'Wouldn't Say I'm Having Fun': Hamilton Frustrated By Racing For Ninth Place

Monday, 11 March 2024 at 18:15
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Lewis Hamilton asserted he was not enjoying driving in P9 with Mercedes's W15 during the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
The race at Jeddah Corniche Circuit was the second int the 2024 season and Mercedes came to this circuit with hopes of showing better pace than in Bahrain.
The seven-time World Champion qualified ninth during the first race weekend of the season and finished the Bahrain Grand Prix in P7. However, in Saudi Arabia, it wasn't at all better.
The 39-year-old qualified in P8, but he finished the race in P9, so one place down on his original starting position. Hamilton told Autosport after the race:

"I wouldn't say I'm having fun. I mean, I'm racing for ninth, so I definitely can't say that. Finishing ninth is definitely not fun."

The Mercedes driver has seven-titles, 197 podiums, and 103 race wins in his pocket, so he definitely isn't used to driving in the ninth place.
However, as Toto Wolff said, Silver Arrows hit a problem with the development of their car. For some reason, the on-track data again don't match the computer simulations. Hamilton continued:

"But I am enjoying the actual racing part. And I was hunting and I was pushing as hard as I could, I was maximising everything I had with the car, I was right on the edge."

Looking at the seven-time World Champion's race result, it is important to note that he could have finished higher had he not gone for a risky race strategy.
He decided not to do so during the safety car on lap 7, hoping there would be another one or a red flag a bit later, but that never came. This lost the Mercedes driver some valuable time and possibly a few positions.
On the other hand, Hamilton was very well aware of the risks associated with his strategy, and that isn't something that he complained about. What he seems to be lacking the most at the moment is performance in his car.

"It was just, unfortunately, really lacking performance in the high-speed, where they were walking all over. us."