Lewis Hamilton sends message to Wolff as Mercedes 'miles off' in Saudi Arabia

Lewis Hamilton says that ‘big changes’ are needed from the Mercedes team after the seven-time world champion was only able to record a P9 finish at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

After an underwhelming start to the campaign in Bahrain, Hamilton had hoped to push on in Jeddah, but a bold early strategy call left the legendary Brit fighting an uphill battle.

When Lance Stroll‘s early crash brought out the safety car, Mercedes opted not to pit Hamilton. When the field shuffled through, he was sitting in P3, behind Lando Norris, who also didn’t pit, and Max Verstappen.

No more safety cars followed, leaving Norris and Hamilton to run extremely long in a bid to create a larger tyre offset during the closing stages. However, this strategy didn’t pay off, and the seven-time world champion came home in ninth.

Analysing his race with Sky Sports F1, Hamilton said: “I mean the car is good, or relatively good in the low-speed [corners] and not so bad in the medium [speed corners], but in the high speed we are miles off.

“It was like I was in a different category when I was going through the high speed between the other guys around me, so it’s frustrating for sure to be three years in a row almost in the same position.

“It’s definitely tough, but we’ll get our heads down and we’ll keep working away. I know everyone at the factory is pushing as hard as they can, but we’ve definitely got to make some big changes.

“We haven’t made big enough changes perhaps. You look at the three teams ahead of us, they still have different concepts to where we are in some areas. So we’ve got some performance to add, that’s for sure.”

Hamilton had hoped to end his 12-season stint with Mercedes in style in 2024, but after two races the Silver Arrows appear to have the fourth-fastest package behind Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.

The seven-time world champion occupies P9 in the Drivers’ Championship standings, while Mercedes are only two points clear of McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship.