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Lewis Hamilton slams ‘undriveable’ Mercedes car which is ‘worst’ in his F1 career

The seven-time world champion was left frustrated by very poor performance from the car in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix

Dan Austin
Saturday 18 June 2022 10:04 BST
Lewis Hamilton has been unable to challenge for race victories so far this season.
Lewis Hamilton has been unable to challenge for race victories so far this season. (Getty Images)

Lewis Hamilton has lambasted Mercedes’ 2022 Formula 1 car after once again suffering from intense bouncing and poor performance in practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

The seven-time world champion experimented with a new floor and different setups on his car in Friday night’s running in Montreal, but only ended up 13th fastest at the end of the second free practice session, telling his team over the radio: “This car is now undriveable.”

Mercedes have been struggling after transitioning to F1’s new set of technical regulations, which have undergone their biggest revision in a generation. A return to ground effect aerodynamics for the first time since the 1980s has brought with it the unexpected aerodynamic quirk known as porpoising, which is the name given to the phenomenon whereby cars bounce up and down violently at high speeds on long straights.

Toto Wolff’s team have struggled with the problem more than any other, and despite governing body the FIA issuing a newtechnical directive ahead of the race in Canada designed to curb it, the problem is persisting.

After the early running was over in Canada, Hamilton was even more daming about the machinery Mercedes have built for 2022, with the team having previously produced the best car in the field every year since 2014.

“Pretty much like every Friday for us, trying lots of different things,” he told Sky Sports F1. “An experimental floor on my side which didn’t work. Nothing we do to this car generally seems to work. We went with different setups [on each car] to see if one way works one way doesn’t. We’re way off, but that’s to be expected with this car.”

Mercedes have failed to challenge for wins at any of the opening eight rounds of the season, with Red Bull and Ferrari significantly faster than the Silver Arrows and suffering far less from the porpoising issue which has dogged the Brackley-based squad throughout the campaign. In Montréal, the team’s car was as bad as it has ever been, according to Hamilton.

“For me it was a disaster,” Hamilton explained. “One touch of the kerb and the thing goes flying, it’s so stiff. It’s very, very tricky. It’s the worst that I’ve ever felt any car here in my career. It’s a monumental fight the whole time to keep it out the wall. The car leaves the ground a lot, then it lands, grips up, and goes in different directions. It’s tough. It keeps you on edge and there were some big hits today. We raised the car and it makes no difference.”

Having gone into the season targeting a record-breaking eighth world championship, Hamilton is unlikely to win a single race in 2022, and believes the car is actually becoming worse as the season progresses.

“It’s like the car is getting worse, getting more and more unhappy the more we do to it,” he added. “It is what it is, this is the car for the year and we have to tough it out, then build a better car for next year. ”

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