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Lewis Hamilton finished 14th at the Sprint race on Saturday afternoon in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix. Teammate George Russell secured 11th place in the same event, and despite Russell currently standing third in the drivers’ championship, Hamilton claimed that Mercedes were ‘obviously’ not challenging for honours this season.

Lewis Hamilton appeared to give up hopes of winning the Formula 1 championship after a 14th-placed finish at the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix Sprint on Saturday.

The former world champion, with seven titles to his name, struggled in the curtailed format alongside teammate George Russell, despite the pair being some of the fastest drivers at free practice two earlier in the day.

Russell took 11th, three places out of the points, and there seemed to be little encouragement for the pair ahead of Sunday’s full race.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Hamilton gave little reason for hope in the upcoming race, and indeed, beyond it.

“We’ve got data,” he stated.

“A lot of work is going on in the background. It is what it is. Unfortunately, we haven’t got it right this year, but everyone is working as hard as they can to correct it.”

Hamilton denied this was the first rough patch for the Mercedes team, pointing out that, “the team have been through many, many bad years. Most of the people I’m working with haven been with this team for 20 years.

“It wasn’t the greatest of years in 2013.

“We stick together, we try to motivate everyone and this is the situation we are faced with, and everyone has got their head down and is working as hard as they can.”

Hamilton then suggested that the team’s hopes might be over for the year in terms of the championship, even though Russell is currently third in the drivers’ standings.

“We’re obviously not fighting for the championship but we’re fighting to progress and improve through the year,” he said.

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