Lewis Hamilton body language shows Mercedes ‘in a bit of a crisis’
F1 preview: A lap of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
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Lewis Hamilton’s body language is evidence Mercedes are “in a bit of a crisis”, according to former driver Paul di Resta. Hamilton looked dejected after the final practice session after only setting a lap quick enough for 11th.
His team-mate George Russell was down in 14th while Mercedes powered customer cars were 15th and lower. Mercedes admitted they were the third-fastest car in Bahrain behind the Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s
However, the team lucked into a podium place after a double retirement for the Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Di Resta said “probably” when asked whether Mercedes could struggle for a long period of time if they don’t find pace this weekend.
He added: “When Lewis got out of the car in FP3 he stood at the back of the car. If images gave you any impression that they are in a bit of a crisis and that engineering office is going to be working hard that’s it.
“I haven’t seen Lewis Hamiton do that for a very long time.”
He added: “He’ll relish the pressure but at the same point if he’s not got the car under him how long is that ambition keep going to drive you forwards.”
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Jenson Button said: “It’s very tough for him. In the hybrid era every year he’s had a competitive car able to fight for a World Championship.
“You’ve got to feel for his team-mate too, George.
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“He’s finally got his chance to race for a team that’s won multiple World Championships and suddenly they’re not competitive, the first year in the turbo-hybrid era. It’s not going to be an easy atmosphere within the team but two very intelligent drivers that are good working within the team trying to develop it.”
It comes just days after Martin Brundle also warned Hamilton could leave the sport if he does not have a car capable of winning races and championships.
He said: “If he goes through the whole year and Mercedes are third fastest and others are catching them up, then I suspect he’ll take a different view and my enjoyment analogy will play out in that he won’t be enjoying it anymore.”
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