The seven-time world champion is going through a complicated 2022, with a Mercedes W13 that has not been up to the task and has suffered more porpoising than expected.
In an interview with various media outlets, including Motorsport.com, Hamilton described his current car as the most “unpredictable” car of his career, calling his attempts to tame it a “challenge.”
Looking back, Hamilton explained the evolution work of the silver car . “I described it to my engineers: imagine you’re trying to sneak up on a horse, where’s the line that if you cross it, you’ll get kicked? And you know when it hits you in the face it’s going to hurt.”
“That’s one of the best ways to describe what it’s like [driving the W13], when you’re trying to lean on the car and it goes away and it’s unrecoverable. The behavior of this car is random.
Hamilton said he had known from the first test before the season started that it was not going to be an easy year , and revealed that he did not expect Mercedes to take so long to catch up.
“I had a feeling when I first drove the car,” he said. “Maybe we would have fixed it for the first race. Who knows?”
“Sometimes it’s hard to know how long it’s going to take to fix a problem like this. Plus, I’ve never had a porpoise like this before.”
“I didn’t expect the guys to take this long [to fix it]. I didn’t expect it to take as long as it took to understand the cause of the bounce. They’ve had to come up with new tools and all that stuff that we didn’t have before.”
“You cling to hope. But the next evolution comes and it doesn’t work, and the next comes and it doesn’t work. Imagine people building these things and they’re seeing their performance in the wind tunnel, but they’re not seeing it in the track. Oh, Jesus, it’s constant bad news.”
“But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and we’re still going strong. It’s not going to be easy to change the car to make it one of the best for next year, but I think we understand much better why it is the way it is.” , forecast.
But extreme porposing isn’t the cause of all of Mercedes’ woes, and Hamilton pointed to other factors that explain the W13’s lack of performance compared to Ferrari and Red Bull.
“It’s been a lot of different things,” he said, noting that the rebound was the “most visible.” Lewis singled out the “general stiffness of the car” as one of the most important, “to the point where the suspension ends up being useless”. “The tires end up getting flattened, so we end up bouncing on them.”
“And then the aero characteristics. Aerodynamic drag is a big problem for us. When we go past a certain speed that’s when we lose ground to the rest.”
“It happens when you brake, and the front end dips and the rear rises, which is when the aero transfers during that period, and also when you open the throttle. It doesn’t work the same at low speed as it does at high speed, and it gives us a lot of problems.”
“That’s why I’ve literally tried everything. I’ve tried every adjustment you can make. That’s what I was doing at the beginning of the year.”
“Of course I still had the idea of performing at my best and getting the best possible result every weekend, but the reality is that I was focused on solving problems. I said to myself ‘I will sacrifice this session, or all the sessions, to be able to give more data and information and that when we return to the factory they can better understand what is happening.’ But in the end that has complicated a few weekends for us”.
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