Saudi Arabian GP 2024 practice: Why Lewis Hamilton’s struggle continues with Mercedes W15?

Following a lackluster performance at the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton continues his woeful start to the season in Round 2 as well. This is evident in his practice run for the Saudi Arabian GP, where he encountered an ‘unexpected’ event.

After a poor run in the first practice session, Lewis Hamilton shared his thoughts about his 2024 F1 racing machine, the Mercedes W15.

Lewis Hamilton explains his Mercedes W15 issues after poor first practice

Lewis Hamilton–the seven-time F1 Champion–is having a difficult start to the 2024 Formula 1 season, as seen in his recent results: P7 (1:32:35.066) in the Bahrain GP and consecutive P8s (1:30.236 and 1:29.504) in the two practice sessions of the Saudi Arabian GP.

In a post-practice interview after FP2, Lewis Hamilton raised his concern on the rear-end of the Mercedes W15, which has highly affected him during the session. “Difficult day, just lacking the confidence in the rear of the car,” the Briton revealed.

“The setup we did some work session to session, changed the car quite a bit, but underlying issue with the rear end that I was struggling with, so I had a couple of really big moments out there,” Lewis added.

“In these high-speed areas you need to have full faith in the rear of the car, and I just don’t have that yet”, he told the reporters. George is a lot happier with his car. We kind of went in different directions today. We were trying different things to try and find the right solution for the car,” Hamilton further added.

Reflecting on his ideal condition for the W15, he said, “[But] All I want is something with a stable rear and then I’ll be happy, so that’s what I’m working on.”

via YouTube

While he was struggling with the W15’s rear part, Lewis Hamilton was ‘seriously close’ to being the root cause of an unprecedented crash at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Lewis Hamilton warned, Mercedes fined at Saudi Arabian GP

During the FP2 session of the Saudi Arabian GP, Lewis Hamilton, who was seen driving slowly in a cool-down lap, experienced a ‘near-miss’ hit with Williams’ Logan Sergeant. On the Turn 10 of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Hamilton was caught in low-speed run by Logan Sergeant, who managed to avoid a collision by taking his Williams FW46 over the right-hand kerb.

After speaking with Hamilton, Sargeant, and their team representatives, the F1 stewards revealed that the incident would have resulted in ‘a serious, high-speed crash,’ if the American hadn’t taken a decisive action. As a penalty, Hamilton was given a warning for impeding and Mercedes was fined €15,000 (£12,800) by them.

The official stewards’ statement regarding the incident reads: “Having listened to the team radio, it was clear to us that the team of Car 44 [Hamilton] failed to warn their driver of the fact that Car 2 [Sargeant] was arriving on a fast lap.”

“That was a serious failure on the part of the team, particularly given the speeds on this circuit and the nature of turn 11, which is at the end of a series of high speed corners where driver visibility is impaired. We therefore issue a warning to the driver and impose a fine of €15,000 to the team.”

This was one of the several instances of near misses that took place at the Jeddah Corniche circuit, which has been a big ‘safety headache’ for Formula 1.

Lewis Hamilton will take out his Mercedes W15 again at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit on 9th March at the Saudi Arabia GP.

Will Hamilton continue his disappointing start at the Saudi Arabia GP as well? Was he really at fault for the incident? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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