Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton sees no point in driving the 2022 car in the simulator given the rapid developments that are still in progress for the new car.
Even though two races remain for this season to end, development by teams for the 2022 cars is in full swing.
While some drivers have already started to familiarise themselves with next year’s car, Lewis Hamilton is of the opinion that there is no point in doing so for him considering that it is still in development.
Hamilton is engaged in a gruelling battle for the 2021 title with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. This is why Hamilton is focussing entirely on the W12 at the moment.
This statement could turn out to be the one we look back at and realise that he was telling us something that we didn’t understand at the time.
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Along with this, the gains Mercedes is extracting in the wind tunnel means that it makes little sense to familiarise oneself with a car that is still being worked on.
“I haven’t driven the car in the sim because I’ve literally just been focusing on this one. It’s been a hard enough workload as it is.”
“But I’m in constant contact with the team. Even after our races, I’m always talking about, ‘this is where our car is right now, and these are the things I want on next year’s car, keep an eye out for these things. These are the issues I have with the engine, I don’t want to see that next year, please fix it’. I’m constantly having these conversations with heads.”
Hamilton keeping an eye on the 2022 car
Hamilton revealed that discussions about the progress of the 2022 car are a regular part of his post-race meetings. One thing which is a common topic of discussion is its aero balance.
“When I come away from the races, my big meetings I usually have with Shov [Andrew Shovlin], generally at the end of the week once they’ve collated all the data.”
“Then, I have my meeting with Bono [Peter Bonnington], and then one with the team that are working on next year’s car, just to get an update on where they are.”
Hamilton then specified some of the aspects of the aerodynamics the team are focussing on.
“[We discuss] whether it’s heavily rearwards aero or forwards aero, what kind of ride heights we can expect, what issues are they anticipating, what challenges are they having and what they anticipate it will be like in the car.”
“But right now, with the progress it’s making in the wind tunnel, there is no point driving the car because it’s on a steep learning curve.”