Hamilton: Mercedes didn’t listen about 2023 car
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has said his Mercedes team did not listen to him when developing their 2023 F1 car.
The Briton told reporters last week that Mercedes took the wrong track before he finished fifth in Sunday’s first Bahrain Grand Prix.
“Last year I told them something. I talked about problems with the car,” Hamilton said on the BBC Radio 5 Live podcast Checkered Flag.
“I have driven so many cars in my life so I know what a car needs. I know the car doesn’t need it. I think it’s really all about responsibility.
“It’s about admitting and saying, ‘Yeah, you know what? We didn’t listen to you. This is not what it should be and we have to work,” he said.
“We have to look at the balance through corners, look at all the weak spots and just shrink as a team. This is what we do.”
Hamilton, 38, is the most successful F1 driver of all time with a record 103 wins, but his contract ended at the end of the season.
He didn’t win a race last year for the first time in his career but dismissed suggestions that he might be postponing a new deal until he knows how competitive his car is.
He told the BBC that Mercedes, whose streak of eight consecutive constructors’ titles ended last year, still had time to turn things around.
“We are still multiple world champions, you know? We just didn’t get it this time. We didn’t succeed last year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t move forward,” he said.
Team boss Toto Wolff admitted in Bahrain that Mercedes needs to rethink the car.
“I don’t think this package will end up being competitive,” Wolf said of the car, which stands out for its reduced side pontoons, in stark contrast to Red Bull’s decision.
“Last year we made a mistake; we thought we could fix it by sticking with this car concept, but it didn’t work,” he added.
Two-time Red Bull world champion Max Verstappen won in Bahrain with Sergio Perez securing a one-two finish. Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin was third in a Mercedes-powered car.