Hamilton Felt 'Like In Different Category' With Rivals Speeding Around Him In Jeddah

Monday, 11 March 2024 at 21:15
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Lewis Hamilton lacked so much pace on the top teams during the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix; he said he felt like he was in a "different category."
After the Friday qualifying session, it was clear that Mercedes drivers would not be the fastest on the track during the race on Saturday, and this proved to be the case.
The seven-time World Champion lost several positions due to a risky strategy that didn't work out for him. However, this didn't change the fact that Silver Arrows lacked speed compared to their rivals. He told Autosport after the race:

"It's going to be challenging in these next races. I think all the high-speed circuits we are going to be at a disadvantage with the package we currently have."

The time loss compared to their rivals in the high-speed corner sections was even visible on Hamilton's car's onboard camera when he closely followed Lando Norris at the end of the race.
According to multiple reports, Mercedes was the second slowest car in the high-speed corners, even slower than Haas or Alpine, and this is attributed to almost all of their time loss to the teams in the front.

"But we're good in the low-speed, and some of the medium-speed, we're not so bad. It's just really the high-speed, so we just have to add performance."

The second and third races of the 2024 season, following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, will be the Australian and Japanese Grand Prix.
Circuits hosting both of these Grand Prix races include many high-speed corners, and if Mercedes can't come up with a solution in the meantime, it will be tough for the seven-time World Champion. He added:

"It was like I was in a different category when I was going through the high speed with the other guys around me."