'Very, Very Windy': Lewis Hamilton Underlines Challenges During First Practice Session Ahead Of Bahrain Grand Prix

'Very, Very Windy': Lewis Hamilton Underlines Challenges During First Practice Session Ahead Of Bahrain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has underlined the challenges during first practice session ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix.

ANIUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 04:59 PM IST
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Lewis Hamilton | Photo: AFP

Seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton admits he was surprised to top the timesheets on the first day of action at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and he believes Mercedes still has "work to do" to match Red Bull's long-run performance.

In the second and more representative practice hour on Thursday, Hamilton set the fastest with a lap of 1m 30.374s, two tenths ahead of teammate George Russell, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen over half a second adrift in sixth.

"The track was so different compared to practice last week" - Lewis Hamilton

Speaking after the session, the 39-year-old conceded that it had been a "crazy" first day and discussed the challenges faced by the windy weather earlier in first practice.

"[In] FP1, [we] were surprised. It was very, very windy this morning, so it was a really difficult session I think for everyone.' The track was so different compared to practice [during pre-season testing] last week. Otherwise, it was feeling okay, but we didn't really know where we stood on the C2 tyre, and then in this session, [with] the car, we made some improvements over the session," Hamilton said as quoted by Formula 1.

"Again I don't understand, it's a shock to see us where we are. We'll take it for now but we can't get ahead of ourselves. We need to keep our heads down, keep working on the set-up. I think our long-run pace is nowhere near the Red Bulls, for example, and I think we were a lot closer so we've got some work to do there," he added.

Hamilton admitted that he was "much happier" with the vehicle last year, considering the team's troubles with its predecessors during the previous two seasons.

"My seat position is finally further rearwards, I've got a better feel for the car approaching the corners. There are areas that have been fixed and improved. It feels like a race car for once and the last two cars didn't feel like that, so it's a really good platform for us to work on and we've just got to keep our heads down and keep on chasing," Hamilton said.

"All the previous numbers and names of things are completely shifted" - Lewis Hamilton

Speaking about whether he knew where work could be done overnight to cut the long-run pace deficit to Red Bull for the remainder of the weekend, Hamilton said, "I do, [but] I'm not sure how to achieve it with the new vehicle.

"With a new car you have all new tools, everything's been redesigned and so all the previous numbers and names of things are completely shifted, so you're learning a whole new vocabulary when it comes to the car set-up," he added.

"We've tested some of them but not all of them, because we only had a day and a half [in pre-season testing], so yeah, we have to see. I hope that we can make a step. I've got a bit of an idea but I don't know how to achieve that yet currently with the set-up changes without affecting the other side of things, a single lap, so we'll see," said the seven-time world champion.

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