When it comes to Formula-1 racing, the drivers usually take the biggest risk. They are responsible for operating expensive and dangerous vehicles and any accident can prove fatal. Recently, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has spoken out about his inputs being ignored for the development of W14, Mercedes’ challenger for 2023.
What went wrong for Mercedes
2022 saw a new beginning for F1 as updated technical regulations saw the cars being changed significantly. It was expected that Mercedes would still remain at the top however their radical design produced great downforce in simulations however the ‘porpoising’ or bouncing of the car made it so that they never reached the simulated downforce levels on track. For much of the 2022 season, they had the 3rd fastest car on track, a far cry from their usually distant and dominant 1st.
Everyone was expecting 2023 to be different as towards the end of the 2022 season they got closer to Ferrari and Red Bull in performance. However, not only have they failed to match up to last season’s top two, but they have now fallen behind Aston Martin, who also happens to be a Mercedes customer team. Aston Martin receives the power unit, suspension, and some other parts from Mercedes.
Hamilton finished 5th while Alonso, the new Aston Martin driver, finished on the podium with a stunning debut drive as he overtook Hamilton, Russell, and Sainz to finish 3rd.
Why is Hamilton speaking out about the engineers?
Lewis Hamilton, one of the GOATs and the 7-time Drivers’ champion said that the engineers did not listen to his ideas about the 2022 car. He feels that his experience of driving cars for almost his entire life gives him the knowledge of what a car needs.
Lewis on Mercedes painting the car black 🖤🤣 pic.twitter.com/m1yBmQFu85
— Sir Lewis Hamilton Updates (@SirLewisUpdates) March 10, 2023
The Mercedes team may not have taken his input for the development of the 2023 car. It is difficult to predict whether his ideas would have pushed them forward but it certainly could have gone that way. Hamilton feels like the team should “own up” and continue the work on the car.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has also admitted that they may have reached the peak performance with this radical “Zero-Sidepod” design and stresses that they may have to ditch this concept in order to move forward and catch up. What do you think? Can Mercedes win a race in 2023? Comment down below.