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Hamilton left 'gutted' after promising recovery falls apart

Lewis Hamilton felt a stronger points finish was on the cards at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with his race undone by a delayed pit-stop.

Lewis Hamilton described himself as "gutted" after his race "hit the fan" when a Virtual Safety Car was deployed - and the pit lane closed - during Sunday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. After his shock Q1 exit, Hamilton had risen from 15th on the grid to sixth, just behind Mercedes teammate George Russell, in what was turning into a strong recovery drive from the seven-time World Champion. However, having extended his first stint on the Hard tyre, Hamilton's race came undone when McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo and Alpine's Fernando Alonso crawled to a halt at the pit entry, signalling a VSC. While all of his rivals had already stopped at least once, with some benefitting from VSC and full Safety Car periods, Hamilton was yet to take on fresh tyres and lost out when the pit lane briefly closed.

Hamilton's strong first stint goes south

Eventually pitting under green conditions on Lap 40 of 50, Hamilton lost a handful of positions, though was at least able to salvage a point in 10th. Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the race, as he reflected on proceedings, Hamilton said: "I struggled at the beginning with the tyre temperatures and then it started getting a bit better. "I started to gain on the guys up ahead. I think they were on the Medium tyres and they started to drop off. It was a really good stint and I was pushing. I think I was doing pretty much the same times as George, who had new Hards. "I was feeling good at that point and then it all hit the fan [when] those cars stopped. "It's gutting, but I got one point at least. We'll work hard and at least we both got points for the team."

How much progress - if any - has Mercedes made?

Hamilton then gave his assessment of where Mercedes stand amid their ongoing struggles with the W13. "Not much has changed, really, since the last race – it's only been a few days," he said. "What I know is that today I couldn't keep up with the Haas at the end. With the [Ferrari engine] power they have, they came slingshotting past me, when I overtook [Kevin] Magnussen earlier on in the race. "We've got a lot of work to do, but I know I've got a great team, and we'll just keep our heads down and try to improve."

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