LEWIS HAMILTON has urged Mercedes to fix their car urgently after watching rival Max Verstappen sprint into the distance in Bahrain.
The Dutchman won the opening race of the season at a canter with his teammate Sergio Perez finishing a comfortable second.
The result underlined Red Bull's dominance with even the impressive Fernando Alonso finishing 38 seconds behind in third.
As for fifth-placed Hamilton, he was a mammoth 51 seconds off Verstappen, who he was once neck-and-neck with when the pair scrapped over the 2021 title.
But now the seven times world champion does not have a competitive car he's urging Mercedes' engineers to fix their problems as soon as possible.
The 38-year-old said: "I am generally happy with the race, it was much better with the qualifying and I am happy with my performance.
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"There's not much more I could have done. Set the car up differently maybe? But overall just lacking performance.
"The team did a great job with the pit stops, just unfortunately, the car is just not there at the moment, we are lacking downforce and we have just got to work really hard to try and add that ASAP.
"Anything that is in the wind tunnel, we need it tomorrow. We need to push massively to close that gap."
Hamilton's downbeat assessment was echoed by his teammate George Russell, who shared an ominous prediction on how dominant he believed Red Bull were.
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Meanwhile, team principle Toto Wolff gave an honest assessment of just how far behind his Mercedes team are.
He said: "It was one of the worst days in racing. It is really not good at all and we are lacking pace left, right and centre.
"Red Bull are just on a different planet. That is what hurts because they are so far ahead. It reminds me of our best years where we just put a second on everyone else.
"That is the benchmark and we need to come back and we can absolutely do that."
The Austrian, 51, had previously suggested during the weekend that Mercedes might have to scrap their car entirely and go back to the drawing board.
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