Lewis Hamilton perplexed by Mercedes car as Brit responds to penalty question

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LEWIS HAMILTON has been unable to challenge for wins this season as Mercedes struggle to match Red Bull and Ferrari.

F1 preview: A lap of the Belgian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton has been left baffled by the pace of his Mercedes as they continued to struggle at the Belgian Grand Prix. The Mercedes star admitted the team were just “not very quick” and claimed they could be a “long way off” challenging this weekend.

The seven-time champion was only sixth fastest in FP2 while team-mate George Russell was only fast enough for eighth. It means Mercedes appear to be slower than Ferrari and Red Bull for another weekend while McLaren’s Lando Norris was also quicker.

After the session, Hamilton was asked if he was running high on fuel this weekend but lacked optimism for a good result. He said: “I’d want to assume the same thing. I wouldn’t say so no we’re just not very quick I don’t know why.”

Hamilton was then pushed whether the issue on Friday was salvageable or related to the conditions on track. He added: “I really don’t know I mean we are going out and giving everything we have got. It could be tyre temperatures, it could be wing levels, it could be a multitude of things.

READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton drops fresh hint on retirement decision

Lewis Hamilton perplexed by Mercedes car as Brit responds to penalty question

Lewis Hamilton is baffled by Mercedes lack of pace (Image: Getty / Sky Sports F1)

“It doesn’t feel disastrous out there, it’s just we are a long way off. But we often find this on the Friday and then thighs change a little bit more on the Saturday so I hope that’s the case.”

Hamilton has been tipped as a possible winner of the Belgian Grand Prix after a range of penalties to their nearest rivals. Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc will both start from the back of the grid for Sunday’s race after taking a range of new engine components.

Hamilton and Russell have only finished behind the Dutchman over the past two races, handing the Silver Arrows a chance to capitalise.

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Lewis Hamilton perplexed by Mercedes car as Brit responds to penalty question

Lewis Hamilton has now secured five consecutive podium finishes (Image: Getty)

The Brit has ruled out that he’ll be hit with penalties like Verstappen and Leclerc but does not appear optimistic about Mercedes’ chances. He added: “Everyone is at risk but at the moment we are not taking any penalties.

“We have done a great job on that, we have just got to work hard tonight to analyse the data try and figure out where we can go with this car. It doesn’t feel the same as it did at the last track.”

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