Lewis Hamilton forced to eat his words and change tactics for Spanish GP

Michelle Foster
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku, April 2023.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Baku, April 2023.

Having gone into qualifying declaring he wouldn’t progress to the pole position shoot-out, P4 starter Lewis Hamilton says his goal now is to “showhow” win the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton stated after Friday’s practices that he didn’t have the pace to make it into the top-ten in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix but with the weather playing a role, as well as the demise of Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc, the Briton was fifth fastest come Saturday evening.

As such he’ll start Sunday’s race from P4 on the grid, Hamilton up a position after Pierre Gasly was penalised for impeding rivals.

“It was interesting because during the session I was thinking, ‘Damn, yesterday I said I wasn’t going to get into Q3 or into the top 10, and basically I was eating my words,’” Hamilton said.

“It was a really, really great session and massively encouraging to us to be competitive. I couldn’t believe I was fighting for the top three at one stage.

“Of course, my last lap wasn’t the dream lap, I was second basically all the way until Turn 10 and I had a snap and lost two-tenths.

“On one side I’m gutted, but one side of me is really grateful just to be up there, up in the fight and have that pace.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

Pundit ponders whether George Russell deliberately close the door on Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg calls for Lewis Hamilton apology after George Russell qualifying clash

Asked what he hoped to achieve come Sunday’s race, the seven-time World Champion replied: “My goal is to win somehow.

“I’m going to try and drive the wheels off the car and try and get up as high as I can.”

As for his team-mate George Russell, the two Mercedes drivers came together in Q2 with Russell unable to make his way into the top ten.

Starting P12, he said: “I’m just a bit disappointed to be out in Q2.

“I was really struggling with the car the whole session, wasn’t feeling the same as it was in practice, and that was kind of the maximum I could get out of it. Not ideal, but it’s a long race.”