May 24, 2024

Lewis Hamilton asserts that Aston Martin’s slump midway through the 2023 Formula 1 season showcases why Mercedes can’t simply try and copy Red Bull’s car for next year.

Aston Martin capitalized on maintaining the downwash sidepod solution it had adopted early last year, initially creating a competitive AMR23 challenger that ran at the front. However, both Ferrari and Mercedes surpassed the Silverstone squad after adopting a version of the approach pioneered by Red Bull. Additionally, McLaren’s introduction of a revised car in Austria pushed Aston Martin down to fifth in the standings.

Aston Martin’s attempt to address “side effects” from past upgrades led to further complications, with Fernando Alonso experiencing consecutive Q1 exits in Austin and Mexico. Despite securing second place, Mercedes acknowledged being hindered by the architecture of its launch-spec package and plans to introduce a revamped concept with the W15 car.

Contrary to rumors suggesting Mercedes might replicate Red Bull’s 2023 charger, Lewis Hamilton denied such intentions, emphasizing the challenge of understanding and adapting a car’s workings. Hamilton highlighted the complexities faced by Aston Martin when they attempted to copy a car, emphasizing the need to carefully integrate improvements through trial and error.

Acknowledging the pressure to close a significant performance gap, Hamilton stressed the difficulty of consistently adding performance week by week. Prior to two Q2 eliminations, Hamilton achieved consecutive second-place finishes in the United States and Mexico Grands Prix, crediting the introduction of a modified floor at the Circuit of the Americas as a significant upgrade.

Lewis Hamilton challenges Red Bull-style Mercedes theory with Aston Martin  dig : PlanetF1

Despite Mercedes’ improved performance enabling Hamilton to closely track Max Verstappen during the Austin Sprint race, Hamilton praised Red Bull’s 2023 car for excelling in all aspects, resembling his 2020 car and providing stability. Hamilton observed that Red Bull’s dominant creation allowed its drivers to conserve energy and maintain a relaxed pace, preserving tires and extending their advantage.

Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes won't 'copy' as rivals unveil Red  Bull-inspired cars : PlanetF1

Hamilton acknowledged Red Bull’s consistent superiority throughout the season, noting that even when Mercedes was close in Austin, Red Bull maintained a slight edge. He emphasized the ease with which Red Bull controlled the race and preserved resources, creating an advantageous position. Ultimately, Hamilton credited Red Bull for their exceptional performance and acknowledged that Mercedes spent the season chasing their formidable rivals.

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