Lewis Hamilton claims George Russell had a faster car in Saudi Arabia

Lewis Hamilton sits fourth in the drivers' championship following back-to-back fifth place finishes so far in 2023.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has blamed his set-up at last weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as the reason why he struggled so much, with the Briton convinced he would’ve claimed a “better position” with George Russell’s set-up.

Whilst he claimed a second consecutive fifth place finish, Hamilton struggled throughout the weekend at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, with the Mercedes driver having once again complained about a lack of confidence in the car.

Russell on the other hand, labelled the weekend as “probably one of my strongest weekends in F1”, with the 25-year-old having successfully claimed fourth.

The former Williams driver was comfortably quicker than Hamilton throughout the weekend, even when the 103-time race winner was on softer tyres.

READ: ‘Angry’ Toto Wolff will fire Mercedes employees after Saudi Arabian GP

Hamilton was behind Russell during the second half of the race on the medium compound, whilst Russell was on the hards.

Hamilton did manage to close the gap to Russell quickly; however, the King’s Lynn-born driver eventually built the gap back to around two-seconds.

With that in mind, Hamilton is certain that his weekend would’ve gone better had he taken his team-mate’s set-up.

“I think if I had the set-up George had,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1, “I would have been in a better position.

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“But yeah, there’s a lot to work on, but there are positives to take away.”

Hamilton went on to reveal after the race how the Mercedes duo decide on their set-up and how it’s typically Russell who chooses “the wrong one”.

“We work on that. There was like a 50/50 choice,” Hamilton revealed.

“I chose one way, he chose another. More often than not, where he went was the wrong one, but it just happened to work.

READ: Lewis Hamilton could copy Michael Schumacher amid Mercedes struggles

“So I could only match his pace rather than be quicker this weekend. But I’ll work hard to make sure that we’re in a better place.”

Hamilton does still remain ahead of Russell in the drivers’ championship by two points heading into next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, where Russell claimed his first podium for Mercedes 12 months ago.

The young driver will be hoping for yet another rostrum at Albert Park, given that the Brackley-based team are yet to finish in the top three, as are Ferrari.