Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Formula 1 driver, claims that latest W14 carries the troubled legacy of 2022 Mercedes F1 car.
Mercedes happily reported “no bouncing” issues on the first day of testing in Bahrain. The team remained focused on the porpoising issue as it limited their car’s ability to perform throughout the last season.
However, the W14 struggled to balance itself in the mid corners for both drivers, Hamilton and team-mate George Russell. In the afternoon, the latter had to park because of the hydraulics failure.
Hamilton spoke about W14
The team managed to resolve the issue with overnight tweaks, which settled the handling issue. However, Hamilton insisted that the car is carrying the “underlying” issues from its predecessor W13.
The most successful F1 British driver said: “It’s difficult to sum [progress on new car] up.
“We’ve had a couple of difficult days and yesterday particularly was difficult. The first day didn’t feel too bad. Yesterday was a little bit more of a struggle.
“George has had a much better morning today [running to second in the times behind Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc]. So things are going up, so hopefully we’ve got the set-up in the middle of the place.”
Hamilton compared the W14 to its problematic predecessor: “Right now, for example, the bouncing that we had has pretty much gone. That’s a huge step for us.
“It’s nice to drive it without the bouncing in the corners. But there are still some underlying things that we are working through.”
The seven times world champion expressed low expectations of his new car. However, he expressed his intent to help the team troubleshoot the issues through the data.
He said: “It’s going to be tough for everyone with this short period of testing.
“We’re trying to make sure we hit the ground running in understanding the car, the tyres and the ability to respond. There are things we’re working through.
“Some of the balance limitations that we had last year are present. I’m really proud of everyone in the team for continuing to remain positive after a tough year last year.
“Amazing work through the winter to arrive and have the mileage that we’ve had. Every single year they arrive with the same mental focus and determination to fix whatever issue we have.
“I enjoy being in the offices just chugging away going through the data. We will hopefully get there.”