Hamilton admits ‘big changes’ still needed with Mercedes ‘mirroring last year'

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes are currently “mirroring what we did last year” and still require “some real big changes” to compete with Red Bull in F1 2024. 
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Merc
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Merc

The seven-time world champion finished a strong second-place behind Max Verstappen’s dominant Red Bull at the Mexico City Grand Prix to cement Mercedes’ recent progress and put the disappointment of his Austin disqualification behind him. 

Mercedes’ competitiveness has taken a notable upturn since the introduction of their last major upgrade in the United States, with a modified floor giving Hamilton more confidence in the W14. 

But despite the improvements, Hamilton cautioned that Mercedes still have plenty of work to do in order to catch Red Bull over the winter. 

“It definitely gives us a lot of confidence,” Hamilton said. 

“I mean, last year, at the same time, we were doing the same thing, but last year, I think we were three-tenths behind Max in quali – or something like that, and I came second again but he walked off with it. 

"So, we're really just mirroring what we did last year. So, we have to make some real big changes for next year. Because obviously, in Bahrain earlier this year, they’re 1.5 seconds a lap faster than us at least. 

“So key is to make sure that's not the case in Bahrain [next year], but I think hopefully these next couple of races will be close. But I’d probably put money on it that he’d get to 18, 19, with that car.”

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico,
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W14. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

Encouragingly for Mercedes, Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race on the final tour, suggesting he had more pace in hand as he finished 13.8 seconds behind Verstappen at the chequered flag. 

Asked whether he could have pushed harder during the final stint on mediums, Hamilton replied: “Yeah, for sure. I could have pushed a little bit harder but I did at one time try to see, okay, I think I've saved enough, let me see if I can try and close this gap to Max. 

“I think it was like 10 laps to go, and I did a 22.0 and Max did a 21.9. I was like, ah, I’ll leave it. He was just cruising at 21.9. So yeah, so I thought I'd leave it there. 

“And also, I had to be cautious, just careful because obviously my tyres… if I really pushed them for the last 10 laps, they probably would have opened up, and who knows, maybe Charles would have caught me up. So, I just had to be cautious with that.”

Read More