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Lewis Hamilton Rips Into Mercedes Team For "Not Listening" To His Advice On Car

Lewis Hamilton Rips Into Mercedes Team For "Not Listening" To His Advice On Car
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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2023 looks set to be another challenging year for Lewis Hamilton, if last Sunday's opening race in Bahrain is anything to go by.

The Brit did well to outrace his teammate George Russell, but both Mercedes found themselves struggling to match not only the Red Bulls and Ferraris, but the resurgent Aston Martins.

Judging by Aston Martin's opening race podium courtesy of Fernando Alonso, it seems that Mercedes are, at best, in a tie for the third fastest car on the grid as the season gets underway, leaving them scratching their heads after a poor 2022 and a long winter spent fixing the issues from that season's car.

Speaking to the BBC between the opening race in Bahrain and next weekend's round two in Saudi Arabia, Lewis Hamilton revealed that he tried to advise the Mercedes engineers on what didn't work for the team in 2022, but that the crew "didn't listen" to the seven times world champion.

Lewis Hamilton unhappy with Mercedes car design for 2023

2022 was a struggle for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, with the Brit enduring a winless season for the first time in his Formula 1 car. With a vast overhaul of the aero regulations for teams to grapple with, Mercedes went in an extreme direction with their car design - which backfired.

The car struggled for balance and produced far more violent "porpoising" - bouncing - than its competitors, leaving Hamilton and teammate George Russell to spend much of the season working on eradicating these issues.


They would eventually win just one race - courtesy of Russell in Sao Paulo - and vowed to come into 2023 firing after spending the winter break putting right the missteps of the 2022 W13.


Mercedes W14

Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes W14 during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend (Photo: Shutterstock)

Mercedes have, however, doubled down on the basic concept of their 2022 car - with some improvements - ahead of 2023, leaving Hamilton puzzled as to why the engineers "didn't listen" to his advice.


Speaking to the BBC's Chequered Flag podcast, Hamilton questioned the decision to stick with the 2022 concept, even after he had advised against it:

Last year there were things I told them, I said the issues there are with the car. I've driven so many cars in my life. I know what a car doesn't need.

I think it's really about accountability. It's about owning up and saying, 'Yeah, you know what? We didn't listen to you. It's not where it needs to be and we've got to work.'

We've got to look into the balance through the corners, look at all the weak points, and just huddle up as a team. That's what we do.

Though Hamilton himself ran a solid race on Sunday in Bahrain, it was clear that the Mercedes car was no match for the beasts cooked up by Red Bull and Ferrari this year, and that it would struggle to keep pace with the Aston Martin. Despite promising pace in practice, Hamilton and Russell ended up finishing P5 and P7 - split by the second Aston, driven by the injured Lance Stroll.

Things look bleak, but Hamilton is determined not to let his team give up:


We're still world champions, you know? Just haven't got it right this time. Didn't get it right last year. But that doesn't mean we can't get it right moving forwards.

It's quite early in the season for discontent to be brewing at Mercedes, and Lewis Hamilton will be hoping that his team can turn their fortunes around sooner rather than later if he is to have any hope of contending for an eighth world championship.

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