Lewis Hamilton is braced for more misery in Melbourne after his Mercedes team ruled out any major upgrades for this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.
amilton has already been cast 29 points adrift in the championship race after he finished only 10th at the second round in Saudi Arabia a fortnight ago.
Mercedes have dominated the sport since 2014 – carrying Hamilton to six titles and winning an unprecedented eight constructors’ championships in succession but Hamilton and new team-mate George Russell have all but written off their aspirations unless Mercedes can radically improve their underperforming car.
Mercedes’ season has been derailed by ‘porpoising’ – the phenomenon seen this year when the car violently bounces on its suspension at high speed.
It has been a trying start to the new season for the cream of the British crop, with Lando Norris also struggling at McLaren.
Norris (22) finished seventh in Saudi Arabia, almost one minute behind winner Max Verstappen. In February, Norris signed a new four-year deal with McLaren, which is understood to earn him in the region of £20m-a-year.
“I see a lot of stories that say I have made the wrong decision, but that is not the case,” said Norris. “I am happy. I have all the faith in the world that we can still achieve good things in the next few years and if I had to make that decision again, I would still do what I did.
“There were chances to go to other teams. But is it the best thing to be somewhere different for one or two years and then it might be worse?”