Mercedes reveal costly error which affected Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton dropped out of qualifying in Miami in P13 - his worst starting position in an American race.

Lewis Hamilton had a frustrating weekend at the Miami Grand Prix, lining up in P13 due to a disappointing qualifying performance.

With the poor starting position, Hamilton found his race being compromised substantially, as he ended up in a DRS tyre during the long opening stint on the hard tyre, eventually finishing in P6.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin has addressed the situation in a post-race debrief for the team’s fans on YouTube.

 “Well, the underlying problem in Miami was that we just weren’t quick enough,” Shovlin said.

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“But in terms of how we ran the (Q2) session, well, we were looking at a balance between going late and trying to get the track evolution, which means that we put quicker times in, but also going early where you probably get a better chance of a clear out lap.

“Now, when we decided to go, what happened was a few cars left ahead of us. They then meant it difficult for Lewis to do the out lap that he actually wanted, to get the tyres up to temperature.

Shovlin then explained how that key decision cost Hamilton dearly in his bid to make it through to Q3.

“And that meant that he was struggling, in particular in the first sector, the lap time wasn’t good enough to get through.

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“So we’ll review the timing of that because we could have undoubtedly done a better job giving him a clear track and getting that right balance between the risk of yellows and also the track evolution.”

READ: Lewis Hamilton struggling without his ‘blessing’

Going into round 6 at Imola, Mercedes is looking to rebound from a disappointing string of results in the opening races of the season, as they remain far off the pace of title-leaders Red Bull.

The Silver Arrows are bringing a major upgrade package to the W14 at Imola, including a new sidepod design, in a bid to address the car’s aerodynamic performance.

With five races in the bag, Red Bull hold a commanding 122 point lead over their closest rivals Aston Martin, with Mercedes back in third.