‘It’s not over yet’ – Lewis Hamilton opens up on ‘very complex’ Mercedes situation

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, in the paddock at Suzuka.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton has said the situation regarding Mercedes’ cars is “very complex”, with the team having had to “knock down and try again” with different aspects of their cars since the start of the new regulation cycle in 2022.

Mercedes have earned one race victory since the turn of the new ground effect era through George Russell at Interlagos that season, but seven-time World Champion Hamilton is going through the longest winless run of his career to date.

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes haven’t ‘yet’ mastered new regulations, but ‘it’s not over yet’

Hamilton retired from the Australian Grand Prix last time out to make it what he described as his “worst ever” start to a season from a results perspective, but remained positive about the prospects for the year ahead.

Mercedes still appear to be behind Red Bull and Ferrari in the early pecking order, with McLaren and Aston Martin also in the pack to try and be ‘best of the rest’ as it stands.

When asked in Japan by Sky’s Ted Kravitz why Mercedes seem to have struggled to have mastered this current set of regulations, Hamilton responded: “Well, we just haven’t yet – it’s not over yet.

“But I think with this sport, I think it’s just naturally difficult. If you start on the right foot and, you know, if your first brick down has got a good foundation, you can just continue to build on it – and I think that’s what we had experienced in the past years.

“Whereas when we started with this generation of car, we started with five bricks, good weight, we had to knock it down and try again, knock it down, try it again and take off that performance basically.

“And we’ve made all these changes, tried everything, sometimes lost our way, then found it and then lost again. I think it’s just very complex.”

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In a separate part of the same media session at Suzuka, Hamilton explained his reasons for optimism with the car, however – with both he and George Russell having been complimentary of the W15 at different times so far this year.

Given the glimpses of performance he has seen from the current Mercedes car, Hamilton is feeling positive about what could be unlocked – but gave two key facets the team need to improve for that to happen.

“I definitely do feel more optimistic about this car, yeah,” he said.

“Obviously, the first couple of races, there’s been small showings of the car feeling great and we have pace for a moment, and then it kind of disappears.

“So there’s definitely performance there, we just need to work on making this car more consistent and easier to drive.”

Read next: George Russell’s pragmatic assessment with Suzuka set to expose W15’s weakness