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Lewis Hamilton and George Russell reveal true extent of Mercedes issues before Bahrain GP

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He warned the issues will be a “longer-term fix” and the team is not expecting anything “in the short term”. MercedesGeorge Russell echoed Hamilton’s comments, warning the team were a “long way off the pace”.

Russell finished the second free practice session in fourth, almost six-tenths slower than Max Verstappen. Meanwhile, Hamilton struggled even more with his best lap 1.2 seconds down on the ReBull to finish ninth.

Hamilton said: “We were trialling different things, yeah. But I’ve not been following what he’s been doing. I’ve been trying to focus on the problems I have on my side. We’ve had small problems in the past, relatively, compared to this year, we’ve had much much smaller problems. We’re faced with much much bigger problems this year.

“Everything we do to try and fix it doesn’t really change that. It appears like it’s going to be a longer-term fix, nothing in the short term.”

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He added: “We are truly throwing everything at it at the moment to try and unlock the potential which we think is there but we are just struggling to tap into at the moment. Everything we try is maybe one step forward, two steps back and there’s always a bit of a limitation so it’s going to take time.

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“I think we all hoped we would have solved it for this weekend but how things stand at the moment, we aren’t in the fight.”

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