Formula 1 Racing

Hamilton enjoyed “mega” Miami points run after “demoralising” Baku episode · RaceFans

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed his climb into the points in the second half of the Miami Grand Prix having been disappointed by his qualifying performance.

The Mercedes driver failed to make the cut for Q3 and started yesterday’s race from the seventh row of the grid. However he recovered to finish in sixth place, moving ahead of the Alpine drivers and Charles Leclerc on the way.

“It’s been a good day, much better than yesterday,” said Hamilton after the race. “Yesterday was a difficult day in qualifying, to be qualified 13th is not great obviously. It made the whole race much, much harder for us.

“The first 20 laps were a little bit difficult because we were in a DRS train, but after that I was able to then start chipping away and I really enjoyed battling with all the different cars and it was great at the end to be able to catch the Alpine and overtake a Ferrari, for example.”

Hamilton had to make way for his team mate George Russell at one stage, who went on to finish fourth.

“George, he started sixth so we were in bit of a different race and of course I’m a team player, I want to get the team the maximum points so I let him by,” said Hamilton.

The pair have endured a disappointing start to the season as their W14 hasn’t performed as expected. Hamilton said it felt “mega” to be able to recover some points from his lowly qualifying position.

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“The sprint race in the last [round] for example, I was going backwards and it’s just demoralising when you’re going backwards because it’s really tough. So it was great to have pace, be seeing the cars up ahead, seeing the progress and knowing that we were going to be battling with people, and had a couple of great overtakes as well – that’s what I live for.”

Mercedes out-scored Ferrari, despite their rivals showing significantly better pace in qualifying. “It felt great to see the Ferrari up ahead and be just catching it bit by bit,” said Hamilton. “It’s really impressive that they’re so quick on a single lap, but I don’t know what was going on within their race.

“But to come from 13th and then get back into the hustle with them was great. I think if I qualified where I should have probably qualified, I would have had a much easier, smoother day. But I prefer days like this where there’s a bit of adversity and you have to pull it all together and deliver, so great fun to do that.”

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