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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG
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Special feature

How Hamilton and Mercedes are plotting their course back to the top in F1

Lewis Hamilton has described 2023 as a ‘strengthening year’, such were the disappointments at Mercedes. After his second straight season without a victory, now he’s hoping the North Star has been rediscovered in Brackley to guide the team back to winning ways

Of the stars in the Ursa Minor constellation, Polaris is the most luminous. Easily visible on the darkest of nights, Polaris is a focal point in both astronomy and navigation; as a cepheid variable star (in other words, it pulsates), it can be used to determine spatial distances to other galaxies. And, because it sits almost directly over the Earth’s celestial north pole, it can be traced by seafarers to travel north. It’s probably better known as the North Star.

On a cloudy night, however, its luminescence is eclipsed by the gloom; finding your way without it is a much more arduous endeavour. It’s an enveloping state of purgatory within which Mercedes has existed for the past two years, running aground multiple times as it seeks to plot its course towards the top of Formula 1. Its own radical concepts had not maintained its turbo-hybrid-era successes, instead producing a feedback loop of seemingly endless problems. In addressing those issues, Mercedes’ fixes seemed to vacillate between the forensic and a more trial-and-error approach.

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