Hamilton already pushing for Mercedes 2019 parts before end of year

Lewis Hamilton has called on his Mercedes team to bring forward developments planned for the 2019 Formula 1 season because he wants to "feel it on a race weekend"

Hamilton already pushing for Mercedes 2019 parts before end of year

Mercedes was expected to struggle compared to Ferrari in last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, but Hamilton dominated the race from pole position while his championship rival Sebastian Vettel qualified and finished a disappointed third.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff credited the team's upswing in performance to an intense period of soul-searching after a disappointing Belgian Grand Prix, as a result of which it brought forward an upgrade planned for Singapore to Monza.

Hamilton now wants to capitalise on the "energy"' within the engineering group to evaluate 2019 concepts in races this season rather than waiting for winter testing - by which time it might have lost the initiative.

"I had this meeting with the guys, and if you can see this energy with everyone, it is really - I find it really inspiring," he said.

"We started off the year, I felt great, and then we tailed off and we had some struggles with the understanding of the car, how to utilise the equipment that we had tyre-wise and balance-wise, we had a couple of so-so races, and then luckily we found our footing.

"We're going from strength to strength as a team in our understanding of the car, how to utilise the tools that we have.

"We are far more comfortable at our job right now - six races ago we were definitely questioning, but I think we've now figured the car out, we know where we are and we know what we have got to do.

"Also in those meetings I pushed them a lot about next year's car. I know what I need improving."

Formula 1's technical rulebook will undergo a substantial refresh next year ahead of a more radical change for the 2021 season.

While the changes are principally aerodynamic, they still provide an opportunity for the most creative engineers to exploit loopholes or simply find more competitive solutions in obvious areas.

Equally, as with previous regulatory shake-ups, they can trip up frontrunning teams and set them back.

Red Bull's first effort for the current rules package, last season's RB13, was uncompetitive until the team introduced a major update at the fifth round of the season.

"I am pushing the guys because they have to sign off things now for next year's tests already," said Hamilton.

"And I'm saying, 'Can you bring things forward? Please make this component which takes a lot of work but I might get it to the race - because I want to feel it on a race weekend, rather than next year in February or March.'

"When we start testing it is too late, so I am keeping the pressure on these guys."

shares
comments
How Hamilton changed his game to see off Vettel

Previous article

How Hamilton changed his game to see off Vettel

Next article

F1 tyre improvements promised after poor Singapore Grand Prix

F1 tyre improvements promised after poor Singapore Grand Prix
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021