Hamilton’s confusing complaints questionable

Lewis Hamilton has been clearly unhappy with the car Mercedes have designed for his 2023 Formula One challenge. Since the car launch, Hamilton has been in fine complaint making form even taking a swipe at the FIA for failing to deliver on promises made.

Following complaints from Lewis that the new ‘ground effect’ F1 car designs were excruciatingly painful to drive, the FIA regulated the cars be modified.



Hamilton complains FIA haven’t ‘delivered’

Ironically, this modification to the design rules for 2023 has made it more difficult for drivers to follow the F1 car ahead.

Speaking in Australia Hamilton remarked, “I think it’s [following] still a little bit better than the previous generation of cars, but it hasn’t delivered everything they [the FIA] said it would.”

Lewis scolded the Mercedes team for failing to “listen” to him and called for “accountability” to be made.

It appears one of the criticisms Hamilton had of the 2022 W13 Mercedes car was the drivers’ position which he claims is too far forward.

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Hamilton complains about seat position

“We sit closer to the front tyres than all the other drivers – our cockpit is too close to the front,” Hamilton explained earlier this month.

Yet analysis by Sky Sports Karun Chandhok revealed that the forward driving position for the Mercedes’ drivers was similar to their main rivals in the Ferrari and Aston Martin cars.

The Red Bull design does have the driver around 20cm further behind the front wheels which Jenson Button believes would suit Hamilton’s driving style better.


Button explains Hamilton’s difficulties

“The way he drives, he’s quite aggressive on the throttle, quite aggressive on the brake and he does everything through the steering wheel, so he really needs to feel what’s happening through the rear of the car through his arms,” revealed Button – who was Hamilton’s team mate for three seasons.

“And he’s not getting that so he doesn’t have that confidence to push the car and these cars are tricky anyway, especially in qualifying, and if he doesn’t have that confidence, he’s not able to get the maximum out of it,” concluded the 2009 world champion.

Other analysis demonstrates the real problem for Lewis is there location of the centre of pressure and how this moves under braking.

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Hamilton struggles to adapt driving style

The ground effect F1 cars have their neutral position for the centre of pressure further forward than the previous generation. This means under braking it now travels further towards the rear of the car which may create a sensation of instability.

it may be Lewis who had been driving in Formula One for 15 years before the new ground effect cars came into being is finding it more difficult to adjust his driving style than less his less experienced team mate.

However, Hamilton’s criticism has ignited a debate as to whether the Mercedes’ W14 seat position is any different to where it was traditionally located.



Kravitz questions Hamilton’s complaint

When asked whether Hamilton’s input needed to be considered more by his team, Kravitz told the Sky F1 podcast: “I’m not sure because at the beginning of testing we had a special guest, [Mercedes Technical Director] Mike Elliott.”

“I had all these ideas about the Mercedes and I put them to Mike. I asked if they had moved the cockpit forward and he said ‘no’. So I’m all a bit confused,” remarked Kravitz.

“I don’t know whether that’s something Lewis can go and say ‘see, I told you we were too forward’ and they said ‘well, you’re no more forward than you were before’”.

“So that will come out in the fullness of time I’m sure.”

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No new driving position coming soon for Lewis

Hamilton is without a race win since 2001 and is this season 3-0 down to team mate George Russell in qualifying, though he does lead him in terms of championship points.

Whilst Toto Wolff has indicated the team will shift the design philosophy of the W14 it is unlikely Hamilton will get his way in terms of the driving position being altered.

The monocoque chassis design which sits at the heart of the car, is developed early in the cycle and has to be rigorously tested to pass FIA safety parameters.

A redesign of the monocoque and chassis together with the FIA test then required is beyond the in season development budget for any team since the introduction of the F1 annual spending limits.

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2 responses to “Hamilton’s confusing complaints questionable

  1. When all explanations turn out to be impossible, than the last one must be true… sir Lewis Hamilton is just a mediocre driver that had a superior car for almost a decade. Making him believe he is the goat, not the car. Facts can be painful for narcissists.

  2. I agree to an extent, he has a lot of talent, but lost the edge through complacency of the superior Mercedes car of the last decade. The same thing could happen to Max if he continues to be unchallenged.

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