Hamilton ended second practice 11th overall, nearly a second down on Max Verstappen at the top of the timesheets.

Can Red Bull win every race this season?

Even though Mercedes have cured their porpoising issue, they’re no closer to challenging Red Bull at the front of the grid.

More worrying for Mercedes is that Hamilton has claimed this year’s car is “pretty much the same” as last year’s in terms of its handling and general car performance. 

“It’s pretty much the same,” Hamilton replied when asked if the W14 was better than last year’s car. 

“We just continue going into the details to improve the balance of the car, to make it easier to drive. It is a tough car to drive. It’s a matter of time.”

On the other side of the garage, George Russell fared much better, ending the day fifth overall.

However, Mercedes seem to be once again the fourth-best team once again, with Alpine right behind them.

Reflecting on his day in Jeddah, Russell said: “I don’t know what power everyone was running. Red Bull were out in front. We’re learning things which will help in the short and medium term.

“You have to maximise the package that you’ve got. Get the setup in a the sweet spot. We’re not going to find a second overnight, as much as I’d love that.”

With Mercedes boss Toto Wolff already confirming that Mercedes will adopt a new car concept later in the season, Russell admitted he’s focusing on “maximising” what he’s got.

“We need to continue to understand and recognise, is the new direction that we’re taking the correct one?,” he added.

“That’s for the guys at the factory to unpick. For me this weekend, you just maximise what you’ve got.

“Small changes this weekend, close to what we had in Bahrain. We had small items on the car for FP2 but this is just short term.”