GUTTED Lewis Hamilton fears he cannot even keep up with F1 minnows Haas after his title hopes were dealt another blow.
The seven-time world champion finished so far behind the leaders in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix he did not know he had scored one point for finishing tenth.
Lewis Hamilton finished down in 10th as Mercedes had another poor weekend
Max Verstappen pipped Charles Leclerc for the win — with Hamilton moaning that he could not keep up Kevin Magnussen in a Haas — whose team finished bottom of last season’s constructors championship.
Hamilton, 37, said: “Right now, we’re not fighting for the top step. We’re so far off the guys up ahead. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
“I don’t particularly feel like we have made improvements. All I know is that I couldn’t keep up with the Haas in the end.
“The power they have, they came slingshotting past me when I overtook Magnussen earlier in the race.”
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When asked how far off the pace he felt, Hamilton added: “It feels like a long way away.
“We’re still really down on speed. It’s not just one fix, it’s several things.
“I don’t really know but I’ll have to speak to the team.
“It’s definitely gutting but I got one point at least and we’ll work hard. At least we both got points for the team.”
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Hamilton, who started the race 15th, was issued an apology by his race engineer as he crossed the finish line in Jeddah.
Peter Bonnington said: “OK Lewis, that’s P10. Sorry about that.”
Hamilton replied: “Is there even a point for that position?”
Indeed there is, but only one point and he sits in fifth place in the drivers’ championship – 29 points off the leader Charles Leclerc.
But there was consolation as he snatched another record off Michael Schumacher by completing his 180th race for Mercedes to overtake the German’s 179 for Ferrari.
The race had been overshadowed by a missile attack on an oil refinery on Friday and the drivers will now speak to F1 chiefs to express their concerns about returning to the country.
Max Verstappen (right) beat Charles Leclerc to win the Saudi GP
Meanwhile team-mate George Russell, who was fifth, added: “That was the maximum considering I was all by myself pushing as hard as I could.
“The most physical race I have probably experienced in Formula One, which was pretty cool to experience.
“But a victory is not P5. We have work to do but maximised everything. We are making baby steps at the moment and we need to make some bigger leaps.
“I’m sure we can do that but the timeline I don’t know.”