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Hamilton: Driving ability 'not enough' to make up for Red Bull deficit

Jul 23, 2023Jul 23, 2023

Lewis Hamilton believes his driving ability alone is "not enough" to close the deficit to Red Bull in the current Mercedes.

The team made significant updates to its car concept at the start of the year, switching to a new package at the Monaco Grand Prix which helped bring it closer to Red Bull and finish regularly on the podium.

The upgrade battle has been tight between the teams behind Red Bull, with McLaren now starting to challenge for podiums after a turning around its slow start to the season.

Hamilton feels more needs to be done to close the gap when discussing with media, including RacingNews365: "I'm always trying to rely on my driving ability to make up for the deficit, but it's not been ultimately enough in a lot of places.

"If you look at the race in Silverstone, you may not have seen it, but we were equal in time until Turn 13 (Becketts) to Max on a qualifying lap. Then we just lost the performance and speed after that."

Even though Mercedes has brought updates to its car up to the summer break, it is still working hard to understand the impacts at the factory.

"The thing we can't see is the airflow throughout the car and they're [engineers] just limited," Hamilton explained.

"All the vortices would blow your mind if you saw what's happening underneath the car, which is a lot different to the previous generations of cars.

"Working through that just takes time and also you have very limited resources as well so you have to be careful which decisions you make."

F1 teams only get a certain amount of wind tunnel and computational fluid dynamics hours to develop its car.

Those who finish higher up the order the previous season - including Mercedes and Red Bull - get less time compared to teams who finish at the bottom of the standings, with the totals reset on June 30th to reflect the standings for the second-half of the year.

This has a massive impact on car development, says Hamilton: "If you go full steam ahead in this direction, you could lose weeks of development and it could be tenths of performance.

"So they [engineers] have to be very methodical in the way they go through that process."