Lewis Hamilton has ordered his Mercedes engineers to continue to work on this season’s car rather than turn their attention to next season. Mercedes have suffered a terrible season so far, floundering in third position in the Constructors’ Championship. Hamilton has struggled more than new team-mate George Russell finding himself sixth in the Drivers’ Championship, 34 points behind his fellow Brit.
With the eight-time constructors’ champions struggling to find their form, many within the paddock have suggested that the team cut their losses and start working on next season’s car instead. Hamilton was quick to refute this suggestion.
“I think we have to find out what’s wrong with this car before we can make another one,” the seven-time world champion said. “If we started to build another car we could easily make a mistake.
“I think it’s about fully understanding this one, which is something we haven’t achieved yet, so that we have an idea of which path to go down. However, there are a lot of things I wouldn’t want from this car in next year’s car.”
Mercedes have struggled to adapt to the new regulations that have been put in place for this season. The W13 has struggled with porpoising, making the car difficult to handle for the drivers. Hamilton had a particularly difficult Monaco Grand Prix, finishing the race in eighth as he got bogged down behind the slow running Alpine of Fernando Alonso.
“It was the worst race I have experienced in this car so far, simply because of the bumps,” the 37-year-old Briton said. “I want them to go away now – my teeth and jaw were vibrating so badly and I finished the race shaking.
“I don’t know if it’s related to the porpoising but we didn’t have it in the last race.”
Mercedes now look to try and improve for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in two weeks’ time. There were tentative signs that their fortunes could be about to turn in last week’s Spanish Grand Prix but these were reversed in Monaco.
Looking ahead to Baku, Hamilton said: “I just pray the car is not like it was in Monaco.” While it is clear that Mercedes are struggling, Hamilton does not want his team to completely give up hope yet. The Brackley-based team will hope that Azerbaijan can start to reverse their fortunes to see them compete towards the front of the grid like they are used to.