After a disappointing qualifying showing on Friday for the Miami sprint race, with neither Hamilton nor team-mate George Russell making it out of SQ2, the seven-time world champion explained there were no extenuating circumstances for what happened.

Instead, he says that ending up more than half a second adrift of pole position was a proper reflection of where Mercedes stacks up in F1 right now.

"I feel like we extracted everything from the car," said Hamilton, who starts Saturday's sprint from 12th on the grid, one place behind Russell.

"And that's just our pace. You know, we just have to accept it for the moment that we are seven tenths off."

Hamilton said that while first practice in Miami had gone well as Mercedes looked competitive, the pace just fell away in qualifying.

"The car felt really good in P1," he said. "And then P2, I mean, it didn't feel terrible, it was just seven tenths off. I mean, that's just I think the pace of our car."

He added: "I think the sprint race is going to be tough. I mean, we're in 12th. So don't expect a huge amount from there, to be honest. It's not an easy circuit to overtake on or to follow. So just trying to step into the points somehow, if we can."

George Russell at Miami GP 2024

Russell felt that Mercedes had been hurt by its car not being as competitive on the medium tyres that are mandatory for the first qualifying segments.

"In practice, the soft tyre was feeling really good on our car," he explained. "The pace was good; I think it was P4.

"Then on the medium we just couldn't get the sweet spot and found ourselves on the wrong side of it. So, it was tight out there.

"We shouldn't have been in the position to be that close to the margin to be cut off. And yeah, we need to work overnight and make some improvements for the main quali.

"I've got no doubt we'll move forward in the sprint race. We need to try to get on top of our qualifying woes. It's always difficult to fight with the cars ahead when we start on the back foot."