“It’s a Sad State of Affairs”: Lewis Hamilton’s Disproved Excitement Leaves Mercedes Exposed

“It’s a Sad State of Affairs”: Lewis Hamilton’s Disproved Excitement Leaves Mercedes Exposed

“It’s a Sad State of Affairs”: Lewis Hamilton’s Disproved Excitement Leaves Mercedes Exposed

Credits: IMAGO / Michael Potts

Lewis Hamilton’s own optimism during the Japanese GP weekend has left Mercedes exposed. The #44 driver, after FP1 on Friday, claimed that the W15 had delivered its “best session for us so far” per GrandPrix.com. However, into the Grand Prix, the Silver Arrows suffered from aerodynamic instability and tire wear, which eventually landed Hamilton a disappointing ninth-placed finish.

Reviewing the Suzuka weekend, ex-Ferrari manager, Peter Windsor pointed out a lack of understanding within the Mercedes camp about their own design philosophy. Their failure to understand the latest “ground-effect” car concept is the reason for their nagging unpredictability from one session to the other, Windsor feels.

Speaking to YouTuber CameronF1, Windsor said, “It’s a sad state of affairs. When they say they are making progress, and yet around Suzuka, one of the best circuits in the world, Lewis Hamilton is blown away by an Aston Martin. What does that tell you? This is the Mercedes factory team we’re talking about.”

After the Friday practice sessions in Japan, Hamilton was confident that the team had brought a competitive package to the Suzuka International Circuit. The seven-time world champion even commended the balance of the car as being the best in the last two years.

However, into qualifying and the eventual race, Hamilton’s hopes withered away. Plagued by their usual gremlins, the Briton qualified in P7 while his teammate, George Russell could only manage 9th. During the Grand Prix, the two Silver Arrows inverted positions as the 39-year-old slipped down to 9th and Russell clinched seventh at the chequered flag.

Mercedes are still clueless about their drop in performance

The problems that slowed the W15 down in Japan were the same as they faced during the 2024 Australian GP. Hence, Mercedes are still not able to zero in on the issues that are making the W15 such a handful to drive.

In Melbourne, the team experimented with a low-downforce package that did improve their rankings in terms of top speed and straight-line prowess. However, the car was excruciatingly cumbersome to handle in the corners.

The team’s technical boss, James Allison also revealed back then how their low-downforce gamble had not paid off during their customary debrief on YouTube. However, they made the same mistakes in Japan again.

Toto Wolff himself has admitted to a lack of correlation between the data on their simulators and actual track performance. According to the Austrian, the Silver Arrows were missing a staggering 70 points of downforce due to higher track and ambient temperatures in Suzuka.

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