Lewis Hamilton’s W14 complaints answered by Mercedes’ technical guru

Henry Valantine
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton runs in FP2. Canada June 2023.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton drives a flying lap during free practice. Canada June 2023.

Lewis Hamilton has had his concerns about the Mercedes W14 addressed by technical director James Allison, saying changing his seating position alone will not solve his problems.

Hamilton has been vocal in both his praise and his criticism of how the 2023 Mercedes has handled so far this season, with the W14 having had significant upgrades placed upon it in Monaco as a part of an overall change of concept, following a slower-than-anticipated start to the season.

One of those has been a complaint over where he sits in the car, with his seat being significantly further forward in the cockpit compared to what he is used to.

James Allison: Lewis Hamilton’s seating position ‘not a big factor’

Hamilton’s overall comfort in the cockpit has been compromised by being sat further forward this season, but Mercedes technical director Allison has spoken to the seven-time World Champion about that concern, and he believes there are bigger issues in play with the car’s overall handling first.

The next big upgrade package due at Mercedes is for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, and Allison said, if Hamilton does have his position in the car changed, it will be for a bigger reason than just comfort alone.

“Lewis doesn’t like the handling of the car and he sits in a different position compared to before,” Allison told Auto Motor und Sport in Germany. “Whether one is connected to the other, I don’t want to judge.

“I had some conversations with Lewis about it. I don’t think the seating position is a big factor in the problems he feels with the car.

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“It’s not like we’re talking about 20 centimetres. Lewis has driven cars where he has sat even further forward.

“What he is right about is the criticism of the car’s road holding. It is our task to eliminate this weakness – because that is lap time.

“If we change the seating position, it is for many other reasons and not because we think that alone will solve all the problems for Lewis.”

Hamilton has made it onto the podium in each of the last two races following Mercedes’ upgrades, a P2 in Spain followed up by a P3 in Canada as all three World Champions on the grid sprayed champagne together in Montreal last time out.

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