Lewis Hamilton claims Mercedes didn't listen to him over what their car needs
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Lewis Hamilton has claimed that the reason Mercedes are struggling at the beginning of this season is because they failed to listen to him.
There was some sense of deja vu in Bahrain at the weekend, as Mercedes struggled at the opening race of the year for the second successive season.
At the beginning of that season, the then defending constructors' champions were miles behind the rivals and it was clear on Sunday it's the same again.
This time the seven time world champion drove his car to a fifth place finish, once again helped by the misfortune of others, as Charles Leclerc had to retire from the race.
The Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were miles ahead of Mercedes, despite fans thinking they'd found a 'loophole' before the season, with Fernando Alonso rolling back the years to take his impressive Aston Martin to a podium finish.
Hamilton was not happy with the performance of his car, from testing the other week to practice, qualification and the race in the Middle East, and claimed the team's failure to listen to him was the reason.
"Last year, I told them the issues that are with the car," the British driver said on the BBC's Chequered Flag podcast.
"Like, I’ve driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs, I know what a car doesn’t need.
"And I think it’s really about accountability, it’s about owning up and saying ‘yeah, you know what, we didn’t listen to you, it’s not where it needs to be and we’ve got to work.’
“We’ve got to look into the balance through the corners, look at all the weak points and just huddle up as a team, that’s what we do.
“We’re still multi World Champions you know, it’s just they haven’t got it right this time, they didn’t get it right last year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get it right moving forwards.”
The German team, led by Toto Wolff, won eight constructors' championships in-a-row from 2014 to 2021, also winning the driver's title in the first seven.
Verstappen beat Hamilton to the title in controversial circumstances in the final year of that run, before going on to secure a much easier title last year.
Their relationship hasn't improved much, with the Dutchman refusing to name his rival in his Formula One 'dream team,' instead picking Alonso and Lando Norris.