Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2022

Hamilton has ‘lots of things on this year’s car I don’t want on the 2023 car’

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes need to get to the bottom of the problems with its current car before turning their attention to its replacement.

The team introduced upgrades at the previous race in Spain which reduced the porpoising the W13 was experiencing and improved its performance. However new problems emerged in Monaco, where the team found its car was bouncing again.

Hamilton said the team still needs to understand more about its 2022 car. Although his championship hopes are realistically over, he doesn’t yet think the team should abandon work on its current car in favour of next year’s.

“I’ve really not thought about that,” he said. “I think we’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with this car before we can make another car. If we just started making another car we could easily get it wrong.

“So I think it’s about getting on top of this one fully, which we still haven’t got on top of and then give us a guideline of where [to go].”

However he added “there’s definitely loads of things that I would not want from this car onto next year’s car, so I’ve already put those in.”

Mick Schumacher, Haas, Monaco, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Monaco Grand Prix in pictures
Team principal Toto Wolff said that the rough ride both drivers had complained about in Monaco was to do with the stiffness of the car, and not simply a return to the aerodynamic problems which previously causing violent bouncing.

“I think we haven’t had porpoising returning,” Wolff said. “We are bottoming out. We are just hitting the ground in a very different way, the car is too stiff, too low.

Mercedes were the fourth-quickest team in qualifying last weekend. George Russell put his car sixth on the car, two places ahead of Hamilton, whose final run was disrupted by red flags. Wolff said it was “just the same gap, like it was in qualifying in Barcelona” to the team’s rivals.

“So it’s probably realistic where we ended up. The car is good for fifth and sixth and Norris beat us to it. But we shouldn’t have expected any miracles, particularly in Monaco.”

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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53 comments on “Hamilton has ‘lots of things on this year’s car I don’t want on the 2023 car’”

  1. Says the same from other drivers when they’re in non-dominant cars… Want competitive 2023 car? Join Ferrari or Red Bull then.

  2. One of them even has a name and is called “George Russell”. Sir Lewis “If you think what you saw at the end of the last year was my best, wait till you see this year” Hamilton getting beaten by somebody driving for another team is one thing and that can be excused by the always fair and objective British media (let’s forget hilarious mistakes and bad driving in pretty much 80-90% of 2021 races – Sir Lewis is THE GOAT) . But being beaten by his team mate who’s driving the same car, just faster and better? If it continues, don’t be surprised one of things he doesn’t want to see in 2023 car is Sir Lewis himself. Hugely successful career in music, fashion, acting or whatever is looming and you can’t lose there!

    1. @armchairexpert “Acting”!!!

      Stranger things have happened I guess, but this seems the least likely, at least in terms of anything being considered a success. Or maybe a continuation of his ‘voice acting’, but actual fully fledged bodily acting. I just cant see it.

    2. The only notable driver that I can recall that moved on to success outside of F1 or motorsport is Niki Lauda, but he came back several times. The other is Christian Klein, but family money was putting him on that track before motor racing, he was likely on a detour from original ambitions.

      So for Hamilton to be noteworthy outside of motorsport is unlikely, of course he can invest and run businesses, but acting, singing, dancing, designing is highly likely to be a flop. You can’t have talent in everything.

      1. Judy Schekter?

        1. Jody seems have had a stint as a military supplier and then transitioned into a biodynamics farmer! A very interesting career after F1.

      2. Carlos Reuteman, Argentinian politics.

      3. Eddie Irvine has been hugely successful as a luxury real estate developer

      4. Nelson Piquet.

    3. Hamilton is clearly and obviously thinking ahead. He is working with the next season as his goal. So there is no walking away. As for Russell’s fortune and Hamilton’s misfortune, it makes sense when you consider they are purposefully running their cars with different setups. In other words all thing are not equal.

      1. So, if I understand what you are saying, Russell has somehow gotten all the ‘good’ stuff and Hamilton all the ‘bad’? Sure, that makes sense…..

      2. “As for Russell’s fortune and Hamilton’s misfortune, it makes sense when you consider they are purposefully running their cars with different setups. In other words all thing are not equal.”

        Who do you think informs the team of what setup they should run? The drivers don’t just sit back and provide zero feedback. Russell’s feedback/setup is getting him Top5 every race. Hamilton? Not so much.

