Hamilton: “Generally the performance was so-so” in F1 Bahrain GP, as he faced an overheating PU and a broken seat

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
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The start of the season looked exciting and bright for Mercedes heading into the first weekend of the Formula 1 year. The team’s pace looked worthy as they scored a 1-2 in the second practice session in Bahrain ahead of qualifying.

The results were not to be. Both Silver Arrows’ faced several upsets throughout the 57 laps of the Bahrain Grand Prix, managing to finish in fifth and seventh place.

Lewis Hamilton specifically fought an uphill battle in several situations, first by having to manage an overheating power unit caused by a sub-optimal cooling configuration, then, he reported to the pit wall his seat being broken.

He debriefed the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix as “a tough race”, to selected media at Sakhir, explaining battery problems hampered his progress during the race as he fought the McLarens of Piastri and Norris.

“For sure there is some disappointment within the team as we hoped that it would be a better evening. We were close with several other cars and the degradation was high. The issues we faced obviously cost us some pace so that was frustrating.”

“For a while my battery was dead, so down the straights I was just derating so I lost a lot of ground on the McLarens.” He assured.

“I was fixing that for some laps – that took a good 10 laps and then after that I was just really trying to get back on it and catch up once we got that fixed.”

“Then there was a bit of overheating with the brakes, but generally the performance was so-so.”

On his broken seat that he talked about over team radio, Hamilton added: “My seat started moving, my left side dropped and so it was moving through the braking zones.”

“Ultimately if I had qualified better, naturally I would have been a good couple of places further ahead as my last stint was good. Today was about discovery and we found out a lot about the car. There’s plenty of areas we can improve on and I’m sure we will as a team.”

Despite the difficulties, the Briton is aware that it is only the first race of a very long year of Formula 1, so he was positive to learn from Bahrain and move on to the next event in Jeddah the following week as the team knows the direction they are going in with the car now.

“I feel good, I don’t feel downbeat. It was a super-average race,” he suggested. “I was catching at the end and feeling racy, but the gap was so big and I’d lost so much at the beginning of the race.”

“We have a platform that we can start adding bricks to,” he said. “The last couple of years, we’ve had all these problems and spent several races trying to undo all those problems, trying to figure out what those problems were as opposed to now.”

“Now it’s a building process from here, and I think we’re a great team,” he concluded.