Lewis Hamilton on difficult season for Mercedes in November
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Lewis Hamilton revealed both good and bad news for Mercedes fans following three days of testing in Bahrain last week. The Silver Arrows joined all F1 teams in trying out their new models ahead of the season opener at the same venue this weekend, beginning their bid to recover from a difficult 2022 campaign.
After eight consecutive Constructors’ titles, Toto Wolff’s team managed just one Grand Prix success in the 21-race campaign. That came from George Russell in Brazil, with Hamilton not taking the chequered flag in a season for the first time in his storybook career.
In the drivers’ standings Russell finished fourth and Hamilton sixth, with the pair notably off the pace set by front runners Red Bull. And Mercedes were third in the Constructors having been beaten into the runners up spot by Ferrari.
For much of the year, Hamilton in particular was plagued by the issue of porpoising, with the car bouncing on the track and making control difficult. But despite both drivers both having troubles in Bahrain, the F1 icon claimed that issue had essentially been sorted out.
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“Right now for example the bouncing that we had has pretty much gone, so that’s a huge step for us,” Hamilton told media including PlanetF1.com in Bahrain. “It’s nice to drive without bouncing, but there are still some underlying things that we’re working through.”
And the seven-time world champion, whilst praising team members, then sounded a note of caution, adding: “They’re just things that we’re working through, some of the balance limitations that we had last year are just present so we went through them.
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Another poor year for Hamilton and Mercedes is likely to intensify speculation on the future of the 38-year-old. Back in October, he revealed he planned to sign a ‘multi-year’ contract with the team, but there have been no updates on negotiations since.
Indeed, pundit Jenson Button has tipped him to walk away if his team doesn’t produce a competitive car this year. Hamilton’s current contract expires at the end of 2023.
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