Home Critical engine Did an engine problem cost Hamilton pole in Mexico?

Did an engine problem cost Hamilton pole in Mexico?

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The seven-time world champion was fastest in the first two parts of qualifying at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez but his hopes of securing a first pole position in 2022 were finally dashed in Q3.

Hamilton recovered from his opening lap deletion to the track limits take third place, 0.05s slower than Mercedes team-mate George Russell and 0.304s adrift of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The Briton was heard reporting a problem with his engine during the latter part of qualifying and believes it cost him a critical time in the race for pole.

“It was generally a really good qualifying session,” said Hamilton.

“We had some issues towards the end with the engine in Q3 so I think there was definitely a bit of performance left on the table with that, unfortunately, but I did my best.

“Losing that first lap definitely made the last one very, very difficult. I had to be very reserved on that last lap just to make sure it was clean, because I was a tenth at that point.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t push as hard as I would have liked, but I still think it’s a great result, second and third.

“It’s not a bad position to start and hopefully we can sort out the engine problem for tomorrow.”

Asked to explain the engine problem in more detail, Hamilton said: “It started showing up in Q2 and then every pass in Q3.

“I was basically losing power coming out of corners, so I really think we were losing quite a bit of time in the last corner and most of the corners.

“I don’t really know what was going on, but it looked like an ignition problem. But I’ll check with the team.

Hamilton will line up from third on the grid, a position from which the last two races in Mexico City have been won.

Unusually, pole in Mexico is seen as a disadvantage due to the long run to Turn 1, which Hamilton will look to take advantage of on Sunday.

“Naturally it’s always a tough race here, with the track temperatures and the tyres, but these guys [Red Bull] have been quick all year,” Hamilton said when asked if he could fight for the win from third place.

“Even when we are at our best this weekend, we still lose to them in straight line speed, so it will definitely be difficult to pass tomorrow. But we will do our best. Turn 1 is an opportunity, so we let’s grab it.