Lewis Hamilton to get what he wants as Toto Wolff finds Mercedes answers in breakthrough
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Lewis Hamilton may soon get the car he wants to challenge Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc at the front of the grid with Toto Wolff claiming Mercedes have more “answers” from the Miami Grand Prix to help improve the W13. It’s been a frustrating season for the seven-time world champion so far with bad luck also costing him in a few races.
But the main issue has been with the W13 and its ongoing porpoising issues, which have prevented Mercedes from decreasing the ride height and running lower to the ground. Those problems continued at the Miami Grand Prix with both George Russell and Hamilton experiencing issues.
However, there were promising signs in the Friday practice session when Mercedes appeared to have corrected Russell’s car and he ran the quickest time in FP2. They were unable to repeat that set up for the weekend, but the signs were there that Mercedes were heading in the right direction.
There’s still a long way to go for Mercedes to put together a car capable of challenging for race wins and Hamilton returning to the podium. But Wolff admits the data Mercedes got from Miami has helped push the team in the direction with a subtle warning to Red Bull and Ferrari that they’re not out of the race just yet.
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“With the third quickest car underneath us, we extracted the maximum points possible in Miami,” Wolff said. “Considering George’s start position, it was a great recovery drive, helped by when the Safety Car was deployed.
“But the timing was unfortunate for Lewis who was strong all weekend and on course to score P5 without the neutralisation of the race. I’ve no doubt that over the course of the season, a little luck will eventually go his way.
“During Friday practice, the car showed flashes of its true potential. We continued experimenting with set-up, fitted some new components and that’s provided us answers and indications of which direction to go in. A huge amount of hard work has been going on in the factories to unpick the data from Miami and turn it into improvements for Barcelona.
“Having run there in winter testing, albeit with a car that has evolved a lot since then, it will be a good place to correlate the information we have on the current car and we’re hopeful that we’ll make another step forward. The track itself is a good all-rounder, so it really puts every aspect of the car to the test.
“It’s never been a great track for overtaking so it’ll be interesting to see how these new-shape 2022 F1 cars impact the on-track spectacle in Spain. In basketball terms, we head to Barcelona at the end of the first quarter of the game. We know that once we translate the learnings we’ve made into track performance, there’s still a lot of the game left to play.”
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