The reigning world champion is already thinking about 2020, and Hamilton demands Mercedes still has to improve.
Lewis Hamilton can already clinch his sixth WRC title in Mexico, while his Mercedes team secured the constructors’ title in Japan for the sixth time in a row. And yet the Brit is not satisfied with the development of the W10 in the 2019 season.
“It wasn’t a great year for us when it comes to the development of the engine,” says Hamilton
While the superiority in the field of the engine was mainly responsible for the dominance from 2014, this advantage has been lost more and more. Ferrari is currently regarded as the benchmark in terms of power, Mercedes is no longer number one.
“This was a really difficult time for the guys who worked as hard as possible. We just weren’t so successful in that department, unfortunately.” says Hamilton
Also, Mercedes went into this season with a little more downforce, so the drag on the straights was higher. “Of course we won the Constructors’ World Championship, but we will continue to push hard and try to reduce the drag a little bit.
“We will also try to strengthen the power a little for next year.”
“So we are confident that we will take a step forward for next year.” continues Hamilton
His unsuccessful hunt for Sebastian Vettel and second place in Suzuka had shown him that Mercedes had no chance on the straights. The Ferrari could also not be overtaken “with slipstream, DRS and maximum power”.
Despite fresher tyres Hamilton could not pass Vettel and had to settle for third place. “It’s incredible how fast they are. That makes it very difficult, even with a tyre advantage”
Although Vettel was able to drive in the slipstream thanks to the help of backbenchers as well, the German nevertheless had to state: “I think we have an advantage on the straights. I wanted to play that out and it worked.
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