Lewis Hamilton has 'no idea' why Mercedes F1 team is now struggling

Lewis Hamilton says his focus cannot slip after winning a fifth Formula 1 title because he has "no idea" why he has struggled in the last two grands prix

Lewis Hamilton has 'no idea' why Mercedes F1 team is now struggling

Hamilton won four races in a row to put himself on the brink of the championship but Mercedes then had problems in the United States and Mexico GPs.

He clinched the crown last weekend by finishing fourth, the first time he failed to stand on the podium since the Austrian GP at the start of July.

Hamilton said: "I still have work to do. I've still got to get back to the factory and rally the troops to figure out how we can come back and win these next races.

"I have no idea why I struggled so much in these last two and we all feel the pain of not winning those races.

"We still have the constructors' championship to win, which I know will mean even more to all the guys back at the factory.

"So that's the focus."

Mercedes struggled with rear-tyre blistering in the US, which led to suggestions the performance drop-off could be linked to the team dropping the spacer on its rear wheels that has small holes and grooves to reduce the heat flow between the axle and the wheel.

But Mercedes' problem in Mexico was that it was harder on its front-left tyre than rivals Ferrari and Red Bull, indicating it was "nothing to do" with the spacer being dropped.

One theory is that Mercedes was simply caught out because both race weekends followed odd Fridays.

Austin's first practice sessions were held in the wet and the unique challenge of high-altitude and a slick surface caught out several teams at Mexico City.

"I don't think we had one single lap where we actually switched the tyre on," Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said after the race.

"I have no explanation and we will be asking for explanation because these swings are just difficult."

Hamilton said he would try to "cherish" the moment of matching Juan Manuel Fangio in winning five titles because it would swiftly be replaced by the remaining priorities for this season.

He also reiterated he felt "conflicted emotionally" because he wanted to celebrate winning the title but had done it through a difficult race, in which Ferrari cut into Mercedes' constructors' lead again to reduce the deficit to 55 points.

"It's not a bad finish and ultimately it's what we needed we've still got a team championship to win," said Hamilton.

"We lost some points to Ferrari and I really want to deliver for the team - so I've still got two races to win."

shares
comments
Gasly calls F1's rules over racing other cars a 'weird grey area'

Previous article

Gasly calls F1's rules over racing other cars a 'weird grey area'

Next article

'Nonsense' media gossip harms Formula 1 - Kimi Raikkonen

'Nonsense' media gossip harms Formula 1 - Kimi Raikkonen
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Scott Mitchell
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
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

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
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

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
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