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Formula 1 United States GP

Hamilton can ‘feel’ improvement of Mercedes F1 floor upgrade

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes’ revised Austin floor is one of the first Formula 1 upgrades for a while where he has been able to feel an improvement.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

The seven-time world champion has secured an encouraging third on the grid for the United States Grand Prix, as he made the most of the latest changes from his team to end up behind Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris in qualifying

While Mercedes played down the potential of the new floor ahead of running, claiming it is more about understandings for its 2024 car, Hamilton has a different perspective.

He does not necessarily think it is an indicator for the future, but says it has delivered a level of improvement that has not always come from Mercedes upgrades.

“I don't know really if it's a signifier of anything for next year but, as we continue to experiment, we get more and more knowledge of where we're going, and where we are routing the flow of the car,” he said.

“The floor is not a huge amount different. There's always hype with someone's upgrade but the rest of the car is exactly the same. And there's lots and lots of areas in which we can improve.

“But this is an improvement. This is one of the first upgrades that I've actually felt over the last two years. So that's a positive, and we just need two or three times of this step to put us in super competitive mode, which I believe the guys can do.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Hamilton said that the changes had “levelled up the car” in all areas of performance, rather than changing the way it handles overall.

And he added that progress was testament to the efforts being made back at Mercedes’ Brackley factory to deliver a quicker W14.

“I’m really grateful for the improvements that the team have made with the car,” he said.

“Everyone's worked so hard to bring some upgrades and, for us to be this close to McLaren and Ferrari and even the Red Bulls, I think it's a showing of just how hard everyone's worked.”

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But while the tweaks put him in a good position to challenge for the victory on Sunday, he was unclear about just how strong he could be.

“Too early to say,” he said. “None of us have done any long running, so I have no idea.

“Maybe with the Red Bull not in the top three, maybe that makes it a better closer battle because they're often quite a bit ahead and just disappear into the distance.

“So hopefully, the three of us can have a tight battle.”

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