The 2022 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix is a new opportunity for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, who are looking for their first victory of the season so that the Briton can surpass the record of consecutive years with at least one win by Michael Schumacher. The seven-time world champion does not give importance to that mark, as he has recognized in recent weeks, but it is no secret that climbing to the top of the podium would restore part of the confidence lost in Brackley in a difficult course.
The Englishman went out to the Circuit of the Americas wanting to do well, and in the first free practice session, where he shared the track with several of the rookies who were to meet the FIA requirements with the teams, he was third, a little more than four tenths behind the leader, Carlos Sainz and his Ferrari. For the second practice, having to mount the Pirelli prototype tires , he did not get past eighth place, almost three seconds behind the other Maranello car, Charles Leclerc’s, but it did not prevent him from leaving with a good feeling.
When asked about the new 2023 tyres, the Mercedes man said: “They’re not that bad, it’s all about the feel. It’s like a fun experiment to be honest, it’s just going out there and you don’t know what to expect.
“There’s always a different balance, the tires react differently every time you go out and try something new,” said Hamilton. “It’s interesting, so when you’re trying to get into the corner and trying to feel it, you look at what’s the difference in storing that information. And when you’re doing a blind test, you expect your feeling to be good, but you have to say how you feel. “.
Getting off his W13, the one that couldn’t come out with the last update of the year because the FIA declared it illegal, explained what it was like to drive the car: “I would say that with the cars of previous years, with last year’s, for example, it was much more predictable [the tires]. You could go out there, push and see how it went.”
“With this car, you have to build it up. You can’t just go out there and push because the tires aren’t [in the correct operating window], you have to build up and build up and build up and try your luck,” he said.
Regarding the start of the weekend, the Briton believes that he has not had any problems in the first two free practice sessions: “Everything has gone according to plan. First of all, I am very grateful to everyone who is in the factory for have worked so hard and have brought us an improvement this great prize”.
“It’s been a very tough year for everyone, and for them to be continually pushing and getting those new pieces out, I’m very grateful,” he said. “I’ve kept the car undamaged, which is good, and I’ve noticed the improvements to the car, hopefully we’ll make some changes tonight, and tomorrow we’ll know exactly where we are, it doesn’t look like we’re too far behind the rest.”
Lewis Hamilton has been one of the drivers who has suffered the most from porpoising this season, an effect caused by the potholes on the circuits. Austin was no different, explaining how it went: “Awful! Oh my gosh. I came here after Montreal and drove last year’s car, it was so good I remember walking out beaming from ear to ear because It was so smooth, it had good downforce and power.”
“This year we lost a bit of power on biofuels, and the car is stiffer,” said the Englishman. “Luckily I don’t have a lot of fillings, because if I had I would have gotten all of them out this season for sure. It’s so, so bumpy, I hope next year the car will have them.”
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