Lewis Hamilton’s troubling analysis of Mercedes upgrade at Brazilian GP

Lewis Hamilton limped to eighth in the 2023 Brazilian GP, while Mercedes teammate George Russell retired

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Lewis Hamilton gave a stark assessment of the Mercedes car after a catastrophic 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend where he finished 63 seconds behind Max Verstappen and the team was even less competitive than Alpine.

Mercedes brought a newly upgraded floor to the Formula 1 Americas triple-header and it appeared to have worked wonders as Hamilton finished second at both the United States and Mexico City GPs – though he was later disqualified in Austin.

Such success inspired team principal Toto Wolff to hint Mercedes could challenge Red Bull and Verstappen at Interlagos but that confidence could scarcely have been more misplaced, as Hamilton finished eighth and George Russell retired.

“The tyres are always overheating for us, slow on the straights, no grip in the corners,” Hamilton told the media. “My guess is that the floor’s not working so that pushed us to go to high on the wing, which was massively draggy in the straights.

“And I was just losing so much on the straights, there’s nothing I can do about it, and then we’re just sliding through the corners. So we’ll have to look into why that is the case.”

Hamilton: Ultimately the car didn’t work

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton at 2023 Brazilian Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

Russell admitted Mercedes were a sitting duck in a straight line at Interlagos after the team gambled on a higher-downforce setup but failed to reap any of those rewards through the corners on a dismal afternoon for the team.

Mercedes‘ only hope is these issues are Sao Paulo-specific, similar to Red Bull‘s Singapore struggles where they finished fifth and eighth – the only race they’ve failed to win all season.

“It’s hard to say,” Hamilton added, when asked if Mercedes’ issues were track-specific. “In the moment it is a setback but as a team, we’ll just come together and we’ll try and push forwards.

“There’ll be a lot of analysis this week after today and I’m sure there’ll be things where we’re like ‘ah, maybe if we’d have done this it would have been better’. But I think still ultimately the car didn’t work for some reason and that’s the way it is”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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