June 14, 2024
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton recently dropped an appearance at the GQ Global Creativity Awards in New York. At the event, the seven-time world champion was lauded as “the Formula 1 transcending powerhouse.” He was then also asked about his 2024 F1 campaign. While he was blunt enough to accept his struggles so far, he did share his optimism as well. He believes that since the season is long, Mercedes have ample time to make progress and close the gap to the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari.

As quoted by the Associated Press, Hamilton said, “It’s going pretty bad at the moment but it’s a long, long season so there’s plenty of time for progress.” The #44 driver’s assessment of his early season form is spot on.

Mercedes have indeed again failed to get on top of the ground-effect regulations as the team is still struggling to find pace and predictability with the W15. The biggest concern faced by the Silver Arrows at the moment is their apparent lack of clarity about where they have gone wrong with their car concept.

As admitted by Toto Wolff, the data on their simulators has failed to correlate with their performance on track. Step one towards the progress Hamilton hinted at would be to pinpoint the problems with their design philosophy.

Hamilton’s optimism comes from what the likes of Ferrari and McLaren managed last year in terms of cutting down the gap to Red Bull over the course of the 2o23 season and the winter break. However, Mercedes aren’t in a similar position as Ferrari and McLaren are in at the moment.

While McLaren and Ferrari have both managed to find more pace against Red Bull, they’ve done so by improving on their basic foundations from the 2023 season. On the flip side, Mercedes failed to get their concepts right at first, and hence, find themselves in a difficult position. At the moment, all they can do is experiment with the car until they figure out a way to find more pace with the W15.

Mercedes look forward to the post-Lewis Hamilton era with optimism
Mercedes mostly do not have any sense of optimism when it comes to the 2024 season after a difficult start to the new campaign. Similar struggles will most likely follow suit next year with the regulations carrying forward. However, 2026 sees a regulation overhaul in the power unit department.

Mercedes have naturally pinned their hopes on acing their new engine to give them their best chance of fighting back to the front of the field. The team also has considerable expertise in this region, given how they dominated the turbo-hybrid era of the sport by winning eight consecutive Constructors’ Championships.

But coming to the present, it seems as though Mercedes are struggling both on and off the track. Lewis Hamilton’s departure is also going to be a big blow for them.

Moreover, while they were reportedly expecting to sign Fernando Alonso as a replacement for the Briton, the Spanish racing ace has now signed an extension with Aston Martin instead. This leaves the Silver Arrows with few options to choose from to partner with George Russell from next season onwards.

https://x.com/f1_naija/status/1780191940887105559

One option Mercedes could consider is signing Carlos Sainz, who will leave Ferrari to make way for Hamilton. Meanwhile, another option Toto Wolff can consider is giving 17-year-old Italian prodigy Andrea Kimi Antonelli a huge promotion to F1.

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