Lewis Hamilton writes off Brazilian GP after battling ‘horrible’ Mercedes

Jamie Woodhouse
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton with his hands on his head.

Lewis Hamilton puts a hand to his head.

Lewis Hamilton does not have high hopes for his Brazilian Grand Prix, admitting the Mercedes felt “horrible” as it ate through the Pirelli rubber in the sprint.

Launching from P5 for the 24-lap sprint, Hamilton made a solid start to pass Red Bull’s Sergio Perez as he moved up a position, but it went downhill from there.

Perez made his way back through, with Hamilton then coming under pressure from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finally made his move stick in the closing laps, with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda dumping Hamilton down another place as his sprint went out with a whimper in P7.

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While Mercedes did not shine over one lap at Interlagos, there was greater hope in race trim, with the W14 generally growing stronger in this form of competition, except in the sprint, that did not come to pass.

George Russell also started strong in the sister W14, but was re-passed by Lando Norris as Perez also made his way through as the Mercedes duo struggled to stay in the fight.

“It was horrible,” Hamilton told Sky F1 of his experience at the wheel of the W14 in the sprint. “It was not enjoyable whatsoever.

“I had a good start and then after that just struggled with the balance, a lot of understeer and snap oversteer and I was just fighting the car from really early on.

“And then I had no tyres in the end and I don’t really know how I’m going to fix that for tomorrow.”

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With that in mind, Hamilton is not expecting the Grand Prix to be an enjoyable experience either, the seven-time World Champion concluding that he must have gone wrong somewhere down the line with his set-up decisions.

“It’s going to be a long afternoon tomorrow, that’s for sure,” he admitted.

“I could only assume I’ve got the setup wrong and it is what it is.

“I’ll fight as hard as I can tomorrow, but we won’t be winning, that’s for sure. So I’ll just be trying to see if I can manage the tyres a little bit better tomorrow.”

This could prove to be a pivotal weekend in Hamilton’s hopes of challenging Perez for P2 in the Drivers’ Championship, with Perez seemingly back on form at Interlagos.

The Red Bull driver has already slightly stretched his margin over Hamilton with a P3 sprint finish, his buffer now 24 points.

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