Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Hamilton: F1’s new aero rules were intended to ‘peg us back’

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1’s new aerodynamic rules which have been introduced for the 2021 F1 season were intended to cut Mercedes’ advantage over their rivals.

Mercedes won 13 out of 17 races last year, but Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas have looked ill at ease in the team’s new W12 chassis. Both have been unhappy with the car’s rear-end balance.

F1’s new rules for 2021 include several changes at the rear end of the car, including a reduction in the size of the floor. This appears to have affected Mercedes more than other teams, including rivals Red Bull. Hamilton believes this is intentional

“I mean, it’s no secret that the changes, of course they have been done to peg us back,” he said.

Hamilton compared the changes to the ban on qualifying engine modes which was introduced last year. “We had the changes, of course, last year to our engine to do the same thing.

“But that’s OK. We love a challenge and we don’t look down on these things. We just work hard to do the best we can, and that’s what we will do.”

Hamilton qualified second on the grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix, over three-tenths of a second slower than Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. He said the gap is “definitely closer than we expected.”

“I think this is a really good step forward for us coming this weekend,” Hamilton continued. “I think we thought it was double the gap that you see today and so that’s really down to some really fantastic work from the men and women back at the factory.”

Red Bull will retain a similar advantage in tomorrow’s race, Hamilton believes. “That’s just from the information that I’ve been given and from what I can see.

“Our balance wasn’t really that spectacular, but it wasn’t the worst, driving. It was just if you work things out, it looked like it was a couple of tenths difference between us. But we’ll see. It definitely didn’t look terrible and it was a lot better than what I thought was going to be in testing.”

He was unwilling to elaborate further on the nature of Mercedes’ problems with their car. “I can’t really tell you what we’re struggling,” he said. “I don’t want to tell you what our problem is.”

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48 comments on “Hamilton: F1’s new aero rules were intended to ‘peg us back’”

  1. Welcome to the workings of F1 Lewis. Traditionalists don’t mind these kind of contrivances.

    1. Lewis’ “Contrivance” has bought him: 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 & 🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁🏁!!! CONTRIVANCE, thy name is Lewis xx

  2. That’s false, the primary purpose of the new regs is to encourage overtaking. Guy sees conspiracies everywhere.

  3. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    27th March 2021, 18:00

    Sore loser.

    He sees everything as some personal attack and refuses to look at the possibility (and the truth) that some things just pan out a certain way. Just as with when he said the stewards were trying to hold him back.

    1. How is it personal. Obviously, he and others at Mercedes might feel some time of way. But it is clear the objective of many rules in f1 is to shake up things that have remained the same for too long. Mercedes in all our opinions have remained at the front for too long. F1 will do anything to change that at this point. Things in f1 hardly “pans out a certain way” anymore, it takes regulation to change up the order.

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        27th March 2021, 19:48

        Ah yes, a year before there’s drastic rule changes coming.

        Do you believe in Santa too? Because you’re obviously a fan of things that ain’t real

        1. Rule changes occur in some form every year. It isn’t a far fetched assumption to assume many are made to close up the field, or outright “trip” the most dominant team in f1 history.

          1. Predominantly bring the racing action closer, if that means that it affects one team more so than another then yes. It can be true but also not be directing it solely at Mercedes. Lewis take here while somewhat correct just seems arrogant but perhaps that’s my own bias towards him too. I mean to say yes, it’s targeting the teams to bring them closer but to say its directly targeting Mercedes, well I’m hesitant to give him that.

  4. Yes and it was about god damn time. 7 (seven!) years of domination and steady rules. Even Ferrari didn’t get that.

    1. @paeschli

      Don’t forget that the 2019 aerodynamic regulation changes hurt high rake cars a lot more.

      The 2021 changes have mere corrected the damage 2019 did.

      1. Looks like Sir Lew Lew knows he’s on to a loser this year and is already starting with the accusations.

        I hope another “iz it cos I iz black?” meltdown isn’t on the cards.

