After starting P5 on the grid and looking like finishing in P5, the late mechanical issues with the Red Bull's of reigning champion Max Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez handed Hamilton a return to the podium in Bahrain.

Hamilton's teammate George Russell who was expected to make a big splash on his appointment to Mercedes pull his car from 9th to 4th in the end also taking advantage of the Red Bull retirements.

After the race Hamilton acknowledge the Red Bull drivers fate and the work ahead for the Mercedes team.

"A big, big congratulations to Ferrari, I’m so happy to see them doing well again, they are such a historic and epic team. It was a difficult race for us today, we’ve struggled throughout practice and this is really the best result we could have got.

"Of course it was unfortunate for the other two drivers but we did the best we could and we are grateful for these points. I know the guys are working really hard back at the factory and it is not going to be a quick turnaround but we’ve been the best unified team for so long, we all know to just keep your head down, keep working, there’s a long way to go."

"We’ve got to maximise our weekends and at some point, we’ll be back in the fight."

PHOTO: 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sunday - Steve Etherington

George Russell meanwhile had a bit more of an in-depth reflection on the race and the result for the team post race.

"It was a positive race, I made a good start and then Lewis and I were on a race of our own, albeit on different strategies. We came home with a P3 and P4 for the team which we would have definitely taken prior to the weekend so in a long championship, we can be pleased with how today went. Considering we’re half a second behind in qualifying and probably the same, if not more, on race pace, it was a good damage limitation weekend. There’s a lot of potential in the car and we really need to dig down into the data and understand how to extract the performance. "

"We recognise our Driver Grid Result Fastest Lap Lewis Hamilton P5 P3 1:36.228 George Russell P9 P4 1:36.302 Press Information 20 March 2022 rivals are a long way ahead of us, we know what the overall limitations of the car are, and we won’t settle until we have the chance of the win."

PHOTO: 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix, Sunday - Sebastian Kawka

Serial desk puncher Toto Wolff managed to spare any desks from harm at the Bahrain Grand Prix and reflected on the day, also noting the positioning they are in is 5th and 6th when the Red Bulls are running reliably.

"Toto Wolff Today we were punching above our weight class, with the Red Bulls DNF-ing, but third and fourth is a fantastic result. I think with the Soft tyre, on pure pace before the tyre degrades, we are almost there - not where Leclerc is but with the others.

"Then degradation is too big and today we tried to do something different by putting the Hard on but it was a second slower every single lap so lesson learned. "

"I think we were over winged today, we had too much drag and that is just because we are lacking parts at the moment but hopefully we can remedy that, and make progress on the top two’s advantage."

We really need to leave no stone unturned on the PU side and look for all performance gains but the wing was the issue for us today on straight line speed. At the moment we are fifth and sixth on the track, and we are trying to recover ground but it is not going to come from one day to the other - we’ll keep pushing."

Mercedes will be back on track this coming Friday when the Formula 1 circus rolls into the Jeddah Corniche circuit for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

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