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Hamilton says Ferrari out of Mercedes' reach in Bahrain

Hamilton says Ferrari out of Mercedes' reach in Bahrain

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Hamilton says Ferrari out of Mercedes' reach in Bahrain

Hamilton says Ferrari out of Mercedes' reach in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton said he was surprised to be anywhere near the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel in qualifying, having secured third place on the Bahrain Grand Prix grid behind the Scuderia pair with a deficit of three tenths to the pole-sitting Leclerc.

After struggling in Australia, Ferrari have looked back to the dominant form they showed in pre-season and it was never in question that one of their drivers would take pole.

It ended up being Leclerc, who topped every segment to become Ferrari's youngest pole-sitter and the second youngest in F1 history behind team-mate Vettel.

Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas were just a tenth off Vettel in Q3, a major improvement from the sessions prior, but the reigning champion said a lack of straight-line speed compared to Ferrari was too much to overcome.

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"We have seen incredible pace from the Ferraris," said Hamilton. "Honestly I didn't know we would be as close as we were at the end.

"They were pulling some serious speed on the straights which is where we have generally lost a lot of time, just the straight line.

"Somehow they have managed to find a lot more speed on the straights.

"For us the car has felt okay, I just think over the years it has not been a circuit that particularly suited our car for whatever reason, but we got into quite a nice place today and end of straight speeds was really where we lost a lot of time.

"Sector one we were losing three tenths or two tenths just on straight-line speed, so that is a significant amount."

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