Hamilton: Mercedes as much as 1.5s per lap slower than Pink Bull in F1 race trim - Motor Informed

Hamilton: Mercedes as much as 1.5s per lap slower than Pink Bull in F1 race trim

Mercedes endured a torrid 2022 marketing campaign with a automobile that was crippled by porpoising, but it surely was assured of unearthing way more potential from an evolution of the identical idea.

But regardless of eradicating the dreaded bouncing, Mercedes found in Bahrain’s season opener that it had not made the progress it had hoped.

The Brackley outfit ended up because the fourth-fastest group within the race behind Pink Bull, Ferrari and Aston Martin as Hamilton and team-mate George Russell completed a distant fifth and seventh respectively.

It prompted Mercedes to launch an open letter, revealed on Saturday, which stated it felt the identical ache as its followers – and was not shying away from how much work it now faces to get better.

PLUS: Why Mercedes is fronting up to its F1 mistakes too much

When requested in Jeddah forward of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to elucidate the place Mercedes’ deficit is, Hamilton stated: ”Final yr we have been very draggy, and we have been struggling not solely on the straights, however we needed to take a a lot larger wing and we have been equalling if not shedding within the corners as nicely.

“This yr it is principally via the corners. Down the streets we’re fast, however on exits these guys have a whole lot of rear finish via the vast majority of the corners.

“So, I feel within the race [Red Bull] weren’t pushing and so I feel they’re loads faster than they even appeared. We’ve got it as them being a second and a half sooner within the race per lap, or one thing like that.

“We’d like all these Pink Bulls to not end the race, the Ferraris to not end the race, possibly now the Aston Martins to not end the race, for us to be successful for the time being. However that does not imply we will not catch them up.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W14

Photograph by: Erik Junius

After the race in Bahrain, Hamilton said the team didn’t listen to some of his concerns on the car development.

And whereas he defined on Thursday that it “wasn’t essentially your best option of phrases” he did really feel like Mercedes would not have the ability to shut the hole as soon as he had seen the 2023 automobile’s idea nonetheless appeared vastly totally different in comparison with the competitors.

“In hindsight, it wasn’t essentially your best option of phrases,” he mirrored. “However in fact, there are occasions the place you are not in settlement with sure group members.

“However what’s essential is that we proceed to speak, we proceed to tug collectively, I nonetheless have 100% perception on this group.”

On Mercedes sticking to its distinctive ‘zeropod’ idea, he added: “I knew that we weren’t in the suitable place once you noticed the automobile for the primary time.

“It appeared nonetheless a lot totally different to these of our rivals and it is all the time nerve-racking in that second.”

The Bahrain efficiency prompted group boss Toto Wolff to proclaim that Mercedes now had to radically change design concept for it to return to successful methods and Hamilton agreed that “daring choices” would should be made.

“We have seen the proof is within the pudding and we have seen the place the efficiency is and the way persons are extracting the efficiency,” Hamilton defined.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photograph by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“We have to now begin making some daring choices, some massive strikes with a view to shut the hole to those guys.

“[Red Bull] will run away with it almost certainly this yr, until Ferrari can most likely cease them, however hopefully in some unspecified time in the future through the yr we’re hopeful we’d have the ability to shut the hole.

“At that time, it will be most likely too late when it comes to combating for a championship, however we might nonetheless flip some heads.”

When requested if these choices had already been made within the wake of a disappointing begin, he stated: “I feel we’re within the technique of it, sure.”

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