Hamilton reacts to Russell again outqualifying him

Sir Lewis Hamilton will start the Spanish Grand Prix in sixth position, two positions behind Mercedes team-mate George Russell.

Mercedes driver Sir Lewis Hamilton is interested to see if the Silver Arrows are able to battle with Ferrari during the Spanish Grand Prix after their impressive race pace in practice.

George Russell ended FP2 and FP3 in the top three, while Hamilton managed third in the second session as the Silver Arrows finally displayed a consistent performance across all three practice sessions this season.

Previously, they have been struggling with an erratic car that suffered with “porpoising” as a legacy of the new ground effect aerodynamics, but the W13 has looked smoother on the straight this weekend than in any of the previous five rounds of the year, leaving optimism that they are beginning to understand how to keep the car in an operating window.

READ: Verstappen optimistic after DRS failure hinders Spanish GP qualifying

Indeed, that form continued into qualifying as Russell beat Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to fourth, while Hamilton will start the race in P6.

A step in the right direction has certainly been taken this weekend, and Hamilton is delighted of it.

“The team have done such a great job so big, big, big thank you to everyone continuing to push back at the factory,” he told Sky Sports.

“We don’t have bouncing in a straight line which is a huge improvement for us.

“It’s generally been nicer this weekend. We do have some bouncing through the high-speed corners like Turn Three and Nine, but we just need to keep working away at it and trying to see if we can improve that and gain a little bit more downforce elsewhere.”

Article continues below

The seven-time champion’s adaptation to the new technical regulations and racing further down the field has been perhaps a little less successful than that of former Williams driver Russell, but he is determined to improve his performance and eradicate the small deficit he has had this weekend.

“I want to be further up ahead, we’ve obviously seen George a bit further ahead than I, but I’ll keep pushing,” explained Hamilton.

Red Bull and Mercedes appeared to have exceptional race pace during practice, but Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were left bemoaning tyre degradation as they seemed to struggle to find lap-on-lap consistency, so Hamilton believes Mercedes can target that on Sunday and reach the podium places.

“Yesterday was the best race pace that we’ve had,” he added.

“If we can start racing with the Ferrari’s for example, that’d be amazing. 

READ: Spanish GP upgrades will provide McLaren with ‘interesting’ comparison

“I think the Red Bull’s look like they might be quickest but we might be able to compete with the Ferraris tomorrow and that’s a big step for us.”

P4 and P6 is the best overall qualifying result Mercedes have managed all season as they chase their third podium finish of 2022 on Sunday.