    2. Agreed. Spare me the whining from Hamilton. He’s been able to coast home to victory after victory for years now and finally some attempts are creating parity are put in and he wants to moan and complain. Get over it! Nobody wants races decided on Turn 1 of lap 1.

    3. Sandra Reynolds
      28th March 2021, 13:42

      Do you follow F1? 7 years domination 🤣🤣 when his first WDC was 2008 then Nico in 2016 btw Jean Todt said they need to stop Merc – what he should of said is they other teams must try harder, hence Ferrari cheated in 2019 till they got caught

  5. I’d say there’s an argument that the rules had played a large part in Mercedes dominance, hampering teams clawing back performance while allowing a strong leader to cement an advantage. So the idea the rules could instead be used to equalise performance or allow the chasing teams to break that advantage down a little is a more positive use of them than just allowing the existing frontrunner to stay the frontrunner forever.

  6. Such a freaking crybaby

  7. Time difference to last year;
    Verstappen 1.319
    Hamilton 2.121
    bottas 2.033
    leclerc 0.541
    gasly 1.361
    stroll 1.922
    giovinazzi 1.217
    raikonen 1.428
    russel 2.022
    ocon 3.305
    latifi 1.754

    Mercs seem to have lost 2 seconds

  8. The 2019 Front Wing changes reduced downforce at the front, which disadvantaged Redbull
    The only other place left to cut downforce that would be easy to enforce was the rear, right next to the rear tyres

  9. You know what? Try racing in Sauber or any midfield team for just a year. I wonder how your perception would change. In F1 you need a great car to win, but a great driver in a bad car stands no chance. You never had to experience that, and as I can see, you still have the best or second best car on the grid. Maybe Mercedes is faster than Red Bull, but Verstappen is just faster enough… Bottas is still third, with Perez nowhere to be found, so I don’t think that Lewis’ got it unfair. The world is always against him (probably because he’s not white).

    1. 2009, and Turkey 2020 wants a word with you.

      1. Hamilton has won at least one race every year he has been in F1, his F1 cars sere never Sauber-tier bad, not even in 2009

        1. Who has ever won in a Sauber?

    2. Given he has said exactly what Wolff and others have said over the weekend, do you think they all think the world is against them? Or just Hamilton because he is black?

  10. And that’s why he will never be a great champion. What a sore loser.

    1. Sore losers crash into their peers.

  11. I can only assume that all these people shouting “cry baby!” and “sore loser!” did read anything past the headline.

    1. Headline says enough. The aero changes where made because of the tires. And not to peg Mercedes back.

      1. The original theory behind the aero change was because they were meant to be using the same tyres for a 3rd season, Pirelli then went ahead and made new tyres which are 3 kg heavier and has a different shape to the 2019 ones.

        The rules were implemented to peg them back.

    2. They don’t need to read past ‘Hamilton’. And the alternate headline ‘Hamilton asked whether he agrees with what Wolff said the day before, and confirms he does’ doesn’t have the same impact.

  12. Guys just compared some figures with qualifying times on same track last year and find out that Lewis is correct in his statements as this new regulation (reducing floor) seems to have greater negative effects on cars with low rake concept compared to high rake one. Mercedes qualified to pole last year with 1.27.264 and this year is second with 1.29.385 losing 2.131 seconds whereas Ref Bull lost only 1.319 seconds this year. Other high rake cars are also gaining from this rule such as Alpha Tauri losing only 1.361 and Ferrari 0.529 seconds (thanks to their redesigned engine also). Its no surprise that this year we will see cars with high rake performing well as rake can be adjusted but surface area of floor cannot be increased(binded by rule) to increase down force. Racing point now Aston Martin moved from high to low rake and losing now 2.279 seconds on qualifying lap. Figures speak by themselves guys. So Lewis is right, this rule is clamping low rake cars down and everybody knows that Mercedes is a low rake car.

  13. It’s a nice problem to have. A car with bad handling that is 2nd and 3rd on the grid.

    I wish Mercedes would treat the paddock and the audience with a little more respect instead of complaining about their dreadful struggles.

