Lewis Hamilton believes that the reliability problems he has encountered on his Mercedes car so far this season are developing into a pattern, rather than simple mistakes, after encountering yet another setback in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.
Hamilton arrived in Monaco trailing Mercedes teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg by 43 points, and is without a win since last October’s United States Grand Prix.
After suffering failures on his engine during qualifying in both China and Russia, Hamilton looked set to be sidelined once again when he stopped in the pit lane at the start of Q3 in Monaco.
Mercedes confirmed that Hamilton’s car had a fuel pressure problem, but fixed it in time for him to complete one flying lap run towards the end of the session, qualifying third.
Hamilton was downbeat after qualifying when speaking to NBCSN, hinting that if he continually made errors as Mercedes was doing, it would not be accepted.
“Acceptable? I don’t know whether that’s for me to say,” Hamilton said.
“Of course, if I was messing up my laps every time, perhaps they’d say that’s not acceptable.
“But I really don’t know what to say at the moment. Honestly, it’s not a great feeling right now. I’m just trying to keep myself together.
“We’re getting further and further into the championship with more and more problems.
“This is becoming a norm for me.”
Hamilton was then asked by NBCSN pit reporter Will Buxton: “At what point does this stop being about mistakes and start being something that’s deeper that you need to as a team get on top of?”
“I think it’s already at that point personally,” Hamilton replied.
“For me, personally, it’s not a good feeling right now.
“The other car just keeps going, and going, and going. And for whatever reasons…
“I was quickest today. The weekend’s gone great. Just when it counts, something seems to happen quite often.
“But I’m sure we will regroup and shoot the s**t and try and figure it out.”
The Monaco Grand Prix is live on NBC from 7:30am ET on Sunday, with F1 Countdown beginning on NBCSN at 7am ET.