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Hamilton: We suck in the low-speed corners

Hamilton: We suck in the low-speed corners

Hamilton: We suck in the low-speed corners
Lewis Hamilton singled out the current weakness of his Mercedes W14 after finishing third in the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix, and that is the low-speed corners.

Hamilton had a great start from third on the grid, overtaking Fernando Alonso for second, but the Spaniard came back at him later on regaining his position, but the seven-time Formula 1 Champion tried to launch an attack on the #14 Aston Martin after the second round of pit stops.

However, and while nursing a rear brake problem, lifting and coasting, Alonso had enough pace in reserve to pull away and beat Hamilton to the runner up position of the race.

Later in the cool down room, chatting to his fellow podium sitters, Hamilton admitted that he was struggling in the slow corners.

“We suck in the low-speed corners,” he told race winner Max Verstappen. “That’s where you’re just destroying me, out of the low-speed – actually pretty much all the corners.

“Your rear end is insane, but yours [Aston Martin] is pretty awesome too,” he added, addressing Alonso.

Fantastic to be consistent

Later, in the media pen, Hamilton told Sky Sports TV: “Just to be consistent and be fighting for a podium relatively up there consistently is fantastic for us.

“Ultimately it was a difficult weekend for some people. If the Ferraris qualified where they should have, they would have been a bit quicker than us and they would have been difficult to overtake,” he pointed out. “But that wasn’t the case and overall we did a better job than everyone else.

“We just need to work on the performance of the car, particularly at the rear. That’s the biggest weakness. Particularly in low speed I couldn’t keep up with those guys,” the Briton lamented.

However, the winner of seven Canadian Grands Prix remained optimistic that Mercedes have turned a corner; he commented: “We are on the right track.

“We have just got to add a lot more performance in the low speed. I’m forever grateful for everyone back in the factory.

“We have just got to keep churning away and I will try to keep pulling out these results. We have to beat the Astons that’s for sure,” Hamilton concluded.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was also encouraged by Hamilton’s result; he said: “Today’s race was an encouraging one for the Team.

“We knew that Canada was going to be one of the more difficult circuits for us, so to come away with a podium is a solid result. We were also not too far away from Max [Verstappen], much closer than we would have expected at the beginning of the season.

“The margin is still large, so we have lots more work to do. We are on a positive trajectory though and the update package clearly works well,” he concluded.

A different story on the other side of the Mercedes garage

While Hamilton delivered a strong result, his teammate George Russell hit the walls coming out of Turn 9 after hitting the kerbs hard, bringing out a Safety Car, and while he was able to go on, he retired later in the race from brake issues.

A disappointed Russell said after the race in Mercedes’ press release: “Apologies to the Team. We’ve put so much hard work and effort into this weekend and a small mistake has had massive consequences.

“I was doing everything I could to put Fernando (Alonso) under pressure. I then ran a little bit wide and hit the kerb; next thing I knew I was in the wall. That’s at least 12 points that we’ve left on the table today,” he regretted.

“We did a good job after that to get back into the mix,” Russell went on. “Sadly we had an issue with the brakes which forced us to retire the car. They felt OK from my side, but the Team can see the data and could see that we couldn’t continue.

“I’m disappointed with the race today but there are positives we can take away. The car was quick on a circuit that we weren’t expecting to be that competitive and we took the fight to those around us.

“The Team is doing a great job and the future is exciting. Let’s see what the upcoming races bring,” the young Mercedes driver concluded.

“George was unlucky today,” Wolff commented on Russell’s race. “He hit a large kerb and tried to keep it cornering and ended up in the wall. He was pushing hard, and this car is still a little bit difficult at times. He ultimately retired with brake wear issues.”

Despite Russell’s retirement, Mercedes still lead Aston Martin in the F1 Constructors’ Championship by 13 points in second.