Why was Lewis Hamilton so slow in Bahrain? Mercedes driver highlights issues

Mercedes had a string of reliability errors in the 2024 F4 season opening Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton might have been dreaming of ending his Mercedes career with a record-breaking eighth Formula 1 world title, but the fairy tale was shattered at the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix as he finished 50 seconds off the lead after battling reliability problems.

The man with 104 pole positions was harshly punished for being two tenths down on George Russell in qualifying but was upbeat due to feeling as though he had a better race car but this never really transpired on the track, struggling to make much progress against the McLaren‘s whilst his teammate ran as high as second.

But that was partially due to a trio of problems with his latest car including battery issues, brake temperature issues and seating issues, all of which contributed to him finishing in seventh in the season opener.

“For a while like my battery was dead for I was de-rating all down the straight,” Hamilton said to media after the race. “So I lots of grounds to the McLaren’s and I fixing that for some laps. That took a good 10 laps and I lost 30 seconds.

“Then after that I was just really trying to get back on it and catch up once we got that fixed, and then there’s a bit of overheating with the brakes.”

Hamilton added: “My seat started moving, the left side dropped, and then it was moving through the braking zone.”

Lewis Hamilton on track in 2024 F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain | Sam Bloxham / Mercedes F1

Hamilton reflects on Mercedes progress

As the man with 103 wins and seven world championships, many might predict the Briton to have incredibly high standards for his own and his team’s performance but he’s actually feeling positive about Mercedes.

The veteran racer feels as though this is a good platform for the team to kick on developing after two years in the wilderness with a car that they didn’t really understand and found very temperamental and unpredictable.

“I feel good. I don’t feel downbeat,” Hamilton concluded. “I think it was a super average race.

“Once I go back and see the times of the Red Bull‘s that will add a downer to my day for a while, but what I feel is that the last couple of years we’ve had all these problems.

“We spent several races undoing all those problems like trying to figure out what those problems were, as opposed to now we have a platform that we can start adding bricks and stuff. So now it’s a building process from here and I think we’re a great team.”

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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