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"She's spiteful," says Hamilton of his car

NEWS STORY
09/04/2022

Qualifying fifth for the Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton likens his W13 to "a viper or a rattlesnake".

Two weeks after failing to make it out of Q1 at Jeddah, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is back at the right end of the grid, having qualified fifth for the Australian Grand Prix.

Nonetheless, the Briton's problems with Mercedes' 2022 contender remain.

"I feel like my lap, there was a little bit more in the car, so that's a positive," he told Sky Sports. "But I'm also naturally gutted that I wasn't able to extract that little bit more... but the problem is, when you push that car just a little bit more, she's quite spiteful.

"She's like a viper or a rattlesnake," he added, "you never know..."

Subsequently asked if the car felt any better, the Briton was adamant: "No, no. We haven't made any progress.

"I don't know what is coming yet," he added, referring to the fact that the team will now head back to base, "but I'm really, really hopeful. I know everyone is working really, really hard, but we've had three races and no progress in the three races.

"So I really hope over this next week we can get as much information as we can from the race tomorrow, and I hope that we're able to somehow figure out how we can fix something for the next race.

"It's been quite a short turnaround," he admitted, in terms of the seeming lack of progress. "It takes a long time to make stuff. There's nothing particularly exciting coming at the moment. I wish I could be optimistic, like yeah the next one we've got something better coming. But at the moment we don't.

"In some places it doesn't feel terrible," he said of the W13, "it's just not as fast as the others. Where I'm really unhappy is the porpoising, that's the worst characteristic I've experienced in the car. And we can't get rid of it at the moment."

"The biggest thing for me at the moment is still the bouncing," added teammate George Russell, who will start the race from sixth on the grid. "I've been trying all sorts of things to be on the limit of the bouncing and then it's costing me a lot of speed through the high-speed corners, that's where I lose all my lap time.

"I don't have the confidence to attack with the bouncing," he admitted, "it's such a unique feeling from within the car, and when the car's going up and down, and up and down, you cannot throw it into these high-speed corners. So it's tricky to find the right compromise."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Melbourne, here.

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