        The cars are physically identical. The only difference is the humans involved.
        One set is consistently getting it right, the other side is not.

        1. Common knowledge Hamilton is trying different set ups to solve the problems

          1. Then why did he want to retire in Barcelona? Makes no sense if he would want to try setups, more laps, gives more data.

    4. @armchairexpert – until this car is in a position for both drivers to drive the wheels of off it comfortably then we won’t know if George is better than Hamilton. At the moment not seen anything to suggest that.

      Development will continue… I’m waiting to see if Mercedes will actually be in winning contention this year, without Ferrari or Rbr retirements…

    5. usual dumb armchair hate comment, like below every lewis article. and below every other article not even about him. r u the boyfriend of erikje, you would be a good match probably.

      1. Steveetienne
        1st June 2022, 19:46

        Yesterday’s man is done. I know it’s a bitter pill for you to swallow but it’s just a simple fact of the life of a competitor in an elite sporting field. No one stays at the top forever.

    6. remember, his team doesn’t make mistakes!

    7. At lease you’ve chosen an appropriate nickname.

  3. petebaldwin (@)
    31st May 2022, 9:32

    It’s funny how extreme everyone is over the Mercedes car…. In Barcelona, they were quick and people were questioning if they were back in the title fight. Then they go to Monaco (a track that is very different to the rest) and suddenly it’s all doom and gloom again.

    It seems pretty clear that Mercedes have sorted their issues out by running the car very low which requires everything to be stiffened up. When they do that, they are fast and the porpoising issues are resolved.

    Obviously in Monaco, that’s not an ideal way to run your car so Mercedes had a bad weekend and they probably aren’t going to enjoy Baku too much either but once we get back to the purpose built tracks, they will be in great shape.

    1. So Hungary and Silverstone then. RB brings a new package for silverstone so it should get interesting.

    2. There’s another way to see this. This is Hamilton doing again what he did all those years ago when he first joined Mercedes. He is helping the team to unlock the car’s potential. When he first joined the team DNF’s was a problem, they were failing on things like the brakes over heating etc Gradually they adapted the car to suit the way Hamilton drove, and this took them beyond their competition. Hamilton knows at the end of this process he will have a better car and so he is prepared to play the long game. GOAT doesn’t begin to describe Hamilton.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        31st May 2022, 12:35

        Yeah my comment wasn’t so much about Hamilton – he only said what he said because he was asked the question. It was more about how every article this week will be about whether Mercedes can fix their issues as opposed to last week when every article was about how they could be back in contention for wins…

        It just makes me laugh how there never seems to be any critical thought put into anything anymore. The Mercedes was quick in Barcelona which is usually a good measure to say it’ll be quick on most of the tracks. We all know Monaco performance doesn’t mean much other than how fast you’ll be around Monaco.

        I’m not so sure about Hamilton playing the long game… Maybe he will but I think it’s equally as likely that the Mercedes still won’t be the best car next year and he’ll decide to call it a day.

      2. Steveetienne
        1st June 2022, 19:48

        You are correct it doesn’t begin to describe Hamilton. Goat describes Michael Schumacher.

    3. @petebaldwin I said they were going to come back in Spain and then said that their “limousine” was never good at Monaco. I got laughed at both.
      I still think they have a shot at the title. Monaco was probably ferrari’s last shot at victory. The championship is a matter of how quickly can rb build a lead.

      1. Ferrari’s last shot at victory??
        They showed better straight line speed in Spain and were unlucky not to win there and in Monaco.
        As a RedBull fan I’m expecting a close battle to the end of the season if Ferrari can sort their strategy issues.
        As for Merc, they have no chance in my opinion.

    4. its not how extreme everyone is, it’s how willing british media is trying to push their favorite darling into a great light. One inkling of positive news and boom! mercedes is back!!

      don’t believe, then listen to the sky sports pre-show commentary. in will buxton eyes mercedes is making a come back every week with a top 3 finisher. never mentions max finishing top 3 at all.

  4. « It’s not a matter of car »
    Sir Lewis Hamilton, 2021

    1. It’s a bit more complicated than simple minded sound bites.

      But if you want sound bites, this car isn’t going to fix itself.


