Lewis Hamilton has come to criticise his Mercedes team as he feel they didn’t listen to his concerns over their unique Formula 1 car concept after a difficult start to the 2023 season.
The seven-time world champion was well off the pace of Red Bull in both qualifying and the race and was then overtaken and left behind by Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin. He eventually finished fifth thanks to a retirement for Charles Leclerc but there was not much optimism to take from the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Hamilton, 38, revealed that he voiced his concerns over the concept they had gone for last season but the team did not take them into account or change their approach as a result.
“I’ve driven so many cars since 2007, so I know what a car needs and what it doesn’t,” Hamilton said on the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast.
“Last year, I already told the team about the problems with the concept. Then also admit: ‘Okay, we didn’t listen to you, the car is not where it should be and we have work to do.’
“Last year we didn’t manage it, this year it’s not done either. But despite everything, we can still get it done in the near future, I still believe in that.”
Mercedes acknowledge issues
Hamilton‘s teammate George Russell found things even tougher in Bahrain as he was passed by an injured Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin to finish seventh. With team boss Toto Wolff also addressing issues with the Mercedes car in Bahrain.
“I don’t think there’s this package is gonna be competitive eventually,” Wolff told reporters after 2023 Bahrain GP qualifying. “And we gave a bit our best goal over the winter.
“Now we just need to regroup, sit down with the engineers who are totally not dogmatic about anything, there is no holy cause, and decide what is the development direction that we want to pursue in order to be competitive to win races.
Mercedes struggled heavily with porpoising at the start of the 2022 campaign and they appear to have resolved those problems now.
But they are now looking at a lack of pace that sees them comfortably away from being able to challenge for wins and possibly even podiums if Ferrari, Red Bull and Aston Martin are running smoothly.
Saudi Arabia is the next race in 2023 but that was even harder for Mercedes last season with Hamilton just about scraping a point in 10th and Russell in fifth.