Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had been expressing his issues with the W14 car since the opening race in Bahrain this year. It is quite unfortunate that the team has not managed to provide him with a championship-winning car since last year. However, the W14 car did not have any porpoising issues this time, like last year. It was terrible in 2022 as the drivers complained about “too much bouncing.” Nonetheless, W14 had the same zero-side pod concept as that its predecessor. But soon as the season started in Bahrain, Mercedes realized the idea of no side pods would not help them win any title this season.
Hamilton had severe complaints about the rear downforce and the cockpit position. He even pointed fingers at Red Bull RB19’s superiority with side pods. Hence, to cover up the issue, Mercedes implemented fresh upgrades in Monaco Grand Prix. And this time, Hamilton was more or less satisfied in Monaco. He even sounded optimistic about the W14 car with new upgrades in Barcelona. But after not-so-satisfactory free practices on Friday, the driver once again raised concerns about the Mercedes W14 car.
Lewis Hamilton Not Happy With Wider Sidepods
At the Spanish GP, the Mercedes drivers did not have a great Day 1. Lewis Hamilton could not even make the top ten in both sessions on Friday. The best Mercedes’ other driver George Russell, could get to was eighth place in the second session. On the other hand, Max Verstappen enjoyed his hegemony on the grid. He topped both practices with complete ace. Hence, while talking to Sky Sports after the race, Hamilton once again mentioned his remorse towards the new Mercedes upgrades. As he stated, “It was a tough Day 1. The degradation after getting on the top of the tires makes the car feel like the car.” Moreover, Lewis added that it would be a challenge to get into the top ten. But he feels the team is working out to turn things around overnight. And apparently, the pace, in the long run, was not terrible, according to the Briton.
However, the concern is around the pace in a single lap. That’s what the Silver Arrows is working on. Lewis Hamilton also expressed his dislike towards bigger side pods than expected. He mentioned that the new wider side pods resemble a lot of Red Bull’s design. However, Hamilton made it clear that it was not his decision to make it more like RB19’s. Currently, Mercedes has a new challenge to face after Aston Martin and Ferrari were already there between them and the arch-rivals, Red Bull. Moreover, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon is turning things around after beating Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Monaco. The Alpine driver looks to continue his good grip on another podium finish in Barcelona as well.
A Possible Return Of Porpoising Issue On F1 Paddock
Mercedes anyway had to test the new modifications in Monaco even though iIt was not an ideal place to try new upgrades because of the narrow street circuit. But there, Lewis Hamilton felt the car is working better with new upgrades. He even felt that the team needs to build on the improvements and may have a better result in Barcelona.
Hence, every team planning to implement new upgrades is waiting for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend. However, after the first day of practice sessions in Barcelona, there were several teams complaining about the return of the porpoising issue. Both Red Bull drivers, along with George Russell, a teammate of Hamilton, and Lando Norris of McLaren, raised attention towards porpoising trouble around Turn 10 and the final corner.