Lewis Hamilton he faced probably the most difficult weekend in Jeddah since he has been behind the wheel of the Mercedes. Not even in 2013, the last year before the hybrid revolution and the first in which the Stevenage native raced for the Stuttgart house, the # 44 had struggled so hard just to get into the points. His trip to Saudi Arabia recalled certain races of the 2009 World Championship when Hamilton, as reigning champion, struggled for over half a season with a McLaren absolutely unable to compete for the top. The gamble of an extreme setup on Saudi Saturday, designed to make up for the shortcomings of the W13. did not pay. On the contrary.
The seven-time world champion qualified only in 16th place – which later became 14th on the grid thanks to the forfeits of Schumacher and Tsunoda – being eliminated in Q1 and failing in the least to match the pace of his box mate George Russell. In the race, things only went slightly better: Hamilton opted for a very long first stint with hard tires that could have helped him in the event of a Safety Car in the final part of the race, as actually happened. But fate has also turned its back to the Mercedes veteran: the closure of the pit lane caused by the stops of Alonso and Ricciardo prevented the vice-world champion from returning to the pits while the race was neutralized. No pit stop halved therefore and so Hamilton crossed the line in tenth place, recovering just four positions from the start.
How little Hamilton is used to being in certain positions is also testified by the words spoken on the radio at the end of the GP. In fact, informed of the tenth place at the finish line, the Englishman asked whether or not it was a position that brought points for the ranking. Interesting is all his dialogue with Peter Bonnington – his track engineer – which we report below. Their exchange of words reveals all the difficulties of the moment for the eight-time world constructors champion team.
Bonnington: “Ok Lewis, you are in tenth position. I am sorry. A bit of a shitty result given all the hard work. “
Hamilton: “Is there at least one point for this position?”.
Bonnington: “Yes, yes we have a point. Go to the pit lane “.
Hamilton: “This has been a tough day at the office, guys. But thank you very much for trying ”.
Bonnington: “Yeah, I hope there won’t be too many more days of shit in Lewis.”