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 United States GP

Upgrades gave Hamilton more confidence 'to throw Mercedes F1 car' around

Lewis Hamilton says the latest upgrades to his Mercedes Formula 1 car have given him more confidence "to throw it into the corners".

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Mercedes brought the latest iteration of its floor design to last weekend's United States Grand Prix in Austin as it continues to chase improvements that will not only yield lap time across 2023's final races but will also stand it in good stead for next year's car design.

Like its predecessor, the W14 has been a tricky beast to tame for Hamilton and team-mate George Russell, who have both battled through various degrees of lacking confidence in the car through high-speed corners.

Austin appeared to mark a step forward for Hamilton as he finished a close second behind Red Bull's Max Verstappen, even if he was later disqualified for excessive floor plank wear.

"Yeah, definitely I think the step that we were able to take this weekend has given me a little bit more confidence in the car, to throw it into the corners," Hamilton said before his disqualification.

"I really enjoyed driving around this track. There are still some of the fundamental issues that we're having with the car, which won't change until next year.

"But it was really positive to feel that the steps that we are taking."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, on the grid

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG, on the grid

Hamilton explained that the Austin floor upgrade was worth at least as much lap time from the driving side as it delivered from the increased rear downforce itself.

"Maybe it was [worth] only a tenth [as an] upgrade, for example, but there was at least a tenth of confidence that it gave me," the seven-time world champion added.

"So, it's quite interesting what you see when you do have those, it's like a double knock-on effect."

Team principal Toto Wolff called the floor upgrade an "interesting experiment" in the Brackley squad's process of putting together next year's machine.

"It was directionally an interesting experiment, whether it would work," he added.

"It gives us more indications; were we on the right path for next year's car?

"The update directionally functioned from the get-go. Lewis said he feels the rear end. George never kind of got to the point where he said the car was good. We need to learn about that, that is such a factor.

When asked if Hamilton's love for Austin's Circuit of the Americas also contributed to a standout performance, Wolff replied: "Lewis was always very strong in Austin. And when he's on a roll he's unstoppable.

"But I wouldn't think that we would have such a performance, just because it's one of Lewis's good tracks."

Additional reporting by Jon Noble 

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Steiner: Revised Haas F1 car not good enough yet after COTA upgrades
Next article AMABA winner Browning completes Aston Martin F1 prize test at Silverstone

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