Mercedes plan to get Lewis Hamilton back on top in Azerbaijan

Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he doesn’t “feel connected” to the W14, leaving him struggling to perform on track.

Mercedes Formula 1 chief technical officer James Allison has stated that the team is focused on developing suspension updates for the team’s W14 to address concerns Lewis Hamilton has voiced publicly.

In Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, Mercedes struggled to chase down the leaders, finishing behind both Red Bull and the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso.

Across the weekend in Australia, Mercedes showed some promise as they perfected the car’s set up, qualifying in P2 and P3 and securing their first podium finish of the season.

Allison explained that the team is going to take advantage of the extended break between races before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end of the month to shake up the W14 aerodynamics.

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“We are working as hard as we can in the wind tunnel to find more downforce,” he announced in a video on the team’s social media account.

“We will be working as hard as we can in the drawing office to convert the things that the wind tunnel found a few weeks ago into performance that we deliver to the track.

“We will be working in the drawing office also to bring some mechanical parts to the car, some different suspension components that we think will help the underlying balance of the car and make it a more driveable thing, making it something that the drivers have more confidence to push right to the limits.

“And we will be working on the normal sort of simulation loop and routine that allow us to prepare for the race weekends that are coming up, making sure that we land the car in the right place when we get to the race,” he added.

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Having shown a strong start to the Australian Grand Prix, swiftly taking P1 and P2 from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Allison hinted at the team’s optimism ahead of the first sprint race of the season in Baku.

“Sprint races really reward the teams that can land there with a starting set-up that is pretty on the money and ready to go in qualifying, because the time is really compressed in a sprint race weekend,” he explained.

“Those are the things we will be working on and hopefully we work well and strong and have a good showing when we show up in Baku in just a few weeks’ time.”