Lewis Hamilton gives damning assessment of Mercedes car after ‘tough’ Bahrain GP

Lewis Hamilton finished 50 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen in Bahrain (Photo: Getty / Sky Sports)

Sir Lewis Hamilton says while he feels ‘great’ after the Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes’ car is further off the pace than he previously thought.

After positive testing and practice, it was expected that Hamilton and Mercedes would be competing for at least a podium at the F1 season opener.

And even after an underwhelming qualifying, the seven-time champion was confident he had the speed to fight up the grid.

But the 39-year-old was well off the pace come Saturday’s race, finishing a dismal seventh, 50 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen.

It is far from the start that Hamilton, who reported during the race that his seat had broken, and his team would have wanted, and after the race, he had few positive things to say about his W15 machine.

‘I personally feel great, physically I feel great so winter training has worked,’ the Brit told Sky Sports.

‘We probably feel a bit of disappointment within the team, I’m not sure about everyone else.

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain

Hamilton struggled in the midfield for much of the race (Photo: Getty)

‘I was definitely hoping that we would be better this weekend then we were, but it was a tough race, it was very close with everybody  and degradation is high with the car.

‘There is plenty of areas we can improve. We were further back from the Red Bulls then we thought as well.’

Asked what positives he was taking forward to the next race in Saudi Arabia next weekend, Hamilton hesitated before glumly responding: ‘I mean… the car is reliable.

‘But I think it was a struggle in the car today. The platform, where I was given everything, but there wasn’t a lot of performance there compared to some of the others.

‘I think if I would have qualified better, I would be a good couple of places ahead because the last stint was good. 

‘It was about discovery today, I found out a lot of things about the car to improve and I’m sure the team will.’

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