Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes W11 is not the easiest car to exploit but the 2020 Black Arrow is to date the “best car” the German outfit has ever had.
Lewis Hamilton has declared the Mercedes W11 as the “best car” the team has made in Formula 1.
After worryingly suggesting they had played it safe with their designs since 2014, the Brackley-based team went more aggressive with their 2020 chassis and also made significant gains with their power unit in anticipation of a strong challenge from Red Bull and Ferrari.
And based on Austria at least, the all-black Silver Arrow remains in a class of its own, claiming victories in both races at the Red Bull Ring.
“Firstly, I don’t think there’s ever been a car that I’ve driven that’s been easy to get into working,” Hamilton said on its versatility on Thursday.
“Because the conditions are always different, corners are always different. There are corners that it works well in and corners that it doesn’t, that never changes.
“There have been a couple of cars in the past that have been – I think Toto [Wolff] mentioned one being a ‘diva’ which was not the word that I particularly had used – but you know, it was a real handful the majority of the time.
“This one’s more refined. We really worked hard last year, in really being clear and concise in picking out what the issues were with the ’19 car and what we wanted to do moving forwards.”
What is remarkable is, just when it seems as though their rivals are closing up, Mercedes always seem to find a way to move the bar even higher.
“That just continues to come from the great communication that we have as drivers with the team, with the engineers, the understanding we have with the terminology we use, and the team really take that in and then have implemented that into the car today,” he continued.
“But we’ve only been to one track. It’s still not easy to get the lap out of the car, but I think that’s F1 in general and it is the best car that we’ve had so far.”
Whether the Mercedes will be the fastest car around the Hungaroring this weekend is another question, however, with Red Bull looking stronger in the slow corners that dominate the Budapest track.
“It is obviously naturally different to last week’s circuit being that here it’s not a power-demanding circuit, it’s more about the downforce and efficiency,” Hamilton explained.
“So if we look at the previous years we’ve been here, the Red Bull has generally gone well. They tend to do even better on the circuit like this and Monaco, where it’s all about the downforce package.
“So it will definitely close up the whole field and it’s going to be a real challenge – [and] I think a good battle.
“We already saw some great performance from them in practice in Austria and I think they’re still very strong in the race. I think here is going to be even more so. So we really need to bring our A-game this weekend.”
HAMILTON: W11 THE BEST F1 CAR MERCEDES HAS MADE HAMILTON: W11 THE BEST F1 CAR MERCEDES HAS MADE
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THE NEXT RACE 2021
|02:00 - 03:30||Free practice 1|
|06:00 - 07:30||Free practice 2|
|04:00 - 05:00||Free practice 3|
|07:00 - 07:18||Qualifying|
|06:10 - 08:10||Race|