Lewis Hamilton Reveals Qualifying Sacrifice To Maximise Race Pace

Lewis Hamilton has revealed he went in a different direction with set-up compared to Mercedes team-mate George Russell in a bid to be stronger in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday.

Hamilton will start ninth for the season-opening race, which begins at 3pm on Sky Sports F1 and NOW, after a disappointing qualifying.

But Russell qualified in third and was just 0.078s away from a front-row spot as Max Verstappen beat Charles Leclerc to pole position.

"It was not great. But I was genuinely really excited to be here," Hamilton told Sky Sports F1.

"I think George's position and pace really highlights, and is a real testament to the team, how hard everyone has worked over the winter. It's amazing to have a car we can fight with.

"It really ignites the fire and flame within us drivers. For me, Bono [Peter Bonington] and everyone did a great job, and I struggled in qualifying."