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Hamilton's Struggle Mercedes Seeks Answers

Hamilton’s Struggle, Mercedes Seeks Answers

10/03/2024

Hamilton, discontent with Mercedes’ performance, searches for answers after the Jeddah Grand Prix, highlighting speed in fast corners.

The second Grand Prix of the Formula 1 2024 season proved frustrating for Lewis Hamilton in Jeddah.

Finishing only ninth, the British driver witnessed the lack of Mercedes F1’s speed in fast corners, especially compared to the McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris, whom he battled throughout the race.

Although the W15 exhibited high straight-line speed, losing significant time in the first sector heavily penalized him, diminishing hopes for a better outcome. He thus urges his team for a swift response to avoid a challenging year ahead.

“The car performs well at low speed and not too badly at medium speed, but at high speed, we’re miles behind the competition,” explained the seven-time world champion.

“It was like I was in a different category compared to the others. Hence, it’s frustrating to find ourselves in the same situation for three consecutive years. I know everyone at the factory is doing their utmost, but we absolutely need to make significant changes.”

“You know, perhaps we haven’t made enough changes. If you look at the three teams ahead of us, they still have different concepts in some areas, so we definitely need to improve our performance.”

Hamilton’s decision to stay on track during the safety car intervention ultimately didn’t gain him positions at the finish, yet he’s pleased that his team attempted a gamble.

“I think it was worth trying something different, experimenting with strategies across both cars. Ultimately, the aim is always to attempt something a bit different, especially when we’re in the position we’re in. I fought as hard as I could to advance further and was hoping for a safety car or something, but it didn’t happen.”

Russell lacks “answers” regarding W15’s pace decline

For George Russell, the issue is clear: Mercedes F1 fails to maintain its free practice pace into the Grand Prix. He feels it’s more about his team regressing rather than the competition advancing over the weekend.

“We’re still trying to understand this car because we’ve shown real performance in these first two weekends,” Russell stated.

“In FP1, as soon as we hit the track, we were at the top of the timesheets and consistently in the top three. Then second in FP2. However, over both weekends, we’ve lost pace. It’s not that our competitors have gotten faster; we’ve gotten slower. So, we need to figure out why. But the margins are tiny. It’s very tight between us, McLaren, and Aston. Charles is just a bit ahead.”

“We don’t know the primary cause of the performance drop. It’s incredibly complex these days. These cars are so complicated. Add to that the tires, which are also very challenging to use. At this point, I don’t have the answers.”

Hamilton’s Struggle, Mercedes Seeks Answers. Hamilton’s Struggle, Mercedes Seeks Answers

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