Lewis Hamilton launches own investigation as rival team’s floor catches his eye

Henry Valantine
Lewis Hamilton in the Las Vegas drivers parade.

Lewis Hamilton is without a win since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton is looking for every angle he can to try and feed information back to Mercedes to improve their fortunes, having even looked at the backmarking AlphaTauri’s floor to see if anything was usable for his team moving forward.

The seven-time World Champion says he takes “snapshots” of every car to bring back to his team in the hope of finding anything that can be used to improve, with a second consecutive winless season about to conclude, should he not take to the top step in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Hamilton says he is fully engaged with Mercedes’ team back at their Brackley base and pushing for any extra time they can find, and is keeping his “fingers crossed” that this winter can be beneficial for the team.

Lewis Hamilton taking ‘snapshots’ of every car, including AlphaTauri’s floor

Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey is well-known for never having his famous notebook too far away from his grasp on the grid, as he looks at every other car when he gets the chance.

‘Inspector Seb’ was the affectionate nickname given to Sebastian Vettel when he took a peek at his rivals’ machinery as well, and it appears Hamilton is doing the same as he looks to help spearhead Mercedes’ rise back to the top of the Formula 1 field.

Without a win since the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, this is the longest barren streak in the Mercedes driver’s illustrious career, but his quest to get back to victories again is unabating, even if the Silver Arrows started on the back foot again this year.

“I don’t know,” Hamilton responded to Channel 4 when asked if his podiums and pole position in 2023 are a sign of improvement compared to last season.

“I mean, last year, we had a race win in Brazil, but it doesn’t really mean it’s necessarily getting better – we still started the season a second and a half down in Bahrain.

“You know, it’s nice definitely to be progressing and we have seen progress with this car, so fingers crossed for winter.

“But I’ll be staying, I’m in touch with the head of aero and I’m just like checking up on him every week like: ‘How are we doing and what have you tried? Where’s the progress? Have you tried this?’

“I take snapshots of every car, I saw underneath the AlphaTauri the other day and I went back and was like, ‘hey, they’ve got these things on their floor.’

“You know, you’re just trying to find everything that you can pass on, [but] they know most of the stuff anyway.”

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Hamilton headed into the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend with a mathematical possibility of overhauling Sergio Perez for P2 in the Drivers’ standings, but as someone with seven P1 finishes, he admitted that was not of interest to him anyway.

But with Mercedes now locked in a tight battle with Ferrari heading into Abu Dhabi, with only four points separating them going to the season finale, he is looking to secure as high a Constructors’ finish as possible to help team morale.

“It doesn’t really make any difference to me,” he said with a laugh when asked if achieving second in the Drivers’ Championship remained a goal. “I’m sitting at Christmas and I’ll be like, ‘oh, I came third instead of second or second instead of third’.

“The one that I might be proud of is getting second for the team, just knowing how hard everyone’s worked back at the factory.

“It’s been a tough two years for everybody, but the fact that we are fighting for second in the championship is pretty amazing to recover in that way.”

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