Lewis Hamilton F1 News: Bernie Collins and Naomi Schiff deliver HARD criticism after disastrous session

Lewis Hamilton F1 News: Bernie Collins and Naomi Schiff deliver HARD criticism after disastrous session
Lewis Hamilton F1 News: Bernie Collins and Naomi Schiff deliver HARD criticism after disastrous session

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton has faced criticism following his performance in sprint qualifying at the Austrian Grand Prix.

In a shake-up of the usual Formula 1 weekend programme, we saw Friday afternoon qualifying action takes place at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Saturday’s sprint race.

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After Mercedes’ recent revival of performanceExpectations surrounding the Brackley-based team and their star driver were high heading into the weekend in Spielberg. However, Hamilton disappointed and qualified P6 – almost six-tenths behind Max Verstappen at the top of the rankings.

After the session, the seven-time world champion said admitted himself that it had been a ‘disastrous’ qualification in which he had driven ‘bad laps’. In SQ1, Hamilton had a lap time scrapped due to track limits, while he also made more mistakes as the session progressed.

Lewis Hamilton endured a tough sprint qualifying session in Austria
Lewis Hamilton starts the F1 Sprint in P6

Bernie Collins ‘tough’ on Lewis Hamilton

In a small mitigation of where he ended up, Hamilton did encounter some traffic towards the end of his lap, which could have cost him a few tenths. However, Sky Sports F1 pundit Bernie Collins gave a rather critical assessment of the Mercedes star’s session.

“Potentially,” Collins replied when asked if Hamilton’s problems were due to the nuances of the circuit and traffic. “But they made some different decisions to everyone else, if we’re strict.

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Former Formula 1 strategist Bernie Collins is now a pundit for Sky

“Lewis wasn’t on the soft, the only driver not on the soft in FP1. He was on the hard, so when he goes into sprint qualifying he has to make a step up to the medium and then another step up to the soft.

“These are undoubtedly the best drivers in the world, so he can make that step, but no one else felt they could. So they will definitely go back and look at it. Was it a good decision or a bad decision? We never get the right answer.”

Naomi Schiff Adds to Hamilton’s Misery

Collins wasn’t alone in his critical assessment of Hamilton and Mercedes’ session, with fellow pundit Naomi Schiff believing the seven-time champion’s session spiralled after an early mistake in SQ1.

“I think we all had higher expectations today from Mercedes as a package, but I think, as Ant (Davidson) said there, it seemed right from the start, with that moment he had coming out of the first corner. “He just kind of sent himself into a spiral when they were chasing their tails, kind of putting themselves under the thumb and having to respond,” Schiff said live on Sky Sports.

“You obviously have to fit a new set of mediums for SQ1, a new set for SQ2 and then a used or new set for SQ3. But of course you can’t fit a second set of mediums, so he’s clearly lost the peak torque of the tyre.

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Naomi Schiff was disappointed with Mercedes’ pace

“He was chasing his tail, there was traffic as well and from that point on you’re probably a bit stressed. It just didn’t all come together, so I wonder how much performance there was left if they had had the perfect run.

“But ultimately, did they put themselves in that position by not putting themselves in the optimal position and not putting themselves in the overall situation that they felt more comfortable in?”

Schiff continued, questioning whether the team had found the right lineup.

“I wonder if they also have difficulty with that (the set-up), because we saw that Lewis also had quite a few moments in FP1.

“I don’t know if they are also satisfied with the balance of the car.”

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