James Allison opens up on Lewis Hamilton ‘conversations’

Lewis Hamilton has complained about how far forward his seating position is in the W14.

Mercedes technical director James Allison has revealed that he’s had “some conversations” about the W14’s problems with Lewis Hamilton, who complained about the car as recently as last weekend.

The Silver Arrows have entered this weekend’s all-important British Grand Prix on the back of a disappointing Austrian Grand Prix, where George Russell finished seventh with Hamilton in eighth.

For the first-time since the team’s new concept was introduced, both drivers struggled to compete with the frontrunners, something which left them towards the bottom of the top 10.

The opening day of the British GP wasn’t much better for Hamilton or Russell, who ended Friday in P15 and P12 respectively.

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Mercedes’ race pace appears to be very strong; however, their one lap pace suggests that making it to Q3 could be a huge challenge.

One of the car’s biggest issues for Hamilton this season has been his seat position, which he’s complained about being too far forward.

As a result, the 38-year-old doesn’t like the W14’s “driving behaviour”, although Allison doesn’t think the seating position is a “big factor” in why the car doesn’t behave how he’d like it to.

“Lewis doesn’t like the driving behaviour of the car,” Allison admitted.

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“He sits in a different position compared to before. I don’t like to judge whether one is related to the other.

“I had some conversations with Lewis about it. I don’t think the sitting position is a big factor in the problems he feels with the car.”

The new aerodynamic regulations in general have been very difficult for Mercedes, who in many ways are still trying to catch up from designing the woeful W13 last season.

Mercedes lost virtually half a season in 2022 by trying to eradicate porpoising, something which cost them valuable development time.

Allison openly admits that the Silver Arrows’ issues since the new regs were introduced have been caused by the Germans being “naive”, as they assumed that they’d still be able to run “as low as possible”.

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“Last year’s model was conceived with the naive assumption that we can drive it as low as possible. Then we realised that this was not possible,” said Allison.

“When we had to go higher, we were a good bit outside the area in which the aerodynamics work optimally.

“This year we have a little better control over how deep we can drive before we get into problems. We are not perfect yet, but we are approaching perfection.”