Lewis Hamilton’s post-French Grand Prix was very intense. On Monday and Tuesday he spent many hours connected via-Zoom with the Mercedes engineers, busy analyzing the Paul Ricard race, then yesterday he went to the Brackley headquarters.
“They are all fully committed – underlined Lewis – nothing is left to chance. We need everyone, the maximum contribution from all of us to be able to challenge Red Bull ”.
Mercedes has compacted after the (scorching) defeat of Paul Ricard, and the work program planned for Spielberg promises to be very intense, but net of one variable. “Tomorrow we have some important tests planned that will have to tell us if we are in the right direction – underlined Hamilton – but we must hope that there is no rain”.
“We have analyzed many things that have happened in France, there have been different areas in which we have lost positions, many choices that if we had done differently they could have determined a different result. We have analyzed the many processes, the way we communicate and the way choices are made, and we hope to be able to see results already this weekend ”.
“We know how strong they are – continued Lewis referring to Red Bull – but we are not approaching this weekend thinking of being inferior. There are three long straights on this track, and so far we have seen that they go very fast on the straight, so it could happen here too, but let’s see. My approach is optimistic, we have learned a lot from the last race and we hope it will help us take a small step forward ”.
The impression is that Mercedes will review some basic setup choices, starting with downforce (excessive downforce was a problem in France) which may be less than what the team is used to.
“In the last race we lost three and a half tenths only on the straight – underlined Hamilton – I don’t know if it is a question of power unit power or drag, probably a combination of the two”.
The 2022 contract? Work in progress…
At the beginning of the season, both Hamilton and Toto Wolff had been clear in not wanting to repeat the timing of the contract renewal for the 2021 season. In fact, the talks have already begun, towards an outcome that seems obvious.
“We have begun to discuss – reiterated Lewis – there is not too much to say, and the talks are positive”.
A little surprisingly, and not too solicited, Hamilton then pronounced words of esteem towards Bottas, once again launching a clear message, namely that he would still like him by his side.
“We have both had ups and downs in our careers – he confirmed – but Valtteri is a fantastic teammate and I see no need for change. As far as I’m concerned, he was the rider with whom I found myself best, and when I say best teammate I don’t just mean performance, but I also talk about team morale, work sharing, and many other aspects ”.
“At the moment he is not my teammate – Lewis replied – so there is no need to say anything”.