In Suzuka the Mercedes drivers failed to compete for the podium; the W14 car was inferior in terms of pace not only to Red Bull, but also to McLaren and Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton is happy that he was able to stay ahead of at least one of the Scuderia riders, while George Russell had to admit that he did not choose the best tactics.
Lewis Hamilton (5th): “I’ll start by saying that I’m very tired. I had to give everything to get the highest possible result and stay ahead of at least one of the Ferrari drivers. This team has brought a modernized car to Japan and overall they are very fast for several races in a row. Today we really had to fight!
I have earned a lot of points for the team to keep us in second place in the Constructors’ Championship, because I understand how important it is for everyone who works at the base in Brackley and Brixworth.
If the car is not performing well, those weekends are particularly difficult. But last year it was about the same, and the feeling behind the wheel of the car is about the same: it slides and is subject to longitudinal rocking at high speeds.
All in all, it’s not easy considering how much work has gone into making progress and we’re still not close to the leaders, at least on this track. But we were ahead of one of the Ferrari cars and this confirms that the team did an excellent job in making pit stops and choosing tactics.
But I’m already asking the team questions about working on next year’s car. I think the engineers listen carefully to everything George and I ask. I don’t know yet what the new car will look like, but that is still a long way off.
Over the next six months, you must work with maximum efficiency to narrow the gap with the leaders. Moreover, we cannot lose sight of the fact that McLaren is also improving very quickly, so we must study why and move in the same direction. But I believe my team can achieve the same.
We have always been good at increasing the level of downforce generated by the car’s aerodynamic body kit, but the problem is that the characteristics of the W14 are such that when we simply increase the downforce, the sway only gets worse.
I hope that if we change the concept, we will return to the previous level – we deserve it, because Mercedes is a champion team. I have no doubts about its capabilities, but during this period very important decisions have to be made, on which the trajectory of further development depends.”
George Russel (7th): “We used risky tactics, but it was worth a try. Probably with three pit stops it would have been possible to cover the distance faster than with one, but with our tactics we had a chance to get on the podium if the safety car came on track or if red flags appeared, even though the overtaking situation turned out to be a little more difficult than we had predicted.
In general, we made an effort, but the end result fully reflects our capabilities. Probably my comments on the radio sounded harsh, but when you give everything behind the wheel, after 48 laps, and you try to achieve something, despite far from the best tactics, then you should at least give vent to disturbed feelings over the radio .
It was difficult to overtake. For example, when Piastri drove with new tires and a faster car, it cannot be said that he just flew past me. It took him two laps to catch up.
For me it is important that our team takes second place in the Constructors’ Championship. Personally, my season is of course going very badly; we missed a lot of opportunities. But Lewis has a good chance to take third place in the individual competition, so overall everything is fine.”
Source: F1 News
I am Christopher Clyde, an experienced journalist and content writer with a passion for sports. I have been writing about Formula 1 news for the past five years and am currently employed as an author at athletistic.com, one of the top sports websites in the US.