Hamilton hopes Mercedes updates frighten Ferrari and Red Bull

Lewis Hamilton hopes the major update package Mercedes has introduced for the Austrian Grand Prix will "frighten" main rivals Ferrari and Red Bull

Hamilton hopes Mercedes updates frighten Ferrari and Red Bull

Although Mercedes has officially said little about the updates for this weekend's race, the changes to the W09 include upgraded sidepods, bargeboards and rear wing.

While Hamilton admitted he was not yet up to speed with the precise nature of the updates, he acknowledged that it was the biggest package of changes Mercedes has produced so far in 2018.

"Up until now we've not really had a lot of development parts on the car, so it's great to see," he said.

"I'm aware that the guys have been working increasingly harder to try and make sure that we bring quality rather than quantity.

"So it's great to see some new bits here this weekend, and I'm excited to try them on track.

"It will undoubtedly help us in our battle to frighten the other guys.

"I'm excited because when you bolt something to the car - which we haven't really bolted to the car this year, it's one of the first real serious upgrades - it's great when you get out there.

"You feel the first couple of points [of downforce] straight away in a certain corner, you feel those improvements.

"I'm looking forward to experiencing it tomorrow, and trying to figure out where those improvements are on the circuit.

"I've not really looked at the pieces, and only got told about it this morning.

"They mentioned it to me ages ago, but I don't really think about that stuff, I only think about how I can get the car in the right ballpark so I [can] do what I do.

"But hopefully that will help me do it more."

Valtteri Bottas also welcomed any gains that have been made on the chassis side with the new parts, given Mercedes' close battle with Ferrari and Red Bull.

"I hope it's massive," he said. "On paper it's a decent upgrade, which is very much needed, like any small gain this year, so [I'm] looking forward to trying it out.

"Last weekend with the new engine it was positive, but even with the engines between us and Ferrari the margins are very small.

"I don't feel like we really have the upper hand like we had in past years, so any small gains are important."

Hamilton expects to see the closest qualifying session of the season so far around the short Red Bull Ring lap, where Q3 lap times could get close to the one minute mark.

"Everyone's got some sort of upgrades," he said. "I anticipate it being probably one of the closest qualifying sessions that we've had this season.

"That's my feeling, but I might be wrong.

"I hope I am - I hope that we qualify one-two with a better gap than that. But I also hope that it is close, and it's about those fine tenths of a second."

shares
comments
Third Austria DRS zone prompts 'Mario Kart' fears from F1 drivers

Previous article

Third Austria DRS zone prompts 'Mario Kart' fears from F1 drivers

Next article

Renault introduces new Formula 1 qualifying engine mode in Austria

Renault introduces new Formula 1 qualifying engine mode in Austria
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Ferrari , Red Bull Racing , Mercedes
Author Adam Cooper
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
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