Mixed feelings for Hamilton


Much happier than he was after 2022 testing, Lewis Hamilton feels that Mercedes W14 is still lagging behind Red Bull and Ferrari.

The Briton set the second fastest time of the test on Saturday afternoon, albeit on the softest compound. However, it was not a trouble-free test for the German team which completed the 7th highest tally of laps.

"It's difficult to sum up," he admitted. "We've had a couple of difficult days and yesterday particularly was difficult. The first day didn't feel too bad, yesterday was a little bit more of a struggle.

"George had a much better morning, so things are going up, so hopefully we've got the set-up in the middle of the place.

"Reliability has generally been good, obviously we had a stop but generally it has been relatively good.

"And at the end there it's always nice when the track gets a bit cooler and you put on the softer tires and see the steps between them all.

"We're not quite where we want to be, but it's a good platform to start from."

Reflecting on the current situation compared to the 2022 tests, he said: "The bouncing that we had has pretty much gone, that's a huge step for us.

"It's nice to drive it without the bouncing in the corners," he added. "But there are still some underlying things that we are working through.

"There's been a lot of discovery," he continued. "This is my eleventh year with the team and everyone's turned up with the same mentality, working hard, no-one's been complacent.

"We realise that we have a mountain to climb and no-one's fussed, everyone's just kept their heads down. Everyone in the garage, everyone back here and I know everyone back at the factory will be churning through all this data and pushing on.

"It's going to be tough for everyone with this short period of testing," he admitted. "We're trying to make sure we hit the ground running in understanding the car, the tyres and the ability to respond. There are things we're working through.

"Some of the balance limitations that we had last year are present. I'm really proud of everyone in the team for continuing to remain positive after a tough year last year.

"It's amazing to work through the winter and to arrive and have the mileage that we've had. Every single year they arrive with the same mental focus and determination to fix whatever issue we have. I enjoy being in the offices just chugging away going through the data. We will hopefully get there."

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Published: 27/02/2023
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