Lewis Hamilton feels Mercedes have not improved since the first race of the season despite bringing a raft of upgrades. The recently concluded Miami Grand Prix saw the Silver Arrows introduce a new front wing, a low downforce rear wing and a beam wing.
Mercedes seemed to have made a step forward after George Russell topped the second free practice session, but fell behind during qualifying and the race. The former Williams driver finished fifth after being aided by a late Safety Car with Hamilton again settling for a place behind his younger teammate in sixth.
Mercedes remain the third fastest team on the grid, but they are continuing to fall behind title challengers Red Bull Racing and Ferrari. Max Verstappen took his third win of the season with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz joining the Dutchman on the podium with the Silver Arrows duo a distant 20 seconds behind the race leader.
Hamilton is hoping Mercedes can find a solution to their porpoising problems sooner rather than later. However, the seven-time world champion feels the team are yet to make any improvements despite bringing upgrades at recent events.
“Unfortunately not,” Hamilton told Sky Sports after the Miami GP. “We’re the same speed as we were in the first race and we just haven’t improved in these five races.”
“But I’m hopeful at some stage we will. We just have to keep trying and keep working hard.”
While Hamilton and Russell are certain the car has tremendous potential if they find a solution to their porpoising issues, team principal Toto Wolff has not ruled out a return to the old concept. Mercedes unveiled a car with side pods for the first test in Barcelona, before revealing their extreme sidepod-less machine in Bahrain.
“We need to find out how we can make the current car work predictably for the drivers,” Wolff said. “I wouldn’t discount anything, but we need to give all of our people that have produced great race cars in the past the benefit of the doubt and we believe this is the route to go.”
“We are faithful to the current concept. We’re not looking at the lady next door if we like it more or not, because it’s still good. We need to understand, before we make a decision on another concept – where did this one go wrong? And what is the goodness of the concept and what is the badness of the concept?”