Hamilton unsure of Mercedes development path

Sir Lewis Hamilton told his team of an "incredible amount of bouncing" during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

Sir Lewis Hamilton does not know for certain what changes Mercedes should make to their car for the 2023 season, but he certainly would not like a lot of the features of the W13 to be on it.

Mercedes have struggled for pace and consistency this year due to their “porpoising” and handling problems due to the ground effect aerodynamics brought about by the new technical regulations.

The Briton has scored points in six of the first seven rounds of the year, but has only managed a podium in one, while being out-performed by team-mate George Russell in all of the last six.

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Part of that is down to misfortune, but the 4-3 advantage for the 24-year-old in the qualifying head-to-head demonstrates a slightly better acclimatisation to the new car than Hamilton.

The seven-time champion finished eighth in Monaco after spending much of the afternoon caught up behind the slow-moving Fernando Alonso, and this followed a red flag at the end of qualifying that denied him a final run.

Last weekend was symptomatic of a season that has not really gone the 37-year-old’s way as he battles a temperamental car, and the bouncing made a return in Monte Carlo as the lower ride height of the cars exaggerated the bumps on the circuit.

It did not appear to be a “porpoising” issue wherein the aerodynamics cause turbulence in the chassis, but rather the fact that the floor was pounding the uneven track surface because of the stiffer suspension.

Still though, Mercedes appeared to be struggling with it more than anyone else, so Hamilton affirms that they need to figure out why that is before thinking of any radical changes they should make.

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“I haven’t really thought about that,” said Hamilton.

“But I think we have to find out what’s wrong with this car before we can make another one. If we started to build another car we could easily make a mistake,” he explained.

“I think it’s about fully understanding this one, which is something we haven’t achieved yet, so that we have an idea of which path to go down.

“However, there are a lot of things I wouldn’t want from this car in next year’s car.”

As for the bouncing, it is beginning to affect, not only Hamilton’s performance, but him physically, so he is desperate to smooth out the ride of the Mercedes.

“It was the worst race I have experienced in this car so far, simply because of the bumps,” added the 103-time race winner.

“I want them to go away now, my teeth and jaw were vibrating so badly and I finished the race shaking. 

“I don’t know if it’s related to the porpoising but we didn’t have it in the last race.”

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff recognises that, while his team are no longer in the midfield scrap behind them, they are also nowhere near the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull, and this is a situation he cannot accept.

“I think we are the third team, we’re not second and we’re not fourth,” said the Austrian.

“We have two extremely strong drivers, but it is a huge annoyance for all of us that that the gap is about the same.

READ: Hamilton on team dynamic with Russell: ‘I wouldn’t say I’m the leader’

“If you’re looking at it optimistically, it’s five tenths. If you’re looking at it pessimistically, it’s more than eight tenths. And that is clearly for all of us at Mercedes not acceptable.”

Mercedes remain third in the Constructors’ Championship, now over 100 points behind leaders Red Bull after Sergio Perez took victory in Monaco ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and team-mate Max Verstappen.