After a rough start to the season, the downturn continued for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes at Italy’s Imola. Now the Englishman uses strong words to describe the car he drives.
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– There are people who look and say that I’ve never had a bad car, and I can assure you that I have. The 2009 car was very, very far, and it was the worst car I’ve ever driven, Hamilton told the website auto sport after Saturday’s sprint race at Imola.
After finishing 13th in qualifying, the Briton dropped to 14th during the short sprint race on Saturday. Teammate George Russell finished in 11th.
This marked a new low for the all-time winning Formula 1 driver. After finishing third in the first race of the season, there was only a dip for the Briton who stands with seven world championships and 103 individual victories in Formula 1. In the second race of the season, in Saudi Arabia, Hamilton became number 10. In Australia it was fourth place. , before finally finishing 14th in the first of two races at Imola.
After he disappointment comparing Hamilton’s 2009 car, McLaren MP4-24, with this year’s car from Mercedes.
“This car at the moment is not far from that experience, but I think it has a lot of potential,” Hamilton said of this year’s car compared to the one he number five in 2009.
Despite the disappointment after the sprint race and comparisons, Hamilton believes that over the course of the season they can put together a car that can fight for victory.
– Like that car, we fixed it in the end and got back in the game, and I have the greatest belief that my team can do that here too.
But although the Briton may see the light at the end of the tunnel, he thinks the race has been run with the aim of clinching an eighth world title of the season.
– We’re definitely not fighting for the championship. We strive to understand the car, improve and develop throughout the years. That’s all we can hope for at the moment, says Hamilton BBC.
In 2009, Hamilton and McLaren struggled with too little ground pressure, which meant that the car was uncompetitive and was named “the worst car I’ve ever driven” by the British themselves.
Mercedes this year has struggled with so-called “porpoising”. That the car bounces up and down along the track as a result of the “come and go” ground pressure.
And they still benefit from knowing why this is happening, said team manager Toto Wolff.
– We know which way we need to unlock the potential in the car and bring us closer, but at the moment we don’t have the key. So we just have to keep going and rely on science and physics, Wolff told the BBC.
- After the first four races of the season, Hamilton is sixth in the drivers’ championship and has 50 points ahead of Charles Leclerc.
- Saturday’s sprint race was won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, after the last sprint in which he passed Ferrari’s Leclerc. The Dutchman started the race from pole in Sunday’s main race which starts at 15.00.
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