      1. You can look at the surface or try to understand some several layers behind a statement.

        What i notice is just the difference of attitudes and reason between this year and 2021.

        And the same poeple using exact opposite demonstration they were from last years.

        Not only Mercedes but people like fans or journalists.

        The context is different.
        What i notice is a lot of drivers can have a very different appreciation of cars and how it impacts their driving.

        They can be very talentend, but with a car that disturb their feelings, their genius zone of driving, it becomes very much difficult.

        See how Bottas is at ease now

        See how Ricciardo and Lewis struggles.
        See how Sainz struggles too.

        It’s why i was a little sarcastic about Lewis quote.

        He’s not a idiot. He knows that car has a matter in your own success. If not, why would he asks that ?

        I think Mercedes face some of their own demons.

      2. I didn’t find your comments above very convincing, but you explained it all by linking the Express tabloid here :P

      3. Hmm, it’s a theory but kind of debunked by Hamilton wanting to quite in Spain early in the race. If he has sacrificed performance in races (points) to working towards solutions to their issues on track, why park up early? Not to say that I don’t expect Hamilton to be focused more on solutions than Russell. He’s been there far longer and presumably has a far deeper understanding of how the team (and factory) works. However, a part of him still wants to compete at the front and win races, clearly, which is why he became so demoralised after the K-Mag collision and loss of any chance of decent points (so he thought).

        1. Hamilton has explained he wanted to save the engine, eg avoid penalties and poor grid positions later in the year.
          What it tells me is he had no idea how good the improved car was, or how the car would perform from that far back. This was new and unexpected. He could have blown the engine trying to achive the 8th position predicted by his engineer. As it is they learned something about thee cooling sytems when it failed in the closing laps.

          Now had this been last year’s car, there is no way he would have thought ogf retiring the car.

  5. “lots of things” only one suffices : lewis
    George is able to get the most of the car. Lewis is on latifi mode…

  6. Breaking news: Driver answers media questions and world shouts a bit

  7. “Bono, gimme me those fast bits RedBull and Ferrari have on their cars.”

  8. Testing testing testing.

    It seems pretty obvious to me Mercedes are using the first practices to test theories and potential upgrades to gather the data for that next step. This pattern is so consistent I’m surprised the interviewer has not presented Mercedes with that question.

    This week’s practice session was used to test how far they should go with floor stiffness. The weekend when Mercedes discovered and then lost race pace in qualify, was the weekend they used first practice to test the new floor.

    These test sessions will continue until they have the data to totally understand ground effect as it applies to the new regs. Needless to say the chief test driver is Hamilton, whom it seems will do everything with that long term goal in mind, including sacrifice his stats to his junior.

    1. I wonder if media hasn’t asked them specifically about using practice sessions as test sessions because it is not unique and they are not the only ones doing it. I would think everyone but RBR and Ferrari should be doing this, but of course that doesn’t preclude the top two teams as well from using some of practice to test and compare things. Since this season has been described from the start as not just a driver and constructor race, but a development race as well, I’m sure practice sessions can also be considered testing sessions.

      1. @robbie indeed, everyone probably is.
        However, the amount of time they have in all practice sessions is so limited now I suspect they’re all struggling a bit for good comparison data.

        I actually miss the 90 minute sessions, particularly P1 where in the past teams could bring parts, fit them to a car, test them and then swap them out for a different set all in the 1 session and we’d see times progress (mostly) as cars got dialed in and fine tuned.

        These days it seems to be more “ you get what you start with” with just tyre changes being the data collection points – I know it’s not, but it’s so compressed, it’s not near as noticeable or varied.

      2. And yet for all that the press and the other pudits seem baffled by the differences in performance between practice trial sessions over P1 & P2, compared to P3 and qualifying. Its all a mystery to them.

  9. They were maxed out in softness, maybe that bout of porpoising is caused by the team running a stiffer car than their competitors. The mercs always looked stiff in the past, I guess it is a design trend of theirs.
    I suggest Hamilton can change a major key of the 23 car by removing himself and join ferrari, as I have made the whole world aware in these past 7 seasons or so I don’t rate sainz highly.

