‘So it’s not just an age thing!’ Hamilton jokes about porpoising affecting him and younger team-mate

Mercedes appeared to struggle during the second pre-season test in Bahrain.

Sir Lewis Hamilton has said that Mercedes will have to use the opening few rounds of the season to learn about the car following an erratic pre-season test for the eight-time constructors’ champions.

The Briton has been joined by compatriot George Russell ahead of the 2022 season after the departure of Valtteri Bottas, and the pair put in 777 laps over the six days of testing in Bahrain and Barcelona.

But they appeared to encounter difficulties in  the second test last week as the car became a victim of the “porpoising” issue posed by the all-new ground effect led aerodynamics under vastly different technical regulations.

The seven-time champion admits that it may take a while for the Silver Arrows to get up to speed in 2022.

“The testing has been difficult,” he told media and fans at the Dubai Expo.

“It’s crazy because, years ago, we used to have a lot of test days and now we only have, literally, three days in the car altogether? So it’s not a lot of laps.

“When we go into this race, this week, we’re still learning about the car – we probably will be for the first four races at least.”

The 37-year-old acknowledges that the bouncing is causing issues to him and his team-mate physically as well as affecting the performance of the car.

“We’ve got a lot of problems. As you have seen, everyone’s bouncing up and down,” he added.

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“It’s interesting, because I was worried that, you know, I’m 37 now, so I’m racing against George [Russell], he’s only 24, right? But he had problems and he was feeling it in his back. So it’s not just an age thing!” he joked.

Despite the issues they face, Hamilton is looing forward to working closely with the engineers to get to the bottom of them, and he maintains that everyone at the team’s bases in Brackley and Brixworth are relishing the challenge.

“The great thing, right after this, I have a conference call with all the guys back in Brixworth, talking about the engine, about driveability, about how we can get more power out for this week,” he stated.

“Then I have another conference call with all the engineers up at Brackley, on how we can push this car forward, how we can stop it from jumping, how we can extract all the performance for it.

“So everyone’s hyped, everyone’s excited, and these engineers, they love the challenge. So it’s good.”

Hamilton has previously suggested that Red Bull and Ferrari will hold an advantage over Mercedes at the beginning of the year, insisting that his team are “currently not at the top.”