Former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi expressed that he felt embarrassed to witness such a talented driver as seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in a slow car.
Mercedes had a host of issues to remedy in their W13 automobile which, despite being touted as a game changer and a significant improvement on their previous builds during the launch earlier in the year, proved to be riddled with issues such as porpoising and a distinct lack of speed when compared to other manufacturers such as leaders Red Bull and Ferrari.
“When they presented the car in Bahrain everyone said ‘oh my God, they have made something very special and they will be untouchable,’ Alesi said.
“But lap after lap they found out the car was nowhere. And to see Lewis Hamilton driving a car like that was sometimes embarrassing because Lewis is a seven-time World Champion,” the former Ferrari driver continued.
The team has made significant changes to the car that they unveiled at the start of the season, but are still yet to challenge for a race win this year.
“But to see his capacity to still improve the car, that was impressive. In Hungary, it was fantastic to see George [Russell] on pole position and Lewis fighting towards the front.”
Hamilton, who has managed to win at least one race in every F1 season he has contested in, remains winless in the ongoing edition of the championship.
After improved showings in recent weeks, Mercedes remain confident of picking up a race win before the end of the season.
But Alesi views this as a daunting task despite the measures taken by Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and his team to solve the issues that persisted with the car in the early weeks of the season.
“By experience, when a car is born with problems you’re not able to fix it,” explained Alesi.
“You can make a compromise, but a compromise in Formula 1 doesn’t work. So I don’t really believe they are able to be a winning team, winning Grand Prix before the end of the championship under normal circumstances.”
With nine races remaining in the current season, Hamilton will be looking to continue his 15-year record by claiming the top podium position in at least one of the remaining circuits.