Lewis Hamilton insisted he was feeling ‘positive’ ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix despite saying on Saturday his Mercedes was ‘undriveable’.
Hamilton qualified in 16th after failing to get out of Q1 for the first time since the Brazilian Grand Prix all the way back in 2017.
He will start in 15th following the withdrawal of Hass' Mick Schumacher.
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His team-mate George Russell enjoyed a far better time of it despite also appearing relatively downbeat over his car’s performance, as he came in at sixth.
There was speculation that Hamilton would instead start from the pit lane after carrying out more work on the car overnight but ahead of the race it appeared that he would try to fight his way through from the off.
"I honestly felt like the same me!," the seven-time champion said to Sky Sports. "I just made some changes to the car and it really didn't like the changes that I made. “
Hamilton explained that he was struggling with grip and had almost suffered accidents in qualifying and practice.
"I was really just struggling with the rear end and once you lose confidence in the rear then you can't attack these corners and you can end up in the wall, and I nearly ended up in the wall a few times,” he claimed.
Nevertheless, he said he was aiming to pass as many drivers as he could when the race got underway, saying: "I'm 15th but the car is always different when you have fuel in the car... I've got a lot of great drivers ahead of me, I need to try and pick off as many as I can.
"It's windy, it's a bit warmer... I'm positive."
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