Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
FP1 in
17 days
09 May
Next event in
22 days
23 May
Race in
40 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
61 days
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
04 Jul
Next event in
78 days
18 Jul
Race in
96 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
110 days
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
05 Sep
Race in
145 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
169 days
10 Oct
Race in
179 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
194 days
31 Oct
Race in
201 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
221 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
243 days

Hamilton: Mercedes no longer has rotation weakness

Mercedes has managed to cure the one weakness its long-wheelbase Formula 1 car concept has had in terms of difficulty with corner rotation, says Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton: Mercedes no longer has rotation weakness

The German car manufacturer has differed from other teams in electing to run a longer car during the latest rules phase.

While the length of the car offers greater opportunity for improved downforce – as there is more car area for airflow to influence – it has meant it is not as nimble in corners as shorter rivals like Red Bull.

While Mercedes has always believed that its long concept is the right way to go for the current rules set, it has had to battle hard to try to overcome the increased difficulty its drivers face in getting the car rotated in corners.

Hamilton says that he has been surprised other teams have not pursued the Mercedes idea, especially now that the team made changes this winter to the W11 that have helped it wipe out its problem area.

“With last year’s car for example, we had the longest car,” he said. “It’s definitely been a bit of a surprise to see that none of the other teams have gone to the longest car.

“We’ve been winning with the longest car since 2017, and they [other teams] are so stuck in the way they do things, in that ‘we’re still going to keep our car shorter.’

“Being that it’s a long car, it’s obviously got great downforce, but it’s not as nimble as a shorter car. Last year our car was good through medium and high-speed corners, but was quite poor in low-speed corners. The car would not rotate as well as we’d like.

“We started this year in winter testing and the car had similar characteristics. I had some challenges that I put towards the team in terms of how we set the car up, which changed that. It’s difficult to say too much but that difficulty we had last year with the car rotating, we don’t have that problem any more.”

Read Also:

Hamilton says he is a driver who always prefers a responsive front end to a car, which has not always been something that Mercedes has delivered in recent seasons.

However, he says dialling out the setup characteristics has not been the work of the moment, because of the complexity involved in ensuring a change in car balance does not hurt the tyres too much.

“I’ve always preferred a more positive front end in the car,” he said. “But there’s a limitation with these tyres. The front has a limitation, the rear has a limitation, grip wise. There’s saturation, there’s thermal deg and there’s only a certain amount you can do with the mechanical balance before it affects the other end. It’s like a see-saw.

“Last year our car was definitely very, very strong at the rear, and the car was generally driven by the rear end. The front was a lot more understeery last year. You struggled a lot more when you go over the tyre [grip] and no matter how much we put the mechanical rearwards it wouldn’t really fix it. This year we have made some changes.

“With the aero balance it’s a much longer process. You can’t just change it. Definitely over the winter we fixed it and moved the aero balance more rearwards, so the car was shifting different, and also at different steering angles and different yaw. So it definitely is working a lot better.”

For a full interview with Hamilton, where he talks about his role in developing the Mercedes car and opens up on his working relationship with Mercedes, click here.

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen: F1 2022 rules not designed to stop Mercedes

Previous article

Verstappen: F1 2022 rules not designed to stop Mercedes

Next article

Wolff was "pretty relaxed" about Russell’s Williams future

Wolff was "pretty relaxed" about Russell’s Williams future
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021