After qualifying in P4 for the French Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes seems to be “a lot further off this weekend”.
Many observers have expected Mercedes to be able to challenge for the win at the French Grand Prix, but judging by the team’s performance so far this weekend, it’s not going to be easy.
After Qualifying Lewis Hamilton revealed he was running different set-ups in each practice session.
“I ran a big wing this morning just to see if that was better but it was so slow on the straights so we had come back,” the Briton said.
“I am still experimenting in the car. Generally, George has been with the same car all weekend since P1, he has changed hardly anything.
“But I like to experiment, I tried the smallest wing at the beginning at the weekend and I tried the biggest wing, set-ups have gone all over – at least I got the qualifying set-up decent.”
Ultimately Lewis managed to qualify in a very good P4.
“I generally feel really good. I was very happy with my lap at the end – it was a beautiful lap.
“For whatever reason, we seem to be a lot further off this weekend but then the whole pack is. The top two teams are in their own league really.
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“Considering I missed P1, which definitely does put you on the back foot, I am really happy with the progress we have made and everybody back at the factory was working hard with us to make progress.
“I think we took a step back today, but into qualifying we managed to turn it around.”
Unfortunately Lewis says a win is not very likely this Sunday.
“No. They are in a different league; we just have to accept we’re not in the same league in terms of performance of the car.
“But still, I can get a good start and hopefully I can battle with Perez maybe. I’m still going to be challenging and fighting for a podium if I can.”
Asked if he could give a prediction on when his first 2022 win may arrive, Lewis said:
“Honestly, I came here this weekend hoping that we were going to be within three tenths of them, and we’re a second [off].
“So with the three tenths that I was hoping for, and if at the next race we can close a couple of tenths, then we’ll be in the fight in Budapest.
“But if it’s anything like this, then it’s going to be a while. But it’s not impossible,” Hamilton concluded.