Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Formula 1 Austrian GP

Hamilton: Mercedes going in right direction after “spiteful” W13 F1 car

Lewis Hamilton says the development path of his Mercedes Formula 1 team is now going in is the right direction as it moves on from last year’s “spiteful” W13.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

After a difficult start to the 2023 season, the team began its pursuit of a different concept when it introduced the first tranche of upgrades to the current W14 model in Monaco.

The revised car subsequently showed signs of good progress in Spain and also performed well in the Canadian Grand Prix, at a venue that wasn’t expected to play to its strengths.

Hamilton made it clear that he’s waited a long time for the change of philosophy.

Asked if the team is now heading in the correct direction, Hamilton said: “Yeah, finally! We brought a lot of upgrades last year, and we did make some progress.

“But we found with this generation of car, adding performance was not easy. When you added performance in the wind tunnel, it looked like it was real performance.

“But then you put them on the car, and the car would bounce more. And so finally this year, we're starting to make changes to the car that actually do improve the car, and don't add more bouncing.”

The recent upgrades have assisted Hamilton in scoring his first consecutive podium results of the season, but the seven-time champion believes there is still more to come from the W14.

He added: “We've taken a step in the right direction. But I don't think we've completely got to where we are going in terms of that direction.

“I think we're still turning. But we've got progress, real, real progress that's coming over the next coming months, which is really exciting to see.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, 3rd position, spray Champagne on the podium

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, 3rd position, spray Champagne on the podium

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“I can't wait. And just in terms of being in the car, I'm starting to feel more confident in it. So finally feeling more like a race car.”

Asked to expand on what he was experiencing with the revised package, Hamilton stressed that confidence was the key to getting closer to the limit. He also referenced his spectacular crash in Q3 in Austria last year, when he was unexpectedly caught out.

“Confidence is a huge thing," he said. "You have to have confidence in the stability of the car. You have to be confident that when you carry 150-180 miles an hour into a corner, the car is going to be with you and support you through that.

“And the past year’s car has been so spiteful in that space – you saw the shock I had here last year. So you really then have to pull back, and just can't get near the limit.

“The changes in the direction that we're going have enabled me to start to explore that more, and have more confidence in pushing closer to the limit, but I'm still not able to get to the limit. So we have to make some more changes.”

Despite the recent changes and resulting upturn in form, Hamilton believes there remains "fundamental changes" that need to be made in order to challenge at the front in 2024 with the W15.

Mercedes W14 technical detail

Mercedes W14 technical detail

Photo by: Uncredited

“Ultimately, there are fundamental changes that have to change for next year. And I've been asking for it for over a year. So I expect to have that in future, which I think will definitely help.

“But it's not only that, it’s the rear end, and how it rotates through a corner. But we’re working on that, and the team are very, very focused on that. 

"I think we've got some progress coming over the coming months, which will also help rectify that. So I'm excited.”

Read Also:

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Why it’s right to mark the diamond anniversary of an F1 gem
Next article Bottas: Silverstone F1 upgrade will address key Alfa weakness

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe