Lewis Hamilton admits he’s expecting a difficult day behind the wheel of his Mercedes W13 car on Sunday at the Italian Grand Prix.
The seven-time World Champion is set to start the race from towards the back of the field after being fitted with new power unit components this weekend.
Hamilton nevertheless took part in qualifying and ended Q3 in fifth place, ahead of team-mate George Russell, who has been promoted to the front row due to various grid penalties.
“It was an OK session,” Hamilton reflected. “It wasn’t my best session.
“I think in Zandvoort was pretty good but I think the car was feeling even better then. I think naturally today we were off the pace but fifth was the best I could do.
“I am losing two-tenths in the last sector so ultimately as a competitor I am like I need to figure out those last couple of corners but nevertheless I am generally happy with it.
“I didn’t mess up too much. I had one mistake, I think it was in Q2 but rectified that.”
Mercedes has struggled at high speed tracks this year, including at the recent Belgian Grand Prix from Spa-Francorchamps.
Although the reigning Constructors’ Champions expect to have better pace at Monza than Spa, Hamilton says that the DRS will struggle to help him advance through the field due to his low-downforce rear wing configuration.
“We were expecting it as we saw it at Spa,” Hamilton said.
“It’s the lowest wing downforce level, that’s where we seem to be particularly worse than the others but when we go to a circuit like Budapest which is maximum downforce we’re in a much better place.
“It’s going to be tough tomorrow because the DRS doesn’t make a huge difference, it’s quite small and most people will be in the DRS train so it could be a frustrating day but nevertheless I will try and be positive going into it.”
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