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Hamilton labels opening sessions a "disaster"

NEWS STORY
18/06/2022

Despite Mercedes best efforts to overcome its porpoising issues, Lewis Hamilton insists the problem is getting worse as he appears to write-off the season.

The FIA's technical directive aside, Mercedes, who had the added benefit of having technical boss, James Allison on-site, tried its own solution to the porpoising issue, including a new floor featuring a large cut-out.

While George Russell ran a more standard floor, Hamilton tried the new one, but by the second session had reverted to the original. In the earlier session he finished 8th, just 0.055s off his teammate's pace, but in FP2 he was 0.450s down in thirteenth.

Asked his opinion at the conclusion of the day's on-track activities, the seven-time champion replied: "Pretty much like every Friday... trying lots of different things, an experimental floor on my side which didn't work.

"Nothing we do generally to this car seems to work," he continued, "so we're trying different set-ups.

"Me and George went with much different set-ups in this FP2," he confirmed, "just to see if one way works and one way doesn't. I'll wait to hear how it felt for him, but for me it was a disaster.

"It's like the car's getting worse," he sighed. "It's getting more and more unhappy the more we do to it.

"I don't know, we'll keep working on it. It is what it is. I think this is the car for the year, so we'll just have to tough it out and work hard on building a better car for next year.

"We’re going to get this fixed by the end of next year at least," he added. "So hopefully that’s not going to be something to stop me racing for longer. But time will tell."

Anyone hearing that and feeling the Briton is feeling totally dejected, will appreciate that Hamilton simply isn't enjoying himself at present, even at a track he loves.

"It's not the Montreal that I know, that I'm used to and that I've experienced in my career," he said. "It's the worse that I've ever felt any car here. It's just a monumental fight the whole time to keep it out of the wall.

"One touch of the kerbs here and the car goes flying, it's so stiff, and here in Montreal you really need to ride the kerbs. When it bounces, when the car leaves the ground a lot, and then when it lands it grips up and it goes in different directions, and you're just trying to catch a car that jumps, hops, grips, hops, grips...

"It's tough. It keeps you on edge. And there were some big hits today, we've raised the car, but it doesn't make a difference. We've tried loads and loads of things. We've ticked them all off.

"Those ones don't work, we have to go and find something else. We're way off, but it's to be expected with this car. I'm hoping overnight we can try and make some changes, but fundamentally it's just the fundamentals of the car. It is what it is. It's going to be a struggle."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Montreal here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 18/06/2022 15:18

"@Spindoctor....Where Newey is concerned, any design solution that he comes up with is hardly the result of 'winning' any lottery. Most lotteries these days have multiples odds of millions to one whereby a new Newey desugn would call for extremely low odds. I'd be reasonably certain that Mercedes know where they have failed by this stage but will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid scrapping the car. The cost cap puts that solution to bed as it should. IMO Mercedes should simply raise the ride heights as suggested [ experts opinions ] and then work on a solution for their new car in '23. It may be a bitter pill to swallow but it sure beats the daily embarrassment of having their star driver diss on the very team that gave him the means to win so many titles. Your comment re Russell doesn't quite stack up in the final analysis. If by running a more conservative set up has yielded Russell so many more points than Hamilton why wouldn't they do the same with Hamilton's car? "

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Spindoctor, 18/06/2022 14:42

"@kenji
It has been obvious from day 1 that RBR won the lottery of this generation of cars. To be expected with Newey on board. Given the current Regs which prevent any serious real-world testing, Mercedes look doomed to at best 3rd place.
Neither Mercedes driver, nor the team now has a snowball's chance in hell of winning anything this season, I think they are pretty desperate & trying the "experimental" approach with Hamilton to see if the car can be "fixed" or at least made better. Russel is using a more conservative approach to setup. That way Mercedes has at least an outside chance of finishing in the top 4.

"

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3. Posted by Rock Doc, 18/06/2022 14:35

"I get that they need to try different setups on the 2 cars in an effort to understand their problems. But I would expect to see Hamilton on top sometimes and Russell on top others. Hamilton seems to be getting the First driver treatment with all the new options while Russell is playing wingman to provide a baseline.

But when you look at the season so far Russell has been super consistent and has comprehensively beaten Hamilton on every track this season. Hamilton has been up and down the order a number of time but Russell has demonstrated the car is capable of a podium on the right day.

At what point do they start to concentrate on giving Russel the choice options. Or doesn't he need them?

Hamilton should have walked away at the end of 2021. 2022 is doing nothing for his health or his reputation."

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4. Posted by kenji, 18/06/2022 12:32

"Obviously Mercedes/ Hamilton are seeking a solution/performance that is just not there and the cream of enineering are simply lost...but is there more to it? Russell has backed up the 'storyline' but he is capable of extracting a better performance which is evidenced in the lap charts. Publically claiming his car to be the 'worst he's ever driven' and a 'disaster' would not sit comfortably with Mercedes HO. It may be the truth but to put that out there knowing it would generate a headline or two is not a good look. Maybe he thinks that this car and the team that produced it are tarnishing his reputation? I do think that these problems just further cements the adage that the car accounts for at least 90% of the success or failure of team/driver in F1. "

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5. Posted by Wokingchap, 18/06/2022 11:45

"Can't quite understand how they are getting worse, sounds like desperation, very unlike merc."

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