Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Hamilton admits he knew Mercedes had an upgrade planned

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Lewis Hamilton has admitted he was aware Mercedes had an upgrade planned for its 2021 car, despite having previously indicated they did not.

After finishing second to Max Verstappen in the Styrian Grand Prix four days ago, Hamilton said “we need an upgrade of some sort” to close the gaps to their rivals.

“We would love an upgrade, but I don’t think it’s in the pipeline at the moment,” he added.

However earlier this week Mercedes’ chief technical officer James Allison confirmed it does have new parts coming for its W12.

“I knew that we had that upgrade coming,” Hamilton admitted in today’s FIA press conference at the Red Bull Ring.

“At the end of the day everyone is working absolutely flat-out. We’re learning more and more about this car.

“We’re discovering more things – where we need to push more and extract more and I have all the confidence in the team that we will do over the course of time.”

Mercedes experimented at least weekend’s race with what they called a “wacky” set-up direction, which came about from work Hamilton did in the team’s driver-in-the-loop simulator. He has often admitted he doesn’t relish tackling simulator work and said he still wasn’t “necessarily enjoying it” at the moment.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“But particularly after those few difficult races we had I went in to try and see if there’s any way I can try and help the team be better prepared.

“I think there’s been a couple of good things from it but not life-changing and so I’ll continue to work with it. We’ve got drivers in there who do a lot of work, just working on the processes of how we communicate with them on their programme so we’re getting the right things tested. So I think overall it’s been positive.”

Despite having fallen 18 points behind Verstappen, Hamilton says he isn’t becoming concerned about the championship situation.

“We’re all pushing as hard as we can. Of course we’d love to have more pace at the moment to be able to really challenge not only within qualifying but the race.

“Obviously they’re continuing to take steps forward. But I can’t get tied up and get into that negative bubble of worrying. All I can do right now is put all that energy into making sure I’m best prepared, helping the engineers be better prepared, lots of great conversations.

“This is the time when we just come together and unite and work as hard as we can to rectify whatever issues we have. That’s what we do, that’s why we’re world champions and I have confidence in the team that we can do that.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Austrian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

45 comments on “Hamilton admits he knew Mercedes had an upgrade planned”

  1. Just like his radio messages during the race, everything he says has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as almost everything is aimed for Red Bull ears

    1. Same as Horner’s ‘we just concern ourselves with RB’ before going into a 5 minute speech about everyone else but RB. You know what to expect. Although fair play to Max last week, reported tyres were going off and then set fastest lap of the race. :)

      1. Although fair play to Max last week, reported tyres were going off and then set fastest lap of the race. :)

        Still not as good as Lewis who will be screaming “These tyres are shot !” and then continue pushing for a whole stint :)

        1. They were in a race of their own after four laps, so I was looking forward to them trading fastest laps just for the fun of it. But then it became obvious they both needed to preserve tyres. :(

  2. So why the lie? Words don’t cost anything, but in F1 they really are cheap.

    1. Because a team’s job isn’t to tell other teams what they’re doing.

      1. But they also don’t have to lie about what they are doing (when you don’t want to say something, you can simply stop talking instead of creating whole stories), especially if they admit the truth in just three or four days which makes them look… Yeah. I’m sure they didn’t gain anything, except if RB was making their final decision on further development on Monday; with no option to change their mind. Even if in some world that would make sense, people from Red Bull didn’t believe them anyway and they all but laughed at the idea. People have short memories, but they changed the whole story in two days, acting like nothing was said (and nobody dared to ask because F1 journalists are more of a PR personnel these days).

      2. @greenflag ok, so at least one person here has enough brain cells to figure it out…

        I bet these people think politicians never lie either. The innocence is adorable… albeit sad to admit many of you have productive careers and are this gullible…

    2. That’s what I dont understand either. Lewis needs these additional (to his racing craft) instruments (lying, mind games) to win. I always find that a bit of a weak spot, if an athlete needs that. I mean, if you are so good, you dont need it, but just win. Might be cultural however. Maybe in some countries it is part of the overall road to victory?

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    1st July 2021, 14:18

    Why say there wasn’t anything coming if he knew there was then? What’s the point?

    1. wrong-foot the others, or
      allow the press to milk this non-issue.

    2. @rocketpanda I think LH likes to play the sympathy game. I did get a kick out of the choice of LH pic for this article, him scratching his head.

      1. Lol picture has been changed.

    3. Why tell your competitors in any walk of life what you have planned, unless it benefits you.
      Although as Ham usually contradicts himself immediately after he has said something, or gets things back to front or just plain wrong-weakest chain in the link-I don’t see him as some sort of Machiavellian figure even if he wanted to be.

    4. @rocketpanda Because he’s a compulsive liar

      1. Dave (@davewillisporter)
        1st July 2021, 18:42

        @balue that rhetoric and vitriol belongs on a lesser forum than this. There are plenty out there if you want to vent. You haven’t met the guy and talked to him so you can’t conclude anything about who he is! What you can tell is he is not the best communicator to the media. Compulsive liar is an absurd conclusion given the lack of data you have. For example, all teams communicate on the radio during the race in code to an extent as they know other teams are listening. Do you know the code for Mercedes? No! You do not. The comms are not designed to inform you, they are designed to inform the team! Often they press a button on the wheel to give tyre deg info and broadcast something different on the radio. You have no idea what’s going on. Another example. Hamilton has stated time and time again he has a bad or short memory. Have you ever raced 71 laps and got out of a car to answer questions constantly for an hour afterwards? Chances are knowing what he has said about his memory, he merely forgot and was reminded on Monday the plans for Silverstone. Tone it down.

