Following a challenging commencement to the 2023 season, Mercedes kick-started a fresh approach by introducing the inaugural set of upgrades to the ongoing W14 model in Monaco.
After these adjustments, the car displayed promising developments in Spain and held its own during the Canadian GP at a venue traditionally not favoring its attributes.
Hamilton expressed relief at this shift in approach, which he had eagerly anticipated.
In response to whether the team was now progressing in the right direction, Hamilton affirmed, “Absolutely, at last! Last year, we implemented numerous upgrades and did see some improvement.
“But enhancing performance with this generation of car was a complex task. Adding performance in the wind tunnel seemed promising, but when these modifications were incorporated into the car, it caused more instability. This year, we are finally starting to make changes that genuinely enhance the car without inducing additional instability.”
The latest upgrades have aided Hamilton in achieving his first back-to-back podium finishes of the season. However, the seven-time champion believes there’s still untapped potential in the W14.
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing, clinching 1st position, and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes-AMG, securing 3rd position, celebrate on the podium.
Photo by: Steve Etherington / F1 Flow Images
Hamilton further commented, “We’ve taken a step forward. However, I don’t think we’ve reached our end goal yet.
“I believe we’re still in transition. But we’ve made significant progress, and there’s more on the horizon in the upcoming months, which is truly exciting.
“I’m eager for what’s ahead. As for the car, I’m starting to gain more confidence in it. It’s starting to feel more like a race car now.”
When asked to elaborate on his experiences with the revised car, Hamilton emphasized that confidence was crucial in pushing the boundaries. He also recollected his dramatic crash in Q3 in Austria last year, which took him by surprise.
“Confidence is crucial,” he stated. “You need to trust in the car’s stability. You must be confident that when you speed into a corner at 150-180 miles per hour, the car will support you.
“The previous year’s car was so unpredictable – you saw the surprise I had last year. Consequently, you have to restrain yourself and can’t push to the limits.
“The changes in our approach have given me more confidence to explore and push the boundaries, but I’m still not quite there yet. So, we need to make further adjustments.”
Mercedes W14 technical detail
Photo by: Uncredited
Despite recent amendments and the subsequent improvement in performance, Hamilton insists that there are still “fundamental changes” that need to be made to compete at the front in 2024 with the W15.
“There are essential changes that need to be made for next year. I’ve been advocating for these changes for over a year, so I’m hopeful about seeing them in the future, which I believe will definitely be beneficial.
“But it’s not just that, it’s also the rear end, and how it maneuvers through a corner. We’re working on that, and the team is fully focused.
“We have some improvements in store for the coming months, which will also help address that. So, I’m feeling hopeful.”
As for the Austrian GP weekend, he noted: “I think the surface is very similar to Barcelona. So, we are optimistic that we can be relatively competitive, much like last week, perhaps.
“I think Red Bull will be ahead, they always perform well here. I’m hopeful that we can give Ferrari and Aston a run for their money.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 Progress
Has Mercedes made any progress with their F1 car in the 2023 season?
Yes, following a challenging start to the season, Mercedes has made progress by introducing a series of upgrades to their W14 model. These upgrades have shown signs of improvement during the races in Spain and Canada.
What has been Hamilton’s reaction to the improvements made to the W14 model?
Lewis Hamilton has expressed optimism about the changes made to the car. He’s pleased with the direction the team is taking and believes there’s still more potential to be unlocked in the W14 model.
What is Hamilton’s perspective about the car’s performance during high-speed cornering?
Hamilton has emphasized the importance of confidence in the car’s stability during high-speed cornering. He’s observed improvements with the revised model, but still believes further modifications are necessary for optimum performance.
What are the future plans for Mercedes in the 2024 season?
Hamilton indicated that “fundamental changes” need to be made for next year, especially with the upcoming W15 model. He believes these changes, which he has been advocating for over a year, will make a significant difference.
What does Hamilton expect from the upcoming Austrian GP weekend?
Hamilton believes that the surface for the Austrian GP is similar to Barcelona’s, so he’s hopeful about a performance comparable to their recent races. He expects Red Bull to lead but aims to compete strongly against Ferrari and Aston.