Lewis Hamilton says there was a direction he wanted to go in this year in developing the W12 that was blocked by Mercedes’ 2022 focus.
With the widespread regulation changes coming, teams have this year spent as much time if not more preparing next year’s cars as they have developing their current machinery.
Despite that, Mercedes have still managed to provide Hamilton with a highly capable car, one that has been good enough for him to lead the World Championship with seven rounds to go.
However, it has not been nearly as dominant as last year, with the Red Bull as good if not stronger than the W12.
There was a direction in which Hamilton wanted to go with it that was blocked by the fact the German team are focusing on next year’s challenger.
“We’re not developing like we have in the past,” he told Sky Sports in Turkey.
“In terms of direction, there’s been a direction I’ve wanted to go but we can’t because we are focused on next year’s car.”
Got race cars to build. 🔧⚙️💪 Busy one for the Team in Istanbul. pic.twitter.com/DscuOrUyYe
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) October 7, 2021
The Briton is still happy with the car he does have at his disposal and feels he knows how to get the best out of it, but says Red Bull are too strong to catch without development.
“I mean, by this time, if you don’t know your car and you don’t know how to get the maximum out of the car, I don’t know what you’ve been doing,” he continued.
“I was hoping for a bit of a stronger second half [of the season] but up until now they’ve [Red Bull] just been too strong, you know? They’ve been so strong in so many races.
“He [Max Verstappen] was already in sixth or seventh place from last [on the grid] in the last race by lap 20. It shows just how strong the car is, no problem passing anybody.
“We have to face that. They’ve developed for longer than us this year, they’ve brought more upgrades. I think they’ve brought upgrades to every race, to a point. I don’t know if they still are but we haven’t brought an upgrade since Silverstone.
“We are just trying to maximise what we have and that’s the challenge, but we are giving it everything we can.”