Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Hamilton still ‘struggling’ to get best out of Mercedes

2019 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton spent a full day at the Mercedes factory on Thursday as he continues his efforts to master the team’s latest Formula 1 car, which he says he is still not entirely comfortable with.

Hamilton’s Spanish Grand Prix victory gave him a seven-point lead in the championship over Valtteri Bottas. But his team mate has beaten him to pole position in each of the last three races.

Speaking ahead of his factory visit Hamilton said he was pleased with his race performance but believes there are other areas he can raise his game.

“The cars are pretty much set-up the same,” said Hamilton. “I drive the tyres slightly differently in the race. Often I’m able to eke them out a little bit longer. That currently is still a benefit.

“The car is obviously great but I’ve generally struggled with the car from Australia, [I’m] having similar kind of problems with the car since Australia. My qualifying in Australia was just OK, I was only a tenth ahead. When I get things right it should be different to that.”

Hamilton said he intended to use his routine visit to debrief extensively with the team to understand whether Bottas’s driving style was giving him an advantage over a single lap.

“Valtteri’s settled nicely into the car, he’s quite happy,” said Hamilton. “I don’t know if it’s driving style yet, I’m still looking into it.

“But there are definitely areas I will continue to focus on in the factory this week. I’ll be dialling in to try to really understand. And ultimately I’ll go around and talk to different departments engineering-wise and try to collate as much data as possible so I can apply it better in the next race.

“Fridays and Saturdays have not been great days for me. The goal is to improve on them. But the races have been very strong performance-wise and pure delivery on a Sunday I’ve been really happy with.”

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2019 F1 season

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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  • 36 comments on “Hamilton still ‘struggling’ to get best out of Mercedes”

    1. Well that’s onimous for other cars… I like that his default mindset is “when I get things right I should smash my teammate” (not exactly what he said, but still the gist of it)

    2. Saying he spent a full day at work makes it sound like some kind of hard-working achievement…

      1. Aaaaand here we go…

        1. Yes … more ammunition for the trolls.

          1. Does no one just see the funny side when it comes to Hamilton anymore? It is quite ridiculous to say a whole day is putting the work in but that’s just a reflection of modern F1 where they’re constantly travelling.

            1. That’s the world they live in, the more notable thing to me is how whenever Hamilton does or says anything at all, invariably there will some snarky negative remark right at the top of the comments. It’s truly bizarre.

            2. paulguitar (@paulguitar)

              “It’s truly bizarre.”

              You are too kind, my brother.

              I call it “Hateful”.

      2. @ivan-vinitskyy

        This comment from Hamilton is what all the others drivers say when as how they will improve, what they are doing at the factory, etc. Hamilton gets published more often because he is successful. Only the tiniest bits of actual information can be parsed from these comments.

        I find these comments interesting because he is, as far as we can tell, giving a rational, accurate assessment of how he is getting beaten. We’ll see if he can find and replicate Bottas’ success.

        1. Replicate. Bottas success??? Isnt Lewis leading the championship? With more wins to boot.

      3. He didn’t say that, though. He said a full day of work was spent at the team HQ looking at performance and driving. As opposed to all the other duties an F1 driver has, which take up most of the available time.

    3. If it is indeed true that he is struggling with the car – finding it difficult rather than natural, Valtteri better keep hoping he doesn’t find the sweet spot.

      At the moment, its 50/50 in the Merc team and a misfortune one way or the other could swing in – If Lewis finds his comfortable spot and can drive naturally, then it won’t be.

      I like Valtteri, and I think he is generally very good. But he isn’t Lewis Hamilton good.

      1. Nobody on the grid is.

    4. …he isnt lewis hamilton good… i like that!

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        18th May 2019, 18:42

        So why is this Lewis Hamilton good always being only Bottas good at the start of the season? :D

        This is the best Bottas has looked anyhow and I don’t think Hamilton was struggling all the time. Bottas getting 3 pole positions vs Hamilton’s single one is quite something. Hamilton was saying he had a problem relating to the gap in spain. But even his 2nd run was over 3 tenths slower that Bottas’s 2nd run. Bottas has found something special in qualifying. And if he gets a good start, with the way things are now, I think he will win many more races. Even the first 2 race weekends, he was only a tiny fraction slower than Hamilton in qualifying.

        1. @thegianthogweed Bottas has found nothing, he was given Hamilton’s performance engineer which meant Bottas got all Hamilton’s data, set up etc and Hamilton’s data made him better, nothing else.

    5. Ah, let the mind games commence again.

      1. He has to use them somewhere or they will get rusty with Ferrari being out of the picture.

      2. If anything Hamilton says here can be considered “mind games ” and have any effect on Bottas then Bottas clearly doesn’t have the mind power to win the wdc. There are no “mind games” here.

    6. Interesting why he’s faster in races and vice versa for Bottas. What does it tell us? I guess it’s about the heavier car.

      1. Totally agree with you, he gained 7kg from 68 to 75 over the break time, that should count against him

        1. Yes, both Merc drivers are noticeably heavier, what is Bottas tipping on the scales?

        2. With the new 80kg minimum weight limit for driver + seat, the drivers can now put on weight and be heathier. Bottas has mentioned this.

    7. Poor poppet, it must be such a struggle having by far the best car in the field for over five years and basically sleep walking into championships…

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        19th May 2019, 7:49

        having by far the best car in the field for over five years

        That is not the case.

        It has only obviously been significantly better than every other team in 2014 – 2016. As soon as Bottas joined, Ferrari were very close. And last year, I think Ferrari were possibly better, but Hamilton didn’t make it look like that. Even this year, despite the results, Mercedes are not as dominant as 2014-2016. It has so far only been 3 years of having by far the best car.

    8. Trouble in paradise

    9. Don’t worry, he is just setting the stage for “Still I Rise” 2019 edition.

    10. Like a number of others on here I’m horrified, offended and upset that a driver paid a routine visit to the factory where he sought to improve his weaknesses.

    11. Poor Hambo, it must be such a struggle being gifted the best car by far every year and stumbling your way into championships. He’s lucky he doesn’t have actual competition – the snowflake would melt!

      1. I am curious, Jaques, that you would even be on a site like this with such a transparent lack of understanding of the sport.

      2. Jacques…… despite your open hostility and hatred toward Lewis Hamilton, he is STILL a 5 time world F1 champion, probably going for a 6th, and with numerous records in his name.
        Man… it must be horrible to lay in bed awake at night thinking about that!

        1. He’s just either trying to get attention or genuinely totally clueless, @stubbornswiss

          Sadly this kind of ignorance seems to appear from a few less well-informed people whenever discussing Hamilton across all of the F1 sites.

          1. @paulguitat…….

            Personally I don’t think it has anything to do with seeking attention or being less informed.

            It is my opinion that it has to do with something else, which is not ‘politically correct’ to speak about!

            There are several of them out there, unfortunately.

            1. Yup. All summed up in the second word he wrote. Although I notice lately he has left the Y off the last syllable when referring to Hamilton. Must be a struggle for him that he can’t express his real issue with Hamilton.

      3. By him saying “He’s lucky he doesn’t have actual competition” it is nice to see Jacques acknowledge Hamilton is the best and that the others are not in his class.

      4. Big Joe

        is that you ?

    12. As far as I can tell everyone, Merc and Ham included, are saying that it is just by luck that the Merc is working well with the tyres and even though it is, they don’t understand why. Sounds more and more that the tyres are total junk if even the ones who dominate don’t understand them.

    Comments are closed.