The 37-year-old was seen hunched over at the end of the race and criticised his “undriveable” car. He said: “I don’t know how different the cars are set up but the car was undriveable with the set-up I chose. But it’s my own fault, I made some set-up changes. “I don’t know if that was everything to do with it, but it was very unstable. I don’t what I’m going to be able to do tomorrow, but I’m a long way back.”
Following a dismal qualifying session, he added: “[The setup] was looking good in P3, I tried to progress in a similar direction and maybe went too far. The car was just undriveable, and so nervous.” Hamilton’s 10th place finish wasn’t even enough to see him cross the line before Kevin Magnussen in the Haas, who have had a woeful time in F1 before the start of this season.
“Right now, we’re not fighting for the top step. We’re so far off the guys up ahead. We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Hamilton explained. “I don’t particularly feel like we have made improvements. All I know is that I couldn’t keep up with the Haas in the end. “The power they have, they came slingshotting past me when I overtook Magnussen earlier in the race.”
When asked how far off the pace he felt, Hamilton added: “It feels like a long way away. We’re still really down on speed. It’s not just one fix, it’s several things. “I don’t really know but I’ll have to speak to the team. It’s definitely gutting but I got one point at least and we’ll work hard. At least we both got points for the team.”
Elsewhere on the grid, Max Verstappen rebounded from his failure in Bahrain by prevailing in an entertaining duel with Charles Leclerc to win the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and climbed to third in the drivers standings.