By Carol M. Creasey
A few days after a difficult Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes confirmed that as yet they have not been able to get on top of their problems.
During qualifying Lewis and George were running different set-ups, as Mercedes was trying to find a setting that works. Unfortunately, it did not work for Lewis, as he was out in Q1 for the first time since 2017. He qualified in P16 and immediately owned the mistake and apologised to his team. George managed to get his car into sixth place with a valiant effort.
Mick Schumacher had a very nasty accident in qualifying when he hit the barrier at 170 miles per hour, and had to go to hospital for precautionary checks. Luckily he was ok, but it was announced later that he would not be racing on Sunday. It was reported later that Lewis went to see him and check that he was ok.
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So Lewis started the race in 15th position, and fought his way up to P6. He was one of the few drivers who did not pit up to that point, and he really made the hard tyres last. But then, fifteen laps from the end, after Daniel Ricciardo had come to grief, a Virtual Safety Car was deployed, but unfortunately the pit lane had to be closed, which meant Lewis could not take advantage of a free pit stop.
After he finally made his stop, he emerged in 12th place, and ultimately managed to make up two places for a single point. Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen battled it out through most of the race, with Verstappen coming out on top in the end. Carlos Sainz completed the podium, and pole sitter Sergio Perez finished the race in P4. George Russell did very well to claim P5.
Despite battling so hard from the back, Lewis was very disappointed with the result, but the positive to take from this race is that the car felt more driveable, and the tyres lasted. He drove his heart out as always, and I am sure that Mercedes will take heart from this. The men and women at the factory continue to work night and day to give Lewis and George a competitive car, and I am sure it won’t be long before they are up there fighting with the top teams.
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