Lewis Hamilton‘s chances of making the top 10 in Saturday’s qualifying session for the Spanish Grand Prix are under threat after he finished Friday’s practice sessions as the 11th fastest driver. Despite finishing fourth in Monaco last weekend, there was a sense that Hamilton and Mercedes would perform better here in Barcelona after bringing a major upgrade to the car. However, Hamilton was almost 0.7 seconds off the pace of Max Verstappen‘s fastest Friday lap. After the session, Hamilton expressed concern about his chances of making the top 10 in qualifying-despite his recent upgrades-although he did sound a note of hope by recognizing how close the timings were between the drivers in the field.
Hamilton acknowledged the growing competition in the sport, praising the improvements made by other teams, such as Alpine and Aston Martin. Hamilton recognized that the middle of the pack was very tightly contested, meaning that a spot in the top 10 would not come easily to any driver. He also recognized how impressive it was to see Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin performing well in practice sessions. Hamilton believed there were still areas in which he could improve his setup and lap times, and was eager to do so ahead of the finale.
Hamilton was also hopeful that Mercedes‘ competitiveness would improve over long runs, but the car hadn’t felt drastically different since the recent upgrades. The circuit in Barcelona was markedly different from Monaco which would have limited some of the teams’ carryover from the last race. Hamilton remained positive and believed great changes could come with the right adjustments.
Come rain or sunshine, qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday promises to be a thrilling contest as the teams and their drivers fight for supremacy. Will Hamilton and Mercedes be able to boost their pace, or will Red Bull and some other teams’ recent upgrades stifle them? Fans will have to tune in to find out.