        1. @davewillisporter You obviously don’t have to meet and talk to someone to know, you just need to see a history of statements that turn out to be false, and here was yet another. He’s even made his team boss do it now, such is the level. The question was why he would lie about this now, and the reason is that he can’t help himself. He’s afraid of losing the championship, and having the advance excuse of a poorly updated car looks better on him. That’s what it’s all about and the same with most of his lies. It’s a trait of the narcissist.

        2. Well, Lewis does contradict himself so many times that I even wonder whether Lewis knows who he is. The racing part is clear. He is one of the greats of all times. I love him for that. I love his racing skills, his determination, his tslent. But off track he just cant present a consistent picture at all. He is all over the place and most of the time in a clumsy way that doesnt bring any of his messages across since he himself juggles with them all the time. He needs everyone’s eyes just to feel seen.

    5. Maybe it was true, but the party line they wanted to spread is that they are working on updates to trick RB into putting more effort in :)

      Could also be that he’s not expecting much of an uprade or was inadvertently referring to something more specific that isn’t in the plan

  4. Again trying the mental game approach. Not very convincing but still.
    Or the Toto influence is growing.

    1. Some of the quotes..

      “” “Naturally I would love to have upgrades and improvements but I don’t think that’s currently on the cards,” he added. “When we do a debrief we’ll chat about it but that’s how it is at the moment.”””

      and

      “” “We’re the world champions and we can definitely improve if we put our minds to it,” he said.

      “But if we’re not going to develop and improve our car for the rest of the year, this is the result you are going to see.”””

  5. See now I’m even more convinced there isn’t a major upgrade coming….. They’re pretending they’ve got a huge upgrade in the works because they want Red Bull to keep pushing for this season.

    1. They know that you know that they know…

      1. Oh yeah…. Wait! But they don’t know that we know they know we know they know….

        1. @petebaldwin So, the messers become the messies!

    2. @petebaldwin Really hard to know. I’ll not underestimate Merc, but it does feel a bit like they have an upgrade but are not sure what it will do. I wonder if this upgrade is more on-the-fly than previous seasons where they had a plan all along and just executed it. This season feels a bit more like a scramble for them. I could be completely wrong of course and they might yet find something big for them.

      But I don’t think anything they do or say will affect what RBR does. They’ll be continuing improving their car as much as they can assuming Merc will be too, and I don’t put much into the concept that either of them are harming next year’s effort by doing so.

  6. Waiting for plot twist, there’s no obvious upgrade from Mercedes, it was just intentional talk to confuse Red Bull and as morale boost to Hamilton.

  7. So just like all his other comments, “My tyres are gone, Bono”, “Its a marathon, not a sprint”, “There is no upgrade coming”.

    We should call all these statements “Familtonisms”. Fake statements by Hamilton. No wonder he also backs the fake ham burger – Neatburger!

  8. These fart bags at mercedes are just fooling themselves. Almost everyone aware what they say are almost always opposite.

  9. I suspect part of this depends on how you define an “upgrade”. After all even a roll back to a previous version of software could be defined as an upgrade. James Alison said there are upgrades in the pipeline, but we don’t know how different those new parts are from the existing parts. It might be some of those parts are nearly identical to the current parts, e.g. visually identical front wings but with stronger bracing. So, taking that example of the new front wing with stronger bracing, is that an upgrade or not? Some might even argue it is a downgrade because the stronger bracing means the wing will twist less at high speed, therefore increasing drag at high speed.

    1. After all even a roll back to a previous version of software could be defined as an upgrade.

      no thats called a downgrade.
      But indeed not every update will bring advancement. And the example of the stronger/stiffer front wing will be a good example.
      But they even hinted at improvements for the engine. So they just do what they suggested RBR does.

  10. Not exactly a surprise, is it? Majority of important people at merc keep lying, so.

    1. 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆

      1. Report Comment button is placed to the RIGHT, Remember that!

  11. It’s like a soccerplayer taking a penalty. He looks to the left corner of the goal and then he shoots to the right corner.

  12. This is one of the things that I love about Lewis.
    He knows how to muddy the waters ;)

  13. Mercedes has been playing the underdog narrative for nearly a decade. You’d have to be a journalist to believe it.

  14. I literally cannot figure out why this is story worthy.

    You guys remind me of a nagging spouse
    “YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO THE SUPERMARKET! BUT YOU WENT TO THE GAS STATION FIRST, WHY ARE YOU LYING!?!?” I bet you people are an absolute blast at parties!

    1. Says he shouting naggy wife stories, lol

  15. The day LH and/or TW say something truthful, the sky’s gonna fall

  16. The upgrade is just to his steering wheel. There is now a new function that will transmit “My tyres are shot” on the radio without him having to speak.

    Reply moderated
  17. What constitutes a upgrade? A few new parts? A whole new reimagining of the basic concept of the car? An extra 5 or 10 or 25 horsepower?

    The bits Alison is talking about have, as he says, been in the works for months. But what Hamilton wants is an upgrade starting from now not months ago.

  18. It is about the 100th lie Lewis & Toto & Mercedes have told this year – nothing they say it true.

    Hamilton said he doesn’t like mind games, that he isn’t playing them. Well he has done nothing but mind games, politics and other stuff. Guess it would have been better if he focused on racing maybe he would have had a few more points.

    Finally Lewis is facing some challenge again after 2016 and as we saw in 2016, Lewis becomes nasty when challenged. Certainly with his comments on the team after Monaco he showed his true colors, no again with lying.
    Very disappointed in Lewis and feel bad that I supported and admired him at the start of his career.

    It is like Alonso’s angry reaction to Vitaly Petrov for not allowing him to overtake him during the 2012 Abu Dhabi GP, or also dirty tactics against Hamilton with 2007 Hungary qualifying and after of course costing Mclaren a 100 million USD for spygate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.