It wasn't a positive race weekend for Sir Lewis Hamilton at Imola. The seven times world champion ended in P13, for his first time out of the points since last year's collision with Verstappen in the Italian GP.
In spite of the podium finish secured in the opening Bahrain round, and of his teammate George Russell always ending in the top five, Hamilton and his W13 haven't been off to an easy start under the new regulations. In Saudi Arabia he didn't make the cut for Q2 on pace only for the first time since the 2009 British Grand Prix, while in Italy he managed to qualify in P13.
The Sprint Race didn't help him in his quest for points, as he dropped another position to start in P14. During the race, Hamilton was stuck behind Pierre Gasly's AlphaTauri, and wasn't able to complete the move even after the introduction of the DRS, due to the fact that Gasly had as well DRS because of his proximity to Albon.
Hamilton commented his underwhelming performance after the race, highlighting the way his inability to complete overtakes made him feel: "I really found it frustrating, I just wasn't moving forwards."
Asked if being stuck in a DRS train had impacted his opportunities to move up in the grid, Hamilton wasn't sure about it being the only cause: "I don't really know, I just wasn't fast enough to overtake"
"I was a sitting duck today," he added.
The Mercedes driver found a bit of comfort in the better result Russell achieved:
"It's definitely not easy, but we all feel that as a team, at least George got us some points today for the team. My apologies to everyone I wasn't able to do the same."
Such a disappointing start from last year's winners of the constructors'championship was unexpected, but Hamilton reassures that, while it's not a great feeling, everyone is working hard on trying to improve the car.
"I think the team is... As I said, everyone in the team feels it, and everyone is just heads down trying their best. There's no one that is giving up and everyone just trying to move forwards as fast as they can.
Previously, the British driver had found the idea of racing in Miami "super exciting", going as far as to say that it was going to be the "favourite spot for everyone". But after such a hard weekend, even he isn't as happy to race at the new track as he had been earlier in the year:
"i can't say that I'm particularly looking forward to it at the moment, but I'm sure during the week I'll get to a positive frame of mind. I'll be in the factory tomorrow morning to work with the guys to see what we can improve."
Not where you deserve to be, Lewis. We’ll keep our heads down and get you back where you should be. pic.twitter.com/XFXMYZHUyM— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) April 24, 2022