Lewis Hamilton and George Russell hit Toto Wolff with Red Bull-related request before W14 upgrade

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell demanded their team to consider Red Bull’s car design when it became clear that the Silver Arrows’ zero sidepod concept had failed.

Ever since there has been a change to technical regulations, Mercedes has won just one out of 28 races to have taken place. Red Bull, meanwhile, has won 23 of those races and dream of winning all Grand Prix this season.

Lewis Hamilton. Credit: motorsport.com
Lewis Hamilton. Credit: motorsport.com

The Monaco Grand Prix finally showed fans a glimpse of the team’s new car concept after another difficult start to the season after last year’s disappointment.

Having understood at an early stage in the current season that their Mercedes W14 was not up to task, Hamilton admitted making a special request to his team.

“The input that we’ve been having as a team, George and I, over the past year, it’s those constant conversations going like: ‘Why does that look like that and we look like this?’, ‘Have we tried that?’”

It is evident that the upgraded Mercedes is a complete shift from the old design and rather similar to Red Bull’s RB19.

“We now have the wider sidepods that are more in the direction of where the Red Bull is,” Hamilton said.

“It’s not been my decision to go that way.”

Porpoising had plagued Mercedes and especially Hamilton during the first half of last season.

While it hasn’t hampered proceedings this time around, the design in itself has not helped in great performance.

“It’s been clear that when we dropped the car back on the ground in the first test, it’s basically the identical twin, really, to last year’s car except for the bouncing,” he said.

“So really the better-looking sister. But still with some of the very similar characteristics and how it drives, apart from the bouncing.

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Credit: planetf1.com
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. Credit: planetf1.com

“We’ve taken note of where we are and we’ve gone wrong and now we’re just slowly chipping away and trying to navigate our way back to the front. It’s just a long process, unfortunately.”

The Silver Arrows don’t expect a miracle as a result of the change, but are hoping that they can trim the advantage that Red Bull currently has at the top.

“There’s been around a second delta in race trim, for example, we haven’t covered that with this step but it is a step in the right direction,” said Hamilton.

“What I felt last weekend was I felt a little bit more confident in the car, more able to commit to the corner.

Toto Wolff. Credit: motorsport.com
Toto Wolff. Credit: motorsport.com

“So I’m hoping that at this track that’s the same, but hopefully better because there’s a lot of medium and high-speed corners. I’m hoping the flow of the car is better and maybe in following we can follow closer.

“A huge amount of work has gone into this and we’re hoping that it puts us on the right track,” he said.

“Changing train tracks, putting us on the track that can lead to that second.”

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