Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2023

Mercedes feels “more inconsistent than ever before” – Hamilton

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Lewis Hamilton expressed his frustrating at the handling of his Mercedes after qualifying in Abu Dhabi

In brief

Mercedes “more inconsistent than ever” – Hamilton

Hamilton says the irregular handling of his Mercedes W14 was as bad as it has been during the final qualifying session of the season in Abu Dhabi. He will start 11th on the grid for the last race after being eliminated in Q2 when team mate George Russell improved on his final push lap.

“It’s more inconsistent than ever before,” Hamilton said after the session. “It’s just up and down.

“Per corner, from the moment you hit the brakes to the moment you turn, to the moment you hit the apex. It’s massively out of balance and very hard to predict what will happen.”

F4 Italy champ Sztuka joins Red Bull

Kacper Sztuka, who stormed to this year’s Italian Formula 4 title with eight wins from the last nine races, has been signed as the newest member of the Red Bull Junior Team.

The 17-year-old denied F1-affiliated drivers Ugo Ugochukwu and Arvid Lindblad to win the F4 title with a stunning run of form to end the season. It is reported that Sztuka may race in next year’s Formula 3 championship.

Porsche Formula E appeal dismissed

Porsche’s appeal against Antonio Felix da Costa’s three-minute time penalty in Formula E’s season-ending race in London four months ago was rejected after being deemed inadmissible by the FIA’s Court of Appeal.

Da Costa was hit with the hefty penalty as his right-front tyre was found to be under the minimum tyre pressure as a result of debris from an accident. The court determined the penalty imposed by the event stewards was “unusual” but not arbitrary and dismissed the appeal.

Porsche accepted the court’s decision but expressed they were “disappointed” by the ruling.

Ronhaar beats Opmeer in Sim Racing opener

Alfa Romeo esports racer Thomas Ronhaar beat fierce rival Jarno Opmeer to win the opening round of the rebranded F1 Sim Racing World Championship series around the Bahrain International Circuit.

Amid controversy over the event held in Sweden, Ronhaar dominated from pole position to win race one in the official F1 esports championship held on the F1 23 platform.

A winning margin of more than five seconds over Mercedes driver Opmeer at the first in-person race since the Covid-19 was especially satisfying for Ronhaar, who has been at the centre of speculation and allegations from some rivals in the independent league racing scene.

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Comment of the day

With signs indicating that AlphaTauri is set to be rebranded as ‘Racing Bulls’ next year, Tristan is less than impressed:

What was ever wrong with Toro Rosso? Dignified in its verbal disparity, but still paralleled the Red Bull nicely while paying tribute to its Italian team’s base.

‘Racing Bulls’ means absolutely nothing by comparison – might as well be called ‘Red Bull 2’. Why not at this point? Hey, why not just call it what it is; the budget cap doubler.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Carlos Santos, Nick and Andy Alexander!

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...

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11 comments on “Mercedes feels “more inconsistent than ever before” – Hamilton”

  1. Yawn. I guess The pros at Mercedes should stop listening to their number 1 and then maybe they might stage a comeback in 2024…

    1. Hamilton’s statement is kind of ironic considering the only consistent thing about the Merc has been its inconsistency.

  2. Regarding AlphaTauri’s proposed new name, anything with the word ‘Racing’ in it makes me cringe.

    How about reverting to Minardi?

    1. On F1 TV, Buxton (god, I loved Brazil when Kimi’s former race engineer, Julien Simon-Chautemps, was there and Buxton’s irritating person was gone) said they’re going to remain AT.

    2. Minardi is a trademark, still owned by Paul Stoddart.
      He’s even expressed some interest in returning to F1 – though not while it’s being run the way it currently is.

    3. Bull Run aka Manassas is best.

      There were two Bull Run battles in the ACW so it could go like this: RBR —> Bull Run I, AT—> Bull Run II

  3. Merc probably throwing a few bits in at the end of the season to test stuff perhaps. The car is a frankenstein though, so it has no real mathematical basis for existing. Lets hope Merc figure out why they lost the plot a couple years ago. Might it have something to do with a shakeup in the engineering department, that saw politically favored peeps over more intelligent design ?

  4. While switching to LED lights (& RGBW, an acronym or term I’ve never encoutered) was a good move, they could help the overall matter even more by not switching any of those lights on until 16:00, as I’ve noticed that some of them at least appear switched on already during earlier afternoon sessions, which is ridiculously early.
    Even before they got switched on from around 15:00 to 15:30, but 16:00 should be more than enough for them to become wholly bright in time for the session start times, especially as Sakhir & Losail circuits turn theirs on closer to sunset times from what I’ve noticed in pre-season testing & during the last Qatar GP weekend.
    However, LEDs mean that a light show similar to that in Losail will probably happen after the podium ceremony, as already happened on Thursday.
    Perhaps Sakhir & Jeddah get LEDs for next year.

    1. RGBW – Red, Green, Blue, White.
      LEDs individually only produce a single output colour – secondary/mixed colour outputs come as a result of using multiple wavelength diodes together. Red, Green and Blue being the primary colours for this purpose.

      And switching them on early isn’t about ‘warm-up’ (LEDs reach full output almost instantly) – it’s about smoothing the transition from natural light to artificial such that it is imperceptible to the human eye.

  5. It would be nice to have a source link to the top stories as well. It’s not clear to me how an appeal which was defined as inadmissible (no review, no ruling on the content) was later dismissed with reasoning about the original verdict.

  6. Toro Rosso was the perfect name for the Red Bull second team as COTD says. If they really must change the name again, best to go back to that.

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