Lewis Hamilton has summed up his 'unstable' Mercedes car after finishing behind team-mate George Russell during the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix qualifying.
The seven-time world champion will start seventh on the grid for Sunday's grand prix after another disappointing qualifying session – clocking a time almost one second slower than pole setter Sergio Perez.
Hamilton finished fifth in the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago and could lose further ground to his title rivals in Jeddah. The British star admitted to lacking confidence in his car on the fast street circuit losing vital time to his competitors during Saturday's qualifying session.
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"I just don't feel connected to this car," he said after qualifying. "No matter what I do, no matter what I change, I can't get confidence in it. I'm at a bit of a loss. In the high-speed, the car is a little unstable on my set-up."
Hamilton was shown up by team-mate Russell who will start Sunday's grand prix third on the grid. The seven-time world champion claims that the two Silver Arrows cars were set-up slightly differently resulting in Russell having an advantage.
He added: "It is a little different [to Russell's]. There is one thing I did differently. Maybe it will be okay for tomorrow (the grand prix) but less so for today."
Hamilton's car struggled to match the pace of his rival last season and he is already playing catch-up in the early stages of the 23-round 2023 campaign. The 38-year-old is currently contracted with Mercedes until the end of this season and the Silver Arrows star could leave to join a more competitive team.
Despite the rumours over his future growing Hamilton is adamant he is 'not a quitter' and will work with the team to improve his car.
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He added: "I love this team. I am so grateful for everyone who has been on this journey with me. I don't envisage being anywhere else. I don't see myself quitting. I don't feel like I am a quitter.
"But I don't feel like it's giving me a lot (the car). But I am trying to be patient and work with the team and get us to a good place. I am not planning on going anywhere.
"There is no such thing as can't. At the moment it definitely feels like I couldn't get any more out of the car today but I will keep trying."
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