Lewis Hamilton: Some Mercedes F1 struggles 'still a mystery'

Lewis Hamilton has admitted Mercedes' slump in form partially remains "a mystery" despite the team's best efforts to understand its recent woes

Lewis Hamilton: Some Mercedes F1 struggles 'still a mystery'

After winning four races in succession with Hamilton, Mercedes was soundly beaten in the United States Grand Prix and then produced its worst performance of the season in Mexico.

The Mercedes pair could not make their tyres last at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with Hamilton finishing over a minute down on race winner Max Verstappen in fourth and Valtteri Bottas ending up a lap down.

Team boss Toto Wolff had "no explanation" for the Silver Arrows' sudden woes after the Mexico race, although he dismissed the team's decision not to use its controversial wheel rim design as a potential factor.

And while Hamilton confirmed ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix that Mercedes has made progress in understanding its slump, he conceded its problem wasn't fully resolved.

"Some of it's still a mystery, but there's a lot of areas that we've understood," Hamilton said.

"We've come to another circuit which is quite hard on the tyres, Brazil is always quite tough in that area, but we've not been terrible here.

"I'm hoping this weekend we can get the car into the right place, so we can fight the Red Bulls and the Ferraris, who have seemed to come back more into shooting range.

"Red Bull's dominance in the last races was impressive, and I'm sure they'll be quick here this weekend as well, as will Ferrari. So it's going to take everything and more [to beat them]."

Team-mate Bottas said Mercedes was now aware of the "mistakes" it has made that led to its Mexico disappointment.

"The team worked really hard on that in terms of finding answers quickly," Bottas said.

"I went to the factory and had a meeting about it - it's been really interesting to see how we've been able to track those issues.

"It is about how we're managing the tyres, we know we've made mistakes and we hope not to repeat them."

While Hamilton isn't confident the work undertaken after Mexico will instantly eradicate Mercedes' problems, he reckoned it could be crucial for 2019.

"It might still take this race or even next race before we fully understand it," he said.

"It just points to the fact that there's still always lots of work to do, even at this point in the year there's still things you can learn from and improve, or methods that you can apply to next year particularly which are going to be quite important.

"Even though they [USA and Mexico] have not been great races, I think they've been quite a steep learning curve for us."

shares
comments
Verstappen: Red Bull isn't lying about Honda F1 title declarations

Previous article

Verstappen: Red Bull isn't lying about Honda F1 title declarations

Next article

Ferrari signing Leclerc hopes Albon gets 2019 Toro Rosso F1 seat

Ferrari signing Leclerc hopes Albon gets 2019 Toro Rosso F1 seat
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
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

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