Lewis Hamilton now hopeful Mercedes have found ‘North Star’ in W15 development

Michelle Foster
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes garage with his 44

Lewis Hamilton brought his W15 home in sixth place at Imola

Accepting Mercedes have “not done the best of jobs” in recent times, Lewis Hamilton is buoyed by their updates as they have found their “North Star”.

Mercedes struggled in the first two years of Formula 1’s ground-effect aerodynamic era, prompting a complete overhaul of their Formula 1 car in the winter.

Mercedes have found their ‘North Star’ but change ‘takes time’

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

Having already scrapped the zero-pod concept last year, this year’s W15 saw the team redesign the sidepods, nose, rear suspension and cockpit positioning to name just a few changes.

The results, though, haven’t been what the team expected with Toto Wolff speaking of early-season correlation issues.

But putting new parts on the W15 in Miami and Imola, Hamilton believes Mercedes are moving in the right direction as they’ve found the “North Star” to chase with the car’s development.

“There’s a long way to go,” he told the media including PlanetF1.com at Imola.

“I’m just really excited for the developments that are coming. We had a step in the last race and we have a step this weekend and there’s more in the pipeline.

“I feel like we have found more of a North Star in what we need to do and change, it just takes time.

“But the energy in the team is amazing, they are so resilient in this team. They are continuing to push even though we have been knocked down quite a few times.

“We are going to continue to keep our heads down and stay focused and do the best job we can each weekend.”

Hamilton finished the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in sixth with George Russell P7 with the fastest lap of the Grand Prix.

More on Mercedes’ Imola improvements

👉Toto Wolff: Mercedes not pushing for ‘miracle update’ in approach to W15 improvements

👉Lewis Hamilton reveals current W15 pace gap with update on Mercedes wind tunnel

One up side for Mercedes is they have complete confidence that their issues don’t stem from the power unit.

After customer team McLaren won the Miami Grand Prix with Lando Norris, they followed that up with a runner-up result at Imola where Norris was just 0.725s behind Max Verstappen at the line.

“I think we’ve always known that the engine is not the problem, the engine is great,” Hamilton said. “I think the guys continue to do an amazing job in terms of developing that technology.

“With the hybrid area, we have been right at the top in terms of our development rate, and performance, and reliability. So that hasn’t ever been an issue. So anyone buying our engines knows what they’re getting.

“But we know on the car side we haven’t done the best of jobs in the last couple of years. And we’re working as hard as we can to rectify that.”

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