Hamilton: Understanding 2012 is our key to progress

2013 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes have been working on understanding where they went wrong in 2012 to get on the right footing for his first season with them.

Mercedes won the third race of 2012 in China but scored just six points in the final six races.

Hamilton told Sky: “From what I’ve been told and what I’ve seen the guys have been working hard to change around certain things: wind tunnels, restructuring of groups and what they focus on.”

“I think having a better understanding of where they are so then they know where they’re going. It’s difficult to know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.

“So they’ve been working hard on that, so they’ve got a much better understanding of where they were last year. And they’ve been building on and improving that for this year so I feel, it looks, it seems and from the results so far we look like we’ve had some positive readings.

“But of course they just need to keep going and once the season starts we need to go even harder and continue on that route that they’re already on.

“I think last year they were saying that it started off quite well but then kind of lost their way and didn’t know where they were going and didn’t seem to improve so just kind of stayed on a steady line. This year we want to stay on that route.”

Hamilton described how he’s been working with the aerodynamics department on the W04, which will be launched in Jerez next week:

“I’ve had a little bit of experience of speaking to them and working with them, trying to learn their ways and how… there’ll be certain ways people do things, particularly engineers, they like to do it a certain way, they don’t like to open up and go off, from what I’ve experienced.

“So it’s getting those engineers and twisting them and tweaking them and working with them and and trying to extract new things from them. I go to the wind tunnel every time here and I’m just asking them, constantly asking them questions about what they have and haven’t tried.

“And there’ll be one particular thing that sticks to mind which I’ll bring it back to the aero department and I’ll speak to the heads and say ‘can you try this, can you try this?’

“And there’ll be times when I’m out in the car and there’ll be things that they want me to try which I haven’t tried and it’s all just trying to work together to get the best.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Hamilton: Understanding 2012 is our key to progress”

  1. Drivers :” We need the engineers to give us more information ”
    Engineers: ” We need the drivers to give us more information”

  2. Sheesh!

    As an engineer, I don’t think I’d enjoy having Hamilton around very much.

    Yes, there is plenty of feedback a driver can bring back to the development of the car, but either he’s overdoing it or he’s trying to brag. Personally I think it’s the second, trying to grab as much credit for himself as possible, because I doubt they’d let him be as intrusive as he is (if things are as he’d described, I’d certainly have told him where to go by now!)

    By the way, I am a huge fan of Hamilton, before anyone thinks I’m one of the haters.

    1. Meh, just PR fluff probably. He likely doesnt have a clue what they’re doing nor can he really add much. At the same time the bosses and sponsors want to hear sweet nothings about how fantastic all the prep for the season is and how the new signing is bezzie mates with everyone back at the factory. But yeah he does have a tendency to sound like he’s a one man band at times. If someone from Sky asked what I was doing with something I had no influence or knowledge towards I would probably say something equally meaningless.

  3. I hope Lewis can win this year at least once!

    Any info on the new Lotus yet, please?

    1. Check the forums…it’s leaked.

  4. I believe that Lewis was speaking in hypothetical terms. He does come with many years of experience with a team that was great at both aero and in season car development. It would be a bit silly to discount his potential help to the team just because he is a driver. Sort of like a politician ignoring the economist until the whole thing comes undone. You can tell by his shifts from “them” to “us” that he is still finding his place within the team. Management will let him know what is being said in the background, and he will adapt as all top drivers do.

  5. Seeing Hamilton in Mercedes colours is going to be so weird this year.

    1. I wonder if Hamilton or Rosberg will change helmet colours, seeing as they are both mostly yellow!
      I know they are both different tones / shades of yellow, but still…

      1. I doubt it. Probably just have to go off the camera colour.

  6. I need to have that Jacket!

  7. He’s right, they did lose their way. I only hope that with even more people onboard now that they all pull in the same direction.

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