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2024 Bahrain GP


George Russell
1:35.065 Fastest Lap
57 Laps
Lewis Hamilton
1:34.722 Fastest Lap
57 Laps
George Russell
1:29.485 Fastest Lap
17 Laps
Lewis Hamilton
1:29.710 Fastest Lap
18 Laps

A battling performance from George Russell and Lewis Hamilton saw the pair finish fifth and seventh respectively in the Bahrain Grand Prix season-opener.

Starting P3 (George) and P9 (Lewis) there was just half a second separating the top nine drivers from Qualifying, but with both cars suffering overheating issues in the race, it was always going to be a tricky evening at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.

Both drivers had to manage overheating power units caused by a sub-optimal cooling configuration for the conditions.

George and Lewis battled gamely despite the forced pace limitations to ensure both cars finished in the points.

In the first stint George and Lewis made initial forward progress, overtaking Leclerc and Alonso respectively to run P2 and P8 early on.

As the race progressed though, it became clear that the team wouldn’t have the pace to battle for the podium spots. Both Ferraris ultimately passed George with Lewis splitting the McLarens of Norris and Piastri.

The Mercedes duo drove hard and there will be plenty of learnings to take as the team debriefs before the second race of the season in Saudi Arabia next week.

George Russell

It was a strange day today. Both Lewis and I faced a similar issue. The power unit was overheating from very early on, so we were managing that throughout. It was a shame as we made a really good start. I managed to make a good pass on Leclerc for second but very quickly, I had warnings on my steering wheel. To manage the overheating, we were losing tenths-of-a-second per lap, and it was very difficult to hold off anyone behind me. It’s a shame that we didn’t get to show any real potential of the car.

Thankfully, it’s not an issue we need to be concerned about. We got the cooling configuration wrong. We just need to understand why, and make sure we don’t do that again. It was simply an incorrect decision; we’ve got plenty of margin to cool the power unit more. I think without the issue we would have been in the fight for P3. It’s only the first race of the season so let’s see what we can do next week.

Lewis Hamilton

It was a tough race today. For sure there is some disappointment within the team as we hoped that it would be a better evening. We were close with several other cars and the degradation was high. The issues we faced obviously cost us some pace so that was frustrating.

Ultimately if I had qualified better, naturally I would have been a good couple of places further ahead as my last stint was good. Today was about discovery and we found out a lot about the car. There’s plenty of areas we can improve on and I’m sure we will as a team.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

We got the cooling level wrong today and that cost us. To manage the issue, we had to do a lot more lift and coast and you then lose performance with the tyres. It’s a vicious circle. We need to look at what we did wrong as we gave the drivers a car that was not competitive enough today. I’m keen to look at the data to make sure we don’t face similar changes in Saudi Arabia.

At the end of the day though, we have a brand-new car, and we are learning about it. We have seen the glimpses of performance here in Bahrain, but we couldn’t materialise that today. We will go away and make sure we build on our learning and come back stronger.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

The race proved an underwhelming and frustrating experience today. We were beset with overheating issues early on that we were forced to manage throughout the vast majority of the Grand Prix. The extra lift and coast the drivers were forced to do as a result of this also caused them to lose tyre temperature. They did their best to cope, with George trying valiantly to defend from those behind and Lewis chasing those ahead. Ultimately, P5 and P7 was likely the best we could do with the issues we were facing.

It was disappointing that we underperformed today. We will go away and review what we could have done differently. We will also look at our overall set-up as it was clear that neither driver was as happy with the balance of the car as they were over the rest of the weekend. These are all challenges of a new car and we’re looking forward to coming back stronger in Jeddah next week.