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Hamilton Admits Struggle to Match Russell’s Imola Qualifying Pace

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Lewis Hamilton openly acknowledged his struggle to match George Russell's performance during the Imola qualifying session.

Lewis Hamilton has admitted that he was unable to match George Russell's impressive showing during the F1 qualifying round at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Hamilton managed to clinch the eighth position for Sunday's race at Imola, trailing two positions behind his teammate George Russell.

Tsunoda's RB performance separated the duo, highlighting Mercedes' ongoing struggles at the season's outset.

In 11 out of the past 12 races, Russell has consistently outperformed Hamilton in qualifying sessions, highlighting Hamilton's ongoing difficulties in mastering the W15 over a single lap.

Reflecting on his performance during the qualifying round at Imola, Hamilton conceded that he wasn’t able to match the level of performance achieved by Russell, who managed to qualify just a tenth of a second behind Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

"He believes that George achieved the fastest speed possible for our car. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to match that performance today," he commented.

"Yesterday showed promise. It was encouraging to see that our pace was somewhat closer to what we hoped for."

Mercedes' disappointing showing in the qualifying rounds extended an odd pattern of losing their speed advantage after showing promise during practice sessions.

The seven-time world champion disclosed that Mercedes has not completely grasped the reasons behind their exceptional performance on Fridays this year.

"One aspect that remains unclear to us is why on Fridays we appear faster, yet by Saturday, we tend to fall slightly behind compared to the others," he continued. "However, George was quite fast on the track."

"He definitely needs to review the setup this weekend, similar to what he's been doing throughout the year. Personally, it had a different effect on me."

Hamilton aims to swiftly overtake Tsunoda and then position himself behind the leading vehicles, evaluating his prospects in the competition.

"Indeed, we'll make an effort to involve Tsunoda as well, if possible, which would be beneficial,” he continued. “Following that, it essentially boils down to tyre management and dealing with the cars in front of George, which are quicker. That's essentially the situation."

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