July 23, 2024

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 06: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes and George Russell of Great Britain and Mercedes speaks with Doriane Pin of France and PREMA Racing during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 06, 2024 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images) (Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton had a challenging race at the Chinese Grand Prix.

George Russell has already opined that Lewis Hamilton was not to blame for Mercedes’ dismal performance, despite his insistence to the contrary following the Chinese Grand Prix. The Silver Arrows have made several significant design changes over the winter, but they still trail teams like Red Bull, Ferrari, and McLaren.

Russell finished sixth and Hamilton crossed the finish line in ninth place, meaning Mercedes had a disappointing weekend in China. It followed Hamilton’s shocking elimination in the first qualifying round, which was his worst qualifying performance in more than two years.

Mercedes appeared to be competitive at first after Hamilton finished second in the sprint, just behind Max Verstappen. But he didn’t feel at ease driving, so before qualifying he decided to alter his car’s setup, a move that disastrously backfired.

After the Shanghai race, Hamilton stated unequivocally that he did not cause Mercedes to fail in the previous few years. “I don’t design the car,” he said, shifting the blame to his Silver Arrows engineers, according to GP33.

He said last year that Mercedes had made a subpar vehicle because they had disregarded his requests during the design phase.

“I informed them of the issues with the vehicle,” he uttered. “I’ve driven a lot of cars in my life, so I understand what a car needs and doesn’t need, and I believe that what matters most is that they are responsible. “Yes, you know what, we didn’t listen to you, which is why the car is not where it should be and we have to get to work,” is what they should be acknowledging and saying.

Russell, though, has already disclosed that Hamilton, dissatisfied with certain aspects of the car’s predecessor, did contribute to the design of Mercedes’ 2024 model. He expressed dissatisfaction with the cockpit’s placement, saying it placed him too close to the front wheels, during the previous season.

Russell stated, “With Lewis’s experience, it is evident that the car has been designed in accordance with his wishes,” when discussing the subject earlier this year. Compared to last year, the cockpit is positioned farther back, and the sidepods are akin to those of a Red Bull, along with a slightly modified steering rack. Although the team’s listening is commendable, we still need to see if it results in faster lap times.

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