Hamilton approves Mercedes car in F1 2024: “We have evolved”

If Mercedes’ last two participations in F1 pre-season tests brought more doubts than certainties with the inefficiency of the German team’s previous cars, 2024 seems to be a more promising year for the team that hasn’t won since 2022 in the category. 

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At least that’s what Lewis Hamilton says, third fastest in this Thursday’s sessions in Bahrain.

“It was a productive day. We learned a lot from the W15, both in race pace and laps. We’ve clearly made progress on this year’s car, and it’s much better to drive. A big thank you to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth, I’m really Thank you for all the hard work”, said the seven-time champion.

It’s worth remembering that in 2022 and 2023, Mercedes insisted on a car with narrow side air vents (sidepods), dubbed “zeropods”. 

The concept did not pay off but was only definitively abandoned in May of last year; in March, Hamilton revealed that the eight-time champion did not listen to his advice on the project.

For the W15, the name of the 2024 car, the team guarantees that it has faced a complete change of philosophy. 

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On Wednesday (21), the first day of testing, it presented a car with an additional detail on the front wing: its uppermost flap was connected by a carbon thread to the vehicle’s nose, a strategy that aims to increase efficiency in directing the airflow through the single-seater.

The eight-time constructors’ champion’s first day at the Sakhir Circuit yielded less. George Russell was only 12th overall. This Thursday, however, Hamilton showed good pace and secured the third best lap of the day, behind RBR’s Sergio Pérez and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

“We still have some progress to make, of course. But we have a good base to work from. We’ll continue with our heads down, working to find improvements in the rest of these tests and next week. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car tomorrow morning and continuing the learning”, he added.

It is worth remembering that this will be Hamilton’s last chance to seek his eighth championship with the German team, which he has represented in F1 since 2013. This is because he will be a Ferrari driver and will form a partnership with Charles Leclerc from 2025.

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