Mercedes failed to get on the podium in Bahrain as Hamilton finished P5 and teammate George Russell finished P7.
Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton made a shocking revelation on a podcast, stating that Mercedes did not pay heed to his suggestions to improve their 2023 F1 challenger as per The Guardian. Mercedes had a torrid start to their 2023 Formula One campaign, failing to deliver on expectations. The team suffered a difficult 2022 and many expected the silver arrows to make a comeback this season. However, that was not the case at the 2023 Bahrain GP. Mercedes failed to get on the podium as Hamilton finished P5 and teammate George Russell finished P7. Although both cars finished in the points, the result was far below Mercedes standards as their rivals Red Bull earned a 1-2 finish.
“Last year, there were things I told them. I said the issues that are with the car,” Hamilton told the BBC’s Chequered Flag podcast. “I’ve driven so many cars in my life. I know what a car needs. I know what a car doesn’t need. I think it’s really about accountability. It’s about owning up and saying, ‘Yeah, you know what? We didn’t listen to you. It’s not where it needs to be and we’ve got to work’”.
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“We’ve got to look into the balance through the corners, look at all the weak points and just huddle up as a team. That’s what we do,” Hamilton added. “We’re still [multiple] world champions … just haven’t got it right this time. Didn’t get it right last year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get it right moving forwards.”
After a solitary run to fifth place in the Bahrain Grand Prix, which served as the season’s opening race, Lewis Hamilton was left with no doubt that Mercedes had distanced themselves even further from the front of the F1 field in 2023. After a tumultuous 2022 campaign, Mercedes stuck to their guns and persisted with a distinctive “zero sidepod” design, but over the course of the Sakhir weekend, they fell behind Red Bull, Ferrari, and Aston Martin. In fact, the Mercedes-powered cars were over a second off the pace in qualifying, and Hamilton’s lead W14 crossed the finish line more than 50 seconds after race winner and reigning world champion Max Verstappen.
“I genuinely loved the racing. I had a great start, got Fernando in Turn 4 and I was like, ‘Oh jeez, this is a great start to the race’. It felt like one of my better opening laps,” the seven-time world champion said. “Then I just was sliding around. I had so much understeer at the beginning, I took so much wing out, I couldn’t get around some of the corners, and I just couldn’t keep up with the guys ahead. My middle stint was good and then at the end I was so close to catching Carlos [Sainz for fourth position], but [it was] not good enough. We’re the fourth fastest team now, as opposed to the third last year. We’re going backwards, [so] we really have a lot of work to do to close that gap.”
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