Lewis Hamilton crashes out in Q1 at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton’s poor start to the F1 season continues as he is eliminated in Q1 for the first time in FIVE years in Saudi Arabia… and will start down in 16th place in Sunday’s race

  • Lewis Hamilton has made it past Q1 in every race since the Brazilian GP in 2017
  • However, he qualified down in 16th in Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening
  • This is just the latest setback for Mercedes after a difficult start to the season 

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton has been eliminated in Q1 for the first time in five years at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Mercedes struggled in testing and during the first weekend of the season in Bahrain, but Hamilton still managed to finish on the podium behind Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

He has left himself with an uphill task to replicate that finish this time around, though, as he has qualified for Sunday’s race in 16th place, and the 37-year-old was clearly disappointed when speaking to the press afterwards.

Lewis Hamilton had a nightmare qualifying session on Saturday in Saudi Arabia

‘I just struggled with the balance of the car, it’s not where we want to be,’ he told reporters.

The preparation for Saturday’s qualifying was overshadowed by an explosion at a nearby oil facility on Friday, but Hamilton did not believe that affected him.

‘We’re professional, we lock out whatever it needs. Just unfortunately we went the wrong way with the set up,’ he added.

This is the first time that Hamilton has failed to make it past the first qualifying session since the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2017. 

Despite dominating Formula 1 in recent years, Mercedes have been keen to play down their chances of coming out on top in 2022.

Hamilton has not performed this badly in qualifying since the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2017

After Hamilton’s third-place finish in Bahrain, team principal Toto Wolff insisted that the Brit was still only a ‘long shot’ to win his eighth world championship later this year.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell has also raised concerns about the Mercedes car.

He has claimed that the team’s problems could be an issue throughout the season, and hinted that it would be difficult to find a quick fix.

Hamilton’s disastrous qualifying performance seems to suggest that Russell’s assessment could prove correct, with Mercedes currently some distance behind their main rivals.

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