Hamilton doubts Ferrari preparation and philosophy


On a high following his scintillating pole-winning lap, Lewis Hamilton was unaware of exactly how bad things had gone for Ferrari, and particularly Charles Leclerc. When advised of the team's failure to send the Monegasque out for a late run, thereby causing him to fail to make it to Q2 for his home race, the five time world champion had some home truths for the Maranello outfit.

“I didn't know that," said the Briton, when told that Leclerc had failed to make the cut.

"That's just about preparation," he continued. "It's really a formality. We sit down and we talk a lot the plan - even until going into Q3, we were talking about the timings and the preparation and what we were going to be doing.

"The communication is constant. That relationship is so, so important. We've got great, great people within our team that are just not making mistakes and they're delivering on their word, as we are.

"Sometimes it happens, y'know?" he continued, referring to Leclerc's comment that Ferrari's decision-making was unacceptable. "They'll have a minimum time, the knock-out time. They'll say the least time is this, and they'll predict that the track is going to improve a certain amount.

"You go out, you do a lap, and they say you're safe. My first lap, they said I was safe - but I could stay out and do more. I decided to stay out and better my time and see the track improve.

"I've, in the past, been sat in the garage and they're like: "we're on the edge, we might go out again, we might not." They chose to risk it. We don't really take many risks like that.

"Obviously Sebastian, which is very easy to do here," he said, referring to the German's encounter with the barriers that almost cost him a place in Q2. "The Red Bull's always really quick here and Max did a great job, so I don't really know where the whole layout is.

"I think they've got a really good car," he said of Ferrari. "For some reason it's really quick on the straights and a bit slower through the corners. We're quicker through the corners in general - I think the same for the Red Bulls.

"I think this year they have taken a slightly different philosophy and naturally it's currently not working everywhere but I think they were quite quick at some points through the session.

"But, it's such an intense battle naturally still. Whatever package you have, you're still trying to squeeze every little drop out of it and more. And when you're on that knife-edge, you're prone to make more mistakes, y'know? When your car is off the pace, you hope, as a driver, you can bring another two, three, four tenths, whatever it is, so you push it beyond the limit and you make more mistakes. That's the natural thing. I don't look at it as anything less than them just pushing as hard as they can."

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Published: 26/05/2019
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