Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

After witnessing today’s qualifying, it was clear that Mercedes is once again no good. It has been quite frustrating for the most successful racer in the sport, Lewis Hamilton, to finish at P7 or even lower for the last couple of seasons. Clearly, the seven-time champion had the worst start to a season in 2024. It is even more disappointing because this year will be Hamilton’s last with Mercedes. He made the shocking announcement that he will switch to Ferrari next year. That is exciting in general for F1 fans because the Ferrari-Hamilton collaboration means the most successful team meets the most decorated racer in F1 Motorsport.

However, before he bids goodbye to his long-time team cum family, Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton wanted to win at least one last time. But the problem is with the car and it has been the same story since 2022. The Silver Arrows are still unable to understand the true potential of the car. There has also been an issue with the correlation between simulation and on-track performance. Due to this issue, there has been a lot of confusion about the car’s potential. Anyhow, Lewis Hamilton still seems positive while racing in Japan. 


Lewis Hamilton Seems Confident Ahead Of The Japanese GP

Lewis Hamilton
2PFT2K4 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. 18th Mar, 2023. #44 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team), F1 Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia at Jeddah Corniche Circuit on March 18, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by HIGH TWO) Credit: dpa/Alamy Live News

The first two races, the Bahrain GP and the Saudi Arabian GP, were not great for the Mercedes team. In fact, it has been the worst start for the great British racer. Moreover, the two Mercedes drivers – George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, suffered DNFs in the last race. So did the reigning three-time champion of Red Bull, Max Verstappen. However, the situation between Max and Lewis is totally different. Verstappen won the first two races of the 2024 season. On the other hand, Lewis is struggling with the Mercedes car. After Q1, Lewis Hamilton told the media, including, that he was obviously not happy finishing at P7. But Hamilton pointed out two moments where Mercedes was higher up. He really hoped to close the gap between them and Red Bull.

However, Hamilton mentioned, “Anyhow, it was just not meant to be.” But the seven-time champion believes the weekend in Suzuka so far has been great for the German team. Lewis said they made a lot of progress in set-up. Moreover, the English racer noted that he has been happier to drive the car in Suzuka. On top of that, Lewis Hamilton mentioned that they have made quite an improvement in whatever envelope they have. But last year, Mercedes had a deficit of over a second. However, this time, it is closer to seven-tenths. Anyhow, Hamilton feels they still have to find a lot of performance.

George Russell Doesn’t Seem Too Hopeful About W15 In Japan

George Russell
George Russell Mercedes Source: Daily Express

The young teammate of Lewis Hamilton feels the track in Suzuka does not suit their car. After the qualifying sessions, George Russell mentioned that for three races in a row, they had to deal with high-speed circuits. Moreover, these high-speed tracks have been the German outfit’s weakness.

Adding to that, Russell felt they were much more competitive in the opening Grand Prix this year with W15. Moreover, the young Mercedes driver said that the team has to constantly work on the performance and see how the W15 car reacts at tracks that better suit them. Anyway, after qualifying, Russell feels, “The result is not great on the face of it.”

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