Lewis Hamilton gives update on Mercedes W15 seating after 2023 complaints

Michelle Foster
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton leads George Russell

Mercedes are under the pump this season.

Lewis Hamilton says “finally” he’s happy with his seat position in Mercedes’ new W15, and it played a role in his P1 time on the opening day of the championship.

Last season Hamilton revealed he wasn’t comfortable with the positioning of the cockpit of the W14 that he felt was too far forward, limiting his feel inside the car.

Explaining that Mercedes sit “closer to the front wheels than all the other drivers”, he added that the “cockpit is too close to the front.

Lewis Hamilton reveals ‘better feeling’ after 2023 seat complaints

“When you’re driving, you feel like you’re sitting on the front wheels which is one of the worst feelings to feel when you’re driving a car.”

The team wasn’t able to do anything about it at the time with Hamilton forced to wait for the arrival of the all-new W15 to resolve the issue.

And that’s exactly what Mercedes did with the W15, pushing the position of the seat 10cm backward.

But while that may not sound like a lot, for Hamilton it has made a huge difference with the Briton confirming it has given him a “better feel for the car” having set the pace on Thursday in Bahrain.

“My seat position is finally further rearwards, I’ve got a better feel for the car approaching the corners,” he said.

That, though, is by no means the only issue Mercedes have worked on with Hamilton stating: “There are areas that have been fixed and improved.

“It feels like a race car for once and the last two cars didn’t feel like that, so it’s a really good platform for us to work on and we’ve just got to keep our heads down and keep on chasing.”

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George Russell: Mercedes listened to Hamilton’s wishes

After last year’s damning revelation that Mercedes didn’t listen to him when it came to the car, which he doubled down on in Netflix’s Drive to Survive when he revealed Mercedes told him “you’re wrong”, Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell says this year the team has listened to the seven-time World Champion.

That, though, doesn’t mean they have ignored what he needs from the car.

“Lewis and I have put out a huge amount of work into helping steer the team in the direction we want to go,” Russell told the media including PlanetF1.com’s Thomas Maher.

“Obviously with Lewis’ experience, the car has been designed around his wishes with the car being sat further rearwards than we were last year, the Red Bull-esque sidepods on the side, and a slightly different steering rack.

“So, it’s good that the team have sort of been listening to that, but we need to see if that translates into lap time.”

He added: “I’m happy with the changes that were pushed into this car and I think as any driver you just need to adapt to whatever you’re given.

“We’re sitting further rearwards this season. For me, it’s a small change, not better, not worse.”

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