It is known to everybody that Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell work closely with the engineers back in the Brackley factory. They generally like to put their input in the car. But Lewis Hamilton pointed out earlier that McLaren improved immensely after copying the Red Bull car’s side pods. Hence, there are a lot of grounds to cover for the engineers. Moreover, Lewis Hamilton told the media after the season opener that he discussed with the team what they should change. Adding to that, the seven-time champion mentioned he had driven a lot of cars in his 15 years-long and illustrious career.
Hence, Lewis Hamilton believes he knows exactly what the car needs and does not need. It is clear that Hamilton has been pushing Mercedes to go down the Red Bull’s car route. The seven-time champion mentioned earlier several times that RB19 is the fastest car he has ever seen in F1. He drove quite a few fast cars of his time, but nothing compares to RB19. Recently, the Sky Sports commentator, David Croft, raised suspicions regarding who makes the decision for the Mercedes upgrades. Is it the engineers or the drivers?
David Croft Suggests Mercedes Drivers Are Way More Influential Than The Engineers Regarding The Car’s Upgrades
In the Sky Sports F1 podcast, Croft suggested that George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, especially, had too much influence on the upgrades. Moreover, David Croft asked, “Who’s wagging the engineering changes in the Mercedes team?” Additionally, Croft noted that perhaps there is a lot of pressure from the cockpit on the engineers. David Croft gives credit to the Mercedes drivers that they have a lot of experience. However, the British commentator believes the engineers have enough knowledge.
And understand the aerodynamics, design, and overall engineering better than the drivers. Moreover, David Croft compares the Mercedes situation with that of Ferrari at the end of Michael Schumacher’s era. Many high-profile staff have left the Mercedes team. James Vowles moved to Williams as the team principal. On top of that, Loic Serra will move to Ferrari soon. David Croft believes the absence of such essential staff will cause the downfall of the former champions. The Mercedes CTO, Mike Elliot, mentioned they are still trying to understand the car better and figuring out the right direction to move ahead.
W14 Is Still Winless, Even With Many Upgrades
The Mercedes car has been the reason for the team’s downfall since last year. They have been struggling with porpoising issues a lot since last year. Due to a lot of bouncing, the Silver Arrows managed only one Grand Prix win last year. Moreover, due to tremendous bouncing, the drivers suffered bruises along with back and neck pain. However, in the 2023 season, the team has been successful in reducing the porpoising issue, even without side pods initially.
But they did face issues with the balance and the rear downforce. Since the start of the ongoing season, the W14 car has been through a lot of modifications and upgrades. Moreover, in the Monaco Grand Prix, Mercedes added side pods and front along with floor suspensions. Later, they added a new front wing to gain speed around the slow-speed corners of the DRS zones.