Mercedes-AMG Motorsport‘s Lewis Hamilton believes that the team can make major changes in developing their 2020 car, following difficulties with last year’s W10.
The British driver enjoyed much success in 2019, securing the sixth Championship win of his career, beating team-mate Valtteri Bottas. He is now within touching distance of the record held by the great Michael Schumacher.
Nonetheless, he still thinks improvements can be made to the car, after noting it was particularly difficult to drive during qualifying.
Speaking to Auto Motor und Sport, he said: “It was a better car than last year .
“Many things that I asked for in the briefings with the engineers last year have gone into the 2019 car. But many things regarding aerodynamics and driving dynamics have a long lead.”
While he said that improvements have been made through his feedback, he points to difficulties that still remain in terms of the handling, the car not driving as well as Sebastian Vettel‘s Scuderia Ferrari.
“But there are still fundamental things in the car that are not yet perfect. For example, the characteristics of bumps or curbs are still not spectacular.
“When I look at the on-board camera footage of the Ferrari as [Sebastian] Vettel drives over it, his car is much quieter. For me, the car moves so much that sometimes I can barely see the curb.”
Despite the challenge with the package, the 34-year-old said that in some areas they are still performing well.
He said: “We are stronger when you look at other aspects. It becomes more difficult to understand the tyres since there is so much involved.”
He added that he perceived his weaker qualifying performance last year was due to it not being as easy to get consistent one lap performance out of the car.
“It was pretty quick in the racing trim. From Bahrain I knew how to handle the tyres in the race.
“In qualifying, I didn’t make it 100 percent by the end of the season. There are moments when you think you understand everything, and then you come on a new route and everything is different again.”