After struggling for pace at last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Mercedes bounced back at Zandvoort, with Hamilton and teammate George Russell able to mix it up with the Red Bulls and Ferraris in qualifying.
Hamilton ended up fourth after yellow flags for Sergio Perez’s late spin prevented the seven-time world champion from improving on his final run in Q3.
“Much happier coming into this weekend, to have a car that’s potentially fighting but I just don’t understand,” Hamilton said.
“One weekend it can be so far off and the next weekend all of a sudden we’re right there, so it’s confusing for sure.”
Hamilton added: “There’s hope that the potential is there but I have no idea whether the car is going to be good or bad at the next races.
“It’s like a mood swing. Like the characteristics of a human being, you don’t know what side of the bed you’re going to get out of.”
Asked if Mercedes have worked out why the W13 was so much more competitive at Zandvoort compared to Spa last weekend, Hamilton replied: “The engineers have a much better understanding of why it didn’t work at the last one and why it works here.
“It has to do with aero curvatures and all sorts that I don’t know why we didn’t see it going into the last race because there were things we could have done differently and it could have been a little bit better at least.
“Not two seconds quicker but why are we missing that? So we’re just looking at things of how we can make sure we’re better prepared from race to race.
“But just generally, this type of track, just putting the car on it – just works much better with the right height and so we’re just looking at things of how we can make sure we’re better prepared from race to race.”
Hamilton, who ended up qualifying four-tenths off Max Verstappen, reckons he could have been on the front row without the yellow flags.
“If we hadn’t had the yellow flag, would have been hopefully, potentially fighting for the front row,” he said. “So that’s really positive.
“I hope that for the deficit that we normally have that we closed the deficit in a single lap, if that can then reflect to our race pace, that would be awesome.”
But he doubts he had the pace to challenge and beat Verstappen to pole, describing that prospect as “highly optimistic”.
“I think they were still a bit too quick,” he said. “But I think the front row was possible.”