Lewis Hamilton is 100% sure the car concept is the reason for Mercedes’s 2023 woes

Lewis Hamilton is doubling down on his criticism of the concept of Mercedes W14's development.


Lewis Hamilton is 100% sure the car concept is the reason for Mercedes’s 2023 woes

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell (Via IMAGO)

Mercedes had a nightmarish start to their 2023 season compared to the standard they have set for them in the past. The team could score just one podium in the first six races. Toto Wolff‘s team showed some improvement and notable upgrades that led to them becoming one of the top-3 teams in pace. But despite all the progress, the W14 is much slower than rivals Red Bull’s RB19.

ADVERTISEMENT

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton believes that the root cause for Mercedes’s subpar performance is W14’s concept, and he emphasized the need for the team to make significant changes for the upcoming year. As Hamilton has signed a contract extension with the team till 2025, his best shot at winning a record eight title is to have a completely different car concept next season.

Hamilton finished in P7 during the Japanese GP qualifying session on Saturday, with his teammate George Russell finishing P8 behind him. Following their disappointing performance, he pointed out that during each weekend, the team faces new challenges with their W14. He attributed their poor performance to the fundamental concept of their car.

“I was giving it everything but that seven-tenth deficit we have in sector one, it’s all rear-end. Our car has loads of load on the front and not as much as we need on the rear. So we’re a really long way down on that, and for me it’s 100 percent clear it’s [the] concept, and we have got to make sure we change that for next year, which hopefully we will,” said Lewis Hamilton, as reported by Silverarrows.net.

ADVERTISEMENT

Discover: Lewis Hamilton proposes the use of AI as a replacement to Stewards in F1

Lewis Hamilton is concerned about the massive gap between Mercedes and Red Bull

Acknowledging their challenges during the qualifying session, Hamilton mentioned that closing the gap between Mercedes and Red Bull would be a tough task. He further emphasized that being a second slower on a track like Suzuka at this stage is a cause for concern for the entire team.

Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez (Via IMAGO)
Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez (Via IMAGO)

When asked if Mercedes can expect better performance on Sunday, Hamilton expressed that Mercedes is not likely to have an advantage in the race on Sunday and expects a challenging day ahead for the team, similar to what other teams are facing.

We are a long way away on rear downforce so that’s why we are so slow in the first sector. The laps felt really good, but we are just one second away…No. Think we are just going to struggle like everybody else. It’s going to be tough tomorrow,” said Lewis Hamilton.

ADVERTISEMENT

In case you missed it: