Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton Shares Optimism Over W14’s Performance in Austin, Despite Setbacks

In the recent Austin Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton expressed his most positive feelings yet about Mercedes’ W14 F1 car. Despite a disqualification setback, Hamilton’s optimism shines through, reflecting Mercedes’ promising direction.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hamilton’s Positive Outlook: Despite losing his P2 podium finish due to a disqualification for excessive wear on his car’s skid block, Hamilton remains optimistic. He acknowledges the effectiveness of the upgrades and feels this is the most positive he has felt this year about the car’s performance.
  • Mercedes’ Strategic Development: A new floor introduced in Austin, aimed at developing the 2024 car, unexpectedly improved the W14’s performance. Hamilton’s near-win in Austin signifies a significant step forward for Mercedes.
  • Potential Victory on the Horizon: Hamilton believes that the improvements made to the W14 could lead to a victory before the end of the 2023 season. He notes that even minor upgrades have boosted his confidence and performance.

Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time world champion, recently expressed his most positive sentiments of the year regarding the performance of the Mercedes W14 F1 car. This came after a promising showing at the Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) in Austin. Hamilton’s weekend was highlighted by a strong performance, marred only by a subsequent disqualification due to a technical infringement.

Mercedes introduced a new floor for the Grand Prix, focusing on the development of their 2024 car. This change unexpectedly led to an enhanced performance of the current model. Hamilton capitalized on these improvements, finishing just a narrow margin behind the race leader, Max Verstappen. Despite the disqualification, which cost him a P2 podium finish and 18 points, Hamilton’s upbeat attitude was evident.

In a post-race interview, Hamilton shared his experiences with the media: “I’ve felt great from lap one on Friday… And this is the first weekend that I’ve really felt the upgrades work. So I felt really positive, and incredibly grateful. I know how hard everyone’s working back to the factory so it’s nice to finally start to see the rewards of the hard work and to feel it in the car as well. I think this is definitely the most positive I’ve felt this year but in general it’s been not a terrible year. But yeah, just knowing the work that’s happening, I’m in constant contact with head of aero and the team back. I just feel like everyone’s really on their toes and really ready to go. There’s lots of things that we can improve on in terms of the processes and all of us, but I’m excited. I definitely believe that we’re going in the right direction.”

When questioned about his chances of clinching a win before the end of the 2023 season, Hamilton remained hopeful, attributing his confidence to the recent upgrades. He stated: “Yeah definitely. I think the step that we were able to take this weekend has given me a little bit more confidence in the car to throw it into the corner so it was positive. I really enjoyed driving around this track. There are still those fundamental issues that we’re having with the car, which won’t change till next year. But it was really positive, as I said, to feel that the steps that we have taken. Maybe it was only a 0.1 upgrade for example, but there was at least a 0.1 of confidence that it gave me so this helped me. So it’s quite interesting what you see when you do have those, it’s like a double knock-on effect.”

Hamilton’s recent performance and his positive outlook for the future signify a potential upturn in fortunes for Mercedes as they continue to refine and improve the W14. This optimism, coupled with strategic developments, could very well set the stage for a strong finish to the 2023 season and a promising start to the next.

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