Mercedes’ much awaited upgrade is here and Hamilton hopes that it is good enough to frighten Red Bull and Ferrari before the cars even step foot(or ‘tyre’) on the track.
The upgrade has taken some time for Mercedes, but Hamilton believes that the team has gone in for quality instead of quantity.
Hamilton has conceded that the team has been striving for minor upgrades in every race but this is probably the first time something new has been bolted onto the car.
There are substantial upgrades in the sidepod and bargeboard area.
“Ultimately in the season the development race is always tight,” he said.
“I think up until now we’ve not really had a lot of development parts on the car, so it’s great to see.
“I’m aware that the guys have been working increasingly harder and harder to try and make sure that we bring that we bring quality rather than quantity, so it’s great to see some new bits here this weekend.
“It undoubtedly will help us in our battle to frighten the other guys.
“I’m excited because when you bolt something to the car, which we haven’t really bolted to the car this year, it’s one of the first real, serious upgrades.
“It’s great when you get out there, because you feel the first couple of points [of downforce] straight away in a certain corner, you feel those improvements.
“I’m looking forward to experiencing it tomorrow, and trying to figure out where those improvements are on the circuit.
“I’ve not really looked at the pieces, and only got told about it this morning, really.
“I think they mentioned it to me ages ago, but I don’t really think about that stuff, I only think about how I can get the car in the right ballpark so I do what I do. But hopefully that will help me do it more.” he added.
Despite the upgrade, Hamilton believes that the Austria will probably present Mercedes with the toughest qualifying test, as all teams are expected to bring about some kind of upgrade.
“Everyone’s got some sort of upgrades, I anticipate it being one of the closest qualifying sessions that we’ve probably had this season.
“That’s my feeling, but I might be wrong. I hope I am, I hope that we qualify one-two with a better gap than that. But I also hope that it is close, and it’s about those fine tenths of a second.” Hamilton said.
Bottas too is positive about the upgrade and feels it is necessary considering the proximity with Ferrari and Red Bull on the constructor’s championship.
“I hope it’s massive!” he said.
“Of course we have to wait to find out. But, yes, on paper it’s a decent upgrade, which is very much needed, like any small gain this year, so looking forward to trying it out.
“Last weekend with the new engine it was positive, but even with the engines between us and Ferrari the margins are very small.
“I don’t feel like we really have the upper hand like we had in past years, so any small gains are important.” he added.