Lewis Hamilton bemoaned his sixth-placed finish at the Miami Grand Prix and hinted that his car was damaged early on.
Hamilton started in sixth on the grid after an impressive resurgence from the Mercedes team who have had a miserable start to the campaign.
Alterations to the car’s front and rear wing appeared to have the Mercedes running behind Ferrari and Red Bull but ahead of the rest of the Formula One pack, and Hamilton ended up in sixth, usurped by his teammate George Russell, who finished fifth.
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Russell overtook the seven-time champion towards the end of the race as he benefited from the safety car coming out at just the right time to let him swap over his hard tyres without losing track position.
Hamilton however had more bad luck, as he was clipped in the opening stages when Fernando Alonso brushed wheels with him.
The Briton was insistent that he had incurred damage, though communication from his team claimed that there was no under-performance showing on their data.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton reaffirmed his opinion, saying: "The car definitely didn't feel the same as it did, I'm sure they'll check it. It was quite a hard hit but otherwise it will be ok. We've got good points as a team today. We'll take it and move on.”
He also complained that the safety car interrupted his race, and hinted that he expects an improved showing in the next Grand Prix in Spain on May 22.
"In that scenario I have no clue where everyone is, that's what you rely on the guys for,” he stated.
“It’s just been a bit unfortunate with the safety car. I'm excited to take a step forward, which we haven't done yet."
Russell was similarly frustrated, and expects better performances to come.
"It was mixed feelings, based on yesterday it was a good result," Russell said, given he started from 12th. "We have a fast race car in there, we don't have the key to unlock it. There's more to do.
"It's frustrating but I'm sure we'll get there at some point.
"It's good, when you battle with your teammate you show more respect, give more space. I enjoyed it. I think there's good respect between us. I was pushing as hard as I could.
"I didn't really like the tarmac, what did I like? I liked that we were in Miami."
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