Bahrain GP | Hamilton after finishing fifth: “We’re the fourth fastest team, we’re going backwards”

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Photo Credit: @MercedesAMGF1

After today’s race the fact that Mercedes hasn’t made any progress compared to last year, despite the confidence that both Toto Wolff and the drivers had shown just a few weeks ago, emerged very clearly.

Lewis Hamilton finished his race fifth, also due to Charles Leclerc’s DNF, which allowed him to bring home a couple more points. In the duel with Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, the W14 did not prove to be up to par, despite the spectacle that the two world champions gave us.

“I genuinely loved the racing. I had a great start, got Fernando in Turn 4 and I was like, ‘Oh jeez, this is a great start to the race’. It felt like one of my better opening laps,” the Englisman said after the race.

“Then I just was sliding around. I had so much understeer at the beginning, I took so much wing out, I couldn’t get around some of the corners, and I just couldn’t keep up with the guys ahead,” he explained.

“My middle stint was good and then at the end I was so close to catching Carlos [Sainz for fourth position], but [it was] not good enough.”

The 51 seconds gap from GP winner Max Verstappen, and the fact that there was nothing the Silver Arrows could do to close the gap with Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, showed that Mercedes still has a lot of work to do and Lewis Hamilton did nothing but confirmed the limits of the W14:

“We definitely can’t fight them at the moment – they were much quicker than us, as were the Astons.

“We’re the fourth fastest team now, as opposed to the third last year. We’re going backwards, [so] we really have a lot of work to do to close that gap,” he concluded.