Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2024

Flashes of performance shows Mercedes’ potential is real – Hamilton

Formula 1

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Lewis Hamilton is convinced Mercedes’ W15 has real potential but says the team must work out how to unlock it.

He and team mate George Russell were in the top five during final practice for the previous round, but couldn’t replicate that performance in qualifying. Russell took seventh on the grid while Hamilton failed to reach Q3.

His disappointing weekend in Melbourne ended when his power unit failed on the 16th lap of the grand prix. Despite that point-less result, which leaves him 10th in the championship, Hamilton insisted “I definitely do feel more optimistic about this car.”

“Obviously in the first couple of races, there’s been small showings of the car feeling great and we would have pace for a moment and then it kind of disappears,” he told the official F1 channel. “So there’s definitely performance there. We just need to work on making this car more consistent and easier to drive.”

Mercedes lie fourth in the standings after the opening three rounds, one point ahead of Aston Martin.

Hamilton, who hasn’t won a grand prix since the penultimate round of 2021 and is due to move to Ferrari at the end of this year, said he remains focused on helping the team solve the problems with its current car.

“Ultimately if you dwell on difficult times then there’s only one way you’re going,” he said. “I think it’s really good to be able to unplug and reset your focus on your goals moving forwards. And so I have a few of these things.

“But still the ultimate thing that keeps me up at night is when we’re to be fighting for wins again. What can I do different? What can I do better in the car? How can I improve in qualifying? How can I deliver more for the team? What different set-up things could we take?

“So those things still keep you up. But we win and we lose this team, we’re very united, everyone’s working incredibly hard, so I’ve just got to continue at it.”

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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...

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15 comments on “Flashes of performance shows Mercedes’ potential is real – Hamilton”

  1. you get what you pay for.

  2. Coventry Climax
    4th April 2024, 12:05

    Wow. Makes you wonder what that team have done over the past two years then, other than work hard and united, and try to figure out solutions to unlock their true potential.

    We just need to work on making this car more consistent and easier to drive.

    So that’s where his success came from, cars that were easy to drive?
    I would have understood had he just mentioned inconsistent, or said something about the car being unpredictable, but easy to drive?

    1. The Hamilton fan club will be after you

      1. Just the reading comprehension crowd.

      2. Not a Hamilton fan, but it’s not a stretch to see that a car that is easier to drive can be driven more on the limit, thus increasing pace.

        1. Coventry Climax
          4th April 2024, 16:48

          Correct, can be driven.
          And then there’s the odd true ace that even manages to drive it on the limit and bring it home to the chequered flag in a top position even if it isn’t easy.

          1. I guess some examples would be the title winning benettons schumacher had, his team mates said they were terrible to drive, or the mclarens norris and ricciardo drove, or again the red bull of the last few years, which only verstappen can really drive to the limit out of those who attempted.

      3. Coventry Climax
        4th April 2024, 16:43

        Too bad, I’m here for my own opinion, not those of others.

    2. I’ll assume english isn’t your first language, and that you’re unaware of the nuance of “easy to drive” as opposed to “easier to drive”, which is what he actually said. Further, he DID imply the car was inconsistent:

      So there’s definitely performance there. We just need to work on making this car more consistent and easier to drive.

      1. Coventry Climax
        4th April 2024, 16:41

        Nope, english isn’t even my second language.
        Nonetheless, I didn’t say he didn’t:

        –had he just mentioned inconsistent,–

        Or is there a nuance in reading english too, that I’m unaware of?

  3. Nah, the car is trash. We’ve seen for years that they are way off the pace and this year they are actually further back because of improvements from Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin.

    All the data from the first 3 events shows they’ve got the 5th best qualifying car and 4th best race car. While this will fluctuate between events, but they will be firmly stuck in the 3rd-6th best team range.

    A few great qualifying performances from Russell this year have made the car look ok, but it’s so far behind the RedBull and Ferrari.

    The Mercedes 1-2 in Bahrain practice wasn’t genuine as they were way up on engine modes compared to the rest. Removing that I’ve not seen anything which resembles a winning car from Mercedes this season.

    Hamilton looks like he’s checked out already with a run of extremely poor performances. I believe he’s actually in the bottom 4 drivers in the ratings on here which shows just how bad he’s been this year.

  4. I could understand if this would be just a set up problem. But the races suggest it isn’t. There seems to be a fundamental aero problem with that car which makes it behave so erratically.

  5. Yawn. Enough hype. The dream team is over. It’s mediocrity all the way from here.

  6. Mercedes have now had three off-seasons to adapt to the new regulations.
    They appear to have designed 3 lemons in a row with virtually no prospect of fielding a competetive design.
    Conclusion? Mercedes design staff lack the technical talent to win races.

  7. I wonder why he even bother saying this kind of stuff.
    If it’s real he won’t be there to use it anyway, as they don’t seem to be any closer to understanding their issues than they were in ’22, so who cares?

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