Lewis Hamilton relying on Miami upgrade after damning Mercedes message

The Mercedes driver struggled in early parts of the 2024 Chinese GP to sum up another miserable F1 weekend


Lewis Hamilton is holding out hope that Mercedes will bring upgrades to their car in time for the Miami Grand Prix after he complained about his lack of pace during the Formula 1 2024 Chinese GP.

The Mercedes star endured a dreadful qualifying session on Saturday – his worst since 2009 after qualifying 19th at Silverstone – as he could only manage 18th on the grid in Shanghai.

Hamilton appeared to struggle with the handling of his car and locked up his brakes, which cost him several tenths and saw him fall down the order.

He made amends in Sunday’s race, however, showing patience and determination to fight back to claim ninth place, adding two points to the seven he claimed during the F1 Sprint on Saturday.

Lewis Hamilton looks on ahead of hitting the track in Friday practice at the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Sam Bloxham / Mercedes F1 team
Lewis Hamilton looks on ahead of hitting the track in Friday practice at the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Sam Bloxham / Mercedes F1 team

But the 39-year-old has urged the Silver Arrows to expedite their planned upgrade in time for the Miami GP on May 5.

“I’m grateful to get into the points. I didn’t expect a lot more this weekend,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 in China.

“Hopefully we have a step forward coming at the next race. Until then, we will be back at the factory next week and try and position the car better for Miami and have a better weekend.”

Hamilton holds his hands up

The seven-time world champion was heard complaining on the team radio about the slow pace of his Mercedes W15 car as he struggled in the early parts of the race to make up places on the soft tyre.

After being stuck behind Esteban Ocon’s Alpine early on, he moaned: “I can’t even catch him mate. This car is so slow.”

But Hamilton, who revealed on Saturday that he had again decided to deviate from George Russell’s planned setup in the car, admitted he was at fault for their lack of pace.

In a radio exchange with his race engineer, Peter ‘Bono’ Bonnington, Hamilton apologised to his trusted advisor about wanting to change the setup and vowed not to do so again after a wretched weekend in the Far East.

Bonnington said: “That’s P9, mate. It was a real tough day in the office there, mate but we’ll go and figure it out”, to which Hamilton replied: “Yep. I won’t make that set-up change again, Bono. That was my bad. Thank you guys, and good job on the pit stops.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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