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Hamilton credits Mercedes team despite challenging first day

Friday was a day to forget for Mercedes as the team struggled with reliability issues in the morning session. Lewis Hamilton finished the afternoon in 10th spot over two seconds behind Max Verstappen.

Hamilton Bottas
To news overview © Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton admits Friday wasn't the best of days for Mercedes as they dealt with several issues, but the reigning world champion credited the team for turning things around as they look to find solutions of the problems they were faced with.

The Brit got his title defence off to a low-key start as Mercedes battled track conditions and reliability issues. Although Hamilton didn't have the same problems that hampered Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes still finished the day with the lowest number of laps completed in the field.

"Today definitely wasn't the cleanest of days that we've had but these things are sent to try us," Hamilton stated via a Mercedes press release. "Everyone has worked extremely hard to get us here. We had that mishap in the morning which was very unfortunate for Valtteri in terms of losing time on track and the team is working hard to try and understand what that was.

"I think they did a great job to turn the car around. The second session wasn't without its challenges, but we exist to find solutions to the problems we're faced with. We just had a good debrief and we'll keep working away.

"We have no choice but to take the positives. I remember in 2007 during testing I had 10 days in the car and now it's getting less and less. We only have a day and a half in the car before the first race, with different tyres and different aero modifications so it's not easy but it's the same for everyone. I'd like to think my nine years' experience with this team will help me get the best out of it."

The weather played a big factor on Friday as sandstorms touched down on the Bahrain International Circuit, something Hamilton admits he's never experienced before.

"I've never seen a sandstorm come through here before in all the years that I've driven at this circuit," Hamilton added. "The sand was moving like rain would move. Having sand on the tyres isn't good for their longevity and getting consistency on long runs is difficult. Over a single lap it isn't the worst, but you need lots of laps at this time of year to get data."


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