Hamilton reveals Mercedes’ progress and problems ahead of F1 2023 season
Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes teammate George Russell started pre-season testing with a low-key performance at the Bahrain International Circuit. While their rivals Red Bull and Ferrari traded the fastest times, the Mercedes duo focused on steadily racking up laps with their new W14.
However, Mercedes’ efforts were hampered by a hydraulics failure on the second day of testing, which caused Russell to grind to a halt and resulted in the team missing out on some crucial twilight running. Reflecting on their test so far, Hamilton admitted that Russell’s incident added to an already “difficult” start to the test week for Mercedes.
Despite seemingly curing their bouncing issues, Hamilton revealed that the team was still facing limitations in other areas. He explained, “Right now, for example, the bouncing that we had has pretty much gone, so that’s a huge step for us. It’s nice to drive without the bouncing for once, but there are still some underlying things that we’re working through.”
When asked about Mercedes’ position in the pecking order ahead of next week’s season opener, Hamilton replied, “It’s difficult to know.” He continued, “Some of the balance limitations that we had last year are present – we’re working through them. [But] I’m really proud of everyone in the team for continuing to remain positive after a tough year last year, [doing] amazing through the winter for us to drive and have the mileage that we’ve had.”
Hamilton is currently in the cockpit of the W14 for the final afternoon of running in Sakhir, taking over from Russell during the Saturday lunch break. As the seven-time world champion’s quest for an eighth title continues, it remains to be seen how Mercedes will fare in the upcoming season.