  10. ‘lots of things on this year’s car I don’t want on the 2023 car’

    George Russell?
    Sorry even as a Hamilton fan, couldn’t help it.

    1. Russell’s pace in Monaco was alright really and Hamilton in Spain was close to Verstappen and Leclerc’s pace. I don’t understand this. I am guessing this is a way of telling the team, we are not going to win next year with this car and we should keep working on it and consider some changes to it.

      1. An alternate assessment …
        If LH were playing the long game, given budget caps and limited resources, the plan would likely be to give up on the failed version of the 2022 car and start now on the 2023 design.
        He isn’t suggesting this, possibly because he may not be in the 2023 car.
        LH is a racer and he wants to race and be competitive. Getting bounced around in an uncompetitive car is not fun.
        Choices are fix the current car or give up on it and apply effort and resources to next years. Wanting to solve the problems for 2022 is an indication he won’t be around in 2023.
        Just gonna have to wait and see.

        1. @rekibsn I’m going to assume he is going to fulfill his contract and be racing next year, and I’ll not presume he doesn’t want to still be in F1 after that. So from that perspective I think it is ‘simply’ as he is saying. Let’s learn all we can from this car. If we progress with it, fine. If not, at least let’s learn as much as possible about what not to do on the next car. Where did we get the philosophy wrong etc etc. To me that is him playing the long game.

          In other words I think what LH is saying makes sense. To me, them giving up on this car now would be unproductive. Work it, learn if improvement is within it, learn where they’ve limited it’s potential, learn all they can, and apply it to next year’s thinking. They’ve talked about this car just needing it’s potential unlocked, and personally I’ll be surprised at this point if said potential is actually there as I would have thought they’d have stronger clues by now, but they need to keep exploring to find out, for next season and beyond.

        2. What use is there on focussing on next years car? It’s the same rules! Next years’ cars will be an improvement of current cars.
          Only teams that have a completely wrong car (Mercedes is still comfortably 3rd!) and know how to fix it, would design a different car.
          So of course Mercedes will further work on this car.

      2. @krichelle Monaco is an outlier and was so especially for the Mercedes, I think: there solution to purpoising was allegedly to stiffen the floor (since the issue was that when the bouncing started it just kept going). Spain saw themn solve porpoising mostly on the straight. However with Monaco’s terrible surface and number of corners, the jittering returned (Hamilton, I think, said it was a different type of bouncing). I imagine that car set-up preference favoured GR slightly at Monaco. The next races should give a far better idea.
        @rekibsn @robbie I don’t see Hamilton leaving. He’ll want to leave on a high, I’d imagine, and he’ll believe that Mercedes can make the car competitive at the front, either later this year or next. If both this year and next year continue at this level, behind Red Bull and Ferrari, then, yes, maybe he’d consider a move (or, less likely, leaving F1 altogether). But where? If he had a chance of jumping to Ferrari a couple of seasons ago, he should have taken it. Difficult to see happening now.

  11. They were over optimistic for Very little things after Barcelona.

    Russell led the race but was never in contention to win It because the car is so much slower. Hamilton cleared the pack but those are not the cars they should be racing.

    If they manage to win a couple of races by the end of the year they can rest assured that they did a good job with what they had as the car doesnt bounce anymore but It is still too slow to win anywhere.

  12. I’m wondering whether the teams that got good at the ‘high-rake’ concept are better now as well because they understand how to dial in a suspension that compresses under downforce and then stops. Whereas teams that did not use the ‘high-rake’ (ex: Merc) are struggling as they did not have that experience built up.

    Probably not anywhere near that simple, but the thought came to mind.

    1. You’re probably onto something here. It might not have to deal with compression but more the fact that the teams previously running high rake were doing that in large part to create “virtual” side skirts to seal the diffuser. This is highly beneficial this year where sealing the floor is crucial. Mercedes with the low rake concept depended heavily on the mechanical aspects of the suspension. Many of the innovations are now banned FRIC, hydraulic linkages, etc.

      1. Thanks.

        Yet another aspect of the mystery. It would also explain their experiments in monaco , eg ride stiffness. Its now all about the data, as they have made clear. Data which will go towards the next iteration of this ‘effects’ car.

  13. I hope one of these things is his dreadful livery with the Elho freestyle fluorescent yellow.

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