Lewis Hamilton has issued a warning about the persistent “bouncing” challenges Mercedes faces with the W14, particularly on bumpier circuits.
While striving to secure the second spot in the Constructors’ standings ahead of Ferrari, the Silver Arrows have encountered difficulties with mechanical bouncing since the reintroduction of ground-effect aerodynamics in the previous season.
These issues have compounded with early aerodynamic porpoising troubles.
Hamilton’s focus is now on Sergio Perez, who has been grappling with form and confidence, although the seven-time champion recently missed an opportunity to narrow the gap by crashing out at the first corner of the Qatar Grand Prix.
Speaking to the media, Hamilton candidly acknowledged the recurring “bouncing” issues that have plagued the Mercedes W14 throughout the season.
He stated, “This car is going to bounce for the rest of the year.
“But I feel optimistic for next year that it won’t be a characteristic on the car.
“It comes and goes – some races it isn’t bouncing, and some races it is.
“But it is nowhere near as hardcore as when we had it [last year].”
In their bid to regain competitiveness after two title-less seasons and a strategic shift in development earlier this year, Mercedes is working diligently on a new car for the upcoming season.
When asked about his role in helping the team, Hamilton emphasised that he is not directly involved in designing or building the car.
However, he highlighted his contributions in terms of feedback and discussions with the engineering team.
Hamilton elaborated, “The best thing I can do is deliver on the weekends, but I do continue to have lots of meetings back at the factory on so many different topics: about the car, ride quality, vehicle dynamics, whether it’s suspension, steering, tires – whatever it may be.”
He noted that the collaborative process between himself and teammate George Russell has become more engaging, allowing them to delve deeper into various technical aspects.
The Mercedes drivers actively participate in meetings that include engineers who may not attend Grand Prix events, fostering an open exchange of ideas and insights.
Hamilton explained, “We often have meetings where we are both in that room together, so we are able to deep dive on any questions that the engineers that don’t potentially get to come to Grands Prix, they can ask.”
With the season nearing its conclusion, Hamilton reaffirmed his commitment to giving his all until the end of the year.
He acknowledged the importance of allowing the Mercedes engineering team to focus on their core responsibilities in preparation for the upcoming season.