The seven-time world champion revealed at the Japanese Grand Prix that he has been pushing for design changes to Mercedes’ 2024 F1 challenger, saying he was “hopeful they do the job but that is going to take real changes real quick.” 

Hamilton also vowed to pay a trip to see the designers in Mercedes’ wind tunnel to “see if they are making those changes” but added he can “only beat the drum so much”. 

On Friday, Mercedes shared pictures of Hamilton during his factory visit.

Hamilton finished a distant fifth at Suzuka, two places ahead of his Mercedes teammate George Russell

The 38-year-old Briton said Mercedes’ performance struggles highlighted the weaknesses of their current car concept. 

Hamilton admitted Mercedes need to deliver the “greatest six months of development that we’ve ever had” to have any chance of catching Red Bull in time for the start of next season. 

He also stressed that Mercedes must “realise that a second gap [to Red Bull] is huge and it’s real.”

“To be two years in and still be a second down compared to the Red Bulls, it’s showing that we need to make sure that we really do a good job over the winter to get back at least half that gap before next year,” he added.