Getty Images

Hamilton ‘deflated’ after shock Q2 exit, will start 13th in Monaco

2 Comments

Lewis Hamilton felt “deflated” after recording his worst Formula 1 qualifying result in Monaco since 2009 by finishing 14th in Saturday’s session.

Hamilton struggled to manage his tire temperature throughout practice in Monaco, which carried over through to qualifying as the Briton abandoned his first Q2 run.

Following a short wait in the pits after being called to the FIA weighbridge, Hamilton ventured out for a second three-lap run in the final few minutes of Q2.

Traffic forced Hamilton to abandon his initial effort before working up a final flying lap that was projected to get him through to Q3, only for yellow flags shown for Stoffel Vandoorne’s crashed McLaren at the exit of Swimming Pool to prevent any improvements.

This all left Hamilton 14th and out in Q2, although he will gain one place on the grid by virtue of Jenson Button’s grid penalty.

“I really struggled with the car today and I just don’t think the opportunity was quite there for me,” Hamilton said.

“It was a little bit unfortunate with the yellow flag, but it doesn’t really matter now if I could have gone faster.

“I think that lap may have just got me into the top 10 but I would have struggled to make it into the top five with the pace that I had.”

Hamilton admitted he was perplexed by his struggles compared to Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who qualified third and was just 0.045 seconds shy of pole-sitter Kimi Raikkonen’s time.

“Valtteri didn’t have any struggles today so I’m a bit confused and I can’t pinpoint the problem at the moment. I’m feeling pretty deflated right now but I’ll try again tomorrow,” Hamilton said.

“It’s great that Valtteri extracted a good lap. We just need to identify why I wasn’t able to be up there too. Onwards and upwards.”

The Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBC from 7:30am ET on Sunday, with F1 Countdown starting on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 7am ET.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”