Lewis Hamilton claims he’s pleased for George Russell

Lewis Hamilton will start the Saudi Arabian GP from seventh, four places behind team-mate George Russell.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton endured a really challenging qualifying at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as the 38-year-old continues to feel not “connected” with the W14.

Since winning the first race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in 2021, Hamilton has suffered endless disappointment in Jeddah, with him having finished P10 last season after recovering from being eliminated in Q1.

Whilst this season’s Saudi Arabian GP hasn’t been as bad as last year’s yet for Hamilton, he still found himself three-tenths behind team-mate George Russell in qualifying.

Russell performed brilliantly in qualifying and will start Sunday’s race from third, whilst Hamilton had to settle for seventh.

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The Stevenage-born driver has been unhappy with the car and the circuit all weekend, with traffic having been an issue for several drivers.

Hamilton was seen waving his hand at an Aston Martin during Free Practice 3 after feeling like he was blocked, with the Briton having complained over the team radio.

“Copy. Yeah, very busy now,” Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington said.

Whilst the weekend hasn’t gone well for the 103-time race winner, he can take some confidence from the fact that he was stronger during the race than he was in qualifying at the season-opener in Bahrain; however, as it stands he’s unsure how to become comfortable with his car.

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“I feel like I struggled with the car in high speed [corners] particularly, but I just don’t feel the car underneath me,” he told Sky Sports F1 after qualifying.

“I just don’t feel connected to this car, and I can’t get it. So I don’t really know what I’m going to do about that.”

2023 certainly hasn’t started well for Mercedes, with Hamilton having shared after qualifying that he’s in the garage “as late as I can be every day”.

As disappointed as he currently is, he’s ready to “give it everything” on Sunday, as he targets back-to-back top five finishes.

“It’s tough, I’m giving it absolutely everything,” he said.

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“I’m here as late as I can be every day, I’m preparing the best we can, and just I just get in the car and I just can’t connect with it.

“I don’t really know what to say about it. It’s good that George had a good run today. So that’s great, he’ll be able to hopefully score some good points for the team and I’ll try and recover.

“Tomorrow’s a new day, so I’ll give it everything.”