Lewis Hamilton warned by Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton is hunting down Sergio Perez for P2 in the Drivers' Championship, as the Mexican continues to underperform.

Mercedes are set to introduce a modified floor this weekend at the United States Grand Prix, although technical director James Allison has warned that the Silver Arrows won’t suddenly be faster than Max Verstappen.

The Brackley-based team head to the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on the back of a deeply frustrating Qatar Grand Prix, where a double podium was on the cards.

Instead, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell collided at the first corner, causing both drivers to spin.

Hamilton was forced to retire from the race and later accepted “full responsibility” for the accident, whilst Russell managed to get going again and recovered to fourth.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Thankfully, Ferrari failed to eat into their advantage in second place in the Constructors’ Championship, as Carlos Sainz failed to start the race.

Mercedes, therefore, enter this weekend with a 28-point lead over Ferrari, with the hope being that their modified floor will improve the Silver Arrows’ lap time.

As well as introducing the floor for better performance, Allison has stressed that it’s also for the outfit to see if they’re heading in the right direction, in regard to the development of the W15 for 2024.

“Hopefully it will give us a bit of lap time,” Allison said in Qatar, as reported by Crash.net. “That’s always a benefit.

Article continues below

“But it is mostly a useful thing because it’s a bellwether for whether we’re on the right track.

“In lap time terms, it will be small. Useful, but don’t expect us to have leapt past Max [Verstappen].”

Since changing concepts at the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this year, Mercedes have learnt an incredible amount about where they need to improve for 2024.

According to Allison, the Germans now gave a “pretty clear-sighted view” of how to develop the W15 correctly, making working on next season’s car “extremely enjoyable”.

READ: Max Verstappen speaks out on clashing with his race engineer

“I think that much of what ails us now is reasonably well-understood and we’re working to fix that,” Allison explained.

“I feel like all of us got a pretty clear-sighted view of what we want to do with the car.

“This championship, while we haven’t made the really impressive progress that McLaren have, we have nevertheless been charting a path through the season that gives us a very clear idea of what we need to put right.

“So that makes the next years fun, very exciting to look forward to, and actually this period of the year extremely enjoyable.”