After announcing he was hoping for upgrades to help him beat Red Bul at the end of the Styrian Grand Prix, Hamiton admitted he was bluffing and knew upgrades were already planned for the W12.
Mercedes are seemingly lacking pace compared to Red Bull. The German outfit is still able to compete with their Austrian opponents on Saturday, during qualifying sessions, but will need more race pace if they want to stay in the title fight.
At the end of a tough Styrian Grand Prix, in which Hamilton was once again pushed slightly further from championship rival Max Verstappen, the Briton admitted he wanted to see upgrades coming to be able to compete with Red Bull until the end of the season.
Over the course of the week separating the Styrian and the Austrian Grand Prix, Mercedes went from saying that they would completely stop their 2021 development to favor their 2022 concept, to say that they would continue bringing improvement to the actual W12. Today, Hamilton ended the series, saying that he was well aware that the team still had upgrades in stock for this year’s challenger.
“Well, I mean, I knew we had that upgrade coming. But at the end of the day, everyone is working absolutely flat out,” Hamilton said.
“We’re all pushing as hard as we can. Of course we’d love to have more pace at the moment to be able to really challenge [Red Bull] not only within qualifying but the race.”
“We’re discovering more things where we need to push more and extract more and I have all the confidence in the team that we will do over the course of time.”
“This is the time when we just come together and unite and work as hard as we can to rectify whatever issues we have. That’s what we do, that’s why we’re world champions and I have confidence in the team that we can do that.”
“Obviously, they’re [Red Bull] continuing to take steps forward. But I can’t get tied up and get into that negative bubble of worrying. All I can do right now is put all that energy into making sure I’m best prepared, helping the engineers be better prepared, lots of great conversations.”
“We’re not even halfway through the season. So I am still chasing this title.”
Specifying how he wants to help the teams find these last bits of performances to extract all the potential of the W12, Hamilton admitted he has tried his hands at a discipline he usually does not enjoy: simulator work. Earlier this year, the 36-year-old even admitted only spending a derisory amount of 20 laps a year in the simulator. However, as the championship battle is roaring, the Briton accepted to jump in the sim seat to improve his car setup.
“Well I can’t say that I necessarily enjoyed it. Just really, particularly after those last difficult races we had, I just went in to see if there’s any way I can help the team be better prepared,” Hamilton admitted.
“I think there’s been a couple of good things from it but not life-changing so I’ll continue to work with Anthony [Davidson, Mercedes’ official simulator driver] and we’ve got [other] drivers not here that do a lot of work, so just working on the processes of how we communicate with them in a programme so we’re getting the right things tested. So I think overall it’s been positive.”