British driver Lewis Hamilton says he is not “connected” with his Mercedes car. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton finished the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying session in eighth place on Saturday, almost a second behind the Red Bull of Sergio Perez.
Lewis Hamilton’s eighth fastest time in qualifying at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah on Saturday meant that he was unable to improve on his performance in a car that he simply does not feel comfortable with.
While team-mate George Russell qualified fourth, five tenths behind Sergio Perez’s Red Bull on Saturday, Lewis Hamilton is almost a second behind the poleman in Jeddah and the seven-time world champion cannot understand why his Mercedes is so off the pace.
Beaten by Russell
Hamilton, whose team mate qualified ahead, can only explain that he’s simply ‘not connected’ to his W14 Mercedes car.
“The car is where it is. George [Russell] has done a great job, he’s right up there in second. The car obviously has performance, but I don’t feel connected to this car,” Hamilton said after qualifying in Jeddah.
“No matter what I do, no matter what I change, I can’t trust it. I’m a bit lost with it. I couldn’t get more out of the car today, but I have to keep trying.”
“It’s something we’ll work on in the next few races to try and improve the confidence. It wasn’t the best of days but there are improvements for the team. Tomorrow is a new day, and we’ll keep working.”
Hamilton leaving Mercedes?
As rumours of his possible departure from the Mercedes team at the end of this season have continued to grow in recent days, Hamilton again indicated that he has no plans to abandon his team despite the difficulties.
“I love this team, I am so grateful to everyone who is on this journey with me. I don’t plan to go anywhere else, I don’t have to give up,” insisted the Briton.
But the reality is Lewis Hamilton still has driver ambition, something team boss Toto Wolff is fully aware of:
“As a driver, though, if he wants to win another championship, he has to make sure he has the car.” said the Austrian,
“If we can’t demonstrate that we are capable of giving him a car in the next two years, then he will have to look everywhere.” a cloudy timescale described, the Austrian quickly correcting that:
“I don’t think he’s going to do it at this stage…
“but I wouldn’t complain if it happened in a year’s time.”
READ MORE: Wolff: Hamilton gone end of 2023
My advice to MB would be… Don’t wait, get rid of Hamilton. You’ve had your successes with him. Now those days seem to be over, do not let your brand be dragged down with him. Choose for the future. Let the past be the past. His negativity will erode your marketing value.