Hamilton ‘on a knife-edge’ as he misses Q3 in Australia

Lewis Hamilton says the Mercedes car is on a knife-edge at the Australian Grand Prix after being eliminated in Q2 for the first time this season.

Both Mercedes drivers were struggling in qualifying after solid performances in final practice, with George Russell only advancing to Q3 by 0.059s. The car Russell edged out was Hamilton who had struggled to improve on his final run, and the seven-time world champion says the car had felt much more competitive prior to the start of the qualifying session.

“Every outing you learn something new,” Hamilton said. “P3 felt really good for us and I was really feeling optimistic going into qualifying. But then, I don’t know if it was the wind picking up — the wind picked up quite a bit, same as yesterday — and then the car is just so much more on a knife-edge here.


“I haven’t done a long run so I don’t really know [about the race performance], but the other car has. I think everyone’s so fast, so… But it’s a new day, we’ll still try. I’ll give it everything and hopefully I can move forwards.”

Hamilton says there are similarities to how Mercedes has been struggling ever since the introduction of new regulations in 2022, but that there have been more positive signs with the latest car that still give him cause for optimism.

“I mean, it’s three years in a row, similar feeling. There’s these spikes of, ‘Ah, it could be good,’ like this morning, but then it kind of disappears. If we can work out a way of finding that goodness in the car and making it more consistent and holding onto that, then we can be more competitive. There’s lots of work we need to do, but everyone’s working as hard as they can.

“In 2022 we weren’t splitting [setups]. George was doing one thing and I was trying every setup that there was to try and help the team try and find options and figure out how we can fix it. It’s pretty much the same, a little bit similar to this year, I’m trying lots of different things but I think this weekend we’re much closer.”

Story originally appeared on Racer