Lewis Hamilton was able to put on a brave face after the European GP, but it was clear that he wasn’t very happy with the outcome of the weekend.
He eventually finished fourth and a massive 46 seconds off winner Sebastian Vettel. Most tellingly he conceded that his title hopes are slim.
“It’s finished really, in the sense of the championship,” he said. “It’s almost over, really.”
Hamilton said the problem was a simple lack of pace. “It wasn’t a frustrating race, we just weren’t quick enough, it’s as simple as that. The Ferraris were massively quicker than ourselves. We were really struggling to keep up with the Red Bulls and Ferraris ahead of me, I think we were quite lucky to stay ahead of Massa, really. The guys did a fantastic job in the pit stops, the best pit stops we’ve had all year. Unfortunately, just struggling with pace.
“The guys were asking me to stay out longer, I said guys I’m trying to look after the tyres as best I can, so this is all I can do. So I was pushing all the way, but with the tyres I was really, really struggling with oversteer for a long time. Seems like we’ve taken a step backwards perhaps this weekend in terms of performance, or maybe others have taken a step forward.
“I said I would be happy if I was able to keep my [grid] position, so I can’t say I’m happy.”
Hamilton made it clear where the problem lies: “I think we’re quite a bit down on downforce. We’ve not made an upgrade for several weeks now. I mean we’ve had upgrades, the front wing for example, but I mean rear downforce, we’ve really been struggling with that. In the next race we will really, really struggle. Once we lose the engine map we may see some differences there. “I think we might be affected more than the two teams ahead of us. It could be even worse for us.”
Asked whether he was looking forward to his home race, he said: “No! I’m really looking forward to seeing the fans, because they always put a spark in the weekend and make it that much brighter. I hope the weather’s great for us. Of course I’ll be coming there as best prepared as I can, as fast as I can be there.”