.com: “No.

“The car has just been difficult, so I’ll try and turn the negative from today into a positive. The car didn’t feel too great after P2. It felt great in P1 and I’ve just not had that feeling ever since, so I’m not really sure what it is.”

With overtaking possibilities limited on the compact and twisty Zandvoort circuit, Hamilton dismissed his chances of landing a fifth podium of the season on Sunday.

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Asked if he would favour a wet or dry in his bid to reach the top three, he replied: “I don’t know, I’m too far from the podium.”

Hamilton refused to put forward his traffic problems as an excuse for his poor result, insisting the incident with AlphaTauri driver Tsunoda cost him nothing.

“Didn’t make any difference,” he said. “A few of the others that were in the way stopped the previous laps, but Tsunoda? He was in the way a little bit but it didn’t lose me any time.

“It wasn’t difficult to judge [how to run the session]. Obviously a lot of people were in the way, but generally we were just slow out there.”

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