Lewis Hamilton makes Mercedes admission after backtracking on being ignored

Mercedes have already introduced two different concepts since the start of 2022, as they look to fight back.

Lewis Hamilton admitted after the Japanese Grand prix that Mercedes require the “best six months of development we’ve ever had”, if the side even want to dream about catching Red Bull.

The Silver Arrows found themselves comfortably fourth in the pecking order at Suzuka, comfortably behind Red Bull and slightly behind McLaren and Ferrari.

Hamilton had to settle for fifth with George Russell finished seventh, with Mercedes now leading Ferrari by just 20 points in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

Ferrari have reduced their deficit to Mercedes considerably over recent races, as a result of the Italians having introduced several very impactful upgrades.

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Mercedes simply need to figure out what’s making their car so weak at circuits consisting of high-speed corners, an area where both Hamilton and Russell lack confidence in the W14.

The seven-time World Champion revealed after Sunday’s race that he’s keen for Mercedes to go in a different direction once again ahead of 2024, if they want to be “banging on the door” of Red Bull.

“There are things that I’ve asked for that we’ve gone in part of the direction for next year,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1 after the race.

“I think all the points that George and I give have been fully listened to. I have no idea where the car is going to be next year but we are a long, long way away.

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“The next six months have got to be the best six months of development we’ve ever had to close that gap. To be really banging on the door.”

Hamilton had to work extremely hard on Sunday following an opening lap collision with Sergio Perez, which was actually caused by Perez initially colliding with Carlos Sainz.

He did very well to remain ahead of Russell in the opening stages, although did force his team-mate off the circuit at Turn 14.

Hamilton was then allowed past Russell in the closing stages of the race for P5, due to the pair being on different strategies.

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The 103-time race winner was “exhausted” after the race and recognised that Ferrari have made a lot of recent progress.

“I’m exhausted, for one. Fighting with absolutely everything I have to get as high up as possible and get ahead of Ferrari, which had an upgrade this week so they were particularly quick,” added Hamilton.

“They have been quicker the last three races. It was a hell of a fight. I scored the most points for the team, I’m really trying to hold on [to second] for the constructors’ title because I really know how important it is for everyone back at the factories.”