F1 preview: A lap of the Monaco Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton has made a major U-turn on his views on Mercedes mechanics just months after criticising the squad. The seven-time champion stressed engineers “know exactly where they need to go” with the development of the car as he praised their hard work.
Earlier this season, Hamilton revealed Mercedes bosses had not listened to him over the design of the W14. He demanded those responsible “own up” for their actions as he called for “accountability” as the team struggled.
Speaking in Monaco, Hamilton said: “There’s a lot of people on the team that have had all the success that we’ve had in the past. And there’s a lot of people that haven’t had that success yet and are super hungry. I’m really encouraged when I do go back to the factory and see just how hard everyone’s working. Last year we were a little bit lost in terms of how to fix the issue that we had.
“I feel like the team now have a much… they have a north star, they know exactly where they need to go and we’re working on how to get there. But yeah, the amount of work has gone in is incredible and I’m very, very grateful for the hard work.
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“I’ve been so excited to get in the car and feel these changes and I feel that hopefully puts us on the right path now to progress forward and try and catch the guys ahead.” Mercedes have a series of new upgrades for this weekend as the team attempt to close the gap to Red Bull.
Toto Wolff has confirmed the team has a series of aerodynamic updates including a new floor and front suspension. The team’s ‘zero pod’ system has also been ditched for a more traditional concept used by their rivals.
Mercedes endured a season to forget last year after falling so far behind Red Bull and Ferrari. However, the team were handed some hope towards the end of the campaign after George Russell won in Sao Paulo.
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The German marque decided to stick with its existing concept for 2023 but continued to struggle as Aston Martin leapt ahead. This prompted Hamilton’s attack after the season-opening Grand Prix in Bahrain.
Hamilton said: “Last year, I told them the issues that are with the car. Like, I’ve driven so many cars in my life, so I know what a car needs, I know what a car doesn’t need. And 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’.”
Weeks later, Hamilton revealed he “likes to be right” and admitted he pointed out his earlier prediction to those in the team.
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