Lewis Hamilton has not had a great time in Baku since 2021. Last year, he finished the race with bruises, neck and back pain. Apparently, the Mercedes car is just not helping the seven-time champion to get to his eighth title. Last year, the W13 car caused a tremendous amount of bouncing due to porpoising issues. And this year, the W14 car has problems with the seat position as well as rear downforce.
This year, Hamilton finished second in the Australian Grand Prix. It was the 192nd podium finish for the Briton. Moreover, that was the first podium finish for Mercedes this season. Fans thought that Hamilton might be able to continue that momentum in Baku this year. However, it was not meant to be. The Mercedes car is clearly unable to beat the frontrunners of the grid. Moreover, to put salt in the wounds of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, Formula One and FIA decided to shorten the DRS zone in Baku.
Lewis Hamilton Cannot Understand Why FIA Changed The DRS Zone?
FIA introduced a new rule to shorten the DRS zone right ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. But not all the activation zones. It was the second DRS zone near the monster main straight road. The new rule suggested that the section would have a 100-meter reduction. However, even with the help from DRS to make overtaking difficult, the seven-time champion could not get his car ahead of Ferrari. In a recent interview, Lewis Hamilton mentioned, “Why would they change the DRS zone? We had a great time on the track with the previous length of the DRS zone.”
The seven-time champion Briton added that it was too late for the drivers to turn on the DRS activation zone. Lewis Hamilton explained that even with the DRS open, Ferrari was faster than Mercedes on the straight run. Moreover, the Red Devils were faster than Mercedes in the mid-sector as well. It had been a tricky affair for a lot of F1 drivers to drive around the shortened DRS zone. The Briton mentioned after the failure in Baku last Sunday that he has been counting down the days when his team adds the upgrades to the car.
George Russell Said That DRS Rule Makes No Sense Even Before Sunday Race
Even before Lewis Hamilton mentioned his discomfort with the new DRS zone, his teammate George Russell expressed his reservation with the new rule. But the 25-year-old mentioned it even before they raced in Baku this year. According to Russell, “It does not make any sense to shorten that zone. However, the drivers should have been consulted before reaching this decision.” The young Briton did not like the fact that he and the other drivers were not asked to be part of the discussion to change the length of the DRS zone.
However, the DRS activation zone is shorter, and it is what it is. But it has not changed the luck of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton whatsoever. On the other hand, Red Bull looks stronger than ever. Clearly, they have the best package with the drivers and the car. But for the Brackley team, it is a long wait till they get to Imola for the new upgrades to the W14 car. Lewis Hamilton has reached the twilight of his career. Mercedes needs to come up with a solution really fast.