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One corner cost me Montreal pole, says Hamilton

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One corner cost me Montreal pole, says Hamilton
By:
Jun 10, 2018, 10:50 AM

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton believes that he could have been on pole position for the Canadian Grand Prix if not for struggles at the Turn 10 hairpin in qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W09

Hamilton has won every F1 race at Montreal from pole position since 2015, but had to settle for fourth in Saturday's qualifying, locking up at the hairpin on several occasions over the course of the session.

The reigning champion said that while the final sector, including Turn 10, of the track is usually his strongest part of the track, he was unable to set up the Mercedes properly for that section this time around.

The Briton reckons "that corner alone was pole position".

"It was good yesterday [Friday], the car balance was great into Turn 10," he said. "Usually the last sector is actually my strongest at this track but I was just struggling massively on the bumps into Turn 10.

"Yesterday I think we had a couple of small lock-ups but not a lot. As you continue to push the set-up, there are areas that can be affected.

"So constantly today going into that corner I was struggling to get the car stopped, be it front locking, or rear locking. So it was quite messy.

"I need to look into it to see exactly what it is – there was a good chunk of time there. Definitely just in that corner alone was pole position for sure, if I figured out how to fix it."

Hamilton conceded that Mercedes bringing fewer hypersofts than its main rivals, meaning the team did not try them until Saturday morning, was one of the problems.

"I think we will look back on this weekend and accept it as a fact that in hindsight it would have been nice if we had more time to prepare on the hypersoft, but it wasn’t the case.

"From the test we had in Abu Dhabi, that is kind of what led us to the decisions we made – and we stuck with those.

"We did the best we could with it but it was a combination of things.

"In qualifying we knew it was going to be very close as it was, but in my heart I truly feel we had the pace to lock out the front row, or at least I had the pace to be on the front row.

"But I struggled in the session and wasn’t able to pull it through."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff agreed with Hamilton’s assessment, but reckons the lack of hypersoft running was "probably not" the decisive factor.

The Austrian said: "The fact is, this is a championship that is going to be won or lost with the tiniest of margins.

"Certainly, not having given the drivers enough track time on the hyper, is something that, if we could have changed it on the weekend, we would have changed it.

"We have just started driving on the hyper today [Saturday]. Was that the decisive factor? Probably not. There are many factors.

"I am personally of the opinion that if we can optimise on one set of tyre that is eventually going to be the tyre for qualifying that will give you an advantage, whatever it is."

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