Mercedes started this year with a radical design. The W13 hardly has any sidepods, which reduces drag and improves airflow over the top of the car. But to Zero pod The concept seems to have one major disadvantage: the car becomes more sensitive suggest† While other teams have already taken good steps to reduce the car’s heave on the straights early in the season, Mercedes seemed puzzled by the issue in the early races.
In Miami, an update initially seemed to improve things, but performances on Saturday and Sunday were disappointing. A new upgrade for the Spanish Grand Prix is doing its job: George Russell and Lewis Hamilton hardly bother bouncing on the straights. This immediately resulted in the best qualifying result of the season: Russell was fourth, Hamilton was sixth. Mercedes appear to be on the way back, but Hamilton feels it is a bit premature to talk about the championship now.
“I’m not really working on that,” the Brit replies, among other things Motorsport.com when asked if his improved form in Spain gives him championship hopes. “I’m still a long way from that. My team-mate is fourth on the grid, so the car is basically good for third or fourth place. But I’m sixth. So I’m still struggling with the car.” Hamilton doesn’t have an explanation for why Russell is currently getting more out of W13 than he is: “I can’t explain it at the moment. I’m struggling with the car right now. I didn’t have any in qualifying rear grip.”
However, the seven-time world champion draws courage from qualifying in Barcelona. “We were the fastest in Q2. That gives hope,” said Hamilton, who is much happier than in the previous races. “Qualifying wasn’t great for me, but it’s great to see us taking a step forward as a team.”
Hamilton is confident that Mercedes can continue the upward trend that has started. “I have 100 percent faith in this team. We’ve made a step now, which we haven’t been able to do in the last five races. We finally have an idea in which direction to go. Now we just have to wait for our engineers and aerodynamicists to come up with even more new parts so we can move forward. There are a lot more slow corners in Monaco, so hopefully we’ll do better there anyway. It looks good.”