Lewis Hamilton’s thoughts on copying the leading Formula 1 car means it is not a given that the Mercedes W15 will follow the Red Bull concept, pointing out that did not work for Aston Martin.
Hamilton endured a further frustrating campaign in F1 2023, as the seven-time World Champion went winless for the second season running.
This time around his Mercedes team also failed to pick up a victory, for the first time since the 2011 campaign.
Lewis Hamilton claims Aston Martin ‘copy’ did not work
While Red Bull ran away with proceedings in F1 2023, winning a remarkable 21 of the 22 grands prix held, Mercedes found themselves in a battle with Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin to be recognised as ‘best of the rest’.
Successfully clinching P2 in the Constructors’ Championship, it appeared in the first half of the season that Mercedes would find Aston Martin to be their biggest threat in the P2 battle, but the team, now armed with the services of former Red Bull aero chief Dan Fallows among their new recruits, could not keep up with the pace.
Aston Martin admitted to getting lost with their upgrade programme, but as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff teases a “more conventional” concept for the Mercedes W15, Hamilton warned that just copying the Red Bull will not work in F1’s cost cap era, as he says Aston Martin found out.
“I think we have understood the car so much better,” said Hamilton, as per The Race.
“We have developed great tools in the background. So naturally, I’m hopeful, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
“The thing is with the timeline you have and the limited resources you have, you can’t just throw it away and start from scratch, you can’t copy a car and start from that.
“Look at the Astons, they tried to copy a car and it wasn’t the same. It is not as easy as that, you have to try and take the good parts and through trial and error just try to add other parts.
“But you can imagine they are also nervous of making too big a change and it being the wrong one.
“We need to be consistently week-on-week adding performance and we have higher targets than ever before because we have a massive gap to catch. That makes it really tricky.”
Hamilton though does have “faith” Mercedes will get back to winning ways, the team having claimed a record-breaking eight Constructors’ titles in a row between 2014-21, Hamilton winning six World Championships during that period.