Lewis Hamilton has 1000% confidence on the guys at the factory that Mercedes will be back fighting in F1 2023 as he talks about working with them behind the scenes.
This year’s Mercedes started out slowly and sluggishly. The car has been fairly consistent still in both drivers hands but they were affected by a particular issue in pre-season testing and in the opening number of Grands Prix as were others – that is porpoising. The car itself on occasion flattered to deceive but naturally, it has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Hamilton, who is still yet to win a race in 2022 gave a very philosophical account about the pros and the cons of the car over the duration of the 2022 campaign thus far and how he is working behind the scenes with the engineers in terms of his feedback regarding the 2023 car which they hope will bring them back in title contention.
“I mean, it’s always complicated,” said Hamilton. “But I would say… look, we’ve been very strong in the past, we’ve won world titles, our communication continues to improve. We’re holding more meetings, and breakout group conversations about… and I’m trying to just help give as much feedback as I can about what I’m feeling in the car and what are those limitations where I could gain time.
“These will be things that they won’t be able to see in the data, that the driver is able to bring to it. So, working closely with George also on that. But there is potential in the cars. We’ve got downforce, it’s just in some places it we’re not able to utilise it. And ride quality, of course, is an area that we can always be better.
“So I’m comfortable the direction that we’re going and have 1,000% confidence in the guys back at the factory, who are stringing together all these pieces of the puzzle, and have no doubt that we will be back in a fighting position next year,” summed up Hamilton.
It is a long time since Mercedes were this far back in the pack in terms of title fight and they are pushing to get back in that frame in 2023. However, one issue is where the W13 is still struggling on the straights with excess drag. Mercedes have a very radical sidepod design and there is the possibility of this being a factor, not withstanding as a long shot perhaps their power unit also.
“The drag? I can’t answer that, honestly,” started Hamilton. “I think that’s more for the aero… I’m not an aerodynamicist. As I said, we do tend to have a bit of a draggy car, I think, this year. I can’t really answer much more to it. I’m always asking the question and I think we’re all trying to understand it. And yeah, try to make sure we rectify that for next year.”
But rest assured, Mercedes and Hamilton will not stop until they find a solution to their issues. As it is, they still have a chance of second place in both championships. With six races to go, don’t bet against them winning their first Grand Prix of the season or more even to try and topple Ferrari at least.
Here’s Mercedes on sidepod designs
Here’s George Russell surprised by Ferrari’s pace