Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes didn’t listen to him about 2023 F1 car

Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton says his Mercedes team did not listen to him when developing their 2023 Formula 1 car.

The Briton told reporters last week that Mercedes was on the wrong track before finishing fifth in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

“There were things I told them last year. I mentioned the issues with the car,” Hamilton told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Checkered Flag podcast.

“I’ve driven a lot of cars in my life, so I know what a car needs. I know what a car doesn’t need. I think it’s really about responsibility.

“It’s about taking over and saying, ‘Yeah, you know what?’ We didn’t listen to you. “It’s not where it needs to be and we have to work,” he said.

“We have to look at balance through the corners, look at all the weaknesses and just come together as a team. That’s what we do.”

Hamilton, 38, is Formula 1’s most successful driver of all time, with a record 103 wins, but is out of contract at the end of the season.

He failed to win a race last year, the first of his career in a single season, but rejected suggestions that he might hold off on a new deal until he knows how competitive his car is.

He told the BBC there was still time to turn things around for Mercedes, whose eight consecutive constructors’ titles ended last year.

“We’re still multiple world champions, you know? It’s just that it didn’t go right this time. We didn’t do it right last year. But that doesn’t mean we’re wrong going forward,” he said.

Team principal Toto Wolff admitted in Bahrain that Mercedes needed to revise the car.

“I don’t think this package will be competitive in the end,” Wolff said of the car, which stands out with its thin sidewalls, a stark contrast to Red Bull’s solution.

“We made a mistake last year; we thought we could fix it by sticking to this car concept, but it didn’t work,” he added.

Red Bull’s two-time world champion Max Verstappen won in Bahrain, with Sergio Perez taking a one-two finish. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was third in a Mercedes-powered car.

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