Mercedes W15 performs ‘vanishing’ act on Lewis Hamilton at Canadian Grand Prix

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton and his W15 in parc ferme

Lewis Hamilton's "good feeling" with his W15 "vanished" in qualifying

Three tenths up in FP3 in Montreal, Lewis Hamilton could do nothing to challenge George Russell for pole position in qualifying when his great feeling with his W15 “vanished”.

Hamilton’s Canadian Grand Prix weekend began on a positive note when the Briton, armed with Mercedes’ upgraded front wing, declared he was “really hopeful” after a strong start on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton unable to join pole battle in Canada

“I do feel like we’re closer to the front this weekend,” he added.

He topped that Friday feeling with a P1 time in Saturday’s final practice where he was 0.374s faster than the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

But alas that’s where the good feelings ended.

Although the Mercedes driver made it through to the pole position shoot-out on Saturday afternoon with the second quickest time in Q2, where he was right behind his team-mate Russell on the timesheet, a lack of grip in the final segment meant he finished down in seventh place.

Hamilton was 0.280s down on the pole position time, a time that was set by Russell.

He says his good feeling with his W15 just vanished.

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“The car had been feeling great all weekend,” he told Sky Sports.

“I mean first of all, congratulations to George who did a great job. It’s really great for the team. Everyone at the factory worked so hard to bring upgrades so this is a huge boost for everyone at the factory.

“The car was feeling great all weekend and as soon as I got to qualifying that kind of vanished for me.”

“The grip just disappeared for me,” he added. “FP3, I had plenty of pace and then we get to qualifying and the tyres don’t work.”

Asked if any changes had been made to the car, he shook his head and replied, “Nothing changed on the car.”

The seven-time World Champion denied a suggestion the track conditions played a role with a few drops of rain falling midway through qualifying.

“The conditions were great,” he told the media. “The conditions were perfect, just for some reason the tyres weren’t working the whole session. I just didn’t have grip.

“I had easily half a second advantage in FP3 and that was gone.”

Hamilton’s latest qualifying defeat to Russell leaves him trailing his compatriot 8-1.

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