“Much more predictable and enjoyable to drive” – Hamilton confident of good result at Monaco GP as W15 easier to drive versus its predecessors

Photo Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
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It has been a struggle for Mercedes from the start of the new regulations to produce a car to their standard with only one win to their name from the 2022 season till now.

However Hamilton feels that the W15 will be a change as he explains how uncomfortable the W13 and W14 felt in the past seasons and that the upgrades for the W15 has been pointing in the ideal direction to close the gap up to RedBull Ferrari and Mclaren.

“Well, we don’t have any upgrades this weekend. We have basically the package spread over two weekends in the last two races.

“We have like our highest downforce level, which everyone has here, and we have an evolved wing. But otherwise, we don’t know what we’re going to do this weekend.

“And I’m definitely feeling more excited about it compared to the previous two cars because those two are not so great.”

“This one’s a real work in progress and I think it hopefully should be a lot better here than it was last year.”

Monaco is one the tracks in the calendar where qualifying plays an important role. The street track is usually not ideal for overtaking so Saturday qualifying will be very important.

With 104 poles to his name, Hamilton has showed he can put the car into the top of the sheets. However it has been no secret he has been struggling with qualifying recently, with his highest starting position this season being a P7.

Hamilton explains the issue with the W15 as they struggle with low speed corners and understeer which has been putting them on the back foot for the crucial tenths of timings with the front field being extremely close to each other.

He mentions that the tyre sensitivity is also part of the issue but he is working on it to bring him back into the game at the front.

“At the moment with the car, It mostly only likes the high-speed at the moment. If you get the high-speed right at the low-speed, the slower you go, the less the car likes to turn.And if you can’t get the car to turn at the low-speed, then it’s not good in the high-speed.

“You compromise always with the car that you have. And also the tyres are a lot more sensitive, I would say, than the parts.But I don’t know. It’s an equation I’m working on. I’ll get it.”

Hamilton reveals that Mercedes has been working hard on the simulator to find out and fix the problems of the W15.

But no matter the amount of simulator work, there might be issues that can only be figured out on the track itself.

“I mean, we’re at the whim of simulation tools and figuring out how grippy the surface is, how bumpy it is, how high you can, or how low you can put the car, high to low-speed balances, mechanical balance, weight distribution, canvas, tows, all these things. There are so many things that you have that come into a journey.

“You can practice on the simulator but it’s not until you get to the actual track that you discover issues that you may or may not have.

“But yeah, in the perfect world you hit the ground running and you don’t look back. But that’s not been the case in the last couple of years.”

On the positive note, Hamilton is confident that Mercedes has the car underneath them to bring them back into the fight and close the gap to the top three teams.

“But as I said, I am more confident going into this weekend.

“This car is much more predictable and much more enjoyable to drive. Still not perfect, but it is progressing in the right direction.

“We weren’t that far off in qualifying last year actually with a much worse car. I hope that says something this weekend.”