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Hamilton: Mercedes W15 still bouncing, we’ve got to fix it

hamilton mercedes f1

Lewis Hamilton called on Mercedes to sort out the W15 after bouncing his way to eighth place on the grid during Saudi Arabian Grand Prix qualifying on Friday.

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion complained that the handling problem (aka porpoising), which Mercedes thought had finally gone away with this year’s W15, was still plaguing him for the third year in a row.

In the other Mercedes, George Russell was a tenth quicker, good for seventh and an all-Mercedes Row 4 on the grid for today’s race, Round 2 of the 2024 F1 World Championship, in Jeddah. On the night, the pair were nearly a second slower than pole winner Max Verstappen, in the #1 Red Bull.

Afterwards, Hamilton, who is Ferrari-bound in 2025, told Sky Sports: “It was similar to previous years. There are so many elements of this car which are better, but we are being hindered by the bouncing we have.

“We made some changes overnight and this morning the car felt so much better. I was regaining this confidence again then when we got to qualifying it disappeared again.

“We’ve tried every set-up change and we can’t get rid of it. It’s difficult to explain it. We had some bouncing in Bahrain but nowhere near as intense as here,” added the sport’s most successful driver of all time.

Hamilton: There is potential there but…

Hamilton urges Mercedes to fix bouncing after P8 in Qualifying

The sport’s best qualifier, Hamilton almost failed to make the final top 10 shootout and said he really struggled in the first super-fast sector of the Corniche circuit: “If you imagine when the car goes up and down at the back, your balance shifts forwards and rearwards

“If you are doing that at 160 or 170mph, correcting that each time… “We’ve got to fix it. It’s like three years in a row. We’ve got to get on top of it,” the Briton urged, with a direct poke at his team to get the W15 on the right track.

Hamilton’s last Grand Prix victory, the record 103rd of his career, was in Saudi Arabia in 2021 when Jeddah made its debut on the calendar.

“We’re still trying to understand this car because we saw it in FP2 in Bahrain, we were P1 and P2.  was P3 and P4 yesterday in practice and the pace was looking good. There is potential there but we’re still trying to wrap our heads around it and learn about it,” Hamilton added.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the car was quick but on a knife-edge. “The drivers are struggling to squeeze out the lap consistently,” explained the Austrian. (Writing by Alan Baldwin)