Next Mercedes upgrades will bring “real progress” – Hamilton

2023 Austrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton believes that “real progress” is coming for Mercedes in their efforts to reel in their rivals ahead.

Mercedes sit second in the constructors championship on 167 points, 13 ahead of Aston Martin but well behind runaway leaders Red Bull.

After back-to-back podiums in Spain and Canada after Mercedes introduced major upgrades to their W14 in Monaco, Hamilton says Mercedes have worked out how to unlock more performance from their car in the ground effect era.

“We brought a lot of upgrades last year – and we did make some progress – but we’ve found with this generation of car, adding performance was not easy,” he told media including RaceFans. “When you added performance in the wind tunnel it looked like it was real performance, but then you put it on the car and the car would bounce more.

“And so finally this year we’re starting to make changes to the car that actually do improve the car and don’t add more bouncing. We’ve taken a step in the right direction, but I don’t think we’ve completely got to where we going in terms of that direction. I think we’re still turning.”

However, Hamilton says that Mercedes have more upgrades to introduce to their car over the rest of the season that he is confident will improve performance.

“We’ve got real, real progress that’s coming over the next coming months, which is really exciting to see,” he said. “So I can’t wait.

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“Just in terms of just being in the car, you’re starting to feel more confident in it. So it’s finally feeling more like a race car.”

Hamilton is especially pleased the recent changes to the car have made its handling more predictable. “Confidence is a huge thing,” he said. “You have to have confidence in the stability of a car. You have to have confidence that when you carry 150, 180 miles an hour into a corner that the car’s going to be with you and support you through that.

“The past year’s car has been so spiteful in that space – you saw the shunt I had here last year – so you really then have to pull back. You can’t get near the limit.

“The changes in the direction that we’re going is enabling me to start to explore that more and have more confidence in pushing closer to the limit, but I’m still not able to get to the limit. So we have to make some more changes.”

Mercedes will make “fundamental changes” to their car’s design for the 2024 F1 season, said Hamilton.

“I’ve been asking for it for over a year,” he explained. “So I expect to have that in the future, which I think will definitely help.

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“But it’s not only that. It’s the rear end and how it how it rotates through a corner. But we’re working on that and the team are very, very focused on that. I think we’ve got some progress coming over the next couple of months which will also help rectify that.”

Following the introduction of several changes to their car in Monaco, Mercedes enjoyed their best result of the season so far in Spain, and Hamilton finished on the podium again at the next round in Canada. He expects Mercedes to sustain their recent upswing in form this weekend.

“I think the surface is very similar to Barcelona, so we’re hopeful that we can be relatively competitive,” he said.

“I think it will be very similar to where we were last week[end], maybe. Red Bull will be ahead, they always go really well here, Red Bull. I just hope that we can compete with Ferrari and Aston Martin.”

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2023 Austrian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...
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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3 comments on “Next Mercedes upgrades will bring “real progress” – Hamilton”

  1. Didn’t they say that about the last upgrade, and the one before, and about this year’s car……

    All we can hope for is that it does improve its performance and not make things worse as some other teams have done with upgrades over the years.

  2. I wonder if there is internal strife between Lewis and the design/engineering team of Mercedes.
    Allison has been quoted this week that they disagree with Lewis about the forward seating position.
    And today Allison has been quoted by AmuS saying he isn’t thinking about this years concept anymore and is focused on next year’s concept.
    It could also mean they finalized their last upgrade package on the basis of Spanish and Canadian GP data.
    However, it feels like mixed messaging from Allison and Lewis.

  3. Oh really, are they sacking you? You don’t say!

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