Mercedes could bring upgrade to Australian Grand Prix to help fix Lewis Hamilton woes

Lewis Hamilton refuses to let 2021 season ‘define’ his career

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Mercedes could provide Lewis Hamilton with solutions to their car issues as early as two weeks’ time at the Australian Grand Prix. According to the Italian branch of Motorsport.com, the team could fit a new aerodynamic package ahead of schedule in Melbourne in a bid to get a grip with their issues.

The part was initially scheduled to be introduced at Imola or Spain but it is believed this has been pushed forwards. Further upgrades are expected in Spain but this will already be six races into the season.

Hamilton already finds himself 29 points behind Drivers’ Championship leader Charles Leclerc and time is running out if the Silver Arrows want to compete for the titles in 2022. The team has struggled with porpoising issues down the straights which is shredding lap time.

The team experimented with a range of different solutions in Jeddah but are yet to find one that works well. Hamilton was knocked out of Q1 on Saturday in his worst qualifying performance since 2017.

He fought back to finish tenth in the race to score just a single point while Russell fared slightly better in fifth. Andrew Shovlin, trackside engineering director at Mercedes reiterated the team were targeting Australia to get a handle on their issues.

He said: “It’s been a tough weekend and we need to go back and regroup ahead of Melbourne. The circuit here has been more difficult for us than Bahrain and we’re under no illusions where we stand at the moment but we need to remain focused and effective.

“We have an enormous challenge ahead of us, but over the last eight years the team has been able to get on top of every performance issue that we have faced.”

Although perhaps more concerning is the Mercedes powertrain’s apparent lack of performance.

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Russell was the only Mercedes-powered car in the top 10 shootout on Saturday while the other customer teams were knocked out alongside Hamilton in Q1 or later in Q2. Ferrari seems to have provided the quickest powertrain with their customer teams such as Haas and Alfa Romeo seeing a resurgence up the field.

Last week McLaren’s Lando Norris, who runs a Mercedes powertrain, hit out at the lack of pace from his car.

He said: “I mean, it definitely doesn’t help. I think we definitely lack performance on that side compared to the other guys. But I’ve also seen other issues with other guys [Red Bull], so reliability is good, and I guess that’s a positive at the moment.”

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