Lewis Hamilton reveals ‘hope’ for Mercedes’ Imola upgrades

Mercedes are expected to introduce a new concept on the W14 at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton has openly admitted that he’s “aware” catching Red Bull won’t be an overnight job, with the Mercedes star noting that it could “take a long time” to catch the dominant Austrians.

Red Bull are currently in a complete league of their own, with the side enjoying dominance to the same level that Mercedes enjoyed at the start of the turbo-hybrid era.

The Milton Keynes-based team are seemingly a step ahead of everyone, with it having been that way since the start of the new aerodynamic regulations.

Whilst Ferrari started strongly last season, they couldn’t deliver a consistent package throughout the year, whereas Red Bull continued to build in stature.

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Mercedes on the other hand, were behind both last season, with the team having realised only at the start of the 2023 F1 season that they need a new concept.

The new concept for the W14 is expected to be introduced at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Mercedes will be hoping to make a huge stride towards Red Bull.

Hamilton is aware, though, that it might not happen straight away even if the Austrians incredible RB19 does start to plateau, with the likelihood being that Red Bull will be able to extract further performance from the car.

“I’m aware that it could take a long time to catch a car. If you look at the Red Bull, is just going to continue to evolve most likely,” Hamilton said.

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“Although some cars do plateau in terms of performance, when you get to some point, it can’t just keep going. But maybe it can.

“They’ve got a great team around them, so I’m sure they’ll continue to add downforce.

“We’ve got to make sure when we do make the change, hopefully the job isn’t too far and it’s going to take us the rest of the year for sure to potentially close that gap.”

Hamilton is “hopeful”, though, that the new concept in Imola will have an instant impact, with the 38-year-old knowing that the Brackley-based team do know how to “develop quickly” a car.

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“There’s a part of me that’s just hopeful that we find the trick and we’re straight onto the right track that’s not far away from the others,” he added.

“We’ve shown in the past that we can develop quickly, and I hope that that’s the case as the potential of the car opens up.

“The guys can go full steam ahead in that direction. I’m grateful that they are open to making a shift and not being stuck with what we have.”