Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes complaint analysed at F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

"Balance" and "weight transfer issues" mentioned as experts assess Lewis Hamilton's struggles

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd…

The problems that Lewis Hamilton experienced in qualifying for the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix have been debated.

The Mercedes driver mentioned “intense bouncing” - a horrible reminder of the key issue which has blighted the cars from the past two F1 seasons.

But other details have been noted after Hamilton battled to a P8 starting grid position in qualifying.

“This weekend, particularly Lewis has complained about the balance of the car,” Naomi Schiff said on Sky Sports.

“What he was referring to was possibly a bit of weight transfer issues.

“Anti-dive is something that can into effect on a track like this, where you limit the amount of roll from the front to the rear, so your weight distribution is even.

“That way, when you dive into the corner, it doesn’t make the rear light.

“Which seems to be what he’s complaining about here. The others - the Red Bull - just seems to not be rolling from front to rear.”

Bernie Collins described the Mercedes W15 in Saudi Arabia: “A quick car in a straight line and they are confident in their race pace.

“But unfortunately, on this track, it is difficult to overtake.

“So what can they do? Can they do something strategically? It’s going to be on a knife-edge - waiting for a Safety Car or jumping early, waiting for an undercut.

“It’s going to be a real cat and mouse game.”

Hamilton will begin behind both Red Bulls, both McLarens, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes teammate George Russell.

Hamilton was asked what is causing the bouncing that he experiences in the W15.

He replied: “We've tried every set-up change. We can't get rid of it. It's difficult to explain it.

"We had some bouncing in Bahrain but nowhere near as intense as here.

"That first sector is super high-speed with a lot of yaw in the car and a lot of lateral load and the bouncing really offsets the car quite a bit.

"If you imagine when the car goes up and down at the back, your balance shifts forwards and rearwards.

"If you are doing that at 160 or 170mpm, correcting that each time...the others like Max are flat through six, seven and eight  and the balance is just stable. That's what we are working towards.

"We've got to fix it. It's three years in a row. We've got to get on top of it."

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