Lewis Hamilton downbeat as he blames Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton now leads George Russell 7-6 in their qualifying head-to-head following the 2023 Dutch GP.

Lewis Hamilton has revealed that his poor qualifying at the Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday was due to his tyres overheating at the end of the session, leaving him all the way down in P13.

It was Saturday to forget for the seven-time World Champion, who found himself in traffic throughout Q1 and Q2.

The Mercedes driver was impeded multiple times, most notably by Lance Stroll in Q1 and Yuki Tsunoda in Q2.

Hamilton just couldn’t put it all together, leaving him to start on the seventh row of the grid at Zandvoort.

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With overtaking being very challenging at the tight and twisty Dutch venue, a top five finish looks set to be massively challenging for the 103-time race winner.

Hamilton attempted to fast laps at the end of Q2; however, by the time he got to his final lap, he’d used the best of his tyres already.

He recognises that progress will be difficult on Sunday, especially as his W14 hasn’t been “very good”.

“I did two fast laps at the end and the tyres overheated so I could not improve on the last lap,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

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“We have the same car as in qualifying which wasn’t very good, so hopefully when the car is a bit heavier [with fuel], maybe we will be able to progress forward.

“It is not an easy track to overtake on, but I will give it my best [in the race].”

Hamilton found himself well behind George Russell in qualifying, with the 25-year-old salvaging P3 on the grid.

Russell has looked better than Hamilton all weekend, with the 38-year-old just looking unsettled in the W14.

Hamilton and Russell’s qualifying head-to-head now sits at 7-6 in Hamilton’s favour, with the pair usually being separated by very little on Saturdays.

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The story has typically been different on Sundays, where Hamilton has tended to be quicker.

However, given where he’s starting from, Russell stands a good chance at finishing ahead of his team-mate.

Hamilton currently leads Russell 9-3 when it comes to the races, with there being a high chance that this becomes 9-4 by the end of the race.