Lewis Hamilton calls for changes

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day of the Mexican GP in P7 and three-tenths off the leading pace.

Lewis Hamilton has called for Mercedes to “figure out” how they can get the maximum performance from the W14 “easier”, following a challenging start to the Mexican Grand Prix.

Whilst Hamilton was disqualified from the United States Grand Prix last weekend, he admitted that the upgrades the Silver Arrows installed at the Circuit of the Americas were the first he’d felt since the new aerodynamic regulations had been introduced.

The seven-time World Champion finally had the confidence to attack the corners, something which gave him hope that the Brackley-based team could be in the fight for victory at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez this weekend.

Unfortunately, it seems to be back to normal service for Mercedes, as Hamilton ended Free Practice 1 in P11 and Free Practice 2 in seventh.

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He ended the day just over three-tenths behind pacesetter Max Verstappen.

Hamilton admitted afterwards that it wasn’t a good day, as the W14 was “a bit of a struggle”.

“Not that great. Dodgy, not dodgy, but not the greatest. A bit of a struggle in the car today,” Hamilton said after FP2, as reported by the official F1 website.

He went onto admit that the car is feeling completely different to just a week ago in Austin, making it a challenge to compete with the frontrunners.

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Mercedes will work hard to try and “find something”, especially as Hamilton does think the car has “performance” this weekend, if they can extract it.

“I mean the car is night and day different compared to last week. And yeah, I don’t know what to say, you just never know what you’re going to get with this one,” added Hamilton.

“Some days she’s great and some days she’s not. I think it’s hard to extract the lap, I think there is definitely performance there. It’s just hard to extract it and it’s quite peaky this weekend with the aero map or whatever it might be.

“So, we are going to work on it overnight but definitely it wasn’t a fun day compared to FP1 in Austin. We are a bit off but hopefully overnight we can find something and tomorrow the car will be better to drive.”

Extracting performance has been a huge struggle for the Germans, who have often not been able to maximise the W14’s potential.

Hamilton recognises this and has called for Mercedes to make it easier to get the full potential out of the car.

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As for this weekend though, he’s unsure what needs to be changed to find the three-tenths he’s losing to Verstappen.

“I’m not sure,” he admitted. “Again, we never know what to expect with this car, maybe we make the changes, and we’ll pick that pace up.

“I think there was definitely some performance in there to be closer, maybe in the top three. But we’ve got to figure out how to make it easier for us to extract that performance, so that’s what we’ll be working on tonight.”