July 23, 2024

Lewis Hamilton’s troubles persisted in Shanghai, and Mercedes had to endure another weekend to forget.

James Allison, the technical director of Mercedes, has acknowledged that the Silver Arrows have some responsibility for Lewis Hamilton’s failure to challenge teammate George Russell’s setup for the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend.

The seven-time world champion had a fantastic start to the weekend, finishing P2 behind Max Verstappen in the sprint race. However, during qualifying, he made a crucial mistake at the turn-14 hairpin, which resulted in his first Q1 elimination since the 2022 Saudia Arabian Grand Prix.

Beginning the race in position eighteen on the grid, Hamilton quickly gained ground on the field and, with some brilliant Mercedes strategy calls involving the safety car, managed to move back up to P9 by the time the checkered flag was raised.

“I think we all saw what happened on his second run, which was only his second timed lap therefore, running down the main straight into that bottom hairpin, he just got a little bit out of shape on the braking, went deep and that’s 0.7 of a second just there,” Allison said in response to the problem that derailed Hamilton’s qualifying.

Without that significant gap, he could have easily progressed to Q3 and beyond. Thus, he would raise his hand and utter, “My error, my mistake.” We would have been a little more realistic, in my opinion, and stated that we ought to have strongly encouraged him to pursue a program that was somewhat similar to George’s.

That’s our fault, and to be honest, we ought to be designing a car that isn’t as complex as the one we currently have, which is leading to drivers making remarkably uncommon mistakes. We’re locking up at the end of the race with two of the world’s best drivers.

We have two of the greatest drivers in the world, and because the car is too complex, locking up at the end of a straight into a hairpin is not something Lewis would have approved of.

Even though Hamilton’s strong comeback drive paid off with a P9 finish on Sunday, he still trailed his teammate in the standings. The 39-year-old has now failed to finish in the top six this season and has finished in ninth place in each of the last three races that he has participated in.

Due to these outcomes, Hamilton is now languishing in P9 in the Drivers’ Championship standings, 14 points behind Russell, who finished the Shanghai International Circuit in P6 after a solitary race.

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