Following two sturdy race performances for Hamilton at Austin (the place he was in the end disqualified from the outcomes) and in Mexico, Mercedes had a poor weekend in Brazil final day out.
On the scene of its most up-to-date race win, with George Russell in 2022, Mercedes struggled with its set-up resulting in unhealthy in-race tyre degradation at Interlagos.
The scenario was so unhealthy, the staff thought-about pulling its vehicles out of parc ferme following the dash race, however in the end determined not to take action as a result of it didn’t know what modifications would really enhance issues for its drivers.
The Interlagos observe’s many alternative nook sorts and flowing center sector present a significant distinction to the structure F1 groups will deal with this weekend in Vegas, the place the all-new 3.86-mile course predominantly consists of lengthy straights.
Hamilton, talking within the pre-event press convention in Vegas on Wednesday evening, is due to this fact hopeful Mercedes may have a better time establishing its W14 consequently, though he does worry the straights may expose the automobile’s ongoing points with further drag.
“Undoubtedly greater than the final one,” Hamilton replied when requested how assured he was feeling forward of 2023’s penultimate race.
“I nonetheless assume it’s going to be a problem and getting the tyres working this weekend [will be tough].
“We’re typically not essentially the quickest on the straights, in order that will likely be a problem – to see if we can’t lose an excessive amount of on the straights, however sustain with everybody within the corners.
“However it’s not essentially the most technical of circuits, so hopefully that makes it a bit bit simpler.”
Photograph by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
Hamilton mentioned Brazil “positively felt like one of many worst” he has skilled in his 10-year stint with Mercedes and defined this was as a result of “we simply obtained the automobile within the incorrect place”.
He added: “There may be clearly potential within the automobile – we had two actually nice races earlier than. We simply had it within the incorrect window and that’s on all of us.”
Hamilton additionally mentioned he was “really grateful” to have gone by way of Mercedes’ 2023 Interlagos struggles, because it confirmed the staff it nonetheless has appreciable work to do to lastly get again to competing on the head of F1’s pack.
This follows solutions from inside Mercedes at first of the season that it had been lulled into believing it had made progress with the W13 and W14 ‘zeropod’ automobile ideas by Russell’s 2022 Interlagos win.
However this in the end turned out to be incorrect and Mercedes selected the eve of the present marketing campaign to lastly head down the downwash design path Purple Bull has been utilizing as a part of its F1 domination for the reason that new ground-effect period started, lastly unleashing its up to date design at Could’s Monaco spherical.
“I don’t know if [the team] essentially wanted to be reminded of how a lot work nonetheless must be achieved, however there’s all the time good issues to take from a troublesome weekend like that,” Hamilton defined.
“When you’ve got these kinds of kicks, it places issues into perspective.
“I positively assume with final yr, finish of season we had that win and while it was an actual huge elevate for the staff, perhaps it made us assume we have been gonna be higher transferring onto the following yr.
Photograph by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14
“So, I’m really grateful for the expertise [of the last race in Brazil] as a result of the fellows nonetheless know that we’re nonetheless not as shut as we want to assume.
“And that means that now we have to work tougher. We simply must do a greater job all spherical.
“Nobody within the staff is beneath any illusions – we realise that we’ve obtained a steep mountain to climb.”