Lewis Hamilton has admitted he is lost and running low on confidence after another sobering evening in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.Hamilton posted only the eighth quickest time in Jeddah, 0.958 seconds adrift of Sergio Perez, who starts on pole position for Sunday’s race after Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen’s night ended prematurely with a mechanical failure.
The double world champion will line up in 15th.Fernando Alonso joins Perez on the front row for his rejuvenated Aston Martin team, with George Russell third, four tenths clear of Hamilton in the other Mercedes.Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc qualified second, but he is bumped down the order with an engine penalty.
It means Hamilton will start seventh.Twenty-four races have passed since Hamilton took the last of his record 103 victories following a monumental scrap with Verstappen here in Jeddah during the finals throws of their titanic 2021 title battle.But that triumph 468 days ago, will seem like a distant memory for Hamilton, who cast a sullen figure in the moments after an underwhelming night’s work on the Red Sea.“George did a great job and he’s right up there on the second row, so the car’s obviously got performance,” said the seven-time world champion.“But I don’t feel connected to this car.
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 with it.”I'm not planning on going anywhere else but I couldn’t get any more out of the car today.Read more on independent.co.uk