Hamilton opens up on plans to remain in F1 ahead of new season
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Lewis Hamilton's angry reaction was caught on camera as the seven-time champion struggled in practice in Saudi Arabia. The Mercedes star made a hand gesture after he appeared to be held up by an Aston Martin on his hot lap.
Hamilton caught the AMR23 in the run-up to the quick right-hander at turn 15 which prompted the 38-year-old to run wide. He aborted his lap but made sure to make his feelings clear as he flicked his hand in annoyance while driving past.
He took to his team radio to complain about the heavy traffic as drivers struggled to find space on the tight street circuit. His race engineer, Peter Bonnington simply responded: "Copy. Yeah, very busy now."
Hamilton has continued to lack pace in Jeddah despite winning the Grand Prix back in 2021. He was only fifth fastest on Saturday afternoon with a lap one second slower than Max Verstappen's Red Bull.
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Lewis Hamilton’s gesture in FP3 was caught on camera (Image: Getty)
Hamilton also had a difficult day on Friday as he slumped outside the top 10 in the second practice session. After the chequered flag, he said: “I struggled in both sessions today, but we completed the run programme we had and tried to learn as much as possible.
“We will continue to go into the details overnight and focus on improving the balance of the car to make it easier to drive.” However, Hamilton was not the only one to struggle with traffic in the run-up to qualifying.
Verstappen moaned at race engineer Gianpaiero Lambiase after Lando Norris almost made contact with him at the end of sector one. Shouting on team radio, the Dutchman moaned: "’Mate! *********." Lambiase simply responded: "Apologies." The FIA also noted the incident between the two friends which came towards the end of the session.
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Lewis Hamilton flicked his hand in anger (Image: Sky Sports F1)
However, race stewards determined that no further investigation was necessary meaning neither driver will be hit with a penalty ahead of qualifying.
Cars almost collided as they battled for room which was also an issue in Friday's first two practice sessions. Charles Leclerc hit out at his engineer after he almost came together with George Russell.
Team-mate Carlos Sainz was also forced to abandon one of his flying laps due to a lack of space. Over team radio, he said: "He didn’t get out of the way – that was dangerous!”
Lance Stroll's quick reflexes avoided a heavy shunt on Friday as he caught a bunch of cars in the tricky first sector. The Canadian only escaped a heavy shunt after making a last-ditch move to the run-off area.
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