Lewis Hamilton talks about the small changes on wings which Mercedes can make to catch Red Bull as F1 Styrian GP defeat extends their rivals’ advantage.
As Hamilton urged Mercedes for some upgrades post the defeat in F1 Styrian GP, the Brit identified straightline deficit as one of the key areas for the German outfit to play with, to catch Red Bull and Verstappen in the upcoming grand prix events.
While they can’t do much with the power unit, but they can play with the wings, which could help them catch Red Bull. “Straight-line speed,” said Hamilton, when asked where Mercedes lacks. “Whether that’s power or wing, it feels draggy but it also feels not that strong on the straights. It could be one or the other or both together.
“Naturally, we could have put a smaller wing on for Styrian GP, but we would have just been slower through the corners and therefore probably had more degradation and so yeah, we will be looking at things. Naturally they have that really good wing that bends, which they’ve had most of the year.
“I think they’ve been developing it for, as far as I’m aware or what I’m told, for quite a long time, which we haven’t, so that would definitely be part of it. I don’t know. I’m pushing everyone as hard as possible, putting as much work in as possible to get us performance. I’m generally, actually, really proud of the work that we were able to do this week but we just weren’t quick enough,” summed up Hamilton.
Overall, the Brit was no match for Verstappen after losing out to him at the start of the F1 grand prix. In his push to catch the Dutchman, he even had a moment at Turn 4, but collected his car well. “The cars on the limit, so just flat out the whole way really,” he said. “Of course, then it you apply some management then you’re even further off.
“I think Max was able to manage ahead and still be pulling away. Really strong pace from them today. There’s not really a lot we can probably do over the next four days but we’ll work as hard as we can so see if we can squeeze any more juice out of this car. As for that moment, I was just ragging the lights out of the car and that was it – just giving it absolutely everything and every bit of the road possible to try and match Max’s times, but even with that excursion, it wasn’t possible,” summed up Hamilton.
Talking more about the weekend and Hamilton doing simulator session between France Austria, Mercedes’ Andrew Shovlin revealed of a different set-up they had, which probably benefited them on single lap performance more.
“We’ve had difficulties here before, but often they’ve been because we had insufficient cooling, or last year we had an electrical loom that was degrading with vibrations,” started Shovlin. “Often they’ve not been related to performance. But it is a difficult and quite peculiar circuit. And Red Bull are normally strong here.
“But we were also exploring a fairly wacky direction with the set-up, a radical approach which I think was maybe a bit better on a single lap. The question that remains is whether we’ve hurt our degradation, and we need to look at that in the next day or two. I don’t really want to go into details.
“Essentially, the window that we work in was much, much wider. We were sort of going further than we’ve ever gone, and just really understanding the effects of that. Lewis Hamilton before he came here was doing a lot of work in the driver-in-loop simulator, and it looked like an interesting direction. But an important part of this year for us is adapting well to every track. We do need to be a bit brave and original with set-up direction to do that,” summed up Shovlin.
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