Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes need to get to the bottom of the problems with its current car before turning their attention to its replacement. The team introduced upgrades at the previous race in Spain which reduced the porpoising the W13 was experiencing and improved its performance. However new problems emerged in Monaco, where the team found its car was bouncing again.
Hamilton said the team still needs to understand more about its 2022 car. Although his championship hopes are realistically over, he doesn’t yet think the team should abandon work on its current car in favour of next year’s. “I’ve really not thought about that,” he said. “I think we’ve got to figure out what’s wrong with this car before we can make another car. If we just started making another car we could easily get it wrong.
“So I think it’s about getting on top of this one fully, which we still haven’t got on top of and then give us a guideline of where [to go].” However he added “there’s definitely loads of things that I would not want from this car onto next year’s car, so I’ve already put those in.” Team principal Toto Wolff said that the rough ride both drivers had complained about in Monaco was to do with the stiffness of the car, and not simply a return to the aerodynamic problems which previously causing violent bouncing.
“I think we haven’t had porpoising returning,” Wolff said. “We are bottoming out. We are just hitting the ground in a very different way, the car is too stiff, too low. Mercedes were the fourth-quickest team in qualifying last weekend. George Russell put his car sixth on the car, two places ahead of Hamilton, whose final run was disrupted by red flags. Wolff said it was “just the same gap, like it was in qualifying in Barcelona” to the team’s rivals.
“So it’s probably realistic where we ended up. The car is good for fifth and sixth and Norris beat us to it. But we shouldn’t have expected any miracles, particularly in Monaco.”