Finishing 12th was never going to go down well with Lewis Hamilton, but the Mercedes driver is confident his team can solve their tyre woes…
Finishing 12th was never going to go down well with Lewis Hamilton, but the Mercedes driver is confident his team can solve their tyre woes.
Having qualified second fastest behind team-mate Nico Rosberg at the Spanish Grand Prix, Hamilton found himself slipping down the grid as soon as the lights went out.
His frustration was clear for all to hear as he told the team over the radio “I can’t go any slower” and also quipped “And now I’ve been passed by a Williams!” after he found himself battling at the wrong end of the pack.
He eventually finished out of the points, behind the likes of Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso and Esteban Gutierrez of Sauber.
The 28-year-old admits he is baffled by the tyre problems that have dogged the W04 this season.
“I don’t understand what it is – it’s obviously the tyres,” said Hamilton.
“It’s something to do with how you prepare the tyres, or use the tyres, or something like that. It seemed to work quite well in Bahrain, but didn’t in Barcelona, so it’s something we haven’t quite caught on to just yet. But it’s nothing to do with me as a driver. It’s about what we do before we get in the car.
“In the race there was no grip. I was just sliding around on all fours, just tip-toeing around. It didn’t matter whether I went slow or fast, it didn’t do anything different. It was very, very strange. One of the strangest feelings I’ve had for a long time.
“We had a long discussion about it afterwards and we just have to understand what went wrong and how we can improve it for the upcoming races.”
Hamilton is off to Orlando, Florida, over the next few days to take part in a sponsorship event for Mercedes, but he will return to the team’s headquarters in Brackley later this week to try to get to the bottom of their tyre problems.
“After that I’ll get back to the factory. I don’t know why it’s taking us so long to really grab hold of this problem. It’s not rocket science,” he said.
“Ferrari and Lotus have done it, and we just need to do it, and I’m sure we will at some point.
“If we all pull together, which we have been doing all year, but now is more important than ever, particularly after a race like the one we had.
“We need to take a step back, look at what happened objectively, and try to figure it out.”