Hamilton ‘couldn’t keep up with the Haas’ in Saudi

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, follows Kevin Magnussen, Haas. Saudi Arabia March 2022.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, follows Kevin Magnussen, Haas, during the race. Saudi Arabia March 2022.

Such was Haas’ straight-line speed, Lewis Hamilton said he could not keep up with Kevin Magnussen late in the Saudi Arabian GP.

Hamilton struggled in a major way behind the wheel of the W13 during qualifying in Jeddah, suffering a rare Q1 elimination.

But, starting on the hard tyre and being able to go long, he had been able to work his way up to as high as P6.

Hamilton would lose out though under the Virtual Safety Car, with the pit lane closed due to the stricken Alpine of Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren both parked in the pit entry.

That meant Hamilton had missed his chance, and once the pit lane was open again, the track returned to green, meaning he rejoined the race in P12.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in the pit box. Jeddah March 2022.
Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in the pit box on qualifying day for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Jeddah March 2022.

“I struggled at the beginning with the tyre temperatures and then it started getting a bit better and I started to gain on the guys up ahead,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

“And then I think they were on the medium tyres, they started to drop off and it was a really good stint and I was pushing, I think I was doing the same times pretty much as George [Russell] on new hards.

“So I was feeling good at that point and then it all hit the fan during those cars [Alonso and Ricciardo] stopping.”


Ultimately Hamilton was able to recover to a P10 finish, claiming a single point, but gave a concerning statement in relation to the Mercedes power unit.

He would finish just over nine seconds behind the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, with Hamilton saying that the Danish driver had straight-line speed in that Ferrari-powered Haas which he could not find an answer to.

“I don’t particularly feel like…not much has changed really since the last race,” said Hamilton when asked if Mercedes had taken a step forward in Saudi Arabia.

“It’s only been a few days. What I know is that today I couldn’t keep up with the Haas at the end, the power they have, they came flying, slingshotted past me, when I overtook Magnussen earlier on in the race.

“So we’ve got a lot of work to do for sure, but I know I’ve got a great team and we’ll just keep our heads down and try to improve.”