“It’s been a rollercoaster ride” – Lewis Hamilton admits he has had a challenging time with the W12, as he bids for a record-breaking eighth world title.
The current season has been a challenging one for Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton, explained by the fact they haven’t won either of the titles yet, and still may not win it.
LH44 back on pole 🔥 It’s his fourth pole of 2021 and the eighth of the year for the W12! 😍 pic.twitter.com/RzCJPLnTWL
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 20, 2021
They have the W12 with them – an extremely fast beast – but at the same time, in Hamilton’s words, “very hard to set up”. No wonder he calls it a “monster of a diva”.
“I would say what I’ve noticed this year, which is just a fact, is that the car has been very, very hard to set up.
“I can’t remember if it was last year or before, Toto [Wolff, team principal] would say it was a diva. But this one is a monster of a diva.
“And what we often find, plus we’ve had less practice time, is that it’s been harder to get the car in the right window.
“Therefore, when you don’t get the car in the right window, you just limit your potential. So I’m just not able to maximise my ability through the setup not being in the right place, and it’s been very, very hard to get it into the right place.
“[In Brazil] I got the car exactly where I wanted. And that was like literally hitting the nail on the head. But that’s like maybe once or twice we’ve done that this year.
“We knew we were going to lose all this downforce and, once we found how much downforce we lost, the whole characteristics of the car shifted.
“What we had worked on for so many years, getting the car into that sweet spot like last year, it’s been a nightmare to undo or play with the tools, when you can’t actually change any of the tools.
“It just is what it is, and it’s been about trying to find smart ways to work around less downforce. There have been a lot of elements that have made it harder than ever.
“It’s been the hardest car to set up and I’ve done a lot of sim testing. But even sim days, you go and do a sim day and the sim is not in the right place it’s supposed to be – the grip level’s not right or the wind effect is not right, or the thermal degradation is set wrong, so you can come away with bogus numbers.
“You have to be so careful with the data that you are receiving and the decisions that you’re making. It’s been a rollercoaster ride.”