Lewis Hamilton has issued a stark warning to Mercedes rivals, telling them the W11 is the team’s “best car” so far.
Hamilton has had the chance to drive some incredible cars since joining Mercedes in 2013.
His 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019 cars all carried him to World titles while in 2016 Mercedes also produced a title-winning car, just that year the crown went to Nico Rosberg.
This year the Mercedes W11, equipped with DAS, has already shown itself to be a race-winning car.
Valtteri Bottas took the opening win at the Austrian Grand Prix while Hamilton romped to the Styrian victory, leading home a Mercedes 1-2.
He reckons this car is the best yet.
“Firstly I don’t think there’s ever been a car that I’ve driven that’s been easy to get into working,” the Brit told Motorsport.com.
“Because the conditions are always different, corners are always different. There are corners that it works well in, and corners that it doesn’t. And that never changes.
“There have been a couple of cars in the past that have been – I think Toto [Wolff] mentioned one being a ‘diva,’ which was not the word that I particularly had used – but you know, it was a real handful the majority of the time.
“This one’s more refined. We really worked hard last year, in really being clear and concise in picking out what the issues were with the ’19 car and what we wanted to do moving forwards.
“And that just continues to come from the great communication that we have as drivers with the team, with the engineers, the understanding we have with the terminology we use, and the team really take that in, and then have implemented that into the car today.
“But we’ve only been to one track. It’s still not easy to get the lap out of the car, but I think that’s F1 in general. But it is the best car that we’ve had so far.”
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) July 12, 2020
But while Mercedes raced to the 1-2 at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton says this weekend’s Hungarian GP could be a different story.
The six-time World Champion reckons Red Bull could enter the fight.
Hamilton, though, is chasing a record eighth Hungarian GP victory which would tie him with Michael Schumacher on the most wins at a single grand prix.
“It is obviously naturally different to last week’s circuit being that here it’s not a power-demanding circuit, it’s more about the downforce/efficiency,” he said.
“So if we look at the previous years we’ve been here, the Red Bull has generally gone well. They tend to do even better on the circuits like this and Monaco, where it’s all about the downforce package.
“So it will definitely close up the whole field and it’s going to be a real challenge – [and] I think a good battle.
“We already saw some great performance from them in practice in Austria and I think they’re still very strong in the race.
“I think here is going to be even more so. So we really need to bring our A-game this weekend.”