Lewis Hamilton believes there are “fundamental things” Mercedes can improve with its 2020 Formula 1 car following its "not perfect” W10 challenger.

The Briton enjoyed more championship success as he convincingly beat Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to the 2019 crown, racking up his sixth world title to move within one championship of matching Michael Schumacher’s all-time record, while Mercedes secured an unprecedented sixth consecutive world championship double.

But Hamilton insists there is still areas for improvement for both him and his team after its 2019 W10 car proved fast but hard to drive at times, particularly during qualifying.

“It was a better car than last year [2018],” Hamilton told Auto Motor und Sport

“Many things that I asked for in the briefings with the engineers last year have gone into the 2019 car. But many things regarding aerodynamics and driving dynamics have a long lead.

“But there are still fundamental things in the car that are not yet perfect. For example, the characteristics of bumps or curbs are still not spectacular.

“When I look at the on-board camera footage of the Ferrari as [Sebastian] Vettel drives over it, his car is much quieter. For me, the car moves so much that sometimes I can barely see the curb.

“We are stronger when you look at other aspects,” he added. “It becomes more difficult to understand the tyres since there is so much involved.

“It’s fascinating when you look at it. The temperature of the brakes, of the tyre itself, the pressure of the air in the tyre: the engineers are miles ahead of me in that regard. Yet they cannot calculate what I do in the car. 

“We may communicate with each other on a different frequency, but we still know where to find each other. The most important thing is to be clear about what they can take from my impression.”

While Hamilton claimed 10 race victories, he could only manage five pole positions across the season, the same number managed by Bottas. Hamilton reckons his weaker qualifying record in 2019 was the result of Mercedes’ W10 being harder to exploit one lap performance out of.

Asked how long it took to understand Mercedes’ W10 concept, Hamilton replied: “It was pretty quick in the racing trim. From Bahrain I knew how to handle the tyres in the race. 

“In qualifying, I didn't make it 100 percent by the end of the season. There are moments when you think you understand everything, and then you come on a new route and everything is different again. 

“In the course of a year there were bumps that did not exist before, you try to understand how the tyres react to one type of asphalt. That is the art. I still want to work my way into how the grip develops over the circuits.”

 

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