Lewis Hamilton was left deeply disappointed after qualifying, suggesting that he will struggle to recover ground lost from starting eighth on the grid for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Hamilton knew going into the session he would be no higher than sixth – having been given a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change – but the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racer was nonetheless disheartened by his own performance in the final qualifying session.
“It’s been a frustrating day for me,” he commented. “I had a chance to be fastest today and I didn’t quite put it all together on that final lap in Q3.
“The gearbox issue hasn’t played on my mind during the weekend but after qualifying you realise you’re starting further back.”
This sudden realisation left the Brit contemplating how far up the order he could possibly climb on Sunday, suggesting that historical precedent was irrelevant given the recent shake-up of the formula for this year.
“I think it will be tough to make progress tomorrow. The pack is a lot closer than in 2014 when I fought up to P2, but perhaps the weather can come into play.”
Hamilton would not set a specific positional target for tomorrow’s race, and is instead looking to achieve whatever he feels possible with the circumstances which present themselves during tomorrow’s action.
“I’ll work as hard as I can to recover and try get as many points as possible. We still have great pace and the car has been fantastic here, so I know I’ve got the car to do the job. Let’s see how it all plays out tomorrow.”