    1. Mercedes is hardly given respect anymore. Everyone resents them for being the best.

      1. Are you done cupping Merc and Hammy’s balls for a second to take an objective look for a change? The world is not out to stop Hamilton, let’s cease with that fairy tale. There are changes that help teams and changes that hurt teams and maybe this time, that change has hurt them. Other changes have hampered RB and Ferrari recently, so there’s an ebb and flow to these things and not everything is going to be given to the golden child, just because he expects it. Now, maybe he’ll have to work a bit to win some races, boo freaking hoo. Let him drive the Haas for a while and then he can see how good he has it.

        As fans, maybe this creates something I’d imagine everyone wants, entertaining races that aren’t decided on Turn 1 of lap 1.

        1. What changes have been made recently that has hampered both those teams?

      2. What respect?! They made from their 2nd driver their biggest joke in history! People still mention 2002 Austria, but things got worse than that. “Funny” to see that the Bottas interview where he says he thought about retiring after being forced to play HAM’s lieutenant didn’t make it to RF.

  14. If you compare only RBR and Mercedes, it may seem so:
    Mercedes has 2.1 sec deficit to their 2020 qualifying times, where RBR lost only 1 sec.
    Ferrari’s deficit is even less, just 0.5 sec.
    But pretty much as high as RBR-rake Renault lost nearly the same 1.8 sec.
    Also high-rake McLaren’s deficit is 1.5s with an engine arguably better than last year’s.
    Maybe someone just did their homework better? Also remember, Mercedes stopped developing their 2020 car halfway through the season, even before Ferrari, to put all resources into R&D for the upcoming rules changes.
    So I am quite surprised to hear these sort of excuses from them, it’s not making them look good in the eyes of fans.

    1. Hamilton and frankly Merc also, have a sense of entitlement and it’s always bugged me. They’ve won a bazillion championships in a row, I don’t want to hear ANY crowing from them over things not going their way.

    2. What is this? An informed and reasonable post backed up by facts on a forum? That’s not what the internet is for

  15. Cristiano Ferreira
    27th March 2021, 21:28

    “I mean, it’s no secret that the changes, of course they have been done to peg us back,”

    Well take some of the same medicine your team enjoyed since 2014. By the time the engine token system that cemented Mercedes place was gone, the damage was already done to Renault, Honda and Ferrari.

    That’s what allowed you to farm 6 titles Lewis.

  16. Clickbait misrepresentation of what the man said. I’m no Lewis fan lately, but what he said is downright reasonable.
    -He mentions of course this was done to slow down Mercedes.
    -He says it’s ok, that they like a challenge.

    None of the commenters above seem to have read the body of text beyond the headline, which as I pointed out was clickbait garbage. Good thing they used two authors to post it. Couldn’t imagine how bad it would’ve been with just one.

  17. What astounds me most is how open and vocal Jean Todt was about their desire to stop Mercedes for… the fact they’re just too good. Mercedes did nothing wrong and got punished. I have nothing to say.

  18. Well, it happened to others in the past.

  19. “I mean, it’s no secret that the changes, of course they have been done to peg us back,” he said.

    Hamilton compared the changes to the ban on qualifying engine modes which was introduced last year. “We had the changes, of course, last year to our engine to do the same thing.

    “But that’s OK. We love a challenge and we don’t look down on these things. We just work hard to do the best we can, and that’s what we will do.”

    SEems a lot of people didn’t read that part of the quote from Hamilton. Don’t really understand the issue with what he’s said when we all know it to be true. Mercedes fans or not, and I’m not a big Mercedes eperson.

  20. Playing the victim’s card again. Such a talented guy, brilliant driver, amazing on track, the best but….
    Probably is reading from the Woke Brigade playbook like Meghan Marbles… California toxic & intolerant values are contaminating F1 and the world.

  21. My tyres are almost finneshed. Hamiledon just before he passed on track.

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