Formula One

Lewis Hamilton on car performance at the Canadian GP: “We struggle in the lower speed corners”

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Photo by Hoch Zwei / Icon Sport

Lewis Hamilton had another positive outing in the Canadian Grand Prix, achieving his second consecutive podium after finishing second in Barcelona. More significantly, he now has two podiums in as many races with the revised W14, which looks to have solved a few of the issues that plauged the team during the early part of the season.

As Mercedes made known in the races leading up to Monaco, their previous design with the strangely shaped sidepods proved troublesome. The car did not have great pace and the team was having trouble identifying the weaknesses and getting to the core of the issues. A significant upgrade was brought for Monaco and has shown great promise in both Spain and Canada, especially the former round, which saw both cars on the podium.

In the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, the Mercedes cars started from the second row and Hamilton overtook Fernando Alonso at the start to get up to second. George Russell stayed fourth, until a mistake put him in the wall and he later retired with overheating issues. Hamilton’s pace was not good enough in the first half and eventually Alonso regained second place. In the last stint, the Brit pressured the Spaniard, but was unable to challenge him significalty, despite the Aston Martin nursing rear brake problems.

After the race, Hamilton spoke in the post-race press conference about his day, as well as the performance of his car:

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today. We knew that this weekend, this wouldn’t be our strongest circuit as we struggle in the lower speed corners particularly. That’s really where I was losing to Fernando and to Max, just on traction out of Turn 2, out of pretty much every corner.

But we’ve got a lot of work to do just to add rear downforce to the car, and a little bit more efficiency. But we’re chipping away as I said, and I do believe we will get there at some stage. Max was a little bit gone. But I think our pace was a little bit closer today. So, we’re going in the right direction.

Honestly, it’s been a great weekend for us. I think we are slowly chipping away. I think the Astons took a little bit of a step ahead this weekend when they added the upgrades. But we’re working on bringing some more moving forwards.

These quotes bode well for Hamilton and the entire Mercedes team, for a couple of reasons. First of all, the weaknesses have finally been identified and a further upgrade is in the works, presumably focusing on resolving those weaknesses, namely adding rear downforce and improving traction out of slow corners.

Another positive is the fact that Formula 1 is heading to the Red Bull Ring and Silverstone for the next races in the calendar. Both circuits have limited slow corners, which should play into Mercedes’ hand. The next track which could expose the car’s flaw in lower speed corners is the Hungaroring, which will host the Hungarian GP on July 23rd.

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