With Mercedes having a tough time in F1 at the moment, Lewis Hamilton has highlighted another issue with the 2023 car and the driving position he has to content with, which is also hampering his performance.
After the first qualifying session of the 2023 F1 season, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff conceded that the there would be a wholesale move in another direction regarding car design, essentially admitting the Mercedes concept as it stands was not working.
Now, with Mercedes moving in a new direction, Hamilton has pointed out another of the car’s flaws ahead of the 2023 Australian GP.
“If you look at the past I’ve always enjoyed an oversteering car,” Hamilton told the press ahead of the 2023 Australian GP.
“We sit closer to the wheels, the front wheels and our cockpit is too close to the front.
“When you’re driving, you feel like you’re sitting on the front wheels which is one of the worst feelings to feel when you’re driving a car.
“if you’re driving your car at home and you pulled wheels are right underneath your legs, you will not be happy when approaching the roundabout.
“So what that does is just really changes the attitude in the car and how you perceive its movement and makes it harder to predict compared to when you are further back and sitting closer, more centre. That’s just something I’ve really struggle with.
“On top of that we have an aero characteristic which is too far forwards.
“Rather than the rears [being] sat down as you begin to turn and come off the brakes then moving, now. we have one that’s very forward, very much on the nose early on, then shifts later on, so it’s doing the opposite of what we want and that’s what we’re trying to fix.”
Hamilton on F1 break
After the 2023 Australian GP, F1 will have a three week break before heading to Azerbaijan with Hamilton hoping to use the time to get some good upgrades on the car.
“I don’t think I need a mental break at the moment,” Hamilton said. “I feel pretty good. “Our August usually is that time where you get that downtime.
“So I think it’s good for the team to be able to really just sit down and focus and turn away during that time, focus on bringing upgrades and fixing the car.
“I wish we were racing personally in that gap. But I’ll try and make the best use of it.”