Desperate Lewis Hamilton worked in Mercedes garage until ‘past midnight’ before Belgian GP

F1 preview: A lap of the Belgian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has admitted he worked in the Mercedes garage until past midnight after a horror qualifying Toto Wolff branded as the team’s worst. Ahead of the race Hamilton was asked how late he was at the circuit after a difficult Saturday.

He replied: “I think at 12:30. Trying to figure out how to win. Still working on the theory and constantly just trying to see, make sure there’s no stone unturned basically so today we can maximise. 

“Obviously you can’t change anything overnight but still lots of learning.”

He added: “I hope we can somehow challenge the guys ahead but we will see.”

Hamilton was only quick enough for seventh fastest with team-mate Russell eighth. The seven-time champion was left stunned after his best lap in Q3 was 1.8 seconds slower than Verstappen. 

Despite this, Toto Wolff has still branded yesterday’s result as the team’s worst qualifying since he took over the Silver Arrows a decade ago. He explained: “You can’t be on pole three weeks before, albeit for very different conditions, different track, and then be 1.8 seconds off the pace at the next one.

“So there’s something we totally don’t understand, or seem to get right. Clearly, Red Bull are here in a league of their own, as the next Ferrari is eight tenths off. But that’s no consolation.

“It’s for me the worst qualifying session I had in 10 years. And irrespective of what positions we will start in tomorrow, being on pole the previous weekend and three weeks later being nowhere, it’s just not acceptable for ourselves.”

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