- Lewis Hamilton has aired his concerns about Mercedes recovering against Red Bull
- This follows a surprising turn of events at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Hamilton’s worry stems from the fact that Red Bull has not made any upgrades to their car
Lewis Hamilton has aired his concerns about Mercedes recovering against Red Bull for the 2024 season.
This follows a surprising turn of events at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend, which marked the season’s finale.
Hamilton’s worry stems from the fact that Red Bull has not made any upgrades to their car since August.
The seven-time world champion finished ninth in the race and highlighted the formidable challenge Mercedes faces.
With Red Bull focusing early on their 2024 car, Hamilton questions whether Mercedes can catch up in the ground-effects battle.
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Concerns
Hamilton voiced his concerns about the uphill battle Mercedes faces against Red Bull in the 2024 season, judging from what he has witnessed so far.
The worries emerged after Red Bull’s overwhelming performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen controlled the race despite not making any upgrades to the car since August.
Despite a half-hearted attempt by Charles Leclerc on the opening lap, Verstappen maintained a dominant lead throughout the Yas Marina season finale.
He clinched victory by an impressive 17.993 seconds over Ferrari. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who initially finished second, was penalized to fourth, allowing George Russell to secure the podium for Mercedes.
Hamilton, who finished ninth in the race, expressed his concern about the size of the recovery Mercedes needs to make to compete with Red Bull in the upcoming 2024 season.
Red Bull Not Worried
Red Bull’s decision to focus on developing its 2024 car early has raised apprehension about Mercedes catching up in the ground-effects battle.
“Red Bull won by 17 seconds and have not touched the car since August. So, you can pretty much guess where they’re going to be next year… I was just slow throughout the race,” he stated.
This revelation is not a new phenomenon, with Mercedes bridging the performance gap with Red Bull. It started in 2022 after the German team launched the W13 race car leaving Hamilton frustrated and contemplating early retirement.
It cost Hamilton his eighth championship but he stayed on with hope that his current W14 car would put him back in the game but it is also a big disappointment.
Despite a challenging 2023 campaign, Hamilton remains uncertain about the lessons learned.
He says that it is a fairly unsettling year for him in Formula 1.
“It’s not been a great year in general. So, there’s not a lot to take from the year,” he confesses. However, he acknowledges the importance of the team’s efforts in addressing the issues and preparing for the next season.
Addressing the concerns over Red Bull’s dominance and early focus on 2024, Hamilton remarked that Red Bull’s relaxation in development is bad news for Mercedes.
“[Red Bull] haven’t even developed their car since August; it’s definitely a concern. But we’ve learned a lot about the car, and it’s just down to the team now, and they know what they need to do. Whether or not we’ll get there, we’ll see.
During the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Hamilton also faced challenges on the track, tapping Pierre Gasly and accusing former McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso of brake-checking him.
What is the Problem With Mercedes W14?
Hamilton’s W14 race car is plagued by ground-effects issues that have significantly hindered its performance throughout the 2023 season.
These issues have caused the car to be unstable and difficult to handle, particularly in high-speed corners.
As a result, Hamilton has struggled to match the pace of his rivals, often finding himself off the podium and trailing behind the frontrunners.
The team’s early focus on developing their 2024 car has further compounded the problem, leaving them with limited time and resources to address the W14’s shortcomings.
Unless Mercedes can find a solution to these ground-effects issues, their chances of catching up to Red Bull and challenging for the championship title in 2024 will remain slim.
As the 2024 season looms, Hamilton’s concerns shed light on the fierce competition anticipated between Mercedes and Red Bull.
The Silver Arrows are aiming to overcome its ground-effects struggles to pose a formidable challenge to its dominant rival.