Lewis Hamilton says, “It’s a shock,” as Mercedes leads practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix

In practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend, Lewis Hamilton unexpectedly outperformed colleague George Russell, and on Thursday he cautioned his Mercedes team not to “get ahead of ourselves.” The seven-time world champion claimed he was considerably satisfied with the team’s new 2024 chassis and that there was more performance “to extract.” He will be switching from Mercedes to Ferrari in 2025. Though shocking, we’ll accept it,” he remarked. “For once, it feels like a race car.

 

Even though Mercedes had beaten Red Bull’s reigning champion Max Verstappen in qualifying, the Dutchman’s long run pace in race setup was still much faster, he conceded. Compared to last year, I’m feeling a lot happier overall with the car,” he remarked. With a best lap time of one minute and thirty-seven seconds at the Bahrain International Circuit, Hamilton dominated the time trials under the lights, two tenths ahead of teammate George Russell, and Aston Martin’s two-time champion Fernando Alonso finished third. Despite complaining all day long due to the wind, Verstappen finished sixth, behind McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz, whose Ferrari seat Hamilton will take over next year. Although he struggled to maintain single lap pace, he was dependable and swift during the late-day runs.

 

Some people have started their engines to get the best speed, but we didn’t. It’s getting near. However, we put our attention on ourselves and have been attempting to identify the ideal setup. We won’t be far away once we have it! In addition to Ferrari, Aston Martin, and McLaren, Hamilton stated that Mercedes will be “in the mix” for a podium finish in the race on March 2; however, he predicted Verstappen to “veer off” into the distance in the opening race of an unprecedented 24-race season. After claiming his record-tying 103rd victory in Saudi Arabia in 2021, Hamilton went 45 races without winning. Since then, he has not won a race.

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