Lewis Hamilton is hoping rain during the Miami Grand Prix can save his weekend after failing to reach Q3 on raw pace on Saturday.
Mercedes has struggled throughout the first two days in Miami and both drivers needed late laps to escape Q1, before Hamilton was unable to advance into the top 10 shootout. Starting from 13th, Hamilton admits his best hope of a recovery is likely to be thunderstorms that are forecast, as he doesn’t feel the performance is in the car to make major progress.
“Hoping that the Florida heavens are going to open and we’re going to have some rain,” Hamilton said. “I don’t know how lucky I’ll be, but the rain would make it exciting. They’ve shortened the DRS so the overtaking might be worse tomorrow, like it was in the last race, but I think I’ve set the car up in a pretty decent place.
“It’s not going to be easy to overtake the cars ahead of me but maybe on strategy I can progress, try and get in the top 10 and get some points.
“I don’t think any of us have driven in the rain here so we’d have two laps to the grid and we’d have to learn as we go, which is exciting. Ultimately we’re not where we want to be. I wish we had a car that was able to contend for wins and so it’s tough for us but we just keep our heads down and pushing.”
The lack of pace left Mercedes with a challenging qualifying session and Hamilton says the team didn’t help itself with the timing of his final lap in Q2.
“It started out OK — there were a couple of decent moments throughout the session. We generally have struggled to have the true pace to get into Q3 today, maybe on the cusp of not getting in, then right at the end we went out too late. I was at the back of maybe seven cars and started the lap with just not enough temperatures in the tires.”