Lewis Hamilton is hoping Mercedes’ new W09 has retained the qualities of its predecessor and “ironed out a lot of its creases” to perform consistently.
The German outfit’s championship-winning W08 set the standard once again last year but suffered from what team boss Toto Wolff labeled as a ‘diva’ attitude, or an inconsistent performance level at specific venues.
Working close with his engineers over the winter, Hamilton said he provided as much input as possible, along with team mate Valtteri Bottas, to ensure the W09 is an overall better proposition.
“It’s a car that we both pushed and developed through the year last year,” said Hamilton at the team’s Silverstone launch.
“So what we see today is an evolution of both of our driving DNA fused into one. That can only bode well for the team.
- Gallery: The launch of the Mercedes W09
“It’s definitely not moved away from me. I’m very, very close to my engineers, so I’m very much on top of that”, he insisted.
“I’m really hopeful that this year we’ve ironed out a lot of the creases. There’s a different aerodynamic characteristic this year compared to last year.
“We’ve taken some of the good from last year, but there were circuits that we went to where we weren’t that strong, so hopefully we’ve found a compromise which will favour a majority of the grand prix circuits.
“Again, some of the suspension, some of the roll issues that we had, some of the ride issues that we had, some of the floor characteristics, those things will be improved quite a lot.
“But everything’s brand new, all the suspension, everything’s been re-done.”
The four-time world champion actually discovered for the first time the completed W09 when he arrived at Silverstone earlier today.
“It’s a work of art, and it’s really just incredible to see.
“I just walked into garage now and they took the cover off and I was staring at it. How did they do that?”
The British driver underlined the extra weight imposed by the mandatory integration of the Halo cockpit safety device, and cautioned that it could ultimately have an impact on the car’s behaviour
“I’m going to try and veer off the negativity, but cars are getting heavier and heavier each year. That does obviously affect braking zones, there are various challenges in that,” he explained.
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“Obviously the brakes are always on the limit, they’re not really developing much further than they have been the last couple of years, the technology’s limited in the carbon industry, so that becomes more and more of a challenge.
“I hope the cars don’t get much heavier than they are, but next year a seat and a driver can be 80kgs, so I can be a bodybuilder basically, and get the beach look I want!
“There are parts of the lighter cars and nimbler cars of the past that I like, easier to overtake, easier to manoeuvre in combat, whereas the heavier cars, it gets slower.”
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