Formula 1 technical expert Sam Collins made a very bold prediction ahead of qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix, which turned out to be horrifically wrong.
Collins predicted that Lewis Hamilton would be a “contender for pole position”; however, the seven-time World Champion went on to be eliminated in Q2.
The Mercedes driver endured a disastrous qualifying at Zandvoort, which saw him claimed 13th on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Hamilton just couldn’t get the best out of the W14, which clearly had potential, as proven by George Russell.
Whilst Hamilton will start from the seventh row, Russell will start from the second.
The former Williams driver claimed third on the grid, behind Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.
Hamilton appeared to set his fastest lap in Q2 too soon, as when he started his final lap, he’d used the best of his tyres.
Ahead of qualifying, Collins had been impressed by Hamilton’s W14 out of the slow-speed corners, to the extent that he saw the 104-time polesitter as a contender for a 105th pole position.
“Lewis Hamilton’s car is looking really good under acceleration out of slow-speed corners,” Collins said on F1TV.
“It’s actually really quick around a lot of the lap. Less than 1 & a half tenths of a second between predicted pole & third. Hamilton is actually a contender for pole position.”
Hamilton admitted after his elimination that his tyres were overheating by the time he started his final lap in Q2, meaning there was nothing he could do.
It means he now leads Russell just 7-6 in their qualifying head-to-head, with there being very little separating the pair.
The same can’t be said for the races, with Hamilton currently leading Russell 9-3.
However, given their starting positions, this will likely become 9-4 by the time the race comes to an end on Sunday.
With overtaking being so challenging at Zandvoort, Hamilton is going to really struggle to score big points, meaning just getting into the top 10 could be an achievement.
Russell on the other hand has a real chance at claiming his second podium of the season, something which would give him a much-needed confidence boost.