Lewis Hamilton confirms bouncing all but gone on W14, but other ‘underlying’ issues
Lewis Hamilton has hailed a “huge step” at Mercedes by eliminating bouncing from the W14, but other “underlying” issues have shown themselves up in testing.
The Silver Arrows had an up-and-down time of things in three days of pre-season running, with an unexpected loss of downforce on Day 2 prompting meetings between the team’s senior figures and tweaks to the car overnight.
While trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin confirmed the team were in a “much better place” after the final day as a result of the work they undertook, they remain unsure of where they stand in relation to other teams – with Red Bull generally seen as having set the standard in the field in Bahrain.
Hamilton confirmed the major issue which troubled them throughout 2022 has now been ironed out as much as possible, but Mercedes are still not quite operating at their optimum capacity just yet.
“Right now for example the bouncing that we had has pretty much gone, so that’s a huge step for us,” Hamilton told media including PlanetF1.com in Bahrain.
“It’s nice to drive without bouncing, but there are still some underlying things that we’re working through.”
When asked about the specifics of what he feels is not quite right on the W14, the seven-time World Champion confirmed the car’s balance is not quite where he would like it to be, and that made up part of what the team was working through in testing.
Despite facing issues during the three-day Bahrain test, Hamilton was full of praise for his Mercedes colleagues for how they went about their work over the week, and he hopes to see the team on the pace sooner rather than later once the season gets underway.
“They’re just things that we’re working through, some of the balance limitations that we had last year are just present so we went through them,” Hamilton confirmed when asked about what is sub-optimal on his Mercedes.
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“I’m really proud of everyone in the team for continuing to remain positive after a tough year last year.
“Amazing work through winter for us to run and have the mileage that we’ve had and everyone here, I’ve been here a long time and every single year, they all have the same mental focus and determination to fix whatever issue you have.
“I enjoy being in the offices that are back there just churning away, crunching the data, and I’m really proud of everyone in the garage, so we will hopefully get there.”
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