Lewis Hamilton’s gushing praise for Adrian Newey during the Thursday Press rounds in Zandvoort was described as “extraordinary” by Sky F1’s Karun Chanhock. TJ13 observed Hamilton was in effect sending a not so covert message back to Mercedes base and the technical design team.
The British driver also revealed he believes Mercedes AMG F1 at times are over optimistic about their car’s potential performance prior to new race weekends.
Neither Mercedes drivers have a win this season, though they have accumulated 11 podiums in 14 races, picking up the pieces when Red Bull have a reliability issue or Ferrari fail to make good strategy calls.
Without a calamity for all four of the Red Bull and Ferrari cars Hamilton will suffer the first season in his F1 career without a win and Lewis was candid about the car’s capabilities.
“I mean the car does limit us,” he said. “I think for anyone that’s further back in the order they are limited by the machinery they have. If we all had the same car, no matter which one it was, you would see a better reflection of each driver, but that’s obviously not the case.”
Has Lewis once again put his foot in his mouth?
Given the dominance of the Mercedes car for the past 8 years, it could be suggested that had other drivers like Alonso, Vettel, Verstappen or Lando Norris had the same car as Lewis, his 7 world titles score would be lower than it is.
Hamilton cooers to have transitioned from racing driver to engineer too. He continues, “Every time we get in the car we arrive optimistic, sometimes too optimistic and we have to lower that optimism but try and keep it throughout the weekend.
“But it becomes very clear straightaway where we stand and that we still often have the limitations that we do. And every time you get in the car there’s just more and more information that I’m able to pass into the team to try and get us on the right track for next year.”
Yet Hamilton was given the opportunity to test the development parts earlier in the season and commented before Silverstone, “Maybe George can do the experiments in the second half of the season,” said Lewis.
“We’re trying to make progress as a team, but I think we need to be a little more careful going forward and not experiment too much. Because something like that limits you quite a bit on a race weekend.”
Reading between the lines there is chaos at the once uber dominant Mercedes AMG F1 and surely the team are now merely trying to learn for the 2023 season.
However having your star driver heaping praise on another team’s designer and then suggesting Verstappen in some way has an unfair advantage in his superior car doesn’t help team’s motivation.