Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have expressed their pure joy over the fact that the new Mercedes W09 has some much downforce that they can go out flat through corners that they couldn’t quite in their previous few seasons.
Turn three and nine on the Barcelona track is generally where the drivers have to lift the throttle, however that’s not the case anymore.
“It is something really special,” said Bottas.
“It is so difficult to describe though.
“We are going nearly 5Gs lateral in turn three and turn nine. And you can just feel it.
“The cars, there’s so much downforce in those speeds, you can really feel the whole car starting to bend and flex and still you have the grip and you need to trust the grip. Sliding the car in those speeds is a good feeling, there’s a smile on my face every time.” he added.
Hamilton too was impressed with how the car behaved on the turns, saying that in 10-12 years of formula 1 driving, he had never experienced such a thing.
“We’re finding, because we have a lot more downforce, you’re flat through turn three,” he said.
“Yesterday I was flat through turn nine which I’ve never been in the whole 10, 12 years I’ve been racing. It’s awesome.” he added.
Hamilton feels that Mercedes have a chance of being a second or two faster this year.
“I don’t think we’re going to be three, four seconds faster at the first race,” he said. “I think it’ll be more like a second or two, maybe.” the Brit said.
Pirelli have revealed that a lot of drivers have spoken about increase in cornering forces this year.
“It was funny the description from [Daniel] Ricciardo saying I’m losing my head in turn nine because of the lateral forces,” said Mario Isola, the Pirelli sporting director.
“But it is true, it’s quite impressive, they brake in turn one, full throttle until turn four. So they do one, two three all full throttle and the speed is really high.
“Last year we found 32, 35kph quicker in turn three, turn nine. I have to check the data but we have an additional step in speed in these corners. So the cars are becoming also really physical to drive because of the acceleration on the body of the driver.” he concluded.