Lewis Hamilton: ‘Something went on’ with tyre blankets ‘every time’ in Canada GP qualifying

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton leaves the garage in the Mercedes W15 at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes W15.

Lewis Hamilton claimed underheated tyres hampered him in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, pointing to the tyre blankets.

The Mercedes W15 excelled around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Hamilton comfortably topping the final practice session to take momentum into qualifying, though it was Mercedes team-mate George Russell who claimed pole, Hamilton forced to settle for the P7 grid slot.

Lewis Hamilton claims Mercedes tyre blanket issue

The dynamic wet and dry conditions on Grand Prix Sunday in Canada meant that Hamilton was at one stage in the victory conversation, though P4 would be his final finishing position, having lost out to Russell in a late battle over the final spot on the podium.

But with damage to his chances done in qualifying, Hamilton pointed to the Mercedes tyre blankets, claiming they were consistently leaving his tyres below the optimum temperature, heat, and therefore performance, which he could not recover out on the track.

“The tyres were working throughout the weekend, then we got to qualifying and every time I went out of the garage, my tyres were for some reason below on temperature,” he said.

“Every set was two or three degrees lower than it should have been, and you can’t catch it up and I couldn’t switch the tyres on after that. That’s something we have to really look at, because something went on with the blankets, I guess.”

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Despite coming so close to his first podium of the season, Hamilton was far from pleased with his performance on race day. In fact, he reflected on it as one of his worst displays.

And with Mercedes having taken a major step forward in Canada, Hamilton said he needs to get his “head on right” to improve his results.

“It was just over the weekend a really poor performance from myself,” he told Sky F1.

“Some other things came into it yesterday, but mostly myself and today just one of the worst races that I’ve driven. Just lots of mistakes. Of course if I’d qualified better, I would have been in a much better position. So it is what it is. I will go back to the drawing board.

“On the positive note, big big thanks to everyone back at the factory for progressing this car, because it is becoming a car we can fight with. That’s the real positive going into this next part of the season.

“I know we have hopefully some more upgrades coming, they’re on the way, so it’s going to be a close battle.

“And if I get my head on right, I’ll get better results.”

Mercedes sit P4 in the current Constructors’ Championship standings, with 88 points to make up on McLaren a position ahead.

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