A P10 and P8 in FP1 and FP2 and a P7 in qualifying are all that Lewis Hamilton could achieve from the Mercedes W14, the car that was meant to bring the championship back taken from him long ago. Is the new black Mercedes car worth winning the championship? Or is it the same as the W13, or even worse? Lewis Hamilton believes that this year, the struggle is going to be more devastating than last year because perhaps, once again, Mercedes has chosen the wrong track.
It was a little confusing last Friday at the Bahrain pre-season test for Mercedes. W14 was hobbled with balancing and hydraulic issues, which were fixed overnight, and the next day, the performance was improved. But this Friday, nothing remained a confusion; the free practice 1, opening day of the 2023 season, proved that the W14 is not a machine that can beat Red Bull’s RB19 or stand ahead of Ferrari’s SF23.
Lewis Hamilton Knows Mercedes Is Behind Aston Martin
Hamilton somehow managed to remain ahead of his teammate George Russell by one position but still remained 9 positions behind Sergio Perez and 7 positions back of Max Verstappen. However, it was just free practice, so fans were hoping for better qualifying sessions today. However, the wish also got buried in the desert of Bahrain as Hamilton and Russell ended with a P7 & P6 in qualifying. Apparently, Mercedes’ new f1 challenger is filled with no porpoising, but it has no pace either. Why? What is the main problem with the car exactly? Let’s read what Lewis Hamilton says about it.
According to the seven-time world champion, team Mercedes has found out that they are a long way off. He said, “We knew that [ the issues with the W14] in the test, but it’s a big gap. I am trying to do everything that I can.” Mercedes cars were slower at the high-speed and low-speed corners of the track as compared to Red Bull’s pace, which was put putting one second per lap up the track.
The problems in the new Mercedes car are leading Hamilton and his fans to be slightly pessimistic. After all, he survived a winless season last year. Now he must know what a car like W13 can do [ruin everything you maintained for 16 years]. And unfortunately, this new W14 is reminding of the same car that made Hamilton a mediocre driver last year.
“I believed Ferrari was second. But thinking of the long run, we are quite close to them. Instead of Ferrari, Aston Martin was the second.” Hamilton tends to count Mercedes on third or fourth. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ended up giving a good performance, but Carlos Sainz had a spin. Perhaps this made Hamilton feel that Ferrari and Mercedes were on the same page at the moment.
The main reason Hamilton claims for Mercedes being lowkey last day is “We are just on the wrong track,” he said. “Mercedes have got to just continue to graft away and find a way to get themselves on the right track.” However, Hamilton knows that right now, he is a long way off from the drivers enjoying the front of the grid.