The Brit exited qualifying early as Q1 came to an end, starting 16th on the grid at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Complaining that he didn’t have trust in the car, Lewis told the press that the car was oversteering, meaning he wasn’t taking the corners of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit as quickly as he should be after a change to the car after practice.
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After he apologised to the team, Hamilton later told French television, “I’m looking forward to going home.”
Since this, Hamilton has moved up to 15th on the grid after a death-defying crash from Haas driver Mick Schumacher.
“For sure, there is something wrong,” Hamilton told the press. “It has never been that bad.
“Maybe I will start from the pit lane and change the car so it doesn’t handle the way it just did.
“I just apologise to my team. Everybody works so hard and when you don’t deliver for them it is gutting.”
Teammate George Russell will be starting sixth on the grid after a successful qualifying session with a different setup. Hamilton has since said he regrets choosing the setup he ended up running with:
“I don’t know how different the cars are set up but the car was undriveable with the set-up I chose,” he admitted.
“But it’s my own fault, I made some set-up changes.
“I don’t know if that was everything to do with it, but it was very unstable. I don’t know what I’m going to be able to do, but I’m a long way back.”
He was asked whether he was surprised to end up so far back on the grid:
“Yeah, of course. [The set-up] was looking good in P3, I tried to progress in a similar direction and maybe went too far.
“The car was just undriveable, and so nervous.”