Lewis Hamilton says that ‘moments of oversteering and messy driving’ are proof that Mercedes is not hiding its performance in tests and that they are ‘not inventing’ its problems. Mercedes did not look overly convincing during testing in Barcelona and now in Bahrain.
Although they appeared in Bahrain with a radical version of their W13 car, with almost non-existent sides, Mercedes struggled with re-steering the car, bouncing and blocking the brakes. Especially yesterday Russell and Hamilton struggled with rotating and stopping the car in turn 10, where Russell got off the track very wide several times.
Hamilton did a few short stints today in which he set fast times, and although he was on the softest component of Pirelli tires (C5), he ended up with much slower times than the drivers who were ahead of him on harder tires.
Hamilton's new teammate George Russell praised the performance of the new Ferrari car, but Carlos Sainz said it was "typical Mercedes behavior" and said his GPS data team saw that Mercedes was deliberately hiding the speed.
Lewis Hamilton on the car
Asked for his opinion on Sainz's comments, Hamilton said that his team does not hide its speed and does not 'invent' problems with the car: . “We would be really, really good if we did all those moments of re-driving and messy driving just to hide our tickets.
That is not the case. Others suffer less. But who knows, maybe next week we will have a better understanding, "Hamilton said. The W13 seemed sluggish and difficult to drive, and both Russell and Hamilton struggled. There was also a noticeable and significant bouncing of the car in the direction.
Hamilton said ‘wind and bouncing’ were the main problems today. "We're working on a lot of different scenarios and trying to figure out how to keep downforce — how to stop 'jumping' cars. I think everyone has the same problems." "Some have managed to solve this in a better way.
But it's hard. It is slippery, there is a lot of sand, a strong wind is blowing. It's too hot in the morning, too windy in the evening. It's hard to drive. The car is not happy at the moment and we are trying to tame it. " Hamilton says he does not expect the problems currently plaguing Mercedes to be "easily solved".
Asked where Mercedes would end up driving tomorrow, the seven-time champion replied: “I really don't know. From what I've seen today, Ferrari would probably celebrate a double victory — or maybe Red Bull. Who knows?"