Hamilton desperate for upgrades after Miami ‘kick in the gut’

Lewis Hamilton cannot wait for the upgrades to arrive on his Mercedes after another struggle in Miami GP practice

Lewis Hamilton cannot wait for the upgrades to arrive on his Mercedes after another struggle in Miami GP practice

Lewis Hamilton is now desperate for the upgrades to arrive on his Mercedes after taking the latest “kick in the gut” throughout practice for the Miami Grand Prix.

Team-mate George Russell spearheaded a Mercedes one-two at the end of FP1 at the Miami International Autodrome as he and Hamilton set flying laps at the death of the 60-minute session.

Come the second outing, however, the pace of the W14 truly emerged, with Hamilton only seventh quickest, almost a second behind the leading time posted by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with Russell a lowly 15th, 1.286s adrift.

“We’re not particularly quick and it’s a struggle out there,” was Hamilton’s frustrated assessment.

“We’re trying lots of different things.

“P1 looked quite good, and then to come into P2, the true pace comes out. It’s a kick in the gut.

“It’s a little bit difficult to take sometimes but it’s okay, we’ll just keep on working on it, we’ll regroup and try and see if we can make some set-up changes and get the car in a sweet spot.”

Hamilton, however, described the feeling in the car compared to that he experienced in Australia where he was third quickest in qualifying and second in the race as “a night-and-day difference”.

The seven-time F1 champion claims the car was “much, much nicer to drive there”, whilst even in Baku it “felt better than here”.

“I think maybe the heat or maybe it’s just the balance we have at the moment,” added Hamilton.

“So I’m going to stay optimistic and hopeful we can get the car in a better place tomorrow and maybe be a couple of steps up.

“Last year we had hardcore bouncing. It generally feels like we’re racing pretty much the same car, so that’s the difficult thing.”

On a newly-resurfaced asphalt, Hamilton remarked there to be “a lot of sliding”, with the tyres also overheating.

It has left him in a position where he cannot wait for the updates on the car that are due to arrive for the next race in Imola in a fortnight’s time.

“We’re just trying to keep that balance that keeps the tyres somehow in the right spot, but they’re generally always over the peak of the temps.

“I’m trying to stay positive with it, and we’re working as hard as we can but we desperately need those upgrades, that’s for sure.

“We’ve just got to keep our head down for one more race, and hopefully, we’ll start a new path at the next race.”

Another hour of practice remains on Saturday before Qualifying in Miami, beginning at 16:00 local time (06:00 AEST).

“I just hope I can get it into a better place tomorrow, that I can get it into Q3. If  we can be mid-bunch of that top 10, that would be great.”

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]