Lewis Hamilton has blamed his disappointing performance in Miami on a late strategy call, as the seven-time world champion suffered his worst qualifying result at an American race.
Hamilton got caught in traffic during his attempted flying lap in the closing stages of Q2, leaving him unable to secure the necessary time to remain in contention for a top ten spot.
The frustrating result capped off a tough weekend for Hamilton, as he struggled with the handling of the W14, a car that Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff branded “a nasty piece of work.”
“It started out okay,” Hamilton said post-qualifying.
“There were a couple of decent moments throughout the session.
“But we struggled to have the pace to get into Q3, and then right at the end of the session, we went out too late.
“I was right at the back of many cars, and I started my lap with not enough temperature in the tyres.
“We knew it was very hard and there was a 50-50 chance we could get into Q3, so we need to be better with our timing.”
Hamilton will be hoping for some better luck in the Grand Prix, with the weather potentially creating a dramatic event, as the forecast predicts rain and thunderstorms.
Although, the lack of overtaking opportunities following the shortening of two DRS zones could make it difficult for Hamilton to make his way through the field into the points.
Hamilton’s P13 start will mean he needs to pass the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg, Williams of Alex Albon and his old teammate Valtteri Bottas to just get into the top ten.
The unusual starting order makes for embarrassing reading for the eight-time Constructors’ Champions, as Mercedes are behind Haas, Alfa Romeo and Williams drivers.