Ex-F1 Tech Director: Hamilton Believes Copying Red Bull Will Make Mercedes Faster

Anderson criticized Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in his column for Telegraph

by Sead Dedovic
Ex-F1 Tech Director: Hamilton Believes Copying Red Bull Will Make Mercedes Faster
© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Mercedes hasn't had a great start to this season. Despite fans expecting them to make a step forward, it hasn't happened. Former F1 technical director Gary Anderson is one of those who has commented on the chaotic situation within the team. 

The W15 car was one many had high expectations for. Judging by the first two races, the W15 is anything but a car that can compete for the top spot. 

Anderson criticized primarily Lewis Hamilton in his column for Telegraph, who will leave the team after this season. 

Anderson disagrees with Hamilton's view and believes that just copying Red Bull's concept doesn't necessarily mean you'll achieve great results. Anderson thinks the W15 has many shortcomings.

“After the race Hamilton said that big changes need to be made to the car.

He mentioned that the other teams around them still have different concepts, but Hamilton is talking about what you can see.

The critical parts on these cars is the underfloor and Hamilton does not know what the other teams are doing there. What you can see is not necessarily what makes the car work.

He seems to be of the frame of mind that if Mercedes make their car look like a Red Bull it will go as fast as one – it will not. The W15 needs a lot more work than the visual concept but the worry is that they still do not understand what a ground-effect car needs."-Anderson wrote, as quoted by planetf1

Anderson mentioned that both drivers, especially Hamilton, have been trying different ways to set up their cars during the race weekend, similar to what they did last year. He thinks Hamilton is trying to find a setup that will magically make the car faster. However, Anderson doesn't believe that just changing the car setup will suddenly make it much better.

Gary Anderson and Fernando Alonso
Gary Anderson and Fernando Alonso© Clive Mason/Getty Images Sport

Anderson's words suggest a certain doubt towards Mercedes and their crew. For a while now, they've been trying to find the right formula for success but seem helpless. They need to change many things to compete with the top teams. This situation is anything but optimistic. The team that dominated for years seems to be sinking day by day, and there's no solution in sight.

Gary immediately saw after two races that this team resembled the one from 2022 and 2023 when they had identical problems. It seems they lack the strength to overcome its limitations. Anderson believes that this team must be realistic and understand they have a huge problem that needs to be solved. What is particularly interesting is that this former technical director believes that the Mercedes team fools themselves. Although they looked much better during practice sessions in the first two races, their performances afterward were not ideal.

Garry Anderson on Red Bull and McLaren's progress

Mercedes has several rivals that Lewis Hamilton spoke about after the last race. The Brit then pointed out that his team was stagnating. The imperative is to be better than the rivals, but Mercedes cannot do anything to stop the others. For them, the most important thing is that they try to progress, and for now, they are not succeeding.

Their former main rival, Red Bull, is far ahead of them, as well as other teams. Verstappen's convincing victories in the first two races are probably an indication that we could see a repeat of the 2023 season.

Anderson just put the accent on it.

“This suggests they are running the car lighter on Friday in order to give themselves confidence. Their rivals push harder as the weekend progresses and Mercedes drop back to their true position.

On raw pace alone in Jeddah they were the fifth-fastest team. In the race and using the same tyre strategy George Russell finished 40 seconds behind race winner Max Verstappen. Lewis Hamilton finished 46 seconds off Verstappen, on a slightly different strategy of a long stint on the mediums and then the softs for the final 13 laps."- he continued.

Gary believes not only that Mercedes is far behind Red Bull, but also McLaren. He has decided to commend McLaren and their efforts to progress. Anderson spoke about the issues Lewis Hamilton is facing, such as the loose rear end.

Anderson stressed how Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton want their cars to get better, similar to how McLaren improved in 2023. McLaren started that season poorly but figured out what they needed to fix and got much better.

Anderson doesn't think Mercedes knows yet how to make their car a lot better like McLaren did. So, he doesn't expect Mercedes to do much better in races coming up soon, like in Australia, Japan, or China. 

Red Bull Mercedes Lewis Hamilton