While tasked with “damage limitation” over last week’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton and teammate George Russell completed the race in third and fourth after a surprising end to Red Bull’s weekend as both cars retired from powertrain issues.
But the 7-time world champion is feeling optimistic about his time at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit while addressing the fact the the team “can’t rely every weekend” on issues plaguing other cars.
“We have issues and we’re fighting to fix them. There’s a lot of potential within our car. We’re just trying to work as hard as we can to rectify them as quick as possible.
“I have no doubt that I’ve got the best group of people behind me in order to come up with solutions and fix it and extract performance.
“So, I don’t currently feel too stressed. But I want to get in the fight as soon as possible. We need to move fast forward as fast as we can.”
He was asked to define the numbers behind the issue of increasing drive height to counter porpoising:
“The cars that are ahead of us, for example, have an incredible amount of low-speed downforce.”
While Hamilton is confident of a Mercedes turnaround, he moved to play down expectations for Jeddah given it runs back-to-back with Bahrain.
“A huge amount of work has gone on in the past three days.
“[I’m] very proud of my team for just keeping their heads down, staying focused, churning through the crazy amounts of data that there is.
“We’re aware of the problems we have, but in terms of what’s causing it, we’re just working through trying to figure that out and how we can rectify it without losing performance.
“From such a short time between races, there’s not a huge difference here this weekend.”
Hamilton is very excited for the “super fast” track which promised to be the fastest street race of the F1 circuit. Although he admits that the straights of the track “might not be too fun” thanks to the levels of porpoising that he and George are still having.
Jeddah has undergone a number of changes (explained here), and Hamilton is excited to exploit these:
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“From a driver’s perspective, that’s exciting when you get in the car just trying something new and hoping that it unlocks a bit of performance.”